Three Perfect Days in Vancouver

You are missing out if you haven’t visited discover-the-world.com or their blog. Here is a great post by Lauren Shorney that takes us to the beautiful city of Vancouver. Enjoy and make plans to travel!

Vancouver is a city I had never visited but had always heard such great things about from colleagues and friends. It has been voted as the “world’s most liveable city” many times and it is very easy to see why.

Whether you stay by the waterfront or in the heart of the shopping district, the city is ideal for exploring on foot, and many of the districts – Coal Harbour, the waterfront, Gastown, Yaletown and Chinatown – are compact and within easy reach of each other. Another popular way to get around is by bike or water taxi. These are also regularly used by locals to navigate the city in a more scenic way.

To really enjoy Vancouver and its surroundings, I would recommend a minimum of three days.

canada bc vancouver gastown

Day 1: Stanley Park and the waterfront

Stanley Park starts at the edge of Downtown Vancouver and can be reached by walking, cycling or by car. It has recently been voted the best park in the world by TripAdvisor and I was amazed to learn that it is over 10% larger than New York’s Central Park. It is home to many beaches, walking trails, an aquarium, and beautiful gardens. The park’s most famous feature is the 8.8km seawall that loops around the park, fantastic for walkers and cyclists. Along the seawall there are some great viewpoints out to the city and also nine replica Totem Poles. The poles all represent real or mythical stories from First Nations peoples or symbolise a crest telling their family or tribe’s history.

If you have time this afternoon, make your way back to the waterfront and experience the ‘Flyover Canada’ simulator. I must admit I was very dubious about this as I prefer to spend my time outdoors, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The ‘ride’ is about 20 minutes long and you are taken from East to Western Canada, through the Arctic, the Prairies, Rocky Mountains, vineyards and over the ocean. You even ‘swoop’ down into the mountain ranges and feel the air on your face. The sights are mesmerizing and my fellow travellers and I left with real enthusiasm about the experience.

Day 2: Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge

A 10 minute drive from downtown Vancouver took me to Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you do not have a car, there is a free shuttle service from the city that runs every 15 minutes. This is a very popular tourist attraction so I would recommend arriving before 11am to avoid the majority of crowds.

The surroundings here are very lush and green, with the Capilano River running underneath the bridge. I am not a fan of heights so I was very nervous about crossing the bridge, however, was pleasantly surprised. The bridge is very sturdy and does not swing, which makes the nerves much steadier, although I was still holding on tight!

The bridge itself was originally built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver who purchased the land and needed a bridge to cross to the other side of his property. The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956.

In the First Nations language, Capilano means ‘Beautiful River’ and there is a strong focus on the First Nations’ history, with a story centre, totem poles and daily performances on offer.

From Capilano, if you don’t have a car, it is a short ride on a local bus to Grouse Mountain.The cable car to the top of the mountain is very spacious and takes eight minutes so gives you time to enjoy the views over the city, or hide in the middle like me!

Grouse Mountain offers many walking trails and is also home to two refuge grizzly bears called Grinder and Coola. The bears were taken in as cubs as unfortunately their mothers were killed, and they have been here ever since. The enclosure is covered with trees so I found it difficult to see the bears, however, I did see one walking through the forested area and then going to sleep where he stayed for a long time.

The views from the mountain are of course weather dependent, but absolutely sublime and made for some wonderful photo opportunities.

Day 3: Granville Island and Gastown

Granville Island was my favourite experience in Vancouver as it involved my favourite thing: food! The atmosphere was fantastic, with music being played outside by buskers, and tourists and locals mingling and experiencing the edible delights.

Granville is not actually an island but can be accessed by water taxi, car or bus. It is a permanent undercover market, selling food from all over the world. In the food hall the stalls include Chinese, tapas, pizza, fish and chips, Vietnamese, Italian, you name it! The ice cream and cakes were to die for! It is also extremely popular with the locals as fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables are all on sale.

There are many arts and crafts shops inside and outside the markets, and the outdoor areas are great for enjoying the waterside setting. Just beware of the seagulls who can come after your food, so you may wish to eat inside.

In the evening, Gastown is a fantastic place to eat and enjoy some cocktails, if you left any space after Granville Island earlier. Gastown is well known for its steam clock which is located on the corner of Cambie and Water Street, and was actually built to cover a steam grate. The clock displays the time on four faces and announces the quarter hours with a whistle chime that plays the Westminster Quarters.

My time in Vancouver was short but wonderful. It is a fantastic gateway to the Rocky Mountains and Alaska and is a great city with so much to see and do within it, not to mention the nature that surrounds it.

Fancy stopping in Vancouver for a few days? We have a wide range of holiday options and excursions throughout British Columbia.

Source: discover-the-world.com ; Lauren Shorney

The Perfect Three-Day Weekend on Nantucket

Photo: Island Institute

Eighty-two miles of pristine coastline, untouched dunes, and some of the East Coast’s finest seafood bring beach-goers to Nantucket every year. Head 30 miles out to sea to dine on the freshest catches of the day, explore downtown’s pre-Civil War homes, and soak up the sun in one of the oldest whaling towns in New England. Nantucket has amazing attractions for every seaside traveler—here’s how to see it all in one long weekend.

Day One

When you step off the ferry from Hyannis (you can travel via either the Hyline or Steamship Authority), head straight down the docks to Broad Street and grab an iced coffee at a local favorite, Island Coffee Roasters. Make your way into town to the hotel where you’ll be staying for the next three days: the historical, centrally located Jared Coffin House (also on Broad Street). The three-story mansion dates back to the 1800s, when it was built by one of the island’s most affluent ship owners, Jared Coffin. The structure is one of the only ones on island that survived the Great Fire of 1846, and the hotel now offers visitors a taste of charming Nantucket history with comfortable, modern accommodations.

After dropping your bags, make your way through town down to Provisions on the South Wharf for a sizeable sandwich—a favorite is the Turkey Terrific. From there, cross the docks to check out the many waterfront shops. Stop into the Skinny Dip, a new clothing collective that features a mix of high-end, emerging brands with a nod to New England and local surf culture. Head around the corner to one of Nantucket’s top-tier antique and local art dealers, East End Galleryon Old North Wharf.

Take a few hours to explore historic downtown Nantucket: Stop by the Whaling Museumthis to have a look into Nantucket’s past, and see the 46-foot-long sperm whale skeleton that was found on the shores of ‘Sconset in 1998, which is on display in the museum. Walk into the Nantucket Atheneumthis , the island’s local library, and then weave in and out of the many boutiques, galleries, and cafes that line the cobblestone streets. A few must-sees: Murray’s Toggery Shop  and Nantucket Looms on Main Street; Isobel and Cleo and Toujours Midi on Centre Street, and Nantucket Bookworks on Broad Street. Grab a milkshake at the old-school Nantucket Pharmacy on Main before resting up at the hotel.

If you decide you’ve had enough shopping and want to get to the beach, Jetties Beach and Steps Beach are just a quick bike ride from town (you can rent bikes from several shops close to the hotel).

In the evening, walk toward Jetties Beach for drinks and dinner at Galley Beach, a classic Nantucket waterfront restaurant. Sit outside on the wooden deck overlooking the boats coming into the harbor while sipping a cold glass of rosé. Enjoy local fare like pernod-scented escargot with melted leeks, tomato garlic-butter, and pimenton pastry; and truffle-butter-poached two-pound lobster with local corn from Nantucket’s own Bartlett’s Farm.

Day Two

Grab a low-key but hearty breakfast at Black Eyed Susan’s on India Street, and then head to Young’s Bike Shop on Broad Street to rent a jeep. Drive out to Cisco Beach where the sand is hot and the surf is lively. If you’re feeling up for it, opt for a surfing lesson with Nantucket Island Surf School—the trailer is always parked at the top of Cisco Beach in the parking lot.

After a day of sun and surf, drive around the corner from the beach to Bartlett’s Farm to take in the island’s local bounty—fresh flowers, produce, baked goods, and more. Cisco Breweris located right next door, so after you’ve finished shopping at Bartlett’s, drive down to the brewery for Nantucket’s finest craft beer (they also make wine, cider, and various liquors). The brewery is very dog-friendly, and there is usually a raw bar (167 Raw) and a couple food trucks—we like the overstuffed lobster roll from Millie’s.

When you get back to the hotel, walk into town and enjoy a seafood dinner a little off the beaten path at Sayles, located just outside of the main part of town (a walkable distance from the hotel). Order the fried bay scallops and a cup of clam chowder and eat out on the deck (or down on the harbor beach) while watching the boats bob up and down at their moorings.

After dinner, head to the South Wharf for a drink at Straight Wha or Cru, both of which draw a lively crowd, then take an evening stroll down the docks to look at the boats.

Day Three

Start at Petticoat Bakery on Centre street for the best spinach and cheese croissant you’ll ever eat, and a refreshing iced coffee. Today, it’s time to explore the farther reaches of the island. Head east out of town, toward the rotary and down Milestone road. Take in the sights—windswept trees, lighthouses in the distance, stretches of pristine golf courses. Your first stop: Siasconset (referred to as Sconset by most). This historic little village is its own designated town on the island, and is known for its distinct, hydrangea-clad white homes on the steep cliffs overlooking the ocean.

When you arrive, check out Sconset Market and pop into Claudette’s for a sandwich—you can’t go wrong with the meatloaf. After you’ve had your fill of exploring the narrow streets and the beach, make your way to the edge of Sconset to look at Sankaty Head Light, the iconic red and white lighthouse on the eastern edge of the island.

Next, head down Poplis Road, past elegant homes with widow walks and lazy dirt roads that lead to the waterfront. If you’re traveling with little ones, Quidnet Beach is a good stop to make—more often than not, it’s very quiet, not busy, and an ideal beach combing spot. Spend an hour or so soaking up the sun, walking the shoreline, and perhaps spotting some seals. This beach is conveniently located right next to Sesachaha pond, which is a perfect swimming hole for little ones. (There is a small parking lot here, but parking along the road is perfectly acceptable, too.) 

Take the afternoon to explore the island by car or hole up on the shore. If you’re looking for places that are great swimming spots and more likely to have a crowd, check out Surfside, Nobadeer, or Fisherman’s beaches. Just before the sun goes down, drive west out to Madaket beach for a sunset walk. 

Make your way back to town and drop the car back at Young’s, then sit for dinner at the Nautilus (make sure you call ahead for a reservation, especially on weekends). Some must-try small plates: to start, order the tuna poke, and for sharing, ask for the Peking duck feast, which serves up to four people.

After dinner, have a drink at the Club Car—depending on how late it is, you may find yourself gathered around the piano with everyone inside the bar singing late into the night. It’s just a quick walk back to the hotel for some shut-eye before your morning ferry back to the mainland. To keep track of upcoming Nantucket events, check out the calendar at Nantucket.net

Source: travelandleisure.com

3 Days in Napa Valley, California

The perfect itinerary for a long weekend of indulging in wellness, fine dining and wine.

Yountville, photo by Mars Lasar/marslasarstudio.com

Less than two hours north of San Francisco and nestled between the Mayacamas Mountains and the Vaca Mountains, California’s Napa Valley is a glorious part of the world to explore. Take a bike tour through some of Yountville’s wineries, browse the riverfront boutiques in Napa, discover the outdoors in the hills near the charming town of St. Helena and indulge in some pampering at a historic or contemporary spa in Calistoga. Each community has something a little different to offer, but all are tied together with delicious, farm-fresh dining experiences—and plenty of great wine, of course.


Getting around: The Napa Valley stretches 50 kilometres from Napa at the south end to Calistoga at the north with the towns of Yountville and St. Helena in between. You can drive the entire valley in about 45 minutes.


Day 1

Photo courtesy of Napa Valley Bike Tours

Morning

Start exploring with Napa Valley Bike Tours in Yountville. Cruise through the vineyards enjoying light wine tastings along the way. On the well-paced, half-day tour you’ll learn about how Napa’s climate, terrain and fertile ash soil from Mount Saint Helena provide ideal growing conditions for a wide range of grapes; Beringer, Mondavi and Beaulieu make their famous wines here for a reason.

Afternoon

Enjoy lunch at Lucy, the field-to-fork restaurant at Yountville’s Bardessono Hotel & Spa, and check out the garden beds that grow produce for the hotel’s bar and restaurant. Walk off your meal in Napa (about a 15-minute drive south). Browse the Napa Riverfront district’s boutiques and the Oxbow Public Market, where you’ll find locally made goods like artisanal bitters, chocolates and soaps.

Evening

Treat yourself to dinner at La Toque at The Westin Verasa Napa and opt for the seasonal six-course vegetable tasting menu that includes dishes like fennel salad, mushroom tempura and potato gnocchi.

Day 2

The Meadowood Spa, photo courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley

Morning

Sign up for an eco-fitness workout on the forested grounds of the Meadowood Napa Valley, a luxury resort high in the hills near St. Helena, about a 15-minute drive north of Napa. The eco-fitness class includes a scenic hike through the property’s forest trails with stops for stretching, calisthenics and kettle ball. After the workout, visit Meadowood’s luxury spa, which offers individually curated treatment plans and his-and-hers relaxation gardens with saunas and mineral soaking pools. Following your treatment, enjoy a cold-pressed juice and elixir tasting at Meadowood’s health-focused restaurant, The Grill. The Ginger Elixir—orange, Meadowood honey, cider vinegar and cayenne—will zing your palate back to life.

Afternoon

Check out Cairdean Estate in St. Helena, the name giving a nod to its owner’s Scottish heritage. Relax in the leather club chairs in the private tasting room of the winery with a glass of crisp Fumé Blanc in hand. The winery is built on the site of a former mall and the sprawling buildings have been transformed into a cohesive property, complete with restaurant, curated store and a deli and bakery.

Evening

Round out your day with a glorious dinner at Harvest Table. Michelin-starred celebrity chef Charlie Palmer opened this restaurant on the grounds of the manor-style Harvest Inn in St. Helena. Go ahead and opt for the “blind vine” wine-tasting experience. Your bottle will arrive wrapped in foil, and the guessing begins as to which wine accompanies each course. Take the time to savour Palmer’s creations—especially the succulent, shared-plate organic chicken.

Day 3

Photo courtesy of Solage Calistoga

Morning

Book an aromatherapy massage at Indian Springs Resort & Spa in Calistoga, then relax by the Buddha Pond and Gardens before taking a swim in the geyser-fed, Olympic-sized pool, complete with throwback, white-painted cabanas. The iconic resort harkens back to another era, and one is tempted to swim long, languid laps while wearing a ruffled bathing cap in the oldest mineral pool in California.

Afternoon

Follow your relaxing morning with more pampering, this time at Solage Calistoga. Set on 22 acres near downtown Calistoga, this spot offers a contemporary spa and natural geothermal pools. The mud bath is a Napa Valley tradition, and the Spa Solage offers a modern twist with the detoxifying Mudslide treatment; it includes mineral-enriched mud with your choice of pure essential oils. Try a Spa-tini before a late lunch on the patio of Solbar.

Evening

If you can tear yourself away from Calistoga’s mud baths and spas, head downtown for some early evening browsing in the dozens of beautiful boutiques along Lincoln Avenue that are full of clothing, jewelry and the work of Napa Valley artisans. Stop in at one of the tasting rooms provided in the wine shops along the way. Once the sun goes down, stroll around the corner to Evangeline, a mostly outdoor patio restaurant that serves French cuisine with a Creole twist. After dark, the walled courtyard comes alive with soft lighting and music.

Source: westjetmagazine.com ; PAM FIEBER

Three Days in Paradise

Many of our guests in Nassau Paradise Island stay with us for a week or longer. But did you know The Bahamas is a great destination for shorter trips, too? With nonstop flights from many major US cities, getting here is quick and easy, and with so many attractions and activities within a small area, you won’t have to spend much time traveling around the islands in order to have a fun and rejuvenating getaway. In just three days, you can create tons of memories that’ll last a lifetime!

Here’s just one sample itinerary for three fantastic days in Paradise.

Day One: Explore Nassau

After you arrive and check in, head to downtown Nassau to check out some of the city’s top attractions. Start your day at the Pirate’s Museum, where you’ll learn about The Bahamas’ rich pirate history and climb aboard a replica pirate ship. The museum opens at 9 am every day, so it’s a great place to begin in the morning.

Did you work up an appetite at the museum? Perfect! You’re just in time for the Tru Bahamian Food Tour. You’ll have a chance to see the sights of Nassau and learn about the city’s rich heritage while sample food and drink from seven authentic local restaurants and specialty food stores. The tour takes approximately three hours.

After all that walking (and eating), you’re probably ready for a rest! Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on one of our spectacular beaches. Grab a beach chair or just plop a towel in the sand and soak up the sun. Be sure to take a dip in the crystal-clear turquoise water, with an average temperature of 80 degrees!

Wind down with a fresh seafood dinner next to the water. Nassau’s famous Arawak Cay Fish Fry is the perfect place to try conch fritters, cracked conch, or conch salad. Wash it down with an ice-cold Kalik beer, brewed right here in The Bahamas.

Day Two: Dive In at Atlantis, Paradise Island

Grab your swimsuit, your sunscreen, and your sense of adventure because it’s Aquaventure time! Explore the 141-acre waterscape, which features thrilling slides and a lazy river. Lockers are available onsite to stash your valuables, as well as plenty of snack or lunch options when you get hungry. Aquaventure is open to guests of Atlantis Paradise Island and Comfort Suites, but you can also purchase a day pass to access the park – see day pass information.

Once you’ve had your fill of water slides, check out The Dig. Stroll the streets and tunnels of the lost city of Atlantis and bring your camera to capture the gorgeous marine life exhibits. Make sure to stop by the interactive touch tank aquarium for a chance to get up close and personal with conch, starfish, crabs and more.

Cap off your day at Atlantis with dinner at one of the fine dining options onsite, such as Nobu for gourmet Japanese cuisine or Olives for a Mediterranean-inspired meal. Or indulge your inner James Bond at Café Martinique, which originally appeared in the 1965 Bond movie Thunderball. After dinner, enjoy a moonlit walk through Marina Village and check out the impressive yachts parked there. If you happen to be visiting on a Wednesday or Saturday, stick around for the Junkanoo parades, which happen twice weekly at 9 pm.

Not sleepy yet? Pop into Moon Bar for a nightcap, dance the night away at Aura, or try your luck in the Atlantis casino.

Day Three: Sailing and Shopping

Set sail to explore some of the nearby islands on a boat cruise! An Island World Adventures excursion will take you to Saddleback Cay, where you’ll be able to unwind on an uninhabited beach and enjoy an authentic Bahamian lunch. Or hop on a high-speed powerboat with Powerboat Adventures and spend the day snorkeling reefs, feeding stingrays, sharks, and iguanas, and exploring a private island.

Once you’re back on dry land, it’s time to stock up on souvenirs to bring home. For truly authentic Bahamian arts and crafts visit the Craft Cottage and Doongalik Studios. The two locations are adjacent to one another, so it’s a one-stop shop, and you’ll likely have a chance to meet a couple of local artisans too! Just five minutes away from Paradise Island, Bahama Art & Handicraft is well worth a visit for island-made crafts and artwork.

Source: nassauparadiseisland.com ; Nassau Paradise Island 

3 Days in Mexico City

You can’t tackle it all in 72 hours, but you won’t waste a minute with this itinerary.
Image Credit: Lonely Planet

Mexico City floods the senses the moment you hit the capital city’s streets. Competing salsa tracks spill out of shops and restaurants; car horns sound off in frustration in standstill traffic; and metal spatulas jangle on the grills of street-side taco stalls. Chilangos—as locals are known, all 8.8 million of them—move through the metropolis at a quicker tempo than their counterparts elsewhere in the country, and a quick weekend jaunt will see you keeping pace. You won’t even have time to call it Mexico City—just say DF, short for Distrito Federal.

Day 1: Zócalo, Fueled by Caffeine and Tacos

Have an Uber scoop you up at the airport—you’ll want to stick to verified car-hailing services like Uber or Cabify in the city, or beat the traffic on the Metro when you’re sans-luggage—and head straight for the leafy Roma neighborhood to drop your bags at La Valise Hotel. Within the shell of a classic colonial home, this boutique will be your much-needed refuge from the frenzy of the next few days, and its location in hip Roma Norte will set you up for easy access to the city’s best third-wave coffee shops, well-curated boutiques, and sartorially cool crowd. Resist the urge to linger though, and head south on Tonala. Just a few blocks away is Eduardo Garcia’s laid-back Lalo!—fuel up on a spicy plate of chilaquiles and a healthy dose of their strong coffee before ducking into the Insurgentes Metro stop and following the city’s lifeline to the beating heart of it all: Zócalo.

Image Credit: GetYourGuide

Formally called the Plaza de la Constitución, Mexico City’s massive main square is commonly referred to as Zócalo. Today, it’s the bustling center from which the rest of the city sprawls outward, but beneath the worn cobblestone mobbed with tourists and locals lies the remnants of its past life as the Aztec capital Tenochtitlán. Without leaving the square, you can experience remnants of each age of the Zócalo. To the right of the baroque Catedral Metropolitana are well-preserved ruins of the Aztec Templo Mayor. Walking among the open-air remains while hearing the sounds of car horns outside vividly unites past and present. History buffs should explore the museum and take advantage of a guide, though for many, just walking the ruins will be enlightening enough.

Travel forward in time, back onto the Zócalo to the ornate Palacio Nacional—home to enchanting courtyards, libraries, and, most notably, iconic Mexican painter Diego Rivera’s mural The History of Mexico (keep an eye out for Frida Kahlo and other icons hiding throughout). Sidestep the government officials milling about and climb the staircases on both sides of the mural to get a good look at the vivid details portraying Mexico’s journey from the Aztec era to present-day. Across the plaza, slip into the 19th-century Gran Hotel Ciudad de México. Don’t worry that you’re not a guest; you may see a few other in-the-know tourists gazing up at the Art Nouveau decor, notably the Tiffany stained-glass ceiling. For a bird’s-eye view of the Zócalo, make a pitstop at the rooftop bar (also worth returning to for a sunset drink if your timing lines up later).

Getting hungry? Take advantage of being downtown at lunchtime—the masses of office workers keep offerings competitive (just try to stagger your lunch hour to miss the crowds). Weave your way southwest of the Zócalo toward Taqueria Los Cocuyos, and ditch any preconceived notions about which parts of a cow are edible along the way. This no-frills taco stall throws down with fall-off-the-bone brisket, crispy must-order tripe, and local classic campechano (a mix of just about every meat they have). Stop by El Moro Churerría just a few doors down for fresh churros, followed by a caffeine hit at Triana Café Gourmet in Mercado de San Juan—the journey through the winding market is the real appeal, though its locally sourced cups of coffee aren’t bad either.

Once you’re done with lunch, walk north toward Alameda Central. Like the Zócalo, this central meeting point is flanked by iconic buildings and noteworthy museum, but the main attraction is the opulent Palacio de Bellas Artes. Popular and fine-art exhibits rotate inside, sharing gallery space with murals by Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco: Allow an hour to explore.

For dinner, head just a few doors down for a laid-back yet artful meal at Limosneros—it serves beautifully plated modern riffs on traditional Mexican dishes (go for the Wagyu taco)—or try another of Centro’s low-key mainstays, El K-Guamo, home to some of the best seafood tostadas in the city (especially the shrimp and the octopus). After dinner, swing by Pulqueria Duelistas to sample the ancient Aztec pulque, a drink made of fermented tree sap. The viscous, bitter brew is an acquired taste but worth the experience. At the very least, you’ll get a glimpse of pulque drinking culture, which is currently having a major resurgence throughout the city.

Turn your day of culture on its head with one of two kitschy, only-in-Mexico-City evenings: Walk just a couple blocks to Plaza Garibaldi, where dozens of mariachi bands descend once the sun sets, or grab a 20-minute Uber to Arena Mexico for a lucha libre show (Fridays only). At Plaza Garibaldi, revelers can grab chairs at any bar on the square and, for just a hundred pesos or so, be serenaded by one of the many mariachi bands—though it’s arguably just as fun getting to see mariachis off-duty, casually snacking on tacos between performances in their elaborate get-ups. At the lucha libre show, expect a boisterous crowd cheering on their favorite “wrestlers” in those shimmering spandex get-ups you’ve heard about. Either way, you can count on a lively setting to power you through the evening. Time it right and you can do both; catch the start of Plaza Garibaldi around 8 or 9 p.m., then hop over to the 10:30 p.m. La Lucha show (buy your tickets earlier in the day for better seats).

Mexico, Mexico City, Museo Frida Kahlo, facade with entrance to museum
The quiet neighborhood of Coyoacan has long been a hub for intellectuals and artists—including Frida Kahlo herself.
Getty

Day 2: Shopping, Artsy ‘Hoods, and Frida Kahlo

The historic center is a true dichotomy of big city grit and old-world elegance, but much of Mexico City’s beauty is subtler, within the nooks and crannies of its outlying neighborhoods. Now that you’ve done the Centro marathon, it’s time to settle in and explore the most beloved barrios.

Start your morning off with breakfast from Panadería Rosetta’s Roma Norte location, just down the street from La Valise. (You can’t go wrong with a breakfast sandwich, guava pastries, or the cardamom bun.) If last night saw a few too many cervezas, let La Valise bring it to you in bed—its version of room service. Then, set off to explore the boutique shopping that Roma is known for, starting on Calle Colima, where Panadería Rosetta is. Multi-level Roma Quince has everything from tasteful artisanal home goods to chic streetwear by new-to-you Mexican designers. Off Calle Colima, check out Casa Bosques (a bookstore known for its indie magazines and hard-to-find tomes on art and design), Utilitario Mexicano (minimalist, modern housewares), and 180° (any hipster’s one-stop shop for clothes and accessories). If you head west you’ll hit the neighborhood of La Condesa, the upscale, expat-laden border to Roma Norte whose major draw is a great selection of bars and restaurants—but don’t stray too far as you’ll have plenty of time to work your way through it a bit later. Finish your walk at the east end of Colima, away from La Condesa, then walk a couple blocks to the Niños Heroes stop where you’ll catch the Metro to Coyoacan.

Nearly an hour’s journey south, the neighborhood of Coyoacan is the raw counterpart to Roma Norte. While Roma Norte is the hip, artsy neighborhood of the moment, Coyoacan has been a quieter hub for artists, intellectuals, and deep-seated, wild-eyed counterculturists for decades—so it’s no wonder this is where you’ll find Frida Kahlo’s historic house (affectionately known as La Casa Azul). Spend the afternoon eyeing its cobalt-hued rooms, where her works and Rivera’s hang; experience a day in her life as you walk past her tailored corsets, or a mole recipe pasted on the kitchen wall. Book tickets online in advance though—like, before you arrive in the city— and if need be swap your morning and afternoon plans to be the first there.

For lunch, walk a couple blocks to Tostadas Coyoacan for quick ceviche or tostada and a coffee made with Mexican beans at Cafe Negro (get the Moka if you’re feeling indulgent). Depending on how long you spend at La Casa Azul, you may find yourself with some free time in Coyoacan afterward. Wander your way through the Bazar Artesanal (beneath the many Frida tees you can actually find some decent souvenirs), or grab a paleta (homemade popsicle) in Coyoacan Park and savor the quiet.

Catch the Metro (or call an Uber if it’s getting dark out—a good rule of thumb for getting around safely in the evenings), and make your way back to Roma Norte for a night of the neighborhood’s best food and drink. Start early at Contramar—perhaps the city’s most Instagrammed restaurant, full of scenesters—for some phenomenal seafood). If the wait is too long, check out La Docena, another seafood spot that feels slightly less polished (but wins with outdoor seating). Paramo in Roma Norte is also a great bet for dinner, drinks, or both—and the make-your-own tacos and Palomas are paired with live music you can enjoy from your table. Keep the night going at expert mezcalerias El Palenquito (Roma Norte) or La Clandestina (Condesa), or grab a car to speakeasy Hanky Panky in neighboring Colonia Juarez.

Pujol Restaurant Mexico City
The perfect way to cap off a weekend in Mexico City? A meal at Pujol.
Courtesy Pujol

Day 3: Ancient Ruins, and One Last Amazing Meal

Mexico City itself could keep you busy for a lifetime—but that isn’t to say you should restrict yourself to its borders. Just an hour outside the city center are the remarkable ruins of Teotihuacan, built sometime between the 1st and 7th centuries (!). The main structure, the Pyramid of the Sun, is also the third largest pyramid in the world, just after the Great Pyramid of Cholula and the Great Pyramid of Giza. Mexico City may be the destination of the moment, but Teotihuacan is a reminder that the marvels of the city have stood for far longer. If you’re willing to hustle your way out to the ruins for half a day, you’ll be glad you did. Plus, you can be back in time for a full afternoon in the city. (The floating gardens of Xochimilco are another great half-day trip, but save that for next time.)

Image Credit: www.britannica.com

Hire a driver or book a tour through your hotel, or hop on the Metro to Terminal Central del Norte to catch the bus (if you have more time and want to save a few pesos). If you’re going without a guide, use the ride to read up on the various structures at the site. Bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and snacks: There are a couple overpriced, touristy restaurants outside the ruins, so you’re better off waiting until you’re back in the city for lunch. Allow a couple hours to explore the ruins, and don’t miss summiting the Pyramid of the Moon, at the north end, and of course the towering Pyramid of the Sun. Since the Aztecs, pilgrims have journeyed here to soak up the mystical energies believed to converge at the site. Atop the Pyramid of the Sun, you’ll see travelers raising their hands toward the sky to try to capture the energy; don’t be afraid to join in.

Make your way back to the city in time for a late lunch, and head straight to Pasillo de Humo in La Condesa for sopa oaxaquena and a generous selection of moles. Just next to La Condesa is Parque Chapultepec, yet another superlative landmark: Stretching 1,600 acres, this city park is one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere (for scale, it’s about twice the size of Central Park), and is a destination unto itself. Take advantage of your final afternoon in Mexico City in classic chilangofashion by strolling around the park’s lake, visiting the zoo, or stretching out on the grass and people watching. For dinner, indulge in your second Enrique Olvera experience of the trip at world-renowned Pujol (where you’ll want to snag a rez as soon as you book your flights). The “taco omakase” is truly unique, and the tasting menu will linger as a highlight of the entire trip.

Source: cntraveler.com ;  MEGAN SPURRELL

Dallas: Three Days, Three Ways

Southern Living asks, got a few days to play? Whatever your budget, here’s a weekend for you.

A sprawling, cosmopolitan wonder, Dallas is evolving minute to minute–often beyond recognition. So much so that even natives sometimes have to stop and ask directions on streets that they’ve been driving their entire lives.

As fresh as the city is to them, it is equally so to tourists. That’s what people love about visiting Dallas–it’s full of new life and always on the go. In a mere three days, you can jump in and get lost in the rush.

Whether your purse strings are threadbare or you’re using hundreds as hankies, you can truly enjoy Dallas. We have tracked fantastic dining, entertainment, and lodging at three price points.

image credit: Trip Adviser

WHERE TO EAT
$: Good grub can come cheap, so this may be the category where you want to pinch those pennies. Simply sinful is the best way to describe Bubba’s Fried Chicken (6617 Hillcrest). Bubba’s, across the street from Highland Park’s Southern Methodist University, is famous for its rolls and fried chicken tenders. With butter, the rolls are good enough for Thanksgiving. With honey, they’re dessert. Another hot spot around SMU’s stomping ground is Burger House (6913 Hillcrest). They have mouthwatering cheeseburgers, but it’s the seasoned French fries that make grown men dressed in business suits stand in long lines during their lunch breaks.

$$:To get double bang for your buck, dine at the young, trendy, and oh-so-yuppie Sipango (4513 Travis Street), where nightly live music and free salsa dance instruction on Wednesday nights make for especially colorful evenings. The Italian-influenced menu includes inventive pastas and wood-fired pizzas. Another see-and-be-seen spot is Primo’s Bar & Grill (3309 McKinney Avenue), a Tex-Mex joint where all the big-name Dallas chefs rally after closing their own kitchens. Although the outside of this hangout is unassuming, the chiles rellenos, flan, and queso are dazzling, not to mention the margaritas. For quieter dining, choose Celebration (4503 West Lovers Lane) where down-home cooking served family style is divine. In a converted old home, the chiming of “Please pass the potatoes” will remind diners of holidays at grandma’s.

$$$: It’s a fact that Dallas has four times more restaurants per person than New York City. With that said, at least one meal during your visit deserves a splurge.  Javier’s (4912 Cole), a longtime pillar in local dining. Let’s face it, Dallas is full of talk about Mexican food, but Tex-Mex is what they are clamoring on about, not real Mexican. Javier’s is the real deal. The snapper mojo de ajo and beef tenderloin tips are fabulous.

WHAT TO DO
$: Luckily, there’s tons to do in Big D that’s easy on the wallet. The first of these is to spend an afternoon enjoying art at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 North Harwood). The monthly traveling exhibitions and literary series usually charge admission, but entrance to the DMA’s permanent collection is free. The Farmer’s Market (1010 South Pearl Expressway) is another fun freebie. Stroll through the sheds bulging with fresh fruits, vegetables, and plants. There’s even a portion of the market where Southwestern furniture vendors sell their wares. Just remember to bargain. While downtown, swing by Pioneer Plaza (at Young and Griffin streets outside the Convention Center). History books boast that it features the largest bronze monument in the world: three cowboys on horseback driving 40 longhorn steers.

$$: For a stroll back in time, visit Old City Park (1717 Gano), a history museum made up of 38 historic structures dating from 1840 to 1910. The docents here, donning period costumes, are often natives who can tell plenty of when-I-was-little tales about growing up in this chic city. For the thrill-seekers, The Dallas World Aquarium & Zoological Garden (1801 North Griffin Street) has crocodiles, jaguars, and a 16-foot anaconda.

$$$: If blowing some dough is the goal, you won’t have any problem in this city. Start at Neiman Marcus (1618 Main Street), the phenomenon that put expensive department stores on the map. Sure, you can simply stroll through the original department store for free, but that’s no fun. We’ve included it in the pricey section so you can save your milk money and buy a souvenir with true Texas style. By spending at the many boutiques in Snider Plaza, one of the oldest shopping centers in Dallas, you can rack up more frequent-flier miles on the credit card. If shopping’s not your bag, then there is no question where to indulge: a Dallas Cowboys football game. The local joke is that the reason there’s a hole in the stadium roof is so God could watch “da boys” play. Scoring tickets may take some smooth moves.

WHERE TO STAY
$: For lodging in Dallas, the budget category tends to be weak, while the pricey category leans toward healthy. An honest-to-goodness gem in the city is Terra Cotta Inn (6101 LBJ Freeway). This inn feels like a bed-and-breakfast that just happens to be on one of the busiest highways in the city. We love it because it’s charming and affordable. In the winter, double rooms rent for $63 and deluxes go for $83. Beat that!

$$: The Magnolia Hotel (1401 Commerce) is a new hotel in a historic building with rates that are hard to top for the convenience of downtown. Tip: Weekend rates are nearly half off weekday rates. They range from $129 to $169.

$$$: If you decide to stay at Hotel Crescent Court (400 Crescent Court; rates start at $235) or The Mansion on Turtle Creek (2821 Turtle Creek Blvd.; rates start at $440), you may have to opt for low-budget dining and entertainment for the rest of the trip. But you’ll never have more luxurious and stately accommodations, and, boy, will your friends back home be jealous. Zagat Survey recognizes The Mansion as the number one hotel in the South.

Dallas may tug a little on your pocketbook, but after 72 exhilarating hours, it’ll be worth the financial setback. Just think, when you’re ready for three more days, so much will have changed in Big D, it’ll be like visiting an entirely new city.

“Dallas: Three Days, Three Ways” is from the November 2001 issue of Southern Living. Because prices, dates, and other specifics are subject to change, please check all information to make sure it’s still current before making your travel plans.

Source: southernliving.com ; Jennifer L. Mckenzie

3 Days in Paris: The Perfect Paris Itinerary

Original Article by Laurence Norah from findingtheuniverse.com. It is so very well done we had to share!

Links to Laurence and his website are at the end of the article.

Thinking about spending 3 days in Paris? Great choice! We think that’s the perfect amount of time to spend in one of our favourite European cities, giving you the chance to see many of the top sights and attractions and really get a feel for the city. Of course, if you have longer, that’s even better, but three days is certainly enough to see a lot.

To help you with your planning, we’re going to share with you everything we think you need to know to spend three days in Paris. We’re going to give you a suggested 3 day Paris itinerary, tips for getting around, advice on where to stay in Paris, our thoughts on when is best to visit and even some suggested ways to save money in Paris.

Let’s get started!

3 Day Paris Itinerary

Paris Itinerary: Day 1

1. Eiffel Tower

What better way to start of your trip to Paris than with a visit to the Eiffel Tower. This is without doubt the most iconic landmark in Paris (if not France!), and a visit here is a must for any visit to Paris. When we visit Paris, we always visit at least once, and every time we are amazed at the sheer scale of this beautiful building.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Eiffel Tower. First, you can just enjoy the views of the tower, which we think are particularly good from the Trocadero Gardens across the river, or the Champ de Mars gardens behind the Tower.

3 days in Paris - Eiffel Tower Paris_by_Laurence Norah

You can also go up inside the Eiffel Tower to one of the different floors, for expansive views of the city. We do like the experience of going up inside, but we don’t think it offers the best view of the city – because the view from inside the Eiffel Tower is missing the most famous part of the skyline – the Eiffel Tower itself!

Still, if this is your first visit to Paris, we highly recommend the experience. We do suggest that if you want to go up the Eiffel Tower, that you book your tickets in advance from the official website. The queues here for tickets can be very long, and with a pre-booked ticket you can skip the wait.

3 days in Paris - Eiffel Tower Stairs_by_Laurence Norah

Alternatively, if you are feeling fit, you can also take the stairs up to the first level. There is not usually a very long queue for the stairs, which have their own ticket line, and it is also slightly cheaper.

2. Seine River Cruise

Another must-do experience in Paris is a river cruise on the Seine. This is a very popular activity, with multiple operators offering cruises up and down the river. We’ve actually written a post about the various Seine River cruise options which goes through the majority of the operators and the different types of trip available.

3 days in Paris - Seine River Cruise Paris_by_Laurence Norah

We can definitely recommend the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise. These depart from just next to the Eiffel Tower, so fit in nicely with this itinerary, and they are included for free if you pick up a Paris Pass.

The cruise takes in all the highlights from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame, and there’s commentary included. So sit back, relax, and let the scenery roll by.

3. Hop on Hop off Bus

Talking of sitting back and relaxing, we find that a great way to get oriented in a new city and get an idea of the sights we want to see is to take a Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) bus tour.

Paris is no exception to this rule, and you can pick up a HOHO bus in Paris from right next to the Eiffel Tower, which will then take you around Paris’s key attractions.

3 days in Paris - Paris Hop on Hop Off Bus_by_Laurence Norah-2

There are multiple operators running different routes around the city. If you pick up a Paris Pass, it includes a 1 Day Big Bus Tour. We took this tour and enjoyed it – it’s both an easy way to get around the city, plus you can learn about many of the sights as you go. However there are a few different operators, so pick the one that works for you!

4. Paris Walking Tour

All this sitting around on buses and boats is great for getting oriented, but at some point you’re going to need to put your feet on the pavement! Paris is a wonderful city to explore on foot, and a guided walking tour is an excellent way to do that.

We think that if you are going to do a walking tour in a city, the first day is the best, as you can ask your guide for local recommendations such as their favourite places to eat or get a coffee, as well as get suggestions for hidden gems you might not find in the guidebooks.

There are lots of operators offering tours in Paris. We’ve taken a number of walking tours with Context Travel, and have always loved their detailed tours. They have a number of tours available in Paris, and you get 10% off with this link. We particularly enjoyed their Hemingway themed walking tour of Paris.

We also love Take Walks walking tours, and they have recently launched a number of Paris Tours. For example, they have a Welcome to Paris Walking Tour with Notre Dame and Petanque, as well as a full day Paris tour, although the latter would require you to significantly alter this itinerary.

If you have a Paris Pass, it comes with a free walking tour that focuses on famous filming locations in Paris, which is a lot of fun.

5. Tour Montparnasse

Last on our list for your first day in Paris is a trip up the Tour Montparnasse. I recommend this to everyone going to Paris, as it is, in my opinion at least, the location with the best view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

3 days in Paris - View from Tour Montparnasse

This is particularly the case at sunset, so if you can time your visit for sunset, you will get to witness a wonderful sunset across the Eiffel Tower, and then watch the city lights come to life.

The observation level is across two levels, one is inside and one is outside. The outside area is surrounded by glass, but there are cutouts so you can get reflection-free shots of the view. You can also bring a tripod up here! No wonder therefore that it’s on my list of favourite Paris photography locations.

There’s a fee to go up Tour Montparnasse, but it’s free for holders of the Paris Pass.

Paris Itinerary: Day 2

Our second day in Paris takes in some more iconic sites including some of Paris’s most famous museums and churches. It’s quite a full day, so do feel free to edit the itinerary to suit your particular interests, pace and needs!

6. Saint Chapelle

It took me multiple visits to Paris before I finally made it to Saint Chapelle. Now I urge everyone to make it a priority on their trip to Paris!

This is a relatively small chapel that is not too far from Notre Dame, but the interior, which consists of almost floor to ceiling stained glass, is absolutely outstanding. It will definitely take your breath away.

3 days in Paris - Saint Chapelle Paris_by_Laurence Norah

The 13th century Saint Chapelle is quite popular, and the small size and mandatory security checks mean that the line to get in can be long. This is why I have put it on my list as the first thing for your second day in Paris – you want to get here early, ideally get in line ten – fifteen minutes before the opening time. After all, no-one wants to spend their time standing in lines.

There’s a fee to enter Saint Chapelle, which is also free to holders of the Paris Pass.

7. Notre Dame

No more than ten minutes walk from Sainte Chapelle is Paris’s most famous religious building, known for her flying buttresses, twin towers and, of course, hunchback resident.

You will definitely see two out of those three when you visit Notre Dame, the major Catholic cathedral in Paris. Construction of this magnificent building took nearly two hundred years, and was completed in 1345.

3 days in Paris - Notre Dame paris_by_Laurence Norah

Entry to Notre Dame is free, although you do have to go through security, and lines are sometimes long. If you wish to go up the tower or into the crypt, there is a fee for those activities (included with the Paris Pass), and you need to book a timeslot in advance.

You can book this time slot on site at the ticket terminals. However, we suggest instead you do it using the “Jefile” app, available on iOS and Google Play. This starts accepting time slot reservations every day from 7.30am, so just set a reminder for yourself and book your timeslot well in advance on your day of visit, so as to avoid disappointment.

8. Musee d’Orsay

If you like museums, Paris has definitely gotten you covered. Our next stop is the Musee d’Orsay, but before you get here, you’re going to take a walk along Paris’s iconic left bank, from Notre Dame to the Musee d’Orsay. This isn’t too far, but you’ll see the booksellers and get a feel for this part of town.

3 days in Paris - Musee d Orsay Paris_by_Laurence Norah

Paris’s museums are quite logically set up, with three main art museums covering three distinct time periods.

The Musee d’Orsay, first on our list, covers art dating from the middle of the 19th century up to the early 20th century, and is home to masterpieces from the likes of Duchamp, Kandisky and Picasso, to name but a few. The Louvre (see below), covers the time period before this, whilst the Centre Pompidou covers the time period afterwards, right up to the modern day. The Centre Pompidou isn’t on this itinerary, but you could fit it in if you wanted to of course!

The Musee d’Orsay is absolutely stunning. It’s set in what was once one of Paris’s main train stations,  and the grand central atrium is gorgeous – almost worth visiting in of itself.

There’s a fee to get in here, but holders of the Paris Pass get free entry as well as skip the line priveledges.

9. The Louvre

If you only visit one museum in Paris, I can highly recommend making it the Louvre. This is one of the world’s most famous museums, and is home to an incredible collection of art, including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s Dying Slave, to name but a few.

Louvre Paris_by_Laurence Norah-2

Obviously, seeing the Mona Lisa is on the wishlist for many visitors, but this museum, which covers art from ancient times up to the middle of the 19th century, has obviously got a great deal more to offer. True art lovers could lose themselves for days in the vast collection here!

Of course, if that’s you, you are welcome to do the same, although for the purposes of this itinerary we’d probably recommend you try and limit your time to two to three hours so you can fit more of Paris in.

Venus de Milo Louvre_by_Laurence Norah

We’d also highly recommend that you pick up either a Paris Pass or a Paris Museum Pass, which will give you fast-track access to the Louvre.

You will still have to queue for security, but the fast track line is a lot quicker moving than the general admission line.

10. Wine tasting

When you think of France, a few things likely come to mind, and I suspect that wine is likely one of them. So why not take a break from the sight-seeing and museums, and indulge in a little wine tasting.

The tour costs €30 including the wine tasting, and is included for holders of the Paris Pass.

If you aren’t into wine tasting, there are a number of nearby cafes and restaurants where you can refresh and revive. We can recommend afternoon tea at Le Meuricethe Ritz or the Hotel de Crillon if you like afternoon tea (see our guide to the best afternoon tea in Paris if so). For a shorter and less expensive experience, the hot chocolate at Angelina Cafe is also superb.

11. Arc de Triomphe

We’re going to finish off the second day of our three day Paris itinerary with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, another of Paris’s iconic landmarks. From the Louvre you can either take public transport here, or you can walk up the Champs Elysees, Paris’s most famous shopping street.

Arc de Triomphe Paris_by_Laurence Norah

The Arc de Triomphe, built in memory of those who died in the French Revolution and Napoloenic Wars, is wonderfully photogenic.

If you arrive in time, you can go to the top for an excellent view of the city, which includes the roads spanning out into the distance and the Eiffel Tower.

As you journey up into the monument, you will also come to a museum which details some of its history. Below the monument, you will also find the tomb of the unknown soldier.

To get to the Arc de Triomphe, don’t try and cross the traffic roundabout. Head to one of the underpasses, and cross in safety. Going up inside the Arc de Triomphe carries a fee, holders of the Paris Pass get free access with skip the line privileges.

Paris Itinerary: Day 3

On the last day of our 3 day Paris itinerary we’re heading out of the city centre to take in one of Paris’s most famous Royal Palaces. We’re also including some extra sights in the city at the end if you can tear yourself away.

12. Versailles

The really nice things about having 3 days in Paris is that you have the flexibility to go a little further out of the centre. My suggestion for your third day is to visit Versailles, the incredible palace that was the seat of French political power and home to French Royalty, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

To truly appreciate Versailles, I would suggest allocating at least half a day of your third day in Paris, if not more. There is easily enough to see here to fill an entire day, which is why we don’t recommend coming here on our two day Paris itinerary.

Versailles Paris_by_Laurence Norah

We suggest starting off by touring the Palace. You’ll want to get here for opening time, as this is a really popular tourist attraction and it get busier as the day goes on. Once you have toured the Palace and seen such highlights as the incredible Hall of Mirrors and the Kings Grand Apartments, you can head outside, where there is a great deal more to see.

A walk in the incredible (and vast!) gardens is a must. We particularity enjoyed heading over to Marie Antoinette’s estate, which is a slightly quieter part of the gardens, and home to a small model farm, tucked away temples, and walking paths.

It’s very easy to spend a whole day exploring Versailles and the grounds, and don’t feel bad if you do, it’s totally worth it.

Versailles_by_Laurence Norah-2

Visiting Versailles is quite easy, you can get a train (RER C) from central Paris to the Gare de Versailles Chateau Rive Gauche, and from the train station to the Palace it is a well sign-posted ten minute walk. Fast-track entry to the Palace, Gardens and other Versailles attractions is included on the Paris Pass – although you will still need to join the security line.

It’s worth pointing out that the travel card that comes with the Paris Pass does not include travel to Versailles.

We saw a number of people trying to use this travel card to get through the ticket barriers with no luck. The Paris Pass travel card only covers zones 1-3 of Paris, which is sufficient for everything else on this itinerary, but not for Versailles which is in Zone 4. So you need to buy a ticket separately for your train journey – these are available from ticket machines at all the train stations, and these have and English language option available.

13. Montmartre

If you manage to tear yourself away from Versailles, my suggestion for finishing off your last day in Paris is to head to the Montmartre region. This is home to a large hill, atop which sits the glorious Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, another of Paris’s iconic buildings.

This area of Paris was particularly famous as being home to artists, and folks like Dali, Picasso and Hemingway all either lived or frequented this area. It’s still popular with artists, and the Place du Teatre is the place in Montmartre is the place to go to get your portrait or caricature painted. Fans of Dali will also want to visit the Dali Exhibition, home of the largest collection of works by Dali in France.

Montmartre is a maze of cute little streets, cafes and shops. The Basilica is free to visit, if you get here in time, although there is a small fee if you want to climb the tower. Montmartre is also a popular place to watch the sunset across the city, and what better way to finish your 3 days in Paris than by watching the sun set across this magical city from atop Montmartre?

3 Days in Paris Itinerary Map

To help you visualise our 3 day Paris itinerary we’ve put together this helpful map which shows the attractions for each day. You can access this on Google Maps here.

3 Day Paris Itinerary Map

Where to Stay in Paris

As you would expect from a major European capital city, Paris has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. We’ve stayed in a variety of places, from hotels to homestays to apartments.

Ideally you want to be fairly central if you can, to minimise your travel time. Our suggestion is to take a look at the listings for Paris on booking.com. They’re our favourite booking engine when we travel, `usually giving us the best choice and the best prices. They also have everything, from apartments and hostels to high end hotels. Here are some options we suggest, depending on your budget.

Of course, there are lots of other options when it comes to finding accommodation when you travel. Check out our travel resources page for some of our favourites.

When to Visit Paris

We’re actually happy to visit Paris at pretty much any time of year, and this Paris itinerary would work at any time of year. Summer brings sunshine and warmth, although of course the city is a lot busier at this time of year, so if crowds aren’t your thing, you might want to skip the summer months.

We also love Fall and Spring in the city, when the temperatures are a bit cooler and the crowds less. In the run up to Christmas, the city is beautifully decorated and some of the stores in particular are worth visiting just to see the elaborate decorations they put up. After Christmas the city is a lot quieter, and of course temperatures are at their lowest.

Ultimately, we think Paris is worth visiting whenever you can, so just decide how busy you can handle, and if you’d prefer it to be warm or cold, and go from there!

How to Get to and From Paris

As the capital of France, Paris has multiple options for visitors looking to visit. There are three major airports in Paris. Charles de Gaulle is the main airport for international arrivals, with Paris Orly being the second most popular international airport. Both of these airports are easily reachable by public transport from the city centre.

Eiffel Tower from Arc de Triomphe_by_Laurence Norah

Paris Beauvais-Tille airport is where you will likely arrive if you are flying with a budget airline. This is some way out of the city centre, but regular shuttles buses are available to take you into the city.

Paris is also connected to the high speed French and European rail network, and there are a number of train stations in central Paris. You can even travel from the UK by train, taking the channel tunnel to do so.

Finally, of course, you can reach Paris by car from France and the rest of Europe. Our advice would be to park your car in a secure long stay car-park on the outskirts of Paris and take public transport to the centre. We recommend against driving in the city centre, as public transport is cheap and fast, and a lot easier than stressing about driving around the crowded city streets, and trying to find a parking space.

How to Get Around Paris

Paris has an excellent public transport network, and in particular the Paris Metro system is really good, getting you around all the major parts of the city at minimum cost. There’s also a good bus network, as well as local trains.

For public transport, you can purchase t+ tickets which allow for one-off travel on the Paris bus, RER trains and metros. These are available at train and metro stations using the ticket machines. These machines accept both credit cards and cash, and can be configured for English language.

Paris Metro_by_Laurence Norah

Each ticket can be used for a single journey of up to 2 hours on the metro (including transfers) and 90 minutes on buses (including transfers). For more information on these tickets, see the official page. We suggest that you purchase them in packs of 10, which is much more cost effective than buying them individually.

Alternatively, if you buy a Paris Pass, this come with a travel card which is valid for the duration of the Pass. So if you buy a 3 Day Paris Pass, it will come with a three day travel card. This will cover you for all your travel in Paris within Zone 1-3, so will get you nearly everywhere you need to go. Notable exceptions include Versailles and the Paris Airports, for which you will need a separate ticket.

Walking Tours of Paris

If you’d like to take a guided tour of Paris, the two companies we usually use are Take Walksand Context Travel. These both offer small group walking tours in Paris, which are a great way to learn about some of the sights and history of the city. Of course, if you decide to take a walking tour you will have to adjust the itinerary accordingly to suit.

If you were interested in a tour, Take Walks has this Paris in a Day tour which includes a Skip the Line Louvre Tour, the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre & a Seine River Cruise – an excellent introduction to the city!

Context travel offer a number of very focused tours of Paris, and these offer very specialised insights into particular subjects. We’d suggest maybe taking one of these for a specific area of interest that you really want to learn about, perhaps for Versailles. They also offer an introduction to Paris tour.

There are of course other options for various tours in Paris, including all the tours on this page, which offers a variety of things to do from different providers. So definitely check out the options to figure out what is best for you!

How to Save Money in Paris

Being a major European city, Paris is definitely not a budget destination. There are a few ways to save money of course, even on an itineary as packed with attractions as this one is. Food is one way – rather than eating out for every meal for example, you could stay in an apartment or hostel that lets you cook your own meals.

If that’s not an option, consider having picnic lunches or breakfasts, and eating out in the evenings. Also, keep an eye out for the “menu du jour”, most restaurants offer a fixed lunch or evening menu which includes a number of dishes at a fixed price.

You can usually get a meal for between €12 & €18 which includes two or three courses, bread, and sometimes even wine or coffee. Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Paris for lunch deals.

The cheapest way to get around Paris is to walk of course, followed by the excellent public transport system. We usually walk as much as we can, and then take the metro for the longer trips. Taxis can be convenient, but they will eat into your budget very quickly.

RATP cards Paris_by_Laurence Norah

One of our favourite ways to save money when we visit a major city where we want to see a lot of sights is to invest in a city sightseeing pass. In Paris there are two main passes that we recommend, the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass.

The Paris Pass actually includes the Paris Museums Pass, which gets you into many of Paris’s major attractions, including the Louvre and Versailles. It also includes invaluable skip the line access to some of the major attractions in Paris.

The Paris Pass also comes with a number of other benefits including a travel card for the duration of the pass, access to the hop on hop off bus, a Seine River cruise, a walking tour, wine tasting and many more.

Paris Passes_by_Laurence Norah

One thing to be aware of is that the three day Paris Pass, which we would recommend if you were to do this itinerary, only includes a 2 day Paris Museum Pass, as there is no three day Paris Museum Pass. So you would need to arrange your days to visit the attractions covered by the Paris Museum Pass over two days.

I have in fact already done this for you in this itinerary. The first day includes attractions that are not covered by the Paris Museum Pass, whilst the second and third day include the main attractions covered by the Paris Museum Pass.

As an idea of savings, if you were to visit all the attractions in this itinerary that are covered by the Paris Pass, plus buy a three day travel card, you’d be looking at spending over €220. A three day Paris Pass currently costs €165 – so that is a good saving!

Of course, your individual situation will vary, and you might have different attractions you want to visit. In addition, you should be aware that if you are an EU citizen under the age of 26 that many attractions are free or discounted to visit (you need ID!). Also, on the first Sunday of every month, many museums are free to visit – although very crowded as a result!

We think the Paris Pass is good value for money (click here to buy), but do feel free to check out our detailed review of both the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass, and come to your own decision as to what works for you!

Practicalities for visiting Paris

Safety

Paris is a safe city in our experience, although it does have a reputation for being home to a number of scams. Most of these are easy to avoid once you know about them (read up on some of the common scams in Paris here).

As with any major city, of course you need to keep your wits about you – keep your possessions in view all the time, keep your wallet or phone in a front pocket (with a zip if possible), and don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do at home.

We’ve not had any problems in Paris, although there are a few scams to be aware of – check our guide to avoiding common Paris scams so you are prepared in advance.

Power

Electricity in Paris is of the 220v standard, with the 2 pin European style plug. Travellers from countries like the UK and the US will need an adapter like this.

US travellers need to check their equipment supports the 220v standard – it will be written clearly on the power adapter. As a general rule, we have found that laptops, phone and camera chargers and other small electronics are universal, whilst larger devices like hair dryers and hair straighteners are not.

Currency

Paris is part of the Eurozone, so the currency is the Euro. You can get Euros from ATM’s, banks and currency exchanges, although credit cards are of course widely accepted, and there is no need to carry large quantities of currency.

Internet Access

Internet access is widely available in the form of WiFi all around the city and in hotels and coffee shops, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting online. You can also pick up local SIM cards if you have an unlocked phone. Travellers from the UK on the Three network will be able to use their Feel At Home data, which is a great deal if you’re a regular traveller from the UK.

For more options on getting online when travelling, check out our guide to getting online when travelling to help you figure out the best options. We also have a guide to picking the best travel router, which can help you extend a weak WiFi network and share it across multiple devices.

Water 

The water in the taps in Paris is safe to drink unless otherwise indicated. If you don’t like the taste, bottled water is widely available. We usually recommend you travel with a re-usable water bottle like this to save on having to buy water bottles.

Eating in Paris

If you want to eat at one of the more popular restaurants in Paris, we recommend that you book in advance. We recommend and use La Fourchette, which is the most popular online restaurant booking website in France.

It’s easy to use and makes booking restaurants a breeze, especially if you don’t speak French. Check it out here to find reviews, sample menus and book a table.

Further Reading for your 3 Days in Paris

We have visited Paris on a number of occasions, and have written a good deal about our experiences in the city. To help you further plan your stay in Paris, here are some of our favourite posts and external resources.

Last updated: 5th February 2019. Written by Laurence Norah

Houston from Below – Weekend Traveler (Saturday Edition)

Weekend Travel Ideas in Houston

Image Source

Highlights

  • Discover Houston’s underground Tunnel System with a local guide
  • Explore the newest and oldest tunnel sections that are open to the public
  • Learn about the history of Houston through its architecture and art
  • See beautiful art deco treasures and sculptures by world-famous artists and learn how Houston’s 7 miles of pedestrian tunnels came to be

Overview Walking through the streets of Houston is pretty special but did you know that there is a whole underground system of tunnels below the city? This Houston tour will take you through the city, over and underground, until you get to know the city from every angle. What to Expect

You’ll meet your local guide and begin your Houston tour with a walk down Main Street towards the Chase Bank Building, which features eight frescoes depicting Texas history. With your local guide to explain these pieces, you’ll gain a greater understanding of the history of the city and state alike. From here, we’ll enter the Downtown Houston Tunnel System and walk over to Chase Tower, the tallest building in Texas. Your guide will lead you outside for a photo op in front of Joan Miro’s 1982 Personage and Birds.

Next on this historical Houston tour, you’ll cross the street and enter Philip Johnson’s award-winning Pennzoil Place. You’ll ride an escalator down to the tunnel where you’ll get a sweet treat at a unique boutique bakery with some of the best cookies in Houston.

Finish your Houston tour by walking through downtown’s oldest and newest tunnels, and see the only remaining portion of a 1913 hotel known as “The Cotton” before returning to Café Express with your guide.   Departure Point -Cafe Express Departure Time – 9:30am Duration – 2h Return Details – Returns to original departure point   –  

Inclusions

  • Local English-speaking guide

Exclusions

  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities (optional)

Additional Info

  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Comfortable walking shoes and clothing is recommended
  • Please wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing. While the weather outside from May-November can be hot and humid, the Tunnel System is air-conditioned. While the weather from December-February can be cold, the Tunnel System is heated. Please check the local weather forecast and dress appropriately in case of rain and/or high winds.
  • This is a child-friendly tour. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6.
  • Downtown parking: Do not park in a parking meter for this tour. The meters are good for only two hours, and violation tickets are quite expensive. Please park in an indoor garage or on an outside lot. For more information about parking downtown, go to www.DowntownHouston.org.

Cancellation Policy For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Source: TripAdvisor.com