Paris Hotels Articles

March 24, 2010

A Paris Vacation Beyond the Ordinary

Paris. What more can be said about the beautiful City of Light? We all know about its romantic atmosphere and countless museums and galleries that will sweep you away to another time and place. But around every corner and along its grand boulevards, there is a Paris that is specifically tailored towards your interests, preferences, and curiosity; and all you need to do is wander its streets to discover what you have been missing all this time.

While you so desperately want to discover the hidden treasures of this city, if it is your first visit there are a couple of sights that absolutely have to be at the top of your itinerary. Of course, standing beneath the Eiffel Tower and riding up to its landings for the breathtaking, panoramic views is bound to be your first adventure, while the Louvre and its spectacular art collection, complete with the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, will probably be a close second. Other classic favorites that will definitely occupy your first couple of days in the city include Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur.

After wandering the Louvre for hours or soaking in the unparalleled beauty of Notre-Dame, your senses are bound to be overloaded, downright exhausted, and in need of less demanding pursuits. Although this is most likely in complete contrast to what you imagined before arrival—trekking from one sight to another, checking off dozens of attractions from your must-see list seemed so reasonable back then—this weary feeling as actually for the best since now you can truly experience Paris instead of having it rush by as you hit up attraction after attraction. So what then should you do for the ultimate Paris vacation? Quite possibly less than you ever imagined…

Depending on your particular interests, there is a touristy Paris, a historical Paris, a laid-back Paris, and a fashionable Paris to ensure that you have the most memorable and enjoyable vacation possible. Shoppers and tourists alike will appreciate the elegance of one of the world’s most famous promenades, the Champs-Élysées, where they can dine on exquisite cuisine, shop to their heart’s content, and relax in a café and simply watch the endless parade of people down its cobblestone street. With the Arc de Triomphe at one end and historic restaurants such as Laurent and Ledoyen scattered throughout, you could easily lose an entire day enjoying the ambiance of this one-of-kind avenue.

Although history-buffs will be hard-pressed to find a city with more amazing museums (consider the Musée Jacquemart-André, the Musée d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou after the Louvre) at its beck and call, there is more to Paris’ past than strolling down a corridor and looking at your 180th oil painting. By resisting the pull of the French Impressionists and making time for the cobbled and historic streets of Montmarte and the picturesque Latin Quarter, which rests over the Seine, you can create a more personal and memorable experience than all of the museums combined. Exploring hidden alleyways and wandering without a final destination, you can discover history, beauty, and something special to only you, all while getting a little lost in the process.

While it is easy to only think of all of the excitement you plan to pursue during the day, the City of Light certainly lives up to its name when night falls on its charming streets. The first couple of days during your trip you may be exhausted from hitting up all the popular attractions, but after you have gotten into the groove of your own getaway, be sure to spend a few evenings living it up with the Parisians. With the high quality and quantity of bars, nightclubs, music halls, wine bars, jazz dives, and cabarets, there is bound to be at least a couple of places that suit your taste.

Now that you have your days and evenings stuffed to the gills with entertainment, you need to find somewhere to rest your weary head after a long day in Paris. Beyond your typical hotel, one excellent option that offers all the luxuries of home and proximity to all your favorite attractions is a Paris apartment rental. While other accommodations are simply a place where you can rejuvenate your body before another day in the city, Paris vacation rentals surround you with amazing views and feature a cozy, lived-in atmosphere that makes you feel welcome in the city the moment you arrive. Even if Paris isn’t exactly off the beaten path, you can make this trip more personalized than you ever imagined by selecting a vacation rental that perfectly meets all of your individual needs.

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