Paris, city mentioned in millions of poems and novels, directed in thousands of movies, world capital of fashion and style, must-see on millions travelling lists, for centuries remains the most visited city of Europe. Anyone who has ever dreamt of this city, and let's be honest, probably everyone did, will find something special and amazing about it. This is what we call unique Paris charm.
Start your day with unbelievably delicious croissant and coffee in one of numerous but yet unique coffee houses of the city. Have an art day in Louvre and art evening in Opera Garnier. Take one hundred and one pictures with the Eiffel Tower. Buy perfumes for years in advance in Fragonar fabric. Forget about city rhythm in Versailles... There's always something to do in Paris. Paris is a magnet for travellers all around the world, and hotels in Paris benefit from it. It's hardly ever possible to find a cheap hotel in Paris, even if you book long beforehand. Even 3 star hotels in Paris charge rates comparable to nice 4 star hotels elsewhere in Europe.
What to see in Paris?
- Probably the first association with Paris is Eiffel Tower. Indeed it has definitely become the most recognizable landmark, symbol of the city. But it hasn't always been that way: when it was built, a lot of people claimed it should be pulled down as they supposed it spoilt the architecture of the city. However, for over a century now the Tower has been the highest spot of the city and its most visited sight. Stylish as everything in Paris, the Tower is being re-painted every 7 years which means 60 tones of paint is spent on each procedure. It has been re-painted 19 times overall, and it used to be yellow, brown, sienna, and final brown eiffel. Make sure you go to the viewing point, which is possible 9am to 12.45 am during summer months, and 9.30am to 11.45pm winter months. By the way, choosing a hotel in the centre of Paris, keep in mind that Eiffel Tower is located quite away.
- Another place of interest is Louvre, the most well-known and visited museum in the world. It’s interesting that Louvre is the only museum which has its own McDonalds. As you might suggest, getting into Louvre always includes a long queuing time. Which is actually not that bad – thanks to the street actors who entertain the art lovers. Probably the most well-known piece of art in Louvre is Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s just another reason to visit. Keep in mind that contradicting with other museums in France which are closed on Mondays, Louvre will not be able to welcome you on Tuesday. But on Thursdays and Fridays the museum is open till 10pm which is 4 hours longer than normally. The admition is free of charge every first Sunday of the month.
- Is there anyone who doesn’t know the story of Esmeralda and Hunchback of Notre Dame? For those who admire the talent of Victor Hugo Notre Dame de Paris will probably be the first on the list of places-to-see. And it’ll be a right choice! The fact that there are no interior walls makes this cathedral unique. All of them were replaced with columns connected with arches and stained-glass windows which separate areas in the cathedral. Notre Dame impresses with its monumental beauty: according to the plan it was supposed to fit all 10,000 citizens of Paris. The result fully met the standards: for example, the central nave is big enough to fit 20-storey building. By the way, if you’re looking for a centre hotel in Paris, those located in the area of Louvre and Notre Dame will be perfect. Of course the rates for central Paris hotels are able to surprise and impress even those who are used to luxurious comfortable hotels.
- The most well-known hill of Paris, Monmartre, since forever has been known as a place of gathering of Bohemia as well as the place where all unusual and exciting stories started from. It’s a special district of the city, very ‘Parishian’ if you trust the opinion of citizens. Though it’s a bit away from other tourist attractions. Keep it in mind when searching for a hotel in Paris, stay in this area means you’ll have to travel by public transport to the city centre. On the other hand, hotels in this area offer much more competitive rates than in central Paris.
- Disneyland is a European amusement park which will be interesting for kids and adults alike. There’re two theme parks inside: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. To avoid queuing at the entrance we recommend pre-booking entrance tickets on the parks’ official website. Another tip for those interested in visiting Disneyland – make sure you come there early and stay for the whole day. It’s totally worth it!
- The most famous avenue of the city, Champs Elysees, is spread between plaza de Concorde and Arch de Triumph. Both sides of the avenue are full of boutique shops, luxurious restaurants and Parisian cafes.
- Versailles, summer residence of King of the Sun impresses with its elegance, luxury and architect’s attention to every detail. It’s hardly possible to describe Versailles in several words, it’s one of the places you just have to see with your own eyes! Make sure you visit Emperor palace and the park. It might be useful to know that it’s closed for visitors on Mondays, and the least tourists arrive here between 3.30pm and 4pm on business days or early in the morning.
What is it important to know before your trip to Paris?
- the city is divided into 20 districts, the numbers start in the Louvre district and follow the spiral clockwise. Rates for hotels in Paris form not least basing on the location of the hotel towards main sights;
- there’re three airports in the city: Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle, Orly and Aeroport de Beauvais-Tille. There’re numerous ways to get from the first two airports to the city centre; express underground, buses or taxi to name main. Those who arrive at Beauvais will have to take a taxi either to Paris or to the nearest city, Beauvais, and then change for a train to Paris. Be attentive booking your tickets;
- underground operates from 5.30am to 0.30am. There’re 14 lines of underground and 4 lines of express suburb underground (operates till midnight). Tickets bought for an underground ride are valid for other public transport as well;
- if you have decided to use taxi in Paris, keep in mind that it’s rude to choose the front seat;
- in some central districts of Paris one can get a fee for feeding pigeons. We highly recommend not break this restriction;
- there’re over 1000 hotels in Paris which is more than in any European city. However, the rates are really high because the city is full of tourists any time of the year. The closer hotel is to the city centre, the smaller room you get and the higher rate you’ll have to pay. Besides, be ready to pay more for way less comforts you are used to in similar category hotels in other European cities;
- when you exchange money in an exchange office make sure you find out not only the rate but also the commission fee. Otherwise there’s a high risk of being unpleasantly surprised;
- most shops are either closed or open less hours on Sundays. On business days most shops open 10am till 7pm;
- the service in restaurants and cafes is rather slow, average time to wait for your waiter is approximately 15 minutes. That’s why we recommend leaving at least an hour and a half for a dinner. The reason for it is not that all waiters are terribly slow, but it allows you to enjoy your evening and dishes. Though if you’re in a hurry, just tell your waiter about it;
- there’re four copies of statue of Liberty in Paris. As you know, France presented the statue to the USA, and the ‘father’ of it is famous Eiffel. Americans who were living in the city then in a year presented a smaller copy of the statue to Paris. Now there are four of them in Paris: on Ile Saint-Louis, in the Musee des arts et metiers, next to a barge on the right side of Siena, and in heart of Paris, in Jardin du Luxembourg.