Browsing Tag

paris

Europe

Where To Stay In Paris – A Guide To The Best Neighborhoods

Paris is perhaps one of the most iconic, well-recognized cities in the world. This capital has long been renowned for being the city of love, with a side of haute couture. 

A lot of travelers end up disappointed when they venture to Paris, namely because they’ve failed to prepare. The city doesn’t revolve around the Eiffel Tower. Choosing the right neighborhood to explore will make your trip joyous and unforgettable. 

Here are the best neighborhoods to call home while visiting Paris.

Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin is in the 10th Division (arrondissement) in Paris. Historically, this area has been viewed as unfavorable and best avoided by travelers. In recent years, however, the city has put a lot of focus on regentrification, especially in the southern region of the district near Canal Saint-Martin.

This area is the ideal place for a vacation rental in Paris, as you get a taste of the old world balanced with new, trendy restaurants and shops. The canal itself is a scenic tribute to old Paris. Stroll along the shops and rest at one of the waterfront bistros for multicultural food fusions that will have your tastebuds crying for more.

Haut Marais

Marais is a large district in Paris and a favorite among both travelers and locals. This lively hotspot is home to beautiful museums, a vivid nightlife, and food galore. With high-end boutique shops and incredible ancient architecture, it’s a great destination for a group with diverse interests. 

Within Marais is a smaller sub-district known as Haut Marais. This region is a little more relaxed and laid back than the usual fast-paced vibe in overall Marais. Haut Marais is one of the oldest regions in Paris. Roam along the cobblestone streets, peruse original Picassos, and recover from the party lifestyle that makes Marais famous.

Montorgueil

What makes Montorgueil such a great place to stay in Paris is that it’s not an overly touristy area. Even so, it’s conveniently located for exploring the city. It’s a beautiful part of the city, and largely residential, making it a lovely retreat after a day of exploration.

Walk along the white cobblestones of rue Montorgueil, and pick up some traditional French food from the market. Artisan bread, an array of cheeses, fine wines, and fish make this area perfect for those in an Airbnb or villa. When you’re done at the market, The Lourve is only a ten-minute drive away. 

Bastille

Bastille is another neighborhood that is less touristy and more residential. Like Montorgueil, Bastille is still conveniently located for navigating to some of the popular tourist attractions. As it is removed from the main thoroughfare, accommodations and restaurants tend to be more affordable. 

That being said, there’s plenty to keep you busy in Bastille. This neighborhood is home to the Bastille Market, which is the largest outdoor market in the city. As it’s home to a lot of young Parisians, Bastille has a spirited nightlife with lots of trendy bars and clubs.

Ile Saint-Louis

Ile Saint-Louis is a small island in the middle of Paris. It was originally the retreat of King Louis XIII and his closest friends. This beautiful area still conveys the luxury and architecture of the 17th century, boasting incredible mansions.

Ile Saint-Louis is an artistic hotspot. There are often impromptu performances in the street, as well as a quaint theater that always has something to offer. Ile Saint-Louis is conveniently located near other hot Paris neighborhoods, including Marais, as listed above, and the Latin Quarter. This quiet retreat has no night clubs but boasts the best ice crea and coffee in the city.

Paris has so much more to offer than the Eiffel Tower. Stay in one of its lovely neighborhoods away from the iconic structure and experience the best of this incredible city. Bon voyage!

Montmartre

Once home to Paris’s major artists of the past, Montmartre has a hillside village vibe unlike many other arrondissement’s within the city. Art lovers and appreciators will love this northern neighborhood of Paris! Just imagine walking the same cobblestoned paths like Picasso, Manet, Renoir and Van Gogh did, meeting up for coffee in the busy cafes and delving into the art world of the past in its many small galleries, museums and boutiques.

Montmartre is home to many romantic terraces and cafes, so be sure to pause from your explorations through the Butte to savor some delicious treats, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.

Besides being full of charm, Montmartre is home to the wonderful Sacré-Cœur perched atop its steepest hill. This entirely white, Byzantine style basilica is gorgeous both inside and out… and actually houses one of the largest mosaic in the country! Be sure to spend a few minutes enjoying the view of the city below, people watching and soaking in the magic that this romantic little neighborhood of Paris has to offer.


P.S. Be sure to check out our other insider guides to Paris here! (Can you tell we just love The City Of Light?)

Europe

A Seasonal Guide To Paris In The Fall

I have visited Paris countless times. Each season has its charm, but in my opinion, you can’t beat visiting the City of Light in the fall. The Parisians, who deserted the city during the summer months, are back in town full of energy just in time for la rentrée. No need to wait in line for hours among the crowds – summer tourists have gone home, and the holiday travelers have yet to make their appearance. And if you needed another reason to pack your suitcase, fall is the least expensive time of the year to visit Paris. Not only are the flights cheaper, but so are the hotel rates!

But most important of all, fall in Paris is drop-dead gorgeous. You may have missed the bright flowers and green grass in the Parisian parks, but the autumn colors are breathtaking.  The allées in the Palais Royal and Tuileries Garden are spectacular. Place des Vosges is a dream. With the Indian summer that takes over the city, you still have time to pack a bottle of red wine and a cozy blanket for a picnic under the golden canopy.

Drink & Be Merry!

Speaking of wine, there is no better time to appreciate it and the culture surrounding it than in the fall, a.k.a. Harvest season. You don’t need to head to Bordeaux or Bourgogne to experience the excitement of the vendanges. Montmartre, once a country village outside of Paris, has its own vineyard with a dreamy view over the Parisian roofs. Every year, the Fête des Vendanges celebrates the harvest, and you can enjoy a full (and mostly free) program mixing good food, drinks, dancing and art installations. Just outside of Paris, the Festival des Vendanges de Suresnes also celebrates the harvest with a large performing arts festival in the largest European garden-city. If you want to get out of the beaten tracks, this is the one for you.

Fall is also the season of the Beaujolais Nouveau! On the third Thursday in November, the famous “vin primeur” takes over the country. It may not be the best wine you will ever try in your life, but its arrival is celebrated in all the bars and restaurants. You must try it at least once if you are in France around that time!

If the Parisian rain and grey skies are getting to you, stop for a glass of vin chaud. This French take on mulled wine is only available during the colder months leading to the holidays. It is one of my favorite treats after a refreshing walk through the city. Sit down at a terrasse – lots of them are heated or offer blankets for extra warmth– and watch the world go by.

Delicious Seasonal Treats

As a foodie, I love that the French still eat very seasonally. Whether you eat at a restaurant or head to one of the many farmers’ market, you will see the offerings change month after month. In the fall, there is still plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, but the seasonal dishes are all about comfort food and treating yourself.

First, it’s wild mushroom season. The French are obsessed with them, and you will see countless cars parked on the side of the road near the woods while the drivers go mushroom picking – don’t try to follow them, they all have their secret spot that they guard jealously! Try truffles for a special treat. Then, there are chestnuts: they are delicious in a soup or side dish, or simply roasted on the street corner. With hunting season, game is widely available. Fall is the perfect time to drown in melted cheese with fondue or raclette – but stay clear of the debate on whether it originally hails from France or Switzerland! Finally, finish your meal with a crisp apple or a pear straight from one of Normandy’s orchards.

And what about a rich chocolat chaud? I can’t stomach it in the heat and humidity of the summer, but it is divine once the temperatures drop.

Since we are on the subject of chocolate, I must mention the Salon du Chocolat. If you time your trip just right, you can visit this chocolate lover’s paradise and one of the largest events featuring chocolate in the world. It’s the perfect occasion to see, smell, and taste every variation of this delicacy!

How To See Paris In The Fall

In the fall, the days get cooler and shorter, but it has its advantages. As a wife of a photographer, I appreciate that you can actually see a sunrise without having to get up at the crack of dawn. When I get up for sunrise shoots most of the year, I usually have to wait for hours for my first espresso and croissant as the shops don’t open until mid-morning. But in the fall, I can have my gateau and eat it too!

It might not be prime sightseeing weather every day, but it is the perfect occasion to dive into one of Paris countless museums. You might feel guilty spending your time indoors in the spring or summer, but there is no such predicament on a rainy day. Take your time to explore classic must-sees like the Louvre and Orsay, or discover new favorites depending on your interests. And why not do something entirely different, like trying a cooking class?

Fall is also the time when Paris puts on the red carpet for all kinds of festivals, from the Fashion Week in late September to contemporary art at the world-renowned FIAC or the home design paradise of the Foire d’Automne. Art lovers shouldn’t miss the Nuit Blanche, an all-night festival when artists take over the city from dusk until dawn. Stroll among the huge artworks and light installations spread throughout the city and discover Paris through new eyes.

A Word On What To Pack For The Fall

To stay cozy in Paris in the fall, it is all about layering! Fall mornings are cold, but by the early afternoon, the sun comes out and warms up the temperatures, only to cool down again in the evening. Don’t forget comfortable, waterproof shoes and coat (a classic trench will serve you well), well-cut jeans for day-to-night city exploration, and a scarf to stay warm in the early morning and the evening!

For all the reasons for this season, I simply j’adore Paris in the fall and you will too!

Advice Solo Travel Stories

Overcoming Getting Robbed in Paris

On December 1st, 2018, I woke up to a robbed hotel room. My camera, lenses, laptop… everything I require for my livelihood.. gone.

A normal seeming day turned into a whirlwind disaster that felt like the ultimate cherry on top of a very challenging year for me. After dinner I came back to my hotel room, I awoke, glanced around and noticed something I had overlooked before resting. Over $8,000 worth of my gear was missing. As the blood rushed to my head, my blood turned cold. How had this happened? My heart shattered as tears began to fall.

Today, I wanted to share my experience of getting robbed abroad with the hopes to share the lessons I’ve learned from this horrific event.

Needless to say, I’m still so thankful that I was not hurt or violated physically. So many things could have gone even worse than losing material objects… but, it goes without saying that this type of incident was an ultimate violation of security and safety. The courage I once felt from being able to explore Paris on my own was replaced by anxiety and fear. I found myself feeling so afraid walking the streets of Paris when I once was empowered by living in Paris alone. I began to question everything. As an advocate for solo female traveler’s safety, I felt like the weight of the world was on my shoulders. I was devastated. The overwhelming sense of sadness and loss was so hard to deal with.

Even worse, I received absolutely zero help from the hotel (La Pigalle Paris) or the French police. No cameras in the hallway to view, no remorse or apologies. Nothing. I felt completely isolated, violated and betrayed. How could any place not show any concern for their patrons? “Here’s your police report, there’s nothing else we can do at this point, it’s just for insurance purposes”.

The one take away from this lesson that I want to really push for is this – never skimp on travel insurance. It may seem like a frivolous expense to add when planning your adventures… but it can be a literal life-saver when you’re traveling in a foreign country.

A $50 policy can include $500,000 of Medical Evacuation coverage! But it’s important to read the fine print (or talk to someone in the industry) to really understand what you’re purchasing. For example, most comprehensive policies include thousands of dollars for Baggage Loss coverage but it’s important to note there’s almost always a special limitation on cameras and electronics (usually around $500). Do your research. Trust me when I say, it’s worth it.

The wonderful folks at Yonder Insurance were a guiding light throughout this whole horror. And I’m so thankful for the time and effort they put into assisting me through this. Their kindness and attention they gave to my case restored so much of my hope. I couldn’t love or recommend a travel insurance company more! Do yourself a favor and book a plan with them next time you’re traveling.

The businesses I respect the most are the ones with heart and soul and Yonder is defintely one of those businesses. Founders Terry and Ryan returned from a trip to Myanmar where they witnessed the struggle of the refugees, with a commitment to provide a week’s worth of food to a child refugee for every policy sold. So you can travel well, and do well when you go Yonder.

In addition to giving Yonder a HUGE thank you, I’d also like to give a big shoutout to Adorama, who kindly helped me with replacing some of my equipment. It’s the companies like this that helped me change my perspective and feel more grateful than ever for the good people in this world.

I hope if you’re reading this that you can see just how important your safety is while traveling. There certainly are beautiful moments and life changing experiences to be had while abroad, but its so, so crucial to be prepared and informed on safety and never overlook your well being when exploring. Now that some time has passed, I can look back at this experience and acknowledge how much personal growth has occurred for me. I’m still so empowered by traveling solo around the globe, and I have a keener sense of personal and material security. My anxiety and fear has slowly adapted into deeper awareness and less nervousness. As days and months pass, I’m reminded what joy and beauty comes from travel… and that although this experience was painful and sad, I am capable of moving past it with grace and courageousness to learn more from this world.

Thank you so much for reading my story. I hope from the bottom of my heart that none of you ever have to experience getting robbed while abroad (or any other type of safety issue).


Have you ever had to overcome getting robbed while abroad? How did you deal with the repercussions?

P.S. more safety tips for female travelers can be found right here!

Europe Hotels

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

Paris’s infatuation with artists and craftsman has long drawn travelers from around the world to its city center. Watercolor scenes being painted by the Seine, writers drafting poetry in cafes… it’s a dream many romantics long to experience themselves. That being said, I’ve never seen in a hotel with such kinship to its artistic history until my stay at Courtyard Paris Marriott Gare De Lyon.

The Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon just opened in October and has truly made a mark in the Paris hotel scene! I loved how its fresh, modern, minimal style stands out amongst the traditionally Parisian-styled lodgings of the city. Like a breath of fresh air, the hotel hopes to inspire the future of Paris’s lodgings with its intentional details – like USB ports perfect for international travelers and an incredible foodie culture happening within its kitchen (more on this later in the post)!

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

Inspired by the surrounding area’s craftsmanship-focused neighborhood, you’ll find the hotel flanked by local handmade shops and lots of lovely little details inside that nod to the passion of makers and dreamers of Paris. Additionally, you’ll find nearby sights Rue Crémieux, the cutest rue of pastel colored homes, and Coulée verte René-Dumont. But if you’re hoping to really see all of the city of light, the hotel is just walking distance from the Gare De Lyon station… making it a convenient resting place for travelers really hitting the town.

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

The Courtyard Paris Gare De Lyon also boasts 360 degree views of the city, showcasing the iconic buildings of Paris. From the Eiffel Tower, to the Notre Dame, Sacré-Coeur and la Defense, you can see it all from many of the guest rooms! Not many hotels can claim this to their name. It was magical to see the city sparkle late at night from my home away from home.

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

But truly what I believe sets The Courtyard Gare De Lyon apart is its commitment to its culinary art. Mélissa Ravel, the chef to the hotel, cooks with local, seasonal ingredients and is truly a genius! Her dishes were packed with delicate flavors and authentic nods to tradition with a twist. It was so inspiring to see how Mélissa combines textures, spices and classically French dishes with such care.  Do not miss a meal here! Mélissa truly is an artist in the kitchen.

Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon Hotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De LyonHotels We Love: Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon

When in Paris, The Courtyard Marriott Gare De Lyon is the perfect home for travelers who admire the detailed and industrious charm of the Gare De Lyon neighborhood.


Stay sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.

All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.
Europe Instagrammer's Guides Photography

An Photogenic Guide To Paris

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Paris, the City Of Light, has been my home away from home for about a half of a year now. Learning the ins and outs of this romantic city has been a joy of mine in these past few months. I’ve started collecting my favorite coffee shops, hidden locations to see its world famous sites far from the crowds, and boutiques and cafes with unique beauty all their own. Today, I’m sharing my Instagrammable Guide to Paris with you all!

Stay

In between my adventures around the globe, I’m constantly booking my favorite Parisian hotels last minute using Hotel Tonight. It’s my favorite little trick to finding gorgeous lodgings when I’m flying in and out of Paris for a day or two. The ease of booking with their website and app is incredible! And I always find some absolute stunners! You can get $25 off your stay by using my promo code: nyakoub too! 

Grand Pigalle Hotel

Pigalle is sort of like the Brooklyn of Paris. It’s stacked with street art, bustling bars and a lively night life scene. Plus, it’s within walking distance to  Notre Dame Cathedral and Arc de Triomphe. The Grand Pigalle’s design is a perfect combination of classic French architecture and Brisih design. I love it’s quirky details – from the pineapple shaped door knockers, metallic wall papers and martini-patterned carpets. The Grand Pigalle also has some of the best views of Montemartre, making it the perfect place to start your days of photo adventure from!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Hotel Bachaumont

Hotel Bachaumont is centrally located in the chicest area of Paris, in my opinion! Sentier is filled with endless restaurants, shops and is super close to the Louvre and my favorite pedestrian only rue – Rue Montorgueil. Art deco lovers will absolutely love this space!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

The Hoxton

It honestly doesn’t get more Instagrammable than this hotel! The Hoxton’s spiral staircase, vintage vibes and perfect mash up of old and new has made this hotel one of the most picturesque in Paris!

An Instagrammable Guide To ParisAn Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Eat / Drink

Pink Mamma

Right down the street from Grand Pigalle Hotel is one of the most picturesque restaurants from the Big Mamma Group. Every corner and detail is photo worthy! And the food is just as good as the aesthetic!

20bis Rue de Douai, 75009 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Au Rocher de Cancale

Closely situated near the Hotel Bachaumont is another one of my favorite cafes in Paris! I could easily spend hours working here (in between snapping ‘grams every second).

78 Rue Montorgueil, 75002 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Le Train Bleu

Who knew that this breathtakingly gorgeous restaurant was tucked away in the Gare de Lyon train station?! Le Train Blue has a pricey menu, but it has a  super friendly staff. If you don’t plan on staying for lunch or dinner, at least take a peak inside the next time you’re waiting for your train at Gare de Lyon!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Cafe Kitsune

For the chic fashionistas, this coffee shop is a staple in Paris and is within walking distance from Hotel Bachaumont! Right in the heart of one of the most picturesque parks in the city, Palais-Royal.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Merci Cafe 

Books, coffee, vintage vibes, a carefully curated department store and a red vintage Fiat that greets you at the entrance. This place couldn’t be more Instagrammable if it tried. Merci cafe is located in the Marais, another trendy and totally beautiful neighborhood of Paris.

111 boulevard Beaumarchais 75003 Paris France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Ob-La-Di

This might be the most Instagrammed cafe in Paris – and for good reason! The design here is so adorable and cool at the same time… and it’s also a great place for coffee and brunch!

54 Rue de Saintonge, 75003, Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Cafe de Flore 

This iconic cafe is a must when visiting the St. Germain area. So many beautiful details to see!

172 boulevard Saint-Germain 75006 Paris France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

See

Pigalle Basketball

I love this super colorful basketball court in Pigalle, right down the street from Grand Pigalle Hotel. Watch locals and spectors alike hang out in this unexpected colorful corner of Paris.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Rue Montorgueil

One of my favorite rues in Paris, this pedestrian street is lined with restaurants, cafés, bakeries, cheese, flower shops and more. You can easily spend an entire afternoon walking and window shopping down this street, taking in the picturesque store fronts.

Rue Montorgueil Paris

Le Mur des Je t’aime

This translates to “The Wall Of Love” in English. This work of art is a must see for couples visiting Paris. See the wall covered in “I love you’s” 311 times in 250 languages. It’s a touching reminder of how beautiful love is. 

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

29 Avenue Rapp

For the Art Nouveau fans out there, this door is as good as it gets!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

La Maison Rose

This infamously pink chateaux is worth the hike! I love the surrounding neighborhood alleyways and overgrown ivy!

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Rue Crémieux

This is the epitome of Paris charming visitors. This cobblestoned back alley is so Instagrammable, it’s insane! Hidden in the 12th arrondissement, this “secret” alley is colorful and features shutters and quaint details unlike the opulent French architecture Paris is known for.

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Coulée verte René-Dumont

Paris has their own version of New York City’s famous Highline in Bercy and the linear elevated park just as s beautiful as NYC’s. This part is super peaceful with tons of greenery, Paris street views and art along its 4.5 km walk.

1 Coulée verte René-Dumont, 75012 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

You’re probably wondering why a mall is on our list… but hear us out! The Galeries Lafayette is not only stunning on the inside, with its stained glass ceiling, but what most people miss is their rooftop view on the 7th floor with spectacular views! It’s a great place to snap sunset photos and avoid the long line that you’d be waiting in if you went up to the top of the uber touristy Arc de Triomphe.

40 boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

The Abbey Bookshop

Hidden in a little alleyway in the Latin Quarter, walk through the maze of books and be greeted by the friendliest owner from Canada.

29 Rue de la Parcheminerie, 75005 Paris, France

An Instagrammable Guide To Paris

View of Eiffel Tower from Paris Métro Line 6

Prepare for the shot one station before approaching the Passy – Bir-Hakeim station to catch a unique frame of the Eiffel Tower through the Paris Metro windows.

Paris Metro France

 


Paris is already such a beautiful city, but I hope these hidden gems add another layer of charm to your visit in The City Of Light!

Sponsored by Hotel Tonight. All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. All opinions are my own.

Top