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It’s been over 4 weeks since the strict confinement measures have been put in place by government here in France. Many other counries have also followed suit since. Unfortunately, this all comes at a time when spring has fully arrived. France during springtime is one of the best times to be traveling the country. Apart from the weather just being right, being here between April and May avoids the hoards of tourist groups who come in summer.
While actually being in France is an experience that is a highlight in many people’s lives, doing the following things below (for now) comes as a pretty close second. Here are our suggestions for traveling to France without leaving your home:
1. Learn a French recipe
The gastronomy in France is one of the main reasons why travelers from all over the world come here. Since being able to actually sit inside a French bistro is impossible right now, we suggest that you recreate your own bistro at home. There are many basic French recipes that you can learn! We suggest starting with these classic recipes:
– Quiche Lorraine
– Croque Monsieur (add an egg on top and it’s a Croque Madame)
– Gratin Dauphinois
– French-style Apple Tart (perfect with some vanilla ice cream!)
|INSIDR Tip: Make sure to check our INSIDR Instagram account to follow super easy French recipes!|
Click on the links to follow the recipes from these top French chefs:
– Famous pâtissier Cyril Lignac broadcasts a live cooking demo on his Instagram account. If you can’t catch it live, you can get his expert recipes here.
– Top pâtissier Christophe Michalak publishes recipes on his Facebook page twice a week!
– 3-Michelin star chef Éric Frechon also shared his classic Roast Chicken recipe on his Facebook page
Once this is all over and the travel bans have been lifted, we highly recommend that you take a cooking class with a professional French chef! Ferrandi, one of France’s best culinary schools, will be holding cooking classes at Galeries Lafayette Haussmann! Read about our experience here.
2. Travel to Paris through film
Paris is one of the most sought -after movie locations not only for French films but for international ones as well. The following films we’re recommending capture Paris in different ways: casual, romantic, nostalgic, and aspirational.
Here are the top films set in Paris to watch at home. Click on the links to watch the trailers.
– Amélie: a romantic comedy that takes you through the rugged streets of Montmartre!
– Intouchables: a comedy-drama film that was inspired by a true story. It will make you laugh and cry!
– Before Sunset: this cult classic romantic drama couldn’t have picked a better location than Paris. You’ll definitely dream of falling in love with a stranger after watching this.
– Ratatouille: this film is the perfect cross between animation, French gastronomy, and feel-good story! It’s not only for kids but also for kids-at-heart!
– La Vie en Rose: this film properly introduced the brilliant French actress Marion Cotillard to the world through her portrayal of Edith Piaf, one of France’s most loved singers
– Marie Antoinette: this film isn’t technically set in Paris but in Versailles. Nonetheless, not only will you learn about the life of this polarizing character, it’ll also inspire you to include Versailles in your Paris itinerary!
3. Learn to speak French!
If there was ever a time to learn a new language, now would be it. Thanks to technology, it’s never been easier to practice speaking, reading, and writing in a new language! French may not be the easiest language to learn because of the verb conjugations, the masculine and feminine nouns, and the pronunciation but getting the basics down are extremely fun!
We recommend DuoLingo which is a free language-learning app that you can install on your mobile phone. It comes with audio support as well so you can perfect saying simple phrases like “bonjour, monsieur” and “merci beaucoup”! Trust us, those French phrases go a long way during your trip here in France.
|INSIDR Tip: For those who aren’t complete beginners, we recommend the YouTube channel Easy French that interviews Parisians on the streets with accompanying subtitles.|
4. Listen to some French tunes
It’s a cliché to think of the accordion as French music. Sure, it’s the common background to portray French scenery but French music is so much more than that! From classical music to indie bands and rap music, French musicians can be found in different genres! Here are some French artists we recommend listening to whether it’s on YouTube, Spotify, or other streaming services:
– Stromae: while he’s actually Belgian, his rap lyrics in French will put you in a good mood
– Angèle: she may also be from Belgium but her French songs are so catchy and easy to sing along to
– Hôtel Costes playlist: for an expertly curated playlist of all the best French songs
– Eddy de Pretto: Similar to Stromae, he doesn’t only rap, he also has an amazing singing voice!
– Christine and the Queens: she’s made a breakthrough in the American music scene but we recommend you give her French song versions a listen
5. Appreciate art from French museums
This is one of our favorites out of the many good things that have come out of this confinement period. France’s biggest museums have figured out a way for their world-class works of art to reach out to people, anywhere in the world! These museums have produced online platforms for people to be able to view works of art and take virtual tours.
Museums in Paris to visit from your couch:
– Musée du Louvre: offers a virtual tour!
– Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac: offers not only a virtual tour of its museums which is an architectural masterpiece but also offers free access to its works of art
– Paris Musées: this is the largest group of museums in Paris and they’re offering free access to tons of their works of art which you can download and print for free!
|INSIDR Tip: For a different art form, we also invite you to tune in to Opera Garnier’s website where they’ll be streaming their top performances!|
6. Explore the Palace of Versailles
Think of it as a preparation for your actual visit of the palace and gardens in the future. No passport nor tickets required to be able to go on a virtual tour of this world-famous attraction.
Apart from being able to tour the opulent rooms in the palace, you’ll also have access to Chateau de Versailles’ permanent collections. You can also roam around the park which spans over 800 hectares of lawns! Click here to begin your virtual exploration.
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