Our subscribers received adorable postcards in their June boxes illustrating the four cities that Birchbox calls home: New York, Paris, London, and Barcelona. But since we could only fit so much information on each card, we decided to provide even more insider intel on our blog—straight from Birchbox staffers around the world. Get your passport ready and check back each week for a new installment of Birchbox City Guides.
First stop: Printemps (102 Rue de Provence). You’ll find all the up-to-the-minute brands—without the massive crowds of Galeries Lafayette. Another on-trend spot: Le Bon Marché (24 Rue de Sèvres), whose lower level boasts La Grande Epicerie, where you can find all sorts of fabulous foodstuffs to take home (plus all the fixings for a pique-nique). For higher-concept fashion, walk over to Merci (111 Boulevard Beaumarchais), then indulge in a piece of chocolate cake at the boutique’s used bookshop and cafe. Vintage buffs should check out Kiloshop (125 Boulevard Saint-Germain), where you buy by the (yep, you guessed it) kilo.
Paris’s diversity is on display at the Marché des Enfants Rouges (39 rue de Bretagne), where you’ll discover everything from a Breton-style crepe to an Afro-Antilles cafe. During summer, we love It Mylk (1 Place Suzanne Valadon) for delicious frozen yogurt, while in winter we can’t get enough of the hot chocolate at the legendary Angelina (226 Rue de Rivoli), and year-round, we’re fans of the lemon pie at Le Loir dans la Théière (3 Rue des Rosiers). For an evening drink, the Bastille neighborhood is loaded with lovely bars and bistros, like le Temps des Cerises (31 Rue de la Cerisaie) and SanZ SanS (49 Rue du Fauborg Saint-Antoine).
The best way to tour Paris is via Vélib, the free bike-sharing service run by the city. Start by making your way through Montmartre and Sacré Coeur (don’t miss the scones at Gontran Cherrier bakery, 22 Rue Caulaincourt), then ride toward the Seine and the Pont des Arts.
Past the Tuileries Gardens, you’ll find the Grand Palais (conveniently located along the legendary Champs-Elysées), one of the city’s greatest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. For contemporary art, head to the recently renovated Palais de Tokyo where you’ll find selections from modern French artists as well as their worldly counterparts. (You’ll also catch striking views of the Eiffel Tower). If you’re in Paris for September, aka Fashion Week, don’t miss the Galliera Museum (or Museum of Fashion). The Renaissance-style palace just re-opened in the spring and features over 90,000 pieces of clothing spanning three centuries. Not only are the collections beautiful, the gardens are amazing!
Create your own shampoo at Didact Hair Building (2 Rue du Jour), close to the stunning church of Saint-Eustache. And for an afternoon of pampering, you can’t beat La Maison Dr.Hauschka (39 Rue de Charonne) for facials and massages.
(Photo: Astrid Riecken/dpa/Corbis)
For more local tips on our favorite must-see cities, check out more Insider Guides.