Honestly, this adorable breakfast nook is something my friend found for us while we were staying in the 2nd arrondissement. They speak English and have the best breakfast sandwiches. Annoying to find as Google barely recognizes it (it’s basically in an adorable alleyway that feels as if you’ve been transported back in time), but so worth it, this cramped little shop is one of my absolute favourites and a place that I have frequented more than once on a single trip.
Both the street/market and the mall, itself. Les Halles used to feed all of Paris, claiming fame to being the central fresh food market of the town. Forum des Halles is the new shopping mall that houses all kinds of wonderful goodies for you to choose from. While this isn’t the most Parisienne of shopping experiences, sometimes, heading out to a mall to get the basics and for a cultural rest can do you good. There’s also a large movie theatre in the mall, but I still recommend viewing a film at Grand Rex for a fun movie-going experience.
Ah, les Deux Magots. Les Deux Magots and Cafe de Flore go together with those who are looking to spend a little time where literary and artistic greats once drank, sat, and thought of famous works. While I’ve never actually stepped foot in Cafe de Flore, it’s on my list to do so. My Hemingway-esque cafe go-to is les Deux Magots. A great space to people-watch, Saint-Germain-des-Pres never fails in wonderful things to see. Sit outside on the terrace and you can gaze out into the square and people for days. Inside is still steeped in rich history with red booths and gilted decor and mirrored walls taking you back to the glory days. No matter where you sit, you’ll still get a delicious Croque Monsieur (my absolute favourite).
The Banks of the Seine
Yes, the entirety of the banks of the Seine River. Why? Because it feels so wonderfully calming just to sit with a book, a coffee, or some wine (shhh) and stare out into the water. Often quiet (if you find the right spots), you can daydream for hours, letting the lapping of the water and dull noise of faraway boats lull you into a happy state. One of the busier sections, and perhaps my favourite as a pick-me-up Banks-of-the-Seine-kind-of-day, is right in front of Shakespeare & Co. If you don’t mind high traffic areas, or waiting in line, you can find a delicious assortment of smoothies and delightful brownies in the cafe. Bonus: if you’re out of a good read, you can pop in (and by pop in, I mean wait in line to get into the damn store) to grab a book or two.
I know, I know, Versailles isn’t in Paris. BUT it is a must-see and on every tourists’ list, and for good reason. The palace is breathtakingly beautiful. I could spend days wandering the grounds and peeking into grand rooms. Strolling the grounds, you can feel the history, the romance and horrors that took place in that VERY spot you stood. History is so fascinating to me, and history of grandeur? That’s even better. Make sure you book a tour with plenty of time to tour around (either by yourself or with a guide – although, I’d recommend splitting off at the end to allow yourself more time in the places you enjoyed) and take in the entire estate. The Chateau Versailles is a large place and you need ample time to explore it all.
As you may have noticed, wandering around is my favourite thing to do when I’m in the Paris region. Why? Because there is just so much to take in all at once. My favourites for Paris are mostly general areas because it doesn’t matter where you are, you’ll fall in love.