I recommend the Hotel des Grands Balcons at 3 rue Casimir Delavigne for lodging. Situated on a quiet street, this 2-star hotel is humble but very clean and charming for just $100 a night. If you want to upgrade, there is both a 3- and 4-star hotel on the same street.
A dining favorite of mine is the Breizh Cafe, a fusion Breton and Japanese creperie that satisfies my taste for Buckwheat galettes. You’ll also find Procope, the oldest restaurant in Paris, in Odeon. If you’re homesick and in need of a beer, check out Wos, the Green Bay Packer bar in Paris.
For shopping, I like Hoalen, a French surf shop with an American West Coast vibe. It offers nice quality merchandise and marine outdoors style. Take in the store Soleiado for shirts, dresses, scarfs, and table linens in vibrant Provencale fabrics. For the craftsman and craft enthusiast, the Musee du Compagnonnage is a museum dedicated to French trade guilds from their medieval origins to the present day. It’s also in close proximity to the Hotel des Grands Balcons, with its address at 10 rue Mabillon.
For an evening’s entertainment, a play is also always a good idea. I met some friends at the Theatre des 2 Anes; a small, cozy theater in a different neighborhood. The one-woman comedy show was a hit with our group, but it’s helpful to understand French.
Of course, I could go on about well-known places to see and visit in Paris, but I hope you take my advice to walk the city and stumble into some great surprises. If you get lost, just go to the nearest Metro station and find your way back to Odeon. And yes, there is the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Champs Elysees, too…
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