Shakespeare & Company, Paris

4.5
#39 of 1,572 in Things to do in Paris
A haven for bibliophiles, Shakespeare & Company presents an English-language collection of eclectic secondhand books, as well as Sunday tea, literary readings, and writers' meetings. Sylvia Beach Whitman, the original owner's daughter, now runs the bookshop her father, George, started as "Le Mistral" in 1951. He later renamed the store to honor the original shop owned by Sylvia Beach from 1919 to 1940. The shop became (and still is) a haven for an unconventional literary culture, and was frequented by Beat writers, including Allen Ginsberg. Filled from floor to ceiling with titles, each small room has walls peppered with quotes and postcards. Upstairs, you'll find a writer's area with a typewriter, a labyrinth of rooms, and a piano. For the price of your life story written on a sheet of paper, you can sleep upstairs in one of the 13 beds run by the bookshop, called "Hotel Tumbleweed." Using our online itinerary creator, Paris attractions like Shakespeare & Company can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
3,256 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 16, 2017
    Very unusual bookshop with hundreds of books of every kind spread over a few floors that is an old and quirky building quite fascinating. Very near The Notre Dam Cathedral. A must for book lovers  more »
  • August 16, 2017
    I love the story behind this cute little historic book store. It's definitely worth the visit in Paris. They have basically every book you can imagine.  more »
  • August 15, 2017
    Frist of all everything is in English. Second a lot people who work here are the English speaking World. Last the people who work here are very nice.  more »
Google
  • August 16, 2017
    Iconic bookstore/coffee shop in the heart of Saint Michel; I come here occasionally, and especially if I'm looking for works by new/emerging writers. The coffee shop next door is as cute as they get, and the cappuccinos are well-made. That being said, the prices are pretty steep (€6 for a coconut latte), and sometimes their food selection looks a little tired. The staff is generally super friendly, however, and they all speak English exceptionally well. Since the outdoor seating is ample and the overall ambience (with a fantastic view of Notre Dame) is enjoyable, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. I'd recommend this as a must-see on your next Paris visit!
  • September 1, 2017
    Slightly disappointed that the used section is so small, because it means that what should be a quirky esoteric bookstore is in fact about as interesting (in terms of stock) as your local Waterstones. They have a decent French section, but bear in mind that it is all in English. Expect to pay French prices for books: over £20 for a paperback is unfortunately not that bad a deal. The café is nice, with a little clean toilet to the left of the counter.
  • August 27, 2017
    This place is an institution. As an English speaker in France I stop here ever time I am in Paris. It is always packed and for good reason. Floor to ceiling books in a cozy little shop.
  • June 1, 2017
    It was a very comforting and homely experience to hear and have a conversation in English. The staff are friendly and are glad to help you when needed. I really enjoyed the little reading nook in the second floor beside the Poetry section. The selection of books is wide and it can get quite confusing, but overall, it was like stepping into a whole other world right in the middle of Paris. I ended up going here twice during our 1-month stay.
  • August 30, 2017
    Great bookstore with a very nice ambience. Floor to ceiling shelves and great english book options! The shopkeeper is very friendly. A must to visit place for book lovers

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