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Category Archive for France

Renting an apartment with Eiffel Tower view! Paris Perfect rentals review, Paris Pass museum passes, Le Corbusier house.

fountain Place de la Concorde, Fontaine des Mers

Paris, it’s been a while! I’ve visited the “city of lights” twice before, but this was before starting this blog. At long last, I got the chance to come back and share some alternative travel stories with you.

Of course, we’ll creep into the Catacombs, and look for vampires in Pere Lachaise cemetery. However, we’ll start with a photo diary of Paris’ beautiful museums and architecture. (Above is a stirring example, The Fontaines de la Concorde.)

paris art nouveau door 29 ave rapp

If you’re an art / architecture / culture lover like I am, then you should consider Paris as a travel destination. I could spend hours walking through the various arrondissements, admiring the diverse styles from throughout the centuries.

From the ornate Art Nouveau doorway at 29 Avenue Rapp, to the shiny new Russian Orthodox cathedral, there’s so much to take in. 

chambertin apartment paris perfect flat rental

In this spirit, I looked for elegant accommodations straight out of a French fantasy. The moment I scrolled though Paris Perfect‘s apartment rentals, I knew I’d found my Parisian home. 

The photo above captures the magic of my Chambertin apartment. The spacious flat is outfitted with carved fireplaces and chandeliers, and French balconies that open out to a view of the Tour Eiffel! 

romantic luxury apartment short term rental paris france

It’s a joy to browse the short-term vacation rentals at ParisPerfect.com: you can search by size and location, and see gorgeous photos of the interiors. Booking online is easy, and the company has an office near the Eiffel Tower where you can store bags if needed. A team member always greets you when you check in, and answers any questions you might have.  

(I’m wearing a Valfre ballerina wrap top and blue En Creme skirt, both from Forest Ink.)

eiffel tower view apartment parisperfect

I settled into Chambertin with a glass of wine (Paris Perfect kindly left me a bottle and snacks). I ran a bath, and soaked in this claw-footed tub while looking out at the Eiffel Tower… “comme la vie est belle.”

(At night, you get a brilliant view of the Eiffel Tower, which twinkles with lights.)

chambertin apartment paris perfect vacation rentals

The apartment rental has a fully equipped kitchen, so you have the option to cook meals at home. I caught up with an old friend in the cozy living room, and worked on my laptop at the dining table (every Paris Perfect apt has free and fast WiFi).

paris france apartment rental agency

Ah, I miss having a morning coffee in this spot! My friend and I would go around the corner to get croissants or French onion soup, and stroll through the nearby parks. 

If you’re looking for a special stay in Paris, seek out a local experience rather than a standard hotel. As you can see, my Paris Perfect accommodations were… perfect, and I’d book with them again in a heartbeat. 

travel fashion blogger eiffel tower pose

My apartment rental was near many metro stops, which was convenient for exploring the city. And it was only a few blocks away from the Eiffel Tower!

I dressed in French fashion for the occasion. My black and white Jolie dress is by Valfre, from Forest Ink (they carry many alternative, grunge and edgy designs by various brands). My leggings and silk bomber jacket are Charli Cohen.

le corbusier la roche house paris

With the kind assistance of Paris Tourist Office, I got a private architecture tour of Le Corbusier’s modern buildings. Anyone can visit Fondation Le Corbusier, an archive that honors the pioneering French-Swiss architect. 

We began at Maison La Roche, which is a semi-detached house designed by “Corbu” and Pierre Jeanneret between 1923–1925. Originally the home of a banker / art collector, the villa is now a museum that holds thousands of the architect’s drawings and photographs. 

villa la roche interior le corbusier france

I loved seeing the smallest details, such as the light switches and furnaces, designed for Maison La Roche. Le Corbusier’s custom furniture complements the horizontal windows, which fill the rooms with light. A steep, curved ramp swoops up from the avantgarde art gallery to the library.  

self portrait valfre jolie black dress

Self portrait in the pink bathroom, wearing Valfre.

Wandering through the grid-like spaces of Villa La Roche truly lets you get a sense of Le Corbusier’s genius. There’s so much more to be said about this UNESCO site; if you’re intrigued, you can check out the Fondation’s detailed guide to the home here.

le corbusier architect portrait working

Our docent also took us to the nearby Paris studio-apartment, where Le Corbusier lived and worked from 1934 to 1965. Although Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (his birth name) is best known as an architect, he was also a prolific writer, artist, and urban planner.  

Fondation Le Corbusier Studio-Apartment

Located on the top floor of Paris’ Molitor Building, the open spaces, supporting columns, and floating facades are quintessential Corbusier. The artist modified the wall colors over time, and added shade panels since the windows let in a bit too much light. 

le corbusier apartment paris france

The pivoting wood door allows you to define the space. Walk up the curving staircase to the terrace, or enter the living room painted with unexpected blocks of primary colors.

le corbusier tour, bathroom design

Some of the studio-apartment’s elements are on the odd side, like a giant elevated bed designed to maximize the view when one is lying down. The bathroom features space-age curves, and the cramped shower looks like a cocoon. 

le corbusier apartment penthouse furniture windows

Le Corbusier filled the apartment with art objects from his travels. He designed much of the furniture himself, such as these curving chairs and marble dining room table. According to his wife, he was inspired by a mortuary slab that he saw in a dissection room!

Visit Le Corbusier's Paris apartment and studio

We walked up to the rooftop garden as the sun was setting. Concrete planes, surrounded by plants… Corbu was very much ahead of his time.

Here’s a detailed PDF from Fondation Corbusier for more details about the studio. Hail Le Corbusier! 

paris museum pass parispass

Since I was keen to visit many museums while in the city, I got a Paris Pass. This sightseeing pass is well worth the value, as you get immediate access to over 60 travel attractions. The Paris Pass also includes a TravelCard for unlimited public transit on the metro, RER trains, and buses.

louvre museum the paris pass

Since I had the Paris Pass, I could use the “fast track” line at top museums and monuments — like the Louvre. The world-famous glass pyramid always has a long line-up, but with The Paris Pass, you can go straight in. 

I only had a short time in Paris (as I was here on my way to Cairo).  The Paris Pass let me maximize my time and enjoy the sights, while saving on entry fees. 

exterior musee d'orsay travel blog

You can choose to get The Paris Pass in 2, 3, 4 or 6 consecutive day lengths. The booklet is mailed to you; simply activate the card by scanning it at the metro or at your first attraction.

When I saw the long line outside Musee D’Orsay, I was relieved I could simply waltz in — and no need to shell out the €14 ticket fee! (If you’re seeing a few attractions a day or taking public transport a lot, the Paris Pass more than pays for itself). 

musee d'orsay dramatic statues

It was my first time at this art museum, which is set inside the glorious Gare d’Orsay. The railway station was built between 1898 and 1900 in the Beaux-Arts style. Today, these original glass and ceiling details have been painstakingly preserved. 

Le Musee D’Orsay focuses on French paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photos from around 1850-1914. It contains the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist works, by artists like Manet, Monet, and their brethren. 

ceiling carvings musee d'orsay

I was especially intrigued by the station architecture (featuring long ramps and industrial staircases). I enjoyed seeing lesser-known large scale works, such as French Symbolist paintings with trippy themes.

french devil weird statues orsay museum

You’ll find Mondrian, Degas, Delacroix, Rodin, and Gauguin among the Orsay artists. I got a kick out of the dramatic carved statues found throughout the open spaces — like this devilish detail. 

french art tortured poses vampires

Yes, you can see placid waterlilies here. Or you can find tormented poses, and a vampiric bite while Satan flies through the red sky! 

the paris pass review worth it cost

The Paris Pass made it possible to cut the queues and save on ticket fees. On their website, you can see the full list of museums and activities that the sightseeing pass covers. The Paris Pass also includes a free hop on/off Big Bus day tour, and discounts at restaurants and shops.

quai branly museum red exterior architecture

You can make the rounds of Arc de Triomphe, Panthéon, Musée Rodin and dozens more with the Paris Pass. I enjoyed the opportunity to visit lesser-known museums, like the Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac. Since entry is included with the pass, why not check it out? 

musée du quai Branly, Jacques Chirac

Next time, I’ll use The Paris Pass to go up the Eiffel Tower, and do a wine and cheese tasting… 

Fontaine des Fleuves paris concorde fountain

The entire city feels like a museum. Even though Paris is such a popular destination, I was swept away by its charm.  

deux abeilles paris restaurant

Look up and admire the details found in each neighborhood. 

eglise Saint Pierre de Chaillot church

It’s fun to people-watch. Check out the black and white outfit worn by the lady outside Saint Pierre de Chaillot church.

jardin des tuileries paris parks

In Paris, sometimes the “tourist” things are the best things to do. Take a stroll along the banks of the River Seine, and duck into the Jardin des Tuileries.

angelina cakes pastries sweets paris cafe

And eat. Indulge in Laduree macarons, get fresh croissants from a local bakery, and try a sampling of cakes at Angelina. 

angelina Galeries Lafayette restaurant food wine

Linger over a meal at Angelina’s cafe in Galleries Lafayette. Cheese and beet salad, cheesy pasta, and multiple glasses of red wine.

french fashion blogger outfit, paris valfre top skirt

Paris, je t’aime. Merci Paris Perfect for the lovely stay in Chambertin apartment; I can’t wait to return. 

But how about the Gothic side of the city? That’s coming up next. Catacombs, French absinthe and graveyard haunted by vampires… A bientot!

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