Walk from the Ile de la Cite (after visiting the famous Paris Notre Dame) to the adjacent island of Ile de St Louis via the Pont St Louis – what a contrast – on Ile de St Louis the pace of life changes, the tourist masses disappear, elegant buildings line the streets, peace and quiet descends especially at the weekends, so just stroll around soaking up the atmosphere. It is surrounded by the River Seine.
Have a glass of wine at one of the tiny street side cafes, visit some of the wonderful delicatessen shops, smell the fresh bread in the boulangeries, buy an ice cream on Rue St Louis, explore the vintage wine shops, indulge in a delectable piece of authentic French cheese, and know you are in travelguidebook the heart of Paris. This island is in the Paris River Seine, alongside the more famous island, Ile de la Cite, famous for the Notre Dame Cathedral, Palais de Justice, etc.
On Ile de St Louis, you can visit the Museum of Adam Mickiewicz (the Polish poet who lived in Paris for many years). The museum is open only on Thursdays from 2pm to 6pm and you can arrange a guided tour by contacting the Paris Museum in advance – telephone (1) 43 54 35 61.
The church on the island, St Louis en l’Ile, dates from the 17th Century and look out for the great iron clock at the entrance. The outside is a little unimpressive but inside it is glorious. Inside you’ll see a statue of St Louis and he is holding a Crusader’s sword. St Louis gave his name to St Louis in Missouri USA. The church is Baroque in style and is richly decorated. On occasions the church is closed to visitors – usually when the choir is practicing. However, watch out for the concert programme – there are wonderful performances mainly in the summer months during the Festival Musique en l’Ile.
Another wonderful sight on this small island is the Hotel de Luzun. It is on Quai d’Anjou but unfortunately unless part of a private tour you can’t see the interior. One of its famous features though is the drainpipes – yes the pipes to guide the rain from the roof, and you can enjoy these as you stroll past – look out for the fish feature on some of them.
Once you have “done” the Ile de la Cite and Ile St Louis, the heart of Paris France, you are ready to visit the rest of Paris. Check out the Paris travel videos to see the attractions of Paris.
Ros Quinn has published many articles on tourism and also provides travel website content. She has written for http://www.travelguide.tv and [http://www.touristattractions.tv] and many more.