I will bet money on the probability of you typing this exact topic into your search bar or Pinterest app and you will see many streets that will usurp my personal favorites, and that is okay. I am no professional — merely a girl who fell in love with Paris during her short time of residency and has chosen her own favorites that may or may not come up on the tourist apps and yelp reviews. And yes, these will all be located on the left bank, as common knowledge states that it is the best of the banks.
Rue Cler holds a special place in my heart as it was just a street down from my own tiny studio apartment. Located in the 7th Arrondissement, just a quick ten minute walk from the Eiffel Tower, Rue Cler is surrounded by families and a few middle and high schools. It is a very residential area yet never boring as it is so close to one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Almost every day of the week there is an open market where you can get fruit, vegetables, meat, oysters, fish, and (my personal favorite) fresh squeezed orange juice. Following the outdoor market, it is lined with stores and restaurants. It is a great weekend brunch spot as it will not have the lines associated with the more popular parts of the city but it is constantly full of Parisians and the occasional tourist meandering down its stone street. Every week, I would venture to one of the flower shops (there are two and they are always competing in prices) and choose a bouquet of roses and a bouquet of lavender to make my 25 sq meter stall a home.
Rue de Medicis
A random fact about me is that I love Catherine de Medici. I think she was a badass queen who changed France for the better and she definitely deserves that fountain of hers in the Luxembourg Gardens. Rue de Medicis is a short street which looks out onto the gardens, a quick walk from her fountain. This street is home to one of my favorite brunch spots, Treize au Jardin, along with a couple small bookshops. Granted, the photo pictured here is obviously not the street, but this isn’t one of those roads of which you take a plethora of instagram shots. You enjoy what it has to offer, then make your way over to the gardens to admire the flowers and read your favorite book.
This is definitely the most popular of the streets I’ve listed, and many will assume there is nothing special about it. The Quai d’Orsay extends along the river on the left bank, and while it changes street names as you walk further, for me this is where my nighttime journeys began. I would get tired of my apartment and around dusk I would set out and walk for at least two hours, up and down the river. I’m a romantic, so of course I envisioned the great artists throughout time making this same trek. For me it was a rite of passage, the most quintessential Paris thing I could ever do while simultaneously being alone and surrounded by my thoughts. As you go further down, there will be some vendors and it will become more touristy; however, the Quai d’Orsay section is not too long and it is lined with small parks and residential apartments. In my opinion, it is the best spot of the river promenade. Just imagine Owen Wilson walking alongside you as he did so many times in Midnight in Paris; maybe you’ll get lucky and it will begin to rain.
These three streets will not even take you half the day to explore and experience. I beg you: please don’t do it with your phones out. Save that for the streets that are on actual travel blogs and tourism review sites. Now go off and get your steps in!!!