Paris City Breaks
Paris has more famous sights than you could possibly see in a short break in France’s capital. However this lively city has so much more to offer than a collection of wonderful monuments, museums and churches. Just step off the beaten track to discover the bustling street life, cosmopolitan cafés and tranquil little squares and parks which help to make up the true Paris.
Be sure to visit some of the famous sights including the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Nôtre Dame and the Sacré Coeur to name just a few. Stroll along the Champs Elysées and wander through the Jardin des Tuileries, a peaceful haven right in the centre of the city. Idle away a few hours in the labyrinth of alleyways and back streets which make up the charming area of Montmartre. At night perhaps enjoy a cruise on the River Seine and gasp as you take in the wonder of Paris by night with all the monuments illuminated.
For centuries Paris has been a flourishing European cultural centre. Hundreds of museums, galleries and churches grace nearly every part of the city. Paris is particularly known for its art galleries. From the old masters in the Louvre to the modern exhibits at the Pompidou Centre, there is something for everyone. The Musée d’Orsay, on the left bank of the River Seine, is housed in a former railway station and has the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world.
Eat and Drink
Paris is home to some of the world’s finest - and priciest - restaurants, but it is also possible to eat well on a budget. Top restaurants often offer a cheaper menu at lunch times than in the evenings. Whether you’re looking for haute-cuisine or just a relaxed bistro, café or wine bar, you’ll find something to suit you in Paris, but it’s always worth checking the menu and price list before you enter.
For upmarket shopping visit Galeries Lafayette, whose flagship department store is on the Boulevard Haussman. Paris has a wonderful mix of large stores, markets and boutiques specialising in everything from elegant designer apparel to fine art and antiques. Head to the Latin Quarter for cheap and cheerful bookshops and boutiques.
The Père Lachaise cemetery covers 44 hectares in the heart of the city and contains 70,000 ornate tombs of the rich and famous, ranging from Oscar Wilde to Chopin and the playwright Molière to the artist Picasso. Also in the city centre, on the Île de la Cité right by Notre Dame Cathedral, is La Conciergerie, a beautiful gothic building which was formerly a royal palace and then a prison where people, including Marie Antoinette, were held before being taken away for execution.
A visit to the Chateau of Versailles is an unforgettable experience. Lying just 12 miles south-west of the capital and set amid magnificently landscaped formal gardens, this splendid palace was built in the mid-17th century during the reign of Louis XIV – the Sun King. The château has undergone relatively few alterations since its construction, though almost all the interior furnishings disappeared during the Revolution. One of the highlights of the Chateau is the Hall of Mirrors, a 75m-long ballroom with 17 huge mirrors on one side and, on the other, an equal number of windows looking out over the gardens. The vast gardens, laid out nearest the palace in formal French style, are famed for their geometrically designed flowerbeds, tree-lined paths, ponds and fountains. The Chateau of Versailles can be reached by catching an RER train from central Paris.
Warm, pleasant summers, mild spring and autumns & cool winters which rarely dip below freezing but be prepared for sudden heavy showers at any time of year.
Paris is worth visiting at any time of year. It’s a particularly beautiful city in the spring but November to March and July & August will often offer you the best value.
Goes well with
Brussels & Bruges if you fancy giving the airport a miss and taking the Eurostar and local trains. It also combines well with Nice as a twin centre holiday, travelling by rail between the cities.
Wanting to return again to this very special city as soon as possible
In Our Opinion
Just a hop, skip and a jump from home and you find yourself in an ethereal world of grace and beauty...
Excellent value for money. We look forward to hearing from you, so we can book our holidays for 2013...Paris
Gastronomy unlike any other