Romance. History. Art. Architecture. Culture. Food. The idea of what Paris is is different for every person. The City of Lights is a fabled destination, located right on top of many bucket lists.
How you view Paris will determine what you experience while there. Whether you wish to seek out the history and the art that surrounds you or you want to feast on the famous French cuisine or you simply want to stroll along the avenues and submerge yourself into Parisian life, Paris will be an unforgettable experience.
Where to Stay
There are more than 1,000 lodging options in Paris, and they run the gamut from chic little bohemian hotels with plenty of character to palatial 4-star hotels with plenty of luxury. While it is possible to find a relative deal in Paris, more often than not, you will pay a high price, especially for location.
Famous for being the centerpiece in the final episodes of Sex and the City, the Hotel Plaza Athenee deserves to have a place among the most luxurious and beautiful of Paris’ hotels. It is known as much for its restaurant as it is for it stylish decor. This palatial hotel, which dates back to 1911, sits comfortably between the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysees, so the location can’t get more perfect.
Hotel Familia, located in the Latin Quarter, is a perfect choice for those who are looking for stylish Parisian accommodations but that have a budget to consider. Some guest rooms overlook Notre Dame, and they are amply soundproofed from the busy streets outside. The rooms are a bit small, which is typical of a hotel of this type in Paris, but they are clean and well-appointed.
The Marais district of the city doesn’t see as much tourist traffic as other areas, which might make it an ideal place to seek out lodging if you are looking for out of the way-type accommodations. Hotel Jules and Jim is a new hotel in the district, and it is perfect for those who have trendy tastes and prefer to be a little avant garde.
Where to Eat
The questions isn’t where to eat in Paris, but where not to eat? One of the hallmarks of a trip to Paris is undoubtedly the holiday you take from your diet. French cuisine is earthy, rich, and buttery, and one shouldn’t expect to have any kind of willpower while in Paris.
And while you can still find plenty of the typical haute cuisine you’d expect to find in the city, there is a new wave of exciting French fare in bistros all over the city. You’d be remiss if you didn’t try to experience a little bit of everything.
Some of the most exciting places to dine feature twists on classic French cuisine, while always remaining faithful to its mother cuisine. Visit L’Astrance, Le Cinq, or Mon Vieil Ami for perfectly prepared fish and meat dishes, and melt in your mouth desserts.
The French bistro, with its no-frills appearance, is always a favorite among Parisian locals. Bistros are where you’ll find the real Paris, with buttery sauces and crusty breads accompanying ages old wine. There are many to choose from around the city. Try L’Ardoise or Le Baratin for a taste of traditional french cuisine prepared in a most modern way.
What to Do
You could spend a month in Paris and not experience every sight and activity that the city has to offer. Everything there has a story. Because of the wide variety of things to see and do in Paris, you can customize you holiday there to your exact specifications. Love the food? Tour the many bistros, cafes, and restaurants. Love history? Paris is one of Europe’s oldest and most storied cities, and there are historic sight s and monuments at every turn. Love art? Lose yourself in Le Louvre, one of the world’s premier art museums.
Stroll down the Champs Elysees, take a ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, visit L’arc de Triomphe, be awed by the majesty of Le Notre Dame.
Take to Paris by foot, and explore Jardin des Tuileries or Jardin du Luxembourg. There are many other fascinating museums to explore besides Le Louvre, including Musee d’Orsay, Musee Carnavalet, and Musee Marmottan Monet. Everywhere you turn in Paris, there is something interesting to see and experience.
When to Visit
More people visit Paris each year than any other city in the world. Thus, there is never a time to visit the city when it won’t be crowded. Spring and Autumn are widely considered the most beautiful and temperate time of the year to visit.