Holidays in
Paris

A city full of surprise and romance

Style, romance, history, culture and great cuisine – is there anything Paris doesn’t do brilliantly? Paris holidays are the holy grail of getaways for couples, while shoppers, culture vultures and families on their way to Disneyland also throng its famous boulevards. Its excellent transport options mean that getting around the big-hitting Paris attractions like the Arc de Triomphe, Moulin Rouge, Sacré Coeur, Louvre and the Eiffel Tower is a straightforward experience – but there’s also so much more to this beautiful place than its best-known monuments. Paris is a city that rewards the ‘flâneur’ – the idle stroller who takes things as they come.

Travelling at walking pace (or perhaps on one of the city’s rentable ‘Vélib’ bikes), holidays to Paris can meander from the medieval hodgepodge of Le Marais – once the Jewish quarter and home to superb cafés and quirky second-hand boutiques – to the bookstall-lined banks of the Seine, around atmospheric cemeteries where celebrities have been laid to rest and through glittering 19th-century, glass-roofed shopping arcades. There are cool ‘arrondissements’ (districts) waiting to be discovered, canal-side picnic spots, an infinite wealth of astonishing art to see at the city’s acclaimed museums and fine French food at top-notch restaurants – all of which tempt travellers back to Paris again and again.

Three tips for a top trip

Take the MétroGetting around on Paris’s Métro system and navigating its interchanges is much easier if you know which colour line you’re looking for, so plan where you want to get to ahead of time.
Head for the marketsFor unparalleled atmosphere and affordable shopping, Paris’s markets are a delight. Most neighbourhoods have their own, while the big-name flea and food markets are a must-do.
Revel in the parksIf sightseeing takes its toll, pause in one of Paris’s many public parks, such as the pretty Buttes-Chaumont or the lake-filled Bois du Boulogne – they are real oases of calm.

Best attractions to see in Paris

Parc de la Villette

If the kids need to let off some steam, the wide canal-side walkways and wacky sculptures of the Parc de La Villette will ensure fun days and quiet nights.

La Grande Mosquée

Taking mint tea while listening to twittering birds in the garden of Paris’s huge mosque is a refreshing way to discover another slice of the city’s history.

Shakespeare & Company

Charming, tiny Shakespeare & Company, a renowned English-language bookshop beloved by many literary greats, including Ernest Hemingway and Samuel Beckett, is well worth a visit.

Your Paris questions, answered

If you want to take home something authentically Parisian, you can’t go wrong with a box of rainbow-hued ‘macarons’ – the famously sweet cakes are both pretty and delicious.

The city is warmest in August. The rest of the year the weather can be changeable, so come prepared for showers and wrap up warm in winter.

It certainly can be if you’re going for the top restaurants and designer boutiques, but inexpensive local cafés and affordable transport make a budget break very achievable.