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Neighborhood Spotlight

Les Halles is one of the most historic parts of Paris though it differs from the other central historic areas, Le Marais and the Latin Quarter, in that it has been rebuilt...

 

Things to do in Paris

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Get Your Bearings in Paris

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Caution: Getting caught in the frequent Paris rain without an umbrella. True Parisians always carry an umbrella with them in their bag or coat pocket.

Avoid: The Louvre now requires reservations and advance ticket purchases, even if you hold a Museum Pass.

Hot Tips: Buy tickets to top attractions - and especially to current museum exhibits - online to save time waiting in line.

Take It or Leave It: A night or two spent in Chantilly is like living a fairytale fantasy come true.

Hot Tips: Many of the newer Paris hotels are themed in décor and style. Maison Souquet, for example, was once a famous 'house of courtesans.'

Avoid: Going to a restaurant just because it's expensive won't always get you the experience you crave. A small French bistro in a local neighborhood will often exceed simple expectations.

Hot Tips: Be sure to dine in at least one traditional French bistro while in Paris.

Be Sure to Sample: Late afternoon, around 4PM is the hour of 'gouter' or what French children know as the perfect time to indulge in a fine pastry from a patissier.

Take It or Leave It: Wine bars are a true social scene in the city. The ones you'll find here offer conversation as good as the golden or ruby red liquid in your wine glass.

Hot Tips: Even if you don't understand a word of Moliere in French, it is still worth the price of a rush Sunday matinee ticket (cheap!) just to be able to sit in the plush red seats of La Comedie Française, built by King Louis XIV in the 1600s.

Hot Tips: There are few things more thrilling than shopping the sales in Paris. They take place in January and then again at the end of June through July.

Best Local Souvenir: With the abundance of designer fashions in the city, you can find real treasures at the many consignment shops - for a great bargain, to boot.

Things to do in Paris


Paris is known for...

Five of Paris's most unique features and characteristics.

1. Art:

Not only does Paris possess many of the world’s greatest museums and much of its most acclaimed architecture, its walls, pavements and facades also provide the canvas for some of the world’s most imaginative street artists. Have your camera ready at all times – for smart graffitis, multi-coloured wall paintings (often on paper which was then glued to the wall) and clever little mosaics a couple of meters above street level.

2. Fashion:

Paris is still the world’s capital for glamorous clothing, men's and women's, at the high and highest ends of fashion. No top designer in the world can afford to forego the opportunity of being represented with a shop on Avenue Montaigne or Rue Saint-Honoré. Just walk along these two main fashion streets of Paris – to shop, if you can afford it, or to just to ogle and dream like the rest of us. 

3. Street Cafés:

Life in Paris is a never-ending street theatre, where everybody is an actor and a spectator at the same time. Sit down in a street café along a busy boulevard and let them all pass by: the shoppers, the office workers on the way back to their desks, the flaneurs – and never forget: they are watching you, too. 

4. Romance:

It’s wherever you find it, of course, but no matter how ardent your feelings may already be, there is no romantic sensation that could not be further enhanced by a walk along the Seine on a sunny day. Start behind Notre Dame Cathedral, walking past the Pont des Arts in the direction of Pont Alexandre III for an unforgettable two hours, preferably with someone dear to you by your side.

 

5. Good Food:

As long as the French love to eat well, there will still be good restaurants in Paris. Just trust your instinct: when you think it’s a tourist trap, it probably is one. Tip: try one of the excellent “traiteurs” who sell home-made French food to take away. Be adventurous in your choice – and purchase a good bottle of wine to go with it for a great “night in”.

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