Paris City Guide
A city of romance, fashion, art and innovation, Paris is famous for its artistic, bohemian and revolutionary past. Located in the North of France, Paris has been a cultural capital of Europe for over a thousand years so it’s not surprising, as any Paris city guide will tell you, that its streets are filled with some of the most striking and recognisable architecture in the world like the Eiffel Tower or Notre-Dame. Admiring the numerous landmarks is certainly one of the best things to do in Paris. However, you’ll quickly notice that Paris’s unique atmosphere doesn’t just lie in the grandeur of its historic past, but in the intimacy of its leafy quarters, the distinct feeling that there are hundreds of personal histories taking place in the many neighbourhoods surrounding the lazy Seine. The capital city retains this intimate feel despite its large size, and there is always something new to discover not mentioned in tourist booklets.
Things to do in Paris
It’s easy to be bowled over by the number of things to do in Paris, you can see one of the world’s best known landmarks, the Eiffel Tower, and enjoy a panoramic view of Paris. There's also one of the best known museums - The Louvre – full to the brim with renowned masterpieces. Paris has one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in the world, the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Its fine carvings and gargoyles create a striking impression when approached for the first time. For something a little bit different, there is the heart of Paris’s famous bohemian underbelly, centred on the lights and colour of the Moulin Rouge! The birthplace of cabaret and the famous can-can dance is well worth a visit.
Things to see in Paris
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris’s major attractions, why not head underneath the city streets! The Paris Catacombs make for an eerie and interesting adventure. The catacombs and are open from Tuesday-Sunday, 10am-5pm. The Grevin Wax Museum is also well worth a visit, with many recognisable faces on show. If you want to get off the city streets, Bois de Boulogne is a beautiful park to wander around. It has several lakes, landscape gardens and even a zoo for you to explore. There are plenty of things to see in Paris that are off the beaten track, so it’s worth exploring each and every nook and cranny.
Paris is one of the best connected cities in the world. It is served by Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airport and its main train station, Gare du Nord, connects to almost every country in Europe, including the UK via Eurostar. Once you’re in Paris, transport around the city is easy with the famous Metro on hand to take you to the most beautiful districts. If you’re after something less practical but much more scenic, a boat tour along the Seine is highly recommended.
There are hundreds of events in Paris to look forward to. Particularly unmissable is Bastille Day on the 14th July, a Paris event that celebrates the storming of the Bastille and the eventual formation of France’s current government. Every July and August the Paris Plages takes place; temporary beaches are created along the Seine, hosting many summer activities and offering a haven for locals to escape the heat. Paris Fashion Week runs semi-annually and is a must-see for style-lovers. For something a bit different, why not try September's Techno Parade?
Restaurants in Paris
Paris really is the home of haute cuisine as we know it, so it’s understandable that the streets are always filled with foodies. Delicious patisseries, hidden away bistros, exotic chocolatiers and Michelin-starred gastronomy giants all make up the reputable culinary landscape of this capital city. There are hundreds of restaurants in Paris you can try, but if you’re looking for Michelin stars the Champs-Élysées is a good place to start. Almost every neighbourhood has a vibrant market to explore with one of the most famous being the Marché Bastille. It runs twice a week on the Boulevard Richard Lenoir.