There is always one place you will never tire of seeing no matter where you travel around the globe. We talk to some of top travel influencers and give them expert insight into their favourite parts of the globe. This blog series shines a light on beautiful places through the eyes of some the most traveled people in the world.
Now is the time to get out your travel bucket lists and fill them up!
We are joined here by Jennifer Dombrowski, Luxe Adventure Traveler. This award-winning blog is filled with amazing experiences and heart-pumping adventures. Tim and Jennifer are avid travelers and have traveled to over 60+ countries across 4 continents. They have also lived in many cities. Although they call Bordeaux their home, their passion for adventure is never-ending. We are thrilled to have Jennifer give us valuable advice about Paris, one the most sought-after destinations in the world.
What were you doing before you started traveling?
Since I was a child, I have loved traveling. My high school took me on a Costa Rica study abroad program. It was this experience that made me want to travel more. My dream of working as a travel agent became a reality when I was in my thirties.
My background is in marketing and business administration. Before I became a professional travel blogger and managed a team, I also oversaw social media, communications, and blog operations at a US university. It was much more enjoyable to write about travel than to blog about higher education. I decided to leave university.
My husband and I moved to Northern Italy in 2009 from the US. We had limited time to travel Europe and Italy so we used every vacation and holiday day that we could. My blog was also created at that time, but it was a hobby back then.
In 2012, I was attending travel blogging conferences. My goal was to make my blog a profession. My husband Tim and me still live in Europe more than a decade after I retired from the US Air Force. Tim retired from the US Air Force and we purchased a Bordeaux home. Travel blogging is my full-time job with both Luxe Adventure Traveler (Bordeaux Travel Guide).
What is the best thing about this area of the world to you?
France is unique. It’s got that “je ne sais quoi!” Paris was my first trip to France, long before I moved to Europe. Tim and I often visited France while we lived in Italy, when we traveled to Provence or to the French Alps. We would talk about our dreams of living in France one day. We call Bordeaux our home and are proud to be able to enjoy the best wine regions in the world, as well as the most beautiful beaches right outside our door.
Paris is only 2 hours away by train on the Paris Bordeaux TGV high speed train. This is a great opportunity to visit Paris often. You can take a day trip with friends, visit special exhibitions, or even go on a tour like Walks’s Champagne Daytrip from Paris.
What do you think more people should know about this area?
Paris is more than just the Eiffel Tower. Although it is worth visiting, Paris has so much more than the Eiffel Tower. Outdoor enthusiasts should consider a hike along the Promenade Plantee, which is almost five kilometers long and rises 10 metres above Paris’s streets.
A food tour is a must for all foodies who want to experience the best of French cuisine. A macaron-making class was a great way to learn how to make my favorite French pastries. Paris has an urban vineyard at Montmarte, which will delight wine lovers.
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You can find yourself in many museums and cultural sites that you could be alone even during the peak of summer. It’s possible to spend a lifetime in Paris and not see everything. I have lived in France for over four years and still haven’t seen all of Paris.
What’s your favorite thing to do?
Paris at Christmas is my favorite. The Christmas markets, decorations, and special events make it magical. You must enjoy ice skating on a Parisian rooftop with the Eiffel Tower twinkling, sipping French hot chocolate or vin chaud, and touring the shops window displays and festive atmosphere at the Christmas markets.
What would you do if you had 24 hours?
In Paris, 24 hours is enough time to see the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. I would also like to mix other experiences with these highlights. I would start my day by purchasing a skip the line ticket to see the Eiffel Tower. Instead of eating lunch at home, I would take a Walks Montmarte tour. I love food tours because they allow you to learn about the history of the city and find amazing places to eat that you may want to return to later.
Walks offers a great Louvre tour for the afternoon that I highly recommend. The Louvre can be overwhelming and massive. A Walks expert guide will lead you to the best of this museum, which includes the Mona Lisa at the most busy times of the day.
After taking in the Louvre’s culture, a perfect evening is to have a drink while watching Paris pass by. In summer, you can visit 43 Up on the Roof on the 9th Floor of the Holiday Inn Paris Notre-Dame. You can see the Eiffel Tower and Sacre-Coeur from this rooftop, making it an elegant stop when visiting Paris.
Where’s your favorite place for food in Paris?
You can’t leave Paris, France without a delicious meal. Duck is my favorite French dish, especially since I grew up in Bordeaux. Canard & Champagne is the best place to try France’s famous duck. They are known for serving the finest duck in France, and their menu only features duck and duck.
Are there any unusual or off-the-beaten track spots you would recommend people visit?
Paris used to be a city of vineyards, before it became the modern metropolis it is today. In the 15th century, monks planted a vineyard along the banks of Seine and made wine. Their former abbey’s cellars, which were destroyed by the French Revolution, are still standing. Today, these cellars house the Musee du Vin.
The museum has an exhibit that displays two thousand years worth of wine-making history. You can also do wine tastings. There are many classes offered at the museum, from beginner classes in wine taste to advanced classes in food pairing.