New York, London, Tokyo, and Paris. Regarded across the world as four of the greatest cities, each with their own unique appeal. However, when it comes to charm, romance and elegance, no city in the world compares to the French capital of Paris.
The city of Paris can be traced all the way back to 300 BC. From trading and politics to music and art, Paris has always been an important city. In fact, the Celts, Romans, and Vikings have all taken their turn ruling Paris and one of the many charms is the fact you can see the influence from its many rulers over the centuries throughout the city.
For rulers and visitors alike, Paris has an undeniable allure. Whether you're a foodie, a romantic, a shopper, or an art and culture lover, Paris is like no other.
To prepare your visit to la Ville Lumière (“the city of lights”), we've created a “best of” list so you can make the most of your time in this extraordinary city:
Although there are dozens of great vantage points from where you can admire the city of Paris, the most famous is The Eiffel Tower.
Built between 1887–89 as the entrance to the 1889 World Fair, The Eiffel Tower is one of the best-known structures in the world. Visitors have access to three levels. Those who are adventurous can take the staircase, though most take the lift.
At 342 meters tall, The Eiffel Tower provides gazers with the ultimate view over the city.
One Thing Visitors Must-See
It's a bit of a hike to wander through the streets of Montmartre, but it’s well worth it, especially when you arrive at the top to find the Sacré-Cœur. For many, this area is the quintessential Paris.
On your way through Montmartre, you will find charming cafés and restaurants where you can grab a coffee, a glass of wine, or just people-watch. Whatever you do, don’t miss the cute little shops selling delicacies that are perfect to take on a picnic in one of the many beautiful parks throughout Paris.
While it's true that you can't visit Paris without seeing The Louvre, our pick for the best museum is, in fact, The Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum.
Unlike the name might suggest, this is not a museum about the fashion brand. No, The Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum is home to some truly incredible contemporary exhibitions and artwork. Even the building itself looks like an art piece. Speaking of impressive buildings, be sure to also visit La Défense nearby which is the modern version of legendary Parisian landmark Arc de Triomphe.
Best Shopping District
Regardless of the size of your wallet, it doesn’t cost a thing to window shop along Rue Saint-Honoré. Visit famous French luxury brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Yves Saint Laurent, and many more.
After strolling Rue Saint-Honoré, you’re ready to hit the shops along Champs-Elysées. Here you’ll find a better mix of both luxury and more wallet-friendly stores.
And when your arms tire from carrying all those shopping bags, there are many fine cafés and restaurants where you can refuel.
Situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the elegant Jardin du Luxembourg (or The Gardens of Luxembourg in English) was created as an initiative of Queen Marie de Medici in 1612.
The perfect place to unwind or to take a picnic, Jardin du Luxembourg features luxurious gardens and a stunning water feature.
While you're there, let out your inner-child and steer a remote-control boat on the pond or check out the free photography exhibitions on the garden railings and concerts in the bandstand.
Best Place for a Croissant
Few can resist the light, crispy and buttery decadence of a croissant. And why should you? You're in Paris!
You can find the iconic French pastry at most boulangeries and patisseries in the city but finding the best croissant in Paris is impossible. That said, be sure to try one from bakery-chain Eric Kayser which has over 20 locations throughout the city.
Best Restaurant for French Cuisine
Paris is a city renowned for its gourmet cuisine. With no less than 70 Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris is a culinarian’s dream. But it's not all about fine
dining - it's about the atmosphere, the experience, the charm, and, of course, the food.
If we had to pick only one restaurant, we'd recommend speakeasy restaurant Dining at Derrière is a mix between dining at a beautiful restaurant and dining at a friend’s boho-chic home.
The restaurant consists of several different apartment-like chambers, so don’t be surprised if you end up dining next to the ping-pong table or in the bedroom complete with its mosaic mirrored ceiling. When the weather allows for it, you can also enjoy dining in the courtyard.
The menu consists of Modern French cuisine including a delicious slow-simmered beef cheek bourguignon. Along with great wines and service, your visit to Derrière will be a truly memorable one. However, before you can enjoy the food, first you'll have to locate the unmarked door between the 404 restaurant and Andy Wahloo. Good luck!
Best Vegetarian Restaurant
Paris can be a tricky city for vegetarians and vegans, but things are changing with many of the city's most renowned chefs and restaurants now adding plant-focused selections to their menu.
Organic vegetarian restaurant Le Potager du Marais takes our pick as the best vegetarian spot in Paris, but be prepared to rub elbows with strangers. With half-a-dozen or so little tables lined up against a single wall, Le Potager du Marais is tiny! But don't let that put you off; the restaurant has a cosy charm, and its food is both delicious and healthy. Try the mushroom terrine or the tofu Shepherd's pie.
When you think of Paris, chances are you don't think of falafel. But in the buzzing old Jewish quarter of Le Marais, falafel is the local cuisine. Wallet-friendly and delicious, our vote goes to Chez Marianne.
In addition to falafel, Chez Marianne offers an array of Middle Eastern delights to choose from. No time to dine? No problems. Order from the “hole in the wall” and get a falafel to go.
Best Wine Bar
France is synonymous with wine and, depending on the vibe you're looking for, Paris has a dizzying array of speakeasies, bistros, and stunning wine bars to choose from.
Our recommendation is the wine cellar Chez Georges, tucked away in the neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. A Paris institution since 1952, Chez Georges boasts the charm and atmosphere of yesteryear. It gets very crowded and noisy – but that's part of the appeal, with everyone squeezing together at tables, singing and dancing all night long - à votre santé!
Feel Like a Parisian
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