Paris deserves every extravagantly enthusiastic opinion or review given it. I realize that some people may have a negative comment or two, but I disregard any disparaging remark. An ordinary walk down almost every street is enchanting.
While in Paris there were several times that I was on my own, usually searching out something that I needed or wanted to find. Each jaunt was filled with unexpected pleasures.
As I waited for friends to pick me up after work, at the hotel which my granddaughter and her mother stayed in, I wanted to get something to eat. It was about three in the afternoon and the hotel's restaurant was no longer serving, so I went out to in search of a meal. It turned out to be a difficult task, because too many cafes and restaurants also didn't serve between lunch and dinner hours.
However, along the way, I saw markets with fresh fruits and vegetables displayed on sidewalk tables, bakeries offering bread I couldn't get at home, as well as deli's full of meats and chesses. Of course, I noticed all these, especially, because I was hungry. I did find one cafe open for business and stopped there. No luck! They weren't serving either. I was given and esspresso and enjoyed watching the people walking past.
On other searches I found interesting bookstores, walked past heavily guarded palaces, through beautifully trimmed parks, along the quay beside Le Siene, over ornately decorated bridges, and everywhere, there were narrow streets, wide boulevards, and buildings of the most impressive design. Later, I found out the import of what I had seen and where I had been, but at the time it didn’t matter, I simply enjoyed. Had I known the name of those places I might have missed the surrounding beauty.
Over the years I had heard of "Quartier Pigalle." It's a bad area that should be avoided. I ended up there several times, including during the late evening and thought it was safe enough. Though an older part of the city, it was actually charming, especially when I thought of all the great artist who had lived here over the years developing their craft..
We can rattle off the "must see" sites of Paris and each one has it's charm, but just a casual stroll around the city will seduce any romantic soul. Treat yourself to a stroll.
See the boulevards Montmartre and Poissonnière
Walk from the corner Rue de Richelieu-Bd Montmartre to Strasbourg St Denis. A sidewalk in a direction, and the other sidewalk in the opposite direction.
Look at the shops, the restaurants, the coffee shops, the theaters, the cinemas (especially the REX : one of the best cinemas of Paris), the Musée Grévin (Wax Museum) .
Do the same walk Bvd des Italiens between Richelieu-Drouot and Opera.
You could walk for ages in this area, its really bustling and lively!
There are plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops...if you walk a bit further you will come to the opera house and the Lafayette shopping centre isnt far either!
This is real Paris, the area south of Montmatre and north of La Louvre. Shops, restaurants, cinemas, busy roads, grime, locals and tourists of all backgrounds - together! From commercial TGI Fridays to Lebanese cuisine, from the huge Galeries Lafayette to break-even bookshops, from UCI to Opera Garnier - there is something for everyone here. The area really is a good place to base yourself. You can avoid the high(er) costs of places like Le Champs Elysee and La Louvre but are also in reasonable walking or metro distance of most of the top sights and monuments.