Preparing for Paris

Opera-House-3One of my favorite items on my to-do list before I travel is to read books and watch movies about the place.  It builds the anticipation, and provides some background information before I go.  Paris has an endless selection of literature written about the city of light.  Many American writers have found inspiration parked at cafes, or wandering the streets.  The city has also been the setting for award-winning movies.

Book Top Pick: A Moveable Feast-Written by Hemingway after his time in Paris with Hadley.  I read this while in Paris, and it helped bring a hidden life to the city.

Other Options:


  • Sarah’s Key
  • The Paris Wife


  • The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
  • Markets of Paris
  • Americans in Paris: Life and Death Under Nazi Occupation
  • French Women Don’t Get Fat
  • Paris to the Past: Traveling Through French History by Train
  • Paris my Sweet”A Year in the City of Light
  • Paris in Love: A Memoir
  • Paris A Love Story
  • Paris was Ours
  • The Sweet Life in Pars: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious-and Perplexing-City
  • Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World
  • There are hundreds of books to check out.  Don’t forget to look through a variety of guidebooks.

Eiffel-TowerMovie Top Pick: Midnight in Paris-I could watch the opening scene each day, and not get tired of it.  It truly captures the beauty of the city.  The characters remind us of the creativity in art, photography, film, and writing in Paris.  The city has been a muse to so many.

Other Options:

  • Before Sunset
  • Le Divorce
  • Amelie
  • Moulin Rouge
  • 2 Days in Paris
  • Paris, Je T’aime
  • Da Vinci Code
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Taken
  • Inglorious Bastards
  • Paris
  • Last Tango in Paris
  • An American in Paris
  • Many more movies include scenes in Paris.  These movies take place primarily in Paris.

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I started “The Judgement of Paris” by Ross King right before I left and then took it along and read it while visiting all the great museums and seeing all the great impressionist art. Soon my husband was vying for time with the book too! We both shared it and finished it while there. It was magnificent to read before and during the trip. Thanks for your great suggestions. Will check them out next time I’m going!

    1. Thank you for the recommendation!

  2. Love the film Amelie – that would really put me in the mood for Paris 🙂

  3. “Paris Manhattan” is another nice one (possibly only available in French though :-/ ). In any case, none of the movies are as great as the city itself – enjoy your trip!

    1. I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks!

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