5 Best Places to Unwind in Paris

If planning a trip or vacation, Paris might not be on the top of the list for many people in light of the tragic attacks that the city faced not so long ago, understandably. However, if Paris was the next city that you were planning on checking off your bucket list, I urge you to give the city another chance and explore all that it has to offer.

Paris needs tourism now more than ever! Even more than that, it needs people who will truly fall in love with the city, its language, and its hidden treasures.

Paris Photo Credits: Jordiet..

So, you’ve made up your mind and are going to be traveling to Paris to explore a new culture and learn or perfect a new language. Don’t want to be stuck among hoards of crowds and lured by tourist attractions? This list is meant to be a travel guide of sorts for those who want to experience Paris as a way of escape and discovery.

While these spots are not tourist-free or completely off the beaten path, they are the places that inspired me during my visit to Paris and are the perfect spaces to unwind during your language travel experience in a city that is full of hustle and bustle. Take a look!

Ten Belles Coffee Shop

You can find this coffee shop right along the Canal St Martin, a gorgeous spot on sunny and rainy days alike. What’s great about this little place is it’s good (and by that I mean excellent) coffee, its authentic charm (wooden tables, colorful flowers, hand-written chalk menu), and (despite the fact that you will be learning French at a language school) all of the baristas can speak English and don’t make you feel bad about speaking it back.

Ten Belles Photo Credits: Rob Sinclair.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Not the first place that comes to mind when thinking of an ideal place to unwind, huh? However, Père Lachaise is a beautiful spot to stroll, located in the 20th arrondissement and boasting 44 acres to explore. As the most visited cemetery in the world it is surprisingly quiet and peaceful...perfect to visit on a nice day with a good book.

Père Lachaise

Jardin des Plantes

Paris is most definitely not short of gardens. Take a break from the famous Jardin du Luxembourg or Jardin des Tuileries and visit one of the lesser-known areas, the Jardin des Plantes. This “jardin” really does have it all. It might not come as a shock that plants and flowers are everywhere, as well as benches to rest, trails for jogging, and even a zoo!

Jardin des Plantes Photo Credits: Marie-Lan Nguyen.

The Ile St Louis

This “island” in the heart of Paris is connected to all of the mainland areas by bridges, only a short walk away from historical monuments such as the Notre Dame Cathedral. What’s special about the Ile St Louis is how removed it seems to be from the packs of people and quick pace of city life. It does hold some of Paris’ most chic shops and more upscale cafes, but if you are on a budget simply wandering around the island and looking out over the Seine is enough to feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Ile St Louis Photo Credits: art Buck.

The Pompidou Museum

Paris’ modern art museum is so unique that it’s hard to exclude from any “best of” list. Even if you are not a modern art fan, the museum itself is a space for anyone to enjoy. Although it is a popular museum, the crowds are never overwhelming. There are exhibits upon exhibits to see, some where you may find yourself the only one in the room. A great bookstore on the ground floor could spark some artistic ideas, or may just be a good place to pick up a French dictionary for class the next day.

The Pompidou Photo Credits: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra.