Whether to rest on one of the reclining chairs or to wander along the old-fashioned stores along its arcades, the gardens of the Palais-Royal (see the Palais-Royal gardens article) are one of the best places to chill in Paris.
But the immediate neighborhood of the gardens should not be neglected: the rectangle formed by Rues Montpensier, Beaujolais, Valois, and Place du Palais-Royal and Place Colette contains notable curiosities.
Starting at Place Colette, with the famous theatre La Comédie Française, enjoy the Kiosque des Noctambules, the most original métro station entrance, made in 2000 by Jean-Michel Othoniel to celebrate the centenary of Paris’ underground.
In low-trafficked Rue de Montpensier, you’ll find elegant and trendy restaurants or bars, most of which are located in cellars below street level. Several short but elegantly covered arcades, like Potier or Beaujolais connect this island of quietness to the busier Rue de Richelieu. But the most interesting spot, just at the angle of Montpensier and Beaujolais streets, is without a doubt the beautiful Théâtre du Palais-Royal, with its outdoor metallic escape stairs.
Rue de Beaujolais, reminiscent of a wine region, is full of small wine restaurants, and Le Grand Véfour (already inside the ceint of Palais-Royal buildings) is one of the smartest and most famous. Rue de Valois is less interesting, except for the original and bourgeoise Place de Valois, and the view of a spectacular drawing room in the Conseil d’Etat.
Back to Place du Palais-Royal, the busiest square around, with its skaters and roller addicts…