Click for some music and get in the mood:
à Paris (My Playlist)
Paris Coffee Shop (A bit of music for the old souls)
Art, one of the main things that makes Paris so attractive, at least for me. There is something about the different artists and types of art that amazes you and leaves you with a romantic and inspired mood. There is no corner in Paris that doesn’t have art worth stopping for, even the architecture. Of course, even if you are not an art lover, you need to visit a museum. I personally love every bit of the experience, the colors, the shadows, the technique, for short simply everything. My personal favorite is the Musée D’Orsay. It is not only an absolutely gorgeous building from the inside and out, but it offers a big variety of artists and art movements that belong to different periods. From Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir to sculptures from Rodin. There is for sure at least one art piece for everyone. If not, you ‘ll enjoy the building itself.
Oil on canvas, Starry Night over the Rhône from Vincent Van Gogh (1888)
Shakespeare and Co.
For the readers and history lovers, Shakespeare and Co. is your place to be. I didn’t know about its existence for a long time but the minute I entered it felt like home. An English-language bookstore that is meant to take your breath away. From its new edition books to the secondhand ones outside, you are bound to take at least one home with you. Paris was for long the home of great writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Hemingway, Irving and Fitzgerald. The founder of this amazing bookstore on the banks of the Seine and opposite to Notre-Dame wrote: “I created this bookstore like a man would write a novel, building each room like a chapter, and I like people to open the door the way they open a book, a book that leads into a magic world in their imaginations”. Since its opening in 1951 this bookstore has been in George Whitman’s family and it is a magic world in every bookworm’s imagination.
What I bought:
Emma – Jane Austen
The history of Parisians, tea rooms and baked goods is far more extensive than we think. From Marie Antoinette’s “let them eat cake” phrase to her glorious tea parties; drinking tea and eating macaroons or pastries is part of the Parisian culture, even if it sounds a bit cliché. Ask anyone where to eat the best macaroons and you’ll always get “Ladurée” as answer. Ever since Louis Ernest Ladurée founded his bakery in Paris in 1862, he and his family have been tied to history. Then, with the help of famous painter and poster artist Jules Cheret, the bakery got its traditional and recognizable decoration. Not only for its culture and history it’s a must see, but eating there is an experience. Of course, the place is always pop-full and it’s indeed on the expensive side, but I personally think it’s worth it. A cute and fancy tea set with infused rose tea to be accompanied with any of the treats listed on the menu, that are hard to choose from. And that is if you’re there for tea time or to have a dessert, because lunch is also available.
What I drank:
Rose infused tea
Place du Tertre, Montmatre
Staying in the art mood, by far my favorite place in Paris and something you don’t want to miss, the Place du Tertre on top of Montmatre. A beautiful square in the 18th arrondissement almost under the shadow of Montmartre’s Basilica of the Sacré Coer. The artistic vibe can be felt streets away and the ambiance is often filled with street art musicians that set the mood for a colorful walk through many artist’s home in the past, including Picasso and Utrillo. For the Dalí fans, L’Espace Salvador Dalí museum is very close to the square. But forget about its history, music and gorgeous cafés in the summer, what you need to see is the pure street art that is showcased for free. Early in the morning many artist set stands there to sell and showcase their pieces. Different techniques, styles and cultures mix in one place and allow tourists to enjoy the meaning of pure art. Coming from a girl who can cry with a painting, you need to go there.
Don’t just go around it, but also through it, a lot of hidden artists and the best pieces are showcased in between others surrounding the square.
Best Crêpes, Notre-Dame
Obviously a visit to Paris without a Crêpe is for sure a fail. But there are so many places to go, to eat, to walk to that you don’t know where to find the best. Here is my secret, the street to the left of Notre-Dame makes the best crêpes in the world, at least I think so. There are quite a few stands and everyone passing through gets one because the smell is simply “irrésistible”. Grab a crêpe sit in front of Notre-Dame and then walk to the bookstore, the perfect plan.
Nutella crêpe with strawberries