After three long months, I believe I have been in Paris long enough to have some repeat places and favorite spots in the city. I know this city better than the city I go to school in because I put so much pressure on myself to go out and explore in all of my free time. There's a lot that I am going to miss about here, so here's a sweet little list of some of my favorites in the city. My Parisian favorites list.
Le Peloton Café
I think I have a sentimental attachment to this place because of the way I happened upon at first. I was looking for another shop and walked past this sweet little hole in the wall cafe. It felt familiar, probably because I had seen it on Instagram before, so I decided to walk on in. Everyone in the room was speaking English. It was the first time I had that happen in Paris. The staff was so friendly to me. I chatted with the barista about what made him move to Paris and he gave me suggestions of things to do in the area. Since then I've kept coming back.
honorable mentions: Ten Belles, Boot, Chambre Aux Oiseaux, Nuage, The Hood
This restaurant has given me some of my best meals in Paris. It's surprisingly difficult to find good food here, which I find very strange being that the French brag about their food so much. Chez Janou has very traditional food from the south of France and they do it well. But one of their biggest specialties is the desert. A giant tub of chocolate moose that you can eat as much of as you please. My personal favorite part of the restaurant is the experience. The ambiance is amazing and the same bartender that's been there every time I've gone is so funny and flirty. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a proper french meal.
honorable mention: Ober Mamma
Cafe Oberkampf is the best all day brunch spot I've been to in the city. Everything is so good and at very reasonable prices. The location is in the heart of my favorite neighborhood, in this tiny little spot. But be warned, the place only fits about 20 people and gets quite popular on the weekends so if you don't time it right, you're probably going to have to wait a while.
honorable mentions: Candelaria, Du Pain et Des Idées, L'as Du Fallafel
Dome of Sacré-Coeur
When my mom came to visit me for a week we were wandering around Montmartre one evening and had a little extra time to kill before going to get dinner. We happened upon the entrance to the dome of Sacré-Coeur and it was something I had never done before so we bought our 6 euro tickets to take the hike up the many many stairs and see what it was all about. There were a lot more stairs than we realized we were signing up for and got a little discouraged halfway, but boy was it worth it. We made it to the top right as the sun was setting and got to just look out from the very top of Paris to see the most breathtaking view. There's no better way to see the city all at once.
honorable mention: *see metro section*
This is the museum that I have visited the most this semester. Both because I had class held here every week and because I love to just go hang out with my favorite impressionist sometimes. The Louvre is over-rated and crowded and too big for any person to successfully get through and really enjoy everything. Orsay has some amazing pieces of art and you can stop and take it all in without someone pushing at you, the way art should be enjoyed. Plus impressionism art holds a very special place in my heart and this museum has the most amazing collection on their top floor. The first time I was up there was a crazy experience and was the first moment that I thought "I'm going to like it here in Paris."
honorable mentions: Palais de Tokyo, Centre Pompidou, Musée de la Poupée
Merci is this insane concept store in Bastille that has just about everything. I warn you, it's rather expensive so try hard not to fall in love with anything, but you must take a peak because everything about the store from the design to the products to the building itself is amazing. They have beautiful clothing with terrifying price tags, kitchen and tableware, furniture, books, stationary, and almost anything else you can think of. The name Merci comes from the fact that part of every purchase goes to charity therefore when you buy something they say "merci." Another cool thing about this place is that attached to the store they have this sweet little used book coffee shop where you can stop to get a coffee and grab a book off the wall to read, given that you can read in French.
honorable mentions: Sezane, Reciproque
Line 6 (especially between Passy and Bir Hakeim)
Here's my little story about this metro line. On my second day in Paris and my first day actually seeing the light of day, I had to navigate the metro to get to orientation. I didn't have anyone to help me and a very limited knowledge of metros so after asking a kind french man for help I got on line 6. Now I always assumed that metros and subways were all underground, but I guess I was wrong. At the second stop, Passy, I thought we were still underground but then suddenly we came out of this tunnel and I saw light and looked up out the window and saw this view. It was the very first time I saw the Eiffel Tower. This was my "shit I'm living in Paris moment." Now I get to pass this view every morning on my way to class and it's pretty hard to have a bad day when this is one of the first things you see.
honorable mentions: lines 1, 9, 7 bis, 13
Something cool about Paris is that even though it's very much a city with busy streets and so much going on, Parisians still find time to slow down and enjoy nature. There are so many parks in Paris. Big or small, you can't get very far without passing one. Of course, there are the big famous ones like Tuileries or Luxembourg, and don't get me wrong I love Luxembourg so much, I go there just to walk around all the time. But this park is massive and green and just so different from all the rest that I've seen. It's unique with this gazebo at the tippy top of a cliff and suspended bridges. Very cool and very different.
honorable mentions: Place Des Vosges, Jardin Des Plantes, Jardin du Luxembourg
Canal Saint Martin
This area has been my favorite spot in the city hands down. There's something about the canal that is so calming to me. I love to stop and sit here to enjoy a nice day and journal. When the weather is not unbearably cold, you'll find me sitting at the edge of the canal with a book in one hand and a sandwich in the other. Honestly, Saint Martin is what I am going to miss the most about the city because it has been my spot. My place to be on my own and just think. To me, that's the best.
honorable mention: Jardin Des Rosier
So Paris is organized into arrondissements and within these, there are neighborhoods that each has their own little personality. There's the more central area's like Opera or Champs-Elysees that are very rich and touristic, but then there are the more bobo neighborhoods with the younger "hipster" population of Paris. Those are the neighborhoods that I prefer to spend my days wandering. It's hard to pick one favorite but Oberkampf has so many places in it and I could see myself living there if I ever came back to Paris.
honorable mentions: Le Marais, République, Belleville, Montmartre
I am a huge Phantom of the Opera fan. It was one of my favorite musicals and movies while growing up. And guess what? That opera is in the heart of Paris. I still can't believe I got to walk up that amazing staircase and sit in one of the boxes to watch a ballet. The chandelier hanging above all those perfect red seats. Oh and this room in the photo. I have seen a lot of castles and beautiful things in France but this, this is the most breathtaking room in all of France. No opera ghost was spotted during either of my visits, but the Phantom of the Opera vibe was so strong. Another cool thing was that I learned that the strange painting that's been hanging in my home for as long as I can remember is an exclusive print of a section of the ceiling painting around the chandelier. So cool.
honorable mentions: Petit Palais, Musée Carnavalet
Monet was a wonderful man who filled our world with beautiful art. Being about to take a quick trip away from the city to see the home he lived in and the garden and pond that he painted so often, indescribable. If I lived there I would probably be inspired to paint all the time too. I want this life. I now plan on designing my future home after his because the pink and green look is so dreamy.
honorable mention: Disneyland
Shakespeare and Co.
As much as I miss my car back home, the nice thing about taking public transportation is that now you have this entire commute to do something else. I quickly got sick of staring at a phone so I decided to use that time to read. As an English speaker, there aren't a whole lot of bookstores that will have something I could actually understand, but thankfully there's Shakespeare and Co. It's this old book shop right by Notre Dame that only has English books. I spent hours browsing their collection before picking out my next metro read. They stamp your book so picking something up here is a very special keepsake for your time in Paris.
honorable mentions: ofr, artazart
I have discovered here that cocktail bars are my thing. Just a cool place to sit with friends and hang out sipping on a drink is so lovely. Still not one to rage and doubt I will ever be, but it's been great to just have a drink every now and then. Our favorite cocktail bar since the first time we went has been le kitch. The place has walls and ceilings covered in all these crazy knick knacks and the more random things. The vibe of the place is so cool and different, I love it. And the drinks have all been fantastic. I think collectively as a group we've tried just about everything on the menu and nothing has been a disappointment. My personal favorites have been the shrek and the tiramisu. Also, the prices are so good compared to most places. It's around 6 euros before 9 pm and 8 euros after.
honorable mentions: Hero, Comptoir General
This is just a simple little list of some of the places that I have really enjoyed during my time here. If you ever find yourself in this crazy city, maybe this could me a good help to find things to do a little more off the beaten path. There's just so much more to the city than the Tour Effiel and Champs-Elysees, you just need to know what you are looking for.
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Julia Carrington Ehler
<p>Bonjour! My name is Julia Carrington and I am so beyond excited to be sharing this little part of my life story with you. This is going to be my first time out of the country and on my own and I can't wait to see what happens. I hope you join me on this adventure and enjoy reading my little online travel journal.</p>