Paris in springtime

Paris has not disappointed; it is truly a city for romantics 

It’s been a whirlwind three-day exploration, which has not allowed for an in-depth view of all this city must offer, but has given me a wonderful sense of the 18 arrondissements that make up the inner core of Paris.

My arrival into Charles De Gaulle airport was a definite eye opener. 

Note to self: never book tight connections in this airport. 

The Customs Hall was an unorganized melee of confusion and the subsequent luggage retrieval was an archaic straight-line conveyor belt which had people standing four deep trying to catch a glimpse of their bags.

 Thankfully, it’s been all golden since.

My hotel, the Ibis Bastille Opera is in the 11th arrondissement, a lively, trendy area full of great shopping, eclectic restaurants and a huge assortment of clubs ranging from live jazz to EDM. 

If you are a walker, Paris is an easy city to navigate. The arrondissements blend seamlessly, but each displays its own special ambiance.

La Marais — small winding alleyways full of sidewalk cafes, street art and unique boutique shops. Visit the House of Chanel and browse in the local galleries.

The Latin Quartier — pays tribute to its Roman history and architecture with the Place du Pantheon. The historical centre of the beginnings of Paris, this district is also home to St Germain and its exquisite dining options. According to our local guide, this area truly offers the best in fine dining.

Champs Elysees — high-end shopping, five-star Michelin restaurants, deluxe hotels. Exotics cars speed along the boulevard between the Arc de Triomphe and La Place du Concorde. The place to catch a glimpse of the rich or famous.

Louvre/Opera — high density traffic area. Close to all the major sites and attractions but seriously congested with both walking and vehicle traffic. Home to most of the large chain hotels such as the Westin.  

There are many different options as far as touring the city goes. The Hop on Hop off bus, Paris Visite tours, but I prefer small group tours. 

I can highly endorse Urban Adventures as an excellent source for informative and immersive options. They are a division of Intrepid Travel and offer day tours in cities all over the world. The local guides give both historical as well as insightful views of specific areas of the city. 

I did the Bohemian in Paris tour. 

We had a group of 11 and spent four hours wandering through the Latin Quartier learning the legacy of Hausman, sampling specialty pastries, sharing plates of charcuterie and ending with a rousing game of petanque (bocce) with some of the locals. 

It was truly a memorable experience.

Paris is for those of us looking to embrace life to the fullest: great wine, food, art, architecture. 

It has beautiful parklands, glamorous shopping, endless visual candy. Sit along the banks of the River Seine with a bottle of your favourite wine, a baguette and some cheese and live like a Parisienne for a day or two. 

Bring your favourite person and fall in love all over again in the City of Lights.


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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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