A few client shoots took me on a whirlwind work trip to Paris and Dublin, two of my favourite European cities. As I was in both cities for work, most of my sightseeing and exploring happened while scouting and working. I’d been to both a few times before, so I felt free to miss the ‘main attractions’ and shoot in different parts of each city.
Two places in Paris I fully explored were Montmartre and Parc Bagatelle. Montmartre is perfectly romantic– lower, older buildings with rambling vines. My advice is to start behind Sacre Coeur, and make sure to check out the area around Lapin Agile and La Maison Rose. Parc Bagatelle is a little far from city center, and I was so happy to have found it. It’s a very large park, and the little pink ‘Château Bagatelle’ was frequented by Marie Antoinette. Peacocks wander the grounds, and there is a lovely rose garden by the orangerie. If you go right at 9am when it opens, you’ll be treated to a fairly empty park. I would highly suggest packing lunch– it’s the perfect place to a have a picnic. Although if you have the time to go a bit further, head to Versailles (entrance to the gardens is free!) or Château de Chantilly.
Dining in Paris: Spoiled for choice, obviously. If you really want to splurge and go somewhere special, head to Le Meurice, or the St. James Paris – the secret garden style restaurant there with quirky hot air balloon canopies is out of a dream. My other favourite way to dine in Paris is to picnic in a park. Gorgeous parks abound, and – clichés be damned! – a fresh baguette, cheese, fruit and wine/champagne just fits the bill.
Accommodations in Paris: Hands down, Airbnb. Book early and you’ll find something with giant wooden beams, circling staircases, and a window that opens onto a Haussmannian lined street. I like to stay not too far from the centre of Paris, but even if you don’t, the metro system is simple, and Uber is easy too.
I finished the trip with one day in Ireland, possibly my favourite country in the world. I had a client session just outside of Dublin in Howth, and the cliff path walk was unreal. If you don’t have time to make it to the Cliffs of Moher, this was a beautiful area (easily accessible from Dublin by train) that still felt very much like the Ireland of your dreams.
Going out in Dublin: If you’re looking for a pint, a hot bowl of Irish stew and live music, as touristy as it is… I really do love the Temple Bar area. I was there this time on a Monday night, and still found a lively crowd and live music at the Merchant’s Arch, right on the south side of Ha’penny bridge on the river Liffey.
Travel tips: Skyscanner, Hopper, and Seat Guru for booking airline tickets. Airbnb for accommodations. Smartphone use – buy a sim card when you land. You can usually find one meant for tourists at the airport. Having a smartphone with data is so helpful for getting around if you’re in a new city.
Rebecca Sehn lives near Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two children. She has a serious case of wanderlust, and has photographed hundreds of families all over the world.