Planet Marie Claire: Paris, France Travel Guide

The insider's guide to getting out of town.

POURQUOI GO NOW?

Although our stringer at French MC, Anne Raybaud, plans to be partying at the Cannes Film Festival (May 14-25), she'll be back in time for other May must-dos. Lovers of Impressionism (anyone not?) will clamber in their Chloe booties to take in "Watercolours: Studio and Open Air" at the Musee d'Orsay (May 27–September 7) and then subway out to Roland-Garros stadium for The French Open (May 25–June 8) to see the cutest male tennistas in years: Federer, Nadal, Roddick, and Paris's hometown hottie, Richard Gasquet. Wear your fave Lacoste polo.

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RENDEZVOUS HERE

HOTEL AMOUR Your new French lover may suggest sharing a vodka in the garden of Hotel Amour - formerly a house of ill repute - as it's one of the few places left in Paris where he can still smoke.

STARCK CONTRAST Philippe Starck has reimagined the 19th-century Le Meurice with surrealist dolphin chairs and mirrors of ice you can draw on.

COUTURE TO COWBOYS

After a splurge at Galliano or Lanvin, look for steals (like authentic French navy peacoats) at Au Petit Matelot and genuine Western boots at El Paso Booty.

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A LA MODE

SHOP LE MONDE

Colette boutique's sole criterion for its handpicked merch: über-coolness - from world-music CDs and green patent Doc Martens to Fendi's hot-pink tape measure.

PRETTY CITY

GET LE LOOK

Vive la difference. Experience French beauty couture-style at Maison Guerlain, with state-of-the-art makeup and customized fragrances. Or go the chemist route at Pharmacie Fouhety to stock up on affordable breakthrough brands. Models covet their Embryolisse moisturizer.

THE OTHER ANGELINA

Cafe Angelina may be where Proust nibbled his famous madeleine cookies, but today everyone goes for the hot chocolate "L'Africain." Load up on whipped cream, cherie - it's unsweetened!

HAIR DU TEMPS

The celeb stylist behind Catherine Deneuve's blonde locks has just opened his first eponymous salon: Autour de Christophe Robin (above). (His parents obviously read him Winnie the Pooh.) Go for superb color, cut, and calorie-rich croque-monsieur while you wait. By appointment only.

BEAUTÉ BIO-CHIC

L'Appartement 217, Paris's premier organic spa, feels like someone's private residence - i.e., it's another beauty secret French women prefer to keep!

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