Paris Hotels , Flights and Travel Packages

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Paris Travel Guide : Paris Tours & Travel Services : Hotels Best Deals & Discounts : Low Cost Flights : Affordable Travel & Holidays Packages

Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, is - with 2.2 million people living in the dense (105 km²) central city and almost 12 million people living in the whole metropolitan area - one of the largest agglomerations in Europe. Located in the north of the country on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities, brimming with historic associations and remaining vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. Dubbed the City of Light (la Ville Lumière) and Capital of Fashion, it is home to the world's finest and most luxorious fashion designers and cosmetics, such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Guerlain, Lancôme, L'Oréal, Clarins, etc. A large part of the city, including the River Seine, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has the second highest number of Michelin-restaurants in the world (after Tokyo) and contain numerous iconic landmarks, such as the world's most visited tourist sight the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Moulin Rouge, Lido etc, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world with over 45 million tourists annually.

One of the best value and most convenient ways to see the sights of Paris is with the Paris Museum Pass (previously known as Carte Musées et Monuments) , a pre-paid entry card that allows entry into over 70 museums and monuments around Paris and comes in 2-day (€32), 4-day (€48) and 6-day (€64) denominations (prices as of Jun 2011). Note these are consecutive days. The card allows you to jump otherwise sometimes lengthy queues and is available from participating museums, tourist offices, Fnac branches and all the main Métro and RER train stations. You will still need to pay to enter most special exhibitions. For best results and to avoid having to wait in the first long queue to purchase the Museum Pass, stop to purchase your pass at one of the smaller museums or sites covered, or at one of the non-museum purchase points.The day you purchase the pass does not have to count as one of the days; you specify on the pass the first date of use, and the days covered are consecutive after that.  Do not write your start date until you are certain you will use the pass that day. Be careful to use the European date style as indicated on the card (day/month/year).

Note that most museums and galleries are closed on either Monday or Tuesday - check ahead to avoid disappointment! - and most ticket counters close 30-45 min before final closing. Louvre museum is closed on Tuesdays while Orsay museum is closed on Mondays, good to know when setting visit plans. Also consider the ParisPass also a pre paid entry card + queue jumping to 60 attractions including The Louvre, The Arc de Triomphe, as well as a river cruise and allows free metro & public transport travel. Also note a cheaper alternative with this new combined pass available since September 2008 is the Paris ComboPass, which comes in Lite/Premium versions.

All national museums are open free of charge on the first Sunday of the month; note, however, that this may mean long lines and crowded exhibits. Keep away from Paris during Easter week. It's really crowded. People have to queue up at the Eiffel tower for several hours. Entry to the permanent exhibitions at city-run museums is free at all times (admission is charged for temporary exhibitions). These listings are just some highlights of things that you really should see if you can during your visit to Paris. The complete listings are found on each individual district page (follow the link in parenthesis).

Landmarks :
Arc de Triomphe — The Arc de Triomphe still exudes a certain grandeur despite the crowds of tourists and the tacky souvenir shops.
Arènes de Lutece — Built during the 1st and 2nd centuries, this amphitheater could seat up to 17,000 people, hosting gladiator fights as well as less bloody entertainment.
Assemblée Nationale — Seats the French Parliament, and was designed by Giardini and Gabriel in 1728.
Catacombs — Used to store the exhumed bones from the overflowing Paris cemetery.
Chateau de Versailles (Versailles)— France's most exquisite chateau, on the outskirts of the city. Was once the home to Louis XIV.
The Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)— No other monument that better symbolizes Paris.
Grand Arche de la Défense (La Défense)— A modern office-building variant of the Arc de Triomphe. Has a viewing platform.
Notre Dame Cathedral — Impressive Gothic cathedral that was the inspiration for Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Opera Garnier — Masterpiece of theatre architecture of the 19th century built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 housing the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV.
Pantheon — Underneath, the final resting place for the great heroes of the French Republic including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Currie; above, a marvellous view of the city.
Père-Lachaise Cemetery — See the grave of Jim Morrison amongst many others.

Sacré Coeur — A church perched on top of the highest point in Paris. Behind the church is the artists' area, in front are spectacular views of the whole city.
Sainte Chapelle — Far more beautiful than the famous, but gloomy, Notre Dame.

Museums and galleries
Le Musée de l'AP-HP — Paris's medical history.

Le Musee des Arts Decoratifs— Showcasing eight centuries of French savoir faire.
Carnavalet — Museum of Paris history; exhibitions are permanent and free.
Centre Georges Pompidou — The great museum of modern art, the building an attraction in itself.
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie - La Villette— Science museum for adults and children.
Cluny — Paris's medieval museum, housed in a part Roman, part medieval building.

Delacroix— National museum housed in the home of painter Eugene Delacroix.
Mémorial de la Shoah — Paris's Holocaust Memorial Museum, in the heart of the Marais on rue Geoffroy l'Asnier. Free Entry, weekly guided tours. Second Sunday of the month there is a free tour in English.
Jacquemart-Andre Museum — Private collection of French, Italian, Dutch masterpieces in a typical XIXth century mansion.
Picasso Museum — Contains the master's own collections. Visitor should note this museum will be closed until 2012 due to renovations of the building.
Les Invalides — Museum of arms and armor from the Middle Ages to today. Also contains the tombs of Napoleon Bonaparte and other French military figures.
The Louvre — One of the finest museums in the world of art, art-history, and culture. Home of the Mona Lisa.

Musée de l'Orangerie — [Jardin des Tuileries] Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings by Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Chaim Soutine, Alfred Sisley.
Musée d'Orsay — Home to the great artists of the 19th century (1848-1914). Incredible collection of Impressionist art housed in an old railway station. Every room you go into seems to have another incredibly popular painting. Degas'ballerinas, Monet's waterlillies, etc.
Musée Marmottan-Monet [rue Louis Boilly]— Collection of works by Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. "Impression Soleil Levant" by Monet is on display in this museum.
Musée National de la Marine — From times of exploration to modern day vessels. Interesting but primarily in French.
Rodin Museum — His personal collection and archives, in a charming hotel and sprawling garden.
Musée en Herbe — An art museum just for kids with hands-on exhibitions and workshops.

Meet locals : If your idea of travel includes making friends with locals, Paris offers a range of ways you can do this, all without spending a fortune. Discover Walks show small groups around main landmarks (Notre-Dame, Latin Quarter etc.) in the company of a native Parisian. Tours are free, and tips and donations appreciated. Paris Greeters are resident volunteers who take small groups around their neighbourhoods (usually resident, off the beaten path, districts). Tours are free, donations are appreciated.

Events : It seems like there's almost always something happening in Paris, with the possible exceptions of the school holidays in August and February, when about half of Parisians are to be found not in Paris, but in the Alps or the South of France respectively. The busiest season is probably the fall, from a week or so after la rentrée scolaire or "back to school" to around Noël (Christmas) theatres, cinemas and concert halls book their fullest schedule of the year. Even so, there are a couple of annual events in the winter, starting with a furniture and interior decorating trade fair called Maison & Object in January.

In February le nouvel an chinois (Chinese New Year) is celebrated in Paris as it is in every city with a significant Chinese population. There are parades in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements and especially in Chinatown in the 13th south of Place d'Italie. Also in February is the Six Nations Rugby Tournament  which brings together France, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy. The first of two Fashion weeks occurs in March: Spring Fashion Week, giving designers a platform to present women’s prêt-à-porter (ready to wear) collections for the following winter.

The French Tennis Open  in which the world’s top players battle it out on a clay court runs during two weeks starting on the last Sunday in May. By the time its done in June, a whole range of festivities start up. Rendez-vous au Jardin is an open house for many Parisian gardens, giving you a chance to meet real Parisian gardeners and see their creations. The Fête de la Musique celebrates the summer solstice (21st June) with this city-wide free musical knees-up. The French national holiday Bastille Day on the 14th of July celebrates the storming of the infamous Bastille during the French Revolution. Paris hosts several spectacular events that day of which the best known is the Bastille Parade which is held on the Champs-Élysées at 10AM and broadcast to pretty much the rest of Europe by television. The entire street will be crowded with spectators so arrive early. The Bastille Day Fireworks is an exceptional treat for travelers lucky enough to be in town on Bastille Day. The Office du Tourisme et des Congress de Paris recommends gathering in or around the champs du Mars, the gardens of the Eiffel Tower.

Also in July, Cinema en Plein Air is the annual outdoor cinema event that takes place at the Parc de la Villette, in the 9th on Europe’s largest inflatable screen. For most of the months of July and August, parts of both banks of the Seine are converted from expressway into an artificial beach for Paris Plage . Also in July the cycling race le Tour de France both starts and ends in Paris. Its route varies annually, however it always finishes on the last Sunday of July under the Arc de Triomphe. On the last full weekend in August, a world-class music festival Rock en Seine draws international rock and pop stars to barges on the Seine near moored off of the 8th.

During mid-September DJs and (usually young) fans from across Europe converge on Paris for five or six days of dancing etc. culminating in the Techno parade - a parade whose route traces roughly from Pl. de Bastille to the Sorbonne, and around the same time the festival Jazz à la Villette brings some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz from around the world. The Nuit Blanche transforms most of central Paris into a moonlit theme-park for an artsy all-nighter on the first Saturday of October, and Fashion Week returns shortly thereafter showing off Women’s Prêt-à-Porter collections for the following summer; as we've noted winter collections are presented in March.

The third Thursday in November marks the release of Le Beaujolais Nouveau and the beginning of the Christmas season. This evening, the Christmas lights are lit in a ceremony on the Champs-Élysées, often in the presence of hundreds (if not thousands) of people and many dignitaries, including the president of France.

Photography : Paris is considered by many as the birthplace of photography, and while one may debate the correctness of this claim, there is no debate that Paris is today a photographer's dream. The French capital offers a spectacular array of photographic opportunities to the beginner and the pro alike. It has photogenic monuments (e.g., Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, the obelisk at Concorde, and countless others); architecture (the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Museum of the Arab World, to name just a few) and urban street scenes (e.g., in the Marais, Montmartre and Belleville).

Movies : The Cinémas of Paris are (or at least should be) the envy of the movie-going world. Of course, like anywhere else you can see big budget first-run films from France and elsewhere. That though, is just the start. During any given week there are at least half-a-dozen film festivals going on, at which you can see the entire works of a given actor or director. Meanwhile there are some older cult films like say, What's new Pussycat or Casino Royal which you can enjoy pretty much any day you wish. There are any number of ways to find out what's playing, but the most commonly used guide is Pariscope, which you can find at newstands for €0.40. Meanwhile there are innumerable online guides which have information on "every" cinema in Paris. Be aware that most of the movies shown in France are dubbed to French. Some shows may have French subtitles. However, most of the movies shown in Paris are shown in original version with French subtitles.

With children : Cite des enfants in the 19th, a museum for kids within the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie, is interactive, fun, and educational. There are two separate sections for the 3-5 set and the 5-12 set. The tots section has simple exhibits designed to be pushed, prodded, and poked. The section for older kids is more sophisticated with scientific experiments and tv studios. Jardin du Luxembourg in the 6th. It would be counted as a travesty not to take your under 10 year old to the Jardin du Luxembourg, long a favorite with Parisien children. With its world famous merry-go-round, a pond for sail boats, a puppet theater, pony rides, chess players, children's playground, it has something for every kid (with comfortable chairs for weary parents thrown in!). The marionettes du luxembourg, the puppet theater, stages classic French puppet shows in French but should be easy to understand. There are numerous places for a snack. Parc Zoologique in the 12th. Like all things in France, this zoo is different because of a 236 foot artificial mountain bang in its center. Take elevators to the top and enjoy the view or watch the mountain goats do their stuff on the sides. Lions, tigers, and everything designed to delight kids can be found in the zoo if the mountaind doesn't do it for your kids. The Jardin d'Acclimatation in the 16th has a number of rides, including pint-sized roller coasters suitable for children as young as three years, as well as a mini-zoo and the estimable Musée en Herbe.

Paris Flights & Airports : Paris is served by three international airports :
Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG
Orly International Airport (ORYBeauvais  - Aéroport de Paris Beauvais Tillé -  (BVA)  . In addition to public transport, Air France operates shuttles between Charles de Gaulle and Paris , Orly and Paris and between the two airports .

Summit Tours offers travellers intrested in Paris plenty of travel options and Travel Services Including Holidays Packages , wide range of Best Hotels offers and discounts , Return Flights to and from : Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) , Orly International Airport (ORYBeauvais  - Aéroport de Paris Beauvais Tillé -  (BVA) . Our Holidays Pakages Include Paris Culture & Classic Tours - Paris Christmas & New Year Tours - Paris Easter Tours - Paris City Tours -  Paris Holidays Packages .

 


 
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