Paris?

I might just break the golden rule of not braving Europe in the summer months with a trip back to Paris. I've been before (one of my favorite trips ever!) so I've done the typical tourist sites. I might have to revisit a few of my favorites like the fleas and Deyrolle but I wouldn't mind a few more suggestions.


photo via swedotorp

So for those in the know, what should I do this time around?

59 comments:

  1. I went to Paris last May and the weather was amazing. 70 degrees and no rain. It was perfect for trekking around. My favorite part was Rue Cler and just wandering around. We stayed over by the eiffel tower and the neighborhoods are great there. 

    Sadly we didn't visit any flea markets.

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  2. Ahhh, we are looking at a trip to Paris in the fall. My husband and I went for our honeymoon 7 years ago. When we visited there was children playing with boats in the fountain at the Jardin du Luxembourg and we are so excited to take our two kids back.

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  3. Thanks Amy.  Spring and fall are definitely the best times so Im not sure how Im going to feel about summer (I had been there once before in July and it was pretty stifling).

    I dont think Ive been to Rue Cler - Ill have to look into it.  You should totally go back for the fleas.  Amazing (albeit expensive) stuff.

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  4. Oh how sweet!  What great memories  you'll make.  I loved being there in the fall - the weather is perfection.

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  5. Kjafish10:57 AM

    We were in Paris in the winter--at Christmas--and it was beautiful then, also.  Is there ever a time when Paris isn't?  

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  6. I went in June several years ago and loved it. My brother and his boyfriend just got back to NY Monday after a trip to Paris. I directed them to the Aspiring Kennedys blog. It's a great one, and she does a bunch of outings that look amazing.

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  7. I say go for it!  You can't go wrong visiting Paris anytime of year...it's such a beautiful city.  My husband and I spent our honeymoon there nearly 12 years ago and hope one day to go back.  We stayed in a small, boutique hotel (http://www.uk.les-jardins-du-luxembourg.com/) located footsteps from Luxembourg Gardens and spent the days wandering the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter.  Chock full of antique shops, galleries, cafes and historical monuments/sights, and of course the Sorbonne, the Latin Quarter was probably one of the most memorable points of our trip.  We also spent some time in the Loire Valley.  If time permits, I highly recommend this region located south of Paris.  The region, known for its wines, cheeses and chateaus, doesn't disappoint.  Book a night or two in a chateau (http://www.chateaudechissay.com/en) and experience what it was like living like a royal or dignitary.  Bon Voyage!!

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  8. Keriinlondon12:03 PM

    I loved going up the arc de triumph and watching the sun set and city light up. it was the highlight of my second trip back. also there are two great museums I would go see, first is the roudin museum as well as the picaso, not usual places to visit but very cool to see!!

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  9. I've been about a million years ago and don't have a clue what to suggest, but I'll be checking the comments and making notes:)

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  10. I say go for it!  You can't go wrong visiting Paris anytime of the year...it's such a beautiful city.  My husband and I spent our honeymoon there nearly 12 years ago and hope one day to go back.  We stayed in a small, boutique hotel (http://www.uk.les-jardins-du-luxembourg.com/) located footsteps from Luxembourg Gardens and spent the days wandering the Left Bank and the Latin Quarter.  Chock full of antique shops, galleries, cafes and historical monuments/sites, including the Sorbonne, the Latin Quarter was probably one of the most memorable points of our trip.  We also spent some time in the Loire Valley.  If time permits, I highly recommend a trip to this region located south of Paris.  The Loire Valley, known for its wines, cheeses and chateaus, doesn't disappoint.  Book a night or two in a chateau (http://www.chateaudechissay.com/en) and experience what life was like as a royal or dignitary.  Bon Voyage!

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  11. Michael12:31 PM

    Palace of Versailles if you've never been. But honestly, go north and head to the beaches of Normandy. There's also an amazing castle along the northern coast of France, not too far from Normandy, that is breathtaking. For the life of me I cannot remember the name, but how sad is it that I know Candice Olson used a painting of the castle as a feature in on of her master bedroom designs.

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  12. If you can swing it with the amount of time you're there, take a day to travel out to the chateau of the Loire Valley. Chambord and Chenanceaux are simply magical. We did everything in one day, but I would recommend an overnight stay, if possible, to make it a much less hectic side trip. The next time we go to Paris I'm definitely going to make that happen so we can visit other chateau that were on our list.

    In Paris we adored the Rodin museum. I didn't see it in your pictures so if you haven't been, I definitely recommend it as well.

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  13. Don't go to the Rue Cler on a Monday. Everything is closed. (Yup, we learned the hard way.)

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  14. You will LOVE Deyrolle! It was right down the street from the apartment we rented and I visited 3x's! Sure wish they let you take photos but there were several large signs forbidding it. I guess the memory will be my photograph. Enjoy Paris!

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  15. Also, the next time we visit I'm going to book us into an apartment instead of a hotel and stay near the Rue Mouffetard. 

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  16. Ashley Lovett12:45 PM

    I'm going next week! Actually, my boyfriend and I are starting in London then making our way to Paris to celebrate six years together. We've been dreaming about this getaway for a long while.

    xo,
    Ashley
    anylovelything.com

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  17. CasaCaudill -- I have a fantastic apartment we have rented several times in Paris -- the Landlord is a doll, and it's not right by the Rue Mouffetard, but it IS right by the Rue Cler.  And has a view of the Dome of Invalides right out the living room window. 

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  18. I'm filing this comment away in my Paris travel folder so that I remember to hit you up for info the next time I start planning a trip to Paris (the truth is, I'm always planning a return trip to Paris - but I'll only bug you when it's actually a go.).

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  19. Are you going in July or August?  Go in July -- practically everything in Paris is closed in August.  (It's not bad, just a little sleepy).  You have to buy a picnic at a street market (I recommend the Rue Cler followed by a pique nique at the Trocadero, or the Rue de Seine followed by the Luxembourg Gardens).  If you haven't been to the Louvre or the Musee D'Orsay, both are worth visiting, though I also like the smaller Rodin museum and the Orangerie in the Tuileries (where Monet's giant water lily paintings are).   The Parc Monceau is another gorgeous park to visit, and a trip to Paris isn't a trip to Paris without just plain old wandering through the Latin Quarter.  Another must do is a boat trip on the Seine -- it sounds cheesy, but if the weather is nice it's just a lovely way to spend a couple of hours.  And get a macaron at Pierre Herme and eat dinner at Bistro y Papilles in the 5th.  Spend some time in the food hall at Au Bon Marche - it's amazing (and another great source of picnic food!) and eat your weight in Reine Claude plums -- they are AMAZING. 

    My parents have gone pretty much every July for years and the weather is all over the map.  It's usually not THAT hot, though there have been a couple of summers with a few very warm days, and last summer when we were there it was freezing and rained literally every day.    It's better than NYC in the summertime though, that's for sure!

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  20. Yes, ive been.    I think there was a fire after my last visit and they shrunk  the store a bit. Wondering what it looks like now.

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  21. Im kind of dreading the weather.  My first trip ever there was in July and the heat was oppressive.  Really soured the trip for me.  It wasn't until I went back in October that I really loved the city.  Hopefully we will get lucky.

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  22. Lisha2:35 PM

    Great timing - we leave in 2 weeks for a trip to Turkey and are stopping in Paris on the way home.  It's our third time, but it's so great to hear everyone's different view of the city and get lots of ideas.  Last time we loved wandering through Pere Lachaise cemetary.   We also took the quick trip out to Giverny to go to Monet's home and gardens.  It was so beautiful, and as a photographer you'd especially love it. 

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  23. In the summer months, Tuileries and Palais Royale are great spots for picnics.  A baguette, cheese, and wine = the best picnic ever - just be careful of the mounted police in Tuileries, since even in France drinking alcohol in parks isn't 100% kosher :)  Also, eating at Jean Pierre Frelet in the 12th is amazing, as is Bistrot des Halles in the 1st. Enjoy!!!!!

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  24. Also, the Picasso museum is great, as is walking around that area (the Marais).  While you're there, make sure you eat a croissant from Legay Choc - they may or may not have other baked goods in the shape of penises, but the croissants are the best ever.  OMG, now you're making me want to go back!

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  25. Take a day class at Le Cordon Bleu; take the train to Giverny and take some great photographs of Monet's gardens; tour the Catacombs.

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  26. Hi Stef! Lucky, lucky girl to be able to return to the City of Lights! We went in the fall several years ago and it was perfect. For amazing pictures go to Pere Lachaise Cemetery if you have not been before. It was one of my favorite jaunts (it didn't hurt that the fall weather made it look haunted and eerie).  We stayed in the 7th arr. and right around the corner from Rue Cler. If we stayed in an apt., we would've hit it up every day for fresh food!! Whenever you go, I wish you safe and magical travels!

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  27. Steph T3:58 PM

    Love your blog!  Unfortunately the Picasso Museum is closed until 2013.  I live right outside of Paris and if you want to take a short train trip to my town (which is outstanding), I'd be happy to drive you to the best junk shop in all of France!

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  28. Best junk shop??? Gah - that is torture. Isn't there a second best junk shop in Paris proper?

    We will only be in town for a couple of days so I dont think I'll be leaving the city (there is still so much I want to see there, its hard for me drag myself away)

    Thanks for the tip on museum.

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  29. Oh good one - I'd definitely love to see the cemetery. Always so hauntingly beautiful.

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  30. Oh that is such a great idea! Do they give classes in English?

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  31. Ha. I might have a hard time getting my husband to eat those :)

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  32. Thanks so much for the restaurant recommendations. Sounds yum.

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  33. Oh you'll have to give me the scoop on Turkey. I think we are going to spend a couple of days in Paris and a couple of days in Istanbul on this trip (but still not final)

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  34. Oh and I was so upset when they wouldn't let me snap away in Deyrolle. Its such an amazing shop. I would love to throw a party there.

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  35. The Chef will speak French and an interpreter will translate to English.  The interpreters are very good making it easy to follow and also helped me to pick up some French!  They also offer a Paris Market Tour which is interesting but won't let you spend time in the famous kitchens of Le Cordon Bleu Paris.

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  36. Artsnark4:46 PM

    We went in May & had a fantastic visit. For food, start following http://www.davidlebovitz.com/ if you dont read him yet. For cocktails & whimsey visit http://www.curioparlor.com. For affordable short term apartments in a great neighboorhood, try the Marais. The Museum of Magic http://www.museedelamagie.com/ was always closed it seemed but looked like fun. The unexpected big hit with ages (7 - 70) were http://www.arts-et-metiers.net/ & http://www.mnhn.fr/museum/foffice/transverse/transverse/accueil.xsp?cl=en

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  37. http://www.cordonbleu.edu/paris/cuisine-course/en

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  38. My suggestion? Just get lost! Such a fabulous city to get lost in.

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  39. Megan@twodelighted6:55 PM

    I have been to Paris in May and the weather was a little chilly still.  I would imagine June wouldn't be so bad for heat.  Although with it being almost in the 80s right now where I live every day, who knows!  We spent a lot of time in Montmartre and really feel in love with it.  My suggestion would be that this time around, you bring me with you!

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  40. I just went in Dec & this time we stayed in the student district--right by the Notre Dame--and there was a market every morning. Mainly food products, some textiles. But I love that whole district. And we did the crepes & galettes for dinner which was super fun! And we were also super tourists and did a dinner boat cruise on the Seine which I actually loved. And the Musee d'Orsay was very cool!

    I know it's kinda cliché, but I love visiting Paris!! I've never been though in the summer. 

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  41. You have to go to L'entrecote restaurant - an absolute must, we travel to Paris frequently for business and for many years we used to travel an hour on the subway and RER - until while walking one evening around our hotel we spotted one just near Champ E'lysee - lol - stupid foreigners - they are a chain!
    All of our customers make at least one stop there every trip.
    One menu - roast beef and frites - but the desserts - omg - my mouth is watering now - 
    Also - a trip to Montparnesse ( where we stay now ) is worth it - a real bustling community just minutes away from Ste Germaine de Pres. ( and there is a L'entrecote there btw ) 
    Everyone we have mentionned it to raves about it.
    Hugs
    Suzan
    from Montreal
    xxx

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  42. Visit the Marais. 
    Go to Napolean's Tomb.
    Take a day trip to Versailles.
    Go into the Galleries Lafayette.
    See the Paris Opera House.

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  43. Artsnark11:26 PM

    sent some links in hopes they would be helpful. Sorry if they were misread as spam. enjoy the trip

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  44. I actually went on a week and a half trip to Barcelona and Paris one year ago and of course we did all the touristy things. In all our wanderings through Paris, one of the most glamorous sites was the Place Vendome at night.

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  45. Of all the cities I have been to I still think that Paris is one of my favourites.  I just  loved the night life.  I have been several times although mostly in the winter.  We live the other side of the English Channel and so can hop through on the eurostar.  If you have the time I agree with Casacaudill about taking a trip down to the Loire Valley (we used to pass through there on the way down to our house and in the summer it is truly gorgeous) or even a trip out to La Rochelle on the coast or  Honfleur which is further north.  Trains in France are excellent and you can get the TGV which are quick.  I caught the train once to Poitiers  and it only took about 2hours from Paris.  Beware though most of France shuts down in August as everyone goes on holiday.  We are going camping in France early June - Hopefully the weather will be better than last July when it rained everyday.  European weather is fairly unpredictable.  
    I hope you have a lovely trip.       

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  46. you-wee because5:43 AM

    Travel to Tokyo, the Tokyo Tower is as beautiful like La Tour Eiffel and even 8.6 meters taller... ;-)
    The city is even more interesting (in a different way) and even more vibrantly!

    I did it in August 2009 and I never regret it!Have a great weekend,

    Uwe.

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  47. Janette@The2Seasons9:56 AM

    I try to go to Paris alone for a week each year and go in either the spring or the fall to avoid the crowds.  I have two favorite spots.  Le Musee Marmottan is in an elegant house near Bois de Bologne.  It is small, and charming with great art.  Lots of tourists don't know about it, but I love it.  Also, spend half a day at the Pere Lachaise cemetery.  It is great to just wander around in, and it is perfect for someone with your photography skills.  I also try to stay in a hotel that Americans don't stay in.  I want to savor the real Paris - not the tourist Paris.  We try to do that in all of our travels.  

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  48. Janette@The2Seasons9:57 AM

    Oh, I forgot to tell you.  Talk a cooking class.  That is really fun.  I went to Cooking With Class.  It is small, intimate, and has just a few students per class.

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  49. Paris at any time of the year is fabulous. My favorite spots to visit are:

    Père Lachaise Cemetery - if for no other reason than to visit the artwork people have created for their dearly departed. It's amazing! If you go, make sure you have a good map if you plan to celebrity spot - it's a huge place and it's not clearly marked.
    The Panthèon - their antique clock is incredible. There was an underground group which restored the clock in secret - they are called Urban eXperiment. Don't forget to visit the grotto and pay your respects to Voltaire, Marie Curie & Victor Hugo!

    The Louvre - Check their website as they are usually open late on Friday nights. The crowds are substantially less than they are during the day.

    If you are so inclined, the flagship store of Louis Vuitton is on the Champs-Elysees. You will probably have to line up to get in (I'm not kidding).

    Enjoy Paris - it's the most amazing place.

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  50. Sent some links where?

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  51. Emily Miller2:23 PM

    What a happy coincidence! I am taking my first trip to Paris for 3 days in July, and I am so excited to read everyone's recommendations!! I got some awesome new ideas and will definitely be visiting the Pere Lachaise cemetery, Deyrolle and maybe a boat trip on the Seine!

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  52. Emily Miller2:24 PM

    What a happy coincidence! I am going to Paris for the first time this July, for 3 days and I am so excited to read everyone's recommendations! Pere Lachaise cemetery, Deyrolle and more are definitely on my list now!

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  53. Pjensign2:46 PM

    I posted a few suggestions yesterday using my Facebook account but it looks like there was possibly a glitch as I don't see them in the responses (?) It looks like you got a lot of great suggestions to work from!  Most of what I suggested yesterday has already been posted.   So I'll only add that when I was in Paris nearly 12 years ago, I spent some time on the Left Bank and specifically in the Latin Quarter.  If you have some time to just wander around that area I would highly recommend it.  There are so many things to do in Paris...hopefully one day I'll get to go back!  Have a great time!

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  54. Pjensign3:22 PM

     I see my original post now...it just popped up.  Sorry for the triplicate entries...just ignore those. :)

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  55. amy good house7:51 PM

    If I were you I would skip Paris and go somewhere beachy in the Mediterranean! Large European cities are pure torture in the July heat. 

    That being said, my favorite Parisian restaurant is not French at all - rather a tiny Italian restaurant in the St Germain neighborhood. Pizza Positano - it is casual, has a homey feel and is always packed with both locals and foreigners alike. Can you tell I don't think much of French cuisine?

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  56. ha - thanks amy. Im not much of a vacation beach person. I already have a place near the beach here and that is enough sand for a lifetime. Im more of a city person.

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  57. Steph T12:00 PM

    Most junk shops in Paris are really overpriced - sorry to say I don't have any good recommendations there.  It's amazing because just outside of Paris, it's like a treasure trove of great stuff!  You might want to check out the website www.brocabrac.fr which lists all the neighborhood yard sales (called brocantes or vide-greniers) for whatever dates you're in town.  You're much more likely to score some cool stuff there.  Bonne chance!

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  58. Eldoé11:05 AM

     I am living near Paris and I try to visit every time something different. I recommend you:
    - the Sainte Chapelle (near Notre Dame de Paris) It has amazing stained glass windows
    - Orsay Museum (impressionist painting such as picasso, degas, manet, monet...), scultures (rodin, claudel..) (and on the second floor, there is a very boutiful "salle de bal")
    - On the Ile Saint Louis (close to Notre Dame de Paris), there is Berthillon, very good ice cream

    If you decide to go to Paris during the summer months, the weather is like lotery. It can be sunny and hot or raining and cold.
    Parisians will say that Paris is empty during this period of the year (even if I always think that there is always too many people).
    During July and August, the city organizes "Paris Plage". They put sand near the Seine and you can take a sunbath, play voleyball. Free concerts are also organized.

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  59. That’s excellent! Having lived in France and Spain for the last 16 years this is an area of “expertise” where I can finally contribute.
    The only rule in Paris is to forget all the crowded, touristy places.
    Visit the beautiful collection of artifacts from the Americas, Oceania, Asia and Africa at the Musée du Quai Branly. The building, specially created for the collection, is amazing.
    There is currently a Louis Vuiton- Marc Jacobs exhibition at the Musée D’Arts Décoratifs (the museum itself, located right beside the Louvre, is great visit).
    My favorite area for strolling around is the Quartier Montorgueil. In spite of being central it has a true Parisian feel . My favorite shops are La Droguerie for beads and wool projects, Mora for pastry utensils, E. Dehillerin (just to see where the best French restaurants buy their equipment) , Stoher (where the “baba au rum” was created) and many other small cute shops. Rue Montorgueil is also an excellent place to eat at very reasonable prices.
    For pastry tasting there are some lethal places at the 6ème arrondissement: Hugo et Victor and Gérard Mulot amongst others . Of course there is also La Durée et Pièrre Hermé ,but they are the typical tourist choices (excellent tourist choices I must say).
    If you have a free day to spend out of Paris, Vaux-le- Vicomte (the castle that inspired Versailles) is a must. Versailles itself is amazing but I would forget the castle and visit just the gardens, concentrating the visit into the “Domaine de Marie Antoinette”.
    There are many other great things to see and to experience in Paris, please leave a comment if you need the links for these places or any other info.
    And thanks for the amazing, inspiring blog.
    Cheers,
    Monica

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