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Paris city breaks

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paris
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fabulous architecture
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Paris holidays and city breaks

Paris may be a city of classic sights, but it never stands still. However well you know its streets, there’s always something new to discover, from buzz-worthy restaurant openings to freshly renovated museums. So, whether you’re planning your first ever city break to Paris, you’re going back for another weekend in Paris, or you fancy something a little longer, we’ve got your essentials for planning your next Parisian adventure in our guide to Paris holidays. Make your next Paris break an interesting one and discover what’s new in the city, from hip cafés to street art on the Seine. You can also find out where to stay on your Paris holiday and the best time of year to visit this beautiful city.

Top things to do on a Paris break

  1. What to do in Paris?

    If you're on a first visit from London to Paris you'll probably want to cram as many sights into your time as possible, have a look at our 3-day itinerary for inspiration. No trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, but planning is crucial to make the most of your visit. Buy your tickets online to avoid the queues and look out for the secret apartment on the third floor.

    A survivor of two world wars, a fire and economic crisis, legendary cabaret Moulin Rouge still dazzles and delights thousands of visitors each year. If Gothic architecture is what you’re into, then the UNESCO listed Notre-Dame Cathedral is a must-see. Be sure to look out for the exceptionally crafted stained-glass windows and gargoyles on the outside walls.

    For a cultural fill, step inside the great Louvre museum. You’ll never see its full glory in just a few hours (that will take 100 days) so plan your areas of interest ahead of your visit to the world’s largest museum.

    Due to a recent fire, Notre-Dame cathedral will be closed until further notice.

  2. Wandering through the Parisian neighbourhoods

    Paris is full of charming neighbourhoods and the trendy Marais is well worth a visit. Known for its gothic architecture and charming cafés, you’ll find plenty of things to explore. Don’t forget to explore Père-Lachaise Cemetery where you’ll see the famous tombs of Oscar Wilde and Frederic Chopin.

    The most famous avenue in Paris, the Champs-Élysées, boasts luxury boutiques and up-market restaurants. Art fans can marvel at the exhibitions displayed at the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais museums, right by the avenue. Put on some comfy shoes and wander up trendy rue des Martyrs to Montmartre, the hangout for writers and artists. Everywhere you turn there are cafés, boutiques and vintage stores. The lively student-centric Latin Quarter, located by the Seine on the left bank of the city and home to the prestigious Sorbonne University, is worth visiting for its buzzing street markets and historic churches.

  3. Must-see museums and attractions

    If you plan on spending a weekend in Paris immersing yourself in some of the world’s most famous museums and attractions you really are spoilt for choice. The world-famous Louvre museum is a feast for the eyes with 350,000 artefacts and of course the Mona Lisa. But there are other spectacular museums too, like the beautiful Rodin museum. Showcasing the sculptures and lifework of French artist Auguste Rodin, it contains nearly 400 pieces of art, including the most famous of Rodin’s sculptures, The Thinker.

    A trip to the Centre Pompidou will have you marvel at its contemporary art collection of over 50,000 works. Finally, fans of Spanish artist Picasso will not want to miss his collection of works at the Musée Picasso. With more than 5000 drawings, paintings and sculptures to see – you'll never be bored.

  4. Places to eat and drink in Paris

    In Paris, there are plenty of food options to suit every taste and budget. With scenic views of the Canal Saint-Martin, the Paname Brewing Company offers a good mixture of beer, burgers and snacks. You can also try brews by Brasserie de la Goutte d'Or, Deck & Donohue and BapBap. If wine and cheese is more your thing, check out La Grande Crèmerie in St Germain.

    Once your stomach starts growling, wander over to Le Food Market for a delectable roam around the globe or if you find yourself missing pizza, why not enjoy a Neapolitan at Restaurant Da Graziella? For a hip, after-dark experience, Les Grands Verres provides a delectable Mediterranean menu ranging from a fattoush salad to a burnt onion bucatini and a spring strawberries and lemon crumble, if you fancy it.

  5. Getting around the city

    It is easy and convenient to get around Paris by metro, RER and bus. The Paris Pass gives you free unlimited travel on the Metro, RER and bus as well as free entry to some of the main museums and attractions. For longer stretches across the city, taking the RER is your best option.

    With 5 lines, A-E, which branch out to different destinations. RER Line A, direction Marne-la-Valee Chessy, is the line that goes to Disneyland Paris and RER C, direction Versailles Château, will take you out to Versailles.

    Public buses are a good hop on/hop off option for exploring the city and you can use your metro ticket for boarding the bus. The 96 bus has a special place in the heart of all Parisians and is the ideal way to see the best of the city from Montparnasse to St Germain in the morning, Odéon to the Marais in the afternoon, and the heights of Belleville in the evening.

    Cyclists can hire Velib bikes to explore Canal Saint-Martin up to Bassin de la Villette and around the Bois de Vincennes. You can get 1 and 7 day passes that allow you to take up to 5 bikes a day. Just find the nearest docking station via the app, hop on and get exploring. 

Best time to visit Paris

Paris holidays are perfect at any time of the year. Whichever season you choose to wander down the city’s boulevards you’ll find something new – even for seasoned Paris travellers.

Spring sees the city in full bloom with its stunning parks and gardens promising a fantastic getaway for family picnics and lazy days, while people watching in cafes truly becomes an art form at this time of year. There are always plenty of things to see and do in and around the city during a Parisian summer. To get your sun-fix head down to Paris Plages on the banks of Seine, or simply relax in one of the city’s many fantastic green open spaces. And if you plan to shop till you drop, there’s plenty of bargains to be had in the city’s summer sales.

As the autumn leaves break out across the city, the pace of Paris begins to slow down from the busy summer season making this an ideal time for a Paris city break. As the temperatures drop, while away a few hours exploring the city’s many districts, head inside to one of the numerous world famous museums or brave the catacombs.

Wow, Paris in winter really is something else. The Christmas lights will sparkle, Disneyland Paris promises magic and fun for all the family, while the city’s department stores really are a must-see in the run up to Christmas.

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