Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Paris in August

Paris may be 'le creme' of crop when it comes to European business travel - the sights, the food, the culture. Just like any crop, there is a time period to visit Paris within which the havest is more plentiful, the experience is more enjoyable. I believe I have, by chance, stumbled upon this peak time in Paris during my last business venture to Europe - in August.

Reasons I found my visit to Paris in August most enjoyable and the time to plan to visit as follows:

1) Most of the locals are on vacation - easier to get around and less traffic congestions.
2) Great weather, 70's.
3) All public museums are free the first Sunday of the month - focus on smaller museums like L'Orangerie (great impressionist work), the Rodin museum, etc.
4) One of the great historical restaurants, Le Train Blue, is open in Gare Lyon train station. It was built in 1900 for the Paris Station and has great historical paintings and waiting lines are not long (as might be the case for overbooked restaurants/bars). However, expect many restaurants to be closed during August of 2015 due to the annual vacation.
5) A great way to get to and from Paris on the continent, take TGV high speed train.
6) Business meeting sites and downtown hotel.
7) Pictures.

I found my temporary home in Paris at the Hotel Foquet on Champs Elysee and George V for business suites and well known Foquet brasserie and restaurant.

For a more sporty traveler wanting a chic hotel and restaurant to meet the models and fashion team, stay at Costels Hotel close to Vendome. Both hotels are on the right bank in the 08 area in the center of Paris, not far from the Louvre Museum.

Fly to Brussels Zaventem and take high speed train to Paris; the estimated travel time is 1 hr 10 min. This way you avoid long lines and expensive taxis from the Charles de Gaulle airport and in the Paris airport. You can find information on a driver company to pick you up. And, of course, always be wary of pickpocketers during your travels.