Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Paris With Love

Oh la la, so I'm back from my vacation in Paris and it was like Valentine's for a week! No wonder everyone was all smiles because what is there not to love about picnicking under the Eiffel Tower with flutes of champagne and fresh baguette, a moonlight cruise down the River Seine or a romantic stroll through Jardin du Luxembourg?

Last week, our friend and guest-blogger Sandy Braz shared with us her experience in 24 hours in Paris and this week, we revisit the City of Lights through my eyes (and lens).

Before I left, my biggest worry had nothing to do with clothes - despite all that I've heard about the sidewalks of Paris being like fashion runways. What I was more concerned about was how to pack all the activities into one week. I wanted to see it all! Needless to say, you can get overwhelmed even before you get there so I recommend checking out the websites in advance and figuring out what tickles your fancy. And don't feel obligated to be an art snob! You can certainly appreciate something without having to linger around it for hours. I spent a total of 30 mins in the Louvre - basically walking straight to the Monna Lisa and then walking back out.

So if you are thinking of a getaway to Paris, I've done the ground work and grouped the main museums and attractions together by walkable distance and created a simple day-to-day itinerary. Hopefully this will make your stay that much more organized and enjoyable!

Now leave those stilettos at home and don't forget to pick up the Paris Museum Pass - entrance fees are around $8-10 but that can add up quick and with the pass you can walk straight to the front and avoid lineups.

Day 1: Musée du Louvre and Musée de l'Orangerie
Day 2: Musée d'Orsay, Napoleon's Tomb and Musée de l'Armée
Day 3: Panthéon, Church of Saint-Séverin, Notre Dame Cathedral, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
Day 4: Arc de Triomphe, Galeries Lafayette and Champs-Élysées
Day 5: Jardin du Luxembourg and Les Catacombes
Day 6: Eiffel Tower and River Seine cruise
Day 7: Take a day trip to Versailles

Where to Eat?
Parisian food is known throughout the world for its unparalleled quality and taste so basically when you are on vacation here, so is your diet.

The Splurge:

Restaurant Pierre Gagnaire specializes in modern French cuisine and has garnered three Michelin stars! Chef Pierre is known for his artistic culinary style and innovative concoctions that is a feast for the eyes and taste buds.

If you like surprises, you'll love L’Astrance! One of The S. Pellegrino World's Beat Restaurants, Chef Pascal Barbot conjures up a delectable meal for his guests according to their preferences. The food is modern French with international influences.

The Treat:

Get ready to be dazzled by Ladurée. Everything is sweet and pretty here! World famous for their double-decker macarons (they sell fifteen thousand a day), this place is seriously like a slice of heaven on earth!

The Budget:

Chez Omar is the place to go if you had enough ham and cheese and looking for something lighter and healthier. Get in line for their famous couscous and vegetarian dishes. Yes, they have all sorts of meat too to delight the carnivore and they generously offer seconds!

Place Saint-Michel is a public square located between the fifth and sixth arrondissements. It's like the Paris version of the West Village in New York City where you'll find a cluster of restaurants serving prix-fix menus between $15-25, little cafes, bars and souvenir shops.

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