Travel Spotlight

What’s New in Paris Now? Why We Need to Get Back to the City of Light in 2021

During the Indagare Future of Travel Summit, Indagare CEO and founder Melissa Biggs Bradley spoke to on-the-ground insiders from Paris to discuss France's second lockdown, how covid is changing travel in France now—and in the future. "This crisis accelerated a lot of trends we’d been seeing before," explained Corinne Menegaux from the Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau. Read on for more from Melissa on why she misses Paris more than ever and hopes that American travelers can return to the City of Light soon.

Missing Paris: The Monumental City

We’ll always have Paris.

It wasn’t just a phrase that evoked memories; it was a vow full of promise. We could always escape to the beauty of Paris, the certainty of the pleasures of Paris. And yet, no. Today, we, as Americans, cannot go to Paris. We are left to dream, to fantasize, which may be why so many of us are watching Emily in Paris (all the while thinking it is quite silly). It is irresistible, simply because the true star is Paris, not Emily. Here are a few good reasons that we are desperate to return to the City of Light.

Apartment to Get: Hotel Particulier Villeroy

The apartment at Hôtel Particulier Villeroy, photo courtesy of Hôtel Particulier Villeroy

The apartment at Hôtel Particulier Villeroy. Courtesy Hôtel Particulier Villeroy

Set in a neoclassical stunner, one street off Avenue Montaigne, this gorgeous newcomer has just 11 rooms, suites and apartments. The latter will be the new address for privacy, space and the latest in sanitization and health-safety standards, all in the heart of the Golden Triangle. 33 Rue Jean Goujon, 8th arrondissement

Shopping In-Person or Online: Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Photo by Myr Muratet courtesy Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Photo by Myr Muratet, courtesy Galeries Lafayette

Since Galeries Lafayette opened its Art Nouveau flagship store near the Opera Garnier in 1912, it's become one of the city's most glamorous shopping hubs. Each year, around 12 million foreign shoppers—plus millions more chic Parisians—stand in its grand atrium, which is topped by a colossal glass and steel dome. This year, as the company faced months without its customer base, Galeries Lafayette pivoted in a novel way that blurs online and in-person shopping. Now, hopeful buyers can connect by video with an in-store personal shopper in their own language. The new service, along with other improvements to their distribution logistics, have paid off: online purchases for June and July of this year eclipsed what was shipped in all of 2020, explained Thierry Vannier, Galeries Lafayette's director of client development and operational marketing, during the Indagare Future of Travel Summit's Paris Now! panel. (That said, we cannot wait for the day when we can stand in the atrium and look up at the dome in person again.)

Rooftop Dining: Tortuga

In collaboration with chef Julien Sebbag, the new rooftop restaurant sits on top Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann. Named after an island in the French Antilles, it offers incredible views of Paris, including the Opéra Garnier, as well as some of the best fish dining in town. 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 1st arrondissement

Grand Reopening: La Bourse de Commerce

 

In January, the historic Bourse de Commerce—a former grain exchange dating to the 1760s, with renovations in the 1880s—will open as a new exhibition space for the impressive private collection of French billionarie François Pinault. Architect Tada Andao led the building's transformation into a museum. Visitors will soon be able to see artwork from the likes of Mondrian and Damien Hirst under the Bourse's mural-ringed iron dome. 2 rue de Viarmes, 1st arrondissement

Style File: Marin Montagut and Marion Graux

A former tapestry workshop in the 6th serves as the perfect backdrop for Renaissance man-cum-designer Marin Montagut, who styled the shop based on “a voyage in another Paris, a Paris of yesteryear.” Based on the collaboration Mantagut has done with Alix D. Reynis, Dyptique and Inès de la Fressange, it will be an exciting stop on any Left Bank shopping spree (48 Rue Madame). The mineral- and pastel-colored creations of ceramicist Marion Graux, meanwhile, used to be only accessible for Paris’ top restaurants and private clients. Now the (by-appointment-only) workshop in the 9th arrondissement invites connoisseurs to touch, browse and collect (46 Rue de Dunkerque).

Mad About Shoes: Christian Louboutin

On view at the Palais de la Porte d’Orée until January 3 is the whimsically named L’Exhibition[iste] show, which celebrates shoe couturier Christian Louboutin, who was born and raised in Paris’ 12th arrondissement and whose stilettos changed the face (or rather, the blood-red soles) of women’s footwear forever. 293 Avenue Daumesnil, 12th arrondissement

Fall Fashion: An Icon Experience

On October 1, the Palais Galliera reopened as the city's first permanent museum dedicated solely to fashion—and its first major exhibition does not disappointed. Focused on none other than Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel, the show features over 300 designs created by the couturier herself. Visitors will walk away with a reimagined view of the designer’s iconic dress codes and her enduring contribution to feminine style. 10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 16th arrondissement

For those who can't travel to Paris to see the exhibition in person, we'll be offering a virtual preview with fashion historian Jessica Glasscock as one of the sessions in our Indagare Fashion Club. Sign up here today!

Art Alive: Ateliers des Lumières

Purists may find the Atelier des Lumières’ Monet, Renoir, Chagall…Journeys Around the Mediterranean (through January 3) a bit glitzy, but the digital spectacular is truly breathtaking, as some of France’s greatest paintings come to life in video and set to music. It’s immersive and creative, placing these masterworks in a (pun intended) totally different light. There are no ticket sales at the venue; online reservations are a must. 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 11th arrondissement

Related  Coronavirus Travel Information: What’s Open To Americans

Contact Indagare to talk with a Trip Designer from our team and get the best advice on travel to Paris, Covid-travel tips, hotel and social-distancing protocols, future trip-planning and much more!

This content was created in collaboration with the Paris Convention & Visitors Bureau and Galeries Lafayette, and published by Indagare Travel. 

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