Walking around Paris and learning what the city is like made me realize how rich in history the city has to offer. For most of my personal life, I have divulged in learning mostly about history and literature and coming to France made everything I learned more of a reality. I more lean towards French history rather than general history anyway, thereby, making me more happy to come to Paris.
Shakespeare and Company
If you’re like Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, this is the place to go. I have to put this first thing to see due to the English major in me. Shakespeare and Company is a place for all bookworms and literature lovers. The “Lost Generation” of American writers all came to this bookshop and library while being in Paris. The store mixes in both history and literature that cannot be avoided. When I first stepped into the store, the entire place was a surreal moment. My face was probably like Belle’s when the Beast gave her his library. It gives a vintage and old time look that makes one thoroughly enjoy its history more.
The space within the bookshop is quite cramped, thereby visiting during non-seasonal hours or weekdays is ideal due to a number of tourists that come by after seeing Notre Dame. If, however, you are not able to avoid people, the bookstore is broken up into 3 parts. The first part is obviously the bookstore, the second is a bookstore that sells antique books, the third is the cafe that visitors are able to simply come in and read the new book they purchased.
Versailles is the place to go if you’re obsessed with history. Walking up towards the palace was a surreal moment for me. Learning the French language also tied into learning the history of France and everything I learned about the French royals became more malleable in some way while visiting Versailles. The museum illustrates to visitors what the life of a royal is like, from what events were held in the palace to the rooms the royals had slept in. Visitors are also able to see Marie Antoinette’s Estate and the space she possessed while living in Versailles.
The entire place is ginormous, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes before coming and expect to spend an entire day there. I was able to fit the entire palace and thoroughly enjoy it without being rushed in one day.
Being obsessed with the French language and literature, I had to find the Barnes and Nobles in France. I found Gibert Jeune by word of mouth. The shop is broken up into different parts nearby Notre Dame. In order to find the specific book I wanted, I went through two shops to go to the right place. The shops, however, are all nearby one another so it won’t be hard to navigate. If you cannot find a certain book in a Gibert Jeune, you might have to walk down the street to find it. I personally, would consider Gibert Jeune, the Barnes and Nobles of Paris, simply due to their wide selection of books. The bookstore is great to find a beautiful copy of Les Miserables or Harry Potter in French. The artwork on French books is absolutely gorgeous. I believe Gibert Jeune is the perfect place for any literature and book lover.