Last week we spent a little time in Paris, visiting family. The city has almost 18 million international visitors every year, so obviously its attractions are legend. Summertime, like all the time, offers charming sights and activities. Here’s a random list of some of my favorite Parisian pleasures.
Without doubt, my favorite activity in Paris is simply to walk through the city, enjoying its architecture and history.
There is no place I’ve visited that has as lively an outdoor cafe scene as France, and Paris must have the most and probably the best choices of places to sit outdoors, watching the world go by.
Paris has more than 400 gardens where one can sit to relax on a warm summer afternoon.
Museums are obviously a marvelous activity while visiting Paris. There are 130 to chose from. Monet’s water lilies are among my favorite paintings to revisit.
Buying fresh food at the many markets and specialty boutiques in Paris is a pleasure that even the tourist should not miss. The Rue Cler is a pedestrian street, several blocks long, of every kind of food shop one can imagine.
Paris restaurants are a subject that takes up a lot of ink. In general I find discovering new places to eat preferable to visiting ones I already know, but I make an exception with the Grand Mosque. I go there not for the food per se, but to feast my eyes on the extravagant decor.
Discovering the hidden corners of Paris is a gratifying activity while in town. There are so many books, blog posts and websites devoted to the less well-known neighborhoods that it makes quick work identifying a new quarter to explore and enjoy.
There are several English language bookshops in Paris. The most venerable, Shakespeare and Company is a place you can hang out in for hours. It’s no problem to just plop down somewhere and read one of the books from the shelves.
The Batobus is basically a river taxi. It is a pleasant and leisurely way to get from one historical Parisian monument to the next.
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