1 – Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Well located, extense green area, and a beautiful view to the city are only some of the amazing caracteristcs of the Buttes-Chaumont. Yes, you are going to ask yourself why none of those touristical blogs and “top things to do in Paris” posts never mentioned it.
It has more than 24 hectares, which makes it one of the largest green areas of Paris. Besides, what makes it really special is it was built to imitate a moutain landscape. Yep, that’s right, a park that was made to simulate a fucking mountain.
This is why you’ll find there a lake, rocks, waterfalls, grotto, paths, bridges, and even a temple.
When you get to the summit, you’ll be amazed by a great view of the Montmartre and the Sacré Cœur Basilica.
Due to its great extension and things to do in this park, you can spend an entire afternoon or morning exploring it. A pause for a picnic before going to the top is a nice catch.
2 – Shakespeare & Company
A few meters away from the Notre Dame cathedral, at the north of the 5ème arrondissement, you will find the legendary english-languague bookstore called Shakespeare & Company.
Why lengedary? You could ask.
It’s was the metting point for english language authors like James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway and F.Scott Fitzgerald. Yeah, that’s enough to become legendary.
Up until today this bookstore continues to inspire generations of writers and avid readers.
The bookstore has a huge collection of books (not only written originaly in english, but also translated to english), so it’s possible to find books of ancient greek literature to actual recipes books. And yeah, the interior of this bookstore will make you think you’re in some kind of movie or something.
There’s more. At the top floor, beteween the book shelves, stairs and pieces of decoration, you’ll find some beds. If you’re willing to exchange some work hours for a shelter at night, you’ll be able to pass a whole night in this mythical place.
There’s a interesting phenomenon which happens at the inside : it seems like you have passed through a portal connecting Paris to London or NYC (actually, any other city or country that speaks english ). Inside, you’ll mainly hear people speaking in english. It can make you forget, for some minutes, that you’re actually in France. It’s quite impressive.
One last tip : if you buy a book you’ll have the option to get a seal (emblem) at the first page. It makes an excelent souvenir either to keep to yourself or to offer as a gift.
3 – The Arènes de Lutèce
Prepare yourself because here comes another amazing stop often forgotten by the tourist guides and blogs of Paris
But before, let’s make a quick time travel.
We are at the 1st century A.D, the roman empire reigns. What today we know as France, by that time was the Gaule (in english Gaul) and its inhabitants were called the gaulois (hello, Astérix). Most part of the Gaul was under rule of the Roman Empire, forming what is called the Roman Gaul Empire.
By that time, Paris was called Lutèce. And like in all other cities of the roman empire, it was the place for some of the good and old panem et circenses.
Voilà, I think you know what’s my point here
Going straight to the point : at the 1st century you would see gladiators fighting in arenas in the heart of Paris.
The Arènes de Lutèces is among the most important Roman remains in Paris. They were used as theatre and also for gladiatorial combats.
In order to visit its ruins, you can entry by the rue des Arènes. There’s a metro station nearby (Jussieu, line 7 or 10):
That’s all for today!
See you around, explorers!