Paris is one of the world’s best-loved cities. Who can fail to fall under the spell of the famous ‘City of Light’? Packed with cultural treasures and iconic landmarks, it’s also home to some of the most stylish shops, bars and restaurants on earth. Whether you want to stroll down the Champs Élysées, climb the Eiffel Tower, admire the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, or simply sit out at a pavement café and watch the world go by, Paris is a city that enchants and enthrals every time you visit. Plus, if you’re visiting with the kids, Mickey Mouse and pals await at Disneyland Paris, located just outside the city. And with the Eurostar taking you from London straight to Paris in about two hours, visiting the stunning French capital has never been easier or as stress-free!
The ideal city break, Paris is a place full of beauty at every turn that will make you want to come back to it time and time again. Thankfully, with our selection of cheap holidays to Paris, this can be easily done no matter your budget. Paris in spring and then again in autumn? Sign us up...
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You can’t miss the iconic Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris for more than a century. Other top attractions include the Louvre, a spectacular royal palace converted into one of the world’s largest art museums, and a host of other outstanding museums including the Pompidou Centre and the Picasso Museum. You could stroll along the cobbled quays of the Seine, soak up the bohemian charm of the Latin Quarter, shop till you drop at the one-off boutiques of the Marais or sashay down the Champs Élysées, home to top international fashion houses. It’s foodie heaven: bijou bistros, stellar restaurants, food markets, delis and patisseries await the gourmet traveller.
Paris has a fantastic range of nightlife, from rooftop cocktail bars and spectacular nightclubs to laid-back lounges and terrace cafés. As you’d expect from a major capital city, it attracts the best live performers, DJs, theatre and dance companies, and has some extraordinary venues. You could dress up and head out for a night at the Palais Garnier, the original 19th-century opera house, sip cocktails in a time-capsule 1920s’ brothel, or dance the night away on a converted barge. Then, of course, there are the legendary shows at Montmartre nightclubs such as the Moulin Rouge and scores of dimly lit jazz bars where you can catch some top names in jazz and blues.
Paris is a fabulous city to bring the kids. They’ll love the Eiffel Tower (but not the queues, so remember to pre-book tickets), the boats and charming vintage carousel in the Luxembourg Gardens, the dinosaur skeletons in the Natural History Museum and the fantastic Cité des Enfants, a hands-on science museum. There are parks where they can run around and let off steam, scores of wonderful bakeries and cafés for hot chocolate and croissants. There’s always something special going on in the way of local festivals and events, and Disneyland Paris is just a short hop by train from the city centre if you want a fun-filled day out in the Magical Kingdom.
Paris offers a wealth of fantastic outdoor activities. You can swim in a perfectly preserved Art Deco swimming pool, go jogging along the banks of the Seine, punt down the waterways in the Bois de Vincennes, or join the thousands of rollerbladers for the Friday night and Sunday lunchtime skating rallies! You can get your adrenaline hit in Paris with indoor skydiving or a helicopter ride over the beautiful skyline, and, just outside the city centre, you’ll find forest adventure parks, hot air balloon rides, and even airfields where you can hop in a microlight. In summer, the banks of the Seine are transformed into beaches, and, as well as swimming, you can rent kayaks, pedaloes and sailboats.
One of the fashion capitals of the world, it comes as no surprise that Paris should be a number one shopping destination as well. Hop on the Eurostar (where you basically get no luggage or liquid limitations, so you can stock up on wine and perfumes to your heart’s desire!), and have your own Paris shopping weekend. If you are a savvy shopaholic, the best time to visit would be in January to hit the amazing winter sales or in July and August for the summer sales: bargain shopping at its best! Truth is, Paris is perfect for both designer indulgences and some great high street finds, not to mention the French pharmacies filled with skincare and makeup products that will make you feel like a true Parisian!
Paris is perhaps the world’s most famous culinary destination. Its restaurants boast more Michelin stars than any other city in Europe, and its streets are lined with bakeries, cake shops, delis and other gourmet delights. Whether you want to splash out at some of the best restaurants on earth or just enjoy the inexpensive prix fixe (set lunch) at a charming local haunt, Paris has something to suit all tastes and budgets. And, of course, as a cosmopolitan capital, you’ll also find cuisines from around the globe, from Vietnamese pho to Peruvian ceviche. You won’t want to miss out on the famous pastries and macaroons at the city’s elegant tea salons and patisseries, either.
Paris is regularly voted the world’s most romantic city, so there’s nowhere better for a city break with your loved one. Take in the sunset views from the top of Montmartre, stroll along the cobbled quays of the Seine, and meander past the Gothic spires of Notre Dame hand-in-hand. Visit the Rodin Museum to see the famous sculpture of The Kiss, then idle a while in the charming gardens. Spend long, lazy lunches at one of the pavement cafés, watching the world go by, and check out the city’s effortlessly chic cocktail bars and restaurants by night.
Paris is home to a fantastic and wonderfully eclectic collection of museums. The Louvre is the world’s biggest museum, home to the Mona Lisa, and approximately 380,000 other artworks, from Egyptian mummies to the Venus di Milo. If you prefer contemporary art, head to the Centre Georges Pompidou, which is as famous for its amazing ‘inside-out’ building as it is for the works of art it contains. Historic landmarks you won’t want to miss include the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Cœur on Montmartre, the enormous Arc de Triomf, and the beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame. Notre Dame sits on the Île de la Cité, an island in the middle of the Seine, linked to the mainland by the city’s most impressive bridge, the Pont Neuf.