I hadn’t visited Paris since my late twenties and had been jonesing to return for years. Every-time I brought it up to my husband something always more important came up. So when the opportunity presented itself, that my international business trip with TuneGo ended in London, I knew that this girl was going straight to Paris after completing our world tour. Only a one hour flight from London and I could see my dream taking shape with me in Paris, by myself, doing what I want to do and not on anyone else’s agenda! Who-hoo, It’s on! Here’s what I did with my 3 days!
Honestly, it doesn’t get more magical than Paris, no matter what time of year. And since I’ve returned home, I’ve vowed that my whole family will spend this upcoming summer there. My intention is to make Paris our base camp as we travel around Europe.
Life in Paris is just different! It’s a combination of so many things, some obvious, like the architecture, both old and new, but there are many other intangible, but powerful factors at play. The human presence is sensational, multicultural people from all around the world, influenced by world events, the culinary experience is like no other, the cafes are the backdrop to meeting, relaxing and learning about people, events, and community. There is no single thing which makes Paris what it is. It just simply could not exist anywhere else, and it has a character which cannot be replicated. What makes Paris special to me personally? A quote from somewhere? “… It’s just… the vibe… of the thing…”
This was taken the day I arrived after my kick-ass 2 week international world tour with TuneGo. Our TuneGo team traveled to Seoul, Korea to Kuala Lumpur, Penang and back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia then to Singapore, France, Nice, Monaco and London and then I traveled to Paris for some much-needed rest and relaxation at this quaint, sexy, very Parisian Hotel Amour in the 9th district of this magical city. Amour hotels are where art and fashion meet!
I literally had no agenda for Paris besides exploring The Louvre on my own time. When I arrived, the first thing I did was drink a few glasses of Champagne upon check into Hotel Amour.
Once I was checked into my room, I instantly fell fast asleep for hours. This sleep was like no other…why is it so much better sleeping in a hotel than home…it’s dark, the beds are awesome, the pillows are luscious, and I just sleep better at a hotel!
I woke up from my deep sleep confused on; where, what and why…I was, in the world! But once I got my baring, I felt completely at home in my very Parisian room. The hotel had a sense of authenticity, warmth and sex appeal. Hotel Amour is a place that only an “in the know” person could refer you to…which is exactly how I learned of my new home in Paris. This boutique hotel is impossibly chic, it’s nestled in the best shopping area of the city, the restaurant is amazing, and the people watching is the best. It’s the perfect authentic Parisian hotel if you’re looking for the real deal without overspending.
What to see: Paris has a little bit of everything to offer and of course, what you spend your time seeing and doing depends on your interests. If it’s your first time visiting the city spend some time sight seeing and wandering the museums. I recommend the following:
Churches– Sacre Couer & Notre Dame
Museums– The Louvre, D’orsay
Sites– The Eiffel Tower, Moulin Rouge, the Catacombs, Shakespeare & Company Bookstore & Place du Tertre
Day 1 in Paris
My first outing was meeting my girlfriends from LA for a drink at Hippopotamus somewhere in the city. I love how easy it was to get around Paris. Uber in Paris was easier and faster than anywhere else I’ve ever been. It’s great as long as you don’t run out of battery on your phone which I almost did many times. So take my advice and get an external battery for traveling. Thank goodness that most cafes that I ate at were able to charge my phone. Take note, especially when traveling alone, definitely have an external battery. My girlfriends came to my hotel the next day, and we had lunch and cocktails at my hotel until it was time for them to leave for the airport on their way back home to Los Angeles.
Now it was time to do me, by myself… My first major destination was the Eiffel Tower. My girls suggested that I book a boat ride down the Seine River early evening to see the Eiffel Tower lite up at night, it was just perfect. Well.. it’s not less touristic but it is actually a really nice thing to do. Apart from allowing you to lean back and relax, you get a unique view on the city that is definitely worth it from a boaters view inside the canals. I got lucky and sat beside two english girls and one had been to Paris so many times she knew everything about the buildings as well as the history. It was perfect weather and a perfect night to cruise down the Seine River.
Dinner and Evening
Assuming that you’re most likely quite tired after traveling to and soaking up first impressions of Paris, it’s best to have dinner in proximity to your hotel. And I did just that at the hottest spot in town which was my hotel restaurant. I got back to my hotel, ordered the perfect roasted chicken, potatoes and salad with a bottle of red wine. A perfect dinner for a hungry girl!
Later in the evening, I ran into my neighbor from across the hall whom I had met when I was checking in. Super cool girl from Santa Barbara, California in Paris with her boyfriend…they had a spat, and she was chilling, drinking a bottle of Rose all alone so I joined her in drinking and we sat, chatted and talked about relationships until 2 am. This is what happens in Paris; you meet people, drink wine and chat about life. I wish I had a camera on some of the conversations, lol…
Day 2 in Paris
You best start your day traditionally: have a coffee and a croissant (or baguette with jam and butter) at a nearby café. I did just that, the cafés are everything in Paris.
Morning option 1: visit Musée du Louvre
Once you’re ready to start the day, head over to the Louvre. To avoid the queues, get a skip the line ticket in advance and head straight to the exhibitions. Frankly, you could probably spend your entire 3 days of your Paris vacation in the Louvre and see not even half of it.. this being said, I strongly recommend getting the audio guide. Besides loads of information about many exhibits, the best feature is the tailored tours. I visited the Louvre twice in one day. I arrived at the Louvre at 11 am and wandered through all by myself until around 2:30 pm then I took a lunch, wine and nap break.
Lunch near the Louvre
After spending the morning walking through the Louvre and enjoying important art, it’s good to take a much-needed break and have lunch nearby. The Louvre is very centrally located in a bustling and rather expensive area of Paris. If you’re not on a shoestring budget, you’ll find a restaurant easily around to have lunch and to rest a little. I ate at this super cute bistro right across from Musee du Louvre called The Welcome Cafe on Rue de Rivouli. Nothing too fancy, easy access, service was great, and my pizza and wine were perfect. And yes, I ate the whole pizza!
I returned to the Louvre at 6:30 for a guided tour. I strongly suggest the guided tour; you learn so much more about the history of the Louvre, which directions to see the most important pieces and an in-depth history. It was exactly what is needed for details of the masterpieces.
The Mona Lisa – by Leonardo Da Vinci-1517
Saint Jean Baptiste-by Leonardo Da Vinci
Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres-1867
Musée du Louvre opening hours
Monday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Tuesday: Closed. Wednesday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m. Thursday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Friday: 9 a.m.–9:45 p.m. Saturday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sunday: 9 a.m.–6 p.m.
Rooms begin closing at 5:30 p.m., and at 9:30 p.m. on night openings.
Morning option 2: visit The Eiffel Tower
If you prefer to enjoy a view rather than art, head over to the Eiffel Tower instead. Just keep in mind that the view will be very limited – to say at least – if the weather is not great. To avoid waiting time and an unnecessary waste of time, I recommend getting a skip the line ticket in advance to get up straight to the top without queuing for hours. The Eiffel Tower is open all year! Except it’s closed on July, 14th and 15th 2018.
Opening times of the Eiffel Tower:
21 June – 2 September by Elevator 9:00 – 0:45 (last entry midnight 11pm for the top) Stairs 9:00-0:45 (last entry midnight )
Rest of Year-9:30-23:45 by Elevator (last entry 11pm 10:30 for the top) Stairs 9:30-18:30 (last entry 6pm).
Dinner Day 2
After literally closing down the Louvre and all the walking around it was time for dinner and wine. I headed to the very famous Café de la Paix which is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of the Boulevard des Cappuccinos with the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris.
The Café de la Paix is a restaurant bar exuding Second Empire elegance and proudly displaying its listed frescoes and sumptuous guilding. Spirited gastronomy is the hallmark of this outstanding venue, which also serves a selection of fast fare all day long in the indoor terrace. When fair weather returns, it unfolds its renowned summer terrace facing the flamboyant Opéra-Garnier.
As it happened, I got the last open table on the restaurant terrace which looked directly at the Opera house. And while in Paris due as Parisians. I had the waiter order my food. What should I eat that you’re famous for, I asked?
Oh yeah, Croque-Monsieur ou Madame Jambon blanc et crème de gruyère toasted ham and cheese, with or without egg, perfect french fries and a spinach salad all washed with Whispering Angel ROSÉS. I chatted with two women, one from Germany and the other from NYC then called an Uber and headed back to my hotel full and satisfied. The perfect day ended with the perfect meal!
Day 3 in Paris
I intended to visit L’Avenue de Champagne the famous street located in Épernay, the ‘Capital of champagne,’ in the Grand Est Région of France but it’s 40 minutes outside of Paris by train, and I decided that I shouldn’t venture that far by myself, so instead I decided to get lost shopping in Paris. This was the perfect day for wandering the streets of Paris.
After doing some shopping on Rue des Francs Bourgeois, The main thoroughfare of the Marais district, the Rue des Francs Bourgeois is one of the trendiest shopping spots in the French. I asked one of the sales ladies where should I eat that was close and yummy, and she directed me to Chez Camille restaurant. It was hot, sunny and I sat at an outside table enjoying the stunning views on one of the busiest streets of the Marais between the Place des Vosges and Archives. Open all day of the week, Camille is the perfect place for a refreshing stop whenever you like.
Lunch Day 3
A typical Parisian brasserie, Camille offers authentic and traditional French cuisine. As usual, I had what the waiter suggest which was the delicious Pate de Foie Gras to start.
Then he brought me fresh, tasty and plump garlic Sea Scallops with garlic spinach and I kept to my tradition of ice cold Whispering Angel ROSÉS. Perfection!
Dinner Day 3
For my last evening in Paris, I came back to the neighborhood of Hotel Amour and did a little shopping, but at this point, I needed to get ready to depart back to Los Angeles at the crack of dawn. I had initially decided to stay in my room and order food and wine sitting on my lovely balcony, but the gentlemen that worked the front desk invited me down to the restaurant to hang out and have dinner and cocktails. And I did just that!
“Adieu Paris jusqu’à la prochaine fois”
“Good bye Paris until next time”