Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A perfect weekend in Paris

Starts with a stay at one of the many hotels near the Sorbonne in the Latin Quarter; then, a petit dejeuner at one of the cafes nearby: Paul, La Brioche Dore, La Croissanterie or even the American Diner, which is sure to satisfy the heartiest of the appetite. Afterwards, take a stroll through le Jardin du Luxembourg, the loveliest park even by Parisian standards, which is saying a lot, and take a walk through the neighborhood just to the east of the garden towards St Sulpice, filled with unique little shops as well as practical chain stores, which always makes shopping interesting.

Then, head towards the Seine and Pont des Arts, which epitomizes what Paris is to me … not to mention, offers the most spectacular view of the Seine. The bridge leads into the Louvre, and at this point, we like to do one of two things: one being a walk through le Jardin des Tuilleries, onward toward the Champs Elysees and l’Arc de Triomphe, filled with tourists, which I’d like to do whenever I feel like being just one of the tourist; OR the second option being a walk through the rue Rivoli, passing by the ever-so-lovely Palais Royal and ending up near Les Halles and Centre Pompidou, which is open late on Saturday evenings and offers the most spectacular night view of the city.

As majority of the restaurants in Paris are quite good, it is never difficult to find a restaurant that offers the a great selection of Asian food or a brasserie that offers the reliable French affair, such as quiche lorraine or omelet with a healthy portion of salad. Finally, a walk through the city at night, especially around the Seine and Notre Dame, when Paris shows off its best!

Next day, we like to begin as we did the day before, except that on Sundays, some of the restaurants, such as Paul are closed, but as Paris isn’t short of good restaurants, especially in the Latin Quarter, one can always find a decent petit dejeuner. Afterwards, we like to walk through l’Ile de la Cite, especially through the flower/bird market, through the garden of the Notre Dame (stopping to see the inside of the cathedral once in awhile to admire the spectacular rosary), and l’Ile St. Louis towards the St Gervais, the more charming church. Also, the square in front of the St. Gervais is quite picturesque.

Then, walk up rue Vieille du Temple and rue des Francs Bourgeois, filled with one of a kind shops that are open on Sundays, towards la Place des Vosges, which in my opinion is the loveliest square in Paris, filled with quaint galleries and cafes … not to mention, hundreds of local Parisians hang out there, which is a breath of fresh air after being around gazillions of tourists.

Finally, we like to do one of two things as we’re leaving the city, either a dinner at Leon, a reliable chain restaurant that offers a great selection of mussel dishes or head towards Chinatown, where there are a slew of reasonably priced Chinese,Vietnamese, Thai, Cambodian, Laotian restaurants.


Post a Comment