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Travelzoo Experience: Anniversary Trip to Paris

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

I decided to surprise my wife with a trip to France to celebrate our one-year anniversary and her 30th birthday. She didn’t know about the trip until about 10 days before leaving, so she had very little time to plan. This ended up being a great thing, as we were able to relax while we were there, and didn’t try to pack too many things into one day. 

I would advise anyone planning a trip to Paris to pick one “big” or “touristy” thing per day and then explore the neighborhoods around that attraction to really get a feel for the area. Walking around the streets of Paris and getting lost was our favorite part of the trip. We went in the fall; the weather was cooler, which made walking very pleasant, the crowds were small and the city was beautiful with its changing trees.

Another highlight proved to be a two-day trip out to the Champagne wine region. The area is very accessible by high-speed train and could easily be a daytrip from Paris. The towns of Reims and Epernay are both scenic and historic. The large Champagne producers all have tasting rooms and many offer tours. I’d recommend the Moet and Chandon tour, as well as tours of smaller, lesser-known producers.  

The area of the city in which you stay can make or break your trip. We stayed near the Ile de la Cite, right near Notre Dame, and it proved to be an excellent starting point for exploring the city. We were right by a major train line and could walk to nearly all of the big attractions.

Some of the highlights from the trip include:

  • Rue Cler: This upscale area has a fantastic street market and a huge selection of meat, seafood and cheese
  • Hotel Britannique: fantastic location and very helpful staff
  • Champagne Tour: I found a wonderful tour guide who drove us around to some smaller producers in the beautiful Champagne region

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Chicago
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
See more Tips from
Mark Fredenburg