Quick Guide to Paris
One of the most popular destinations in Europe, Paris holidays take you to one of the world's most beautiful and romantic cities, famed for its many sights, museums, fantastic shopping and culture. With a little planning it's easy to arrange cheap holidays to Paris - especially with plenty of cheap flights as well as the Eurostar to whisk you there. There are plenty of last minute deals to be had too, if you want to whisk someone away on the double.
Paris has so much to see and do (and eat!) that you'll want to visit again and again to fit it all in! There are designer shops aplenty in the Saint-Honore district, department stores galore on the north side of the Tuileries Garden, eclectic and vintage shops in the Marais, big brands on the Champs Elysees, flea markets to seek out, and some of the world's best food around the Place de la Madeleine. Make sure you take some time to just wander, especially if you're on a romantic break in Paris, with the Left Bank the top spot for this.
And the thing about Paris is this - it's timeless. Those cheap holiday deals will be waiting for you in 2018/2019 - the City of Lights is calling!
Fab holidays for:
Sightseeing, Delicious food, Fantastic shopping
Charles de Gaulle and Orly Airport
Did you know?
After Paris fell, the French Resistance cut the elevator cables to the Eiffel Tower to keep Hitler from visiting it. When faced with the prospect of climbing more than 1,500 stairs, he opted out.
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Top 5 Cultural Sights to See in Paris
There are some sights you just can't miss on your Paris city break.
- Eiffel Tower
- The best-known landmark in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is always bustling with tourists and street vendors. The impressive tower can be climbed on foot up to the second level if you're feeling energetic, but there's also an elevator, and the views from the top are marvellous.
- Louvre Museum
- This huge art museum contains enough to occupy your entire trip to Paris so it's a good idea to research what you want to see before you head away from the entrance. The Louvre's highlights include the Mona Lisa (normally viewed from behind a sea of other people), Michelangelo's Venus de Milo, the Egyptian collection and the sumptuous Napoleonic Apartments.
- Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
- This magnificent Gothic cathedral takes pride of place on the Île de la Cité. The stunning architecture captures medieval Paris and transports visitors back in time. Popularised by the novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Notre Dame has been a tourist attraction for centuries. The interior has plenty to offer too, with crypts, beautiful stained glass windows and the chance to follow Quasimodo's footsteps up the bell tower for a birds' eye view of Paris.
- Museé d'Orsay
- Originally a railway station, this grand building houses the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, including major works by artists Monet, Manet, Cezanne and Van Gough. The museum also has a spectacular array of sculptures and furniture, as well as exciting ever-changing temporary exhibits of both classical and modern works. The museum is far less crowded than the more famous Louvre, and it's even possible to grab a few moments alone with your favourite Impressionist paintings if you're prepared to arrive early.
- Sacré-Coeur Cathedral
- Situated at the top of Montmartre, the only hill in Paris, the view from the steps outside the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral is stunning. It's particularly popular at sunset, when street performers and musicians add to the lively atmosphere. Inside the cathedral is dimly lit, brightened by huge golden mosaics in the apse and a copper altar. Legend has it that the crypt holds the sacred heart of Jesus, giving the church its name. There is a lovely peaceful garden of reflection at the rear and an even higher viewpoint from the top of the dome.
How to get to Paris
There are plenty of ways to travel to Paris - and they're cheap too! Flying to Paris is quick and painless - an hour and a half flight if you're going direct. Booking in advance always helps if you're trying to find the cheapest fare - but last-minute deals do exist!
You can also catch a Eurostar from King's Cross St Pancras - if you book around 90 days in advance, you can usually bag a cheap deal. Travelling on Fridays and Sundays tend to make the fares more expensive so opt to book a holiday to Paris on off-peak days.
The ferry is also a cheap option but is usually best for those travelling in large groups.
When to go to Paris
With similar weather to London, Paris enjoys lovely long days in the summer, and chilly days during the winter. However, as so much of your time can be spent inside during your Paris holiday - in the Louvre, Galeries Lafayette, and the thousands of bistros and brasseries sprinkled around the city - it's not always the worst idea to visit in the winter and enjoy the cheaper prices it offers. June until August sees the warmest weather, but also the highest tariffs. Much of the city shuts down during August, when French families take their vacations. Spring can also be expensive - but it's so beautiful, it's almost worth forking out a bit extra! Autumn sees lower prices than summer, but higher than winter, and gorgeous autumnal foliage.
Where to stay in Paris
As Paris has excellent public transport you have great freedom in where you stay. Just be prepared to walk some way to see the city and its sights. Hotels are spread throughout the arrondissements (districts) of Paris, with each district having a distinct flavour of its own. Between them they cover the full range of accommodation from bed and breakfasts to budget hotels and romantic boutique rooms.
The Marais offers a taste of the real Paris, from its boulangeries to its prime position across the river from the Notre Dame. Encompassing the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, it's also the heart of the LGBT community and has an array of independent art galleries to explore. South Pigalle is one of the coolest places to stay - this is where you'll find the hippest hotels, bars and restaurants. If you're seeking textbook, straight-out-of-Amelie Paris, look no further than Montmartre. With its village feel, and icons like Sacre Couer, this hub for artists is a gem in the sprawl of Paris. Saint-Germain-des-Prés is where to go if you want to splash some cash, while foodies will think they've died and gone to heaven in Canal Saint-Martin. Hoping to stay somewhere iconic? Look no further than the Champs-Elysées district.