Before you go:
01. Learn the basics. A well-placed, ‘bonjour’, ‘s’il vous plait’, and ‘merci’ goes a long way.
02. Leave the Lulu at home. Paris is a big city–people will not be impressed by your take on “athleisure”.
03. Don’t forget to visit the Eiffel Tower. You are guaranteed to come back with a completely un-original photo from the top, but don’t take yourself too seriously to care.
“Cities are like works of art,” the man at the bar swilled his Chopin-and-tonic. “New restaurants bloom in place of old neighborhoods like passing installations. To know a city best, you must assume you’ve seen nothing at all.”
Paris: “The City of Light”. The City of Love. Paris, a little cliche.
So, you’ve visited the Louvre.
You taxied by the Arc de Triomphe.
You took a selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower. You instagrammed a crepe.
You are thoroughly impressed by the depths of your own cultural un-sophistication, merci beaucoup!
The truth is, the Louvre to Paris is Times Square to New York. You have to visit to say you did, but my money’s on the fact that it’s not the highlight of your trip.
So how to do Paris without being the unimaginative, uninspired, wide-eyed American tourist you’re terrified you may become?
“Bonjour, thanks for your booking!” The cheery tone of the email set high expectations for our first Parisian scooter adventure. “Can I ask, can either of you drive a 125cc, or have a motorbike license?”
We couldn’t, and neither of us had one, but that was beside the point.
Scooter delivered, helmets buckled, bags strapped across our chests. Liberté! Egalité! Fraternité!
Tobacco flavored the air. We buzzed down tiny cobbled roads where the smell of freshly baked bread wafted rich as melted butter between bakeshops and fishmongers, couturiers and flower shoppes, knick-knack panderers and tourists. The tinkle of shops, Ouvert. Horns punctuated the cold-wet morning. We stopped at vintage stores in Pigalle, beside street artists in Montmartre, and drank bottles of wines watching passersby walk the pavement.
Inspired by the camaraderie we felt with fellow scooter drivers, feeling tres Parisien, and truthfully a little out of our league, we took a sharp turn and hit the road before either one of us could eek out a mierde! Reality bites.
We’d come to The City of Light searching for new places, people, adventures, and love. We found tiki bars, French DJs, plenty of cheese, and the cold taste of historic, cobbled, streets.
So, Paris? Why not? Contact your travel advisor to get started booking your next adventure.
Palais de Tokyo
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116
10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Rue de Galliera, 75016
Where to Stay:
Hotel Saint Germain des Pres
36 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France
9 rue Frochot
25 Avenue Montaigne, 75008 Paris, France
Departure Lounge Guests Receive:
Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
● Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
● 85 EUR Spa Services credit to be utilized during stay (not combinable, no cash value if not redeemed in full)
● Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
(Departure Lounge has more than 20 fantastic hotels in Paris that provide its travel clients with special upgrades and perks. Contact [email protected] to speak with a travel advisor about options.)
Where to Eat:
4 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris, France
28 Rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France
the bar hôtel costes
239-, 241 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris, France
15 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris, France
54 Rue Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, 75009
Article by Wanderer Leslie Canter.