Head to France’s capital city, Paris, and you’ll be charmed before you even set eyes on the Eiffel Tower, the medieval church Notre Dame or the glittering shops of Avenue des Champs-Élysées. With wide avenues, sprawling parks and ornate 18 century facades, not to mention a population of 2.2 million who are equally serious about food and fashion, it is no wonder Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Paris’ seductive charms are legendary; it’s a gourmet’s paradise, has world class museums and boasts some of the world’s greatest art collections. Each quarter has its own charm; the bohemian Montmarte (Moulin Rouge and Amelie), Marais with its trendy bars and shiny boutiques and also the Latin quarter with its Roman ruins (Pantheon, Sorbonne).
Things you must see & do
Take a leaf out of the French word ‘flâner’ which translates as “walking the city in order to experience it” - you will see and enjoy more. If you’ve got a faster pace in mind, see the city by bike, in true Parisian fashion. Fat Tire Bike Tours are a fabulous way to learn about the ‘City of Light’.
You really cannot go to Paris without seeing the big three (Louvre, Musee d’Orsay & Eiffel Tower). If you have additional time then head to Les Ombres, a rooftop restaurant, where you can view the Eiffel Tower at night without having to brave the crowds. Another must is Marche aux Puces de St Ouen – a flea market second to none, with everything from antique furniture to fancy dress.
Art fans will be torn between a visit to the Louvre, a stroll around the statues of the Rodin Museum and the lively artist havens of the Left Bank and Montmartre. Foodies should go in search of delicate macaroons, freshly baked baguettes and the best fine dining in Europe.
Grab a picnic to enjoy in the futuristic Parc de la Villette or park up at one of the funky canalside bars for a pastis on your way back into town.
Canal St Martin is the place to be and the ‘real’ Paris. Here, a must do is to grab a table at Chez Prune, 36 Rue Beaurepaire. Pick up a city hire bike from one of Paris’ Velib stands and pedal down the Canal St Martin to the biggest science museum in Europe.
Wander further than the tourist traps at meal times - you can find some incredible bistros’ half the price and twice the experience.
View Paris deals