In a city as beautiful as Paris, you won’t have to choose between business and pleasure. Chances are, at least one of these top five outings for corporate travelers fits perfectly with your existing itinerary.
Promenade in Paris: Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Change into comfortable shoes before you set out: this iconic boulevard, just steps from the Radisson Blu Hotel Champs Elysées, Paris, promises a deceptively long stroll. Start at the Arc de Triomphe, and head towards the Place de la Concorde. Broader sidewalks and tall, manicured trees abound in the nouvelle Champs-Elysées since a 1994 revitalization project. Pause for a typically Parisian meal at Le Foquet’s, a traditional French restaurant that has embodied the spirit of the high class brasserie for over a century. Here, you can people-watch while enjoying dishes like creamy tagliatelle with lobster or smoked salmon with potatoes, dill cream and blinis. Afterwards, catch a show at Crazy Horse Paris, a much-lauded cabaret club.
An unusual monument: La Défense
In the midst of the city’s glass-and-steel financial hub, you’ll find the iconic Grande Arche de la Défense. Though this modern quarter is located a short distance by Métro from central Paris, the cube-shaped archway offers one of the city’s most impressive views of its architectural landmarks, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. Stay to peruse the monument’s computing museum, or book a lunch meeting at Ô110, where you’ll find a modern French menu devised by chefs who trained under national masters Alain Ducasse and Joël Robuchon.
Satisfy intellectual curiosity: Paris VIII
This Paris VIII university has particular significance as a modern post-secondary institution. The school was founded in response to issues raised during the country-wide unrest in May 1968, when universities throughout France were occupied by demonstrators. It’s now a major center for teaching and research, and internationally renowned for its arts program. Check public listings for any lectures or arts events corresponding with your visit.
Travel around Europe with ease: Eurostar
Head to the Gare du Nord for a spontaneous adventure–but don’t forget your passport. The high speed Eurostar offers rail links from Paris to London and Brussels, with additional onward services to Antwerp and Bruges, among others. Reaching a speed of up to 186 mph, the train promises speedy enough journeys to make a day trip worthwhile. Choose from Economy, Comfort and Premier carriages, and be sure to take advantage of the Eurostar Culture Connect, a discount program that provides Eurostar ticket holders with two-for-one entry to select museums and galleries in London, Paris and Brussels.
Centuries of art and entertainment: The Paris Opéra
With roots dating back to 1661, when Louis XIV founded the Royal Academy of Dance, the Paris Opéra has earned its eminent reputation with centuries of crowd-pleasing performances. Today, the 19th century Palais Garnier still inspires visitors with its gilded facade and hand-painted auditorium ceiling, completed in 1964 by Marc Chagall. It’s worth looking into performances at the modern Opéra Bastille building as well; the 2015 ballet program includes a production of Swan Lake choreographed by Rudolf Nureyev.
What have you taken time to see when in Paris, or some other major city, for business?