Get ready to fall in love with the “City of Lights” the minute you land at Charles de Gaulle International Airport – the largest of Paris airports. Dubbed one of the “big four” fashion capitals of the world, boasting some of the finest restaurants and home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Paris is one of the most romantic and popular tourist destinations in the world.
Located on the river Seine, Paris is the capital city of France. Whether you’re visiting for a day, a week or a month, be prepared to spend every minute taking in the sights, smells and sounds of this gorgeous city. You can start with the iconic Eiffel Tower located in the 7th arrondissement or municipal district of Paris. Queues of people line up each day to get to all three levels of the city’s tallest structure. You cannot leave Paris without a trip to the famous gothic Notre Dame Cathedral in the 4th Arrondissement or the church of Sainte-Chapelle in the 1st arrondissement in the Île de la Cité. The famous Panthéon Church is located in the 5th arrondissement and is the burial ground for a lot of French men and women.
Get those walking shoes out to cover the Axe historique - a line of buildings that slice through the center of the city and span east to west. You start at the Louvre and make your way to Tuileries Gardens, the Champs-Élysées, and finally the colossal Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Élysées hosts all the big names in luxury – from Louis Vuitton to Guerlain and even Hôtel de La Païva – a historically famous Paris hotel. Paris is home to the Louvre, one of the world’s largest and historically famous museums – located right in the heart of the city and flanked by a giant pyramid at its main entrance. Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa lives here. Other Paris museums include the Picasso Museum and Rodin Museums as well as the National Museum for Modern Art - other significant contributions to Parisian art scene.
The Latin Quarter is on the left bank, and is moulded by the world-class university the Sorbonne. As a primarily student-populated area, the intellectual area is filled with cafes and bookshops for studying. The area is relatively high-class, and happens to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris. The Luxembourg Gardens are a must see also, and are at their most beautiful in the Spring. The gardens are immaculately manicured, and are often filled with students and tourists having picnics or enjoying the grass.
The colourful Saint Germain-des-Ores was once a hub of bohemian artists and visionaries. The area is known now for its Parisian fashion, where Louis Vuitton and Chanel never go out of style. Tourists swarm to the famous cafes like Les Deux Magots, Cafe de Flore, and the Brasserie Lipp. St Germain-des-Ores was the birthplace of existentialism, with the likes of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. The Ecole des Beaux-Arts, the height of art education in Paris, is also to be found nearby.
The Palais Garnier Opera House is a symbol of the district, and marks the height of culture and the French experience. The Opera drew many restaurants, cafes, bars and boutiques to the area, making it an iconic district in the evening. Art Nouveau buildings are prevalent on the Boulevard Haussmann, who was known for reinventing the streets of Paris into the endless airy boulevards that they are today. The nearby Galeries Lafayette is possibly one of the most beautiful malls in the world. Paris knows shopping, and the Parisian mall-frenzy involves intricate gold, windows, and ornamentation.
Montmartre has been famous for over a century because of its bohemian past and its connection to the Moulin Rouge. At the top of a hill, look out onto Paris while you inhabit its heart. The gorgeous Sacre Coeur basilica sits dreamily above the city, and ironically marks the area known for its raunch and debauchery. With street artists and performers living the bohemian dream, the Moulin Rouge is a must see with the iconic face of a windmill. The area is understandably crowded and bustling at nighttime.
After a day of Parisian art and architecture, if you’re looking for things to do in Paris, you can try and catch one of the famous Moulin Rouge or Lido shows or walk down to the Opera District to see a Paris Opera. Or then simply settle down for a delicious meal at one of so many restaurants in Paris. Disneyland Paris is also a big tourist destination for all of Europe. And for all you sports enthusiasts, be it FIFA, Tour de France or the French Open – Paris has seen it all. Make a trip to the Stade de France, home to the country’s first FIFA World Cup victory in 1998. Day trips to the Palace of Versailles or Monet’s Garden in Giverny or a tour of the Champagne and Wine country in Reims, Epernay and Burgundy are all easy trips from Paris by train.
You have 4 international airports to choose from while picking flights to Paris. For those looking at quick options to move around in the city, take advantage of the Paris metro whose wide network connects major parts of the city. With so much to see and so much to do, how do you find the perfect place to stay in Paris? Try doing Paris, the Parisian way. The city offers a large number of vacation rentals. These accommodations include everything from the quaint Paris ‘appartement’ to the gorgeous villa rentals. These home rentals often offer a more authentic and charming way of seeing Paris. Paris apartments and vacation rentals are available in all of its 20 arrondissements. Take out that Paris map and start planning your trip!
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