Being a travel writer, Ulrike is naturally inquisitive, forever exploring far-flung places around the world. Living in Paris proved to be the thrill she expected it to be and although she has been down nearly every road in every arrondissement, each new day still brings new surprises and yet-to-be-explored corners.
Ulrike: Quite simply, my husband was requested to move here for work. He didn’t even bother to ask me. A no-brainer. After visiting every year as a tourist, I finally got to live here, and I still thank my lucky stars every day, even after four years of calling Paris home.
Ulrike: It started from childhood, I have always known Paris. But then, through reading all the writers associated with this city, the love grew stronger. As soon as I moved here – and I have lived in a lot of places (note: seven countries on three continents) – I felt I’d come home.
Ulrike: I embrace it. The people are no ruder than in any other city and being an introvert myself, I feel that I fit right in when people grumble at me in the metro. And I find that if you start with a cheery bonjour and end with a merci, au revoir AND a bonne journée, you actually get some genuine smiles.
Ulrike: I am a water person, so give me a bench by the quayside, somewhere between the Île de la Cité and Ile Saint Louis, and I’m happy.
Ulrike: You know, I still get a thrill out of every scene where I recognize a Paris street. Every time.
Ulrike: When I moved here, I thought it’d be time to read Proust. And I did. All seven volumes of it. Alas, I read it in English, my French cannot cope with sentences an entire page long. I am still in awe and enjoyed the history lessons throughout. More recently, I loved Muriel Barbery’s Elegance of the Hedgehog, and Leïla Slimani’s Lullaby.
Ulrike: I feel that Paris is always beautiful on the outside, come rain or shine, but deeper down it’s sometimes not all that perfect, so maybe Soprano’s Clown…
Sightseeing: I regularly visit Pompom’s Polar bear and Van Gough’s Starry Night in the Musée d’Orsay.
Stroll: Walking the Petite Ceinture
Cocktail bars: I don’t go to bars a lot, I usually just choose nice terraces. But I do like Le Perchoir de l’Est.
Restaurants: Café de l’Homme, Les Bouquinistes, Ricci Bayen for its truffle pizza
Brunch: Le Pavillion du Lac, Buttes Chaumont
Chill: Parc Monceau, on a bench with a book and a coffee from the kiosk
Gigs: Call me a tourist, but I love it when people invade the metro – if they can sing.
Experience: I do love ice skating in the Grand Palais before Christmas
If you love books, then you're in for a treat in Paris! Narrowing the best shops for book lovers down to just five is a difficult task, but to help my fellow traveling bookworms, I'm sure going to give it a try, probably cheating a little as I go.
August is famous as the month when Paris fills with tourists and empties of all the Parisians. Sadly, that means many shop keepers, restaurant owners, and bakers leave too, leaving some of the more residential neighborhoods rather deserted.
Paris is known as the City of Love, but that love isn't just confined to couples. Familial love can be fostered here too, and those who visit Paris with kids in tow are sure to fall in love with the city as well.
Paris has always been the city for the flâneur (and flâneuse), as it's only by slowly meandering through the streets that you can properly appreciate its beauty. But what to do when the weather is simply ghastly? Keep wandering, of course, but stick to the streets with a roof.