A Perfect Day in ... Paris

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Jeremy Woodhouse / Digital Vision

City of sites: On foot or astride your bike, Paris' delights await

Aziliz Gouez, 29, anthropologist
I might start the day at Librairie José Corti, tel: (33-1) 4326 6300, an old bookshop with beautiful woodwork across from the Luxembourg Gardens. It was founded by José Corti, a man of exceptional taste, who published Julien Gracq and other surrealists. After that I'd head up Rue Saint-Maur, stopping for lunch at the magnificent Algerian pastry shop La Bague de Kenza, tel: (33-1) 4314 9315. I'd order something hot like a m'hajeb — bell-pepper-and-tomato-stuffed pastry. Finally, my day would end at the bistro Le Vieux Belleville, tel: (33-1) 4462 9266, above the Parc de Belleville and with an amazing view over Paris. Several nights a week, chansonniers perform, lyrics are passed out and you sing along to old favorites while you drink red wine and eat a good steak. (See reviews of 50 American wines.)

Matthieu Degeorges and Samirah Salmi, both 33, film-set designers
Our perfect day starts with fresh-squeezed orange juice and great coffee at the Brébant Café, tel: (33-1) 4770 0102. Then, we'd get on our bicycles and pedal to the Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest covered market in Paris, for the organic produce, delicatessens and wine merchants. After lunch, we might hit the vintage-clothing stores Oh Lumière, tel: (33-1) 4357 5126, for vintage sneakers and the like, and Doursoux, tel: (33-1) 4700 0182, a classy military-surplus store with great aviator jackets and sweaters. For dinner, we'd reserve a table at Autour d'un Verre, tel: (33-1) 4824 4374, a friendly restaurant that serves great food. To finish the night, we'd head to La Java, tel: (33-1) 4202 2052 — a historic club where Edith Piaf once performed. (See pictures of Paris at LIFE.com.)

Bastien Baron, 28, client-relations manager
First, I'd take a long walk from the Ile de la Cité along the banks of the Seine all the way to the Musée d'Orsay, one of our most beautiful museums. At midday, try the authentic Japanese restaurants on Rue Sainte-Anne, where you can get excellent ramen. Later, for dinner, I'd go to Le Petit Bofinger, tel: (33-1) 4272 0523, at Bastille, just across the way from the famous belle époque Brasserie Bofinger. It's roomy, but not too expensive, with a great wine cellar and good traditional fare. I'd have their foie gras to start, then calf's kidneys, a cheese course, and their crème caramel for dessert. And to finish the day off right, I'd hit the Folies Pigalles, tel: (33-1) 4878 5525. It's this enormous club, and if you're in the right mood, it can be perfect. Plus they serve a good gin and tonic.

— Reported by Jeffrey T. Iverson

See 10 things to do in Rome.

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