Things to do

Paris, The City of Light' is a million things to a million people and has inspired and probably exhausted all the superlatives that can reasonably be applied. It has probably more familiar landmarks than any city in the world and is enchanting at any time, 'in summer, when it sizzles' and 'in winter, when it drizzles' as Cole Porter put it.

Paris is a uniquely compact city, measuring just six miles across and visitors take every opportunity to walk to destinations along wide boulevards and through small cobbled back streets to soak up the true atmosphere of Paris. Don't be afraid to get lost, as you will never be far from a Metro station.

If you have some free time during you visit, here are some suggestions of what you might like to do to make your visit to Paris memorable.  



There are many Paris tours to show you the sights. The Pastry and Chocolate Tour, The Segway Tour, The Da Vinci Code Walking Tour, The Hop on Hop-off Paris Bus Tour, The Latin Quarter Walking Tour, The Moulin Rouge Show Tour and The Seine Tour.
Tours can be booked through or through your hotel.

The hop-on-hop-off bus tours with audio guides are also very good value and give you a great overview off all the must-sees. Just hop off at whichever atttraction you would like to visit.


The Eiffel Tower

Built for the 1889 World Fair and Centenary of the Revolution, the 300m tower is a radical feat of engineering. Intended only to stand for 20 years, the Eiffel Tower has become one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Opinions conflict whether the trip to the top is worth the wait in the line but most agree that your photo of Paris is better with the Eiffel tower actually in it. Trocadero metro is best for the tower. Best to book online or as part of a tour in advance as tickets sell out.

Views of Paris and The Eiffel Tower.

You may have seen the tower in the daytime but nighttime is something not to be missed either.  As it gets dark, the tower will light up but there will also be a glittering display for a few minutes on the stroke of each hour and this is something not to be missed, so plan you view:
The Montparnasse Tower has a new viewing gallery
The restoration of the Bar Panoramique at the Concorde Lafayette Hotel is scheduled for completion in January 2012.
Or simply join the atmosphere of the hundreds of people at the base of the tower just behind Trocadero Metro station.

The Louvre

You could spend all weekend in Paris and only see the Louvre. Housing 35,000 works of art from Egyptian objects to Renaissance paintings, the museums covers all civilizations. After entering through the light-filled atrium of the Louvre Pyramid, we suggest you pick a theme. Be prepared to be under-whelmed by The Mona Lisa and the crowds around her but at least you can say you have seen her!

Notre Dame

Famous for its flying buttresses and its legend of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, it is a sight to see in all its Gothic elegance. Afterwards, cross the road to Berthillon, where you can sample the most celebrated ice cream in town. Its reputation has been growing since 1954 thanks to natural ingredients, lashings of cream and a host of delicious flavors.

L'Arc de Triomphe

Built by Napoleon Bonaparte as a monument to his military genius, today it is a symbol of all things victorious in Paris. Visitors have a chance to see its architectural wonder as well as a fabulous view and photo vantage point onto the Champs Elysées.

Musée d'Orsay

Housed in the former railway station, the collection of impressionist art at Musée d'Orsay is among the best in the world.

Sacré Coeur

Montmartre Hill is the highest point in Paris giving wonderful views of the City. On top sits the Scaré-Coeur church, a beautiful Byzantine style structure, began in 1876 taking almost 40 years to complete. After visiting the church, follow the signs down to the Place du Tertre where amateur artists gather and stop in one of the little cafes.


Centuries of makeovers have made Versailles the most sumptuously clad château in the world, so it needs a full day to do it justice. The palace we know today was largely designed under the reign of Louis XIV who moved his court to Versailles, then rarely set foot in Paris. In the late eighteenth-century, Louis XV added the sumptuous Opéra Royal, used for concerts by the Centre de Musique Baroque. Summer weekends are the best time to see the garden, when the fountains play to music.


At Atelier and Grands Boulevards you are a ten-minute walk along Boulevard Haussmann from Galeries Lafayette and Printemps famous for being worlds unto themselves.

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne
Haute couture shops where the Gliterati feel very at home.

Champs Elysées

Formally the bastion of fashion and class, the Champs Elysées has become a strip of fast food restaurants, Disney shops, Airline offices all aimed at tourists. (The exception being the Guerlain Parfumerie) But you cannot visit Paris without a stroll down the widest and most famous road in Paris

Saint Germain des Près

Best for chic, classic design, books and home furnishings.

The Marais

Best for eclectic fashion, unique jewellery, antiques and fine art. Le Marais is a lively pedestrian area to visit on a Sunday when other shopping areas of Paris are closed.

Opening Times
In Paris, shops mostly close on public holidays. These include: New Year's Day, Good Friday (March-April), May Day (May 1), Victory Day (May 8), Ascension Thursday (May), Seventh Sunday after Easter (May), Seventh Monday after Easter (May), Bastille Day (July 14), Assumption Day (Aug.15), All Saints Day (Nov.1), Remembrance Day (Nov.11), and Christmas Day (Dec.25).

For a general idea of when you can shop, the larger stores open from mid-morning to about 8pm without closing for lunch. Department stores may stay open as late as 10pm but only on Wednesday or Thursday.
Smaller shops/stores open as early as 8am but close from 1-3pm and open again until 8pm.

Sunday shopping is limited, usually to the Latin Quarter, Marais, Bastille or Ile de la Cité areas. 



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