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Travel tip: Île Saint-Louis, - a fantastic island tour in the middle of Paris!

This was a big surprise and a very positive one, with the Seine on all sides and a very island with a very pleasant atmosphere. This is a clear recommendation for a unique place when you are going to Paris next time, with Norwegian you can easily get further by train one minute from Notre-Dame.

All my photos are taken with the iPhone 14pro and there is (C) in all the photos.

Île Saint-Louis a pleasant little island in the middle of Paris.

How often do people say that they lived on an island with a wonderful atmosphere, in the middle of Paris!

Well, it might happen again, because here it was really charming. This is a fairly local presentation of the immediate area Île Saint-Louis, including a walk in the small streets on each side of the island.


Île Saint-Louis

With good advice and tips from a friend, it was relatively easy to "land" at the right stop with the train in the middle of Paris. When we came up the escalator, we could admire the new construction of Notre-Dame. This magnificent building is a stone's throw from the hotel we stayed at, and a short walk across to the most charming island in the Seine, Île Saint-Louis.


When everything starts in a simple way, the trip becomes nice straight away, and so was finding our accommodation, Hôtel de Lutèce, which is a cozy and elegant 4-star hotel. As you can see from the map above, it is very centrally located on this small island. Now all that was left to do was look forward to a few relaxing days in Paris.

 

Hôtel de Lutèce is known for its intimate atmosphere and elegant decor. There is a great variety in the rooms, but here at this charming hotel, the vast majority of rooms are comfortable. The service was also impeccable. We immediately got a feeling of being a bit at home here in the middle of Paris. (link to hotels at the bottom of the article)


Since we arrived around lunchtime and the rooms were not yet ready, we decided to explore the area around Île Saint-Louis. The island itself offers a tranquil atmosphere perfect for a stroll, with the opportunity to discover hidden gems in the form of small shops and cafes.


Delicious Moules fries!

We stopped for a light meal at one of the many cozy cafes, La Chaumirère . Here they had a "good price" on the French variant, Moules frites. These are mussels with fries, which are very popular in France.

The most popular version is "moules marinières", where the mussels are steamed in cream, a little white wine and herbs. French fries are served on the side, often double-fried to ensure a crispy outside and soft inside, lightly salted and sometimes served with mayonnaise. The dish is often served in a large pot, with the mussels bathed in the stock. The fries are preferably dipped in the stock for extra taste. I can promise you that this was a fantastic start to our stay.

 

The island is also known for its many ice cream cones. It was hard to resist the temptation to taste some of the delicious varieties, but we decided to delay this experience a bit in order to have even more to look forward to. After lunch we continued out of the island and onto the "mainland" where we walked for a couple of hours and looked in the windows of all the small shops in these areas. This was like a little treasure hunt. See photos from the trips a little further down in the article.


A little history of Île Saint-Louis

Île Saint-Louis is not only a place for accommodation, but also an island full of history and charm. Until the 17th century, the island was mostly undeveloped swamp, and actually consisted of two islands; Île aux Vaches and Île Notre Dame. The island was developed in the 17th century and has since retained its timeless charm. The island is named after Saint Louis, and its inhabitants are called Ludovisiens. On the island, which is part of the 4th arrondissement, there is one church — Saint-Louis-en-l'Île.

The island has preserved much of its historic architecture, with picturesque streets and beautiful buildings from the 17th century. With its cobbled streets and historic buildings, the island offers a unique journey back in time.

 

Île Saint-Louis was originally used as pasture and had no buildings until the 17th century. The island was developed as a residential area for the French nobility, and many of the elegant mansions still stand today. One of the most famous inhabitants of the island was the poet Charles Baudelaire.


To get to Île Saint-Louis you can cross several beautiful bridges. Pont Saint-Louis connects Île de la Cité with Île Saint-Louis and gives you a fantastic view of the Seine. Pont Louis-Philippe connects the island to the Marais district, another historic and charming area of Paris. Pont Marie, Pont de la Tournelle and Pont Sully are other important bridges that connect the island to both shores.

 

Explore the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower

If you feel like walking the streets to the Louvre or the Eiffel Tower, there are both nice walks along the Seine and into the small streets to experience all the exciting shops. Not least, you can stop for a cup of coffee with something good to eat.


If you want to go to the Eiffel Tower, it takes about 25 minutes from the hotel, but here you can also choose routes that take much longer. Buy a ticket in advance if you want to go up and admire the view of Paris.


Depending on which route you take to the Louvre, this sight is only 10 to 20 minutes away from our beautiful base on Île Saint-Louis. The Louvre gives you a fantastic opportunity to experience some of the world's most famous works of art. Buy a ticket in advance and you are guaranteed easier access.


For hop-on hop-off buses, there are several options. If you haven't been to Paris before, one of these tours is definitely recommended. They offer both bus and boat trips along the Seine. I personally prefer the bus trip to the boat trip, but it can of course be nice as well.


If you want to rent a bike, there are plenty of options for this, and it may give you a greater experience. Otherwise, Uber is a good alternative if you know where you are going and want to get from A to B faster.


I also recommend a visit to the Memorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

Memorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

When you first live in the area, I recommend a visit to the "Memorial des Martyrs de la Déportation", only five minutes' walk. This is a memorial dedicated to the thousands of people who were deported from France to Nazi concentration camps during World War II. The memorial is located on the Île de la Cité, near Notre-Dame Cathedral.


Designed by Georges-Henri Pingusson, it was inaugurated in 1962 and gives visitors a sense of isolation and suffering. The memorial contains inscriptions and commemorative plaques commemorating the victims and their fates.


At the entrance, you meet a narrow staircase that leads down to a dark room, where a long, narrow corridor is lit by thousands of small lights. Each candle represents one of the deportees. Inscriptions on the walls include quotes from deportees and from the poet Robert Desnos, providing a deep reflection on the sufferings endured.

Text on plaque below: (click to see the images in a larger format.)

"Because the hearts that hated war fought for freedom in step with the seasons and the tides of time and night." R. Desnos

There is a small park on the outside where you can sit down and reflect a bit and plan your further journey. I recommend going over the bridge that is right behind the park and spend a little time walking along the "bouquinistes".


Make time for - "Bouquinistes"!

If you cross the bridge, "Pont Louis-Philippe", which connects the Marais district with Île Saint-Louis, you will come straight to the so-called "bouquinistes"! Only 50 meters from the memorial I just described.

Along the Seine, on the way to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, you will find lots of the small stalls known as "bouquinistes". These stalls have been part of Paris' cityscape since the 16th century, when the first booksellers began to establish themselves along the banks of the river.

Originally, these sellers were itinerant, but eventually they received permission to set up permanent stalls along the Seine. Today there are over 200 bouquinistes that stretch over a seven kilometer stretch from Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire.

 

The Bouquinists offer a treasure trove of antiquarian books, rare prints, old maps, and vintage posters. Here you can find everything from classic literature and historical documents to unique souvenirs and works of art. Many of the vendors specialize in particular subjects, so you can find stalls focusing on everything from French poetry to art history.

 

The Bouquinists have also become a symbol of Paris' cultural life, and they are listed on UNESCO's list of intangible cultural heritage. Wandering among these stalls not only gives you an opportunity to find rare and unique items, but also to experience a part of the soul of Paris. Whether you are a book collector looking for a special first edition, or just want to find a memorable souvenir from your visit to Paris, the bouquinistes along the Seine are a must to explore.

 

The vast majority of sellers speak a little English and if you have any good questions about what they offer, you will certainly get a pleasant experience and almost always a good price. However, here as elsewhere, what looks like "old posters" is not always so "old", but therefore the prices are not particularly off-putting either! On the other hand, you can find unique books if it is within your area of interest. After the trip you may be hungry and then you may need some recommendations.


Here are some neighboring restaurants, which I safely recommend.

These restaurants are within about 100 meters of our hotel, since we were only two people we were lucky and always got a table on the first try, but I recommend that you reserve a table, just to be safe.

Le Saint Regis This is probably one of our favorites as both the food, service and atmosphere are the way we like it, simple and pleasant. We ate both lunch and dinner here and wow, this was fantastically good.

My lunch was a Burrata / Green asparagus with little touches. I was praised by the waiter because I had eaten the plate completely empty and completely clean!

The next day we were there for dinner and I chose a wonderfully good fish dish. Sea bream on a bed of tomato tartare, topped with basil and french fries. I had never tasted this fish dish before, but I strongly recommend it. When it's such a good main course, it must be topped with a Cremè Brûlê. This was a fantastic meal. Thanks for the food!


 

Le Sorza This is a small but very pleasant restaurant with only eight tables. The entrance was covered by plants so the front door is not easy to find, but it is in the center. This was also one of the recommendations we had received ourselves, so it is again nice to give this restaurant a top rating.

I chose a risotto with scallops and my wife a white fish, hmmm this was very good. We enjoyed the desserts well and for a long time and were among the last to leave this pleasant restaurant.


 

If you are going to a real steak restaurant on this island, the choice is easy. Here they emphasize the raw ingredients and you have to be sure to ask what the dish is served with, so that if you want something green, you'll probably have to ask for it extra. Top steak, perfectly cooked, with lots of flavor and a wonderful red wine that really put the finishing touches. Sorry, but the iPhone was left at the hotel, so there were no pictures here.


A photo walk around the small streets is pleasant, then small surprises always appear, also this time. Feel free to join us on the trip.

We walked almost four miles on the days we were there and got to know the area a bit. For those of you who like to experience life in the streets, look at the old buildings and perhaps read their history, then you have come to the right place. If you also think it's exciting to look in the windows, to all the small shops, then you'll get lots of bonuses on the trip. Then to one of the things I like most, stop at several of the small and pleasant coffees, eat a little and otherwise just look at life.


Join this car tour and you can see a bit of what you can experience in this part of Paris.



Summary

Île Saint-Louis is a gem in the middle of Paris, with its rich history, beautiful architecture and calm atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a romantic holiday or just want to experience something unique and special, this island is the perfect place to visit. From the charming little shops to the cozy restaurants, Île Saint-Louis has something for everyone. And with Hôtel de Lutèce as your base, you can enjoy everything this beautiful island has to offer.

Paris has a lot to offer, but a visit to the Memorial des Martyrs de la Déportation will be a memorable part of your trip. Since this memorial stands as an important reminder of the atrocities that occurred during the Second World War, it encourages reflection on human dignity, tolerance and peace.


Walking into the Latin Quarter is a great walk, as you saw in the photo presentation.



Arrival in Paris

Paris is a dream destination for many and Norwegian offers several direct flights to Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG), which makes the journey to Paris both easy and comfortable.

 

From Charles de Gaulle to Notre-Dame

After landing at Charles de Gaulle, there are several ways to get to the center of Paris and the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral. The most convenient way is to take the train that takes you directly from the airport to the center of Paris. You get off at Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame, which is near the cathedral. From this stop, it is only 50 meters up the stairs to Notre-Dame itself, which is again one of Paris' most famous landmarks.


I got this train recommendation from a friend that we took to our destination and Uber from: First you download the SNCF Connect app and then search for CDG terminal 2, that's where Norwegian lands, then you take the train, as previously said, to Notre-Dame/Saint Michel. Time about 50 minutes.

When you stop at the right station, go to the exit where you see an old picture of Notre-Dame, on the wall. We saw it as soon as we got off the train and came straight up, the shortest way via a couple of escalators. The distance to our hotel was less than 10 minutes' walk. Link to the hotel



To get a ticket, you have two options. The first is to register for a digital ticket, which may seem a bit confusing at first, but it works. Do this before you travel.

The alternative is to buy a ticket from a machine €10.87/person one way. There is a bit of a queue and there are only three machines on the left. The ones you want to see on the right are for everyone with a subscription.


Taxi and or Uber is an alternative - Uber costs between 45 and 55 euros. Time from 30 to 50 minutes depending on the day and time.


Contact me for questions and or to buy pictures, ingar@maturus.no or 90117570 Here are some of the pictures that you can buy, in the format you want and on the material that suits you best. Everything from wallpaper, aluminum and prints with and without a frame. Ask for a quote


We chose to fly with Norwegian , as always, and had a pleasant journey both ways.

And again - feel free to ask me if you have any questions about the trip to Paris! Good trip!

 

 

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