Virtuoso Life - July/August 2018 - 83
Europe's most romantic city shines from day to night.
We're with Audrey Hepburn: Paris is always a good idea. "The ﬁrst time you arrive, your expectations are set: See all the
monuments, try all the food, experience that joie de vivre," says Geraldine Hasting, a travel advisor from Seattle. "A
second visit lets you appreciate the little things you missed on your ﬁrst trip because you spent way too much time
admiring the Eiffel Tower - and there's nothing wrong with that!"
Explore with purpose.
An initial trip to the City of Light is all about classic
experiences and must-have meals. Check into the 28room Hôtel Esprit Saint Germain - a residentialfeeling, Left Bank spot located a quick walk away from
the Luxembourg Gardens - and make your way down
the list: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay,
Notre-Dame, the Latin Quarter, and a dinner cruise on
the Seine. "You can discover many of these sites and
monuments on a walking tour," Hasting suggests. "And
you'll get to see some of the city's other charming districts as well." Doubles from $380, including welcome
and departure amenities and breakfast daily.
(LOUVRE) CHRIS SORENSEN /GALLERY STOCK, (PLACE DU TERTRE) SUSANNE KREMER/
ESTOCK PHOTO, (MARIE-ANTOINETTE BUST) BRIAN JANNSEN/ALAMY
Channel your inner flaneur.
French poet Charles Baudelaire described the ﬂaneur as a passionate
wanderer, a stroller of city streets. This is the best way to see Paris,
and the pressure's off on round two, when you've already checked
the icons off your list. Get lost in new corners of the city, such as the
place du Tertre in Montmartre in the eighteenth arrondissement,
where Renoir and Picasso kept their studios, recommends Hasting.
If you want to supplement your aimless wandering with a little bit of
guidance, your travel advisor can work with Chocolatine, one of Virtuoso's on-site tour connections in Paris, to customize a stroll based
on your interests - from cozy bookstores and Hemingway's favorite
bars to patisseries and secret hilltop parks.
From top: The palatial Louvre - the world's largest art
museum - and street artists on the place du Tertre.
DAY TRIP: Hasting suggests visiting Versailles, a 45-minute drive southwest of Paris, where you can rent bikes and pedal through the gardens of Trianon, one of Marie-Antoinette's favorite refuges. Go early to beat the crowds, and stick around for lunch: "Outside the palace,
the Marché Notre-Dame is a great market with fantastic food stands," Hasting says.
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