People watching in Paris

Apr 10th, 2005, 10:58 AM
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People watching in Paris

Does anyone have their favorite people watching corner in Paris? I'm going in May and was looking for tips. Thanks, S
Scottgunter is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:04 AM
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Hi Scott,

There is a nice cafe on rue de Vieux Colombier just E of Rue Bonaparte that sets out tables facing the St. Sulpice Church and the fountain.

Lots of folks stop for a drink on the way home.

ira is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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And of course there is always Cafe de Flore at 172 Blvd. Saint-Germain, or Cafe Madeleine at 35 Place de la Madeleine, OR, have a glass of champagne on the 2nd floor at Galeries Lafayette and watch all the shoppers.
readysetgo is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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One of my favorite ways to watch people, in their element, is to hop on a city bus and take it from one end of the line to the other. It's a great way to see locals going about their day to day lives.
Grasshopper is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 11:41 AM
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More ideas on the "other" board...
Travelnut is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 12:21 PM
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How about a bench on the Pont des Arts?
RonZ is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 01:26 PM
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My favorites? From a park bench at the Luxembourg Gardens and the Place des Vosges, or an outdoor seat at Cafe les deux Magots.
Iregeo is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Paris is a great city for people-watching.

The most fun I ever had people watching in Paris was at a cafe in the 11eme--at the corner of Avenue Ledru Rollin and rue de Faubourg St Antoine. It was a warm day in mid-March and everyone seemed to be out--including a little girl in a fairy costume who must have been on her way home from dance class, a daffodil seller, and a woman in a short leather skirt, high heels, and fishnet stockings who looked like she was ready for, um, work.

I also like sitting on the terrace of the cafe at the Viaduct des Arts--lots of interesting dogs walking by. Cafe Beaubourg is fun too. And any of the cafes at the intersection of Boulevard Raspail and Boulevard Montparnasse have a great view of the passing scene. Deux Magots is fun too.

elle is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 07:25 PM
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We always enjoy the Cafe de la Paix - esp in the late afternoon. Have seen tons of interesting, fun, odd, ridiculous and just normal Parisians as well.
nytraveler is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 07:38 PM
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Place des Voges on a sunny day when the temperature is warm and the kids can play in the fountain.

We sat there to rest for a few minutes and got involved in watching parenting styles.

The winner was the young lady, I presume it was the child's mother, who let her little boy splash away in the fountain.
She did not interfere, but she was right there to grab him in case he fell in.

The loser was the woman who first neglected her childn then she saw him running toward the fountain. She raced over, grabbed him and hauled him off kicking and screaming because he could not play in the fountain.

We saw a little of it all that afternoon in a relatively short time.

brookwood is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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There are benches on the Champs-Elysees that face the storefronts. It's a veritable parade and for sheer volume, it's hard to beat.
Flyboy is offline  
Apr 10th, 2005, 09:14 PM
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My fave was behind the Notre Dame in the little park..Watched the Gendarme whistling,an old woman in black,elegant lady in beige with a cape, lots of tourists,old men on the benches,dogs,boats etc great stuff!!
Apr 11th, 2005, 05:27 AM
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Is there a better place for people-watching than the Metro?
martytravels is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 05:51 AM
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At breakfast time, our favorite is the Cafe Bonaparte on the Place St. Germain des Pres at rue Bonaparte. You can watch everyone rushing off to work while you enjoy a leisurely breakfast. It is a good way to take a fashion pulse of Paris. There is an elementary school about a block away and it is fun to watch the children on their way to class.
mamc is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 06:25 AM
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The Luxembourg Gardens is one of the best places to people watch on a nice day.
Re cafes, our favorite people watching hangouts are Cafe Scossa on the Place Victor Hugo in the 16th and the Bar des Theatres on the Avenue Montaigne in the 8th.
I was in Paris this weekend and after I got off Eurostar, I made a beeline for the Ave. Victor Hugo and had a fresh mint tea at Scossa.
The Bar des Theatres is a fun place to enjoy good French "comfort food" and watch the shoppers and staff from the nearby designer boutiques. An editor from one of the big fashion mags says they make some of the best steak tartare in town (not my dish, so can't say if I agree). Moderately priced, simple decor, no reservations needed.
The bar is also a hangout for the chauffeurs to the celebrities and fashionistas staying at the Plaza Athenee across the street. The friendly, chatty staff and eccentric customers make for an interesting mix. Keep your ears open and you'll hear some juicy stories.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 06:30 AM
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This is a VERY touristy spot but even still we like it a lot: sitting on the front steps of Sacre Coeur with the view of the city spread out in front of us, with throngs of tourists milling all around. Not for the faint of heart but makes for great people watching. Other people watching places? Almost every outdoor cafe seat in Paris!
mermaid_ is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 09:44 AM
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Brookwood ..I was in the Place de Vosges and watched as the mothers let the babies crawl all over the ground, the grass and in the sand box and wondered how many dogs had left their mark there this was a Paris park after all..
Apr 11th, 2005, 09:53 AM
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Ira, I love that cafe, too. The last time I was there, someone was doing a fashion shoot on the steps of St. Sulpice--fun to watch. And then once they were shooting an exercise video in the Tuileries, but I was just walking by that one.
LVSue is offline  
Apr 11th, 2005, 10:03 AM
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There is a fun little restaurant for drinks in the Marais called The Studio, 41 rue de Temple. The food is so so but it one place to get a margarita in Paris. And some of their mexican dishes are pretty good, but I know most folks don't come to Paris to eat ethnic

It is in the courtyard of a beautiful 17th century building and on the second floor there is a dance school and studio. In the spring and summer they have tables outside. It is great to sit in the courtyard and watch the classes on the floor above. Some days it is ballet and others maybe afro jazz. And it is also fun to watch the people come and go to class. We live close by and used to go there a lot on hot humid evenings.
jpie is offline  
Apr 17th, 2005, 07:19 PM
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Thanks for ALL of these responses!
Scottgunter is offline  

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