One of the things I love about Paris is the abundance of interesting stores and cafés that can be found in its various streets and alleys. They’re like little surprises.
If you’re a fan of luxury bags, there are a LOT of stores selling pre-loved ones all over Paris. Lili Rose Luxury in Rue Dauphine actually offers pretty good deals. However, if you’re from Asia, I’d say the shops in Tokyo still offer better prices. 😉
And speaking of shops, who could ever forget about Shakespeare and Company? The most popular bookstore in France, located in Rue de la Bûcherie – kilometre zero.
We’ve all heard of the book shop’s story so I’ll just tell you two things:
1.) You must buy a book and have it stamped with the logo. Books are always a great souvenir! It can also make for a very thoughtful gift.
2.) You must get to know Kitty – the book shop’s famous cat. She can be a bit snappy though so be careful around her. 😉
Side note: There are also book and stationery stores along the Seine which sell second hand books and quirky things. They’re always a lot of fun to check out.
Opposite Shakespeare and Company is the Notre Dame Cathedral.
In my humble opinion, this cathedral has got to be one of the best examples of Gothic architecture. It’s almost one of the most well-known places of worship in the whole world because of its beauty and the fact that it was the setting of one of Victor Hugo’s most famous novels (and a Disney film based on it).
P.S. If you’re in Paris for the summer, go here early as the lines going in to the cathedral are crazy long. Even if you don’t plan to go up the towers, the inside is well worth a visit. In the winter, it’s a-okay and a great place to keep warm when the winds are getting too chilly.
For a fee, you can climb up to to the top of the Cathedral but to be honest, there are other better places to have a scenic view of Paris. You can go up the Eiffel Tower (but I don’t suggest this either as the city just doesn’t look right from above if you can’t see the Eiffel Tower, right?), the Tour Montparnasse, the Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche in La Défense, or – if you’re trying to save a bit – opt for the view in front of the Sacré Cœur.
The photo above was taken midway, as we went up the stairs to the church.
Once you get to the top, right in front of the Sacré Cœur’s doors, you’ll be rewarded with a majestic view of Paris.
As a side note, Montmartre is also a great place to look for affordable food and souvenirs. If you get off the Anvers Metro stop, (it’s also the nearest Metro stop to the Sacré Cœur) there’s a place where we ate in that has really cheap food.
I’ve eaten there twice – once during my winter visit in Jan 2013 and during this trip. It’s not the fanciest joint and the staff are not that friendly but it’s got great food at really affordable prices.
The place is called BIP Burger and is right across the Anvers Metro stop and next to Rue de Steinkerque which is a narrow street that goes up to the foot of the hill where the Sacré Cœur is. The souvenirs are a lot cheaper here but you’ll have to fight of hoards of summer tourists looking for a good bargain like yourself.
We ended our third day with a short walk near the Eiffel and dropped by the Philippine Embassy in Paris where my husband and I met up with one of the people he used to work with back in the home office and also visited our current Ambassador there who knows Alvin and I quite well.
I’ve met her several times back when I was a reporter and she’s always been so nice to me, Alvin, and my fellow journos.
It’s sometimes nice to see familiar faces while traveling, isn’t it? 🙂
That’s all for now!
*Trip is not sponsored by any country’s tourism department, company, or brand but by my side of the family living in Europe. ????