Most travelers journey to France for art or pastry, but insiders know the city’s real secret: vintage goods. Emerging from the Port de Clignancourt metro stop in northern Paris, you’ll be rewarded with the mother of all flea markets: La Marche aux Puces de la porte de St-Ouen (a.k.a. the Clignancourt Flea Market), an enormous expanse of competitively priced dealers that lure decorators and fashion stylists from around the world. Next to a pile of forties furniture, one small stall offers wind-up Victrolas and Edith Piaf 78s. A dealer around the corner is selling a centuries-old puppet theater. And if you find, say, a turn-of-the-century bureau that you simply cannot live without, leave the shipping to Edet, an on-premises operation that can send goods anywhere in the world. Recuperate from the haggling at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, the plush 72-year-old institution near the Champs-Elysées that’s recently benefited from a $150 million renovation. And dine nearby at Lo Sushi, the chic, sleek spot designed by Andrée Putman.
DETAILS Four Seasons Hotel George V, 800-332-3442 (rates start at $530); Lo Sushi, 011-33-1-45-62-01-00.