A Blog by International Students at Leiden University

A Hopeless Romantic in Paris (Part 2)

Take a turn at Rue Bonaparte and walk to the Boulevard Saint-Germain. There you can feel the liveliness of a Parisian street at night. Children of the choir sing in front of Saint-Germain-des-Pres Church, and street artists perform with music on. After a five-minute walk, you will find yourself standing before Café de Flore, where Sarte and Beauvoir used to meet and have coffee. I had my dinner there on my first day in Paris. It’s a little expensive, but how many chances will you get to dine at where the ghosts of Andre Breton and Guillaume Apollinaire linger?


After dinner, you can walk back to the Seine and when you reach Notre Dame, you also reach the famous Shakespeare and Company. I heard from an Australian girl I met on the train that if you are a published writer, you can actually board here. But how many literature lovers would leave Paris without visiting Shakespeare and Co.? I know I wouldn’t. there you can have a good pick of second-hand books outside of the bookstore. Sometimes there are reading and music events in the store. You can always check the information on their website.


Since you are in Paris, don’t waste the night on clubbing! Take a boat trip down the Seine and enjoy the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame in the dim light. Count the bridges the boat has crossed and feel the flow of the Seine. Only then will you finally understand why Hemingway called Paris “a moveable feast”. Cruising on the Seine, you somehow feel the magic of Paris, as if you could take Paris away with you to any place in the world – because Paris has become part of your body and part of your life.


Notre Dame

Tips from a hopeless romantic:

  1. Although the transportation can be a pain in the ass, I truly suggest staying in the suburbs of Paris, where the air is fresh and you can enjoy the beautiful sceneries of typical French countryside.
  2. Want to take a panoramic view of Paris? Don’t go on Eiffel Tower. It’s exhausting and packed with tourists from every country. Instead, you could go on to the top of Arc de Triomphe, where the view is even better.
  3. Don’t worry if it starts to rain in Paris! (Have you ever watched Midnight in Paris?) It’s totally different experience because you can always tell the true side of a city in the rain.
  4. Need some music for Paris? Noah and the Whale’s album “Last Night on Earth” was what accompanied me back every night. Any classical music would be great too. But honestly, just for the first time of your life, don’t take out your iPod. Listen to the click of the train. Listen to the clamor of the crowd. Listen to French and listen to the sunshine. Listen to Paris.

Leave a Reply


This entry was posted on October 22, 2013 by in Culture, Travel, Xiaowei and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Hit Counter

  • 888,598 total visits!
%d bloggers like this: