France Travel Guide

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Get Schooled, in Wine, in Bordeaux

Where: 3, cours du XXX juillet , Bordeaux, France, 33000
January 5, 2015 at 3:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

We have to admit: when we planned a trip to Bordeaux last year we expected a fairly conservative, overly touristy wine city. What we found, however, was a hip and happening sort of place where even the wine trade plays it cool at school.

Determined to get right into the wine scene, we booked a two-hour wine workshop at L’Ecole du Vin, run by Bordeaux’s official wine association, the Conseil Interprofessionnel du vin de Bordeaux (from now on known as the CIVB because we don’t want to have to type that out again). We walked into a high-tech, all-white and walnut laboratory of which Louis Pasteur would be proud.

(Check out the pics in the photo gallery below!)

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3 Hours Flat from Amsterdam to Paris on the Thalys Train

December 23, 2014 at 11:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Eurostar and the French TGV may take up most of the spotlight of Europe’s high-speed rail network, but there are other options for zooming through the continent’s patchwork of countries, depending on where you go. There is the sleek, white, and German ICE and, if you’re looking to travel between Amsterdam, Brussels, and Paris, the shiny, red Thalys.

Thalys reduces Amsterdam to Paris, a 316-mile, 5-hour drive, to almost three hours flat (ok, 3 hours and 14 minutes) of high-speed comfort. It runs between Amsterdam Central Station and Paris Gare du Nord, giving you the advantage of city center to city center travel too. Stops along the way include Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Brussels.

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Buy Steve Martin's Island Home for the Luxury, Stay for the Runway Views

December 15, 2014 at 3:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

With the holidays approaching, Saint-Barthélemy is about to become a hotbed of celebrity activity, with one exception. St. Barth regular Steve Martin will likely be vacationing somewhere else this winter.

The funny man listed his island home, Villa Au Soleil, for the second time in two years (his first try was last summer, but he was also open to $28,000 per week rentals.

The asking price is $9,015,012 and you'll find the house located in the hills of the exclusive Lurin neighborhood. Inside is a gourmet kitchen, formal dining room, a large living room with a media area, multiple terraces, and en suite bathrooms off of each bedroom.

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Paris Cracks Down on Cutesy 'Love Locks' Vandalism

Where: Paris, France
November 28, 2014 at 10:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

Travelers to Paris this winter (and from now on) will enjoy improved views as a popular form of tourist graffiti has been cleared from bridges over the Seine River.

The "No Love Locks" movement of earlier this year, which protested the practice of attaching a heavy-duty lock to a bridge rail to "secure" a relationship, has been successful. While gaining signatures for the petition, No Love Locks estimated that the Pont de Arts Bridge alone was covered with 93 metric tons of extraneous metal. Aside from their being unsightly, the heavy use of these locks is a problem for the structural integrity of the historic bridges.

Are they art? No. Are they romantic? Maybe for the fleeting minute you attach a lock and then leave the bridge, making its clean-up Paris' problem. "It's vandalism, and it's taken the ambiance away from the bridges."

City officials began a mass removal of the locks in September, replacing them with plastic panels over the bridge architecture to prevent tourists from attaching more. And the difference is definitely noticeable.

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How to Kiss in France

Where: France
October 23, 2014 at 1:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Even tombstones get multiple kisses in France.

Every country, and culture, has its customs. The Japanese consider tipping after meals an insult. And in Germany, you should never—ever!—jaywalk, even if it’s 4:00 a.m. and there’s no traffic.

Meanwhile, in France, the cheek—or cheek-to-cheek or cheek-to-cheek-to-cheek—kiss is a sort of cultural delicacy, like fine wine. For example, you wouldn't order a Lyon wine in the heart of Burgundy, just in the same way you might want to be cautious when you kiss only two cheeks in Burgundy, when, typically, you should kiss four.

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Autumn is Europe Shopping Spree Season for Robert Pattinson and Oprah Winfrey

Where: Paris, France
October 16, 2014 at 3:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

Oprah Winfrey and Robert Pattinson embarked on two very different European shopping sprees this week.

On Tuesday, Pattinson and his girlfriend FKA Twigs perused the clothing racks at Harmony in Paris, a retail store that carries mostly casual clothing for men and women. The couple, who were traveling through the city alone, was spotted laughing and trying on clothes before they moved onto a few other shops in the trendy Marais district.

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Travel Contest Roundup: Four Ways to Visit Paris for Free

Where: Paris, France
September 19, 2014 at 12:20 PM | by | Comments (0)

We realize travel budgets may be limited, but it’s free to dream. This is where contests come into the picture, and there's always the chance that you could be the big winner—just don't forget to tell us if you are!

Here are 4 Paris contests to enter right now:

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What is 'Paris Syndrome' and Who Has It Now?

Where: Paris, France
August 18, 2014 at 7:31 AM | by | Comment (1)

We have all been in that travel situation where things don’t exactly meet—or live up to—expectations. The place wasn’t as good as it looked in pictures, the folks weren’t as friendly, or that imagined utopia just doesn’t exist outside your mind. Apparently this is somewhat common for some visitors to Paris, and that’s why Paris Syndrome is a thing.

We’ve mentioned it before, and it even has is very own Wikipedia page—so you know it has to be true. There’s all kinds of signs and symptoms, but basically it boils down to culture shock and things not being exactly as what was imagined. Japanese tourists seem to be one of the groups that suffers from things the most, but now there are reports that Chinese tourists are getting bummed out as well.

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The Louvre Has a Pest Control Problem

Where: Paris, France
August 13, 2014 at 12:02 PM | by | Comments (0)

First it was pickpockets, and now there’s another kind of pest hanging out around the Louvre over in Paris.

It seems like the inside of the museum is safe, but the gardens that surround the place are kind of infested with rats—gross. Apparently visitors and tourists enjoy leaving bits and pieces of trash and picnic debris behind, and that encourages the rats to come out and snack. Unfortunately a real life version of Ratatouille it is not.

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Air France Testing New Electronic Boarding Pass Options

Where: France
July 9, 2014 at 6:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve seen electronic boarding passes and other unique ways to hop aboard your flight, and now Air France is adding their version of some newfangled technology to the boarding process.

The carrier’s new boarding business is all about near field communication—or NFC—as they’re partnering up with a local mobile provider to get the technology up and running. Basically passengers using Orange mobile smartphones will be able to touch here, tap there, and wave their device in order to make their way through the airport.

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Say Bonjour to 'Ratatouille' at Disneyland Paris

Where: Paris, France
July 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM | by | Comment (1)

The parks over at Disneyland Paris don’t seem to get the new rides and attractions as often as we do here in the states, but that’s not the case this week as a fresh bit of Disney magic is headed overseas.

The new attraction is showing off a little fun from the movie Ratatouille, and it's scheduled to debut July 10. It’s the very first ride based on this film, and of course it only makes sense for Ratatouille to make a first amusement park showing in Paris, seeing as how the animated film was based there.

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The Multiple Personalities of Air France's New Business Class Seat

Where: France
June 30, 2014 at 8:41 AM | by | Comments (0)

Air France realizes that passenger load fluctuates, and since their product is perishable (once a plane takes off, those unsold seats are lost revenue) , they’re hit the chalkboard to brainstorm creative solutions for maximizing passenger comfort while still flying full planes.

The result are new business class cabins across their long-haul fleet, with the unique ability to change up the cabin class when premium travel slows. These seats can be switched into economy class seats, ideal for periods like the summer when tourist and budget traveler numbers to Europe are high and the expense accounts are more likely to stay home.

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