A very special bright loft-apartment 70 square metres at St. Germain des Pr?s, in the heart of Paris. more info...
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Summing up Paris in just a few paragraphs is almost as difficult as visiting the city without falling in love with it. A sprawling, bustling metropolis with more than two million residents, Paris is much more than the Eiffel Tower and Louvre museum, though of course these symbols are essential parts of the Parisian charm. Paris is also grand old boulevards, pristine city parks, street caf?s, fabulous food and glittering nightlife. Though it would take a lifetime to discover all the quirks and corners of one of Europe's most elegant cities, Paris is an enchanting place for a holiday or even a short city break.
The city is divided into twenty arrondissements (districts) that surround central Paris and each district has a personality and style of its own. The Seine River runs through the centre of the city, dividing it neatly into right (north) and left (south) banks. On the Right Bank you'll find the most stylish boulevards, the grand museums like the Louvre and the Centre Georges Pompidou, and major monuments like the Arc de Triomphe. This is where you'll spend most of your sightseeing time. On the Left Bank are some of Paris' most famous churches, like Notre Dame and the chapel of Ste. Chapelle. Here you'll also find the funky Latin Quarter, whose large student population keeps things lively. This is a great place to come for dinner and drinks; countless bars and caf?s line the neighbourhood streets and squares.
At night Paris is just as exciting, with an excellent reputation for jazz and world music, and you'll find a great selection of clubs and concert halls. Check out local publications like 'Pariscope' for details.
Paris is known for its cool, damp weather, but all in all the city has a relatively mild climate, making it a great destination any time of the year. In summer, the average temperature is around 68?F, though it gets considerably hotter at mid-day and can feel much warmer than that in the city centre. In winter, the daily average is around 40?F, meaning coats, scarves and gloves are a must.
Paris' enormous Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports have connections with nearly every major city on the planet, so getting here shouldn't be a problem. From the UK, flight time is just over an hour.
Once in the city, public transportation is by far the best way to get around. Taxis are expensive, especially at night, but the underground metro is a cheap and easy way to move about.
Museums abound in Paris, making an absolute field day for art and history lovers. The Louvre, of course, is the city's most famous museum. Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and other masterpieces like Rembrandt's Supper at Emmaus, the museum deserves its reputation as one of the (if not the) world's best. But there are many other excellent museums worth checking out here too. Be sure to visit the modern art collection at the Centre George Pompidou (aka: Pompidou Centre), and the pre-modern works of the Muse? d'Orsay, which is focused on late-nineteenth-century and early-twentieth century painting. Cultural and historical museums often don't enjoy the same renown as the city's art museums, but many are every bit as deserving of your time.
If you're looking for outdoor activities, Paris offers a surprising variety. You can jog, bike or rollerblade through the city parks (all 400 of them!), or join a cycling tour if you'd rather bike through the city. If you'd rather be on the water, try a romantic boat ride on the Seine.
Just outside Paris are several kid-friendly parks, like Disneyland Paris, which is just 35 minutes from the city, and the Aquarium Sea Life. If you won't be able to see the rest of France during your trip, at least stop by the France in Miniature park, an outdoor park with 200 major monuments, all at 1/30 their original size.
Other great Paris day trips include the Chateau of Versailles and the lovely medieval town of Chartres.