Latest update: July 1, 2018
Hopefully it is a sunny day. Put on your walking shoes and be prepared for the hilly roads of Montmartre. It can be a good idea to bring a picnic and why not getting some good bread, cheese and fruits in the Covered market of Batignolles or, if your Montmartre day is a Saturday, there is also the Batignolles organic market. To tell you the truth, I haven’t been to any of these two markets, they are however on my to do list for my next visit to Paris. I have been to other French markets, strolling around among the stalls enjoying the view and the different odours, feeling curious about new things to try and maybe buying some to surprise my senses.
There are many roads you can choose to arrive at the top and its magnificent view over the French capital. From the métro station Blanche, the Rue Lepic will take you on a half circular walk. In case you liked the film Amélie, how about having a coffee in the café where part of the movie takes place? You’ll find the Café des deux moulins on your left, the first straight part of rue Lepic. In case you didn’t visit the market and yet, would like to have a picnic with a view later on, grab a sandwich from the Paul bakery just in front of Amélie’s café. Paul uses the concept of the fast-food chains and sell different menus. Since their Moelleux au chocolat, is, in my opinion, a very delicious chocolate cake, I would suggest a menu with a dessert included. 🙂
Following rue Lepic you’ll arrive easily at la Butte Montmartre with La place du Tertre and all its artists, the Montmartre museum and a lot of shops among others. Continuing further on, you hopefully find a free space in the stairs just in front of the Sacré Coeur to enjoy your picnic with a view for miles. Having a meal here has always been a favorite of mine. When interrailing years ago with a friend who was hesitating going to Paris, it was our lunch up here that convinced her of the Paris charm…
An evening close to Beaubourg
This poem is a memory that has come back to me now and then. I was somewhere near the Beaubourg (Centre Georges Pompidou), probably in the 80’s enjoying a walk all by myself, stopping by for a while and listening to the music. There was softness in the evening as well as in the tune…
I stop for a moment,
enjoying the liveliness of the open space
People talking, laughing,
in the soft breeze of a July evening
A musician is playing
on the strings of summer
It is a moment of complete apprehension of being fully alive.
And, in love with the present moment
Cross one of the five bridges to Île Saint-Louis and you’ll enter a calmer part of the city. A part from just strolling around and enjoying a slower pace, there are some nice shops and delights to discover:
Papeterie Marie-Tournelle: A wonderful little stationer’s selling funny and beautiful note books, presents, candles post cards and more.
Berthillon Glacier: If you come in summer and Berthillon is closed for vacation. Don’t be sorry, there are reseller’s around and buying an ice-cream from a store on the road is cheaper than in the cafés. However, if you feel like sitting down and watch people over a tasty ice-cream, there are cafés around with Berthillon assortment as well. The café Le Flore en l’Île served me a delicious coffee milkshake while I took time for some writing.
Chocolat de Neuville: In this shop I bought a milk chocolate with Pretzels in. Crunchy and with a salty note. I will get back next time for some more…
Eva Baz’Art: Decorative, funny and smart things for your home or for someone else’s home as a present.
Arc de Triomphe – The Triumphal Arch
Ready for a long walk again?
This is going to take a while!
It is not only from the Eiffel tower one can get a magnificent view of Paris. Getting up in the Arc de Triomphe, you may very well see why the place is called l’Etoile – the star. Maybe from up here, you find another avenue to discover and abandon further reading on this subject. If you stay, let’s go classic and walk along the Champs Elysées.
One of my best memories from Champs-Elysées is when my mum and I was here years ago. We started to sense a very appetizing fragrance which surely did not came from the clothes in the haute-couture shops we entered. The smell grew stronger and stronger and suddenly, there it was, the bakery of the hallucinatory scent: La Brioche Dorée. By this time in Sweden, you didn’t find any croissant or other viennoiseries. Thus, we couldn’t get an idea of what to expect. Due to the prices in the haute-couture shop, I believe the delights from La Brioche Dorée, was the only thing we bought at Champs-Elysées…
Walking the Champs-Elysées all the way to Place de la Concorde, continuing on Rue de Rivoli which follows the garden Jardin des Tuileries and the building of le Louvre all the way to Le Tour Saint Jacques is a walk of 4,5 kilometers and can take the most of the day. I don’t really know why or when it happened, this Tour Saint Jacques has always appealed to me.
Returning about 250 meters, taking to the right on Rue des Halles, you soon arrive to the big shopping mall, once upon a time Paris food market. If you didn’t buy any haute-couture at Champs-Elysées and if you still have some energy left there is a lot of time that can be spent in Les Halles (as well as money). Are you fond of reading? Music? Film? There is a paradise for you at Fnac. Just don’t forget there are more to see in Paris…
Île de la Cité
Not being in the mood for shopping?
Let’s continue south from Tour Saint Jacques by crossing the bridge Pont au Change to Île de la Cité, where there is a lot to see, such as la Conciergerie, la Sainte Chapelle and la cathédrale Notre Dame.
Walking down the Boulevard St Michel
…Or spend a day on its crossroads.
Boulevard St Michel leads you almost half way down to the ring road south of Paris center. Along this Boulevard, there are a lot of reasons to leave it:
Having Île de la Cité behind you, the first pedestrian road to the left will be Rue de la Huchette. This road and the nearby ones are stuffed with restaurants. Further along this road is the jazz club, le Caveau de la Huchette My memories of this place is being down in the basement listening to the music while having the feeling of being transported back to another era in Paris…
Gilbert Jeune: There are three stores (with different ranges) near la place Saint Michel, probably since we are on the same side of the river Seine as is the University Sorbonne…
Musée de Cluny: When Boulevard Saint Michel has crossed Boulevard Saint Germain, you may get a hint of the old traces of the Gallo-Roman baths in the garden of the medieval museum Cluny. At the moment the museum is closed. Follow the link in the name to know when the museum will open again. It is really worth seeing!
Sorbonne: Following Saint Michel, you will soon see the University of Sorbonne on your left. One day, I will apply for a course here, just for the possibility of being here studying.
Luxembourg Garden: Arriving at the roundabout, you will find some greenery and tranquility in the Luxembourg garden after the long busy boulevard.
I guess this monument goes without saying.
If you’re not yet tired of walking, you may even walk up (or down) the stairs…