The City of Lights
Backpacking in Paris
Paris can be an expensive destination, so it’s probably not the best option of you’re on a tight budget. If you are planning a backpacking holiday in Paris, hostels are good options for accommodation. The majority of hostels are located in the city centre but don’t expect the best area. Although Paris is not a favourite destination for backpackers, backpacking in Paris is relatively easy with lots to see and do and great internal travel options.
Camping in Paris
Accommodation in Paris can be extremely expensive, especially during high season, and spending your nights at one of the campsites near Paris is a great way to save money. The French countryside around Paris is a delightful place to camp, and is rarely visited by those on a city break. A stay at a campsite near Paris allows you to strike the perfect balance between the fast pace of the city with the relaxation of a camping holiday, and there are plenty of local attractions to keep you occupied. Finding a nice campsite near Paris might prove a lengthy task, but it might prove worth your while.
City Breaks in Paris
For weekend city breaks Paris is one of the best possible destinations. It's sufficiently different from other European cities to make a trip there seem like a real holiday. Paris is also a very easy city to get around which makes it a good option for a short city or weekend break. If you're used to the London Underground, the Paris Metro will come as a very pleasant surprise, as it's quick, convenient, clean and inexpensive. There's also a good bus system and a commuter train service (the RER). However, if you're not in a hurry to get anywhere, you could join the many tourists who prefer to take in the atmosphere by strolling around.
Corporate Weekend in Paris
Paris is an exciting and elegant option for a corporate weekend. It is strategically located in Europe and is only a short distance from London via the Eurostar, the ferry or by plane. The city provides a wide array of corporate team building activities and these can be booked in advance online.
Culture and Arts in Paris
Paris is abundant with culture and is one of the most popular destinations in Europe for art lovers. It possesses an enormous cultural richness which it owes, not only to its history, but also to its formidable heritage. It is a city for art of every form, and has hundreds of art boutiques, art and antique dealers, art galleries, special art exhibits, the symphony, the ballet, cinema and the theatre (including the cabarets).
You will not be at a loss as far as the arts are concerned, and be sure to plan ahead and make reservations before you leave home. Paris is home to more than 150 museums, from the art giants like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and Centre Pompidou, to the Musée Rodin where you can see the sculptor's work in situ in his garden. A museum pass (Carte Musées et Monuments) gives you access to 70 of these museums and helps to avoid the queues at museum entrances. It costs from €15 for one day to €45 for five days and is available from the tourist office, RER and métro stations, and museums.
Disabled Needs in Paris
On average, Paris rates relatively poorly for accessibility. Disabled access to the major museums is very good but barriers in hotels and public bathrooms are still widespread. While major efforts are underway to improve accessibility in the city, travelers with limited mobility may find the city difficult to get around in. In addition, the following Metro and bus lines are accessible to people with limited mobility or disabilities:
• Metro line 14, RER Line A
• Bus lines 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 30, 31, 38, 39, 43, 53, 60, 62, 63, 80, 81, 88, 91, 92, 94, 95, 96.
Taxis are required by law to accept passengers with wheelchairs.
Family Holiday in Paris
Paris is a superb city for children and adults alike and is a very family friendly city break. It is also a great opportunity to combine sightseeing such as seeing the most famous painting in the world, the Mona Lisa with fantastic structures such as the Eiffel Tower and some fun theme park experiences in Disneyland Paris. Paris is not only a city full of romance for couples and singles but is also full of stimulating activities and fun for all the family.
Parisians are very family friendly and most famous sites can be ticked off without much stress. There are lots of places for free play as well including the gardens, pony rides, puppet shows, boating, swings and carousels in the Luxembourg and Tuileries gardens. There are a wide range of family friendly accommodation options available. Most hotels welcome children even if there are no special facilities. Overall Paris is a great family holiday destination.
Gay and Lesbian in Paris
Paris has a thriving gay scene and is very tolerant of the gay and lesbian community as a whole. The lesbian scene is not as prominent as the gay scene, however there are still a wide range of bars and clubs to choose from, and the scene is developing all the time. The main hub of the bars and clubs are concentrated around the Marais area (3rd and 4th arrondissement), and other venues are dotted around most arrondissements. Overall, Paris is a great option for a gay or lesbian holiday.
Hen Destination in Paris
The capital of France is often considered the most romantic city in Europe and arguably the world. However, Paris is not just a honeymoon destination; hen parties and hen weekends are constantly seen enjoying the wonderful ambience and sophistication of one of the most popular cities in the world. The city comes alive after dark, offering a whole host of night time experiences making it an ideal hen destination. Paris has a variety of fine restaurants to suit all tastes, live music venues, nightclubs and a wonderful selection of pubs and trendy chic bars. It also has some of Europe’s finest designer shopping and of course there is no shortage of sightseeing and exploring to be done. There is a magnitude of hotels to choose from, most of which offer some wonderful pamper and spa experiences, leaving you feeling utterly gorgeous and relaxed before the big day. Taking all of this into consideration plus the fact that Paris is strategically located within Europe and only a short travel distance from London, Paris is definitely a good option for a hen holiday.
Stag Destination in Paris
Paris is a city that is more renowned for being a destination for 'lovers' rather than a destination for stag do’s. However its popularity for both stag and hen celebrations is increasing. The city comes alive after dark, offering a whole host of night time experiences. There are a variety of fine restaurants to suit all tastes, live music venues, nightclubs and a wonderful selection of pubs and trendy bars. It is a city full of life both during the day and evening with such a choice of venues from adult only shows like the Moulin Rouge can-can, to entertainment like circuses, magic shows, nightclubs, water parks and much more that would be ideal for a stag weekend. Obviously there is no shortage of activities to occupy you and your group throughout the day either. Taking all of this into consideration plus the fact that the city is strategically located within Europe and only a short travel distance from London, Paris is definitely a good option for a stag weekend.
Honeymoon in Paris
From the sweeping boulevards of the elegant 5th arrondissement to a moonlight cruise on the Seine, Paris is undeniably the most romantic city in the world. Paris is reputed as the city for lovers par excellence, and for good reason. There seems to be built-in romance everywhere you turn, from poetic parks and gardens to breathtaking panoramas and world-class restaurants. Picnic under the Eiffel tower, discover the abundant treasures of the Louvre or simply sit in a typical Montmartre café and watch the world go by. And if you want to enjoy a bit of nature, beautiful gardens are dotted all around the city, making it an unbelievably romantic setting. Luxembourg Gardens, in particular, is a great spot for couples, and is adjacent to the breathtaking Luxembourg Castle.
Take note however that Paris is one of the world's most expensive cities so it’s probably not a great option for those on a lower budget. If you stay in a hostel or in a showerless, toiletless room in a bottom-end hotel and have picnics rather than dining out, it is possible to stay in Paris for €50 a day per person. If that’s not what you’re looking for on your honeymoon so be prepared to spend at least €100 a day per person if you eat out frequently, order wine and treat yourself to any of the many luxuries on offer.
Naturism in Paris
France is the country for naturism. Topless bathing is normal on all beaches. However if you’re looking to stay in Paris, naturism and nudism is not as common as in the outskirts of the country. There are a few naturist centres near to the city, so it might be worth your while doing finding the closest one to the city so you can explore Paris at your own convenience. Although required in some European countries, since 2001 it is no longer compulsory to possess a permit to partake in the activities or use the facilities (e.g. swimming pools, saunas and gyms) provided by a naturist centre. However, it is best to find out from each centre before a visit whether or not a permit is required. Holiday centres in Paris are essentially open to couples and families, few of them accept single people. It is usual for single people to be asked to show their naturist permit.
Party Holiday - Singles Life in Paris
Paris is a city full of life both during the day and evening with such a choice of venues from adult only shows like the Moulin Rouge can-can, to entertainment like circuses, magic shows, nightclubs, water parks and much more. There are also many clubs which very often will stay open until the mètro re-opens (between 05:00 and 06:00). It is worth mentioning that Paris is a late city in terms of nightlife. Some bars and cafés stay open all night, while others may shut around 22:00. It is worth bearing in mind that prices may increase after 19:00. Some places also charge slightly extra if you sit at a table, rather than stand up. Overall, Paris is a great place for singles, although it a very costly city during the peak season.
Couples Holiday in Paris
In Woody Allen's judgement, "As long as you haven't been kissed during any of those rainy Parisian afternoons, you haven't been kissed at all." Paris one of the most popular destinations in the world for couples holidays. There seems to be built-in romance everywhere you turn, from poetic parks and gardens to breathtaking panoramas and world-class restaurants. Picnic under the Eiffel tower, discover the abundant treasures of the Louvre or simply sit in a typical Montmartre café and watch the world go by. And if you want to enjoy a bit of nature, beautiful gardens are dotted all around the city, making it an unbelievably romantic setting. Luxembourg Gardens, in particular, is a great spot for couples, and is adjacent to the breathtaking Luxembourg Castle. Take note however that Paris is one of the world's most expensive cities so it’s probably not a great option for those on a lower budget. If you stay in a hostel or in a showerless, toiletless room in a bottom-end hotel and have picnics rather than dining out, it is possible to stay in Paris for €50 a day per person. Fair weather and fewer crowds make April, May, June, September and October the most romantic months for travel.
Golf Activity Holiday in Paris
Going on a golf holiday in France has never been easier. With the Eurostar now faster and more popular than ever, Paris is only a comfortable two hour train journey from the centre of London. The French capital has numerous charms, and many golf enthusiasts may be annoyed to trade the attractions of the city for the country while on a golf break in France. Luckily there's no need to, as some of the best golf courses in France are within striking distance of Paris, allowing you to combine a visit to the capital with some rounds of classic golf.
The best golf near Paris is concentrated in three regions: Chantilly, Fontainebleau and Versailles. All three feature beautiful countryside and some outstanding golf courses; though Chantilly has the widest and best range of courses, there's plenty to enjoy in Fontainebleau and Versailles as well. If you’re with your family, Golf Disneyland is open all year round.
Skiing - Snow Boarding in Paris
Paris is definitely not the place if you’re looking to ski or snow board but you do have the option of visiting the French capital and then taking the train from Paris to Bourg St Maurice to ski in some of the major French resorts such as Trois Valleys, La Plagne, Les Arcs or Tignes Val d'Isere.
Hiking Activity Holiday in Paris
Paris is a beautiful city to discover and this is best done on foot. Paris is small enough to make it possible to sample a number of different quartiers just by taking a stroll. In two and a half hours you can walk from St-Germain-des-Pres to Montmartre, so you are never far away from anything. There are some lovely parks in Paris, such as the Jardin des Tuileries with its formal gravelled paths lined with trees, or the Jardins du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Garden). Like most European cities, if you are looking for more of an adventurous walk rather than a sightseeing stroll, it is best to venture to the outskirts of Paris where you can find countryside that is more appropriate for hiking.
Cycling Activity Holiday in Paris
Paris is definitely the city for a cycling holiday. One month after its launch, Paris's Vélib', or "freedom bike" scheme, has turned the city cycling mad. You can simply pick up a bike from one of the ubiquitous stands, ride it along for your short trip and drop it back at any random stand at your destination. For cycling enthusiasts, there isn’t an easier or more active way to explore the cultural, historical and artistic delights of the French capital.
Parisians have access to 314 kilometres of bicycle paths inside Paris and 23 km in the Boulogne and Vincennes woods. In 2000, Paris introduced road closures on Sundays that kept out all but non-motorised traffic from a roughly two-mile stretch either side of the Seine, between Notre Dame on the Right Bank and the Eiffel Tower on the Left, making Paris an even more prime spot for cycling. Cyclists are warned nonetheless to avoid cycling in and around the Place Charles de Gaulle and you need to pay extra attention to the French drivers.
Shopping Holiday in Paris
From designer clothing to antique furniture, books, and fine jewellery, Paris is known the world-over as a place where quality and elegance come first. Shopping in Paris is geared for the most part toward the youth market, but what's especially appealing is that, since this is one of the oldest parts of the city (some of the streets here date back to the eleventh century) there remain a large number of specialty stores and unusual little boutiques. If you’re not on a tight budget, then Paris is definitely a great option for a shopping holiday. If you are, then it’s important to know the secret of shopping cheap in Paris.
From a shopper's perspective, the city is divided in broad sections where stores of the same trade tend to congregate. There is a mosaic of many colors, tastes, and price ranges – around the Saint Sulpice metro station for example, you’ll find many clothing stores offer cheaper garments and accessories. Outside the sales seasons, shoppers looking for bargain-basement prices and irresistible clearances must look elsewhere. The best bargain prices on clothing offered in Paris are generally found at designer depots.
Well-being and Spa in Paris
In January 2009, The Times published a guide with the best destinations in Europe for a spa break recently, which included Paris, Geneva and Malaga. Thai massage, Swedish spa or massage, Turkish massage and many other types of spa and massages are booming in Paris – inside the 4 or 5 stars hotels or independently managed. Spa retreats in Paris are generally quite expensive as with most other things in the French Capital, but you get what you pay for in terms of expertise and luxury.
Touring - Driving holiday in Paris
Paris has spectacular architecture and some of the most famous buildings in Europe. It is also, of course, known as one of the world's fashion capitals. Those planning a trip to the French capital may find it difficult to select a hotel at the right budget and to decide on an itinerary for their stay. With so much to choose from, it can be difficult to know which sights to concentrate your attention on, particularly if this is your first visit to the city.
Touring holidays in Paris offer an alternative means of visiting the city. For those that wish to travel by Eurostar, there's often the option for you to take the train from London and then join the tour once you reach Paris. You can expect your holiday to include accommodation at a Parisian hotel in a central location. Tour operators have often been operated these types of holidays for a number of years, allowing them to gain good experience in the relative quality of the local hotels. One of the most important advantages of a touring holiday is that you will have access to a tour guide. Having a guide who has a good working knowledge of the city can be a real bonus, allowing you to find out more about Paris than would usually be the case. For those that choose not to take part in the optional excursions , there is then the opportunity to explore Paris at your own pace. A touring holiday is definitely an excellent way of seeing the finest sights of Paris for those who prefer to have a planned itinerary in advance.
Wine Tasting Holiday in Paris
Paris is famous for much more than its monuments and museums like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The area is also known for producing some of the best wines in the entire world. There are a great deal of wine bars in the Paris area which have scheduled wine tasting events. These establishments open early and stay open for the majority of the day and not only will you be able to drink there but you will be able to eat as well. The experience of tasting wine in Paris is one not to be missed, if you have a chance to go to Europe make sure that you make time in your schedule to spend a couple of days in Paris to take advantage of the great wines available there. You can also visit some of the shops and bring home some of the wines that you will not find anywhere else.