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Reflections on Paris

a city that encourages you to wander

Reflections on Paris

Posted on 25/10/2016

Paul Hemingway

Filed under Travel

Take a comfortable pair of walking shoes

Paris is a city my wife and I really love visiting and despite the weather being colder we really like the autumn and winter for a visit.  We like the cold crisp mornings and the chance to have a coffee in a nice cosy café and watch the world go by ( I do take an umbrella though ).

A place we would really recommend is just a few minutes’ walk from the hurly burly of Notre Dame Cathedral (which is a joy to visit despite the inevitable crowds) the Café St. Regis.  Walk behind the Cathedral for just a few minutes and over the small bridge to the Ile St. Louis.  You’ll see the traditional French bistro on the corner ahead of you. Try a café Americano and a French onion soup and be transported back to the 1930s.  Free Wi-Fi comes as standard! As does great service and a special atmosphere.

I briefly mentioned Notre Dame, a real treat, it’s free unless you climb the tower, and the architecture is stunning.  Last time I was there we were able to watch some restoration taking place inside, fascinating.  It is camera friendly but I always remember this is a functioning place of worship and try and be respectful. Early or late in the day is the best time to avoid the crowds, but expect it to be busy.

I would also recommend to anyone who likes art, a hidden gem that is less well known and needs a Metro trip and a short walk in the suburbs. The Musee Marmottan – Monet. This was an old hunting lodge and now houses a fabulous collection of the Impressionist Claude Monet’s works as well as a fine collection of the less well known Berthe Morisot.  I love it its quiet, tranquil feeling and it is well worth a visit if you are an art lover – the sheer size of the paintings and smaller numbers of visitors make this my favourite museum/art gallery in Paris.  It does require an entrance fee of 11 Euro’s but it remains well worth it in my opinion.  There are plenty of café’s and restaurants nearby as well as some nice parks if the sun is shining.

Finally my two top tips for any visit to Paris … take a comfortable pair of walking shoes, it’s a city that encourages you to wander around in my experience and stop very often to sample the cafés and bars to get a real flavour of Paris.