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Weekend Away in Paris

spend a weekend in paris


Day one

you discover the impressive charm of Paris at the Hôtel des Invalides beneath whose golden dome rests the corpse of Napoleon I. Then go down to the Seine riverbanks for equally fantastic views and a laidback atmosphere. Continue in the direction of the Musée d’Orsay, with its rich collections of Impressionist paintings. After a full morning, stop for a welcome lunchbreak in the Latin Quarter. You could, for example, try the Bouillon Racine.

Now you have the afternoon ahead of you to amble around Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarterwith its majestic Panthéon. Admire Paris’s quaint historic shopping arcades and take time to relax in the Luxembourg Gardens, an oasis of calm and greenery.

This evening, you’ll reach for the sky by dining at 58 Tour Eiffel or at Ciel de Paris, at the top of the Tour Montparnasse

Day two

If you are not yet familiar with the beautiful Place de la Madeleine – its church, fine food stores and boutiques – and the nearby Palais Garnier Opera House, then these make a fine start to the day. Next, walk down rue de la Paix to Place Vendôme, both home to upscale jewellers. Take a Vélib’ bicycle to get to the Marais district and stop off for lunch at the Café Hugo.

Your afternoon is divided up in the streets of the Marais: Place des Vosges, the Musée Picasso and fashion boutiques. You finish up in the district of Les Halles, where you are able to admire the original architecture of the Centre Pompidou. A place to visit for fans of modern and contemporary artworks if time permits.

In the evening, why not see a show at the Théâtre du Châtelet, followed by a good meal at the Pied de Cochon, a typically Parisian brasserie


what to see in Paris in 4 days

What to see in Paris in 4 days

 If you know anything about Paris, you know there’s so much to do and witness. If you’ve only got limited time however check out what to see in Paris in 4 days! Contrary to other posts that highlight heavily visited main attractions this post offers more ‘off the beaten path’ locations where you can truly delve into classic Parisienne culture.

what to see in Paris in 4 days Louvre District

Wondering what to see in Paris in 4 days? Well of course you’ve got to check out the Louvre district! Located close to the right bank of the Seine, you’ll find it hard to miss the louvre Museum. While this is considered one of Paris’s best attractions, I recommend checking out what the rest of the area has to offer, because there is actually a lot you can stumble upon. Located right behind the Louvre is the less frequented Palais Royal. Here you will find a ton of specialty shops and yummy cafés that line around a beautiful park. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to witness the trees (which there are an abundance of) changing colors! It is truly a beautiful site. If you take the time to explore the neighboring streets, you will be sure to witness the dazzling architecture of the buildings and have the chance to shop among many local florists, butchers, produce stands and cheese shops – all of which obtain the highest of french culture. As I like to say, the Louvre may be full of masterpieces, but the entire area is a french masterpiece in it of itself!


what to see in Paris in 4 days The Marais

Another what to see in Paris in 4 days is the Marais district in Paris is probably one of the most charming neighborhoods you will fall upon. There is literally something for every type of person. Personally, I think its roots in medieval architecture and style are what set this area apart from the rest of the city. There is so much history and culture to be found here, I promise it will not disappoint. You have the opportunity to explore vintage shops (galore) perfumeries, unique boutiques, art galleries, and the most charming cafés. If you make you way to the eastern part of this district you’ll run into the stunning Place des Vosges, an old palace that surrounds a small yet gorgeous park that is of course boarded by wonderful vendors. If you like falafels, I highly recommend picking up one in this area, in my opinion they are some of the best in Paris!


What to see in Paris in 4 daysSaint Germain & the Latin Quarter

Located in the heart of the 5th and 6th arrondissements, these two districts are also rich in history (but then again isn’t all of Paris?!) Nonetheless, a must if you’re wondering what to see in Paris in 4 days. These districts have homed hundreds of note worthy artists, actors and even politicians. While exploring the cutest of streets, this is the area for luxury shopping – without the crowds that come with Gallery Lafayette. However my favorite part of these districts are the architecture and the natural beauty that surrounds it. It seems as though every wear you turn your head, your are bound to find something that attracts you… but that’s a given because you are in Paris!

what to see in Paris in 4 days Pigalle & Montmartre

This is actually my favorite district in Paris. What was considered the once “gritty” neighborhoods of Paris, today it has a reputation rich in art, history and culture. The south Pigalle  – although it was once only known for being only a place of sex shops, today this area is home to many trendy hispter bars and eateries. If you walk just north of Pigalle you’ll run begin to run into the hills of Montmartre which is famous for its artistic scene. Walk around the neighborhoods, admire the street art and boutiques that make this area feel so alive! If you are up for it – skip the trolley up to the Sacre-Cœur Basillica and take the stairs for a GREAT workout but also for a fun experience. At the top you will find yourself enjoying one of the best views of Paris from above. I guarantee you will not be upset with what you are witnessing.

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Student Accommodations in Paris

Are you planning on coming to Paris for an extended period of time? Finding student accommodations in Paris can be tricky, especially when there is a language barrier involved. Luckily there are many services out there on the web who aim to make the process much less stressful for you. Continue reading for companies we feel are the best for helping arrange accommodations in Paris!

Student accommodations in ParisParistay is a real estate company whose goal is to help english speakers find student accommodations in Paris. They have a large choice of housing options for short and long term stays. Their site includes a plethora of pictures describing the apartments they offer, maps, metro destinations near by, appliances and amenities offered, a price simulator and previous guest reviews in order for you to feel the most comfortable in making a decision, because housing is important! Whether you are looking for private or shared housing, is a great site to get you situated in your new home!

Student accommodations in ParisParis Attitude

Paris Attitude is a real estate agency in located in central Paris. They specialize in short and long term furnished rentals. Like Paristay, they offer a wide range of apartments that come furnished and fully equipped. Some examples include: studios, apartments with 2 bedrooms, luxurious lofts, and even townhouses. The nice thing about Paris Attitude is that they have you fill out a request form (for free) where you can describe what your looking for, your budget and the reason for your stay. Shortly after submitting your request an agent will get back to you with a more refined list of potential apartments!

Student Accommodation in ParisComforts of Paris

Comforts of Home is another great resource for finding  spacious, quality apartments in Paris. They offer real, authentic apartments in residential neighborhoods that fit within your location needs! Each apartment offered has a charm of its own – none are the same! Comforts of home does not provide private accommodation, so if you go this route you should expect roommates, however they ensure you won’t constantly be surrounded by others. Additionally, comforts of home promises you the peace-of-mind in knowing where you’re going to live in advance, native English-speaking customer service, 24/7 emergency assistance, and even an in-house maintenance team that makes sure everything works while you’re in Paris!

accommodations in ParisFac-Habitat

Another site worth checking out from student accommodations in Paris is Fac-Habitat. They manage over 7000 housing units in more than 62 residences dispersed around the central university areas in Paris. Fac-Habitat has built partnerships with local landlords that enables them to offer a range of accommodations, from studios to 2 bedroom apartments…. but the real attraction here is their prices, they are extremely competitive to similar rental sites in Paris. If you decide Fac-Habitat is the route you want to take, you have the opportunity to benefit from:

  • Administration support
  • Living close to your place of study
  • Turnkey rental
  • Functional accommodation with a kitchen and bathroom

I highly recommend checking out this site, especially if you are on a tight budget!

Paris Housing

The last site I am going to recommend checking out for student accommodations is Paris Housing. They have developed a “range of Paris real estate services including a dedicated student department.” Paris housing helps in each step of the way. They visit the apartments, sort out the utility bills and more! Whether you are a student, a corporation, or just looking to rent in Paris, this website is an excellent resource. Some sites require you to rent for a minimum time frame, but with Paris housing, the time period for rental is up to you and what your schedule demands!


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what to do in Paris

Where to go in Paris: Outdoors

Where to go in Paris; outdoor edition! If you’re looking for a guide to some of the prettiest outdoor attractions to visit in Paris… Read on!

Where to go in Paris

Step outside…..

Often times when you search “where to go in Paris” the typical sites like the Louvre museum, Orsay museum, and the Opera house are sure to be the first destinations that pop up. Now don’t get me wrong, these attractions are definite must-sees, however, sometimes people forget that there is more to Paris than just museums and monuments. (plus they are typically crowded with tourists!) So where to go in Paris you ask? Well, if the weather permits, definitely check out this post to learn more about the exquisite parks and gardens this marvelous city has to offer!

Luxembourg Gardens

what to do in ParisIf you’re wondering where to go in Paris, my first suggestion is the Luxembourg gardens. Not only are the Luxembourg gardens absolutely stunning, they also possess a ton of history! Bordered by two popular areas in Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin quarter, you will find tons of Parisian’s out for a stroll, bathing in the sun or enjoying a picnic on the lawns. I highly recommend taking the time to visit the Gardens at Luxembourg (for a picnic if you have the time!), they will NOT disappoint.

Tuileries Gardens

where to go in Paris

This conventional french garden is full of rows with groomed trees, gravel paths, and lush lawns. Sound a little like a description of Versailles? Well, that is because these gardens were originally constructed by André Le Nôtre for King Louis XIV before he moved to Versailles. When this transition occurred, the gardens then became THE place for classy Parisians to take afternoon strolls. Today it is still regarded as one of the best places to walk through as there is so much natural beauty, history, and culture to be observed. Another cool aspect of these gardens is that it is bordered by some of the most famous destinations Paris has to offer, with the Louvre museum being on one end and Place de la Concorde at the opposite end!

Where to go in ParisBois de Boulogne (Boulogne Park)

Bois de Boulogne is a massive public park that is located on the outskirts of the 16th arrondissement of Paris. When Napoleon III returned back to France after his period of exile in London, he ordered the area that is now regarded as Bois de Boulogne be ceded to the city for all inhabitants to enjoy. There are claims that this park was inspired by Hyde Park in London. Boulogne is the second largest park in Paris. It has English style gardens, multiple lakes, a zoo..even an amusement park! There are 2 horse racing tracks within the park and it is also home to the Stand de Roland Garros, which is the official stadium for the french open! I guarantee you can find something that sparks your interest within the park, and strongly recommend you check it out!

Where to go in ParisPalais Royal Gardens

These gardens are located very close to the Louvre, so you might think they’d be crowded, yet they are never heavily flooded with tourist. This makes the gardens a fantastic pit-stop before or after visiting the Louvre. One interesting fact is that they are the only gardens in Paris that have earned a “remarkable garden” classification from the French Ministry of Culture. So if you are really into exploring France’s natural beauties, this is a garden to stop by. Another bonus is that with the gardens comes the “Palais Royal” which translates to Royal Palace. It was originally built for  Cardinal Richelieu and regarded as the Palais Cardinale in the 17th century, however, due to conflict of power, it was renamed as the “Palais Royal” for Louis XIII.

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48 hours in Amsterdam

48 hours in Amsterdam

Spending 48 hours in Amsterdam…

You might not think 48 hours in Amsterdam is enough time, and yes, if you want to truly acclimate yourself to the city and their customs while seeing all the marvelous attractions it has to offer …. 48 hours might not be enough. BUT, if it’s all the time you have to spare, book your tickets and go because there is so much you can check off your bucket list in those brief 2 days….and I guarantee you will not regret it.

48 hours in Amsterdam

If you are going to pull the trigger, I suggest flying in for a weekend so that you optimize the positive vibes and good energy in which the city draws out of all its inhabitants and visitors. When booking your flight, it is a good idea to look into the earliest possible arrival times at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam’s international airport) in order to take full advantage of your time. The airport is pretty close to Central Amsterdam, around 22 min by car or about 35-40 minutes via public transport.

48 hours in Amsterdam

When deciding where to stay, it is first most important to think about your budget. How much will you want to spend on the flight? Lodging? Food? Activities? Regardless, it’s important have a plan when it comes to budgeting for your trip.

The great thing about Amsterdam is that if you want to spend a decent amount of money on a hotel or Airbnb, you totally can! However, if that isn’t necessarily in the cards for you, fear not! There are many decent and inexpensive options to explore in and around the city, you just need to do a little research to find what suits you best!

DAY 1 48 hours in Amsterdam

Rent Bikes! Amsterdam is regarded as the city of bikes and as soon as you arrive, you will understand. Not only is biking a great way to see the lively architecture that decorates the city, you also get some exercise! Be sure to ask wherever it is you’re staying if they have bikes, have discounts to local rental shops, or suggestions for the best place to rent. That will make navigating how to find them a little easier, although there are rental shops ALL over the city.

For lunch, I suggest keeping it short and sweet in order to delve into as much as possible. Grab a sandwich at any café (I suggest going to Dam Square or Liedersplein) and then head to Vondelpark. Here you can find a spot to sit and enjoy your meal while also observing Amsterdam’s natural beauty. There are also a ton of vendors in the park, so if you just want to head there and grab a street waffle, hotdog etc. with a cold Heineken, that is also an option! 

After lunch, I suggest biking over to the Amsterdam museum to learn about the city and how its evolved in the last 800 years! This is a fun way to get your history lesson in. If you want to be prepared, you can order tickets ahead of time online, but you can also get them the day of at the museum.

If you are someone who likes to make plans as you go, head over to the Jordaan district next. Here you will find lots of trendy shops and hip eateries with a range of cuisines. Personally, I made never made reservations and  I didn’t wait more than 5 minutes for a table.

48 hours in AmsterdamViewing the city via the canals is another MUST do. There are canal tours at all times of the day, however I recommend going at night to see all the lights of the city and enjoy the atmosphere. It is spectacular. There are all sorts of tours you can do so I suggest finding one that works with your budget. I also recommend you book the tour ahead of time and online.

48 hours in Amsterdam


Now that you have spent time exploring Amsterdam, spend the better half of your morning exploring areas that might have sparked your interest from the day before. After this, consider spending a majority of your day at the marvelous museums the city has to offer.

48 hours in Amsterdam

Start with the Anne Frank House. The only way you can view this historic site is by purchasing tickets online, so be sure to do that! Another site worth visiting is the Van Gogh Museum, which is dedicated to none other than Vincent Van Gogh. You do not need to purchase tickets prior to visiting. Another museum worth checking out is the Moco Museum, which is conveniently located next to the Van Gogh Museum.

There are endless possibilities for having an amazing experience with only 48 hours in Amsterdam. Don’t worry about not being able to do it all…it only gives you more of a reason to come back!


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Restaurants in Paris

Restaurants in Paris

Looking to dine in Paris but aren’t too familiar with the area? Have no fear! We have compiled a list of great restaurants around Paris ranging in all sorts of cuisines and price ranges.

Restaurants in Paris

Le Moulin De La Galette (83 Rue Lepic, 75018 Paris, France)

Le Moulin de la Galette is a lovely restaurant in Paris situated in a historic old mill. Here, you will find great classics of French cuisine, based only on fresh and seasonal produce. The restaurant is expensive but worth every penny. The staff is very kind and eager to answer any questions that might arise. This restaurant accepts reservations so I highly recommend making one before you go! If the weather permits, dining outside on their terrace is a charming way to enjoy the afternoon in Paris.

Pink Mamma (20 Rue de Douai, 75009 Paris)

Ok, if you are looking for authentic ItaliaRestaurants in Parisn pasta this is the place! Nestled on a calm street corner right around the block from Moulin Rouge, you will stumble upon Pink Mamma. This restaurant belongs to the Big Mamma group. The Big Momma group owns trattoria style restaurants throughout the city of Paris. You can’t make reservations at any, and they are only open from 12-2pm and 6:45-11:30pm each day, so if you want to try it out I suggest you head there about an hour to 30 minutes before opening hours in order to reserve your  place in the inevitable line that forms around their door. The restaurant has very tasteful yet trendy décor which really helps set the ambiance.

Le Babalou (4 Rue Lamarck 75018 Paris, France)

Restaurants in Paris Le Babalou is known for their fabulous Italian pizzas (also a hot spot for locals). This restaurant can be found right at the foot of the Sacre-Coeur – great for a pre or post meal. The menu offers elaborate and seasonal Italian pizzas, but also serves fresh pasta, a range of cheeses, cuts of delicious Italian charcuterie accompanied by a fantastic dessert menu (we recommend the tiramisu!) The dining space feels comfortable with tasteful patterned wallpaper. There is limited outside seating but it is available if you arrive at the right time!

Le Chamarré Montmartre (52 Rue Lamarck 75018 Paris, France)

Le Chamarré Montmartre is one of the best restaurants in Paris for traditional gastronomic French cuisine. The chef, Antoine Heerah is well-known for providing signature creations that include roasted cod, pan-fried cuttlefish with anchovies and garlic cream, crispy tandoori scallops with celery mousseline, and rack of suckling pig with red cabbage and polenta. For seating, you have the option to dine inside or on the tastefully decorated terrace outside. If you are looking for a classy yet intimate culinary experience, this is the restaurant for you!

Miss Kō (50 ave Georges V Paris, France 75008)

Restaurants in Paris

If you are looking for “cool” restaurants in Paris, Miss Kō is where you need to be. Miss Kô offers it all under the guise of an offbeat, after-dark Tokyo atmosphere, with its large and colorful murals mimicking Japanese prints, its street-food, and open-style kitchens. The menu is eclectic and features primarily Asian cuisine. This restaurant is a little untraditional or maybe “out-of-the-box” but very chic none the less!

L’Orangerie (31 Avenue George V | Four Seasons Hotel)

Restaurants in Paris

L’orangerie is located within the four seasons hotel and while many might fear the final bill, it is absolutely 100% worth it. Here you will find an ambiance of warmth, competence, and informality – but with many of the trappings of formality. The food is outstandingly delicious and creatively presented. The is staff genuine and educated, elevating the experience to new levels! L’orangerie thinks out each detail, down to the bread and butter. So if you are looking for an exquisite dining experience in Paris, this is the restaurant for you!

Ramen Bowl (44 Rue de Ponthieu 75008 Paris France)

Ramen Bowl is a Japanese style restaurant in Paris that incorporates the classic Japanese culture with modern times. The decor feels young and trendy as you walk through and look at the cool art displayed on the walls. The kitchen is open, so if you are curious one, you have the opportunity to watch how the chef prepares multiple dishes from the menu. At Ramen Bowl, they are most commonly known for their famous broths. 

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Loire valley vineyards

Loire Valley Vineyards

 The Loire Valley Vineyards are rich in history and French culture. The valley falls in the middle of the Loire river in central France. To the French, Loire valley is regarded as “le jardin du France” (garden of France) because of the abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards and fields of crops that decorate the river bed.

Loire valley vineyards

Loire Valley Vineyards History

Loire valley vineyards

Loire valley vineyards have been around for a very long time. The Roman’s are credited for planting the first vineyards in the Nantes region around the 1st century, however it is noted that it was not until

the 5th century that the region became popular for wine production. Over the centuries that followed, the influence of monks around was a major factor in developing various vineyards and planting more varietals of grapes. The monks played a vital role in producing everything from the vines to the wines and because they were so familiar with the region they knew the most effective ways to communicate, which was crucial in that point of time.  In general, traveling along roads in France at this time was considered dangerous, many traveled along the Loire River because it was the safest option. This method of traveling also helped promote the region. Loire valley vineyards continued to grow and prosper until the year 1709, when a harsh winter hit the region and decimated much of its production. Following this, the French Revolution further prevented the Loire Region from growth. As the war concluded and France began to reemerge into society, winemakers in the Loire valley began to focus solely on quality. This commitment to producing nothing but the best has allowed for the region to create very famous appellations, which were given recognition in the year 1936. Today it is known as “Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée”.Loire valley vineyards between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonees-sur-Loire were finally classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year 2000. Some popular wine varietals that come from this region include chenin blanc, sauvignon blanc, cabernet franc, gamay, melon de bourgogne (muscadet) and pinot noir!

Loire valley vineyards to visit

Loire Valley VineyardsBouvet Ladubay is one of the most vistited vineyards in the Saumur region of Loire valley. Here they produce sparkling wines and over the past decades have received over 500 awards for their production, which is a testament to their consistent production of excellent quality wines each and every year. The winery welcomes its visitors onto almost 5 miles of vineyards and cellars in which they are able to venture out and explore. At the end of the visit, you can enjoy a tasting of the Bouvet Ladubay brut de Loire collection which will not disappoint.

Loire valley vineyardsAnother winery worth checking out is Chateau de Miniére. It is a beautiful estate that resides in the heart of the “Val de Loire” which is apart of the UNESCO World heritage. Originally built in the 17th century, today the property stretches over 44 acres of vineyards in districts with various appellations. An interesting fact about this estate is woman have always been in charge of production. A tradition that is still observed today, with Kathleen Van den Berghe as the current winemaker. Kathleen not only upholds the female tradition but her commitment to preserving the environment is also a practice rooted in the history of the estate. Chateau de Miniére produces a special wine from old vines that are known as “Vignes Centenaires”. In addition, they also produce a great selection of sparkling wines, reds, and rosés.

loire valley vineyardsDomain Sauvète is also a winery worth your while. It is located in Monthou-sur-Cher which is resides in the Touraine region of Loire valley. If you are someone who has a distinct admiration for nature and its beauty, this is definitely the winery for you. Domaine Sauvète is family owned and operated, and has been for four generations from the same family whose mission is to produce very natural and organic wines. They grow a broad spectrum of varietals which enables their wines to have a lot of style and flavor. There are lots of activities to do at this winery other than tasting the wines, so if you have young ones with you definitely keep this one in mind!

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