Destination: Paris
Viewing Paris
Viewing Paris
Time Line
Peace & Quiet
Famous People

Essence of Paris

Paris is order, harmony, beauty and elegance...the result of bold town planning which was particularly successful in marrying tradition and innovation, sometimes with stunning effects, as in the case of the stark glass pyramid erected in front of the Louvre. Paris is also passion, youthful energy and a stimulating cultural life. But Paris is above all the capital of good living: the best of French cuisine, an enticing choice of gastronomic specialities from various countries, the glamorous world of haute couture and eccentric fashion, and a sparkling nightlife.

The 10 Essentials

If you have only a short time to visit Paris and would like to take home unforgettable memories, here are the essentials:

Take a boat trip along the Seine from the pont de l'Alma and admire the stately monuments whose splendour is dramatically enhanced at night by powerful spotlights.

Climb to the top of the Tour Eiffel for an aerial view of Paris; guaranteed thrill from the panoramic lift.

Take a morning walk through the Jardin du Luxembourg and stand beside the romantic Fontaine de Médicis.

Sit outside Les Deux Magots Café in boulevard Saint-Germain, on the Left Bank, and watch the world go by. Street bustle peaks around lunchtime and from 6pm.

Stand on the pont de la Tournelle near Notre Dame: look downriver for panoramic views of 'old Paris' (Ile de la Cité and beyond) and upriver for contrasting views of 'new Paris' (Bercy and Institut du Monde Arabe).

Stroll along the quais and browse through the bouquinistes' stock of old prints and books.

Take the funicular to Sacré Coeur at the top of Montmartre for stunning views of the city.

Go to the colourful Moulin-Rouge show and discover the glamour of traditional Parisian entertainment.

Stand on the place de la Concorde at night and look up the Champs-Elysées. The illuminated avenue, gently rising towards the Arc de Triomphe, offers one of the most perfect urban vistas in the world.

Mingle with Parisians doing their daily shopping in street markets along the rue Mouffetard (Quartier Latin) or the rue de Buci (Saint-Germain-des-Prés).

French Riviera
  Top Ten
  What To See
  Where To ...
  Practical Matters