In Midnight in Paris, Rachel McAdams’ amusing but unlikeable character gripes about seeing too many “charming boulevards” and “bistros” during her short stay in the City of Light.

Which, funnily enough, are two of my favorite things about Paris.

I never stroll as much as I do in Paris. Instead of my usual power-walk, I like to move a little slower and drink it all in. No matter the time of day, you’ll see people huddled around tiny cafe tables in those iconic blue and white—or red and white—wicker and rattan chairs that I always want to bring home with me.

With every sip of citron presse, the Parisian equivalent of lemonade, I heard a lot of conversations I didn’t understand + the universal sound of laughter. I noticed a lot less scrolling on Smartphones and more people actually (gasp!) talking to each other. A handful of people brought a book and seemed content to sit and read, which made me feel like I fit right in.

Of course, when the server shows up with dreamy, cheesy Croque Monsieur bliss and the crispiest fries you’ve had in ages, it’s easy to forget that Instagram exists. All you want to do is savor every incredible bite—just one of the many joys of cafe culture.

It’s no wonder that Hemingway and all his pals loved writing in Paris so much. It has the perfect mix of  people-watching, tasteful ambience, and mouthwatering food + drink to keep all your senses engaged as you put pen to paper. Or fingers to keyboard.