What is it: Culture First pass.
Why you need it: It offers free access to either three or six museum exhibitions, theater, dance, and comedy performances, or prestige shows like operas, concerts, ballets, or musicals in the combination you desire.
How much: 89€ – 395€
Where can you buy it: You can choose from a variety of packages here.
Day trip tour
What is it: Private guided day tour of Mont Saint-Michel.
Why you need it: It is one of the most spectacular sites in France and yet, although only three hours from Paris, it can be difficult to get to on public transport. It’s a place every Parisian would visit if only they had a car.
How much: 170€
Where can you buy it: You can book this day trip here.
What is it: OMY Paris giant coloring roll.
Why you need it: This Parisian company’s range of designer coloring products (including maps, pencil cases, postcards, and tote bags) are all the rage at the moment. The full-size map will brighten any apartment and occupy many long winter nights.
How much: 25.75€
Where can you buy it: You can buy it online here.
What is it: Huygens‘ coffret neige (snow box).
Why you need it: These luxury toiletries are all natural and capable of being personalized to match you or your giftee’s skin type. The shop in the Marais district was recently judged as one of the most beautiful in the capital and this box set can be proudly displayed in any Parisian’s bathroom.
How much: 55.50€
Where can you buy it: You can purchase this gift here.
Seine dinner cruise
What is it: Marina de Paris three-course dinner cruise.
Why you need it: While most Parisians would claim to be too cool to hop on one of the daytime sightseeing boats that cruise up and down the Seine, that doesn’t mean they would pass up the opportunity to see the city from the water. This nighttime gourmet cruise is the perfect way to do just that without feeling like a tourist.
How much: 90€
Where can you buy it: You can book this dinner cruise here.
What is it: Lunch or dinner at Benoit.
Why you need it: There are dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris but Benoit is the only traditional bistro in the city to hold this distinction. It’s a sad paradox that you can’t live in Paris without eating here but, for many, living here might mean that you can never afford to do so (without a little help)!
How much: 140€
Where can you buy it: You can book a table here.
What is it: Morning or evening market class with Cook’n With Class.
Why you need it: Every expat in Paris dreams about stunning the locals with their culinary skills, and this class will put that wild aspiration within reach. This school have been giving lessons out of their Montmartre kitchen for 10 years and these classes show you how to shop for the best produce for your meal.
How much: 195€
Where can you buy it: You can book a class here.
Wine tasting session
What is it: Wine tasting session at Ô Chateau.
Why you need it: There’s no better way to integrate into French society than by developing a knowledge of and nose for wine. A wine tasting session at one of Paris’ most reputable caves offers the perfect crash course and will save hours of wayward experimentation in local bars (though you may also want to recommend this brand of tasting).
How much: From 55€.
Where can you buy it: You can book a tasting session here.
What is it: A corbeille from La Grande Épicerie.
Why you need it: There isn’t a Parisian in town who wouldn’t love to wake up and find a box of La Grande Épicerie goodies waiting for them under the Christmas tree. You have three options for imparting this joy: pre-selected gift boxes, D.I.Y. hampers, or gift cards to let your lucky someone have the pleasure of an afternoon browsing the luxury grocery’s shelves.
How much: 62€ to 134€
Where can you buy it: You can purchase a hamper here, create one here, or buy a gift card here.
What is it: A box of chocolates from Patrick Roger.
Why you need it: Of all the chocolatiers in Paris, Patrick Roger is one of the absolute best. An assortment of 25 should be enough of a sample of his incredible flavors to see what all the fuss is about, but you can always go bigger or smaller depending on your budget.
How much: 30€
Where can you buy it: You can purchase a box here.
What is it: Baumalu copper pot set.
Why you need it: Copper cookware is preferred in the kitchens of many of Paris’ restaurants, and locals who feel they have a flair for gastronomy often insist on using them at home. Not only are they scientifically proven to improve the quality of your cooking, they look great hanging on the kitchen wall or grouped on the hob.
How much: 154.50€
Where can you buy it: You can buy the pots here.
Coffee table book
What is it: A copy of The Best of Doisneau: Paris.
Why you need it: If your loved one is already familiar with the photography of Robert Doisneau then they’ll love this coffee table book and, if they aren’t, then they ought to be and will thank you for having bought it for them. This collection contains more than 600 images, including some that are unpublished elsewhere.
How much: 12€
Where can you buy it: You can buy the book here.
French DVD boxset
What is it: The François Truffaut collection.
Why you need it: It’s only a matter of time in a Parisian’s life before the conversation turns to the cinema of the New Wave, and that’s one topic you don’t want to be blindsided by. This collection contains Truffaut’s classics like Tirez sur le pianiste and Jules et Jim – great (and necessary) viewing.
How much: 30€
Where can you buy it: You can buy these DVDs here.
What is it: A two-hour session at the ABC du Parfum.
Why you need it: France is famous for its perfume-making history. At this workshop in the swanky 16th arrondissement, you have the chance to learn about the science behind the scents and create a fragrance of your own.
How much: 120€
Where can you buy it: You can book this workshop here.
What is it: A ceramic painting class at La Faiencerie de Gien.
Why you need it: This two-hour class at the Gien workshop will start you off with a brief history of the brand’s 200 years and then set you up for creating your own unique piece of dinnerware.
How much: 90€
Where can you buy it: You can book this class here.
What is it: A luxury pair of gloves from Causse.
Why you need it: There’s no better way to protect yourself from chilly Parisian winds than with a pair of exquisitely crafted leather gloves. This brand has been in business since 1892 and is one of the most desirable in France.
How much: From 165€
Where can you buy it: You can buy a pair online here.
What is it: The Miki hat from Merci.
Why you need it: It is the must-have hipster hat of the moment, a cross between a Breton fisherman’s hat and the American cap. It won’t keep anyone’s ears warm through the winter but it will keep them looking as cool as the locals.
How much: 75€ to 145€
Where can you buy it: You can buy a Miki here.
What is it: Made in France socks from L’Archiduchesse.
Why you need it: Firstly, because they are extremely comfortable and come in a variety of colors. Secondly, because they bear some important local linguistic knowledge: the French equivalent of the English tongue twister ‘she sells seashells by the seashore‘ is the even trickier les chaussettes de l’archiduchesse sont-elles sèches ou archisèches? (Are the socks of the archduchess dry or extremely dry?).
How much: 6€
Where can you buy it: You can buy a pair here.
What is it: A designer umbrella from ParapluieParis.
Why you need it: It can get rather wet in Paris during the winter months, but that doesn’t mean the locals huddle under a mass of bobbing black umbrellas. Rather, this is just another accessory that can set you apart from the crowd and proclaim your stylishness to the rest of the city.
How much: From 15€ to 350€
Where can you buy it: You can buy an umbrella online here.
What is it: A three, six, or 12-month subscription to Paris Match.
Why you need it: You need it because, while The Culture Trip will provide all the information anyone needs about the artistic and intellectual side of life in the French capital, you also have to ensure that your loved one is keeping up with the local gossip!
How much: 24.90€, 44.90€, or 72.80€.
Where can you buy it: You can purchase a subscription here.