a travel guide to paris
The city of lights, Paris, received more than 32 million visitors in 2014. The city regularly ranks in the top three of cities in which visitors spend the most money. Only New York and London typically rank higher, and the draw that the city has to tourists is strong.
Paris has an almost mythical draw to visitors from other countries. Food, wine, coffee and amazing historic landmarks make it a must-see European city.
The Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame Cathedral are just two of the splendid sites that visitors flock to when they arrive in the city. Those are not the only reasons to go to Paris. The city has an abundant nightlife that rings with vibrancy. Yet, it is the city's charm of quiet streets, quaint cafes and clothing boutiques that make tourists want to go back time and again.
Places to visit
Paris is awash with amazing cultural sites and it is easy to get lost in the wonder of the city. Paris is one of those iconic world cities that people dream of travelling to. Its many great tourist attraction make it a phenomenal stay and staying on a budget is possible. Getting a 5-star hotel and a elaborate French dinner is too, and it isn't hard to break your budget if you try.
Paris has so much to see and do, it will take some time to get everything in. Go to the city of lights with a plan, but be sure to see these must-visit attractions...
Nothing is more Paris than the Eiffel Tower. The once looked down upon structure is now synonymous with the city. Think Big Ben in London or the Empire State Building in New York. It just wouldn't be Paris without it. If there is one landmark to see in Paris it is the Eiffel Tower. Grab a selfie on the lawns of the Champs de Mars with the tower behind you. Then head up to the top to see a 360 degree view of Paris. It is unforgettable.
Once back on the ground, it is time to take in the culture and history that has been preserved inside the walls of the Louvre. Or should we say, on the walls.
Once home to France's king, the Louvre now houses some of the world's most exquisite paintings and artworks. Two of the Louvre's most famous works of art are the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Both will leave you feeling fulfilled and cultured; and both are certainly worth the trip alone. Once you finish touring the museum, which could take hours, just outside is the Jardin des Tuileries. It is one of Paris largest parks and a great place to stretch your legs. If your feet aren't already tired.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The third in Paris' trio of must-see attractions is The Notre Dame Cathedral. This gothic church looks down on Paris from the centre of the city. It took more than 150 years to construct the cathedral and was finished in 1313. You can get lost in the cathedral's architecture on the outside, but once you make your way inside, you will understand the true magnitude and size of the church. Don't miss the weekend audio visual shows that Notre Dame puts on for visitors.
One of the most iconic boulevards in the entire world, the Champs-Elysees is lined with luxury shops as it ascends to the Arc de Triomphe. Whether you are a tourist or a local, the Champ-Elysees is a hang out no matter what the temperature is like outside. If you are looking to sample true Parisian food, the boulevard's restaurants and cafes are the perfect spot to stop your hunger.
Arc de Triomphe
When you finally make your way up the Champ-Elysees, you will come upon an ode to the French armies, the Arc de Triomphe. The monument was dedicated to the country's military of the revolution and the First Empire. Finished in 1836, the arc was added to in 1921 with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier following World War I. If you are in Paris on November 11th, the city holds annual ceremonies commemorating the end of the first World War at the arc.
Paris has variety and its nightlife can please anyone looking for relaxed drinking establishments or lively clubs. The city is full of great bars and nightclubs with free entry, and the atmosphere created by those inside make them hard to beat.
Budget travellers will love Wanderlust. The club's music is set to house and techno, but you can always retreat outside to escape the crowds to enjoy a drink under the stars. It is free to get in and making friends shouldn't be hard once you've got a drink in hand.
Chez Moune is another of Paris' free to enter clubs, and unlike many of its contemporaries, there is always a long queue to enter. Part of the reason people love Chez Moune is its variety of music. It isn't just moronic beat after moronic beat protruding from the sound system. If you are budget travelling around the city, this is a perfect nightspot to chill out in during your stay.
While Wanderlust and Chez Moune offer free entry to party, many of the best hotspots in Paris may have a cover charge. And the coolest of the cool venues will be located in the Oberkampf District. The area surged to popularity in the 1990s and since then, it has built on its reputation of being 'the' place for fun in Paris. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in the Oberkampf District. Just don't expect the night to be too quiet.
Finally, if you are travelling on your gap-year or want to mix it up with a young crowd, Bastille is a great area with variety and international flavour. Clubs and bars feature DJs most nights of the week. Meanwhile the Tape Bar in the district is Paris' answer to a cheap, beer swilling rock club. You can find cheaper drinks and plenty of great rock inside.