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Earlier this summer the formerly scruffy Place de la République on the border of the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements reopened after an 18-month renovation that attempted to make what had become a noisy, traffic-clogged, blighted urban crossroads into a place where Parisians and tourists would actually want to hang out.
Baptized in honor of the French Republic in 1889, the vast square is now the largest pedestrian square in Paris. What it lacks in cozy Parisian charm it makes up with a fresh look and lots of open space and a shallow “water mirror” for kids to splash around in and anyone to cool their feet in on a hot day.
The centerpiece of the renovation is what the city is billing as a new brand of Parisian café for the 21st century. The indoor outdoor Café Monde et Médias is sleek, modern, energy efficient and wheelchair accessible, with glass walls and an open terrace. Here you can enjoy free wifi, a media space where you can read French and foreign press, and reasonably priced, seasonal organic food and drink, like €1 fair trade coffees, a €3 bar breakfast, lunch or dinner for €15, and between-meal snacks all day.
Open daily from 7 am to 2 in the morning, Café Monde et Médias, is a gathering spot for early birds and night owls alike.
Related: Eurocheapo reviews the best budget-friendly hotels near République.