Travel black book: Tower style of Paris

Who: CNBC anchor

Susan Li is the host of new travel show First Class, which provides an inside look at exclusive destinations and indulgences around the world.

The first episode will feature Singapore and premieres on CNBC on Friday at 5pm.

Favourite city: Paris, France

Why: The city is so rich in history, art and style. You can stay in any part of Paris and find wonderful places to eat and explore.

I've been there four times and each time I go, I get this wonderful feeling of romance, excitement and appreciation.

It never bores me. I always find something special and new to appreciate.

All your senses are stimulated in Paris. Whether you're into history, art, fashion or food - it has got it all.

Best place to stay

I love staying in the bohemian Marais area. It's very artistic and close to the Centre Pompidou but also full of history and beautiful cobblestone streets.

It's right next to Place des Vosges, a small quaint park that is a great place to just sit around and enjoy the sunshine.

Best places to eat

When you are jet-lagged in Paris, a good breakfast is absolutely necessary. Luckily, a delectable breakfast spread with fluffy and tasty omelettes is served early at the Georges V Hotel (31 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris, France, tel: +33-1-4952-7000).

The Laduree in Champs-Elysees (75 Avenue des Champs-Elysees, 75008 Paris, France, tel: +33-1-4075-0875) is also a great place to get your coffee and pastries breakfast fix.

For lunch or dinner, my favourite hidden gem is Juveniles restaurant (47 rue de Richelieu, 75001, tel: +33-1-4297-46-49), a bistro-a-vins which serves great British-meets-French cuisine at good-value prices (€10 to €19 or S$16 to S$30 for lunch, €20 to €34 for dinner).

Best places to shop

Rue Saint-Honore is amazing for shopping. It is not crawling with tourists like Champs-Elysees but has all the designer shops you need, such as Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Prada. It is also near Rue Cambon where the legendary Chanel is headquartered.

If you are hungry or want a short rest, you can enjoy one of the many wonderful cafes along the street.

Best tourist site

The Notre Dame (6 Parvis Notre-Dame, Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France Place tel: +33-1-4234-5610), a 1

2th-century cathedral which is so beautiful with its ethereal gothic architecture.

Best museum

My favourite is the Musee d'Orsay (1 Rue de la Legion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France, tel: +33-1-4049-4814). I love post-impressionism and the romance in the Renoirs, Monets and Van Goghs which can be found there.

Best view

Nothing beats the view at sunset from the Sacre-Cœur Basilica, at the top of the Montmartre hill, from which you get a breathtaking view of the entire city.

Not only can you see how big Paris is, but I also can't think of a better place to watch the sun setting behind the Eiffel Tower. It is truly stunning.

Most memorable experience

Early morning jogs with friends through a quiet Paris city along the Seine to the Louvre, Jardin des Tuileries and Notre Dame. It is the best way to see the city with no crowds. You have Paris all to yourself.

Best day trip

I recommend a fun overnight trip to Bordeaux.

It is just three hours on the train (€20, go to en.voyages-sncf.com) to enjoy wine country and some of the best wines in the world at the gorgeous vineyards.

Ideal length of stay

I would stay at least five days since there is so much to do in Paris.

Prepare before embarking. There is so much to see that you really have to narrow it down and figure out what you want to do, so look up the restaurants that interest you, the shows that you want to see and the areas you want to hang out in.

You want to allocate enough time to enjoy each place. You also need to book in advance.

vlydia@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Sept 14, 2014.
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