City Guide: Paris, France (Left Bank Edition)

Thursday, September 12th, 2013 | City Guide

I want to move back to Paris. Seriously I scheme on a daily basis how I can make a living over there, and once I figure it out, I’m packing my bags and I’m outta here. It’s so romantic, dreamy, breathtaking, chaotic, and gorgeous all at once. I love the Left Bank (La Rive Gauche), which is the southern bank of the river Seine. The Left Bank is bohemian, creative, speckled with wonderfully mysterious alleys containing the cutest shops and cafes.

Stay: Rent an apartment. This is the best way to feel like a true Parisian. Check out Paris Perfect, Vacation Rentals By Owner or AirBnB. Can’t you just imagine waking up in your precious studio in the heart of the Latin Quarter and running downstairs for a coffee and chocolate croissant to bring up to your apartment and enjoy over French Vogue….

If you’d rather stay in a hotel, I recommend Hôtel Petit Belloy St Germain. Located on the border between the Latin Quarter and St-Germain-des-Prés, next to the Luxembourg Gardens the Cluny Medieval Museum and the Odéon Theatre. The Notre Dame and the Louvre are about 15 minutes away (walking) and the RER B to the airports is a block away. (1 rue Racine, 6th, +33 1 4326 8713, Métro: Cluny-La Sorbonne. Doubles from €165)

Eat: Of course you can stop by the famous cluster of cafes along Boulevard St-Germain: Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore, and Brasserie Lipp, to enjoy a drink where Simone de Beauvoir or Ernest Hemingway penned iconic literature. However, a glass of mineral water will cost you at least $10 and you’ll be among tourists, not Parisians. Instead, duck down any of the tiny alleys to find a delicious array of eateries, such as one of my favorites, La Palette.

Play: Grab a nutella and banna crepe and window shop in the gorgeous Saint-Germain-des-Prés area. Sonia Rykiel and Paco Rabanne have boutiques here, and the famous department store Le Bon Marché includes a gourmet market that all foodies should pay a visit to.

Getting there: Metro Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Line 4), Sèvres-Babylone (Line 10)
Main streets: Blvd. St.-Germain, Rue St. André-des-Arts, Rue de Sèvres

Stroll down Rue Mouffetard in the 5th arrondissement. It’s an old, cobbled street with cute little shops and restaurants. There’s a little bar à vin on the street, called Le Verre à Pied, where you feel as if you’ve been transported back to the romanticized Paris of the 1870’s. Enjoy a café crème in the morning or whatever the plat du jour is – it’s sure to be delicious.

Have a night cap at “56” on the 56th floor of the modern Tour Montparnasse. A glass of champagne and a stunning view of Paris at night is what I call a perfect evening.

Until we meet again Paris…

Love & Travel,

The Escape Artists

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