Where can you find some of history’s most important landmarks, the best food in the world and a haven for hopeless romantics? Paris, France, of course. Delicious cheese platters, velvety red wine and more art than you thought you’d ever see await you in France’s capital. Book Paris accommodation in the heart of the city to put close to everything you want to experience.
Things to Do in Paris
There’s so much to do and see during your French walkabout it’s hard to know where to start. You (probably) won’t be able to fly a Nieuport biplane through the Arc de Triomphe de I’Etoile like Charles Godefroy, but with accommodation near the Arc de Triomphe you can at least walk through it. Next, a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will tug on emotions you never knew you had.
Now, everyone back home is going to expect you to return with tales of fancy art and what you think the Mona Lisa is actually smiling at, so head to the Louvre and put on your best art aficionado face. And since “The City of Lights” is considered one of the international capitals of high fashion you’d be a mug if you didn’t look for a new ensemble to wear. Follow your fashion sense to Le Marais district and poke around haute couture offerings, vintage stores and one-of-a-kind antique shops. Once you’re decked out in your new attire, show it off on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. Stop off at the gourmet restaurant on the second floor for a bowl of escargot. Ever wonder if the chefs gather the little critters from the grass below?
Getting to and Around Paris
Air travel into the city will usually take you to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), 30 km northeast of the city centre of Paris. The availability of taxis, buses and a fantastic railway system make getting to your hotel in Paris painless. There’s always the option of Wotif’s car hires in case you want to get up and go at will, but be forewarned: Paris’s notorious roundabouts and thick traffic can be painful!
Best Time to Visit Paris
There’s never a bad time to visit the City of Lights, but if you want warmer weather on your Paris Holidays, plan a trip between June and August. The temperatures are pleasant with an average high in the mid-70s and the sunshine will stay awake almost as long as you do. Stay into September and you’ll be able to find good deals on accommodation in Paris. But deals aren’t the only thing happening at this time; Paris Fashion Week plants its flag towards the end of the month. The models are stunning, and the outfits ridiculous. Don’t mind a little cold? Winters in Paris are magical too, there’s even chance for a little snow!
Fall in love with this city, or with someone in the city, or both at once. Wotif has you covered with great selections of Paris hotels and deals on flights to Paris. Book today and say “Au revoir” to home, at least for a little while.
A bit of va-va-velib
Only Paris can make a gray, bulky bicycle seem glamorous and sophisticated. Velib, the city's free hire bikes, are Paris's answer to traffic congestion, the good heath of its inhabitants, and transport strikes. For the visitor, they offer an excellent way to get to know the city's 20 arrondissements, or districts, all of which have their own distinctive markings.
The heart of the capital, on the Ile de la Cité, is where Paris began around 250 BC. Now home to the law courts, a flower market, and the gothic masterpiece Notre Dame, it's a deservedly popular spot. Like most of Paris's landmarks, Notre Dame is always surrounded by people gazing up in awe and wonder. Climb the south tower and you'll be similarly humbled as you look down on the city landscape of grand boulevards, parks, and monuments.
Following your eye along the Seine, you can see the world's most famous museum, the Louvre, and further down, the instantly recognizable Eiffel Tower. Include these on your itinerary and you'll have made a small (but important) chip into the huge block of Paris's famous landmarks, monuments, and museums. It's quite possible that the list could seem overwhelming, but sitting at a pavement café with a strong coffee and a guidebook is a good start, and will certainly put you in the Parisian mood.
A bit of ooh la la
Back in 1889, the Moulin Rouge introduced a seductive, skirts-and-eyebrow-raising dance called the cancan. Today it hosts a sell-out show, though risqué titillation has been replaced by slick dance routines and acrobatics. The Opera National de Paris offers a program of classical ballet and opera, performed at the modern Opera Bastille and the grandiose Palais Garnier. In contrast to these big-scale productions, you'll find live music from rock to chanson throughout the week at venues ranging from scruffy basements to plush auditoriums. Alternatively, try a dinner cruise along the Seine for a traffic-free view of the city's carefully lit architecture.
There are a dizzying number of festivals in Paris, each reinvigorating the city in a unique way. Visit on June 21st for a musical adventure as the city plays host to a free music festival, Fête de la Musique. As the world's capital of cinema, Paris naturally has its own film festival and the highest number of art-house cinemas per inhabitant. Open-air screenings, cinematographic tours, and an eclectic mix of films make up a busy program which is enough to push any blockbuster boundaries.
It's true that people here often have a baguette under their arm. There is a boulangerie (bakery) on almost every street and even if you're not hungry the pastries in the window will probably have a persuasive impact. French cuisine is notoriously sophisticated, but you don't need to find Michelin stars to enjoy it. A neighborhood brasserie can offer a fine meal, a place to watch people come and go, and inspiration for your return visit to the city of light. Hide