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Published: July 20th 2015
No matter has wonderful the cities on your journey have been, once you arrive in Paris everything else melts away, and you're left wondering why you've ever gone elsewhere. Every glance is perfection, every bite and sip a delight, every moment an opportunity to admire the most beautiful city in the world. I'm always prepared to return to Paris, drawn by an immense desire to see and experience everything that the city has to offer. While I can leave other cities believing that I've seen something of them, I always feel like I've barely scratched the surface of Paris; every museum, park, church and cafe can be visited again with the guarantee of further delight and discovery. London and New York are overflowing with events and exhibitions, San Francisco is at the Pacific cusp of culture, Stockholm, Amsterdam and Prague are lovely, Istanbul is fascinating, and Venice, Florence and Rome are beautifully close runners-up, but no place fills my heart like Paris.
Our base of operations in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, Hotel de Nesle, was well-situated and comes recommended. Each room is individually decorated and fairly spacious, and there is a rather unkept garden in the back for quiet moments. Be sure to
Just a couple of blocks from our hotel
book in advance. The neighborhood itself, as well as the adjacent Latin Quarter, the islands and the Maris to the north are all excellent areas to station yourself during your trip to Paris, with a satisfying array of cafes, wine bars, restaurants and shops to explore.
Highlights from this leg of the trip include celebrating Paris with champagne at the top of the Tour Eiffel with my significant other, the majesty and stained glass of Eglise St-Eustache, a fantastic crepe and cider Breton dinner at Breizh Cafe, listening to gypsy jazz on the bridge between the Isle de la Cite and Ile St-Louis, a wine-laden catch-up with a friend at a series of Saint-Germain-des-Pres wine bars, sampling the wild strawberry ice cream at Bertillon, perusing the bookshelves at Shakespeare & Co., and rediscovering the recently renovated Musee d'Orsay, one of the world's best museums.
On the list for next time: Musee Marmottan Monet, exploring more wine bars, such as Le Zinc des Cavistes and Le Gare Robe, revisiting Saint Chapelle for another classical concert, trying for some good jazz at Chez Georges and Caveau de la Huchette, sampling the tearoom at Mariage Freres, and splurging on a cocktail
Brasserie le Nesle
At the end of our street - this photo is for my friend Amanda.
at Harry's New York Bar. I’m also looking forward to further exploration of the Marais - so many intriguing shops and restaurants.
It's true that you're going to have a difficult time narrowing down where to spend your precious moments in the City of Lights, and this blog isn't going to be much help, but don't worry - whether you decide to brave the crowds at some of the world's best art museums, slog to the top of the Eiffel Tower, eat and drink yourself into a stupor at successive French restaurants, or just throw in the towel at the closest garden or café and watch the world go by, you're be guaranteed a truly wonderful time.
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