Where To Go, Where To Stay and What To Do – In Paris
Choosing the right hotel, and the right area is essential on any holiday – and Paris is no exception. There are five key areas in Paris where we would recommend you stay. Each area, like any city, will have its own flavour and will be close to certain attractions.
Stretching from the iconic Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, the wide, tree-lined Champs-Elysées is well deserving of its reputation as the most beautiful avenue in the world. Bordered by shops, chic cafés, cinemas, theatres and museums, there is something here for everyone. A short walk from the Arc de Triomphe takes you to the Place Trocadéro in the fashionable 16th arrondissement. This offers the best unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower – perfect for the budding photographer!
This is the very heart of Paris and perfect for those who like to be at the very centre of things! The Louvre and the Opéra Garnier are just two examples of the stunningly beautiful buildings to be found all around the area. Popular also for shopping, it is the home of Galeries Lafayette, Printemps as well as all the usual high-street fashion houses. The Tuileries gardens are the perfect place for a picnic and, with the Seine flowing by; a great end to the day is a riverside stroll.
République.Bastille/Gare du Nord
Convenient for the Eurostar which arrives and departs from the Gare du Nord. This area is steeped in French history. Most cite the storming of the Bastille prison as the beginning of the French Revolution of 1789.
Home of the Moulin Rouge and Le Chat Noir, Montmartre is Paris’ bohemian district. With a vibrant and exciting atmosphere, artists still flock here for their inspiration just as the likes of Picasso, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec did before them. Head to the Place du Tertre to see them in action! Alternatively, after a visit to the magnificent Sacré-Coeur basilica, soak up the fantastic views over the city and let the street performers entertain you. With plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars to choose from, it is a great place to spend an evening.
Left bank/Latin Quarter
The left bank is a really popular part of Paris and has a very youthful feel. This is no more evident than on the Boulevard St. Michel (or Boul’Mich to the Parisiens) with its chic cafés and bars. The neighbouring Latin Quarter, home to a number of higher education establishments including the famous Sorbonne, has a great selection of restaurants and is only a stone’s throw from the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral, just across the river. The Luxembourg gardens are great for a bit of relaxation and if it’s romance you’re looking for, a picnic dinner on the Pont des Arts is a must. There, you can take in the sights and sounds of Paris as the Seine flows beneath you.
Our Top 10 Must See in Paris
- Eiffel Tower - Built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition in 1889. For 40 years the tallest building in the World, visit day or night time for fantastic views from one of the 3 viewing platforms – open from 09:00 until 00:45 in summer (mid June to late August) , and from 09:30am to 11:45pm at all other times of the year
- Louvre Museum – Houses, among other treasures the Mona Lisa. First opened in 1793 after the Revolution
- Arc de Triomphe – Built commemorate Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz and home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where the eternal flame has been re-lit each evening since 11 November 1923, and at the top there is a viewing platform with views down the Champs Elysees towards the Louvre .
- Sacré Coeur - Built in the 1870’s at the top of the hill at Montmartre – a visit is a must for panoramic Parisian views. The famous dome is 200 metres above sea level
- Notre Dame - The Gothic cathedral sitting on its own island in the middle of the River Seine where Napoleon crowned himself Emperor of France
- Pompidou Centre - The home of National Museum of Modern Art
- Musee National Picasso – The greatest collection of Picasso’s work in the World
- Place de la Concorde – the largest square in the city of Paris centrally located between Champs Elysees and the Tuileries Gardens
- Bastille – Over 600 Parisiens stormed the prison in 1789 at the height of the Revolution which led to the downfall of Louis XIV . Now this is one of the sought after places to live in Paris
- Disneyland Paris – the largest tourist attraction in Europe with and is situated at Marne-la-Vallee, 32km from Paris.