Paris

Paris

Paris is not called the “city of love” for no reason – but there are plenty of other things waiting to be discovered by everyone here!

Good to know

Boring recordings on the sightseeing bus? No thanks! It is easy to discover Paris by foot on your own. With the Metro, the RER rapid transit system and the buses, the French capital also has an extensive public transport network. The Station Arts et Métiers stop on the Metro Line 11 is definitely worth a visit – the station is completely lined with copper plating and is designed like the interior of a submarine. Portholes on the sides and machinery on the ceiling make it more than worthwhile hopping off here!

Spring and autumn are ideal for a trip to Paris. The peak season is in summer and the city is extremely full. A lot of things are cheaper off-peak as well. You can still also take a dusk stroll along the Seine, one of France’s longest rivers, in spring. The river runs right through the city, reflecting the lights in the evening.

However, we recommend Canal Saint Martin for a boat trip, because then you’ll also discover some lesser known parts of the city. In the summer months, the canal is transformed into a beach in the middle of the city with tons of sand, deck chairs and ice cream stands!

Art & culture

Tip: France supports young culture vultures. EU residents under the age of 25 have been allowed to visit national monuments and permanent museum exhibitions for free since 2009, and that will go on until at least 2014. But where to start? The symbol of the city, the Eiffel Tower, is of course a must. But Paris offers countless other tourist attractions: the mighty Arc de Triomphe, the Cathedral of Notre Dame in which Napoleon was crowned emperor, the Rodin Museum with a vast baroque garden full of famous sculptures, and of course the Louvre, to name but a few.

The Louvre, once used as a fortress and later as a royal palace, is a work of art in itself. Today it is home to the Musée du Louvre, the most visited museum in the world, exhibiting the famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci amongst other famous works. The Centre Pompidou is more modern. The building looks as if it was built inside out. The façade is made up of a framework, coloured pipes and lots of glass. If this extraordinary work of architecture catches your eye, have a look inside! Inside you’ll find the National Museum for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Local specialities

If you start to feel a little peckish, take a short break at one of the enchanting street cafes that grace every corner. Put the spring back in your step with a typical French crêpe or a croque monsieur, a toasted ham and cheese sandwich. Tip: Glacier Berthillon on Ile Saint Louis serves unbelievably good ice cream. Pear-caramel and mandarine-chocolate are just a couple of examples of the delicious creations that you can try there while enjoying the view of Notre Dame.

The French passion for good food is reflected in the busy street markets. You can find everything there, from cream cheese and fresh vegetables to oils, seafood and duck eggs! If you go out to eat at a restaurant note that service is already included in the price in France. If you want to leave a tip anyway, don’t do it when paying the bill, just leave it on the table as you leave the restaurant.

Shopping time

Whether shopping on the Champs-Élysées or rummaging for a bargain in the welcoming second hand shops in the fashion metropolis, hardly anybody leaves Paris empty handed. If you find the shopping streets too busy you can take a stroll through the winding alleys of the Quartier Latin student district.

Fitness & fun

Are your feet hurting from walking around the city? Then chill out in the Tuilerie Garden, the former palace garden. The Jardin du Luxembourg is a popular place for families to meet up and play, students read their books on the deck chairs and joggers use the green oasis for an extra lap on a cool morning.

A few little facts

City history from a different perspective: see the city underground in the catacombs, which are just a little spooky. The former quarries with their labyrinthine paths became the final resting place of many citizens after the Middle Ages. Because the city’s cemeteries were full, their bones were stored underground. The Musée des Égouts is also beneath the surface of the city, giving you the chance to trace the history of sewers from past to present.

On the topic of cemeteries, one of the most famous cemeteries in the world is in Paris! Père Lachaise Cemetery, which is laid out like a park, is the final resting place of Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison. You can take a walk through the peaceful cemetery and see where a lot of famous people are buried.

Do you know who else is from France? Asterix and Obelix! The Asterix Park is only around 30 km away from Paris and offers scenes from their Gallic village and exciting rollercoasters. By the end of your Paris trip you will have experienced art, architecture and history from many different centuries!