The quintessential Parisian cafe
cafe is a intrinsic part of life in Paris. Walking down
the street you will invariably see them dotting the street
lines with sprawling outdoor seating areas. Cafes, bistros,
brasseries, creperies... you can get a bite
to eat and watch Parisian life go by at any of these places.
Of course, not all of them are at the pinnacle of French
cuisine. Check out a guide book or two and find a few with
a good reputation around your hotel. If you see a good one
on the way to a sight, sit down for a half hour and enjoy
sightseeing can be an activity in and of itself in Paris.
Before I went to Paris, I made it my goal to photograph
every cafe that looked interesting. They are everywhere.
Each cafe has a dynamic atmosphere.
cafe isn't the only thing that a first time visitor to Paris
should take an interest in... you should also take a careful
look at les patisseries et les boulangerie. Nowhere
in the world will you find such a wide selection of sweet,
delicious, beautifully baked confections as you will in
Paris. They make a terrific midmorning snack and a break
from sightseeing. Make sure and sample a variety of sweets;
try the ones you aren't familiar with, too. Everything you
have heard about real French bread is true. Their secret
is buying it fresh, everyday, and eating it with fresh meats
chocolate is wonderful and it would be wise to sample the
of several shops. Below are a couple shots of myself at
a chocolate shop
that specialized in old Aztec recipes, served and blended
with a French twist.
course, no talk of Paris is complete without speaking of cheese.
All smells and tastes, fermented and stored for all palates,
you'll find at least a few that you enjoy. I was quite surprised
to discover the one I liked the most was about ten years old.
We bought some and the shopkeeper vacuum-sealed it for the
main France index page are a good spread of sights that should
be seen on any trip to Paris. If you're pressed for time, skip
Chantilly. Chateau Versailles (not to be missed) is an all-day
excursion, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Other interesting
half day trips could be out to the medieval town of Senlis
or the Catacombs
of Paris; both are recommended. The gothic cathedal at Chartre
is a good bet if you enjoy churches and architecture; that is
a half-day trip as well.