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The Great Mosque of Paris is a place I always wanted to visit, but somehow never got around to it. Last weekend I finally did and fell immediately in love with the atmosphere of this place. The Mosque, which was built in honour of the North African Muslims who died fighting for France during WWI, is actually one of the largest in France. From the minute you enter you sense the calmness and openness of the space; it actually feels like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, lost in a secret world.

After taking a small tour of the gardens (note that the space where people pray is not accessible to visitors), I headed to the back entrance of the building where the gorgeous café of the Mosque is located: a colourful courtyard terrace with trees, mosaic-topped tables, beautiful tile work and little birds fluttering around. There is a counter full of different types of syrupy, nutty pastries to choose from while waiters carry trays with Morrocan-style glasses of warm mint tea. The flavours are unique and prices unbelievably low (just 2€ for a glass of tea and around 1€ for the sweet treats). If you are daring enough, you can always try shisha for another 6€.

Although this spot used to be off the beaten path and known mostly to locals, it’s being gradually discovered by visitors too. Be prepared that there might be a bit of waiting until you’re seated out in the terrace, but the service is relatively quick, so it shouldn’t be a problem. Other than that, relax and enjoy this magical spot!

Address: Place du Puits de l’Ermite 2bis, 75005 Paris
Telephone: +33 1 45359733

Sandy (@smarksthespots)