I spend a lot of my free time on travel forums and I would be rich if I had a euro for every time someone asks: “I’m coming to Paris and want to live like a local.” Not surprisingly, no one is ever interested in going to work, calling the plumber, cleaning the house, or taking the kids to school.
However, I’ve found the perfect answer – take the free shuttle bus to Ikea.
Yup, that’s right. I’m suggesting a trip to Ikea.
I remember my first visit to Ikea - which happened to be in Bordeaux, France. I was on a trip with my mother and we decided to check out Ikea instead of touring the wine cellar at the rusty-dusty chateau where we were staying near Saint-Emilion. This was nearly 20 years ago – when Ikea was still a novelty to us mid-westerners. We were thrilled to have a chance to check it out.
Unlike my Ikea visit in Bordeaux, I had a shopping list this time - new sheets and pillowcases. Hardly seems worth the trek - but bed linens are expensive in Paris and I was up for a little adventure on cold and gray Paris day.
I arrived about 15 minutes early for the 1:00 p.m. shuttle on a Wednesday afternoon. There were plenty of seats available and the shuttle was, at most, 25% full when we left.
The shuttle is easy to find – it’s painted Ikea blue and yellow, and stops right in front of the Opera Bastille.
Since I love seeing new places, I thought that the 20-minute ride to Ikea was interesting. We traveled down the Rue du Lyon to the Quai de Bercy and onto the A4 Autoroute.
In addition to Ikea, there’s a mall across the parking lot - with a large InterMarche store. I hope to make it there next time.