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Paris tricks and tips

Living in Paris daily, Absolu Living gives you all the solutions here to live like a true Parisian ...

You just rent or you want to rent a furnished apartment in Paris. The success of your stay, through the knowledge of the lifestyle of Paris. Find here all the information you need.



Go shopping

Food Stores

Having your own apartment means you will likely find yourself shopping for some basic food items at one point or another. One of the first things you should know is that there are no all-in-one supermarkets within Paris. Therefore, Parisians tend to visit small grocery chains for staple items and favor neighborhood markets or vendors for fresh meats, cheese, vegetables and, of course, bread.

What’s nearby ?

Though immense supermarkets are unheard of, Paris’ grocery chain stores are plentiful, convenient and well-stocked. There are three principle outlets: Monoprix, Franprix and Marche U. There is sure to be one in your neighborhood and they are normally open from 9-9 pm, with some exceptions. Monoprix has particularly developed itself in the recent years. The company has created two other brands to be part of the daily lives of people in big cities. You will find several Monoprix in each arrondissement, which offer you an average of more than 60 000 different products. Monop’ will offer you the possibility to to buy fresh food on a self service basis, plus to buy everyday products. Open from 9am to midnight. Daily Monop’ will offer you self catering that you can eat directly in the store.

If you find yourself searching for an item beyond these hours, there is likely to be a small épicierie around the corner which will stay open until 1 or 2 am. These small stores will have dry goods and a limited supply of fresh products. Another option is to visit a local traiteur for pre-made dishes, meats, pastries and desserts. One of our favorites is the chain Flo (or la Durée). While definitely a more costly option than cooking at home, the quality in these stores is fantastic and you get what you pay for in terms of convenience.


Market streets and neighborhood vendors

Normally, fresh food vendors are all located on the same street within a particular neighborhood. Each different vendor will have a selection of fresh basic products as well as some homemade specialities (“fait maison”). Your local “boulangerie” will have fresh baked bread, pastries and desserts. For dairy products and farm-fresh cheese from every region of France, visit a local “formagerie”. Looking for wine? Go to a “caviste”. A “boucherie” will have freshest cuts of meat and poultry available. Finally, local produce vendors will have fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables year round.

There are several major market streets which are frequented by Parisians every day of the week except Monday normally. One of the most popular on the right bank, rue Montorgueil, is closed to traffic which makes it a haven for food shoppers. It is located just north of Les Halles and St-Eustache church in the 2nd arrondissement. Even if you don’t have shopping to do, this area is a great place to have a seat in a local café and experience the neighborhood culture for which Paris is famous. Another right bank option is rue de Bretagne, just north of the Marais and near the Mairie of the 3rd arrondissement. In addition to these market streets, there are over 50 open-air market locations which rotate in and out of each neighborhood, once or twice a week and only in the morning. If you want to have a coffee, don’t hesitate to go in any bars, brasseries, cafés or bistrots. They have established themselves in every street.

Fashion shopping

Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world, thus shopping is an unavoidable pleasure during any visit to thecity. There areseveral well-known areas where this mission can be accomplished.

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World-renowned brands and luxury items

They are on Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré (  Tuileries) has a collection of boutiques of a number of well-known fashion houses. Lanvin can be found at number 22 while Hermés showcases its products is just across the street at no. 24. The main Christian Lacroix store is at no. 73 and new arrivals include John Galiano at number 384. Virtually every fashion designer in the world seeks to have an address on this street. One of the most interesting shops is that of Colette, at no 213 Faubourg St Honoré. This is THE place to find a selection of everything that is cutting-edge in fashion, furnishings or otherwise. Another major round-up of famous international designers can be found near the Champs Elysées on Avenues Montaigne and George V ( Franklin D Roosevelt or George V). Several well-known haute-couture designers can be found there, including Prada, Gucci, Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton.

Department Stores


Just north of the Opéra on the right bank, the city’s two most famous department stores, Printemps et Galleries Lafayettes stand side-by-side on Boulevard Haussmann (Metro line 9, station Chaussé d’Antin). Printemps pour Homme, the Men’s Store contains a vast and comprehensive array of men’s fashions. Recently redesigned, the store contains brands from many world designers, both new and old. Other department stores include La Samaritaine on Rue de Rivoli ( Châtelet station) in the 1st arrondissements (close at the moment for security work) and the Bon Marché ( Sèvres Babylone) on the left bank.

Cutting edge jeans and street wear


Rue Etienne Marcel ( Etienne Marcel) between Les Halles and Place des Victoires contains a variety of internationally known boutiques popular with the new generation. Among them are Diesel and Diesel Style Lab, Energie, Replay and G-Star. The Shop is an agglomeration of urban wear labels (such as Carhartt and 2 High) where you can shop to the sounds of a live DJ. The other large multi-brand store in the neighborhood is L’Eclaireur (10, rue Hérold, 5th arrondissement). Here you will find a, exclusive line of hot items is a cool, low-key setting. The boutique is actually located at street level in a loft without any sort of markings or indications. While it is rather obscure, do not hesitate to ring the bell to be buzzed in.

Gay Shopping


Our last shop-stop takes us to the Marais ( Hôtel de Ville or Rambuteau) where a host of small boutiques are sure to please a wide range of gay clients. There are several clothes shops which are noteworthy, however the best selection is undoubtedly found in the Boys Bazars. Three shops are all located a few steps in either direction from the corner rue des Archives and rue Ste Croix-de-la-Bretonnerie. Each shop contains a line of goods sure to suit all ages, styles and budgets. A bit further on rue des Rosiers, L’Eclaireur, offers a selection of cutting-edge clothing and accessories presented in much the same way as the Collette shop on rue Faubourg St Honoré.

Fresh and Inexpensive


A lot of good buys on unique items are to be found in the shops around Les Halles. In the Forum des Halles itself you will find an H&M shop which contains a hip selection of tops, bottoms and accessories. Numerous other small vendors in the area have everything from jeans to one-of-a-kind t-shirts and the latest footwear: your will find on 22 boulevard Sebastopol (4th arrondissement) the largest Puma Store of Europe. On 150 rue Rivoli, you’ll see one of the biggest Adidas store.



Do sports

Enjoy your stay in Paris to play sports. You'll be spoiled for choice ...

Paris city of meetings and celebration, will offer countless opportunities to develop. Enjoy your stay, to keep fit.

Absolu Living, give you the best places to play sports. Whether you like indoor sports, outdoors, jogging, biking, swimming, you're spoiled for choice ...




As in any large city, there are several gyms and sport clubs in central Paris. The most well-known are the chains Club Med Gym and their up-market affiliate Waou. Each offer a variety of activities, up-to-date workout equipment and locker facilities. The most gay-friendly gyms of Paris are undoubtedly Club Med Gym - Palais-Royale (147 bis Rue Saint Honoré, 1st arrondissement, Palais Royal) and Waou – Grands Boulevards (5, rue Faubourg Poissionière, 9th arrondissement, Grands Boulevards). We can also recommend Vit’Halles Gym (48 rue de Rambuteau, 3rd arrondissement, Rambuteau).

If you wish, Absolu Living would be happy to obtain pre-paid gym entries in advance for you. Simply include a request your initial reservation form and they will be waiting for you upon arrival.

For operating hours and class schedules, you can consult the Club Med Gym website at www.clubmedgym.com or contact Vit’Halles directly at




For the past few years, the city of Paris has undertaken several projects which to pave the way for bicyclists. Shared bike and bus lanes have sprung up on major thoroughfares and a fair amount of smaller bicycle-only paths now cross the city. Also, the RATP now has bicycles are available for rent at four locations: Châtelet, Canal de l’Ourcq, Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes. From March to October, you can rent a bicycle for a half-day for 7.60 €. The RATP also offers guided bicycle trips of the city on weekends and public holidays from April to October. Tours last approximately 3 hours.

For more information, contact the RATP at 0810 44 15 34


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Every neighborhood of Paris is equipped with at least one swimming pool. The largest, most central and gay-friendly pool is the one of the Forum des Halles, “the Centre Sportif Suzanne Berlioux” (10 place de la Rotonde, level -3, 1st arrondissement, Les Halles.) From the street level, enter the Forum from the Porte du Jour, the pool is located just beyond the cinemas. The entry fee is 3.80 € for this Olympic size facility.

In addition, you can visit one of the smaller, neighborhood Art Deco pools of Paris which were constructed in the 1930’s. Les Amiraux municipal pool is located behind Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement (6 rue Hermann Lachapelle, Simplon) and the Piscine Pontoise is located in the 5th (19 rue Pontoise, Maubert Mutualité). The latter is open every day and also offers complete gym facilities including squash, weight lifting and a sauna.

Or you can go to the Marais swimming Pool: La Piscine Saint Merri, 16 rue Renard, in the 4th arrondissement. Châtelet,  Hôtel de Ville, Rambuteau.

Photo se divertir - Op


Enjoy your stay in a furnished apartment in Paris to entertain you. Why not the Paris Opera and the cinema...

Operas and Concerts

Like all world capitals, Paris offers a vast, year-round selection of operas, concerts and theatre performances.

There are two spectacular opera houses in Paris, the traditional Opéra Garnier and the modern Opera Bastille which can accommodate over 2700 spectators and features a more contemporary repertoire. For detailed information concerning the Paris Opera, visit their website www.opera-de-paris.fr.


A number of concerts take place in Paris year-round. There are several venues which host an eclectic variety of performances. These include the Élysée-Montmartre (72 boulevard Rochechouart, 18th arrondissement, Pigalle), the Olympia (18 rue Caumartin, 9th arrondissement, Madeleine) and the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (8 boulevard de Bercy, 12th arrondissement, Bercy). For all types of performances, tickets can be reserved and purchased at any FNAC location.

For information about shows and performances via the Internet, consult the site www.concertandco.com or www.rockinfo.com

For information concerning shows at the Olympia, telephone 0892 68 33 68.

For information concerning shows at the Elysée-Montmartre telephone 01 55 07 06 00.

For information concerning shows at the Palais Omnisports-Paris Bercy telephone 01 40 02 60 60.


Thanks to the presence of a relatively big film production industry, Paris has a large number of excellent cinemas, 373 to be exact. A majority of films in the bigger cinemas are in English, so it should not pose a problem if you would like to see a film while visiting. One of the best places to see a wide variety of current, mass-market films is UGC Ciné Cité in the Forum des Halles (located on level -4 of the Forum des Halles, 7 Place de la Rotonde, 1st arrondissement, Châtelet-Les Halles). For a variety of independent and European films, there are several smaller cinemas along the streets of the 5th arrondissement.

For a city-wide list of films and start times, you can purchase the weekly publication L’Officiel des Spectacles at news stands for 0.35 €.

You can also consult the website www.allocine.fr.

For all inquiries and reservations concerning UGC Ciné Cité / Les Halles, telephone 0892 70 00 00 or consult their website, www.ugc.fr.

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