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Everyone knows the regal 17th century Place des Vosges, but not everybody’s aware that a little doorway in the southwest corner leads to the courtyard and garden, which lets you out just behind the Hôtel de Sully. Secluded from traffic -- and free from tourist groups -- this place is lovely to behold, and also to hear; birds sing in the vines that creep up the courtyard’s walls, filling the space with their songs.
Among the most sumptuous of the 19th-century covered passages, the Galerie Vivienne still hasn’t reached the status of a tourist destination… not yet, anyway. Parisians, however, know that this gorgeous passage, with its mosaic floors, natural light, and decadent stores, is worth a trip. Stop in at Le Grand Filles et Fils, where you can sip wine at a table in the passage and feel smug -- you know, like a local.
Another striking example of 19th-century architecture, the Galerie Véro-Dodat is good enough for Louboutin and his ridiculously beautiful shoes -- but tourists don’t seem to wander through it that often. Parisians, however, know that it’s a quick and charming way to walk between Les Halles and the Palais Royal. Feel free to browse the shops, but unless your bank account has been begging for some punishment, best to keep an eye on all of the pretty decorations overhead.
Pretty cafés are a dime a dozen in Paris, but there’s something about Les Chouettes that stands out from the crowd. It may be the lack of tourists... or it may be the three floors of tables and bars flooded by natural light. It’s got nothing on the other most beautiful bars in Paris, but it’s a local favorite. Oh, and the food’s pretty good, too.
Buses of tourists at the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps department stores detract from the fact that these shops are so beautiful. At the Bon Marché, however, we’re free of such nonsense. Paris’s oldest department store, tucked away at the south end of the Saint Germain district, is truly striking -- whether you’re in the fashion department, or in their massive Grande Epicerie gourmet food hall.
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Hôtel de Béthune-Sully is located in the heart of Paris's Marais district, and an affordable place to stay if you're visiting the city. Plus, just behind the hotel, there is a charming courtyard and garden that's secluded from traffic and tourist groups. This place is lovely to behold, and also to hear the birds sing in the vines that creep up the courtyard’s walls.
The Galerie Vivienne, in the second arrondissement, is among the most sumptuous of the 19th-century covered passages in Paris. This gorgeous passage, with its mosaic floors, natural light, and decadent stores, is worth a trip. Stop in at Le Grand Filles et Fils, where you can sip wine at a table in the passage.
Located in the 1st arrondissement, the Galerie Véro-Dodat is one of the covered passages of Paris and a striking example of 19th-century architecture. It is also a quick and charming way to walk between Les Halles and the Palais Royal. Feel free to browse the shops and all of the pretty decorations overhead.
Les Chouettes is a beautiful Parisienne cafe in the Upper Marais, with three floors of tables and bars flooded by natural light. This local neighborhood favorite has an Eiffel style décor with high glass ceilings and a menu that emphasizes creative fresh and seasonal dishes. Plus, this restaurant is open seven days a week.
Le Bon Marché is Paris's oldest department store, tucked away at the south end of the Saint Germain district. The space itself is truly striking in size, with everything you could possibly want for sale. -Whether you’re in the fashion department, the beauty department, or in the massive Grande Epicerie gourmet food hall, you can't go wrong.