Essential Guide to Paris

On first arriving in Paris, make sure to drop in at 37 Rue de la Bucherie, just across from the Notre Dame and on the left bank of the Seine. For there you will find the legendary Shakespeare & Company bookshop. Walk in through the doors and immediately to your left is the travel writing section. Pick up a copy of a small guide to Paris, “Plan de Paris par Arrondisement et Communes de Banlieue avec la station du metro la plus proche”. For €12, you’ll have a handy map of Paris that lists all the streets, from large to small, across every corner of this city. Both the RER and metro lines are also covered. It’s better than those poster-sized maps and make for an appropriate reminder of your visit to Paris and to the bookshop.

As for Shakespeare & Company, well, one must certainly visit, at least once. Everyone is welcome for as its founder’s motto reads, “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise”. Browse around but always ensure to walk upstairs. There, for a brief moment, you’ll look straight into a little piece of Parisian history. I leave the rest to George Whitman, the shop’s founder

I may disappear leaving behind me no worldly possessions – just a few old socks and love letters, and my windows overlooking Notre-Dame for all of you to enjoy, and my little rag and bone shop of the heart whose motto is “Be not inhospitable to strangers lest they be angels in disguise”. I may disappear leaving no forwarding address, but for all you know I may still be walking among you on my vagabond journey around the world.

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