An American in Paris part 6: Parisian sights, restaurants and terraces

FIGO's President, Dr Jeanne Conry, lives in Paris, France, six months of every year. An American in Paris is a special blog series from Dr Conry that explores the highlights of Paris as a destination for the FIGO 2023 World Congress. The sixth blog of the series of suggestions for planning your trip – from booking visits to famous attractions to places where you can enjoy a meal or drinks.

American in Paris - Part 6

We are getting close to your trip to the FIGO World Congress in October, so now it is time to get some firm ideas about your itinerary, or that of your accompanying friends and family. I know that most of you will be in meetings and lectures during the day. However, people joining you on this trip may have more time to explore Paris, and perhaps you will come early or stay a few days longer to enjoy this beautiful city as well. 

I wanted to put together some useful online resources to help you plan your time in Paris. Whether it is finding some of the great eateries or planning your visit to famous sites, these summaries can help you plan. In addition, while on the topic of enjoying everything that Paris has to offer, I decided to make a few suggestions for which movies might be fun to watch to put you in the mood ahead of your trip. 

Mapping out your must-see sights

This video summary really hits the top tourist attractions – the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Orsay Museum, Versailles and Montmartre – and gives an overview of everything from the time needed to visit different spots to how to buy tickets. It lasts only about 10 minutes, but it really gives good advice. I have been visiting Paris for years, and I enjoyed the tips provided on this channel, and I also recommend having a look at this travel blog. I think they can give you much more advice than I ever could provide.

Enjoying the cuisine: bistros and beyond

In reality, every side street in Paris has a gastronomic adventure. Of course, you cannot miss the traditional Paris bistro or brasserie, but the city also offers great Italian, Vietnamese, Thai – just think of a personal favourite, and someone will have created a classic in Paris.

Personally, if I am at a tourist hotspot, I usually eat further away, certainly not right next to them because there are more “French fast food” restaurants. That may be all you want, but if you are looking for Paris classics—do a little research or hunt a bit. There are loads of videos and travel blogs out there offering food tours of Paris, including this one, which makes very fun suggestions. I love Anthony Bordain’s description on enjoying Paris. He highlights so much of what this amazing city has to offer. I personally really like the Bistro Paul Bert in the 11th Arrondissement.

Taking in the view: Paris terraces and rooftops

One of the best enjoyments comes from outdoor dining and great views. Paris has them all. Mama Shelter hotel, which is part of the discounted hotels recommended for FIGO 2023 delegates, has an outdoor venue with a great view, beverages and food. Of course, it is all about sharing, so visiting any locale is best when celebrating with colleagues.

You can look up places yourself; there are plenty of venues with a view. I recommend the bar at Arts et Metier Hotel is wonderful for socialising and enjoying the Paris skyline. The hotel is fabulous, and the bar is even better.

Another great choice is Le Georges at the Pompidou Centre. You can enjoy the museum and then conclude with dinner or drinks—and a view through beautiful bay windows. The Skybar in Montparnasse is fairly close to our convention centre and offers food and breathtaking panoramic views over the whole city. It is located on the 32nd floor of the modern Pullman Paris Montparnasse and floats 115 meters over Paris. Finally, if you are shopping at Galeries Lafayette, I would suggest having lunch on their rooftop terrace. It really is so soothing to see the view, and a lovely spot for a light lunch. And, of course, walking through Galeries Lafayette and enjoying the atrium is spectacular.

Immersing yourself in the Parisian atmosphere: suggested movies

I could not even begin to describe all of the French classics and the French cinema world. However, there are films that capture the Parisienne life, which tourists may find helpful to prepare for their visit. My Favorite movie must be An American In Paris, but I highly recommend to take time to watch Paris, Je T’aime and Amélie if you haven’t already! The Untouchables is mostly set indoors, but it is a good movie showing wonderful scenes of France.

Finally, I will register here my “true confession” – I love Emily in Paris! It may hit all the clichés about Americans and the French, but that is what makes it so humorous. It is just a fun TV show.

To read a few more suggestions, check out this list of the films set in Paris to get you inspired before your trip.

PPT slide registration FIGO Paris 2023