In late August, a friend of a friend visited Paris. This wonderful person (goes by the name of Albert) was transporting a bag of Kéan Coffee’s delicious beans to us. We were so grateful – Andrew and I really miss hanging out at Kéan Coffee. I was so stoked that I took the coffee on a tour of Paris – all of these locations were on my walk home and it was fun (really I’m not that crazy…well maybe just a little)!
Back in February when we told one of the baristas at Kéan that we were moving to Paris, he told us that he did not know of any good coffee in France. We thought to ourselves that there has to be good coffee here, so we have made it our mission to find those places.
It turns out that there are good places to get coffee. Below is a list of our favorites we have visited so far:
We went to this café on a rainy day. The café was packed so there was no place to sit, but it did look comfy and cozy inside. We both ordered lattes to go. I thought the taste was very good, but wish it would have been served a little hotter (it was lukewarm).
This is the closest coffee shop to our place. There are not too many good cafés that I have encountered near the 15th arrondissement. The taste of the coffee is good and the setup is quite nice. This place is on my way to and from class so it makes it hard to resist sometimes on my walks. They also serve breakfast and lunch – we will definitely have to check that out sometime soon!
I really like the taste of the lattes here and the size. They are definitely the biggest ones I have seen so far in Paris and for the same price (lattes here tend to run around 4 euros, still expensive when compared to the States though). The baked goods here were just okay, but they are all homemade so that is nice! The only thing I didn’t really like about KB CaféShop was the seating – it wasn’t very comfortable and practical in my opinion. I can only speak to the seating inside, I think next time I go I will try to snag a seat outside.
Oh my gosh! I love Holybelly! Andrew and I went here for a late breakfast one day and I think their pancakes are phenomenal. And of course the coffee here is mighty tasty as well. The setup inside is really cute and they also have a pinball machine in the back if you are interested. The staff here was very friendly and seemed very relaxed. This place was super busy the day we went and I’m guessing that it is like that here every day. So if you want a table get there early or be prepared to wait (I’m pretty certain that they do not take reservations). I must say though that it is well worth the wait!
Loustic is another very trendy café in Paris. Coffee, cookies, and banana bread were all delicious. I love the décor and the seating is very comfy. The tables in the front move to the left and the right, so you do have to be careful to not spill your coffee. It is neat that they have mirrors in the front and back of the café because it makes it look bigger. However, it does make it tricky when you are trying to find the restroom and your way back to your table (you will just have to find out what I mean when you visit).
Andrew and I had been putting off seeing some of the attractions in Paris (since it is going to be our home for the next few years we didn’t want to see everything in the first few months). But we finally decided that we needed to officially be tourists for a few days. Over a few days we set off to visit Sacré-Cœur, Père Lachaise Cemetery and the Catacombs!
I’ve actually been to Sacré-Cœur twice now. The second time was with Andrew. We braved the many sets of stairs (like the one pictured below) to get to Sacré-Cœur!
Once you do get all the way to the top, it offers you an amazing view of the city.
There was a puppet show going on one day and a flash mob the next.
This is Sacré-Cœur.
You can walk around inside, but pictures are not allowed (I did see people taking pictures though, so it doesn’t appear to be strictly enforced). It is absolutely stunning inside. The first day I was there, the nuns came out and started singing. It was very beautiful.
Outside of Sacré-Cœur there are often street performers. One of the best that I have seen (in all of Paris so far) was this guy. It was very impressive! Check out the video to see for yourself:
I do not know what it is about cemeteries, but I really enjoy walking around in them. We had also visited a cemetery in Angers, so I found the Père Lachaise Cemetery to be similar. However, the Père Lachaise Cemetery is much bigger and has some famous permanent residents! We could literally walk around there for hours and not see everything. You can buy a map of the cemetery outside or there are maps posted in a few locations inside the cemetery if you get lost finding that famous grave marker. We opted for no map.
For the first part of our visit we just wandered around looking at all of the interesting grave markers. These were a few of our favorites:
Then we made our way to visit some of the more famous residents. We stopped by Jim Morrison’s grave.
Then we made our way to Oscar Wilde’s grave.
Our last stop was Frédéric “F*ckin” Chopin. There was a guy there telling us that Chopin’s body was buried here, but that his heart was in Poland. We looked it up when we got home and apparently it is true (at least according to the internets and everything you find on there is factual…right???).
After we were through at Père Lachaise, we decided to make our way to another cemetery in Paris…a cemetery that is 20 meters (65 feet) below the ground. The Catacombs are home to about 6 million Parisians. They were originally old underground mines that became the home to the bodies from overcrowded cemeteries that were starting to spread disease.
The line to get into the Catacombs will most likely be long (we waited for over an hour), so be patient.
A black line was painted on the ceiling of the tunnels so workers could find their way out.
We’re going in!
It felt very trippy being so far down underground and surrounded by so many skeletons. A lot of effort was put into the catacombs and you really have to treat it as a piece of art that tells a story.
There was this well along the path that was built by the workers. They called it “Bain de pieds des carriers” in French and “The Quarrymen’s Footbath” in English. If I remember right from the audio tour, the water was so clear they had to put railing around it or you would fall in because the water was so clear.
There were several quotes posted throughout the Catacombs, but this one was my favorite. It translates to “Believe everyday is your last.” The top is in Latin and the bottom is in French.
We really enjoyed seeing the Catacombs. It may not be for everyone, but it was definitely for us. Be aware that there are over 100 steps to take down into the Catacombs and over 80 to get out.
Walking around Paris typically always leads me to see something new. For example, I spotted Waldo…eh I mean Charlie walking around Paris.
I’m always spotting neat street art and architecture.
I just love the Fontaine Saint-Michel. There was a neat street performer up there that day too.
One night Andrew and I were walking home from a movie and heard music coming from one of the churches (L’église Saint-Eustache to be exact). They were having a free concert so we popped in to listen. We were so glad we stumbled upon this…the unexpected moment is always sweeter yes?
Well, that is about it for our adventures in Paris for this round. I hope you enjoyed my account of the events and I hope you are doing a little exploring yourself! Until next time…