Paris Travel Guide

Overview

The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower © ainet
It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. The city is a unique blend of iconic architecture, stylish fashion, hedonistic cuisine and illustrious art, all beautifully laid out on the banks of the river Seine.

Paris has nurtured the artistic talents of Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso. Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired the renovation of the famous Gothic cathedral after which the tale was named. The concert halls have hosted the premiere of Bizet's opera, Carmen, and the impressionist melodies of Claude Debussy. Cabaret found its home in the bohemian neighbourhood of Montmartre, where the notorious Moulin Rouge saw the invention of the Cancan dance.

Paris owes much of its beauty and elegance to the vision of Baron Haussmann, who renovated and modernised the city in the late 19th century. The city has contrived to remain untouched by conflict or catastrophe over the years, so all of its history is preserved in the new layout. Wide boulevards lead to squares lined with facades built from the distinctive pale cream 'Paris stone'. Haussman even designed new parks for the city. The Bois de Bologne was inspired by Hyde Park in London.

Paris is a city for all seasons. Summer sees visitors and locals alike relaxing on the banks of the Seine and sipping coffee on sidewalk cafes. On autumn afternoons the brisk walk from the Eiffel Tower through the Parc du Champ de Mars and up the glittering Champs Elysees is carpeted with colourful fallen leaves. Visitors in winter can take to the ice rink outside the Hotel de Ville, while spring sees the city gardens burst into colour and the street performers emerge to practice their trade.