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Paris- Around Town : Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis (part 2) - Shopping

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A Day on the Islands

Morning

Arrive at Notre-Dame by 8am to beat the crowds and appreciate its magnificence, then head for the fragrant Marché aux Fleurs. As well as flowers, you can buy all kinds of garden accessories and seeds. Return to Notre-Dame if you want to ascend the towers, which open at 10am. Take a coffee break at Le Flore en l’Ile , with its views of the cathedral.

The fascinating Crypte Archéologique is worth a half-hour visit, then spend the late morning at Sainte-Chapelle , when the sun beams through the stained-glass windows.

There are plenty of places for lunch, but on a sunny day try La Rose de France with its terrace seating.

Afternoon

Spend a leisurely afternoon strolling the narrow streets of the Ile St-Louis, which are filled with characterful shops and galleries (see Shopping).

Wind up with an afternoon treat by visiting Berthillon, considered the best ice-cream purveyor in France (

  • 31 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile

  • Open 10am–8pm Wed–Sun, closed mid-Jul-aug & school hols

). With more than 70 flavours on offer, from plain vanilla to whisky, and including virtually any fruit you can think of, the hardest part will be choosing, although there is plenty of time to make your choice as there will inevitably be a queue, especially in summer.

Shopping

  1. L’Épicerie

    This tiny shop packs in a great array of gourmet delights. Choose from delicacies like orange sauce to speciality vinegars and mustards, to chocolate “snails”, all prettily packaged.

    • 51 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

    L’Epicerie
  2. La Petite Scierie

    This friendly, old-fashioned shop sells all types of foie gras and other duck preserves, straight from the farm.

    • 60 rue St-Louis-en-I’lle, 75004

    • 01 55 42 14 88

    • Closed Tue–Wed

  3. Librairie Ulysse

    Today Paris, tomorrow the world. This eccentric travel bookshop will take you anywhere you want with thousands of titles in French and English – including many on Paris itself.

    • 26 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

    Librairie Ulysse
  4. Calixte

    The place to stock up for a picnic or the day’s treats: superb croissants for the morning, pâtés and terrines and irresistible desserts for lunch.

    • 64 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

  5. Clair de Rêve

    An interesting boutique that sells curiosities such as puppets and miniature theatres. It is an ideal place if you’re looking for a present with a difference.

    • 35 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

  6. Alain Carion

    A wealth of meteorites, fossils and minerals. Some are made into imaginative jewellery.

    • 92 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

  7. Pylones Boutique

    Wild about rubber? That’s the magic material for the whimsical jewellery and accessories here, along with novelty gifts.

    • 57 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

  8. Boulangerie des Deux Ponts

    You won’t be able to resist the bread baking in the wood-burning oven from this old-fashioned bakery.

    • 35 rue des Deux-Ponts, 75004

    • Closed Wed, Thu

    Boulangerie des Deux Ponts
  9. Galerie Bamyan

    A wonderful collection of ethnic goods including carvings, furniture, jewellery and other craft items from Central Asia.

    • 24 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

  10. La Ferme Saint Aubin

    Cheese in all shapes and sizes from all over France. An aromatic delight.

    • 76 rue St-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004

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