Paris, Places

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG

Hi, it’s me Marimonda.

Today I’d like to share my experience at Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG (3-star).

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG is located in front of the Charles de Gaulle Airport Terminal I, Paris. Thanks to its amazing location, it’s a perfect place to stay before and after your trip with reasonable price. You can find hotels in Terminal 2 (which is a hub airport of Air France and other major airlines), but they’re usually more expensive and considering the fact that there are not many things to do at the airport (you need to come to the downtown anyway if you’d like to do something), it wasn’t a good option for me.

Since I live near the RER B line(airport line), I usually don’t get a room before or after my trip. This time, however, was an exception because I had luggages and my flight was early in the morning. Moreover, recently there were many changes in schedules in RER due to strikes and other reasons. I didn’t want to risk but neither spend a lot of money in an accomodation. Thus, I decided to stay at the hotel near airport so that I could relax before my trip.

Room

I booked the standard room (17). The concept of the hotel is a spaceship as far as I remember (or just space?). I had the moon inside the room as you can see in the picture above. Complimentary water and a mini snack are provided. It has a cheval mirror in front of the door and on the opposite there’s a bathroom. Next to the bathroom, there’s a hanger so you can put your clothes and store luggages. The facilities are very simple, and the room is spacious enough. The amenities are provided in a tube (multi-purpose ones).As you probably know, Hotel Ibis Styles has a distance from fancy, but very practical. If you’re looking for more privileged hotels(4-star) near airport, there are other options such as Pullman, Sheraton, or Marriott.

Breakfast

Breakfast is included in the room rate (€98) and the meal was okay. Personally, cold food (cheese & ham) seemed to have quite good options, bread and fresh fruits are offered. I found Ibis styles offers relatively good breakfast compared to other hotels for the similar price.

Hotel Ibis Styles is a member of Accor Hotels, thus if you reserve a room via its official website you can accumulate the points. Accor is a French multinational hospitality company and it offers wide options of accomodation in Europe. Now, their Accor Super Sale(30% off + free breakfast) is going on if you reserve by 18th Oct. 2019 and stay from 15th Dec.2019 to 1st Mar. 2020. Don’t miss out opportunity to enjoy your vacation with better deal.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda. See you soon!

Practical Info.

Address : 1 Rue de la Haye, 93290 Tremblay-en-France

website

Paris, Places

The Palais Garnier

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you the Palais Garnier also known as Opera. As a symbol of Paris, the Palais Garnier is an eye-catching architecture from far distance with its green roof and fancy decoration. It has a distinct architect style called <Napoleon III>, which includes Baroque, Renaissance, and Classicism all together. The Palais Garnier is also famous for the background of the book written by Gaston Leroux and the musical <the Phantom of the Opera>.

First it was built as the Académie Royale de Danse(Royal Academy of Dance) by Louis XIV in 1661. At that moment, it aimed to train dancers and formalize choreographic. Eight years later, Académie Royale de Musique (Royal Academy of Music) was created and this place started focus on dance and music. The name of the building followed after the architect Charles Garnier. Today, it’s primarily used for ballet and opera performances by Paris Opera Ballet, while the Opera Bastille is a home symphony and some ballet performances.

I reserved <The Paris Opera 350th Anniversary> tour to look around here. It takes 1h 20 mins and it costs €18. This tour is more focused on the history of the Paris Opera. If you’re interested in the structure of the building or general information on it, you can also take <The Opera Garnier Day Tour> which lasts 1h 20 mins(same) and costs €17. Considering that the entrance ticket costs €14 and the audio guide is €5, the guided tour seems to be a good deal.

Don’t forget to exchange your online reservation voucher to a ticket. You might have to line up and wait to get your ticket, thus I recommend you to arrive at least 15 mins before your reservation time. When you get your ticket, you should present one of your ID card. Then, wait for your guide in the waiting room. Your guide will distribute the audio system and check whether it works well or not. After checking the audio system, your tour begins. You can stay as long as you want after the tour until it closes.

You would be amazed by its opulence Grand Staircase when you step in the building. In the middle, there’s a big staircase decorated with marbles and fancy candle sticks and sculptures. Standing there and seeing people taking pictures, I felt as if I were a celebrity. It is breathtaking.

After learning some history of the Palais Garnier, I visited Auditorium and had an opportunity to sit down and listen to the history. The auditorium is impressive, and the guide explained us some scenes of the Phantom of the Opera such as where the phantom appears, etc. Plus, if there’s no performance going on, you could see a preparation room on the right end of the stage where Edgar Degas got inspirations when he painted his ballet series. Normally, it’s blocked with stage decorations, thus it’s hard to see.

The chandelier on the roof is full of Marc Chagall’s painting. He painted performances presented in the Palais Garnier. He added some flavors to this classical decoration.

The Grand Foyer is also an important spot to look. Decorated with candle sticks and paintings, the salon was similar to the Palace of Versailles. There’s a balcony where you can see the view of Paris. Don’t miss it!

Overall, the building is beautifully decorated and a great example of the prosperity of France. It might be a good idea to dress up moderately to get nice pictures if you plan to visit there. I stayed there for about two hours including the tour and it was enough.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Place de l’Opéra 75009 Paris

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (self-guided tour),

Admission for the participant of the guided tour hour is different depending on your tour schedule

website

Paris, Places

Orangerie Museum (Musée de l’Orangerie)

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce the Orangerie Museum in Paris, also known as the museum of Water Lilies by Claude Monet. Here, you can find paintings or other art pieces by impressionists and post-impressionists including Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre Auguste Renoir, etc.

The museum consists of two floors. On the first floor, there are two rooms filled with Water Lilies. First of all, I was surprised to the size of the paintings. They are the biggest ones I’ve ever seen. Each painting is full of the artist’s powerful touch and the paintings reflected very well the garden. It is much more impressive if you visit Giverny.

Each exhibition hall has three paintings of Water Lilies. In the middle, there’s a chair where you can sit down and enjoy the masterpieces. If you loved Water Lilies, going Giverny is not an option. You can read more about Giverny in my previous article, click here.

To see other paintings, you should go down. In the middle, there’s a mini-cafe and souvenir shop. They don’t have many options but it’s good enough to take some break.

There are many pictures that we have probably seen in books or exhibitions. I chose some paintings from each artist to show the characteristic of each artist.

Even though you’re not a It’s interesting to explore the paintings and see different views and expressions of artists even though they’re grouped in Impressionism.

Two to three hours would be enough to enjoy the paintings in the Orangerie Museum. The museum is relatively less busy compared to the Orsay or the Louvre. Located in the Tuilerie garden, you can also take a break before or after visiting the museum in the park.

As a Carte Blanche (an annual membership card) Duo holder, I can visit the Orsay Museum and the Orangerie Museum whenever I want including one additional person. It only cost 40€ for a year(less than 36 years old), but since I was a Ami du Louvre (Louvre Museum annual membership card), I could get 20% off to get the membership. Thus, for 32€ I can go to the two museums anytime in the year with one of my friends per visit. Also you can enter the skip the line queue and you would get a free guided tour for each museum. I think it’s a great option if you live in Paris over 26 years old and go to the two places often.

Enjoy your travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris

Hours : 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Wed.-Mon.) Closed on Tuesdays.

Ticket: 9€ (adult), various combinations are available.

website

Paris, Places

The Orsay Museum

Hi, it’s me Marimonda.

Today, I’d like to introduce you one of the most popular museums in Paris, Orsay Museum. It’s called a museum but it’s closer to an art gallery.

Used to be a train station, the Orsay museum is well-known for its big clocks on the facade toward the Seine and various collections of paintings mostly in 19th- 20th centuries. From Millet to Seurat, you can see the development of the art movements, esp. in France.

Brief History

Built in 1898-1900, the Orsay Museum primarily served as a train station(Gare d’Orsay) and a hotel to facilitate the visitors of 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. It provided the rail service of southwestern France until 1939. In 1986, it opened its door as a museum with rich art collections and became a must visit place in Paris. There are three important museums in Paris : The Louvre, The Orsay, and The Pompidou. You can find art collections in different era in each museum. There might be few exceptions but at the Louvre you may find art pieces until 1848, at the Orsay(1848 ~1914) and the Pompidou (1914~).

Facilities

After the security check, you will pass two souvenir shops on your left and right. You will see a long hallway(nef) full of statues such as a miniature of the Statue of Liberty (the artist is a French, that’s probably why they display a mini one). On the side of the nef, you can see artist-based rooms and the exhibition continues to upto 5th floors.

There are plenty of the bathrooms in the museum. At the entrance, you may find one below the stairs, also another one at the end of the hall. Since the museum is very big, you may take a break at a restaurant or cafes. The restaurant is located on the second floor (in French, 1er étage), the Café de l’ours is on the ground floor(rez-de-chaussée) in front of the white bear(Ours blanc), and the Café Campana is on the 5th floor, end of the gallery of Impressionism. Since the coffee shops and the restaurant are inside the museum, their menus are more expensive than nearby places. Compared to other two, the cafe de l’our is more casual and cheaper which make it’s more popular than other two places. There is an auditorium on the 2nd basement floor, where you can enjoy cultural activities such as cinema, concert, or performances. You can check the programs on the web.

Art Pieces

As I mentioned above, the Orsay Museum is a great collection of late 19th and early 20th masterpieces. In the Orsay Museum, you can see <The Gleaners> and <The Angelus> by Jean François Millet, or <Self-portrait> by Vincent Van Gogh, <Olympia> by Édouard Manet, <The Ballet Class> by Edgar Degas, <The Saint Lazare Station> by Claude Monet, etc. Seeing the paintings, it reminds me of my school times. I had difficulties to remember names of the artists and the paintings which were mostly on the exams. If I had had opportunities to visit the orsay, I would have gotten better grades in arts. You can see most paintings or other artworks in the museum on its official website. Click here.

Even though it’s a post on the Orsay Museum in general, I have to admit that I’d like focus a bit more on paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. After visiting Dr. Gachet’s house the 3rd Saturday in Auvers-sur-Oise, I became more interested in the Dr. Gachet. I am very curious how he could engage the great impressionists (i.g. Camille Pissarro, Paul Cézanne, Gustave Courbet, Auguste Renoir, and Édouard Manet, of course Vincent Van Gogh, too.) and build up his networks with them. Last week, I spent a lot of time in the Vincent Van Gogh room (with artworks of Gauguin on the 2nd floor).

Since I saw the greenery wheatfield when I went to the town in June (see the previous post on Auvers-sur-Oise), this time I wish I could see the goldish wheatfield. Unfortunately, they just started harvest. As a result I failed to see the scenery like a painting again. Hopefully, next time…

Don’t forget to enjoy the view at the terrace of the museum. Next to the cafe, there’s a door you can go out and see the view of the Seine and the Louvre, or even Sacre-coeur.

Special exhibitions are on-going all around the year. Now, you can enjoy Berthe Morisot exhibition until 22nd September, 2019.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon. 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris

Hours : 9:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Tue.-Sun.) except Thursday (9:30 a.m. – 9:45 p.m.) / Closed on Mondays

Ticket : €14 (adult) /

Museum pass available (some days in high season, the museum pass doesn’t guarantee that your entrance)

website

Paris, Places, Shopping

Hermès

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce one of French luxury brands Hermès store in Paris. If you’re interested in fashion and high-end brand, this place is absolutely worth to visit. I’ve been to different Hermès stores in Paris, but my favorite one is the flagship store in 6th arrondissement.

Like other stores in Paris, there are security guys to check your bags before the entrance. Once you get in, you would see a fabulous wooden structure which looks like a nest in the big place. From furniture to clothing, you can find almost everything you need in your daily life here.

To buy the bags, you need to make a reservation in advance. That doesn’t guarantee that you would get the appointment. You can make a reservation through a website, or show up and put your name on it. It’s differ from shop to shop, thus it’s good to go and ask how to reserve a spot. I heard that if you succeed with the appointment, they will send you a SMS to give you a notice. On the day of the appointment, you tell your designated salesperson the models you want but there’s no guarantee that s.he will come with bags you asked. That’s probably why some popular models are sold very expensive in the secondhand market.

Hermès is a representing premium brand from Paris. I visit here almost every season to look around new style and decoration of the place. The way they decorated the place inspires me to decorate my place. I love looking at the house deco magazine, but it’s always better to see in real than to see the magazine. Price tags are next to the item. Thus, you don’t have to call the salesperson to ask the price, but they are always near you and ready to answer your request.

Inside the store, there is also a small book store and a cafe <Le Plongeoir> where you can take a break. The servers at the cafe are very friendly. You can also have a brunch or lunch there. They offer some salad, risotto or other food to fill you up. The price is a bit high compared to other places, but I think if you’re here to buy Hermès, it wouldn’t be expensive at all to you. Plus, the quality of food is pretty high and the atmosphere is very good and quiet. Also they use Hermès furniture and dishes. If you think of purchasing any glasses or tea set it might be better try them out before at the café and buy them since they’re expensive.

Hope you liked the visit to Hermès in Paris with Marimonda 🙂 See you again!

Practical Info.

Address : 17 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris

Hours : 10:30 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. (Mon.-Sat.) Closed on Sunday.

Le Plongeoir café

Paris, Places

Bastille Day

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you some events around Paris to celebrate the Bastille Day (Fête nationale française), which is the most important national holiday in France. In French history, Storming of the Bastille is really important because it was the day when french people expressed their dissatisfaction to the King and the government. They took the Bastille where used to be a Parisian prison on 14 July 1789 and it became one of the triggers of French Revolution later. As a result, political power in France has transferred from the King, the clergy and the nobility to people (the rest).

Big and small events are already planned all around the country. Among them, I chose some events in Paris where you can feel the festival mood.

In the morning, there will be a military parade on the avenue des Champs-Elysées. At 10:00 a.m. Macron (the President of France) will arrive at the event place and go through Champs-Elysées till Concorde Place. Then military parade will begin. The parade lasts about 2 hours including 66 planes, 36 helicopters, 196 vehicles, 4,212 people, and 200 cavalier. It is a good occasion to see all french military marches and to enjoy a colorful airshow with the Triumphal Arch.

In the evening from 9:45 p.m., a big symphony concert will be hold in Champs-de-Mars. The French National Orchestra will amuse our eyes and ears with its selections such as a song from Carmen, Romeo and Juliet, or compositions of Vivaldi, Brahms or Beethoven. Listening to those music in the open air, you would feel amazed and thankful being here in Paris on the Bastille Day.

Continuing to the concert, don’t miss the fireworks which might be the most memorable event of the day. The Eiffel Tower will be illuminated to celebrate the Bastille Day, and fireworks will color the sky. Usually, fireworks near the Eiffel Tower is forbidden, but today is an exception. It will be an unforgettable moment.

There are two things to keep in mind before you go out to enjoy the holiday: pickpocket and transportation. As you know, Paris is famous for its beauty but also is notorious for pickpockets. On the Bastille Day, there are more people than usual everywhere. With this crowd and events, it would not be easy to pay attention to your stuffs always, but you should. It’s sad that you should pay attention to your stuffs while you enjoy the events, but it’s gonna be sadder and be hassle if you lose something.

Also, since many streets will be blocked or controlled during the day, you should check your transportation. RATP, which runs public transport in Paris announced that the time table will be modified on the Bastille Day. For example, before and after the fireworks, nearby stations will be shut down to ease the circulation. You may be guided to use the metro station Pont d’Alma or other stations.

Enjoy your Bastille Day in Paris with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂

Paris, Places

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you an interesting museum in Paris <Musée des Arts et Métiers>.

Founded in 1794 by Henri Grégoire, it is a museum where you can see the progress of technology in history. The museum consists of seven parts : Scientific instruments, Materials, Energy, Mechanics, Construction, Communication and Transport. It was interesting to see all the technological development in one place.

Here, you can see from Pascal’s calculating machine to Blériot’s plane. The thing I liked the most in the museum was not only they displayed the instruments but also provided some videos with important inventions in history. Instead of guessing the functions of the instruments, you can see how it actually worked on a small screen in front of the showcase. That really helped me understand the principles beneath the machine.

I recommend to visit this museum especially when you travel with kids. They can explore the world of science and technology freely. Also, parents can recall their memories when they were kids. Looking at the telephone, TV, radios, or other things that I’ve used when I was young was interesting. For this reason, I think it’s a good museum to visit with a family. All family members from different generations can share their experiences and it’ll be a good opportunity to open a conversation.

The opening hour is from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. except Thursday (to 9:30 p.m.). If you have a limited time in Paris, you can visit there on the evening. Plus, it’s free on Thursday after 6:00 p.m. I went there around 6:30 p.m. and I enjoyed the museum until it was closed. Even if it’s free you need to get the ticket from the ticket booth.

Enjoy your travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 60 Rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (Thursday 9:30 p.m.)

Price : adult  € 8

Website

Paris, Places

Rue Crémieux

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you a picturesque alley in Paris. Located in 12th arrondissement near Gare de Lyon, Rue Crémieux is a one block car-free street with colorful three-floor houses.

This short alley became famous for its colorful houses. Every day many people visit this place to take selfies and pictures. It’s quite interesting to see that the alley full of people smiling and pausing in front of their cell phone.

When I went there, I felt like as if I were in Colombia. After living in Colombia for one year, I’ve somewhat missed colorful buildings. In Paris, you can see many classical buildings with an ivory facade and dark grey colored roof. It’s pretty but miss some colorful touch.

Unlike typical buildings in Paris, the houses in the Rue Crémieux are full of pastel or vivid colors. The street does look good but not like in instagram. It looks better in pictures esp. those with after touch. I’m not saying it’s not pretty. Rue crémieux is scenic, but it looks more attractive in SNS.

For two reasons, personally I think it’s not a good idea to come here for the pics if your accommodation is not nearby. First, it’s only one block street. It took me about 30 mins to get there, but only 2 mins to look around and take the photo above. For tourists, every minute is important. Plus, it’s not even walking distance from the center of Paris. According to the Google map, it takes 40 mins from the Louvre museum to Rue Crémieux by foot.

Second, the houses are pretty but it’s a bit far away from our expectation for Paris’ typical buildings. When I showed this picture to my friends, most of them asked me back which town of Colombia is this? Which means, if you don’t mention it was in Paris, not many people would recognize it.

Anyhow, I’ve read many articles on this street before writing this post. Many residents suffer from countless visitors, yoga practitioners (Why some people do yoga in front of other people’s house door?) , dancers, etc. who make the locals difficult to relax at home, esp. on the weekends. Some residents want gates to protect their privacy. It would be sad that we can’t enjoy this pretty view due to some disrespectful behaviors.

Enjoy your travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Please keep in mind that it’s a residential area.

Paris, Places

La marche des Fiertés de Paris

Hello, it’s me Marimonda!

Today I’d like to introduce the LGBT parade in Paris. This parade began more than 40 years ago under the name of the <Gay Parade>. The festival is called <La Marche des Fiertés de Paris> now, and it aims to celebrate equal right, love and liberty.

I know it can be a controversial issue, but I post this for whom might be interested in this event or prefer not to meet them in Paris.

The event will be held tomorrow, Saturday 29th June from 2 p.m. till 10 p.m. The parade will last about 4 hours. It starts at Place du 18 June 1940 in Montparnasse at 2 p.m. The parade will pass  Place du 18 Juin, Boulevard du Montparnasse, Port Royal, Boulevard St Michel / Luxembourg, Place St Michel, Boulevard du Palais, Place du Châtelet, Boulevard Sébastopol, Strasbourg St-Denis, Boulevard St Martin, Place de la République.The event will be held tomorrow, Saturday 29th June from 2 p.m. till 10 p.m. The parade will last about 4 hours. It starts at Place du 18 June 1940 in Montparnasse at 2 p.m. The parade will be continued to Port Royal, Luxembourg, Chatelet, and it will be over at the place de République.

Other events will be organized throughout Paris. The Eiffel tower will be colored in rainbow colors. Activities such as music, videos, stand-ups will be organized at the place de République where the end point of the march.

As you may know, these days the weather in Paris is crazy hot. It is expected to be more than 35 degrees tomorrow on the day of the event. Thus, it’s recommended to bring a bottle of water, use sunscreen properly, and bring a hat to avoid the excessive exposure to the Sun.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Hours : 2 p.m. – 10.p.m. (flexible)

Website

Paris, Places

Invalides 앵발리드

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today I’d like to introduce the Invalides, the army museum in Paris. It’s also famous for having the Emperor Napoleon’s tomb.

Located near Alexander bridge, the museum is very noticeable with its golden roof.

The museum doesn’t look that big outside, but once you step in, you would be surprised there are more things to see than your expectation. From swords to military outfit, you will see everything you can imagine about the French military.

Before you get in there’s a security check like other museums in Paris. The security check is outside the building, thus you will be exposed the Sun and these days we’re experiencing unusual heatwave in Paris. The temperature goes up upto 35-36 degree during the day. I would recommend you to bring something to protect you from excessive exposure to the Sun such as a hat or a parasol.

Invalides consists of three parts: an army museum, which exhibit french army history and weapons; A temporary exhibition, a salon with military theme-based exhibition; The tomb of Napoleon, which is one of the important place in this museum. It would take about 3-4 hours if you go through the museum thoroughly.

Each room has interesting features. Weapons, uniforms, or paintings are categorized and exhibited according to important wars in French history. Also, there’s a miniature room which showed French armies in different time in miniature.

In the temporary exhibition room, there’s an exhibition of Pablo Picasso and his masterpieces about war and military is going on until . Personally, this exhibition got my whole attention not only because there was a painting of Korean war but also there were interesting things to see. For example, the fact that Picasso advised the army how to paint military tools to camouflage such as artilleries since he was a famous painter.

Enjoy your trip with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : Rond-Point du Bleuet de France, 75007 Paris

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Ticket : museum access ticket 12,00 € (adult) /free entry for museum pass holders