Paris Through Literary Eyes

Looking for a new way to explore one of Europe’s most beloved cities? Why not discover the City of Lights by retracing the steps of literary greats who called Paris home? Paris’s literary history is so rich, it rivals the city’s creamiest brie. But of course, you don’t have to sacrifice that, either. Here’s a list of must-see sights in this glorious city, as well as some options for literary exploration.louvre-Paris

If you have an in-flight movie option on your way to magical Paris, you might consider watching Woody Allen’s film, Midnight in Paris. Loaded with references to America’s “Lost Generation” of expatriate writers and artists of the 1920s, it will whet your palate for the sights to come. F. Scott Fitzgerald, his wife Zelda, and his most admired friend, Ernest Hemingway, are all alluded to in the film, along with Pablo Picasso, T.S. Eliot, Gertrude Stein, Henri Matisse, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, and more. Of course, you can also dive deeper into French culture by exploring some of France’s own literary greats, such as Honoré de Balzac, Victor Hugo, and Alexandre Dumas.

If you are interested in making the pilgrimage to some famous Paris homes, try a walking tour, or stop in for a visit at one of these museums:

Former Homes of Famous Authors

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald:

· 14 Rue de Tilsitt, 8th Arrondissements, right bank, near the Arc de Triomphe

· 58 Rue Vaugirard, 6th Arrondissements, on the corner of the Luxembourg Gardens

Edith Wharton:

· 58 Rue de Varenne, 7th arrondisement, across the street from Hotel Matignon

Maison de Victor Hugo:

· Address: 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris

· Website: www.musee-hugo.Paris.fr

· Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 6pm

Maison de Balzac:

· Address: 47 Rue Raynouard, 75016

· Website: http://www.Paris.fr/pratique/musees-expos/maison-de-balzac/p6837 (in French)

· Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 6pm

Chateau de Monte Cristo: Alexandre Dumas’ country home outside the city

· Address: Chemin du hauts des Ormes, 78560 le Port-Marly

· Website: http://www.chateau-monte-cristo.com/en/index.html

Cemeteries

Pere Lachaise Cemetery:

· Take an atmospheric walk and pay homage to Proust, Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Apollinaire, Moliere, and more at the largest cemetery in Paris

· Location: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020

Montparnasse Cemetery:

· Pay tribute to Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvior, Jean-Paul Sartre, Charles Baudelaire, Marguerite Duras, Guy de Maupassant, and more in one of Paris’s favorite literary neighborhoods

· Location: 3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014

Panthéon:

· Worth a visit for the architecture alone. You can also stop by the tombs of Voltaire, Rousseau, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo along the way

· Location: Place du Panthéon, 75005

· Website: http://www.pantheonparis.com/

For the Quintessential “Writer in Paris” Experience: Read Café Life Paris

If you love viewing the world through these writers’ eyes, debating grand ideas with your own companions, or just nibbling on a croissant and sipping a cafE au lait, you might try one of the following places:

– Polidor (Crémerie-Restaurant):

· Go for: the history and tried and true Parisian food

· Location: 41 Rue Monsieur le Prince, 75006 

· Famous guests: Paul Valery, Jack Kerouac, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Verlaine, Arthur Rimbaud and Victor Hugo

· Website: http://www.polidor.com/index.html

Maxim’s:

· Go for: a luxury meal surrounded by Art Nouveau furnishings

· Location: 3 Rue Royale, 75008

· Famous guests: Marcel Proust, Brigitte Bardot and Jean Cocteau

· Website: http://www.maxims-de-Paris.com/p2us.htm

Les Deux Magots:

· Go for: the literary history and a café au lait

· Location: 6 Place Saint-Germain des Prés, 75006

· Famous guests: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvior, Albert Camus, Stéphane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud

· Website: http://www.lesdeuxmagots.fr/en/ambiances.php#/ambiances.php

Café de Flore:

· Go for: Art Deco interior, the history, and some delicious hot chocolate

· Location: 172 Boulevard Saint-Germain, 75006

· Famous guests: Ernest Hemingway, Truman Capote, and many more

· Website: http://www.cafedeflore.fr/accueil/

Tours

With so much vibrant history in this city, one great way to explore is to take a tour led by an experienced guide who can weave the threads of history together. Try Paris Walks’ Hemingway’s Paris tour or, for a slightly broader sweep, Localer’s Paris Literature tour, which includes a visit to Sylvia Beach’s famous English language bookstore, Shakespeare & Company.

While you visit the City of Lights, take advantage of these great deals and must-sees you won’t want to miss out on….

City Sightseeing Paris / Les Car Rouges

Paris’ Flea Market – The Insider’s Tour

Seine River Sightseeing Cruise

Hotels:

The best possible hotels for your beautiful stay in Paris:

Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel

Comfort Hotel Bobigny Paris Est

Pavillon Villiers Etoile

Pavillon Italie

Angie Picardo is a writer at NerdWallet, a financial literacy site where you can find advice on marriage finances.

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