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Paris: Insider Tips

  • Story Highlights
  • Watch out for spikey-haired Parisians getting all Tecktonik -- the latest dance style
  • Get ahead, get a bike: the city's cheap bike-hire scheme has proved a success
  • Marvel at the Musée du Louvre's sumptuous metro stop
  • Get a taste of the exotic with a massage at the La Grande Mosquée's own hammam
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PARIS, France (CNN) -- In a city famous for being the birthplace of the avant-garde, it can be hard to keep up with the latest trends. Here's a rough guide to what's hot right now in the French capital.

This beat is Tecktonik: The latest dance craze to hit the Parisian streets.

This beat is Tecktonik: The latest dance craze to hit the Parisian streets.

Parisian youths love their trends. The latest dance craze sweeping the city is Tecktonik, a fusion dance style usually accessorized with spiked hair and neon accessories. Look out for kids dancing in packs outside the Trocadero. You might even be lucky enough to spot a Tecktonik/breakdance dance-off.

Le Scrapbooking
Scrapbooking is the current craze amongst Paris' more sedate residents. Head to Le Temple Du Scrap (13 Rue Ernest Cresson) for pretty paper supplies, trimmings, ribbons and associated frippery.

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Bike around town
Much of Paris is walkable, but the city's cheap bike-hire scheme, Velib, which launched in 2007, makes dashing around the city even easier. There are thousands of bikes stashed across the city at bike stations around 300m apart. The first 30 minutes of any trip is free; you'll need a credit card to register with the scheme. Once you've got your bike, you're ready to career around the cobbled streets of Montmartre and rattle along the Seine.

Café hotspots
The classic Parisian image of smoky cafes is now banished to the pavements, thanks to a smoking ban in bars and restaurants that came in at the end of 2007. Quel dommage! In the winter, café culture's hotspots are those with heated terraces. You'll still be able to light up while you sip a petit café crème, but only if you sit outside -- bring a turtleneck and a beret to keep you warm as well as stylish.


Massages at the Mosque
Paris is home to a large Muslim population, and La Grande Mosquée de Paris (rue Geoffroy St. Hilaire.) reflects that. From the outside, the building is absolutely stunning; it's even more spectacular inside. Treat yourself to a massage at the hammam (Turkish bath) and you could easily think you are in Morocco. Relax post-massage by sipping a mint tea in the courtyard. Check in advance which days are for men and which are for women.

Subway style
Taking the subway in Paris can be a drag. Striking drivers and filthy platforms can make the Metro a misery. But the light at the end of this often dark and dingy tunnel is the Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre stop, or namely the Palais Royal entrance. Like a lot of things in Paris, it's an artwork in its own right, by French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. His design of brightly colored class beads is a delight, and nearby Place Colette is a great spot for people watching: pull up a pew and enjoy.

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