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Our Editor in Chief's 5 Favorite Places in Paris

July 29, 2015

By Florian


At Parisianist, we wanted to introduce a new series called "Parisianists Top 5’s," here we reveal to you each of our favorite spots in the city. Now this is going to be a wild one. Our team ranges from Parisian lifers to Chinese and American expats, so you’re guaranteed to hear some hidden gems you’ve never even thought of. And up first, our very own Editor in Chief, Florian Craanen!

"I love Paris, and as Parisianist’s Editor in Chief, I have always taken pleasure and pride in writing about this fascinating and beautiful city. I have lived in and visited countless cities around the world, but none can compete with Paris when it comes to beauty, history and lifestyle. I have been living in Paris for over 18 years and I still keep discovering new places and exciting historical fun facts every day! So, without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite places in Paris."

Cour Carrée du Louvre

I am a sucker for romance. I used to say that if I had to propose, I would do it in the Cour Carrée of the Louvre, at night. The hordes of tourists have vacated the area and you are left with 4 beautifully lit facades. All is quiet... or almost: the sound of a distant violinist playing Mozart or Bach makes it even more enchanting. This is where the Louvre’s first stone was laid in 1190 AD, it is now the epitome of Paris’ beauty.

Quai Saint Bernard

Sitting on the banks of the Seine doesn’t get any better than on the Quai Saint Bernard. During the hot days of summer, many salsa and tango dancers gather here and dance until sunset. Although I am not a dancer myself, it’s mesmerizing to watch.  And this scene gets even better when the sun sets and the sky is ablaze with shades of orange, red and pink.

Notre Dame

Surprised to see the most visited monument in Paris (30,000 visitors per day) in my Top 10? Not if you have been to Notre Dame Cathedral at 8am. During the morning mass, you will have the cathedral pretty much to yourself. Forget the horrible daytime elbow to elbow visits. In the morning is when you can truly witness the beauty and grandeur of Notre Dame. And because I know so many exciting fun facts about this 850 year old cathedral, they make the visit even more exceptional.

Père Lachaise

Have you taken your date on a romantic walk in a cemetery? I certainly have, but this isn’t just a regular cemetery. The Père Lachaise is more than that. With fantastic funerary art, tombs of a very long list of French and international celebrities and thousands of exciting fun facts and creepy legends, it clearly is one of my favorite spots in Paris. I even used to come here to study before any major test when I was in university: let’s be honest, it’s pretty quiet…

Communal Gardens

I had never really paid much attention to Paris’ communal gardens until a good friend of mine introduced me to Ecobox in June 2015. I can’t say I have become a gardener since then, but knowing that there are many small remote areas in Paris where people enjoy the simple pleasures of gardening is incredibly relaxing. And it’s not only about gardening. It’s about meeting open minded and kind hearted people. This is the perfect place to leave your urban stress behind and become one with mother nature.

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