There are many places in Paris city where you get to see a large number of tourists all through the year; Île de la Cité is definitely one of those which is easily worth visiting when you are in the area. The famous Notre Dame Cathedral too is located nearby. If you travel a short distance from this place, it is also possible to find Île Saint-Louis, which is a truly delightful place in the Fourth Arrondissement.
Île Saint-Louis would be really be the perfect option for you if you like getting to spend peaceful time away from the inevitable rush of city life. This place is much like a small village which stands at the center of the city, and offers almost anything you could need from the multiple markets and fromageries. Paris has changed a lot over the years, but this small island in the midst of the city has remained untouched as if it has been frozen in time. There are four bridges on this island which connect it to the rest of the city.
There are lots of beautiful boutiques, distinctive ice-cream shops, and historic attractions to be found here. You could easily fall in love with this place if you liked the town-like ambiance, wanted to explore old towns and historic areas, or just preferred walking around like the locals do.
Must Do Things at Île Saint-Louis
The island really has many things to offer you, but the wide range of options means you will most definitely be missing at least some of the most interesting ones. Below is the list of what no tourist in their right mind should skip.
Berthillon Ice Cream
Île Saint-Louis is among those places where you can get Berthillon ice creams, which invariably form the gold standard when it comes to French-manufactured ice creams. This island has the first Berthillon shop ever established in the city. While here, you get to enjoy choosing from a wide range of colors and extreme flavors to eat. Must-trys include the mango (mangue) and dark chocolate (chocolat noir) options, which are age-old classics. Summer is obviously the best time to be trying to check this off your bucket list.
You will find a lot of shops and specialty boutiques lining each side of the main street, and a number of trendy and beautiful items which are bound to stock up sentimental value after you have owned them awhile. While many of these are admittedly price high, you will find the odd souvenir which you can get for a steal. The place has a shop selling handcrafted puppets, a fashionable toy store, a chocolate shop, art galleries, and a number of gourmet shops.
Performances at Pont Saint-Louis
One of the best spots in the entire region to find street performers is by the bridge connecting Île de la Cité to Île Saint-Louis. There is a wide range of shows presented at this place including mime artists, jugglers, jazz bands, and many other interesting performer types. The experience of standing there enjoying one of the shows these people put up, and savoring an ice cream in the meantime, is simply indescribable.
The construction of this beautiful church began by 1664, and was finished by 1726. It is placed at what was actually the site of a small chapel of St. Louis, and which was demolished to build a new and larger church in its place. The interior of Saint-Louis en-L’Île is decorated elaborately; you even see a magnificent wooden door completely decorated with carved depictions of angelic beings. The church is also very spacious.
An Awesome Meal
Even though this island is relatively small, you could find tons of restaurants in this place. There are numerous recommendable restaurants clustered around Pont Saint-Louis. You will find a number of expensive high-class restaurants here; however, there are also affordable bistros and cafes to be found.
Place to Stay
You may not find a large number of hotels on this island, but the options for stay available here are very good. There is a four-star hotel known as Jeu de Paume on this island, which is well-known for both its history and the fine options it serves up for lodging. One of the attractions of this hotel is its royal tennis court. The place also has a glass elevator giving good views of the ceiling stories and the indoor courtyard higher above. The rooms are very spacious and full of modern amenities.
There is also a three-star hotel called des Deux-Îles at this place, which you would be able to find near the old 17th-century houses. In this place, you would be able to perceive a mixture of historic beauty together with modern style and intimate surroundings.