Walking on the Ile Saint-Louis


Lip-smacking ice cream and chocolate witches are among the treats to savor on this peaceful island stroll

The quaint shops down rue Saint-Louis-en-l’île, which runs the length of the island, have plenty to intrigue kids. After admiring the wooden toys, plush animals, and Babar plates at Arche de Noé (1, 70 rue Saint-Louis-en-l’île) and the fish shaped pens, painted bike bells, and other gadget at Pylones (2, # 57), take a look at the Hôtel Chenizot (3, #51), a beautiful 17th century mansion, where finely carved stone dragons hold up the balcony over the door. At Clair de Rêve (4, #35) elaborate string puppets hang from ceiling, while china cows fill the windows of the Ilot Vache bistro next door. Just beyond rue des Deux-Ponts is the island’s most famous attraction : ice-cream maker Berthillon (5, # 31). (If lines are long, note that Berthillon ice cream are also available at several cafés on the island.) Perhaps you’d prefer the quirky tearoom La Charlotte de l’Isle (6, # 24), which casts a fairy-tale spell with homemade cakes, sugared rose petals, and chocolate birds and witches. On certain Wednesdays (call ahead to check), children can come to a goûter (French snack time) and puppet show. Turn right onto rue Poulletier. Some 400 years ago when Ile Saint-Louis was two island – the île aux Vaches, a marshy cow pasture, and île Notre-Dame, often used for duels – this street was a river channel between the two. Finish your walk by turning left onto quai de Béthune, then left again, crossing Pont de Sully to leave the island.

Metro Stations : Pont-Marie, Sully-Morland (line 7)