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

Food, Paris

Chefs du quartier

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

Today, I’d like to introduce you chefs du quartier, a concept restaurant in Paris. Being a world gourmet city, there are so many good restaurants in Paris. I even have a long wish list for restaurants. Since I can’t afford all of them, I need to think and plan well before I visit restaurants. Last time I introduced Pierre Sang (to see my previous post on Pierre Sang, click here), where you can get a decent three-course meal for €25. Chefs du quartier is not that fancy, it looks like a typical restaurant you can find every corner, but it offers warm and comfortable atmosphere with yummy home food.

It’s located near 13th arrondissement, not in touristic area. Thus, if you’re visiting Paris only for few days, maybe it’s not worth to visit, because time will be very important for you. However, if you have relatively enough time in Paris and you’d like to try for budget course meal, this place is for you.

Welcomed its first guest in 2014, the restaurant offers not only the food, but also offer cooking classes, or cooking related activities. Today’s menu is the only menu. When I visited, today’s menu was beet yogurt purée, risotto with duck and green vegetables, and apple pie.

We ordered three course meal and a glass of wine.

The two-course meal costs € 11.5, and the three-course meal is €15. The both menu includes a cup of coffee in the end. A glass of wine is €3 and teas are €1. Baguette is unlimited. If you take out your food, it’s €2~3 cheaper than restaurant price.

Amongst the dish I had, I liked the entrée the most. It was very creamy and refreshing. Also it went really well with its crunch nut garnish and sliced green onion. Risotto is good. When it was just served it was very yummy, but as it got colder, the duck became a bit greasy. Maybe that’s why they put a lot of coriander above to refresh you. For dessert, apple pie was served. It was good but it wasn’t that impressive.

Overall, it was a satisfying visit. The price was reasonable and the food was good. Actually, I went there for three times but every single time I went, it was full. This time I went there really early like 11:30 a.m. to check if the seats are available. The cook told me that there was a seat today, but he recommended to book a table in advance. Since the restaurant is quite small and serves relatively balanced food with good price, it’s always full.

Happy Travel with Marimonda. See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 12 Rue du Jura, 75013 Paris, France

Hours : 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (Mon.-Fri. ~7:45 p.m. on Wed.)  / 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (Sat.)  / Closed on Monday

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

Food, Paris

Salon de Thé de la Mosquée de Paris

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

La Mosquée de Paris
Marimonda World

Today, I’d like to introduce you an unique cafe in the heart of Paris, the Salon de thé de la mosquée de Paris. Located in front of the Jardin des Plantes, this white building with green roof is catching eyes. It’s a mosque where you can pray or do religious activities but also you can enjoy some tea and hammam (turkish bath and sauna) here. This time I only went to Salon de thé to get to know this place. After visiting the tea salon, I can’t wait to experience hammam as soon as possible!!

Atmosphere

When you enter the main door on the picture above, you would see a picturesque garden. There are plenty of outdoor seats, but it’s smoking section. Thus, my friends and I decided to get an indoor table. Inside of the tea salon was more colorful and splendid. On the walls, there are some pictures of people wearing traditional clothing. A cat wandering around the cafe makes this place more exotic. Thus, don’t be surprised if you feel something furry. The cat seemed a bit shy, but cat is a cat. It did whatever it wanted. Visited this table and the other table, looking at people or lying on the floor, it had a real free soul. But don’t get me wrong, the cat didn’t jumping around the table nor act wild.

Menu and Service

Some food are available but it seemed quite expensive(i.g. couscous for 17), while the tea and the oriental patisseries are offered reasonable price(2 each). We tried mint tea and sweets with an espresso. OMG, it was one of the best teas I’ve ever tried in my life. The server brought us a plate which is full of the desert. Two euros sounded cheap but the portion of the tea was very small. The pastries were also good, they really went well with the tea. My favorite was the top on the left (below the sunglasses). It has many layers like millefeuille but very crispy. In the end, I had to order one more of it. More pastries are available at the patisserie corner where you pay when you buy. But if you choose your snacks from the plate, you pay before you leave the cafe at your table.

Service was also very nice. Staffs were warmly welcome and served tea and food. It took some time to bring us the tea, though. They were super nice to us offered us a plate, so we didn’t have to line up to get the dessert and showed us a video of hammam telling us about it. Maybe one of my friends spoke a basic Arabic to them, that’s why they were more friendly to my table.

Overall, it was a satisfying visit. I will definitely come back to have a tea soon. Plus, I’d like to try hammam next time.

Hope you liked my review of the Tea Salon in the Paris’ Mosque. See you again 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 39 Rue Geoffroy-Saint-Hilaire, Paris

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – midnight

website

Food, Paris

Berthillon

Hi, it’s me Marimonda! In my last post on San Gimignano, I introduced you the World Champion Gelato Shop, Gelateria Dondoli. Today, I’d like to introduce one of the best gelato place in St. Louis island in Paris, Berthillon.

Brief History

Named after the founder Raymond Berthillon, the store opened its door in 1954. in Saint Louis Island in Paris. Berthillon offers more than 70 flavors of ice cream and sorbet and it has been loved for more than 60 years. There is always a line at Berthillon, but the line moves fast. You would see people eating ice cream on the street, in front of the shop, etc.

Salon de thé

If you have enough time, it’s good to go to the salon de thé next to the gelateria. You can enjoy not only ice cream but also some desserts accompanied with ice cream. The café is beautifully decorated and peaceful to chill out. Considering that it’s a dessert place, prices are a bit high around €10~15 per menu. But the price of coffee is similar to other places.

A must ice cream in Paris

This is a must place for ice cream lovers.First of all, it’s delicious. Imagine yourself having an ice cream and walking around the streets, looking at the Seine. Any ice cream will be delicious. If your visit to Paris is a painting, the ice cream will be the last touch, that will complete your trip. Leaving behind the busy touristic places near Notre-Dame, a bite of ice cream in the center of Paris will give you an unforgettable delightful moment. Try out unusual flavors that you can’t get easily or your favorite ones. Paris will be remembered in that flavor in your mind.

In Paris, you can see many gelateria such as Amorino or Grom. All of them are delicious but most of them are from Italy. Italian ice cream is yummy, but it would be more meaningful if you can try Paris-based ice cream. I recommend poire (pear), pêche (peach), yuzu for sorbet, and pistache(pistachios) and caramel au beurre salé( salted butter caramel) for ice cream. They’re just amazing!

Hope you enjoyed the review of Berthillon with Marmonda 🙂 See you soon!

Practical Info.

Address : 31 Rue St.-Louis-en-l’Ile, 75004 Paris, France

Hours : 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Summer holidays 29th July – 3rd September

Paris, Shopping

Puces de Vanves

Hi, it’s me Marimonda!

I hope you enjoyed French national holiday (also my previous post on it). Today, I’d like to introduce you Puces de Vanves, a flea market in Paris.

Flea markets are popular in Paris, they attract not only local people but also tourist. There are three big flea markets may worth to visit while you’re in Paris : Les Puces de Clignancourt, Les Puces de Vanves, and Les Puces de Montreuil. They are located on the border between Paris and banlieue.

Les Puces de Clignancourt, also known as St. Ouen flea market, is one of the largest and the famous flea markets in France. It’s located in the northern border of Paris (above 18th arrondissement). The market opens from Saturday to Monday from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. (weekend) and from 11:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Monday). Address : 53 Rue Jules Vallès, 93400 Saint-Ouen.

Les Puces de Montreuil is on the Avenue de la Porte de Montreuil(20th arrondissement). The market runs for the whole day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Saturday to Monday. It’s located on the north east Paris on the border with Montreuil.

Les Puces de Vanves is located in the southern part of Paris next to 14th arrondissement. THe market opens on the weekend from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Nearby, there’s another flea market specialized in old and used books (Marché du Livre Ancien et d’Occasion). This market also opens only on the weekend from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Amongst those flea markets I’ve been to the last one couple of times because it’s the closest one from my place(simple reason). It’s absolutely an interesting place to visit and look around antiques. Some stands look like a mini-museum with all old coins, badges, or old posters. I like seeing dishes with gorgeous decorations. Some of the are expensive, and probably they’re from Limoges in southwest France and it’s well known for its decorated porcelain. There’re many resellers in the market to buy some good objects with reasonable price to sell them with higher price.

I guess other flea markets will have similar atmosphere. Though, it’s good that there’s another flea market specialized in books nearby, and there’s a grandpa who plays the piano in public. There’s nothing to eat in the market except the kebab truck. It costs about 5 euros. The market opens at 7 a.m. but not many stands are ready at that time. It’s good to arrive at the market around 11:00 a.m. to fully enjoy the time since around 12:30 p.m. some sellers start to pack up their stuffs. Since most of the goods are so fragile, it took the owners 30 mins to one hour to complete the packing.

When you buy things, don’t forget to try to negotiate the price. Even though the sellers put the price on their items, you can always try to get some discount. It may work or may not, but you won’t lose anything to ask.

Enjoy your travel with Marimonda! See you soon 🙂

Practical Info.

Address : 14 Avenue Georges Lafenestre, 75014 Paris

Hours : 7 :00 a.m. – 2 : 00 p.m. (Open on Saturday and Sunday only)

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.