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ParisFrance

The French capital has taken a long and tumultuous journey through history, gifting the world with its finest art, food, literature and music, along the way.

The Eiffel Tower is the place many start their Parisian sight-seeing, but it might be best to save this ultimate icon of Paris till last. The spectacular views from its 305-metre vantage point make most sense when you've already gathered in the details; when Paris is no longer a blank. Instead head for the historic centre of the city – the island in the Seine where Paris started, the Ile de la Cité. Here, the Notre-Dame Cathedral lights up its heart, and from its towers you can take in a viewpoint that has witnessed all of the city's tumultuous history.

And while that history is worn proudly on every street, its most vibrant remnants are gathered into Paris' many magnificent museums and art galleries (because art is history in Paris, after all). The Louvre is its most triumphant, home of the Mona Lisa and much else beside. The Champs-Élysées might be better-known for its uptown shopping, but it also has two fine art museums, the Grand and Petit Palais. And the Pompidou Centre loudly proclaims Paris' insistence on staying contemporary, with its hugely popular National Museum of Modern Art.

The north side of Paris takes the most dramatic architectural line – the Axe Historique. Starting in Place de la Concorde, this line tracks through three of the city's most famous monuments – the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, the Arc de Triomphe d'Etoile and the modernist Grande Arch, 13 kilometres west. Here it ends in the modern business district of La Defense, a forest of glass-fronted towers and towering sculptures.

Also on the north-side is a prime example of that old-town charm – the narrow alleys of Montmartre, clustered around the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. This is Paris' bohemian heart, home of the Moulin Rouge and a still-thriving artistic community. Step south of the river and you'll find a very different community – the intellectual musings of the Latin Quarter, home to many of the Sorbonne's colleges, the Senate, and the dreamy open spaces of the Luxembourg Gardens. Close by, you can descend into the bowels of Paris, and explore the macabre magnificence of the Paris Catacombs.

Light and dark; reason and passion; ancient and modern – every one of Paris' 20 districts picks at the threads of this cultural multiverse in its own particular way.

Paris Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Paris

Marais - Pompidou - Notre Dame de Paris featuring modern architecture and a square or plaza as well as a large group of people

Marais

4.5/5Wonderful!(37 area reviews)

Marais
Montmartre which includes views and a city

Montmartre

4.5/5Wonderful!(28 area reviews)

Montmartre
8th Arrondissement featuring a monument and street scenes

8th Arrondissement

4.5/5Wonderful!(87 area reviews)

8th Arrondissement
6th Arrondissement showing a garden and a statue or sculpture

6th Arrondissement

5/5Exceptional!(28 area reviews)

6th Arrondissement
7th Arrondissement which includes street scenes and a city

7th Arrondissement

4.5/5Wonderful!(59 area reviews)

7th Arrondissement
15th Arrondissement which includes heritage elements and a city

15th Arrondissement

4.5/5Wonderful!(49 area reviews)

15th Arrondissement

Top hotels in Paris

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport
Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport
3 out of 5
5 Rue du Voyageur, Roissy-en-France, Val d'Oise
NZ$175
per night
6 Apr. - 7 Apr.

Situated near the airport, this hotel is 2.3 mi (3.7 km) from Paris Nord 2 International Business Park and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Aeroville Shopping Center. Usines ...

4.3/5Excellent! (2,476 reviews)

"There was a long waiting time at checkin when I arrived"…"

Reviewed on 18 Mar. 2020

Holiday Inn Express Paris - CDG Airport
citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
4 out of 5
7 Rue de Rome, Roissypole, Terminal 3, Tremblay-en-France, Seine-Saint-Denis
NZ$145
per night
5 Apr. - 6 Apr.

Situated near the airport, this boutique hotel is 4.7 mi (7.5 km) from Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Parc Asterix and ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (5,103 reviews)

"The hotel is an interesting experience, though you'll want to be comfortable with high tech. The one drawback is that the bathroom pod in the room is a bit lacking in privacy."…"

Reviewed on 20 Mar. 2020

citizenM Paris Charles de Gaulle
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris
3 out of 5
38-40 Rue Saint Séverin, Paris, Paris

Located in Paris City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ile de la Cite and Sainte Chapelle. Notre-Dame and Sorbonne University are also within ...

4.3/5Excellent! (1,276 reviews)

"I really enjoyed my stay. The service was very exceptional and nice."…"

Reviewed on 17 Mar. 2020

Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris

Popular activities in Paris

Eiffel Tower
Image for Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

4.5/5(332 reviews)

From the ground looking up, or from its lofty heights looking down, the Eiffel Tower is the best view in town.

Louvre Museum
Image for Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum

4.5/5(249 reviews)

The Louvre is where the Mona Lisa shines her enigmatic half-smile for visitors – and where 34,999 other fabulous attractions await your attention.

Arc de Triomphe
Image for Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

4.5/5(318 reviews)

This towering arch is where France comes to celebrate its victories, remember its dead, and enjoy spectacular views down the Champs-Élysées.

La Machine du Moulin Rouge
Image for La Machine du Moulin Rouge

La Machine du Moulin Rouge

4/5(103 reviews)

Tour the home of the cancan dance to find out about its lurid beginnings. The night club has been the inspiration for cabarets across Europe.

Notre-Dame
Image for Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame

4/5(276 reviews)

This iconic cathedral soars over the Ile de la Cité in the Seine, its features blending into a building that is half-architectural glory, half-spiritual sustenance.

Opéra Garnier
Image for Opéra Garnier

Opéra Garnier

4.5/5(106 reviews)

Attend a performance, browse museum exhibits and marvel at the opulent design of one of the world’s most celebrated opera houses. 

Top activities in Paris

Disneyland® Paris Tickets
Image for Disneyland® Paris Tickets

Disneyland® Paris Tickets

80% of travellers recommend
NZ$91
Per adult
Dinner Cruise on the Seine River
Image for Dinner Cruise on the Seine River

Dinner Cruise on the Seine River

90% of travellers recommend
NZ$140
Per adult
Batobus Pass - Seine River Hop On Hop Off Boat
Image for Batobus Pass - Seine River Hop On Hop Off Boat

Batobus Pass - Seine River Hop On Hop Off Boat

80% of travellers recommend
NZ$31
Per adult
Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Audio Tour
Image for Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Audio Tour

Skip-the-Line Louvre Museum Audio Tour

NZ$70
Per adult
Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

82% of travellers recommend
NZ$62
Per adult
Eiffel Tower Photo Excursion
Image for Eiffel Tower Photo Excursion

Eiffel Tower Photo Excursion

NZ$82
Per adult

Reviews of Paris

4.4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
410
5 - Excellent 54.08970976253298%
4 - Good
293
4 - Good 38.65435356200528%
3 - Okay
43
3 - Okay 5.672823218997362%
2 - Disappointing
10
2 - Disappointing 1.3192612137203166%
1 - Terrible
2
1 - Terrible 0.2638522427440633%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

21 Mar. 2020

Always love the atmosphere of the city. Unfortunately, due to the Virus, everything changed.

4/5 - Good

David

9 Mar. 2020

General level of service and friendliness in restaurants and stores was poor compared to New Zealand. The Alsace Restaurant on the Champs Elysees was so bad it was laughable.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Feb. 2020

Highly recommend and would stay here again.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

9 Feb. 2020

The attractions of Paris are great and as we were in the winter months we did not have to queue for anything. But it is a very busy, crowded and somewhat dirty city. Crowding on the metro like sardines was not fun.

3/5 - Okay

Shelly

8 Feb. 2020

We love all the museums, galleries, but not train, underground station is dirty and smelly. Bus is clean and handy however road traffic is terrible.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

31 Jan. 2020

Watch out for pick pockets and general low life in public places!!

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