30.5.12

5 Places Worth Visiting in the 9th

While I'm off exploring California, Anne of Prêt à Voyager takes you on a mini virtual tour of the 9th arrondissement. Largely overlooked by Paris visitors until very recently, this is one of the neighborhoods I've enjoyed discovering most within the last year. Here, Anne shares a few of her favorites in the rue des Martyrs section of South Pigalle. Thanks, Anne!

The 9th arrondissements is one of those areas of Paris I never visited until I moved there. But somehow I managed to impress my French friends by being in an area that was up and coming. I think the thing I like most about it is that there is nothing touristy that would force you to set foot in the 9th. Well, I suppose technically the Opera Garnier is in the 9th, but that's not part of "my" 9th. The other bonus is that the 9th is very central. Where I live, I'm lucky to have 5 metro lines – the 12, 2, 7, 8 & 9 – I can hop on to get anywhere in the city easily. (Note: this also means that you have no excuse to not come here wherever you're staying). Rue des Martyrs is what I consider the spine of the 9th. Below is my guide of a few places worth checking out: 

1 | Sit down for a chai or freshly brewed Australian coffee (from Coutume) and chat with Benoit, the owner of Le Rocketship, a cute coffee shop / gift boutique. Many of the goods are handmade in the 9th so it makes a nice souvenir. My favorites are the Paris prints by his brother that hang on the wall. (Read my full review here). 

For a little local clothing/accessory shopping try Vanina Escoubet and L'Oeuf/South Pigalle to pick up a piece or two to help you feel more like a stylish Parisian. You don't need much to add that touch of class.
Le Rocketship: 13 bis rue Henry Monier; closed Sunday & Monday
Vanina Escoubet: 1 rue Henry Monnier; closed Sundays and Mondays
L'Oeuf/South Pigalle: 9 Rue Clauzel; closed Mondays

2 | Hotel Amour is the hotel of love, and I absolutely love their restaurant's garden terrace (kept up by Kali Vermès of Grow Little). It's great for a morning coffee or a burger at dinner.
8 rue Navrin


3 | Paris is known for its specialty shops so pop into La Chambre aux Confitures to see how fantastic a jam shop can be. Their packaging makes me swoon it's so cute, and the jams (and caramel au buerre salé) are delicious too! 
9 rue des Martyrs; closed Mondays

4 | Some people think Paris is expensive but if you get a 5€ panini to go from Da Carmine you'll find out what delicious good deals you've been missing out on. You'll likely have a funny interaction with the owner while you wait, and be warned, depending on the time of day and if he likes you enough you make be given a shot while you wait. 
61 rue des Martyrs

5 | For your average visitor a coffee shop may not be a novel concept, but for those of us expats in Paris, it's an exciting little taste of home. KB Café [formerly known as Kooka Boora] serves up fantastic fresh squeezed juices (try apple - carrot - ginger), nice simple quiches and sandwiches, and oh, if you like coffee they're really good at that too (it's also Australian style). 
62 rue des Martyrs & 52 ave Trudaine

BONUS:  To have my true Paris experience, venture to one of the two public swimming pools in the neighborhood: Georges Drigny (ask the lifeguards about me [Anne] and they'll know exactly who you are talking about!) or Paul Valeyre (less likely to get a black eye here). The best time to go is during vacances scolaire, but always make sure to check the hours before venturing to any pool in Paris as the hours are limited, and random!
Georges Drigny:18 rue Bochart de Saron
Paul Valeyre: 24 rue de Rochechouart

More from Anne:
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