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Sightseeing and Places to visit in Paris
Paris is a beautiful city, one of the most beautiful in the world. From the top of one of the world's best-loved landmarks, the city of Paris spreads in wondrous symmetry like a perfectly constructed spider's web of beautiful buildings, parks and long avenues. Paris is huge, elegant, sumptuous, and it has places astonishing enough to be remembered for an entire lifetime.
A sunset or a dawn on one of the many bridges on the Seine is worth a visit by itself. The city is also impressive for all the infrastructures, from the perfectly-managed hundreds of museums to the always-perfect condition of all the monuments and historical places, starting from the fantastic "Hotel Des Invalides" seen from "Place de la Concorde" to the incredible "Place Vendome", passing through the huge "Arc de Triomphe" and the impressive and never ending "Champs Elisees".
Dozens of restaurants everywhere and tons of hotels are capable of providing food and accommodation for any budget. Parisians are really living their city. In the evening up to late hours all the bars and the bistros are always full of people from any age and country. Theatres are always fully booked and the last movie in major cinemas is shown around midnight. It is still the city of dreamers, one of the few places where rain and cold simply add to the dynamic essence sought time and again by people from all over the world. Lovers of food, wine, art and music flock to taste the exquisite flavours of the city that justifiably holds the title of 'capital of style'. Last but not least the city is clean, well kept and generally respected by its inhabitants.
The Eiffel Tower
Built for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889, which commemorated the centenary of the French Revolution, the Eiffel Tower is probably the best-known French landmark. Standing at over 300 meters and weighing 7000 tons, the tower was one of the world's tallest buildings until 1930. The view over Paris from the top is breathtaking.
The Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon shortly after his victory at Austerlitz, the Arc de Triomphe was not finished until 1836. There are four huge relief sculptures at the base of the four pillars including the famous La Marseillaise by François Rude. The day the Battle of Verdun commenced in 1916 the sword carried by the figure representing the Republic broke off. The figure was immediately hidden to conceal the accident to try and avoid any undesired associations or interpretations as a bad omen. Engraved around the top of the arch are the names of major victories won during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame lies under the Arch.
Notre Dame Cathedral
A masterpiece of gothic architecture designed by Maurice de Sully, Notre Dame was built between the 12th and the 14th centuries. Until the French Revolution the cathedral remained relatively unchanged. Admire the stunning building from the Place du Parvis or take the energetic 387-step climb to the top of the towers for an amazing view of the city. Check out the statuesque gargoyles adorning the cathedral.
The Champs Elysees
Central to most French National celebrations, the Champs Elysees is one of the world's most well known streets. The Tour de France finishes here and people from all over the world congregate here to celebrate Bastille Day - the French national holiday. Stroll along its wide expanse and stop for a coffee in one of the chic cafes that line it.
The Sacré Coeur
The Sacré Coeur is one of Paris' best-known landmarks after the Eiffel Tower. Built by public subscription after the 1870 defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, the Sacré Coeur Basilica's grand collection of 19th century sculptures, architecture, and paintings provide a wonderful insight into the history of that century. Climb the steep steps up to the church and take in the amazing views over the city.
The Latin Quarter
One of the most famous Parisian districts, the Latin Quarter has welcomed intellectuals and bohemians alike since the Middle Ages. It derives its name from the language of the scholars as the students of the famous Sorbonne University spoke Latin here throughout the 19th-century. The area is full to the brim with cafes, bookshops, small boutiques, nightclubs, street merchants and artists. The area is also the historical site of various political uprisings, one of which was the student revolt of May 1968. If you want to find the real Paris then don't miss this hip, young and vibrant area.
Philippe Auguste originally constructed the Louvre as a royal palace in 1190, and it was only after the French Revolution that the idea of transforming it into a huge art museum was discussed. The Louvre eventually opened on 18th November 1793. Today the Louvre is one of the most beautiful museums in the world, housing collections from nearly every era and every major artist throughout history. To see the collection in its entirety is a mammoth task. To make the most of a visit, you will need at least a day to see it. Arrive early to avoid the queues!
The Georges Pompidou Centre
The Pompidou Centre is one of the most spectacular and controversial modern buildings in Paris. It was designed with the aim of bringing art and culture to the people on the street. Its 1977 factory style architecture starkly contrasts with the surrounding classical French architecture. The centre is multifunctional, containing a public library and the French National Museum of Modern Art, which has a large collection of paintings spanning the 20th century. These include works by artists such as Picasso, Braque, Max Ernst, Magritte, Chagall, Matisse, Delaunay, Kandinsky, Klee and much more. Throughout the day there are usually colourful displays of street theatre for both adults and children.
The Pere Lachaise Cemetery
Cemeteries are not on your average tourist itinerary but this one is a must. A popular attraction, especially if any of your idols are buried here. The gothic grand cemetery houses the graves of such celebrities as Chopin, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt, Rossini, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison.
Disneyland Paris is situated just outside of Paris in Marne la Vallée and opened in 1992. Today Disneyland Paris covers about 140 acres, with a theme park to rival any of is competitors. Meet Mickey and Dumbo and all your Disney friends! Belt up for a journey to the moon with Space Mountain, pilot your own spaceship on Orbitron or take part in the intergalactic battle that is Star Wars. Follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones or visit the Wild Wild West in Frontierland as well as hundreds of other themed attractions. Take a stroll in its themed stores, listen to the orchestras, dive into the fever of Hurricanes Nightclub, take a nightcap at the Sports Bar or go and see the latest films in the newest cinema. There are literally thousands of attractions to choose from. You won't want to come home!
Paris Questions and Answers
- How do I reserve a taxi?
- How do I get from the airport to Paris?
- How to get to Disneyland Paris and Parc Astérix?
- How do I get to salons/exhibitions/events centers?
- What are the French public holidays?
Taxis Firm: Taxis G7
Tel: 01 47 39 47 39
Taxis Firm: Taxis Bleus
Tel: 01 49 36 29 34
Paris has 2 major airports:
Airport Name: Paris-Orly Airport
- 15 km South of Paris by the Autoroute A6 (A6 Highway) (direction Lyon).
- Taxi (25 to 45 mins - 100 to 180 FF).
- A bus goes from Orly airport to the Orlyrail RER (suburban express train) where trains leave every 15 mins for Gare d'Austerlitz (Austerlitz train station located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris). Route: 45 mins.
- Orly Bus shuttle leaves every 15 mins for place Denfert-Rochereau (14th arrondissement of Paris). Route 50 mins.
- Air France shuttles serve Les Invalides and Montparnasse areas (7th and 14th arrondissements of Paris). Route: 30 mins.
Taxis Firm: Charles de Gaulle International Airport
- 30 km North of Paris by the Autoroute A1 or A3 (A1 or A3 Highways) (direction Lille).
- Taxi (45 to 60 mins - 150 to 250 FF) - most convenient way - little wait.
- Air France shuttles leave every hour for Porte Maillot, Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile and Gare TGV-Montparnasse (16th, 8th and 14th arrondissements of Paris). Route: 40 mins.
- Take the green or blue shuttle in the direction of the RER line B which serves mainly Gare du Nord, Châtelet-les-Halles, Saint-Michel, Denfert-Rochereau, Cité Universitaire, Antony and Massy Palaiseau. Route: 40 mins.
- The TGV train station is located in the Terminal gare 2. The train goes to Gare du Nord (10th arrondissement of Paris). Route: 35 mins.
Theme Park: Disneyland Paris
- 40 km East of Paris.
- By the Autoroute A4 (A4 Highway) - direction Marne-la-Vallée - exit 14 Val d'Europe, Parc Disneyland.
- Shuttles from Orly airport every 45 mins.
- RER line A - direction Marne-la-Vallée Chessy - stop: Parc Disneyland.
Theme Park: Parc Asterix
- 30 km North of Paris.
- By the Autoroute A1 (A1 Highway) - direction Lille - direct exit between exits 7 and 8.
- Take the RER B up to Roissy Charles de Gaulle airpoirt 1 - then take the CIF bus that leaves every 30 mins from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm.
- CNIT - LA DEFENSE
RER line A or metro line 1 - direction La Défense - stop: La Défense Grande Arche.
- PARC DES EXPOSITIONS - PORTE DE VERSAILLES
Metro line 12 - direction Mairie d'Issy - stop: Porte de Versailles.
- PARC DES EXPOSITIONS PARIS NORD - VILLEPINTE
Autoroute (Highway) A1 or A3 (direction Lille).* RER line B - direction Roissy Charles de Gaulle - stop: Parc des Expositions.
- ESPACE CHAMPERRET
Metro line 3 - direction Pont de Levallois - stop: Porte de Champerret
- January 1st: Nouvel An (New Year)
- Easter Monday: Lundi de Pâques (Easter Monday)
- May 1st: Fête du Travail (Labour Day)
- May 8th: Jour de la Victoire (Victory Day)
- 6th Thursday after Easter: Ascension
- 2nd Monday after Ascension: Lundi de Pentecôte (Whit Monday)
- July 14th: Fête Nationale (National Holiday)
- August 15th: Assomption (Assumption)
- November 1st: Toussaint (All Saints Day)
- November 11th: Armistice (Veterans Day)
- December 25: Noël (Christmas)