In true French style, Paris combines the classic and the modern. Classic landmarks include the ancient Notre Dame cathedral, Arc de Triomphe the Eiffel Tower, and contemporary architectural achievements such as the La Défense district.
The city is divided into 20 arrondissements, or districts, which spiral clockwise from the city’s center. Paris is also split by the river Seine into the Left and Right Banks. Each arrondissement and area of Paris has its own character and flair. Le Marais is best known for medieval architecture, intimate wine bars and a diverse community. Luxembourg has a special old-world charm, enchanting gardens, and proximity to the upscale St-Germain-des-Prés. Montmartre is famous for its cobbled streets, the Moulin Rouge and magnificent Basilique du Sacré Cœur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart).
Paris is easy to navigate, either by the quick Metro system or taking your time by foot. Meandering through the winding streets, it’s easy to see the French passion for food and wine. There are open-air produce markets, patisserie windows piled with croissants and macaroons, and wine shops with offerings from regional vineyards. Restaurants of all kinds abound: traditional silver service venues, sidewalk cafes and rustic coffee houses.
Paris has fostered many artistic talents, including Édith Piaf, Serge Gainsbourg, Claude Monet and Coco Chanel. It’s known the world over for its museums and galleries such as the opulent Musée d'Orsay and the Pompidou Centre’s National Museum of Modern Art. For performance art, spend an evening at the beautifully decorated Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra de Paris. Internationally renowned opera and ballet companies perform here regularly.
Fashion, too, is ingrained in the Parisian psyche. Stroll along Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré to find some of the most revered fashion houses in the world, including Lanvin, Hermes and Dior.
Visitors overwhelmed by all that Paris has to offer should head to the Champs-Élysées. Here you can wander and enjoy the beauty of this famous tree-lined boulevard, stop at Ladurée patisserie for a macaroon, or visit La Maison Guerlain’s shrine to perfume.
Museums, Cafes and Culture
Nothing says Paris like this landmark of iron latticework emblematic of the City of Light.
An imposing monument at the center of a busy traffic intersection, the archway rises majestically above the city, with coveted city views.
Home to the Mona Lisa, and instantly recognizable by its glass pyramid, this landmark has vast collections of well-known art from France and around the world.
Whether you fell in love with the film or are a fan of the iconic architecture, don’t miss one of the greatest stage shows and most well-known landmarks in Paris.
A monumental masterpiece in French gothic architecture on the outside, inside this landmark cathedral is a serene place of worship for devotees of religion and art.
Attend a performance, browse museum exhibits and marvel at the opulent design of one of the world’s most celebrated opera houses.
Treat yourself to the magic of Disneyland® Paris. You can choose between 2 incredible Disney Parks, the original Disneyland® Park or the Walt Disney Studios® Park. Or, for the ultimate Disney adventure, you can choose a 2-park ticket and visit both.
Experience a unique and exclusive dining experience on the first floor of the most famous monument in Paris, the Eiffel Tower. While enjoying stunning views of the City of Light, enjoy a multi-course dinner that features classic French dishes and elegant desserts.
Set sail for an unforgettable evening on the water as you soak in the majesty of the illuminated landmarks that line the Seine. Step aboard a glass-enclosed boat at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and settle into your seat.
Discover all the romance, history, and atmosphere of the French capital on an open-air double-decker bus. Explore the City of Light at your own pace, scoping out world-famous monuments like Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Eiffel Tower and hopping off to get a closer look at Parisian landmarks.
Visit the Louvre Museum’s must-see attractions and discover under-appreciated treasures in this comprehensive tour. Skip-the-Line access gives you more time to absorb all that the massive museum has to offer.
Batobus stops include: 1. Eiffel Tower, Port de la Bourdonnais 2. Musée d'Orsay, Quai de Solferino 3. Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Quai Malaquais 4. Notre-Dame Cathedral, Quai de Montebello 5. Jardin des Plantes, close to Pont d'Austerlitz 6.
Second episode of an ongoing blog series that follows a young female backpacker and her husband around the world
Capturing the essence of the City of Light
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