Next stop the newlyweds
Honeymoons have evolved from simple beach vacations, and these days, couples can choose a trip as unique as they are. In this series, Katie Goldstein from Travelingpanties and Smartiepanties is breaking down the best honeymoon destinations, one at a time, to help you narrow down the dizzying array of options so you can choose the one that reflects your interests, budget and style. Up today? Paris.
Destination: Paris, France
Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is the main airport used to reach Paris. It is roughly 14 miles and about a half hour by taxi from Paris' city center. Paris is also easily accessible by train to Gare du Nord. The Paris Metro system provides easy access within the city to all major attractions, so renting a car is not necessary. Navigating the metro is simple and affordable. Taxis are occasionally able to be hailed on the street but come within minutes when you call.
You'll love it if...
You adore fine dining, culture and endless romance.
Who could ask for a better honeymoon destination than Paris, "The City of Love?" We happen to agree with Audrey Hepburn when she said, "Paris is always a good idea." Its iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower, museums like the Louvre and landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral are certain to dazzle visitors. However, even more spectacular than the sights is Paris' rich culture found in its charming boulevards, cozy cafes and bustling bistros. This grand city boasts an indescribable "je ne sais quoi" that is sure to inspire an incredibly romantic honeymoon.
When to go
The most popular time to visit Paris is in the spring (April-May) and fall (September-October) because of the ideal weather. However, these popular seasons bring higher prices. For couples willing to brave a bit of chilly weather, winter (December-March) can be a nice time to visit as crowds are sparse and there are good deals to be had. Plus, the city is lively year-round: The streets are filled with natives and cafes and museums continue to thrive. Honeymooners looking to visit during summer (June-August) should be aware that prices are not only at their peak but also that locals flee the city as hordes of tourists take over, often making it a less authentic experience.
Where to stay
Paris has no shortage of luxury hotels, and there is one to suit every taste whether you're looking for palatial or contemporary decor. Our first pick goes to Le Meurice, across from the Tuileries Gardens and the Louvre. This opulent gem boasts the friendliest staff and best service in all of Paris. A celebrity favorite, this is where Jay-Z, Beyonce and even Anna Wintour choose to stay when they're in town. It's also famous for its rich history as well as being Paris' oldest and finest hotel.
Hotel Plaza Athenee, one of Paris' most renowned hotels, is also an excellent option. Prepare to be spoiled if you stay here as the location rolls out all the stops for its discerning clientele. (Many of you may remember its cameo on Sex and the City.)
Last but not least, our final hotel choice for honeymooners looking for luxury is the exquisite Art Deco masterpiece that is the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. This lavish property offers over-the-top, palatial-style decor and is conveniently located near the Champs-Elysees. Its floral arrangements are simply breathtaking.
For contemporary honeymooners looking for a truly authentic experience, the latest trend is to bypass the predictability of a hotel in favor of renting a luxury apartment. If you truly want to experience the city and spread your wings, renting an apartment is an excellent way to have a truly authentic experience — complete with authentic neighbors. Although you may forego certain amenities like a concierge, room service and daily housekeeping, apartment rentals offer other advantages such as more space, privacy and a place to call home.
Depending on the apartment, many offer a refrigerator or even your own washer-dryer. Renting an apartment is also a more affordable option if you are hoping to stay awhile. We recommend booking through Avenue Story, a reliable broker with an impressive portfolio of luxurious properties. The Avenue Story team will work with you to choose an apartment that offers the perfect location and amenities you're looking for, be it a view of the Eiffel Tower or a balcony overlooking the Seine. The Avenue Story website allows you to peruse genuine photographs of each apartment so you can rest assured that the apartment you choose is every bit as luxurious as a five-star hotel.
What to do
Paris offers endless sightseeing opportunities for every taste. If it's your first time, there are several iconic sites that you absolutely must visit. Topping this list are museums like The Louvre (home to the Mona Lisa) and Musee D'Orsay, as well as landmarks like the Notre Dame Cathedral, L'Arc de Triomphe, Sacre Coeur and Palais Garnier (the Paris Opera House).
But the true magic of Paris lies in experiencing some of its local favorites and lesser-known gems. If you want to take the guesswork out of finding the local hotspots, 1 Day in Paris will put together a perfectly tailored itinerary that will fit your specific tastes. Unlike most companies with predictable itineraries, their mission is to introduce visitors to the real Paris — the Paris that you usually only experience after you've lived there.
For foodies and wine enthusiasts
For art connoisseurs
For those looking for romance
For culture seekers
For night owls
For day trippers
Where to eat
Lovers looking to indulge in one of the fanciest and well-cooked meals must visit Michelin-starred, Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Paris. This restaurant embodies true French luxury and cuisine at its finest.
Burger lovers can't leave Paris without a visit to Le Dali at Le Meurice. The New York Times wrote this extravagant foodie-favorite up as having the Best Burger! It's also a feast for the eyes, designed by Philippe Starck, you won't be disappointed.
For the best falafel that we've ever tasted, L'as du Fallafel in Le Marais, the Jewish quarter, cannot be missed.
Josephine "Chez Dumonet" serves up classic bistro fare in a beautiful vintage-looking restaurant in Saint Germain. Its boeuf bourguignon and Grand-Marnier souffle won't disappoint.
Le Relais Plaza at Hotel Plaza Athenee serves up some of the best French cuisine in the city. We especially loved the live piano music.
Chocolate lovers can't miss a trip to Un Dimanche a Paris which features a chocolate shop, tea salon and restaurant. Not only are the pastries delicious and unique but every dish in the restaurant incorporates cocoa in an inventive yet subtle way.
If you're by the Louvre (which of course you will be), be sure to check out Le Fumoir, a classic and consistent Parisian cafe.
For anyone who has seen Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton's Something's Gotta Give, you can't miss Le Grand Colbert, which absolutely deserved the accolades given in the film. Especially the roasted chicken! You can even request to sit in their booth!
Pickpocketing is a problem throughout Europe and here is no different. Keep your purses closed and close to your person. Also be aware that tips are always included in meals; no additional gratuity is required.
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