Paris is the City of Light and it is the City of Love. Whatever Paris means to you, it’s undeniably elegant, artistic, and romantic.
It is the birthplace of haute couture and it is a city where many artists and playwrights converged during La Belle Époque, only to find themselves caught in a love affair with absinthe. Its picturesque bridges attract lovers upon lovers, armed with padlocks and ready to give their hearts to each other. After just a few days, you’ll want to give your heart to Paris.
When to Go?
Springtime is the obvious answer, but Paris is a city for all seasons. Summer is the peak of tourist season but autumn is when you’ll see the city as its energetic, authentically Parisian self. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Fêtes des Vendanges de Montmartre, held at the beginning of October. It celebrates the vintage of a small private monastery located in the 18th district.
Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly (ORY) are the two main airports serving Paris, both with public transport links into the city.
Gare du Nord, the north rail station, is one of the busiest in Europe and welcomes arrivals from Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The Eiffel Tower is a must-see on every first-time visitor’s list, as are the Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Sacré Cœur Basilica, towering over Montmartre, offers wide views over Paris on a clear day and its hundreds of steps are a great spot to absorb the afternoon sun.
Paris’ Centre Pompidou is home to France’s National Museum of Modern Art, an artistic space with a seemingly never-ending stream of exhibitions to feed your need for creativity. The building itself is unique, built as an “evolving spatial diagram” by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.
Jardin du Luxembourg is a chic park, a breath of fresh air in the middle of a city that never stops moving. Sit, stroll, and above all, take your time.
“The most iconic cabaret in Paris” is the Crazy Horse, offering more than a glimpse into the spicier side of the city.
Eat and Drink
Start your day with a flaky croissant or a pain au chocolat from Blé Sucré. Their coffee isn’t fantastic but the steady stream of locals filing in and out is the best indication that their bread, pastries, and Madeleines are.
Bululu Arepera is an enticing lunch option serving handmade arepas (corn pancakes), of which the merecumbé with duck, mango, red onion, and a sauce of coriander and mint, is a crowd favourite. Wash your arepas down with a cold and sweet papelón con limón and start the rest of your afternoon on a happy note with a Ma-Ron – one shot of espresso and one shot of rum.
The best kept secret in Paris is Il Giramondo, for both lunch and dinner.
The smell of rustic French cuisine wafts from the kitchen at Ma Salle à Manger and what arrives on your red gingham-checked table will not disappoint. Service with a sense of humour will leave a smile on your face.
Hotel Les Jardins du Marais is located within a comfortable walking distance from the Bastille, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and Centre Pompidou. It’s sleek, it’s stylish, and is a great base for exploring the Marais district.
On the opposite side of the River Seine is Hotel Le Six, hugging the lively Latin Quarter and happily putting you right in the middle of Paris’ Left Bank.
Montmartre Mon Amour, a charming boutique hotel near the Sacré Cœur Basilica puts the word ‘love’ into the City of Love.
Here are additional options for where to stay in Paris.
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