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Sightseeing on and around Ile de la Cite

Ile de la Cite is in the heart of the residential and commercial 1st district, nearby are many interesting examples of real Paris life for those interested in the culture of the region.


While not considered a major shopping district the Ile de la Cite does in fact house many small interesting shops tucked into the small streets particularly in the east and the west.  From a L'Occitane shop on the corner, past Boulangerie, Tabac and the many souvenir shops all the way to art galleries and fashion boutiques there is something here for everybody.

Here are a few unusual shopping choices to look out for.

Maison Bosc - 3 Boulevard du Palais is itself a historic shop, founded in 1845 it creates the custom formal robes for a Judge, a Professor or Lawyer. Well familiar with international requirements they can create rapidly the robes required for any profession or country.

Marché aux Fleurs - The flower market on the island is really a local supplier for gardeners but makes an interesting stopping point, and has a small amount of souvenirs available as well.  Flower Market. - Located in the apex of Place Dauphine a historic printer established in 1830 that mixes modern and traditional techniques, consider having some authentic Cares de Visite made while you are here!


Each building on the Ile de la Cite is steeped in Parisian history, but some perhaps more unusual than others.

Sainte Chapelle - The Royal Chapel

Notre Dame Cathedral - Most beloved of the islands landmarks.

Concierge - Where the American patriot Thomas Paine was imprisoned.

Ecole Nationale de la Magistrature - Is as the name suggests the national school for the Judiciary. Established only in 1959, the National Centre for Judicial Studies became the French National School for the Judiciary in 1972. Headquartered in Bordeaux and also has these surprising historic premises on the Ile de la Cite at 8 Rue Chanoinesse which are of red brick construction.

Zero-Kilometer marker - Not a building but a location, marked with a very modest spot on the pavement outside the Cathedral.


Away from the Ile

And here are some other destinations nearby which you could certainly include in your visit.

Rue Montorgueil - A major cafe, shopping and walking street frequented more by the French than tourists. read more

Marché des Enfants Rouges - A historic market reopened providing food to eat there or produce to take away, a great lunch favorite with locals and visitors alike. read more

Rue Cler - A popular shopping street that still shows its medieval roots.  read more

Boulevard Haussmann - One of the most important of the Haussmann avenues, and named after the Baron himself, this is the home to Au Printemps and Galeries Laffayet, the Opera as well as the interesting steel framed church to Saint Augustine and the memorial to King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. read more


Île Saint-Louis Another Island Île Saint-Louis is the easterly neighbour of Ile de la Cite and although smaller does have many intereting sites. Don't miss the chance to visit both as the are directly next to each other in the Sein.

Cross directly from one to the other via the pedestrian only Pont Saint-Louis which connects Quai d'Orleans to Quai de Borbon. On the Saint-Louis side enjoy one of the many fine cafes or look into the small shops that serve the residents of the island.

Don't walk far though as it is a small island and you'll soon have left it!

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