What to do in Paris
Paris HotelsThe undisputed romantic capital of the world, Paris is a city to make your soul soar. No matter how many times you see it, read about it, or even visit, the moment you set eyes on the Eiffel Tower, or stroll down the glorious Champs-Elysees, that Paris feeling will strike. It’s no wonder Paris inspires so much creativity – from the bohemian painters of Montmartre, to the earnest writers of the Rive Gauche, no other city has inspired such outpourings of love. Things to seeYou’ll catch glimpses of it, hazy and distant, from the steps of the Sacre Coeur, or from the Tuleries Gardens by the Louvre. For a while, the Eiffel Tower seems like a mirage. But finally, and suddenly, you’ll find yourself standing right underneath its wrought-iron arches. In mere moments, you can be whisked up to the observation deck, the whole of Paris spread out below you. When you’ve come back down to earth, why not visit the greatest avenue on earth? Presided over by the glorious Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysees boasts flagship designer stores and exquisite patisseries, all housed in belle-époque buildings. Down on the Left Bank, you’ll find booksellers setting out their wares on little green stands all along the river, as a queue forms outside Shakespeare and Company. Browsing French literature under the shadow of the gothic and majestic Notre Dame is about as Parisian as it gets. Hotels in
ParisParis hotels have a reputation for being fiendishly expensive, but it is possible to strike a bargain, depending on the time of year you visit. Of course, if money’s no object, you can have the full Marie-Antoinette experience, staying in a sumptuous, rococo-style suite. Other luxury hotels in Paris offer a contemporary style, and they will all pamper you, with spa services, chauffeured limos, and often, a choice of restaurants serving the very best of modern French cuisine. The cheap hotels in Paris still have unique touches of Parisian style, and the vast majority provide free WiFi and a buffet breakfast. Where to stayThe Louvre – Place Vendome district has some of the most beautiful and grand hotels, and you’ll be surrounded by glamour, with the Champs-Elysees, the Paris Opera, and the Louvre Museum all in close proximity. If your Paris dreams include walks along the Seine and afternoons spent exploring museums, then Saint-Germain-des-Pres is the district created for you. There’s a wide choice of hotels, from budget guesthouses to luxury boutiques. Just across the river, Marais is one of the most eclectic districts, stretching from the medieval Notre Dame to the postmodern Centre Pompidou, with a diverse selection of hotels to match. How to get to ParisParis has two main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, which are both served by flights from across the globe. From Charles de Gaulle, the quickest way to get into the center is to take a high-speed RER train from terminal 2 or 3. It’s a 30-minute journey to the Gare du Nord, which links with the Paris metro system. From Orly airport, there are dedicated bus services which go to major points all over the city, including Gare Montparnasse. There’s also a shuttle to Disneyland from here. The south terminal has a tram which links directly to the metro.