One of the joys of visiting the capital is discovering unexpected avenues and pictorial squares that emerge like a scene from an old movie, bursting with infectious Parisian charm and romance. The following selection provides an introduction to some of Paris’s most notable plazas, highly recommended for a memorable experience in this enchanting metropolis.
1) Place Des Vosges:
Regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful squares, this peaceful oasis in the heart of the Marais district fuses a rich heritage with striking 17th century architecture and immaculately manicured lawns, creating an idyllic spot for blissful relaxation. Lined with delightful covered passageways brimming with art galleries and cafes, the oldest planned plaza in Paris has attracted admirers for centuries, accommodating many a famous figure, including Victor Hugo, whose former residence has been opened to the public in honour of his contribution to the literary world.
2) Place Saint Sulpice:
Pleasant and unassuming, this once overlooked locale has received a surge in popularity over recent years due its accompanying church featuring quite prominently in Dan Brown’s smash hit novel “The Da Vinci Code.” Retaining its tranquil demeanour, the plaza offers respite and ample people watching opportunities, houses a quaint collection of boutiques, and is inhabited by a striking central fountain.
3) Place de la Concorde:
Paris’s principal square measures an immense 21 acres and affords a superb vantage point for appreciating the city’s premier sights, such as the adjacent Champs Elysees and the opposing Tuileries Gardens. Encircled by a constant frenzy of traffic and occupied by two epic fountains, this historical setting was once a site for grisly executions and now boasts a giant Egyptian obelisk that towers 23 metres and dates back an astonishing 3,300 years.
4) Place Furstenberg:
In direct contrast to the Place de la Concorde, this adorable spot is one of the capital’s smallest and yet most captivating squares. Immortalised on screen and canvas, this calming location provides a moment of serenity in the otherwise vibrant Saint Germain neighbourhood and grants a home to the Musee Delacroix, an art museum dedicated to the great painter and former tenant.
5) Place Dauphine:
This modest addition enjoys a central position upon the treasured Isle de la Cite and makes a perfect escape from such notorious nearby attractions as the Notre Dame Cathedral. Somehow preserving an authentic, unspoilt ambience across the centuries and mercifully avoiding the tourist masses, Place Dauphine offers a welcome retreat amidst the locals and supplies an amiable selection of restaurants for indulging in delectable Parisian cuisine. Aside from the aforementioned options, the city of Paris hosts a wealth of similar landmarks to add to the trip’s itinerary, each providing a unique yet equally rewarding venture from your Paris rental apartment, available at a range of locations; take a look here.