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When visiting Paris, there are three basic phrases which will go very, very far—Bonjour, s’il vous plaît, and merci! Failure to use proper French greetings, however unintentional, may earn you a faceful of open eye-rolling, dismay, or in my case, a surprising tongue-lashing.

When you hear that French women don’t get fat, it’s really true. Try getting through an older subway turnstile or sitting outside Le Comptoir des Mers. The bench-style seating with built-in tray tables reminded me that I ate too many croissants. Thank God it’s all lacquered so you can slide out easily. If you love seafood, get the two-tiered Le Royal ($65 per person) with lobster, langoustines, prawns, oysters, clams and snails. There’s room maybe—just maybe—for macarons. 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris.

Stop by Père Lachaise to see the final resting place of famous residents like Frédéric Chopin, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and famous star-crossed lovers Héloïse and Abélard.

In Marais, Le Bar a Huitres proudly displays fresh lobsters, clams, oysters, shrimp and fish. 33 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris.

Visiting the opulent, breathtaking Palace of Versailles can take an entire day, especially if you’re captivated with its rich and varied history. If you need a stylish crash course, watch Marie Antoinette. While most Sofia Coppola movies make me wistful and somewhere between saving orphaned children and sticking my head in the oven, I applaud it for the modern interpretation and beautiful costumes. Amazing soundtrack.

Marie Antoinette’s bedroom, complete with escape route.

Within the Palace of Versailles, the Angelina Tea Room is a welcome mid-day break. The restaurant is housed in the former living quarters of the duchesse de Polignac, Marie Antoinette’s best friend and governess to her children. In this quiet room with creamy green walls and crystal chandeliers, try the famous le chocolat à l’ancienne dit “l’Africain” ($10), a sinfully rich, French-style hot chocolate. Before leaving the palace grounds, don’t forget to stop by the on-site Ladurée store. There are colorful macarons, chocolates and sweets that are simply too pretty to eat.

Learn more about what to do in Paris here!

Address Book

Père Lachaise, 16, Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
Le Bar a Huitres, 33 Boulevard Beaumarchais, 75003 Paris
Le Comptoir des Mers, 1 Rue de Turenne, 75004 Paris
Angelina Tea Room, Palace of Versailles, 1 Rue Robert de Cotte, 78000 VersaillesLadurée, Palace of Versailles, 1 Rue Robert de Cotte, 78000 Versailles

Feature photo courtesy of Palace of Versailles

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