Grab a bottle of something red or even sparkling from an off-licence and head down to the Seine. In the summer you will see lots of locals just sitting and sipping along the river banks. There is nothing more relaxing than joining them, watching the world go by.
Almost anywhere along the stretch of the Seine between Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.
After a summer's morning walking the streets of Paris this cafe is a real find. Part of the Mosquee de Paris, it is tucked away in a tranquil, shaded courtyard. Waiters bring trays of perfect mint tea and sweet pastries and you can while away the time admiring the ripening figs overhead. Once refreshed you can take a stroll around the nearby Jardin de Plantes, Paris's beautitful old botanical gardens.
It is a disused elevated railway line that has been turned into a very attractive park. Reach it from a set of stone steps behind the Bastille Opera House and walk along it for as far as the Peripherique if you want. It is extremely relaxing, with trees, flowers, water features, benches and a big park half way along. There are lots of places to access street level for food, drinks and toilet stops.
Paris is for walking, yet teems with cars and tour buses. Banish their omnipresent blare by taking the steps down to river level at every opportunity. For 2000 years the Seine has been Paris’ pulse. Looking up at Notre Dame from the left bank quayside instead of from the roadside, it’s easy to imagine scenes from the city’s rich historical – and fictional – past. Like de Gaulle remaining unflustered as sniper shots fired by pro-Nazi sympathisers concealed within the cathedral’s cavernous interior narrowly missed turning the1944 mass to celebrate the liberation of Paris into a massacre. Or Quasimodo sliding down his rope to rescue a praying Esmeralda about to be led to the gallows. Sight Seeker’s Delight pack phenomenal detail into their 4-hour Seine walking tour, and, on Sundays, the right bank running close to the Eiffel Tower is closed to traffic and given over to pedestrians before being transformed into Paris Plages for a month from 20 July: several kilometres of sand, seaside fun and stunning views.
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