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Exploring Paris Alone (and loving it)

Our summer family vacation to London and Paris was a dream come true.  I enjoyed Paris so much that I jumped at the chance to accompany my husband on a business trip a few months later.  While I enjoyed 2 days and every evening with my husband, he was in Paris for a conference, Le Web, and was unavailable during the day.  Most days I entertained myself by exploring Paris alone.   I took the metro to museums and sites, meandered along small streets, looked in tiny boutiques and tried to speak French.  It was indeed a luxury to see Paris at my own pace.

Here are some highlights of the days I spent alone:

Musée de l’Orangerie.  It’s most famous for Claude Monet’s Les Nymphéas, but the entire museum is lovely.  It’s a manageable size and offers a nice selection of modern art masters.  I really enjoyed this museum and highly recommend a visit (no photographs were allowed).

Centre Pompidou.  I really liked this museum of contemporary art.  I didn’t see all of it – it’s enormous – but I saw the permanent collections and the Edvard Munch exhibit; that was a treat because I love his work.  There’s also a viewing platform with fantastic panoramic views of the city.

Paris Alone - Paris View - http://iamsherrelle.com

Galeries Lafayette.  This department store is gorgeous–and overwhelming.  I had never seen a shoe selection this big; I was dizzy.   I drank hot chocolate at the in-store Angelina and had macarons from one of the two Pierre Hermé boutiques.  The art gallery had a great exhibit on display and there are several champagne bars. Santa Claus welcomed visitors in the enormous toy department and the whole store was gaily decorated for Christmas.

Paris Alone - Galeries Lafayette -http://iamsherrelle.com

Palais Royal.  Paris has so many grand buildings and this is one of them.  There is a garden, contemporary art columns by Daniel Buren and high-end boutiques.

Paris Alone - Palais-Royal - http://iamsherrelle.com

Café de Flore.  This famous café on the Left Bank is very expensive, but a great spot to grab a cup of tea and people watch.  I had a nice conversation with an older French gentlemen sitting next to me.

Paris Alone - Café de Flore - http://iamsherrelle.com

Shakespeare and Company.  Near Notre Dame, this English bookstore is fantastic.  It sells both new and used books; I could have stayed there for hours browsing and reading in one of cozy corners. I picked up a used copy of In The Heat of The Night as a souvenir for my son.

Paris Alone - Shakespeare And Company - http://iamsherrelle.com

Sainte-Chapelle.  We missed seeing this church during our last visit to Paris, so I made a point of visiting this chapel built by King Louis IX to house his collection of Passion Relics.  The stained glass literally took my breath away.

Paris Alone - Sainte-Chapelle - http://iamsherrelle.com

Tiny boutiques.  Of all the things I saw in Paris, this was one of my favorite: a tiny shop, no bigger than a closet, that only sold finger puppets.

Paris Alone - Paris Finger Puppet Boutique - http://iamsherrelle.com

There was so much to see and do in Paris and I barley made a dent, but that’s just a great reason to return – maybe with friends or family, but maybe by myself.  I’m a great travel companion!

P.S. You may like to read about all my trips to France.


Explore Paris alone - http://iamsherrelle.com

Storyteller. Travel junkie. Extroverted introvert. Very, very clever. Find me at http://iamsherrelle.com .


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