An awesome city : Paris: Thanks to centuries of makeovers, the Chateau de Versailles can claim the title of most sumptuous pad in Paris. Once a modest hunting lodge, the building has grown with each resident and has 2,300 rooms that have housed various French royalty over the years. The majority of the lavish work was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1678, who is responsible for adding the wondrous Hall of Mirrors, as well as the elegant and expansive grounds. It can get busy at peak times, so book a skip-the-line ticket beforehand and arrive early.
Paris restaurant pick : It’s been a while since an outstanding restaurant opened in the historic Latin Quarter, which is why Cambodian-born Tomy Gousset’s new place has been such a hit. Here, the chef — who spent time in the New York restaurant scene — preps a first-rate small-plates menu that will please both vegetarians and carnivores. Standout dishes include the savory pancake with guanciale; a breaded free-range pork cutlet with a fried egg, black rice, red cabbage, and curry sauce; and a black chocolate tart with puffed buckwheat and cappuccino ice cream. It’s an instant local favorite.
To discover the legendary Paris cafes, the best place to start is the Boulevard Saint-Germain in the 6th arrondissement. This broad tree-lined boulevard is lined with designer fashion boutiques, prestigious cafes, and classic brasseries. The most celebrated cafes are the Cafe de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain), which was the meeting place of Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and the Cafe des Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Pres), the haunt of James Joyce, Picasso, Hemingway, and other creative types. At both cafes, tourists are treated to a classic Parisian cafe experience, complete with waiters wearing bow ties (although the waiters have a reputation for their brusque service). The brasseries of Boulevard Montparnasse were also frequented by famous artists and writers. Le Dome in Montparnasse is a Paris institution (108 Boulevard du Montparnasse). In its glittering Art Deco dining room, the restaurant serves gourmet cuisine focused on seafood. See additional info at Paris travel blog.
Paris shopping pick : Grand Magasins on Boulevard Haussmann, Rue Tronchet & La Madeleine Start exploring this shopping area in Paris by strolling around the Place de la Madeleine. The streets surrounding the church—with its stately neoclassical temple design—are lined with trees and elegant shops, cafes and gourmet food shops such as Fauchon. Follow Rue Tronchet from La Madeleine and you’ll head directly toward the huge department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann (See Department Stores section below for more details). Along the way you’ll pass lots of neat shops. Keep your eyes out for a super handbag and luggage store called La Maroquinerie Parisienne on the right as you approach Boulevard Haussmann. The streets here are lined with shops all along Boulevard Haussmann leading toward the beautiful Opera Garnier. Stop in the huge Monoprix store near Galeries Lafayette for a uniquely Parisian shopping experience. This area is a shopping haven all day long and also after dark when the Opera creates a dramatically beautiful backdrop.
Created between 1755 and 1775 by the architect of King Louis XV, this impressive octagonal square is at the heart of 18th-century Paris. With its majestic dimensions, the Place de la Concorde is one of the most attractive squares in the city. It was the scene of several key historical events, including the execution of King Louis XVI, and it was part of Napoleon’s triumphal route. The square offers sensational views of the triumphal route towards the Arc de Triomphe and the Defense, and towards the Louvre, as well as to the Madeleine and the Palais-Bourbon. At the center is an Egyptian obelisk, which was presented to Charles X by the Viceroy of Egypt. During summer, there is a Ferris wheel here. Read extra details at https://francetravelblog.com/.