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Paris

PARIS
DESTINATION GUIDE

The Ultimate Guide Before You Plan for your Next Trip

Known for its enchanting boulevards and charming bistros Paris indeed evokes a sense of romance than no other cities in the world can ever offer. The fascinating wine bars and the quaint little bookshops will you just win you over whilst you will relish the opportunity to walk into the most exotic museums and the most precious Gothic architecture of the Middle Ages. The iconic monuments like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc De Triomphe will put you in a state of trance whilst the beautiful gardens will give you the perfect opportunity for you to have a truly Parisian experience.

Attractions in Paris

From medieval architecture to ornamental gardens, the iconic monuments to enriched museums, there are many attractions in Paris besides the Eiffel Tower.

Centre Pompidou

This destination at the Beaubourg area of Paris is a cultural hub for the modern Parisians as it offers many avenues of entertainment. Firstly there is a huge library in that building called the Musée National d’Art Moderne, This is the largest museum of Modern Art in entire Europe. The library stretches for three floors Apart from that there is a movie theater, a bookshop, and also a panoramic view from the terrace. The center also uses its first and the top for exhibitions. So, overall it is a tempting refuge for book lovers and art lovers to spend their afternoons and the tourists can surely pay this place a visit whilst they are at Paris.

Place de la Concorde

Located in the east end of the famous Champs-Elysées is this enchanting Parisian fountain. Centered on this cassic European fountain is the most famous and definitely the largest square of entire Paris. This square also has a very significant role in the French revolution. It is the same square where people iconic figures like the Marie Antoinette and French King Louis XVI were executed along with many others during the French Revolution. After that the square has witnessed many changes one of the latest additions being the introduction of the Egyptian obelisk from the Temple of Luxor back in the 19th century.

Cruise on Seine

Once you visit Paris then you must take a cruise down the enchanting river of Seine. It will definitely give you a romantic experience to remember. You can enjoy the ornate skyline of Paris as the cruise will make you go under many bridges and tunnels and you will surely enjoy the change of light and shade of the Parisian sky. The cruise will make you sail pass the iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral along with many other iconic landmarks of Paris. The cruise lasts for an hour and it is also available during the night time making the experience even more romantic.

Disneyland Paris

If you are travelling to Paris with your kids then you cannot possibly miss out on the opportunity to take a trip down to the Disneyland Paris. More than just a themed park this park is almost an exact replica of the one they have in Los Angeles. Inaugurated in the year 1992 this place offers all the facilities and amenities that you can expect from a Disneyland. It has hotels and resorts along with nice French themed shopping centers. The Disney characters are obviously the same but the overall appeal of the park is very charming and European.

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Never imagined a cemetery to be in the list of must-visit places of Paris? Wait till you see this quaint little one. Being the resting place of iconic artists like Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde this cemetery is by far the most popular graveyard of entire Europe. Built back in the year 1804 this cemetery is also the resting place of the famous Parisian singer Edith Piaf who transformed the caberet scene of Paris. Naturally the cemetery is full of sculptures and each family has written the story of the deceased adding to the charm of the place.

When To Reach

The ideal time to reach Paris is during the seasons of spring and autumn. This is the best time to avoid the crowd. Paris is normally a summer city with thousands of tourists flocking the streets during the months of March and April. This is the time that Paris experiences a warm and sunny weather. However, if you are looking to avoid the crowd then it is the months of April to June and September to November which will be best suited for you. The winters are nice too but many parks and sites are closed during that time.

Seasonality

High Season: The summer months of March and April are definitely the peak seasons as far as Paris is concerned because of the lush green covers and the warm temperature.


Shoulder Season: The spring and the autumn seasons are definitely the shoulder season when it comes to Paris. The weather remains perfect for travelling and the crowd is also thinner when compared to the summer months.


Low Season: Winter can be considered as the low season because many spots like some gardens and the cruise remain closed during this time. However, Paris experiences a lot of crowd during the Christmas and the New Years.

How To Reach

There are many direct flights connecting all the major Indian cities to Paris. The likes of Air France, Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Thomas Cook Airlines, Finnair, Swiss, KLM, and many other airlines. Then there are some Asian airlines as well like the Eithiad Airways, Gulf Air, Qatar Airways, Thai Air, Korean Air, Air China, Japan Airlines, Oman Air, Uzbekistan Airways and many more which will give you nice and affordable options to reach Paris. Some of the flights mentioned in the list do not have any direct flight to Paris but they will help you reach the City of Lights in no time.

Why should you go?

The question should be why should not you go! The most romantic city of the world has many things in its offer. From fantastic craving for art and culture to the enchanting medieval architecture, Paris is the city to visit for every traveler. The museums will allow you to see some real art-works of some of the greatest painters of the past generation whilst the restaurants and the cafes will offer you a taste of authentic French cuisine. From a cruise on the River Seine to a walk down the charming cemeteries, Paris will play with your emotions and give you a trip to remember.
10 Reasons to visit Paris -
  • Eiffel Tower is definitely one of premier reasons for visiting Paris as the iconic structure itself lures over a million tourists, each year.
  • A trip gives you a chance to explore the exotic Parisian culture and delve into the art and music scene of Paris.
  • You can enjoy a fascinating cruise down the River Seine and enjoy the view of Paris from the river.
  • The Parisian themed-parks are simply fabulous and you definitely have a nice time wandering about in them.
  • The museums of Paris are just unparalleled and a visit will give you a chance to explore the finest works of some of the greatest artists of the past century.
  • Nothing compares to authentic French cuisine and a trip certainly gives you a ticket to savor the finest of the Parisian food.
  • You get to visit the Notre Dame de Paris, the 13th century architectural masterpiece with fabulous interiors.
  • You get to visit an authentic Disneyland in Paris and it is the most popular one in entire Europe.
  • Paris gives you a chance to shop from the finest brands and catch-up with the latest trends in the world of fashion.
  • Paris allows you to taste the most exotic wines and few of the most authentic cheeses in the entire world.
  • Paris will allow you to ignite passion as the atmosphere is romantic and it encourages lovers to come closer.

Getting Around

Like any other metro city Paris is also pretty well-connected with its public transportation system. From trains to metros, trams to bus routes Paris allows you to travel to different parts of the city, the country, and even to other countries if you need. Paris's public transports are used by the locals and the tourists alike and whilst some of the transports like the cruise on the River Seine are for leisure, the others remain pretty crowded on the peak hours.

Metro

The metro is the most reliable mode of commute chosen by the Parisians. The metro network is extensive and it will not only help you reach other parts of the city but also at the same time it will allow you to explore some other neighboring towns and cities of France. The metro rides are regular and also affordable.

Bus

The bus routes are also very extensive and they take the same tickets like the metro. The buses also have the same routes mostly, barring some exceptions, and they also offer quite an enjoyable ride. Whilst the metro networks are mostly for the locals the buses can be taken by the tourists because they are considered to be more of a leisurely ride.

Train

The Parisian train networks are pretty robust and they will not only help you to reach the different parts of the country but also at the same time they will allow you to go to other countries like Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany each day. Many people travel to Paris on train from cities like Brussels, Amsterdam, and Berlin. For tourists the train networks are also perfect for visiting other countries as you do not have to spend a fortune on the air tickets.

Taxis

The Parisian taxis are also available throughout the day. In case you have missed the train or the tram then you might very well rely on a taxi to reach you home. The taxis are a bit expensive and it helps if you actually know their language (French).

Weather

The weather of Paris is pretty pleasant as the temperature remains between the range of 15 to 20 degree Celsius during the spring and the autumn months. The summer months are warm with little patches of humidity. The humidity perishes during the spring and the autumn. Then there is the winter which is cold but not freezing. The temperature does not dip below the freezing level making it ideal for the tourists. Due to its geographic position and the presence of the River Seine, Paris never experiences extreme climate condition and that is another reason why it is considered to be a city to enjoy.

What to take in your suitace?

  • Take all the swanky jackets and the colorful scarfs before visiting Paris, because the temperature dips quite a bit during the evening.
  • Always carry an umbrella because both spring and autumn rainfalls are common in Paris. The rainfalls happen in short spans but it is wise to carry your umbrella.
  • Bring your boots as well as your flip-flops as the temperature varies from the morning to the night. During morning your feet might sweat but in the night you need heavy boots.
  • Denims and trousers are a must because even though you are traveling in the day time the temperature starts to drop from the evening and if you are wearing your shorts at that time, you might catch a bad cold.
  • You should definitely carry some hats and your sunglasses partly for the sun and partly for the reason that Paris is considered to be the fashion capital of Europe.
In the Spotlight

The name Paris has now become synonymous to good food and fabulous wine. The French culinary scene has gained recognition throughout the world and it is needless to say that Paris is the ultimate hub of French cuisine. Now there are several French restaurants spread all across the globe, perhaps at least one in ever city, however, enjoying French food in the City of Lights is a completely different experience.

Josephine Chez Dumonet : This century old eatery can be considered as the French restaurants of the French restaurants. Nothing can beat its Parisian appeal as the hot and savory sauces here just speak for themselves.
From the traditional boeuf bourguignon to the scrumptious French desserts, you will never repent a trip in this place. The charming little patio chairs are always filled with readers and writers and people discussing art and poetry. That is why it is vital that you reserve your place well in advance so that you do not miss out this fabulous Parisian experience.
Oysters at l’Huitrerie Regis : A trip to Saint-Germain-des-Prés will mean that you should visit this fabulous seafood joint in Paris.
No Parisian cuisine gets completed without a hint of fresh and scrumptious seafood and if you are in a mood to taste the freshest oysters with a Parisian white wine then this is the place to be. Apart from oysters, there are prawns, crabs, shrimps, and mussels are shipped every day from the Marennes d’Oléron region bordering the Atlantic Coastlines of France. The chef here is very particular about the freshness and the quality of the seafood and you might not get a chance to taste the oysters if you reach there late.
Taloa at A. Noste: Explore Paris's Basque influence in this delightful bistro and indulge in the floppy and yet delicious Basque style sandwiches which had been so popular for years in this quaint little eatery.
The sandwiches are stuffed with wee Basque delicacies like the confit de canard, pork belly and also hot chorizo. The restaurant is also known for its fabulous Basque tapas and it is an extreme continental experience that you will have once you enter the door. The attitude is quite laid back here and it is an ideal place to visit on a leisurely afternoon. There is also a dinning room upstairs where southwestern French farm food are being served.
L'Assiette : This is the ideal kind of restaurant which makes Paris the perfect food city. The chef here puts his heart out in the kitchen and the result is something quite especial.
The kitchen is alive in this restaurant as the guests often enjoy the vibrant vibe presented by the owners of this place. Enjoy the ultimate Parisian dinner with the likes of foi gras, pork-knuckle rillettes and also some of the most delicious cassoulet. The French flare of this place is expressed well through the various dessert menus and smell of tomatoes and coriander fill the air.
Comice: Run by a husband and a wife together this restaurant is elegant and yet relaxed at the same time. The ornate decor will surely capture your imagination as the arrangements of this place is done by a very famous local florist.
The ultimate Parisian essence, fetched fresh from the gardens, is what you will get in this charming little eatery. The food is absolutely French with oysters, duck foi gras, butter-poached lobster and hazelnut strawberries available in this place and the wine list is something unique as apart from the regular French wines, both the chefs focus on bringing different kinds of wines from around the world.

Parisian cuisine has a different appeal from the rest of the France. The Parisians have experimented with their life-stocks and vegetables to a great extent that no other place in the world has ever done. For instance the classic duck liver item known as the foi gras is an example of how much the Parisians have stretched their imagination to create such a lovely delight. Moreover, there are strong inclination towards seafood especially oysters and mussels which cater as great sides for the various wines. The Parisians also love to mix their meat and cheese and fruits together to create a unique test altogether.

Foi Gras: The classic duck liver recipe is a traditional Parisian cuisine and it is prepared during most special occasions like the Christmas and the New Years.

Oyesters: The real oyster lovers of Paris love their oysters raw and fresh. However, in most restaurants they served them cooked and warm.

Cassoulet: Originally a dish from the Languedoc-Roussillon region, this scrumptious family meal is now an integral part of many Parisian dinner. Cooked with duck legs and pork this dish is an absolute classic.

Basque-Style Chicken:The Basque country poultry dishes are very popular in Paris and the meats are tender and the sauces are thick making it a lovely delight.

Macarons: If you have a sweet-tooth then the Parisian macarons might delight you beyond measures. They are savory and they are colorful and they are everything that you look in a dessert.

Markets of Paris are not merely a collection of shops where people come to buy things and then leave. The Parisian markets are sort of cultural hubs where people come to browse food, books, and flowers whilst spending a delightful time roaming around place venturing from one stall to the other. From antiques to fresh produces from the farms the markets are filled with various items which are fun to browse and also to be taken back home as souvenirs. All in all a trip to the Parisian markets is definitely a cherrishable experience.

Seine River Booksellers : Imagine an old booksellers' market by the banks of a charming river. You have actually imaged this beautiful array of book stalls nestled nicely by the banks of the beautiful River Seine.
A paradise for book-lovers, this place will give you the time and space to breathe in the authentic Parisian air. This is the perfect hiatus on your way to Eiffel Tower after a trip to the Notre Dame and it has all sorts of things that you will enjoy. Starting from a collection of more than 300,000 old books you can find journals of various poets and artists along with stamps and other form of memorabilia. Quite naturally UNESCO has recognized this place as a World Heritage Site and it would be a trip to remember.
Marche d’Aligre : This market serves as the perfect example of a Parisian marketplace as it has all the things that you can expect in a French market.
At one corner you will find huge piles of fresh apricots and flowers whilst in the other corner you will find old books and cheese and dates for tasting. From tropical fruits which you will never find in the supermarkets to the oysters and mussels you will find many sorts of goodies in this lovely little market. There are certain covered section whilst the uncovered section reaches out to the streets. You can also find linen and vinyls in this charming little marketplace.
Marche aux Fleurs : This fairy-tale like marketplace has inspired many artists and poets over the past few decades. Literally you never see such an ornamental marketplace ever anywhere as this famous flower market of Paris has gained
a considerable reputation over the years. The enchanting glass rose windows allows the visitors to take a sneak peek into the ornate shops that have a lovely display to offer. From regular European plants to exotic orchids, some carnivore plants and many other varieties of bonsai are available. The place turns into a bird market, every Sunday and some claim that the experience is better than visiting a zoo.
Marche des Enfants Rouges: This market is not just a marketplace but a symbol of love and passion of few Parisians who fought to protect this 400 years old market from complete demolition. A strong movement was formed which kept the kiosks intact
and till today it provides platform for a very vibrant marketplace. The Monday market here is indeed a thing to relish as you can see a wide array of food stalls set in this area selling a wide variety of global cuisine from Mexican, Italian, Lebanese, and even Indian. The market is frequented with a very hip and young crowd and the atmosphere is always electric in here.
Rue Mouffetard : A market which was adored by both Julia Child and Earnest Hemingway is still pretty much alive with its tempting display of seafood and meat.
A typical meat-lover's paradise this place has a lot of activities going on. Holding on to its authenticity and reputation this marketplace has very vibrant seafood corner where you can see live oysters, crabs, and lobsters on display. At another corner you will find butchers roasting a whole chicken and you will see how the juices are creating bubbling noise as they are being poured on the potatoes below. The market is greasy and it smells of the sea. You can hear the typical Parisian buzz whilst the chefs of different restaurants flock to take their freshest picks.

Euro is the currency accepted all over Paris as it is the part of the European Union. Euro has replaced Franc, the previous currency which once was the base of all monetary transactions in Paris. So, even now some shops and the markets, mostly the off-beat stalls, has a Franc price tag attached to it along with a Euro price tag. However, as a tourist you need not go through the hassles of the conversion rates and all as you will pay them simply with Euros. Most of the big hotels and the restaurants of Paris accept international debit and credit cards whilst the cabs and some of the smaller shops will be preferred to be paid by cash. You can withdraw cash from various ATMs available all throughout the city.

Special Tips

  • The Parisian food joints who accepts cash for payments will not like it if you hand them over a Euro 500 note. So, there is no point taking a larger denomination of Euro in Paris.
  • Barring your hotel cost you will need around Euro 100 to Euro 125 per day on the travel and everything.
  • You can cut the daily cost to Euro 60 to Euro 70 per day depending on the kind of adventure you like to have.
  • Metro tickets are around Euro 1.60 per trip, per person and you need to pay them with changes.
  • If you are not having it from the hotels you should try to keep every meal within the range of Euro 8 to 10 thereby making it easier on your purse. Paris can prove to be very expensive if you are not careful.

In order to enjoy a trip to Paris you need to obtain a French visa. A French visa is a type of Schengen Visa and it not a much of a hassle to obtain. You just need to follow the steps and process the documentations accordingly in order to get your visa. Just visit the VFS website to check the documentations and fill-in the form accordingly. The visa rules of France are much more liberal when compared to the United Kingdom and if you abide by the rules you can get it quite easily. However, make sure that a tourist visa only allows you 90 days of stay in Paris.

Special Tips

Luckily there are many French Visa Application Centers throughout India which will help you to obtain Schengen Visa. If you are employed then you have to get a 'No Objection Certificate' from your employer along with the bank statement of the last six months. If you are a student then you have to show a "No Objection Certificate" from your university or school. Your return flights along with the hotel reservation for Paris needs to be shown to the visa processing officers. The visa interview remains pretty generic and you should appear in your formals.

Paris is infamous for its pick-pocketers and purse snatchers. This is a very common phenomenon in the crowded areas like the Eiffel Tower or the Sunday markets. Keep your belongings close to you every time you venture outside in a crowded place. Otherwise, Paris is a pretty safe destination even for woman travelers traveling alone or in groups. Night time Paris is also deemed to be pretty safe and they are friendly towards the tourists. However, if you see a group near the bars fighting or arguing loudly then try and keep distance. Cabs are available from all corners of the city even if you have missed the train or the bus.

  • Police Emergency Contact: 113
  • General Emergency: 112
  • Fire brigade: 115
  • Forest Fire: 1515
  • Car Breakdown Assistance: 116
  • Ambulence/Medical Assistance: 118
  • Pan-European Emergencies: 112

Entertainment & Event

The charming greenery and the lovely multi-cultural festivals makes Paris a happening place.

  • Flora and Fauna

    Paris, despite being a heavily populated city, is not short of its fair share of green. Starting from the joggers' parks to the nearby gardens, from the forestland to the river banks you can various types of trees and animals in and around Paris. Ring necked snakes, blue winged crickets, the grey heron, and the egret are found in plenty in and around Paris. There are also a plenty of variety of birds staying near the river banks and small patches of forests in Paris. Plenty of variety of fish also inhabit the lakes and river of Paris

    The likes of kingfisher, the mallard ducks, the mute swans, the grey wagtails, the sandpipers, the water hens, and the crested grebes are all found all across the city. The water banks of Paris also offers a nice habitat for the birds like kingfisher and the swans. The water of Paris is also enriched with various variety of fish like the catfish, common roaches, daces, chubs, and gudgeons.

  • Festivals

    The multi-cultural city of Paris is known for its various celebrations and festivals. The summer starts with the beautiful Carnaval de Paris when the entire city is covered in colors. Then there is of course the Printemps du Cinéma which is closely followed by the famous June festival known as the Fête de la Musique. The Parisians love their art and music and this type of celebrations bring the entire city together. Then there is of course the ever so popular Festival de de l'Ourcq where the tourists can enjoy a boat cruise discovering the various traditions and customes of the Parisians.

    This event is closely followed by two more exotic events in the form of Paris Quartier d'Eté and then the Paris Plages. Whilst the latter is beach (artificially made beaches) celebration done on the banks of the River Seine the former is all about music and cultural events. The autumn months are known for the festivals like Nuit Blanche and the Journées du Patrimoine whilst the winter experiences the traditional Christmas and the New Years day. The Parisians also celebrate the Chinese New Year in a grand way.

  • Culture

    Parisians are known for their love of art and culture and they are very deeply-rooted to their culture and tradition. Very proud of their language and customs, the Parisians, are often very warm hosts to the tourists. Paris is definitely the cultural hub of the entire country as they initiate several literary, cultural, and culinary innovation. Paris is indeed the most cosmopolitan city of entire France and as a result the Parisians are very well-versed with many foreign languages including English.

    Parisians are known for their culinary innovations and have a very refined taste in food and wine. Their laid-back and relaxed attitude towards life is very well visible from the fact that many Parisians spend their days in the park or in the breweries reading and writing. Paris will give you a feel that city life exists beyond the hustle-n-bustle which is often common in other cities like London or New York.

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