Travel guide - Paris

“I love Paris every moment, every moment of the year.” Much like Cole Porter, many songwriters, artists and mere visitors have fallen under the charm of the City of Light. It’s hardly surprising: both historical and on top of the latest trends, sophisticated and bohemian, creative and revolutionary, this capital city certainly pulls out all the stops to impress you.

The Champs Elysées, with its gleaming lights and sparkling diamonds

A stay in Paris is like a love song: at its best at night, when you can fully appreciate it in all its splendour. From the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées flows like a river of glittering diamonds down to the obelisk marking Place de la Concorde. Modern luxury boutiques line the street between these two historical monuments, epitomising the contrast that is one of Paris’ most alluring qualities! Continuing along Rue de Rivoli and admiring the elegant shop windows, you will also discover Tuileries Gardens and Place Vendôme, until you finally reach theGrands Boulevards, where Parisians and tourists alike jostle for prime position in front of the stylishly dressed shop windows.

The Mona Lisa at the Louvre, a treasure hidden beneath a pyramid

Paris isn’t only about appearances: the city is also bursting with culture and widely varied styles of art and architecture. Beneath the startling modern glass facade of the Louvre Pyramid, the Mona Lisa mischievously watches the Venus de Milo and the thousands of other classical pieces of artwork on display. A few kilometres away, showcasing pieces from hundreds of years later, the Musée d’Orsay and the Centre Pompidou house priceless collections of modern and contemporary art.
The Seine winds its way through the city, flowing past landmarks that tell the story of Paris. The capital is a veritable open-air museum that reveals, amidst the branches of its plane trees, the majestic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris and Les Invalides’ twelve kilo golden dome. With your head in the clouds, you can just about make out the Montparnasse Tower which, with 58 stories and a height of 210 metres, vies with the emblematic Eiffel Tower for the status of Queen of the city. The two landmarks portray wildly different styles, but are both just as stunning.

Michelin-starred cafes and restaurants for a tasty treat

What a charmer Paris is! In the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighbourhood or the Marais district, the traditions of French seduction, games of wits and intellectual discussion live on. Seated in a booth at Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots, you can bask in the same atmosphere Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus enjoyed so many years ago. Order a flat white and a butter croissant: in Paris, it’s customary to feed both the mind and the stomach.
Paris is hopelessly fond of food, and you will undoubtedly come away with as many culinary memories as photos. From Plaza Athénée to Le Meurice, from Alain Ducasse to Thierry Marx, a record number of Michelin stars shine beneath the Parisian sky. Serious foodies will enjoy a visit to Beaupassage or the Ladurée Tea Room. Mountains of macarons, padded chairs and gilding make for a delicious royal experience. Even Marie-Antoinette would agree!

Shows and strolls, from the Moulin Rouge to Luxembourg Gardens

Exuding charm, Paris loves to take centre stage. It’s impossible to miss the whirlwind of cabarets and theatres, whose posters will call to you as night falls. Classical theatre at the illustrious Comédie-Française, concerts at the Opéra Bastille or the Philharmonie, cheeky petticoated dancers at the Moulin Rouge: the city will always find a way to fill your evenings with enchantment. If you prefer to daydream, visit Parc Monceau or the Luxembourg Gardens, where you can sit on a bench and watch the spectacle of lovers strolling by hand in hand.

Once the curtain falls, head to the top of Montmartre hill. From the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, you can enjoy the open-air spectacle of the capital’s most breathtaking view. You can see all of the city’s most important monuments from here, as well as poets looking for inspiration under the light of the ancient street lamps. It is five o’clock: Paris is waking up for a new day of living life to the fullest.

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