The population of Paris is over 2 million and the city gets over 45 million visitors each year!!! Vancouver, BC Canada, (near our home base) with its population of 610,000 seems tiny in comparison. We found the Parisians that we encountered at shops and venues to be friendly and quite helpful. Many could speak at least a little bit of English, so it is easy for English speaking travelers to find their way.
Our apartment in Paris was located in Le Marais (3rd Arrondissment) directly across from the Hure bakery. Our apartment was entered through a secure ‘blue door’. Once you passed through this first locked door off the street, there was then a second ‘locked gate’ to let you to the spiral staircase. We were up 3 levels, and that means carrying your luggage up and down. We were greeted by ‘Laurent’ from the apartment and he helped us with our bags. It is common to not find elevators as the buildings are very old. We appreciated the very secure locking system to our spacious apartment. It came well stocked with all the little things you need including an iron. It was very clean and equipped with good wifi, a clothes washer/dryer, a clean stove, lots of bath towels, and a shower with tub and all the hot water you wanted to use.
Lucky us!!! We happened to be located directly across the street from The Hure which one one of the top rated bakeries in Paris. We would recommend this as a good place to stay.
Proof of popularity in the Hure bakery is the lineups you will stand in to purchase their baked dessert goods and their tasty items for lunch such as fresh sandwiches and salads. The pure butter croissants were unbelievable in flavor.
You do need to pay attention to the menus when ordering though and check your prices which we did not do here! We stopped at a small street side cafe and ordered one capuccino one cup of green tea. The presentation of the Cappucino was beautiful with Love written on it, the tea came only as bag with a cup of hot water.
The price was about $8 for the coffee and $7 for the tea which we thought on the high side, especially for the tea. Smoking is allowed in the outside sitting areas of the cafes and that was not very pleasant with ashes being flaked and smoke blowing in your face. The best solution is to eat inside, where the atmospheres are good and the air is better than in the smoking areas.
Markets and grocery stores are easy to access and there is a large assortment of all types of fresh produce and other food needs. Wine and beer are sold in all the stores and it is acceptable and legal to drink anywhere outside.
We liked to cooked our own breakfast in the mornings and enjoyed that you could purchase small amounts of fresh greens and vegetables to go with our eggs. You can also buy eggs in cartons of 2, 4, 6, 10 and 12 which was handy indeed!