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Live the French way in the global capital of culture and cuisine
A fabled destination for cultural connoisseurs, the City of Light is both effortlessly stylish and impossibly romantic. At its heart are graceful boulevards lined with Belle Epoque architecture and bustling street-side brasseries, bars and boulangeries. Mornings are best spent at one of these charming tables, savoring café crème and oven-fresh croissants while the city wakes up around you.
Afterwards, Paris is yours to explore, from the cobbled streets of bohemian Montmartre to the trendy Marais, where independent fashion boutiques and contemporary galleries rub shoulders with gourmet restaurants. Did we mention that the French capital offers more Michelin-starred dining experiences than any other city in the world except Tokyo?
Paris is renowned as a haven for artists, writers and poets, and you’ll find evidence of their ingenuity everywhere. From mesmerizing opera and ballet performances at the grand Palais Garnier to the exceptional statues of the Rodin Museum, set in the serene gardens of the artist’s own home, creativity abounds. The Louvre and Musée d’Orsay house world-famous European masters, while the Centre Pompidou – known for its avant-garde architecture – is a bastion of contemporary art.
Parisian life is all about the promenade. Perhaps your perambulations will take you along the gravel paths of the ornamental Tuileries garden, or along Faubourg St Honoré, the luxury shopping street famous for representing nearly all of the world’s great fashion houses. Nearby Champs-Élysées is another legendary shopping destination connecting two classic Parisian landmarks: Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe.
Of course, the city’s most emblematic structure is the Eiffel Tower. Soaring 300 meters (1,083 feet) above the left bank of the Seine, it is as magnificent from afar as it is up close – though we recommend ascending at least once to the top observation deck for magnificent panoramic views of the capital. The Iron Lady is illuminated come evening, with a five-minute light show transforming the structure every hour on the hour.
One of the best ways to view many top attractions in a few hours is to travel along the Seine on a Bateaux-Mouches cruise. The Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, the partially rebuilt façade of Notre-Dame Cathedral… These are among the architectural icons to look out for amid timeless tableaux of authentic Parisian life.