One of my favorite neighborhoods and places to hang out at any time of day is Saint-Michel, the area right next to the Notre Dame. Here, there is always somewhere great to eat, sit by the Seine, shop for books, and get lost in the historic parts of the street that camouflage themselves with the newer, touristy attractions.
Here is a guide to one of the most active areas in the heart of Paris:
Things to Do and See:
Le Caveau de la Huchette
Across from the Notre Dame, you will find an exciting underground jazz club where you can enjoy live music and dance the night away. This is also the site of one of the prime scenes in La La Land, the major motion picture, as mentioned in this post.
This church sits in the center of a beautiful opening in the city. You can go inside for 10 euros to visit the historic church and burial place for famous characters in France’s history. Originally the Pantheon was dedicated to the patron saint of France, St. Genevieve.
Visit one of the three arthouse cinemas tucked away on the Rue Champollion for a viewing of independent films – La Filmothèque, Le Reflet Medicis, and Le Champo. Here, you can visit regularly held film festivals and view all-nighter screenings of three movies back-to-back for 15 euros.
Shakespeare & Co.
This is the best, most relaxing area to pick out an English book and read at the café next door by the Seine with a perfect view of the Notre Dame.
Come here instead of the one at the Champs Elysées for a less crowded venture for your favorite makeup brands and items.
Gibert & Jeune
Come to this library for books in French spanning from books on computer programming, tourism, to lifestyle and fiction. You can also find a number of these same bookstores on the main street with music and comic books offered.
Eating and Drinking:
Le Paradis du Fruit
This is a chain restaurant with healthy, colorful options to rehydrate with some juice and eat a salad by the Seine.
This little pastry shop is the perfect place for your family to try exotic and beautifully made pastries and desserts that you won’t forget.