Paris Hotels Articles

April 19, 2010

Paris Travel Guide

Paris Romance and culture:

With a stylish and multicultural population of just over 2 million Paris is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it’s easy to see why.

The left bank of the seine, the majestic river that runs through the center of the city is the perfect place for a romantic walk, especially in springtime; Paris in springtime is legendary for lovers.

Even going out for a cup of coffee is an event in Paris. You would never “slouch around” in a baggy old sweat suit in a city where style and elegance far supersede the bursting need for a shot of caffeine.

For a great cafe experience try going to the artists quarter where even now you are more likely to overhear a conversation on the views and opinions of Jean Paul Sartre, the famous philosopher, or the French impressionists than a discussion on the sport or other such, to the French, mundane subjects.

The haughtiness of French waiters is legendary, you will never be told to “have a nice day” in Paris cafes, but treat it as a part of your holiday experience and it all adds to the fun of the holiday.

A good place to go for a bit of peace and quiet if you still want to remain quite central is the Jardin de Luxembourg (Garden of Luxemburg), which allows a brief respite from the hustle and bustle of the city while not taking you to far away from the main attractions.

The list of romantic and cultural attractions seems almost endless.

The Arc de Triomphe: a huge celebratory arch built by the French emperor Napoleon to celebrate his victories, and nearly finished before he met the British at Waterloo where things didn’t go quite so well.

Musee de Louvre; said to be the biggest museum in the world with 300,000 pieces of art including the “Mona Lisa” and 15 acres of exhibit rooms.

Basilique de Sacre-Coeur or Church of the sacred Heart; a beautiful cathedral set high on a hill wit breathtaking views of Paris and with artists and performers plying their trade at the front of the church.

The Pompidou Center: a temple to the modern in both it’s architecture which is some of the most radical you will see anywhere and it’s massive collection of modern art.

Cathedral de Notre Dame: Yes it is the same one that the hunchback used to swing about in was started in 1163 took nearly 200 years to complete and is one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture anywhere in the world.

The Catacombs: a maze of underground tunnels containing bones and skulls from the revolution made into patterns and designs, scary but fascinating.

The Eiffel Tower: originally built as a temporary exhibit for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 to celebrate the first hundred years of the French revolution, it is around a thousand feet high and an absolute must to ride to the top.

A visit to Paris is a cultural and culinary feast, and the Parisians themselves are undeserving of their reputation for unfriendliness. I have always found them very helpful and polite.

When asking for help or directions try to use a little French, even from a phrase book. Most Parisians speak English and will probably answer in English but trying the language yourself is a good icebreaker and the effort to use their language is usually appreciated.

Paris is one of the jewels of Europe and a holiday there will not disappoint.

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