Been there, done that. This is my fourth visit to the City of Light, and I am still counting…. I can never get enough of the Eiffel Tower, Montmarte, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Champs Elysees, Notre-Dame, River Seine and so on…
It was an unexpected trip to France this June, a combination of work-related purpose and leisure in Paris, Le Mans and Monaco. I’ve had the most amazing 3 days in Paris after an interesting 9 days of operational execution (kind of an eye-opener!).
Turning my experience into wisdom…
Paris is such a beautiful place and travelling across this 19th-century cityscape for meetings after meetings and managing crisis was unreal. Let’s forget about the unpleasant surprises and focus on positive memories ~
- Walking back and forth between wide boulevards (starting my day at 630am with a beautiful view ~ Place Vendome)
- Having many cups of coffee at the Ritz Paris and working closely with the best team (Dominique, Martha, Cheng Cheng and Thomas)
- Day trip to Le Mans by train from Montparnasse, fun and exclusive access to the Panoramic Lounge, Pit and Paddock of 24 hours du Le Mans (best part of this trip, meeting Stephanie who shares the exact same work ethics, personal and professional goals as me)
- Memorable visit to Monaco (after 10 years!), meeting with Christine who looked after me throughout, exclusive access to Monaco Yacht Club, unforgettable Classic Cars experience between Nice and Monaco (thank you Fabian and team!)
- Most significantly, starting a new friendship with Jhen, Stephanie and Christine
Enjoy the energy of that moment… (back in Paris)
Airbnb experience changes the way I explore the city
This is my 3rd airbnb experience after Budapest and Greek island ~ I always look out for excellent location, cleanliness, clear communication and cozy interior. Gilles’ apartment ticked all boxes – 3 mins walking distance to metro, convenience store and cafes (and only 9 mins walking distance to Arc de Triomphe!), 1 bedroom modern, well equipped studio apartment with a touch of Parisian architecture, traditional chimney!.
Although WiFi didn’t work, it wasn’t really a major concern for me since I spend most of my time outside. Overall, soothing ambience as I unwind at the end of the day. Thank you, Gilles, (and thanks again for leaving a positive user comment).
Riding the Paris underground subway (and repeat)..
Paris Metro – the most convenient way to get around the city and suburbs. There is always a station in between 5- 8 minutes’ walking distance (16 lines, 300+ stations). The close proximity to top attractions, districts and monuments from each station and the only transportation I’ve used throughout my last 3 days in the city with a “carnet” of T+ ticket.
Beyond Paris most visited attractions…
Paris can be overwhelming with tourists (always, in fact!), I was lucky enough to enjoy the city like a local on my own and visiting unique places with a great companion (Merci, Monsieur Seb).
Discover the Père Lachaise Cemetery
Before I begin this journey, I wanted to visit the Père Lachaise cemetery after hearing the stories of Oscar Wilde during a trip in Ireland back in May. It took several hours wandering the pathways but definitely worth a visit. It was such a peaceful walk across the green paths, beautiful sculpture, graves and mausoleums. Not a bitter-sweet moment, but an enchanting place of memorial honoring historian, journalists, artists, writers, musicians…and the list goes on.
The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV’s confessor, Father François d’Aix de La Chaise – the burial places of famous Frédéric Chopin, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Victor Noir and Oscar Wilde…
Explore Le Marais neighbourhood
Not once but twice, located near Hotel de Ville metro station. Here in Le Marais, I get to enjoy the finest architecture, nice bars, hip and eccentric crowd, amazing fashion boutiques, ice cream and lots of ice creams stall during the summer! Walking down the streets in Le Marais, I find various communities ~ including Jewish and LGBT.
I love walking in Le Marais because it is trendy, and if you pay attention you would discover a lot of street art in the neighbourhood.
Relax at the Bois de Boulogne in western Paris
Paris is known for its many charming parks, Bois de Boulogne, one of Paris’ biggest parks, a historical place where Parisians enjoy a relaxing weekend. Most of the parks are easily accessible via public transport. This park covers an area of 845 hectares, which is about two and a half times the area of Central Park in New York! A lovey stroll after a big brunch!
Visit world’s famous exhibition at the Centre Pompidou
Centre Pompidou boasts the largest collection of modern and contemporary art. I highly recommend The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk (1918 – 1922). Each exhibition takes at least 2 hours, what’s more about this venue, the spectacular views from the top.
Experience one of the most beloved works in the classical music repertoire
There are many classical concerts in Paris during the summer, played in beautiful venues. Classical concerts are particularly famous in June, July and August with performances of popular composers like Vivaldi, Bach and Mozart. I chose Vivaldi’s Four Seasons with Ave Maria and Pachelbel’s Canon (my favourite!). What a lovely evening at Church of St-Paul-St-Louis, seventeenth-century church situated in the Marais neighborhood of Paris. Merci!
Always expect the unexpected