This guest post by Meg of De quelle planète es-tu takes you into the secrets of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. Meg is a Denverite gone Parisian and enjoys all things floral, antique and vintage déco, beer, putting holes in her walls for handing rediculous amounts of frames, snacking on sweets before dinner, lipstick, photobooths, flea markets and many other things. Digital marketing is her stomping ground and you can find her on her blog, twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram.
The 16th arrondissement of Paris covers the city’s western borders, stretching from The Arc de Triomphe to the southwest city limits. It is considered by many to be a posh neighborhood, a haven for the bourgeois, or somewhat boring. It is calm and I’ll dare say it, not as diverse, or as much of a melting pot as other Parisian hoods, but I find that it still has its charm, and still has some lovely places to pass by and discover.
The 16th is so big it even has two zip codes, unlike other Paris districts: 75016 and 75116. It houses Paris’s Bois de Boulogne, and other renowned attractions such as Roland Garros and the Parc des Princes. Amongst the many embassies and other important looking buildings, it also is the home to a trusty handful museums.
My favorite museums in the 16th are the Palais de Tokyo (13 Avenue du Président Wilson) and Musée Marmottan (2 Rue Louis Boilly). The Palais de Tokyo is across from the Eiffel Tower, and has a variety of contemporary art and exhibitions, and also has one of the old-fashioned film photobooths in Paris. It also has its own restaurant, Tokyo Eat. The Musée Marmottan Monet, located near the western border of the 16th, is the home to the largest collection of Monet pieces in the world.
As a tourist or as a local, the view of the Eiffel Tower is always breathtaking, and luckily you can catch that view from Trocadéro, or on a stroll on the quai below Trocadéro. On the place Trocadéro, I prefer to stop by Carette (4 Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre) for a pastry, espresso and people watching. If you sweet tooth is as big as mine, don’t forget to go to Patisserie des Rêves (111 Rue de Longchamp) for one of their colorful and precious photogenic treats. Sometimes I’ll even opt for an Oreo milkshake at Schwartz’s Deli. (7 Avenue Eylau).
A splendid view and stunning Parisian bridge that is a must-see is the Pont de Bir Hakeim, where the line 6 metro crosses the Seine with the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop. It has been featured in many films (Inception, anyone?) and has an eerie feel to it, it’s worth a snap shot or 5 if you happen to be near the Passy area.
Bois de Boulogne itself is a magical place to cycle through and to picnic at. During the summer months you can rent a row-boat near the Chalet des Iles and spend an afternoon on the Lac Inférieur in good company and under the sun rays. The boat rental area is near the Porte de la Muette, on the east end of the northern island of the lake (FYI: you will need a check for a security deposit or 50 euros cash for the boat rentals, you’ll get it back after you return your boat).
One of my favorite places to go in Paris is Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil, which just happens to be in this rather misunderstood arrondissement. It is a park and botanical garden that feels untouched, equipped with grass, trees and greenhouses filled with palm trees, flowers and cacti of all shapes, sizes and colors. It is probably the most photogenic place I have ever been to in Paris, and I feel like it is a secret treasure. I dream of having a little picnic in the park that surrounds the green houses and colorful flowers. If you’ve got kids with you, or enjoy amusement parks and the likes, the Jardin d’Acclimation could also be worth a spin, located near Porte Maillot, of the north section of the Bois de Boulogne.
When you do dare to wander near Porte d’Auteuil, two of my favorite places for grub are Les Deux Stations (131 Boulevard Exelmans), a French bistro with classic French dishes and really awesome lamps, and La Pizzeria d’Auteuil (81 Rue Jean de la Fontaine), an Italian restaurant with incredible pizza.
Other restaurants that are worth a gander are La Griottine (2 Rue de Sfax) and Family Café (35 Rue Annonciation), both with yummy lunches. La Gare (19 Chaussée de la Muette), located right near the La Muette metro station and the Jardin de Ranelagh, is a fantastic place that is in an old brick train station. In the summer it’s sublime for an aperitif on the terrace. In the 16th we even get the pleasure of having Paris’s first burger truck, Camion Qui Fume, park near Porte Maillot to serve us deliciously crafted burgers regularly.
Lastly, if you’re feeling fancy and cheeky, try to pop in for a cocktail at the Hôtel Saint James (43 Avenue Bugeaud). Go for a wander up and down the little streets below the Champs Elysees, the various brasseries and pubs are fantastic at night, and there’s always a hustle bustle.