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Courtney Traub is a journalist, editor, and academic who divides her time between Paris and the UK, where she is pursuing a PhD in English at the University of Oxford. She runs the popular About.com Paris Travel site, and is co-author of the 2012 Michelin Green Guide to Paris and Northern France.
Short quiz: where in Paris can you admire the sun casting a warm glow on the opulent details of a 17th-century palace, browse quaint little boutiques, roam through elegant shopping arcades, and enjoy a glass of wine or gastronomic meal at a restaurant tucked away from the street? Just a block north of the Louvre Museum and its throngs of tourists lies an area that few visitors to Paris ever see: the Palais Royal and its quiet, arrestingly charming corners. Spend an afternoon exploring the area, and you’ll discover why locals prize it—and would prefer to keep it secret.