Paris Travel Guide
Paris Travel Guide
One of the top tourist destinations in the world, the city of Paris is glamorous, romantic, playful and crammed full of fascinating places, great restaurants and beautiful things.
Paris should be at the top of the list for anyone contemplating a European holiday. The city embodies style and charm and offers a variety of unique attractions, both ancient and modern. Paris brings out the romance in every soul. Art lovers, fashion fans and foodies are particularly well catered for if they holiday in Paris, while sightseers can indulge in world-famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Notre-Dame. Every few steps visitors will find something to point at or photograph in this busy city. Paris has a thrilling nightlife and the shopping is some of the best in the world.
Paris is also a great city to visit for those travelling with children. Families can relish the fantastic delights of Disneyland Paris and amusement parks like Parc Asterix, which are within easy reach of the city. Kids will also enjoy the many parks, forests and gardens within Paris.
Best time to visit Paris
Peak tourist season in Paris is in the summer months, between June and August, but every season has something to offer visitors. Paris is notorious for its sudden rain showers, which can occur in summer or winter. However, it is always possible to retreat indoors to explore the wonderful museums and galleries before emerging into the sunshine again to enjoy coffee and pastries at a pavement café. Many locals escape Paris in August when the heat can be oppressive and some restaurants close. Read more on Paris's Climate and Weather.
What to see in Paris
-Wander through the awe-inspiring galleries of The Louvre.
-See the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte under the dome of Les Invalides.
-Visit the Pompidou Centre, the city's most popular attraction.
-Explore the magnificent palace of Versailles just outside of Paris.
What to do in Paris
-Stroll through the Jardin des Plantes and discover the many attractions of Paris's main botanical garden.
-Take an excursion to the palace of Fontainebleau.
-Marvel at the art in the incomparable Musee d'Orsay.
-Splash with the kids at Aquaboulevard on a hot day.
Paris is the perfect doorway to a number of regions of France. The Loire Valley is known as the 'Garden of France', with its many chateaux and gardens. Normandy is the military history enthusiast's dream destination. Champagne Country caters for lovers of France's famous bubbly. Paris is easily accommodated on any travel itinerary of France, not least of all because it is easy to get flights into the city.
Paris has two world-class international airports: Charles de Gaulle Airport (also called Paris Roissy Airport), located 14 miles (23km) northeast of Paris; and Paris-Orly Airport, located nine miles (14km) south of Paris. There are direct flights to Paris from various cities in the UK, New York and many European cities. Get more information on Airports in Paris.
Did you know?
-Paris has been nicknamed the 'city of lights', but lights originally referred to the number of intellectuals who live in the city.
-Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde are both buried the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
-The Eiffel tower was originally intended to be a temporary monument which would eventually be dismantled and sold as scrap.
The Eiffel Tower © ainet
It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. The city is a unique blend of iconic architecture, stylish fashion, hedonistic cuisine and illustrious art, all beautifully laid out on the banks of the river Seine.
Paris has nurtured the artistic talents of Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired the renovation of the famous Gothic cathedral after which the tale was named. The concert halls have hosted the premiere of Bizet's opera, Carmen, and the impressionist melodies of Claude Debussy. Cabaret found its home in the bohemian neighbourhood of Montmartre, where the notorious Moulin Rouge saw the invention of the Cancan dance.
Paris owes much of its beauty and elegance to the vision of Baron Haussmann, who renovated and modernised the city in the late 19th century. The city has contrived to remain untouched by conflict or catastrophe over the years, so all of its history is preserved in the new layout. Wide boulevards lead to squares lined with facades built from the distinctive pale cream 'Paris stone'. Haussman even designed new parks for the city. The Bois de Bologne was inspired by Hyde Park in London.
Paris is a city for all seasons. Summer sees visitors and locals alike relaxing on the banks of the Seine and sipping coffee on sidewalk cafes. On autumn afternoons the brisk walk from the Eiffel Tower through the Parc du Champ de Mars and up the glittering Champs Elysees is carpeted with colourful fallen leaves. Visitors in winter can take to the ice rink outside the Hotel de Ville, while spring sees the city gardens burst into colour and the street performers emerge to practice their trade.