Revue de CITIx60 Guides: Paris

Bonjour my lovely readers! In anticipation of my forthcoming trip to Paris (*squeals*), I have been researching for and planning my itinerary like a crazy woman. In doing so, I have found myself hunting for an alternative travel book for some inspiration.

My search for an alternative travel book arose when I finally came to terms with my dislike towards the travel giants. I’m talking TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet... you get the gist. Now, I’m not completely trashing these companies – they offer insightful information on some of the most renowned and iconic attractions – but that might just be the problem. They offer tourist traps. When I venture somewhere new, I don’t want to be queued up behind dozens of other camera-hugging, fannypack-wearing holidaymakers (sorry, not sorry). In conducting my research, I want to see the side to Paris that extends further than the Eiffel Tower.

My prayers were answered with CITIx60’s City Guide to Paris.

This darling pocket-sized book was published by viction:ary, a creative company that specialises in visual art and design as inspired by all corners of the globe. It breaks down the city of love into five different categories: architecture, art spaces, shops/markets, eateries and entertainment.

Not only is the book aesthetically beautiful and simply delightful, but it is practical as well. Merely a few pages in, it informs you on basic yet essential information such as the currency, maps, public transport, emergency numbers, airport transfers and a monthly festival guide.

“Fearless and confident, Paris elegantly balances a forward thinking mentality with pride for its endearing and complex history. Always one step ahead, the capital is a cultural tastemaker, habitually setting the standard for new developments in art, architecture, food, music and fashion. International influences sit comfortably alongside quintessential Parisian character, giving the city cutting-edge cuisine, vast markets, charming vintage outlets and a booming night scene that is impossible to ignore.”

Highlights

Le Comptoir Général

This ghetto museum showcases “creative and marginal cultures from Africa” and hosts a bar, greenhouse, canteen, shopping, cinema screenings, exhibitions, concerts… the list doesn’t end! I think you really have to experience this place to understand what it’s all about.

Image courtesy of Pinterest.

Ofr.

This “quintessential French community space” is heaven for artists, designers, filmmakers and publishers alike. Ofr will keep anyone engrossed for hours through their galleries, library and assorted rotational exhibitions.

Image courtesy of Shopikon.

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Given the cultural tensions brewing in France at the moment, I think it is more important than ever to support diversity. Grande Mosqueé de Paris is the third-largest mosque in Europe and showcases stunning Hispano-Mooresque architecture.

Image courtesy of the List Love.

Colette

If Ofr hasn’t quenched your thirst for the shops, immerse yourself in some retail theory at Colette. This concept store will bring joy to those delighted by music, publications, boutique fashion and more… something tells me I don’t want to bring my credit card here.

Image courtesy of the Global Blue.

The ‘Deats

Name: Paris by CITIx60

Platform: Book

Publisher: viction:ary

Price: $11.95USD

Website: www.victionary.com

For those who can’t get enough of this book (like me), then fear not! CITIx60 has published further editions capturing the creative essence of cities such as Amsterdam, Barcelona, New York, Stockholm… you name it. Order them here!

P.S. If you enjoyed this review, you might also find that this post tickles your fancy.

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The Book to Read Before You Travel

Contrary to what the title of this blog post may suggest, you will not find the book I am about to recommend under the ‘travel’ section of your local bookstore (or Amazon’s Kindle for that matter – this is 2017). Instead, you may want to take a detour to ‘history’.

In the past few months, I have taken a rather obsessive interest in non-fiction. For a long time it bored me, and I couldn’t convince myself to dedicate large chunks of time to reading what already was as opposed to what could be.

But then I picked up this book.

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Image courtesy of www.thepaperbprincess.wordpress.com

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is everything you would expect it to be judging from its title. Originally written by Yuval Noah Harari in Hebrew (and later translated into English and an abundance of other languages), this provocative book walks you through the timeline of humanity, from our evolution from the great apes right up to the twenty-first century. Dealing with (and controversially interpreting) issues such as religion, bureaucracy, consumerism, economics, animal rights and happiness, it will challenge everything you thought you knew about being human. In his own words, Harari argues that, “Homo Sapiens rule the world because it is the only animal that believes in things that exist purely in it’s own imagination, such as gods, states, money, and human rights.”

Sapiens completely transformed the way I conceptualise our world. What I once perceived as being dull and irrelevant pages out of a history book, I now understand to be indispensable pieces to the jigsaw puzzle that furthered our evolution. If I could find a way to make it mandatory for everyone to read this book at some stage of their life, I would do so without a second thought.

So why do I insist so on reading this book before you travel?

Quite simply, I believe that understanding the world you explore enriches your experience exponentially. If your goal through traveling is to learn, then this book is the best place to start. Discovering the birth of different cultures, peoples and creeds introduces a whole new dimension of understanding that money just can’t buy; it’s one thing to take pretty pictures of ancient civilisations, but it’s another to appreciate how those civilisations came to be.

And that’s something your Instagram feed just can’t teach you.

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Have you read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humanity? Which book have you read that you would recommend to fellow travellers? I would love to hear from you!

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