Paris Hotels for Different Personalities

Those who travel to Paris theses days are spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodations. Thanks to a flurry of new boutique hotels, apartment rentals and a much anticipated luxury hotel unveiling, there has never been a wider variety of options in the city and great choices exist in every quartier. Each stay described here is unique and appeals to a different type of traveler. Here’s how to decide which one is right for you. Continue reading “Paris Hotels for Different Personalities”

The Travelproper Logo Story

Paris's fashion museum, where the Lanvin exhibit was on display last year.
The Palais Galliera or fashion museum.

You may or may not have noticed my new logo depending on how long you’ve been visiting this website. The idea for the red-orange logo started with a visit to the Palais Galliera, the fashion museum, in Paris for the Lanvin exhibit last year. I went for the first time with my friend Alexis and I was absolutely enthralled by the clothing on display, all original designs by French Haute Couture designer Jeanne Lanvin (1867-1946). The drapey, elegant and even edgy pieces, one long black dress had metallic studs on the shoulders, were simply the most beautiful pieces of clothing I’d ever seen. Continue reading “The Travelproper Logo Story”

My Paris Guide Part 1: Restaurants, Sights and Shopping

On the Seine.
On the Seine.

Paris may be the most beautiful city in the world, but it is not the movie set many of us have come to expect. It is a big city with gritty areas, and diverse cultures and cuisines, but this is precisely what makes it special. In addition to enjoying crêpes on the street and steak frites in a picture perfect French bistro you can also find Israeli street food, Asian-French fusion and globally influenced small plates from up-and-coming Parisian chefs.

It’s true that the pace is slower here than say New York or London. Shops still close on Sundays and don’t even think about trying to purchase meat at mid-day (butchers close for a two hour lunch break). While anybody who visits the city should see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay, these sites are just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to what Paris has to offer culturally and architecturally. There’s nothing like coming to Paris and feeling more like a local than a tourist and hopefully this guide will help you do that. Continue reading “My Paris Guide Part 1: Restaurants, Sights and Shopping”

A Great 2 Hour Tour of the Louvre

The Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre.
The Napoleon III Apartments at the Louvre.

By Justin Chiotti

The Louvre experience is amazing, inspiring, and, let’s face it, overwhelming. You’ll find yourself breezing past masterpieces on your way to other masterpieces. Don’t worry, it’s natural and unavoidable to feel this way– it would take over two months to see the entire museum if you spent one minute at each piece. So, if you don’t have 65 days to spend in the Louvre, but would love to see the famous works, this tour is for you. Continue reading “A Great 2 Hour Tour of the Louvre”

Slideshow: 12 French Festival Foods that Put Hotdogs to Shame


I’ve always loved food festivals. I think it started growing up in Portland, Oregon. Once a year we’d head to The Bite, a summer food festival on the waterfront featuring many of Portland’s best restaurants. I would gorge myself on Ethiopian food and berry shortcake layered with vanilla ice cream.  When I started spending more time in France, I was curious how the most food-obsessed culture on earth would execute an outdoor food festival. Would the food be mediocre and over priced as so often happens in the U.S. or would there be foie gras, truffles and excellent wine? I’m happy to say the latter is true especially at Fêtes des Vendanges de Montmartre, a food and wine festival that celebrates the harvest of Clos Montmartre, the last active vineyard in Paris. Click above for a slideshow of dishes from the event that runs through Sunday in Montmartre and keep your eyes peeled for these specialities at food festivals and markets throughout France.

What is your single favorite festival food? Please let me know in the comments!

A Marais Walking Tour

Place des Vosges.
Place des Vosges.

By Justin Chiotti

Situated on the right bank, the Marais is one of the most historic and beautifully preserved areas of Paris. Marais is French for marsh or swamp and the area was first drained and settled by the Knights of the Templar in the 1300s. Today, the Marais is home to aristocratic mansions from the 1600s, one of Europe’s most beloved squares, and a baguette “tradition” that has taken top honors in the city.

Continue reading “A Marais Walking Tour”

Coffee Alfresco in Paris

Honor Coffee Bar is located next to Comme des Garcons.
Honor Coffee Bar is located next to Comme des Garcons.

Tucked in a courtyard off fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré lies a welcome addition to Paris’s thriving coffee scene. Honor is an outdoor coffee bar owned by Angelle Boucher and Daniel Warburton. The couple, she’s English, he’s Australian, are serious about coffee and both have years of experience in the specialty coffee industry. Boucher was a barista at the Espresso Room in London and Warburton worked at Climpson & Sons Roastery. Continue reading “Coffee Alfresco in Paris”

Paris for Jewelry Lovers

Empress Eugenie's pearl diadem is in the Louvre,
Empress Eugenie’s pearl diadem is in the Louvre,

My good friend Alexis Vourvoulis is a Graduate Gemologist and an expert on antique jewelry. I was lucky enough to accompany her on a visit to the Musée des Arts Decoratifs and she shared her wealth of knowledge with me. While, it’s unlikely most of us will ever own pieces like the ones you see in the museum, the history of French jewelry and of Paris’ famed jewelry houses is fascinating. To learn more about the best sites for jewelry lovers as well as where you can score some pieces of your own take a look at my story for HiP Paris here.

Bob’s Bake Shop

Bob's Bakeshop
Bob’s Bake Shop is located in a former SNCF warehouse.

Anybody who thinks there is no good healthy food in Paris hasn’t been to Marc Grossman’s Bob’s Juice Bar and Bob’s Kitchen, which serve amazing rice and veggie bowls, soups, salads and cold-pressed juices– his green juice concoction of kale, spirulina, apple, ginger, lemon and a bunch of other herbs is delicious. When I heard he was opening a bakery in the mixed use Halles-Pajol building, I had to check it out. Fare is a tad more indulgent– housemade bagels and American style baked goods, but a delicious taste of home. Check out my story on the Hip Paris Blog.

Paris’ Best Bread

Pain Batlique, one of the delicious breads at Liberté near Canal Saint Martin.
Pain Baltique, one of the delicious breads at Liberté near Canal Saint Martin.
I think Paris is the best bread city in the world. I can’t tell you how many times I stop dead in my tracks when I smell the intoxicating scent of fresh bread baking and inevitably follow my nose to another gorgeous boulangerie. Baguettes are by far the biggest sellers- the French buy about 10 million baguettes a year. However, I almost never buy them because there are so many other delicious breads to try. Read my story about Paris’ best breads (that aren’t baguettes) on