Study Abroad Files: Paris
Paris, je t'aime! It's easy falling for a city as beautiful and engaging as Paris. From flapper-era speakeasies that still lure local crowds to top-notch boutique shopping, world-class museums, pastries that dissolve in your mouth and fresh made gelato around every corner, it's hard to go hungry or get bored in this city. Keep reading for our favorite spots in Paris for dining, drinking, dancing and more!
The Marais is home to everything you could ever want, from boutique shopping to chic bars, galleries and hole-in-the-wall falafel shops. Lizard Lounge is a really fun bar with good music, tasty sandwiches and a ton of fun drinks. Order "Lizard Juice" (spiked fruit punch) for the table if you come with friends! For mouthwatering Neapolitan style pizza, swing by Da Vito a couple blocks away (then head through the back of the shop for the Moonshiner speakeasy). If you ever tire of bread and cheese, Au Petit Thai has some of the best Thai food in the city and is tucked away on an adorable street corner. Nearby is local favorite Le Loir dans La Théière, which offers a range of delicious, house-made quiches and pies, and a menu that changes daily.
While Paris is known for its pastries, crepes and bread, the city boasts a handful of incredible small-batch gelato shops. Personal favorites include Pozzetto, Amorino (a chain you can find almost anywhere) or Berthillon (the best gelato I've ever tasted). If you're craving bubble tea, the O Bubble "bubble tea bar" has tons of delicious flavors, located right in the heart of Montmartre (and definitely gives Joy Yee a run for its money).
The open-air Marché des Enfants Rouges is a fun trip if you're in the mood for super fresh food. The food and flower market sells everything from fruits and vegetables, to cured meats, fine wines and aged cheeses. There are also a handful of restaurants scattered throughout the market, whether you're in the mood for falafel and pita, fresh made pasta or seafood.
For a great boulanger chain you can find throughout most of the city, stop inside an Eric Kayser for afternoon tea or coffee with any one of their delicious pastries, tarts or tiny cakes. For the complete Parisian experience, munch on macarons at the beautifully ornate Ladurée on the Champs-Elysees. Chocolate connoisseurs should also pay a visit to one of Patrick Roger's chocolate boutiques. Roger, "a chocolate sculptor", currently holds the title of Meilleur ouvrier de France, an award that distinguishes him as the best chocolatier in the country.
Montmartre is fairly touristy but definitely worth the trip. From outdoor markets, some of the best street art in Paris, and the Salvador Dalí museum, to the beautiful Sacre Cœur, Moulin Rouge and Wall of Love, the neighborhood offers breathtaking views of the city, leafy parks and quintessential Parisian bistros pulled straight from the scenes of Amélie.
Grab a bottle of wine, some speakers and head over to Pont Neuf with friends to picnic and people-watch along the Seine. Nearby are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th arrondissements, home to must-see attractions like the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries, Musée de l'Orangerie, the Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée D'Orsay, Place des Vosges, Centre Pompidou as well as countless cafés and boutique shopping. For lesser known museums that still house some of the best collections of art, design and fashion in the world, check out Fondation Louis Vuitton located just outside Paris, Musée Galliera for fashion and Musée Rodin, a beautiful mansion and sculpture garden. Check museum websites in advance for days when tickets are discounted or free!
The Jardin du Luxembourg is incredibly lovely and full of locals on any given day. Bring a book to read under the shade and you'll feel straight out of a French Impressionist painting. Nearby are the popular Catacombs of Paris. Booking tickets in advance is more expensive, so come prepared to wait in line for over an hour to see this popular site! Arrive before 5pm for guaranteed entry.
For an escape from city life, the Père Lachaise cemetery is the largest (and arguably the most beautiful) cemetery in Paris and houses several famous historical figures like Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Frédéric Chopin and Marcel Proust, among others. The Promenade Plantée is essentially Paris' answer to the popular High Line in New York City. The elevated park offers picturesque views of the city and is full of beautiful flowers and greenery. A short walk away is the colorful and oft-photographed rue Crémieux, a side street home to adorable townhouses painted in shades of lavender, sky blue and hot pink.
For the best shopping in Paris you have to go to the Marais. From better known chains like COS or Zara, to local boutiques, vintage stores and exclusively Parisian brands, you're bound to happen upon something you like.
The 1st and 2nd arrondissements are populated by high fashion, couture and expensive shopping. Colette is a must-see for fashion lovers with its bespoke couture, jewelry and artwork for sale. On the ground floor it also offers some more affordable options, like art books, tech accessories and postcards you pick up on your way out. Rue Cambon, home to the Chanel flagship store, is also fun to ogle over. For beautiful rooftop views of Paris, head over to the Printemps Haussmann department store and venture up to the 9th floor.
The beloved Shakespeare and Company bookstore along the Left Bank is a must-see for book lovers or anyone who loves history. Founded by George Whitman in 1951, the quaint shop is seeped in nostalgia and still serves as an important literary institution for readers and writers. For antique shopping, vintage clothing, jewelry and miscellanea, spend a few hours exploring the Marché aux Puces on the outskirts of the city.
If you're looking for nightclubs or discotheques, Le Duplex offers multiple floors with different music, from latin, to hiphop, R&B and top 40 hits. Located along the Seine, Wanderlust hosts an outdoor terrace in addition to several dance floors to choose from. Cafe Oz (go to the Denfert Rochereau location) is also a popular bar and gathering place among international crowds that transforms into a dance club and concert venue at night.
For a more laid-back vibe, Moonshiner is a popular speakeasy with incredible cocktails. The venue is tight, so head out with a small group and get ready to mingle and meet locals at the bar or in the smoke room. For great dancing and music, Le Comptoir Général has an undeniably cool atmosphere and lets you lounge on sofas as you sip on fun (albeit overpriced) drinks. For an endless list of drink options that feature everything from lychee to blueberry and apple champagne, Le Crocodile is perfect for several rounds of drinks. The best part? They slip a crocodile shaped gummy into every drink for you to enjoy afterwards.
For live music venues, the intimate, speakeasy style Chez Papa Jazz Club is world renowned, but food and drinks are (understandably) pricey. Little Red Door is also known as one of the best cocktail bars in the world and definitely worth treating yourself to!
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