Describing Paris by and large is meaningless. Not because there is nothing to write about – God forbid! It’s just that this city, like no other city in the world, does not want to fit into the framework and conform to stereotypes. Of course, everyone has heard about morning coffee with croissants, evening bistros with noisy tables, the smell of roasted chestnuts on Parisian boulevards… but for some, Paris is the echoing twilight of Notre Dame, the quiet whisper of tourists in the halls of the Louvre and the almost deserted, built-up old mansions island Saint-Louis. For some, the capital of France is primarily the Eiffel Tower, a monument to the “epoch of steam and electricity”, and modern architects go to Paris to be inspired by the avant-garde lines of the Défense quarter and the Montparnasse tower. Check Topschoolsintheusa to learn more about France.
Paris is a real ocean. Throw a lot into it, and yet you will not know its depth.
Honore de Balzac
Paris is both elitist and democratic, cheerful and sad, bright and slightly washed out by the rains, as in the paintings of Pizarro – and everyone has his own. And in order to discover Paris for yourself, fall in love with it and leave a piece of your soul in it, you don’t need so much – just visit it.
What to bring
Returning from Paris without gifts and souvenirs is a bad omen. Relatives will not understand such a traveler, friends will not forgive, colleagues will hold a grudge. Yes, and it is impossible to come from the capital of France empty-handed. The problem here is rather the opposite – to correctly calculate the volume of the suitcase and the weight of luggage allowed for transportation. Mind-blowing delicacies, fashionable clothes, often useless, but such cute vintage items from flea markets and much more. Let’s look at this issue a little more on the page ” What to bring from Paris “.
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The “I want to buy in Paris” list has already grown to two pages of a diary, but is constantly updated with orders from a friend, mom, workmates and a yoga class? It’s time to deal with the topic of shopping – there are so many places in Paris where you can exchange money for desired goods that no vacation is enough. Lovely and slightly crazy flea markets, second-hand and antique shops that look like small museums, pretentious boutiques and salons, huge shopping centers and outlets, street collapses and clusters of artists. We tried to make the shopping process a little easier by combining useful information in the Shopping in Paris article.
Cafes and restaurants in Paris
The French capital is a great opportunity to arrange a gastronomic tour without leaving the boundaries of one city, because Paris has carefully absorbed all the subtleties and nuances of the cuisines of different provinces of the country, mixed, seasoned with spices and now gives out refined portions under the light of Michelin stars. Expensive? Sometimes, even if it is an ordinary village ratatouille. But literally across the road – much cheaper, more democratic and still amazing. Delicious? Of course, there is no doubt about it. And only those who have tasted them and discovered all the most delicious secrets of Paris can laugh at the notorious onion soup and the paws of unfortunate frogs.
If the mere mention of France begins to salivate profusely and the crunch of baguettes is heard, it’s definitely time to travel. A special page ” Where to eat in Paris ” will help you mentally prepare.
Things to do
Given the versatility of Paris, which can drive you crazy, as well as a very short average vacation, the question is quite fair – where to go? For a standard week or two, you can cover only a small part of the amazing entertainment and attractions of the French capital. The right approach is to develop a clear plan of action in advance, accept the fact that you won’t be able to see much, but then give the chosen one all your attention. We propose to sort through all the components of the answer to the question ” Where to go in Paris “.
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Entertainment and attractions in Paris
The ideal way to get to know the city in advance is to climb the Eiffel Tower. The openwork metal structure was erected in 1889 and since then has become the main symbol of the French capital and France in general. In addition to its architectural merits, the tower is valuable for the traveler because it provides an excellent viewpoint of the main districts and sights of Paris – on a clear day, from its upper tier, you can see the surroundings for 70 km.
Get ready to donate 30 EUR to visit the Iron Lady: 17 EUR will cost the ticket itself to the top, and another 13 EUR – an almost obligatory glass of champagne in the bistro on the last tier.
From a height of a quarter of a kilometer, you will see the right bank of the Seine with the Tuileries Garden and the bulk of the Louvre – one of the largest museums on the planet. Alas, you won’t be able to see the Gioconda and the Venus de Milo – for this you will have to stand in line (if you didn’t get a tourist card in advance) and get inside.
Viewed from the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, the Île de la Cité really looks like a ship, and the high spire and Gothic towers of the cathedral Notre Dame, which once served as a shelter for Quasimodo and Esmeralda, are very reminiscent of deck superstructures. Here is the clue to the incomprehensible motto on the city coat of arms! “The ship rocks but does not sink.” – it is better not to explain the essence of the unsinkable island from which the city once began.
If Cite is the past of Paris, then the Défense quarter, located to the west of the Eiffel Tower, is a witness and guarantee of its future. Created as a counterbalance and challenge to the City of London, Defense today is not only a monument to the modern era of “glass and metal”, but also the largest business center in Europe.
The unusual shape of the main attraction of the quarter, the Great Arch of Defense, often raises questions from tourists. The answer is not that simple… but it is: the fact is that the Great Arch is not really an arch. This is a projection of a four-dimensional hypercube (tesseract) in our three-dimensional space.
The north of Paris, with the meringue-like snow-white dome of the Sacré-Coeur on the Montmartre hill, is associated primarily with music and fine arts – narrow streets intertwine there that once inspired the Impressionists, and the famous “Muse of Lautrec” – the Moulin Rouge cabaret – receives guests today.
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7 things to do in Paris
- Start the morning with coffee and a croissant at one of the city’s coffee houses.
- Take a picture this way and that with the Eiffel Tower and look around the city from its observation deck.
- Remember Lautrec and look at the evening show at the Red Mill.
- Spend an evening at the magnificent Opéra Garnier.
- Stand in a long line at the Louvre and enjoy the masterpieces.
- Buy perfume at the Fragonard perfume factory.
- Get out of the city, to the luxurious Versailles and see with your own eyes the modest charm of the bourgeoisie.
Paris for kids
Everyone is used to the cliché “Paris is for romantics and lovers”, but the statement “Paris for children” is no less true. And even more – “Paris for parents and children.” A child in this city will not become a burden at all, moreover, Paris will turn out to be even more interesting with children and will reveal its unexpected sides to adults. Montmartre and the Eiffel Tower are not going anywhere, we finish our croissant and the whole family gathers for an adventure – Disneyland and Parc Asterix, one of the largest indoor water parks in Europe, amusing theme parks, a zoo in the Bois de Vincennes, a cool museum center for science enthusiasts and science hobbies. It definitely won’t be boring! Look for a selection of the most interesting family attractions in the capital of France on the page “Paris with kids.
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Summers in Paris are usually hot (especially August), despite the fact that the west wind brings freshness. Winters are mild and it rarely snows. The temperature almost never drops below -10 °C. The most favorable time for a trip to Paris is spring and September-October.