Lindsay McCallum

Correspondent

  • Paris, France, EUR

Lindsay McCallum is a Forbes Travel Guide Correspondent who is based in Paris and covers the city for Forbes Travel Guide. A fashion, food and travel journalist, she made the move from Austin, TX to the City of Lights after graduating college. On a constant quest to discover the best restaurants, shops and places to be, Lindsay has established herself as the go-to insider for all things Paris. With a background in communications and PR, and a love for travel and restaurants, Lindsay began compiling travel guides to Europe for the trend forecasting company Stylesight, and is now the Editor in Chief of the luxury travel magazine LUXOS. She also writes tips on hot restaurant, bar, and store openings on her blog, Girl Meets Whirl.

  • On April 24, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    What are the best luxury hotels in Paris?

    Luxury hotels in Paris are as much of a destination for visitors as are some of the city's most prominent monuments. From the famed Ritz, where the seats at the Hemingway Bar have been frequented by some of the most famous writers, artists and actors of all time, to the lesser-known Saint James Hotel in the West of Paris, decorated with fantastic hot air balloons and a beautiful terrace garden, luxury lodging in Paris is abundant.

    My top picks for luxury hotels on Paris’ right bank are the Royal Monceau Raffles, which was redesigned by Philippe Starck in 2011 and boasts a spa by Clarins, the Mandarin Oriental, with its gorgeous patio for drinks, rooftop views of Paris, and restaurant by Thierry Marx, and the Shangri-La, where suites give onto terraces with Eiffel Tower views, and the concierge is happy to book you a private cruise on the Seine. Other luxury hotels on Paris' right bank, currently under construction, are the Hotel Crillon and the Ritz Hotel. I can only imagine how splendid these hotels will be when they are finished in 2014-2015.

    As for Paris’ left bank, the luxury hotels here come with a rich history and a charming artistic vibe unique to the area. From L’Hotel, the last home of Oscar Wilde, and the Hotel Lutetia, which was the German headquarters when Paris was occupied, to the intimate Relais Christine, and the Hotel Thomieux by Thierry Costes, interior designer India Madhavi and chef Jean-François Piege, the left-bank also offers some stunning luxury hotel options for visitors.

    Even if you aren’t staying in a luxury hotel in Paris, you can (almost) always stop in for a drink at the bar. While seated in the plush chairs sipping a special cocktail, like at Le Bar at the Georges V, or on the Avenue Montaigne terrace of the Plaza Athénée, you’ll feel like you’re in the lap of luxury.
  • On April 17, 2013
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  • On March 29, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    Where can you get the best view of Paris?

    The best  views of Paris are those that take you above the rooftops, so you can see across the entire city. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower, there are many spots in Paris to get great views of the city. Visiting one of these spots at night will make you see why Paris has earned the name The City of Light.

    Bar la Vue:
    Situated in the 17th arrondissement, not far from Montmartre, is a bar with one of the best views in Paris. Up on the 34th floor of the Concorde Lafayette Hotel there is nothing in the way of you and the Paris skyline. At night, this bar is a gorgeous place to watch the lights twinkle on the Eiffel Tower and the neighborhoods of Paris come alive. Bar la Vue offers cocktails, international small bites, great music and a lounge atmosphere. Open until 1 A.M. on week nights and 2 A.M. on weekends.
    3, place du Général Koenig 75017

    Arc de Triomphe:
    One of the most recognizable monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe located at the top of the Champs Elysées on the Place Charles de Gaulle was built by Napoleon to celebrate his win at Austerlitz in 1806 and was finally inaugurated in 1836. From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you will be able to see all the way down the Champs to the Place de la Concorde, as well as to the West towards Paris’ famous business district, La Défense where Europe’s tallest towers will soon be built.

    Montparnasse Tower:
    While this skyscraper on the left bank is quite an eyesore compared to the rest of Paris’ beautiful buildings, the view from the top is exquisite. Considering from the top of the Montparnasse Tower you see everything but the tower itself, this destination has become a favorite of visitors. There is also a bar, café, augmented reality games and children’s activities making the experience on the 56th floor of the tower something great for the whole family. Check out the panoramic views from the top on their website before you go.
    33 avenue de Maine 75015

    Le Terrass Hotel:
    Located on the hill heading up to Montmarte, this charming hotel offers a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and the rooftops of Paris. It’s best to visit in the summertime, as the bar is closed during winter months. They have a nice selection of wine and cocktails, as well as bar snacks and often a DJ playing music for the guests.
    12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre 75018
  • On March 29, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    Where can you get the best view of Paris?

    The best  views of Paris are those that take you above the rooftops, so you can see across the entire city. Besides the famous Eiffel Tower, there are many spots in Paris to get great views of the city. Visiting one of these spots at night will make you see why Paris has earned the name The City of Light.

    Bar la Vue:
    Situated in the 17th arrondissement, not far from Montmartre, is a bar with one of the best views in Paris. Up on the 34th floor of the Concorde Lafayette Hotel there is nothing in the way of you and the Paris skyline. At night, this bar is a gorgeous place to watch the lights twinkle on the Eiffel Tower and the neighborhoods of Paris come alive. Bar la Vue offers cocktails, international small bites, great music and a lounge atmosphere. Open until 1 A.M. on week nights and 2 A.M. on weekends.
    3, place du Général Koenig 75017

    Arc de Triomphe:
    One of the most recognizable monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe located at the top of the Champs Elysées on the Place Charles de Gaulle was built by Napoleon to celebrate his win at Austerlitz in 1806 and was finally inaugurated in 1836. From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you will be able to see all the way down the Champs to the Place de la Concorde, as well as to the West towards Paris’ famous business district, La Défense where Europe’s tallest towers will soon be built.

    Montparnasse Tower:
    While this skyscraper on the left bank is quite an eyesore compared to the rest of Paris’ beautiful buildings, the view from the top is exquisite. Considering from the top of the Montparnasse Tower you see everything but the tower itself, this destination is become a favorite of visitors. There is also a bar, café, augmented reality games and children’s activities making the experience on the 56th floor of the tower something great for the whole family. Check out the panoramic views from the top on their website before you go.
    33 avenue de Maine 75015

    Le Terrass Hotel:
    Located on the hill heading up to Montmarte, this charming hotel offers a rooftop bar with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower and the rooftops of Paris. It’s best to visit in the summertime, as the bar is closed during winter months. They have a nice selection of wine and cocktails, as well as bar snacks and often a DJ playing music for the guests.
    12-14 rue Joseph de Maistre 75018
  • On March 27, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    What is public transportation like in Paris?

    Navigating Paris may seem daunting at first, but the public transportation really does simplify getting from point A to point B (most of the time...). The thing to know about Parisian public transportation is this- it closes early. Unlike NYC, where the subway runs all night, the metro in Paris closes around 12 A.M. on week nights and at 1:30 A.M. on weekends, depending on which line you are using. This means, yes, you could get halfway home at 1 A.M. and then be stranded in a strange neighbourhood with no cell phone service and no idea what to do (it has happened!). 

    My advice? Take advantage of the metro for longer hauls, and stick to taxis for the shorter ones. Besides, it's so much more enjoyable as a visitor to see Paris via taxi above ground, not under. There are also a slew of iPhone applications that have launched recently that allow you to order a private taxi directly from your phone. If you have an iPhone, before arriving in Paris, download the Taxi G7 application, which is the local version of a Yellow Cab, as well as Uber and Chauffeur Privé. Praised for their ease of use and ease of billing, Uber and Chauffeur Privé are great services to use when you're unsure the metro or bus system will get you where you need to go, and you can't seem to hail down one of the notoriously elusive public taxis. 


    Busses are another great way to get around Paris, if you don't mind taking a bit more time than the metro. Bus 95 is a great one to get you from Montmartre to Saint Germain, passing through the Louvre and across the Seine. Bus 80 takes you down the Avenue Montaigne and across the Champs Elysées, while bus 30 can take you all the way to Trocadéro. The line maps are pretty easy to understand, and a ticket you buy in the metro can also be used on a bus. However, if you wait to buy a ticket on the bus, then you'll end up paying nearly $.20 more than you would have if you had bought the ticket in the metro- and your bus ticket isn't valid in the metro (it's a one way system).

    If you plan on using the public transportation occasionally while you're in Paris, buy a "carnet" of 10 tickets for about 12 euros when you arrive. If you plan on relying on the public transportation, you can get an unlimited "Paris Visite" card which allows you unlimited public transportation for 1, 3, or 5 days. There is also a special one-day unlimited pass for those under 26 years old visiting Paris on a weekend or public holiday. 

    The final form of public transportation in Paris is the Vélib system, which is a public bike system that works on a day rate for up to 30 minutes of usage at a time. As long as you have a credit card with a chip in it, or are able to create an account online before arriving in Paris, you can rent bikes and go anywhere you desire. 

    When you arrive in Paris, go ahead and ask your hotel which busses are nearest to you, and how you can get to the major monuments or shopping destinations you want to visit via bus or metro. Taking a taxi is always more assuring when heading to a dinner reservation or theater performance. 
  • On March 27, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    What is the best new restaurant in Paris?

    At the moment, Paris' casual gastronomic restaurant scene is thriving. One of the restaurants that has garnered a lot of buzz in the foodie community is Bones by the Australian chef James Henry. James Henry, who previously made waves at the helm of Au Passage in the 11th arrondissement, opened his very own space in January 2013. We've all heard of the concept of farm-to-table dining, but at Bones, Henry has capitalized on the head-to-tail cuisine philosophy.

    Bones is known for its homemade everything- like the fabulous smoked and cured duck breast, and the pork saucisson, house-churned butter and fresh-baked bread, as well as for its inventive menu. Reserve a table in the open dining room if you’d like to enjoy the special tasting menu of the evening.

    If you're looking for a casual meal with a friend or two, head to Bones early to snag a seat at the small bar (of about 6 places) where you can taste an array of items from the sharing-friendly bar menu. I loved the tartare de veau (veal tartare) and the carpaccio de bar (sea bass carpaccio), as well as the cheese plate and apple tart for dessert. Bones also roasts a suckling pig each evening, served between a homemade soft roll as a sort of modern pork sandwich. One of the best reasons to sit at the bar is that everything is prepared right in front of you, bringing the diner directly into the world of the chef (and vice versa).

    The wine menu at Bones is another reason why I think it is one of the best new restaurants in Paris. They have a great array of wines from around France and around the world, including several natural wines. By the glass or by the bottle, the guys working behind the bar are both friendly and knowledgeable, willing to help you pair the perfect wine with your meal.

    To sum up Bones the words of James Henry, “young chefs, good energy and fresh produce.”

    // BONES  // 43, rue Godefroy Cavaignac 75011 //
  • On March 24, 2013
  • On March 18, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    What are the best bars in Paris?

    Known for its sidewalk cafés, full of locals planted at the bar enjoy a ‘demi’ or half-pint of beer, Paris’ bar scene is rather traditional. In the last couple of years, Paris has seen more and more cocktail bars opening up, like the lounges by the Experimental Cocktail Group. ECG is responsible for bringing the New York speakeasy, mixologist trend to Paris with their five bars around the city. To enjoy the underground speakeasy vibe and a great cocktail, my favorite bar is The Ballroom.

    For a great vibe and a pint of beer, I love going to Le Mansart with friends. If we are looking to dance, but don’t want to go to a “club,” then we always head to Le Carmen, a bar inside the mansion where Bizet lived when he wrote the opera, Le Carmen.

    Another favorite spot for enjoying a beer while watching American sports games is The Moose, located in Saint Germain. Near The Moose, on rue des Canettes, are several other bars that are frequented by ex-pats and tourists alike. 

    Up in Montmartre, my neighborhood, one of my favorite bars (especially in the warmer months) is Chez Camille, where the staff is friendly and the views from the patio are spectacular. Down in Montmartre, a couple of great places to get a drink are La Perle and Derrière, and just inbetween the two neighborhoods are great bars like Le Pompon and L'Inconnu, where the hipster crown tends to dance the night away in between cigarette breaks outside. In the summertime, places with a rooftop like Mama Shelter in the 19th and Wanderlust with its huge patio overlooking the Seine river, are great to enjoy a drink with friends.

    For a classic cocktail in Paris, Harry's New York bar near the Opera Garnier is one of the oldest bars in the city, and is famous for its bloody mary's and sidecars. The Hemingway bar at the Ritz Hotel will be open again in 2014 after undergoing major renovations, and is one of the must-visit historic bars in Paris for its cozy atmosphere and long list of celebrity patrons. 

    There are so many great places to enjoy the Parisian nightlife, and a new bar opens up every week it seems, but if you're looking to unwind with a drink in Paris, you won't have to look far. 


  • On March 18, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    What are the best restaurants in Paris?

    The Paris food culture is evolving. As more and more international chefs are instilling their interpretation of fine dining onto the Parisian dining scene, it is difficult to say what the best restaurant in Paris is. Each is so good in its own way, depending on what you’re looking for when you come to Paris.

    If you are looking to dine at the trendy, up-and-coming restaurants in Paris, some of which have been started by ex-pats, then you must eat at Bones by James Henry, Frenchie by Gregory Marchand, or Verjus by Braden and Laura Perkins.

    However, Paris’ traditional fine dining still holds its refinery and appeal. To experience a beautiful, traditional French meal, try dining at Le Comptoir du Relais, L’Atelier du Joël Robouchon, Le Relais Louis XIII by Manuel Martinez, or the lesser-known neighborhood restaurant, La Table d’Eugène by Geoffroy Maillard.

    Paris is also a great city to experience international cuisines. For Japanese food, there is no better place to go than rue Sainte Anne, with over 50 authentic restaurants to choose from. 

    Whether you want to celebrate a special occasion at a fancy restaurant, stop for a crêpe on the street, sit down to a three-hour lunch, or enjoy an afternoon tea with pastries, Paris offers a cornucopia of dining options.
  • On March 18, 2013
    Lindsay McCallum answered the question: Lindsay McCallum

    Where is the best shopping in Paris?

    Depending on what you’re shopping for, Paris offers some of the finest products in the world. If you’re looking for gorgeous French candles, you must visit Diptyque, Astier de Villatte and Cire Trudon.

    If you want to find unique items to take home with you, head to concept stores like Merci or The Broken Arm in the Marais, or Centre Commercial in 10th arrondissement.

    If antiques are your goal, then there is no better place than the open air markets that take place on both the Nothern and Southern edges of the city. To the North, visit the Marché aux Puces, full of rows upon rows of antiquities. To the South, the Marché de Vanves only happens on the weekends, but it is a quaint open-air market where you can find great deals on vintage clothing, jewelry, housewares, maps, and art.

    As for luxury shopping, rue Saint Honoré and Avenue Montaigne are the two most well known streets for designer goods. However, the Palais Royal is a fabulous place to shop. Located behind the famous Comédie Française, the Palais Royal gardens are surrounded by boutiques like Marc Jacobs, ACNE, Didier Ludot, Rick Owens and Corto Moltedo. 

    The famous department stores in Paris, Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, are great places to find the essentials, like makeup, shoes, and clothing, as well as to enjoy a glass of champagne while overlooking their gorgeous architecture.  

    Boulevard Saint Germain is another shopping street that you can’t miss while visiting Paris. Home to Ralph Lauren’s flagship Paris store, the new Karl Lagerfeld boutique, as well as famous cafes like Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, Saint Germain is the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping and lunching.