Paris, that magical place that makes people’s eyes sparkle. Whether they’ve traveled there or not, the world swoons over Paris. Maybe its love, maybe its good bread and cheese, or maybe its just that glittering tower that draws travelers in and keeps them coming back for more. With all of its fascinating architecture, glittering lights, and bustling cafes, the city of Paris is dreamy and delicious and not to be missed.
I fell in love with Paris when I fell in love. My husband, Paul, the artist behind all of the photos on this blog, hid a diamond ring in his camera bag and whisked me off to Europe to get down on one knee beneath the twinkling Eiffel Tower. It was a grand gesture of romance, a girl’s dream come true, and an excellent way to introduce me to the other great love in Paul’s life-Paris. He took me in April. April in Paris is amazing.
A few years later, we returned to Paris, this time to live there for a short period of time. We spent the entire month of July 2012 living in an apartment in Les Halles, soaking up life in the city, eating croque monsieurs in the parks, toasting to the good life at some of our favorite wine bars, and strolling along the river. It was perfect.
This summer we returned to our favorite city by the Seine for a week. We rented an apartment in Saint Germain des Pres and visited all of our favorite places to eat, drink, and relax. As the Tour de France did its victory lap around the city, we stood just inches from the rush of bicyclists as they came storming past the Louvre. It was great to be back.
There is so much to see in Paris, so much to do, so little time to explore it all. Paul and I certainly do not consider ourselves experts on the subject, but we certainly can provide a plethora of suggestions to help other travelers out there who want to share in some of our favorite discoveries. So read on for numerous suggestions on how we best enjoy Paris and make sure to check back here for updates. There is always another trip to Paris in our future plans.
Where to Stay
We recommend renting an apartment in Paris as it is often more affordable than a hotel. It is also more comforting to come back to an apartment, open the windows, put your feet up in the living room, and snack on wine and cheese from the kitchen. In comparison to a hotel, you would have to do all of this from your bed, as European hotel rooms are much smaller than typical American hotel rooms.
We always rent our apartments from RothRay Apartments (http://www.johnparis.org/rothray/) and we’ve been more than pleased with Ray’s services. So far we’ve rented two different apartments, both of which were clean, fully furnished, and beautifully decorated. Complete with high-speed Internet, washing machine, clean linens, and a welcome bottle of champagne, you won’t be disappointed with your accommodations. Plus, Ray is delightful. He meets you at the door, gives you a quick tour of your temporary Parisian home, and is available by phone or email if you have any questions or problems.
If you’d like to get up close and personal with the apartments we’ve stayed at, click on the following links. Our first apartment in Les Halles (#4b) can be found here: (Scroll down to #4b) http://www.johnparis.org/rothray/marais-montorgeuil-and-pompidou-areas/
Our most recent apartment in St. Germain-des-Pres can be found here: http://www.johnparis.org/rothray/st-germain-des-pres/
If you feel an apartment is just not what you are looking for and want the added luxuries of staying in a hotel, we recommend staying at one of the three hotels from the Nos Maisons Parisiennes Groupe Familial (http://www.hotel-paris-rive-gauche.com/en/). All three hotels are family owned and managed, one by the mother, one by the father, and one by the daughter. We’ve stayed at two-Londres Eiffel and Signature St. Germain-des-Pres. The Londres Eiffel is located just about a block away from the Eiffel Tower, while the Signature St. Germain-des-Pres is located about a block from the fashionable and trendy Boulevard St. Germain. If you are lucky, from both locations, it is possible to score a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes you get it without even asking. The rooms are quaint, but beautiful and clean, and some have a small balcony, perfect for the evening hours when the Parisian air is intoxicating.
Next up: Our Guide to Paris-Where to Eat
© Paul and Michelle Shappirio and Bringing Down the White Picket Fence, 2007-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Paul and Michelle Shappirio and Bringing Down the White Picket Fence with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.