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COMPARE PARIS HOTELS

Paris France

Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, is - with 2.2 million people living in zone 1 (Central Paris) and another 9.9 million people in the suburbs (la banlieue) - one of the largest cities in Europe. Located in the north of the country on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historic associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. Dubbed the City of Light (la Ville Lumière), it is the most popular tourist destination in the world.

See

One of the best value and most convenient ways to see the sights of Paris is with the Paris Museum Pass (previously known as Carte Musées et Monuments), a pre-paid entry card that allows entry into over 70 museums and monuments around Paris and comes in 2-day (€30), 4-day (€45) and 6-day (€60) denominations (prices as of August 2008). The card allows you to jump otherwise sometimes lengthy queues and is available from participating museums, tourist offices, Fnac branches and all the main Métro and RER train stations. You will still need to pay to enter most special exhibitions.

Note that most museums and galleries are closed on either Monday or Tuesday - check ahead to avoid disappointment! - and most ticket counters close 30 - 45 minutes before final closing. Louvre museum is closed on Tuesdays while Orsay museum is closed on Mondays, good to know when setting visit plans.

Also consider the ParisPass also a pre paid entry card + queue jumping to 60 attractions including The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, as well as a river cruise and allows free metro & public transport travel. Also note a cheaper alternative with this new combined pass available since September 2008 in Paris, named Paris ComboPass® , comes in Lite/Premium versions.

All national museums are open free of charge on the first Sunday of the month; note, however, that this may mean long lines and crowded exhibits. Keep away from Paris during Easter week. It's really crowded. People have to queue up at the Eiffel tower for several hours.

These listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Paris. The complete listings are found on each individual district page (follow the link in parenthesis).

A good listing of almost everything to do in Paris are the 'Pariscope', the 'Officiel des spectacles', and the much hipper 'Zurban', weekly magazines listing all concerts, stage plays and museums. Available from many kiosks. Unfortunately, their website is of no use at all. If you prefer a web version, you can visit Cityzeum, with maps of Paris, audio tours to download freely and more than 2000 visit and entertainment points.

Landmarks

  • Arc de Triomphe. The grave of the unknown soldier is under the arch.
  • Arènes de Lutece. Built during the 1st and 2nd centuries, this amphitheater could seat up to 17,000 people, hosting gladiator fights as well as less bloody entertainment. Now a popular spot for playing boules, it is one of the only remaining ruins from the Gallo-Roman era in Paris, along with the Thermes (public baths) at Cluny.
  • Assemblée Nationale. Seats the French Parliament, and was designed by Giardini and Gabriel in 1728.
  • Catacombs. Used to store the exhumed bones from the overflowing Paris cemetery.
  • Chateau de Versailles (Versailles). On the outskirts of the city, the "must see" home of the Sun King Louis XIV.
  • the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) (7th). One of the most famous landmarks in the world.
  • Grand Arche de la Defense (La Defense). A modern office-building variant of the Arc de Triomphe. Has a viewing platform.
  • Notre Dame Cathedral (4th). Impressive Gothic cathedral that was the inspiration for Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Saved in the 19th century by the best-known French architect Viollet-le-Duc.
  • Opera Garnier (9th). Masterpiece of theatre architecture of the 19th century built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 housing the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV.
  • Pantheon (5th). Underneath, the final resting place for the great heroes of the French Republic; above, a marvellous view of the city.
  • Père-Lachaise Cemetery (20th). See the grave of Jim Morrison amongst many others.
  • Sacré Coeur (18th). A church perched on top of the highest point in Paris. Behind the church is the artists' area, in front are spectacular views of the whole city.
  • Sainte Chapelle (1st). Far more beautiful than the famous, but gloomy, Notre Dame. Make sure you go on a sunny day, as the highlight of this small chapel in Rayonnante Gothic style are the large stained-glass windows which soar up to near the vaulted ceiling. Also of interest is the extremely ornate lower level. If it happens to be rainy or cloudy, give Sainte Chappelle a miss, as the play of colored lights on the floor are well worth the wait for a sunnier day.

Museums and galleries

  • Le Musée de l'AP-HP, (5th). Paris's medical history.
  • Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs, (1st). Showcasing eight centuries of French savoir faire.
  • Carnavalet (3rd). [[28]] Museum of Paris history; exhibitions are permanent and free. Noted for its collection of French Revolution artifacts, such as David's famous painting Serment du Jeu de Paume. Has Proust's bed and the Dauphin's room in the prison tower diarama. Located in the Marais.
  • Centre Georges Pompidou , (4th). The great museum of modern art, the building an attraction in itself.
  • Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie - La Villette, (19th). Science museum for adults and children.
  • Cluny, (5th). Paris's medieval museum, housed in a part Roman, part medieval building. Entry is now free of charge.
  • Delacroix, National museum housed in the home of painter Eugene Delacroix.
  • Jacquemart-Andre Museum , (8th). Private collection of French, Italian, Dutch masterpieces in a typical XIXth century mansion.
  • Picasso Museum, (3rd). Contains the master's own collections.
  • Les Invalides, (7th). Museum of arms and armor from the Middle Ages to today. Also contains the tombs of Napoleon Bonaparte and other French military figures.
  • The Louvre, (1st). One of the finest museums in the world of art, art-history, and culture. Be prepared to walk as this is a fairly large facility and has many rooms to view.
  • Musée de l'Orangerie, (1st). [Jardin des Tuileries] Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Chaim Soutine, Alfred Sisley.
  • Musée d'Orsay, (7th). Home to the great artists of the 19th century (1848-1914).
  • Musée Marmottan-Monet [29] (16th).[rue Louis Boilly] Collection of works by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. "Impression Soleil Levant" by Monet is on display in this museum.
  • Musée National de la Marine, (16th). From times of exploration to modern day vessels. Interesting but primarily in French.
  • Rodin Museum, (7th). His personal collection and archives, in a charming hotel and sprawling garden.
  • Musée en Herbe (1st and 16th). An art museum just for kids with hands-on exhibitions and workshops.
Do
  • Context Paris, +33 1 72 81 36 35 (info@contexttravel.com), . daily. An organization of scholars who lead in-depth walking tours of Paris's museums, architecture, and history. Walks include Gothic architecture, Musee D'Orsay, Belly of Paris (history of cuisine), market walks, bohemians of the 9th arrondissement, and thematic tours of the Louvre. from €35.  
  • Fat Tire Bike Tours, . Offers guided English-speaking bicycle tours of Paris (by day and night), Versailles and Monet's Gardens in Normandy. Tours operate year-round at a variety of times each day. Tours offer a great orientation, detailed city information and fantastic photo opportunities. They use California beach cruiser bikes with large comfortable seats. Tours are not the least bit strenuous and all ages are welcome. Their office has an internet cafe, free bathrooms, loads of information about Paris and free daily luggage storage for their customers. Has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and on CNN, the BBC and the Travel Channel.  
  • City Segway Tours, . Provides guided English-speaking Segway tours of Paris by day and night. They share an office with Fat Tire Bike Tours and Classic Walks of Paris.  
  • Classic Walks of Paris, . Offers guided English-speaking walking tours of Paris. Themed walks include the Classic Walk, Da Vinci Code, Montmartre, Latin Quarter, World War II and French Revolution. They share an office with Fat Tire Bike Tours and City Segway Tours.  
  • Bike About Tours, . Shows an insiders look at the 'city of light' with local, English-speaking guides who have lived in Paris for years. This small bike tour company gives 2 tours everyday at 10AM & 3PM from the Chalemagne statue in front of Notre Dame Cathedral. They stay away from the touristy Paris and show you the 'real' Paris.  
  • New Paris Free Walking Tour, Run by Sandemans New Europe group. Offers free walking tours (tip only basis) of both Paris - the major sights - and Montmarte. Conducted by English speaking guides - mostly Americans - who live, work, or study in Paris.  
  • In-line Skating, . Every Friday night and Sunday afternoon (except when raining) hordes of in-line skaters take to the streets of Paris on a preplanned route, for about 3.5 hours. The trip is speedy; you will have to negotiate some real slopes. You must be good at skating if you want to join. Even if you don't participate, find a cafe near the route and watch them fly by.  
  • Aeon Tours (Paris Walking Tours), +33 1 79 97 48 73, . Aeon Tours offers walking tours of Paris. Aeon's tours focus on the Real Paris, from the historic sites near the city center, to the hidden courtyards of the Marais. Their daily tours include the Paris Essentials Tour, a Louvre Tour, Classic Marais Tour, Latin Quarter Tour, and a Private Tour of Paris.  
  • Cafe Philo in English, Cafe de Flore, 172, Blvd St-Germain, 75006, . 2. Cafe Philo in English meets on the first Wednesday of each month upstairs at the famous Cafe de Flore. Everyone is invited. You don't have to be knowledgeable about philosophy. Meetings begin with a two round voting process to determine a topic. The topic is discussed for two hours.  
  • Conciergerie Paris, . Offers multilingual Paris tours on various themes from art and history to romance, with or without pickup from an hotel or apartment
All List of Paris Hotels

 


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