by Janis on 11th January 2022 / 0 comments

So this post is our light-hearted view of Paris in France.

It has some of the interesting stuff, a few trivial facts, and our thoughts on this enchanting city of love.
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The Location

The Three C's
Continent
Europe
Country
France
Capital
Paris

The spectacular city of Paris just oozes charm and charisma. There are so many ancient sights to visit, museums to immerse yourself in, and the breath-taking skyline will win me over every day.

The first settlers in Paris were the Celtic Tribe, Parisii, who built a fortified settlement on the Île de la Cité; in the 3rd-century BC. The name Paris is derived from these inhabitants.

The imposing Arc de Triomphe, which stands on the Place Charles de Gaulle, was commissioned in 1806; however, it was not completed until 1836. It was built to honour those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. The magnificent Triumphal Arch has twelve avenues leading off, and within its vault lies the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The incredible architecture, the grand squares and boulevards and the striking bridges ensured that the Banks of the Seine became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.

In 1682 Versailles became the de facto capital of France as Louis XIV transferred his seat of court to the Palace of Versailles.

The official centre of Paris, known as Kilometres Zero, is located in front of the main entrance to Notre-Dame cathedral.

Where's Paris in the world?

Paris Up Close

Paris is the perfect location for a mini-break. There is so much to see and do in this stunning city you’ll be returning time and time again; a few days is certainly not enough.

Paris is relatively flat, which makes it easily navigated on foot. In my opinion, strolling around is always the ideal way to discover a city, especially one like Paris. Paris has so many delightful squares, parks, gardens, and charming lanes to explore.

National Flag

Flag of France

Regional Flag

Flag of Paris
It’s good to talk
Language
Language: French (English is widely spoken, but French is appreciated)
International Dialling Code
+33-1
Currency
Euro (EUR)
Timezone
Central European Time (CET)
Difference from UTC
+1 Hour

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Did you know?

  • Not only is Paris known as the “City of Love”, but it is also referred to as “The City of Light”. Paris was one of the first large European cities to be illuminated by gaslight. By the 1860s, 56,000 gas lamps were lining the elegant boulevards.
  • Paris has hosted the Olympic Games in 1900, 1924 and 100 hundred years later, they will be hosting again in 2024.
  • The highest hill in Paris is Montmartre which stands 427ft (130 metres) high.
  • The Catacombs of Paris is an underground ossuary created to alleviate the cities overcrowding cemeteries. The ossuary holds the remains of more than six million people.
  • Many global cities around the world are twinned with each other. Although in 1956, Paris and Rome chose to exclusively twin together.
  • Every July, the Tour de France sees the final stage of this feat of endurance loop around the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.
  • On the 28th December 1895, the movie industry was born in Paris, when the French brother’s Auguste and Louis Lumière presented the first public motion picture screening.
  • The Musée du Louvre, located on the Right Bank of the Seine, is the most visited museum in the world. Not surprising, the Mona Lisa has an enigmatic look on her face.

It's famous for...

Food and drink

Patisseries
Wow, I defy anyone that can stroll past a scrumptious patisserie and not sneak a peek. The window displays just entice you in with their mouth-watering and delicate sweet treats.
Café Culture
There is such an incredible mix of cuisine available in Paris from all regions of France. However, at times, just sitting at a little street-side café watching the world pass by is idyllic.
Haute Cuisine
Paris is renowned for its haute cuisine, high-class elegant restaurants, meticulous attention to detail and impeccable waiters. Indulge yourself and choose one from the Michelin Guide.
Fromage
Whenever we visit France or Paris, we enjoy nothing better than just relishing the simple dish of bread and cheese. The French are masters at this.

If you've yet to discover the beautiful architecture in Paris, and the pleasure of strolling along the River Seine at sunset, then you're in for a treat.

I find DK Eyewitness travel guides invaluable, they're extremely informative, easy to follow, and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Paris adventure, now you can grab the revised copy.

See & Do

Strolling the River Seine
There is something so special about strolling the banks of the River Seine and crisscrossing the bridges. The Parisian skyline with its stunning architecture is breath-taking.  Or, alternatively why not take a river cruise?
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is incredible to see, particularly as you stroll along the elegant tree-lined Champs-Élysées. Head to the top and enjoy the panoramic views across the rooftops of Paris.  You can always skip the queue with these tickets.
The Islands in the Seine
The Île de la Cité and Île Saint-Louis are two charming little islands in the middle of the Seine. I could while away hours exploring the cobbled lanes.
Eiffel Tower
Would a visit to Paris be complete without scaling the dizzy heights of the Tour Eiffel? This glorious icon cannot be missed.  Why not take a guide tour and skip the queue?
Parisian Museums
Paris has some captivating museums, and although The Louvre has some astounding pieces of art, I do love visiting Musée d'Orsay.  You can pickup a Paris Museum Pass for 2, 4, or 6 Days.
Montmartre
The district of Montmartre is a fascinating region to walk around. Visit the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, stroll the delightful, cobbled streets and keep a lookout for the street artists. A short hop from here is the birthplace of the Can-Can, the Moulin Rouge.  Why not try a Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre Tour with an expert guide?
Relaxing in Les Jardins
Paris has so many delightful gardens, it’s a perfect excuse to stop and take the weight off your feet. I especially liked Le Jardin du Luxembourg & Jardin des Tuileries.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Although Notre-Dame suffered a devasting fire in 2019, it is still a sight to behold. Painstaking work is being undertaken to ensure she is open again in Spring 2024 in time for the Summer Olympics.
Visit Père Lachaise Cemetery
It may not be to everyone’s taste. However, I loved strolling around Père Lachaise and researching the history of the incredible stories that lie behind the headstones.  You can always take a walking tour and discover some of its most famous residents include Edith Piaf, Jim Morisson, Chopin, and Oscar Wilde.
Canal Saint-Martin
For something a little different, hop on a canal boat trip and relax and enjoy the Canal Saint-Martin. Weaving through a quiet part of Paris and passing under charming footbridges.
Don’t forget to have a peek at our post '15 ways to allure you to the beautiful city of Paris.'

In the movies

The Da Vinci Code
The incredible actor Tom Hanks stars as Robert Langdon in this 2002 mystery thriller around the streets of Paris. After the Louvre curator meets an untimely death, Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou set off on a quest for the Holy Grail.
Moulin Rouge
The 2001 Baz Lurhmann movie starring Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor is filmed around Montmartre and the pulsating Moulin Rouge. The energetic musical is set during the French Bohemian Revolution
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
Ahh, yes, Ethan Hunt and his high-octane team returns. Filmed partially in Paris, Tom Cruise is on the trail of missing plutonium with the Apostles hot on his heels, giving way to car chases, explosions and fast-paced fun.
Amélie
The 2001 Jean-Pierre Jeunet film starring Audrey Tautou is a delightful feel-good movie. After living a sheltered life, Amélie embarks on whimsical adventures and brings happiness to others in the strangest of ways.

Where we stayed

- As a little bit of indulgence, we stayed at the luxury hotel Melia Paris Notre Dame, in the beating heart of Paris. Just a short stroll, and the magnificent Notre Dame is on your doorstep to explore.

Find your accommodation

Have a peek at the latest offers from Booking.com, our preferred hotel booking website.
Booking.com

Return-a-bility

or What are the chances of us revisiting?
95%
(0% - You'll have to drag us over hot coals to go back 100% - Why am I not there now?)

Notes

Paris is a stunning city, and no matter how many times we visit, there will always be more to discover. Exploring the less apparent locations always adds an element of fun.

Value for Money

Our value for money index.
Don't forget we're Londoners, and that means our baseline is quite high.

70%
(0% - How much? I wanted to buy a drink, not the bar 100% - How much? I'll take two.)

Notes

After all, Paris is France’s capital city, it is always going to be a little pricey. If you’re on a budget, seek out the local side-streets away from the main tourist spots, and there are some great cafés and bistros to be found.

Some of Paris’s most magnificent can be experienced by ambling the historic lanes.

What to experience

  • Like most cities of the world, the best way to discover the beating heart of a location is to don your comfy shoes and see where your soul takes you.
  • Ensure you visit the Shakespeare and Company bookstore; you’ll never know what little treat you’ll find. I picked up a charming secondhand French/English dictionary.

Visitor Info

  • For more information on Paris, why not check out the Paris Info website.

Getting around town

What's it like discovering the city?
Is it walkable? do you need to use public transport? did we leave with weary feet?

95%
(0% - It's mountainous and public transport's a joke 100% - I'm in paradise.)

Notes

We walked everywhere in Paris except to Montmartre, where we caught the Metro. It is easily walkable and reasonably flat. Just plan your days out to cover specific districts each day.

Janis's Hi's & Lo's

Highlights

It has to be strolling the banks of the River Seine and admiring the striking architecture. Visiting the riverside booksellers and artists and hopping into a street-side café.

Lowlights

This is difficult as I would return tomorrow, although personally, I would avoid the summer months; springtime is perfect, and the sights are less busy.

Gary's Hi's & Lo's

Highlights

Now this is hard, it has to be the architecture, the food & drink and a certain 'je nais se quois'.

I enjoy sitting down in a cafe at the end of the day, enjoying a carafe of Vin rouge, reflecting on the experiences we've had. Add a touch of Edith Piaf, and I'm in heaven.

Lowlights

Not sure, I really enjoy the city. The sometimes surly waiters can be won over by my Franglais, and you end up with smiles.

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