Paris - The City Of Light and Romance. Paris is the world's most elegant and romantic of cities, full of charm, culture and wonderful sightseeing. There's no 'best time' to visit the city, visiting Paris in any one of the four seasons has its individual rewards, however, it's often said that Spring and Autumn present Paris at it's most picturesque.
Paris encourages exploration, by far the best way to discover Paris is on foot, it's a sheer delight, you will discover hidden squares, secret passageways and fascinating views that excite and delight as you wander along the narrow, romantic and shadowed streets.
Places to visit in Paris:
Start your sightseeing with a visit to the first most powerful symbol of Paris, the 984- foot Eiffel Tower. Constructed in 1889 the tower dominates the skyline, to reach the observation areas climb (better still take the elevator) to the second floor (115 meters). To reach the observation deck at the top of the tower (276 meters), visitors must take a second elevator. Reaching the top of the tower feels like a great achievement, you're also greeted with the best views of the city. Trivia: The tower is almost entirely constructed of pure iron, 2.5 million rivets were used during its construction, only one workman was killed during the building of the tower and that was during the installation of the lift system, 50 tons of paint are needed to paint the entire tower from top to bottom.
Now onto the second most powerful symbol of Paris, the Notre-Dame (Our Lady of Paris in French). This stunning Gothic masterpiece was built between 1163 and 1345. The Cathedral is massive and can seat around 6,000 people; it is dominated by three spectacular and enormous rose windows with a diameter of 13.1 meters, as well as a vast 7,800-pipe organ. Climb the 387-steps to the top (there is not an elevator) of the South Tower for more spectacular panoramic views of the city.
Out and about in Paris:
Visit 'The Left Bank' and on to St. Germain, the famous meeting place for many local artists, with many intimate cafes and fascinating antique shops dotted along the tiny cobbled streets and shadowed passageways. Take a long walk up the glittering Champs-Elysees, the most famous avenue in France, it extends from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place dela Concorde. This is the chic area of Paris, where fashion, wealth and the upper class meet, mix and live; here you will find famous department stores such as Galleries Lafayette and Printemps. The Montmartre stretches from the grand boulevards by the opera, through to the lively Pigalle and to Clignancourt flea market and the Sacre Coeur basilica. Take a slow ride down the Grands Boulevards with their wide tree-lined thoroughfares; look out for the famous and exciting theatre venues and world renowned restaurants.
Paris - places of interest: Plan a visit to the stunning Louvre (one of the world's greatest and important art museums) it contains many masterpieces including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Tip: Entry to the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month. Visit the Pompidou Centre, the most visited museum in France, then onto the Musee d'Orsay for a spectacular and privileged view of the world's largest collection of quality impressionist art. Take a visit to the Versailles with its hall of mirrors, magnificent gardens and glimpses into the Queen's private apartments.
Travelling around Paris:
Paris has an excellent public transport system consisting of buses and an extensive underground metro system. The metro travel area is divided into five zones radiating out from the center, ticket prices vary depending on the number of zones travelled. Take advantage of the 'The Paris Visitors Pass' its valid for one, two, three or five days, the pass also allows discounts to certain tourist areas and places of interest, including various museums, galleries and restaurants. Taxis are readily available and can be hailed on the roadside or at taxi ranks.
City Guides - The Tourist Bus:
The popular L'OpenTour Bus is a great way to get your bearings and experience the sights and sounds of Paris, all from the advantage point of an open top-deck bus. Tip - pre-book your tickets if possible. The bus stops at over 30 major attractions and you can hop on and off as often as you please.
Nightlife is centered around the many popular cafes, authentic bistros and restaurants. If you are on a budget look out for fixed price menus 'Menu Prix Fixe' or 'Plat du Jour' at the small restaurants of St. Germain, Montmarte or the boulevard du Montparnasse. If you are looking for something special and are prepared to 'splash the cash' try Le Doyen on the Champs Elysees, the head chef Christian Le Squer is discreet but very talented, also try the La Tour d' Argent overlooking the Notre Dame, especially if your looking for a 'meal with a view'. A visit to Paris would not be complete without a 'night out' to experience one of the following three fabulous cabarets.
1. The historic Moulin Rouge - the world's most famous French cabaret revue that is based on typical Parisian style.
2. The Lido - the famous Parisian cabaret Le Lido features an unforgettable dinner and spectacular show, well recommended during your stay in the City of Light.
3. The Paradis Latin - a fabulous venue, authentic and entertaining and includes the famous Can-Can.
How to get from the Airport to the City Centre: Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) lies 14 miles (23km) north east of Paris. From (CDG) the best and easiest way to travel into the city is by train. The train service (RER B) operates a fast and convenient service to the city from the airport with good connections to the Paris Metro. Taxis are available on arrival at each terminal. Buses are also available to the city center and to major train stations.
A few 'must do's' before leaving Paris:
1. Go ice-skating at the outdoor rink at the Hotel de Ville.
2. Kick back and laze on the banks of the Seine.
3. Allow yourself to get lost in the old streets and avenues.
4. Watch the world walk by as you sip coffee at a sidewalk café.
5. Take a midnight walk up the glittering Champs-Elysees.
However long you spend in Paris you know you will always return.
Accommodation in Paris: Paris is a very accommodating city, if you're planning a quick visit or short break for business or pleasure, or simply looking for a romantic getaway, you'll find a remarkable range of quality hotels ranging from budget and tourist grade properties through to 3 & 4 star and Luxury accommodation.
Build your own Holiday or City Break to Paris: There are many pre-packaged holiday deals to Paris from which to choose, however, why not try and build your own Paris holiday. Doing it yourself involves the booking of separate travel components, including flights, accommodation and transfers, enabling greater flexibility in travel dates, departure points, duration and in many cases lower prices when compared with the often restricted packaged holiday deal.
Flexibility is one of the key advantages to creating your own Paris holiday. Whilst traditional package holidays may only offer set durations and set departure dates, there are no such restrictions when building your own holiday. The same flexibility applies to your budget, by booking separate travel components (cheap flights, discount accommodation, transfers, sightseeing excursions ) travelers can decide to apportion their budgets accordingly, say between flights and accommodation.