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Place des Vosges, separating Bastille from the Marais, is the perfect example of how Paris unabashedly mixes residential zones with tourist districts. Here, you're just as likely to meet a well-heeled local popping out for a baguette as you are a coachload of American teenagers. The reason, of course, is that Place des Vosges is pure eye-candy – a 17th-century peach stone beauty that was built for Henri IV, with shop-filled arcades and a stately park that lets you lounge on the grass – a rarity in Paris. Needless to say, on sunny days the square is awash with tourists, so you might want to try our selection of authentically local attractions, cafés, restaurants and bars.
For shopping, head northwards to the boutiques around nearby Rue Charlot, Paris's hottest new shopping district, where a plethora of emerging designers flaunt their wares in stately 18th-century buildings. Click here for details.
For more information on Place des Vosges, click here.