Got a second? Go on holiday to Paris and you’ll be filling your face with buttery pastries and stacking your itinerary with famous artwork faster than you can say “Vive la France”! OK, you might be able to say it a few times.
Explore the many arrondissements—that’s a fancy word for “districts”—that make up the vibrant landscape of “The City of Light”. Take it easy in sprawling city gardens, tour museums like they’re going out of style, or re-enact scenes from Ratatouille. After you’ve eaten your weight in stinky cheese, there’s always a gorgeous palace or tour nearby, because this is Paris, after all.
Located in the northern region of France, the nation’s capital city sits on the Seine River. It’s a city beloved by the world, so you’ll have no problem finding accommodation in Paris throughout all 20 arrondissements. Wanna branch out to the French Alps or over to wine country? Book hotels in France and see all six sides of “L’hexagone”.
Things to Do in Paris
If you believed everything you saw in the movies, you’d think all the hotels in Paris had a view of the Eiffel Tower. Nope. But you’ll find this architectural icon in the 7th Arr. along with the Rodin Museum, where you can have a good think among like-minded sculptures. If you want to snooze—or snog—in a gorgeous park alongside crepe carts, head east to Luxemburg Gardens, south of the foodie favourite Latin Quarter neighbourhood in the 6th Arr.
If you’d rather go west, wave at the President at Élysée Palace or visit the Louvre. You’ll want to spend at least a day in this cultural treasure. Rather than wander the huge museum corridors in circles, passing the same ancient Babylonian column again and again, make the most of your time with a semi-private tour: Mona Lisa & Best of the Louvre. Now you won’t have to desperately scrounge up the few tidbits you remember from art history class to sound smart in front of your travel companions!
After the Louvre, lovers of the macabre have to add the Catacombs in the 14th Arr. to their bucket list—like the millions of skeletons who reside there did before them. To lift your spirits, attend mass at Sacré-Cœur to the north. Feeling knackered after the climb up 270 steps at Sacré-Cœur? Relax in one of the nearby Paris hotels.
Getting To & Around Paris
Book flights to Paris and touch down at Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), located about 30km northeast of the city centre. Metro (subway) and buses are the best ways to get around town. With lines running throughout the city, you’ll be able to connect with top sites and find Paris accommodation with ease. So pack your walking shoes and hit the streets like a Parisian!
There’s never a bad time to visit Paris, but if you happen to drop in during a major happening, that’s just one more excuse to celebrate with the locals.
A “major happening” is a bit of an understatement if you visit the city on 14 July. Parisians call this La Fête Nationale, but the rest of the world knows it as Bastille Day. Watch the huge parade of soldiers and acrobats march and cartwheel (respectively) down the Champs-Éysées. The fireworks at the end of the day will add a new meaning to the “City of Light”.
At the end of July, the Tour de France comes whizzing across the country. If your legs are feeling a little sore from all of your pedestrian adventures, snag a croissant from the nearest café, grab a seat and indulge in a little Schadenfreude by watching some of the best cyclists in the world feel the burn (let’s not speculate as to what’s in their croissants). Though the Tour course varies every year, it always ends at the Arc de Triomphe, so head to the ceremonial arch and start looking for massive-legged dudes dipped in Spandex.
Nightlife in Paris
Start your night in Paris by paying respect to your stomach. Only Tokyo has more Michelin Stars then this city, so don’t let this foodtopia go to waste! It’s impossible to pinpoint the best food in Paris, because you can find unimaginable culinary delights in just about every district. Our advice is to follow the locals to their favourite haunts.
An amazing night in Paris can be as simple as sitting out on a sidewalk patio sipping a rich glass of wine and trying next year’s foodie craze, or that can just be the beginning of your nighttime adventures.
Shovel in that last handful of macarons, pay your check and get ready to drink, dance and repeat. Paris is full of nightlife options. Get lost in a dive bar on Canal St. Martin or try some hip new glow-in-the-dark drink around the Marais. If you happen to be rocking a supermodel body or a black AMEX card, you can also skip the line and check out the hottest clubs on the planet near the Place de Bastille.
Finally, for the more…er, licentious-minded, Paris’s famous cabaret shows can get you all hot and bothered in a good way. No, you won’t see Nicole Kidman at the Moulin Rouge, but it’s still worth a visit.
If you only have one day in Paris, consider putting the Eiffel Tower behind you and living like royalty…or at least like royalty’s houseguest. Beautiful Versailles is just 33.8km (or a quick train ride) west of Paris. Here, you can tour the gorgeous Chateau de Versailles. If you think your Aunt Berta is a little ostentatious in her decorating taste, she doesn’t hold a fig to Louis XIV.
Even before the days of MTV’s Cribs, King Louis built this palace to impress. The Hall of Mirrors was quite the bold statement in its day, and you can almost imagine Marie Antoinette traipsing through the gardens in during happier times…you know, when her head was still attached.
If you really want to live like a queen or king (one who doesn’t have a hot date with a guillotine, that is), then lastminute.com.au can find you great deals on the very best places to stay in Paris, as well as big savings on flights. Use that money to splurge on top restaurants, make friends with native daughter Chanel, and reign supreme in this ultimate holiday destination!