Une journée inoubliable à Paris

Paris is undoubtably one of our favorite cities in Europe, let alone the world. Whether you are a regular or it is your first time visiting, here are some tips and advice:

The question that usually comes after we book your fabulous business or first class flight, is where to stay?  The general vote went to the Westin Vendome  http://www.thewestinparis.com/, an outstanding and ravishing Paris institution, very much in style of the city’s extravagant decor. Not only is it situated in the first arrondissement (district), but it is also right in the middle of Paris’s culture, nightlife, shopping and gastronomy.

 Now that you found your place to stay, let us guide you on what to do.

 Paris in the summer (our favorite season to visit) can get pretty warm. So start your day bright and early with a refreshing walk shaded by the beautiful trees of the Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) http://www.louvre.fr/en/departments/tuileries-and-carrousel-gardens, which will take you  (across the street) from the hotel  to the Louvre. 

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Tuileries Garden

Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden)

The Louvre will get very busy at times. In fact, most people come all the way from the other side of the world just to see the Mona Lisa, Monet’s Waterlilies, Caravaggio, DaVinci, Titian paintings and sculptures from the Baroque and Hellenistic eras, so getting to the Louvre early will help you beat the queues to see one of these majestic pieces of works up close http://www.louvre.fr/en/hours-admission.

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Leonard DaVinci Madonna of the Rocks, ca.1483 Oil on wood – transferred to canvas.

Raphael Baldassare Castiglione

Raphael, Baldassare Castiglione ca. 1514 Oil on Canvas. An example of High Renaissance portraiture.

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Caravaggio, The Fortune Teller ca. 1589-1590 Oil on canvas. The feather in the hat was restored in the 17th century due to minor damages in the painting.

What would a trip to the Louvre be without seeing the Mona Lisa? We managed to get a small photo of her amongst the sea of people who crowded around her trying to accomplish the same thing.

Feeling a bit peckish after soaking up all that culture? Head to Angelina, Paris’ iconic “chocolaterie” http://www.angelina-paris.fr/en/ for a quick bite to eat or a touch of sweetness. The delicacies in the pictures will speak louder than words can express!

Angelina Chocolates

Angelina Chocolates

Angelina Restaurant and chocolates

Angelina Restaurant and chocolates

After Angelina’s, head to the Grand Palais http://www.grandpalais.fr/, the infrastructure alone will leave you speechless with their groundbreaking and innovative contemporary art shows. We were lucky enough to see notorious French designer Jean Paul Gaultier’s show, which was amazing!

The Grand Palais

The Grand Palais

Next stop, a bit of mid afternoon retail therapy? Head to the capital of fashion’s staple locations: the Champs Elysee, which also happens to be around the corner from the Grand Palais. There you will be able to browse through fine fabrics, handbags and sparkly jewels at famous French designer’s headquarters such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier or Dior. 

**This is the perfect time to purchase any bucket list items from your favorite luxury brands, as the VAT allows for an additional discount, saving you at least several hundreds of dollars. 

The Chanel store on Rue de Cambon

The Chanel store on Rue de Cambon

Within walking distance, is the famous Arc de Triomphe (we definitely recommend going inside to check out their museum and a birds-eye view of ‘new and old’ Paris roof top gardens) http://www.arcdetriompheparis.com/.

Inside exhibit that chronicles the uniforms of the French Military.

Inside exhibit that chronicles the uniforms of the French Military.

 

 

Views from the top!

Views from the top!

Hop on a five minute taxi ride (or Uber, this is 2016 honey!) to the Notre Dame Cathedral where you will be able to participate in their diverse and rich program, ranging from evening exhibits to outside performances http://www.notredamecathedralparis.com/.

Notre Dame Cathedral. Built from 1163- 1345. Located on the Paris Island, Ile de la Cite

Notre Dame Cathedral. Built from 1163- 1345. Located on the Paris Island Ile de la Cite

 

What was that? We know, you must be starving by now after all these discoveries. Have no fear! Across the street from the cathedral is a lively street where you will find a variety of cuisines from around the world, from French crepes to Greek Gyro’s. The street closes at midnight so make sure you get there before hand. 

Just in time for sunset… You are about a ten minutes walk to the Lock Bridge. A touching and often replicated Parisian landmark, it is there you will see heart-felt messages and hang your own lock in memory of your trip. If you have time, take a ride along the Seine river to sit back as you coast, relax and enjoy the peaceful views surrounding the river banks. 

Lock Bridge along the Seine river

Lock Bridge along the Seine river

Last stop of the day, you’ve guessed right… the breathtaking Tour Eiffel! Admire the twinkling structure from the bottom, but don’t hesitate to see Paris from above by taking the elevator all the way up to the top. There is also a restaurant on the second floor, but you must book your reservations well in advance in order to eat.  The Eiffel Tower is truly a magical way to end the day that will leave you dreaming of stars, ready for your next day in this decadent capital.

Eiffel Tower built in 1889 was a symbol of the Industrial Revolution and new modern aesthetic. Made of Iron and featured at the Paris Exposition.

Eiffel Tower built in 1889 was a symbol of the Industrial Revolution and new modern aesthetic. Made of Iron and featured at the Paris Exposition.

 

View from the top of the Eiffel Tour

View from the top of the Eiffel Tour

The Eiffel Tower lights up at night and it is quite spectacular

The Eiffel Tower lit up at night

Can you do all of this in a day? Probably, but we recommend two, to avoid the pressure of time constraints. Au Revoir! Next stop… Rome.