Although I’ve made it back to the States, I’m still thinking about Paris (and how much I miss it already). As I’m just now starting to unpack my bags, I keep finding bits of bric-a-brac and other small keepsakes of my time abroad. So, as hindsight is twenty-twenty, I’ve composed a list of places that my friends and I have loved and frequented.
1) Coutume Café (Invalides)
A student-friendly café, they serve great chai lattés and even better brunch. At Coutume, you’ll see families, friends, couples and students hard at work. This mod café is also decorated with antique diagrams and has beaker-style carafes d’eau.
2) Le jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg)
When Paris is sunny, le jardin du Luxembourg is the place to go to for a pique-nique, tanning, or playing sports. There’s always lots of young people eating and having wine, and funny thing, we always ran into some of friends here (Paris is actually a pretty small town).
3) Ladurée (Madeleine)
Although a little touristy, Ladurée is world-famous for their macaroons. Even though I only went once, a lot of people recommend it—I’d recommend going solely for their tea. Although their boutique is filled with good gifts, they’re super pricey: however, you can find Ladurée-designed shirts at the clothing store Uniqlo, right next to Opera.
4) Musée Rodin (Varenne)
Near Invalides is the Musée Rodin, where the sculptor lived and worked. You can stroll through his gardens and view many of his original statues, as well as learn about his unique process. My favorite part was walking through his house, and seeing his models. Great for a sunny afternoon, you can also eat lunch here.
5) L’As Du Fallafel (Le Marais)
Perfect for a Sunday afternoon, this is the easily the best falafel in Paris, à mon avis. It’s cheap for the portions, as well as the spices. We went here often, and although the line is always long, it goes quick and worth the wait. This is especially a great place for vegetarians.
6) Pont-Neuf (Ile-de-Paris)
Much like le jardin du Luxembourg, Pont-Neuf is always packed with young people. However, instead of viewing Le Palais du Luxembourg (which houses the French Senate), Pont-Neuf overlooks the Seine.
7) Stade de France (Stade de France)
One of my favorite outings of ISA was the FFF (Fédération française de football) game at the Stade de France. If you have a chance to go and watch them play, do it! We had the best time, and it’s incredible to watch a European sporting event if you haven’t seen one yet.
8) 59 Rivoli (Rivoli-Louvre)
Although you have to go and see all of the popular museums in Paris, like the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou, I loved going into this atelier. It’s right next to the Louvre and houses a ton of artists who work and display their art in this six-story building. You can watch them work, as well as ask them questions. Its super laid-back atmosphere and free entry make it a very accessible and easy visit.