A 'cuppa joe' in Mons Belgium. The thing I love about stopping for a coffee in Belgium is that you never just get a coffee but more times than not, a side of a cookie or a piece of chocolate. The little things make the difference.
By Michael Adubato, AFAR Local Expert
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Paris: Le Marais
Growing up in the UK, I’ve been going to Paris for years, and the City of Lights never loses its magic. I especially enjoy staying at the Hotel Prince de Galles, as well as spending time in Le Marais neighborhood with my son Alex, as it’s a very family friendly spot. The quartier is almost like a beautiful labyrinth that you don’t mind being lost in, because it’s full of life, with the most stylish Parisians whizzing in and out of the gorgeous cobblestone streets, lingering at patisseries, cafés, brasseries, and stylish boutiques. My favorite stops include the Breizh Café which serves the most delicious buckwheat crepes in a relaxed atmosphere that is perfect for families, and the Diptyque shop that houses the most wonderfully scented candles. Somehow in the labyrinth, you always end up finding yourself in the beautiful Place des Vosges, one of Europe's first urban squares and the previous site of the Palais des Tournelles, home to King Henri II and Queen Catherine de Medici. The park can be admired from one of the surrounding traditional cafes, or pick up some baguette and cheese nearby and sit in the park for a picnic. If you’ve already seen it all in Le Marias, seek out the quirky museum in the beautiful 17th-century Hôtel de Guénégaud. A perfect stop for children, the museum features somewhat bizarre but always intriguing and fun hunting and animal themed exhibits surrounded by stunning Art Nouveau decor.
By Paul James