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Paris

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Few cities can match the kind of iconic status that Paris boasts in the imagination of travellers the world over. In fashion, gastronomy, the arts, she is queen. As you visit the different 'quartiers' of the City of Lights her moods shift from gritty to sophisticated, Haute Couture to punk. Paris is a true metropolis and there is always something new to discover beyond the legendary sights and museums we all know so well. This fabled city has a way of getting under your skin and feeling instantly familiar to all who wander her hypnotic streets and linger at her inviting cafes.
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Do and see
There is never enough time to take in everything that Paris has to offer. Visiting the sights and museums is immersive and awe-inspiring and could easily keep you occupied for months. But visitors are best rewarded by simply venturing out into the night. Like most truly great cities, Paris is best experienced after dark and without a fixed route in mind, when the explorer is free to stumble upon an unexpected sight or an undiscovered hole-in-the-wall, drawn in by an alluring scent or some sort of innate feeling. One thing is for sure, you will never run out of things to see, do and experience in Paris.
La Tour Eiffel
This iron tower is the very symbol of Paris itself, and it attracts nearly seven million visitors each year. The tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Exposition to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. Fun facts about the Eiffel tower: Height: 324 meters. Weight: 10,100 tons. Materials: 12,000 iron beams and 2.5 million rivets. Steps: 1,665 steps to the top.
Musée du Louvre
The Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world, famous for its many masterpieces: the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, art by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and many more. The main entrance is covered by the 21-meter-high glass Pyramide de Louvre. The French government has collected the 35,000 paintings, sculptures and artefacts that inhabit its endless halls over the past five centuries, and the collection boasts Assyrian, Etruscan, Greek, Coptic and Islamic art, as well as antiquities dating from prehistory to the 19th century.
Basilique du Sacré-Cœur
The Sacré-Cœur Roman Catholic basilica sits atop the Montmartre hill, the highest point of the city, offering an wonderful panoramic view of Paris as it extends southward. The church was inaugurated in 1914 and is named after, and dedicated to, the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It contains more than 500 statues and its iconic status makes it a regular sight on film.
Seine River
This one hour cruise will take you right through the heart of the Paris. Sip on a glass of champagne or nibble on a French crêpe, and savor the experience. Hop on board this Seine River cruise and enjoy the capital of France from the deck of a boat. Departing from the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the cruise passes through the historical center of Paris, and offers spectacular views of the city's most iconic monuments - the Louvre, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Musée d’Orsay, among others. With an audio guide in a range of languages (French, English, and Spanish), you'll get the inside scoop on the world's most romantic city. Share this intimate experience with your family, lover, or friends, and create some magical memories on this hour-long boat cruise. Whether you go by day or night, the panoramic views from the water are breathtaking. At night the banks of the Seine are lit up by the lights of the boat, so you never miss a thing! Leisurely floating along the Seine River, seeing the great sites drift by, while you sip Champagne, this is the way to see the highlights of Paris.
Tour Montparnasse
Go straight to the elevator with this unique Skip The Line ticket to see the amazing views of Paris on 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower. Skip the ticket counters and start your visit to the Montparnasse Tower by directly taking Europe's fastest elevator all the way to the 56th floor observatory in just 38 seconds. Be stunned by the spectacular 360 degrees views and discover every bit of Paris with the viewpoint indicators, films, interactive activities and an exhibition that will help you in understanding the beautiful capital of France. Continue your visit by stepping outside onto the outdoor observatory of the 59th floor, which is 210 meters above the hustle and bustle of the capital. There you will enjoy breathtaking views of the Parisian districts and monuments. At the panoramic bar you can also enjoy a gourmet break as you take in the view across the capital. Tip: Go to the Montparnasse in the evening and appreciate the city of light by night.
Grevin Wax Museum
Hundreds of wax figures in unexpected tableaux, magic shows in its matchbox theater and baroque architecture, this is right out of a whimsical French film. Before Madame Tussauds moved to London to create her famous museum, she inspired journalist Arthur Meyer to create something similar in the French capital. With the help of noted caricaturist Alfred Grévin, this museum came to life (almost literally). With more than 450 lifelike wax sculptors arranged into dynamic (and sometimes morbid) tableaux, and its listed 1900s decor (marble staircase, cupola, and baroque-style Hall of Columns), this is a throwback to the Paris of your imagination. Since its opening in 1882 this Parisian attraction has been drawing homegrown crowds - it's estimated that more than 70% of the visitors are French. The scenes are by turns historically informative, and incredibly whimsical. Tableaux from the glory days of French history, including the coronation of Charles VII (with Joan of Arc in attendance), Sun King Louis XIV living it up at a party at Versailles, and Napoleon Bonaparte, in his post-Waterloo days. On top of the many figures and surprising tableaux, the recently renovated Hall of Mirrors is noteworthy for its optical illusions and dazzling light and sound effects.
Theatre des Nouveautes
Think Parisians are rude, short-tempered, impatient or arrogant? Well, you’re right — at least according to celebrated French comedian Olivier Giraud. This hilarious comedy reveals the legendary stereotypes of Parisians in a 1-hour show performed in English. Learn how to dress, act, think, walk and talk like a typical Parisian through Giraud's spot-on impressions that will have you laughing out loud. Appreciated by tourists, expats and locals alike! Head to the Théâtre des Nouveautés near Paris’ Grands Boulevards metro station for your evening comedy show. Take your seat in the section of your choice and enjoy the 1-hour show in English. While the city of Paris is known for its charm, romance and elegance, Parisians are known for something quite different. Giraud nails the stereotypes of Parisians through hilarious impersonations and impressions of shop assistants, waiters, bartenders...even your average old lady walking down the street. You'll get a comical insider’s look at the local attitudes, gestures and actions of typical Parisians that foreigners, expats and even Parisians themselves confess are spot-on. Giraud will teach you how to become Parisian in every way: in a shop, restaurant, taxi, metro and more. You’ll even learn how to dress and interact with others, how to recognize Parisian facial expressions and how to use iconic French phrases correctly. Audience participation encouraged!
Paradis Latin
Gustave Eiffel transformed this formerly anonymous theater into the most famous cabaret location in Paris. A vivacious evening of entertainment, where the cancan is king. While Eiffel and his team were constructing the celebrated Eiffel Tower, he was also restoring this heritage site. Not quite as famous as his tower, this cabaret show is just as much a real Paris experience. Choose the dîner-spectacle option and enjoy a meal during the show, or opt for the revue-champagne and enjoy a little bubbly at the bar! Situated just a short walk from the Notre-Dame you'll find this classic Parisian cabaret - the oldest in the world. A true trendsetter, the Paradis Latin continues to exert influence on fashion shows and circuses. The show is an explosion of dance (including the can-can), singing, acrobats, and magic, the show is imbued with French joie de vivre - and even a certain je ne sais quoi. With a joyful atmosphere, delicious food, and a sparkling revue, this event embodies the spirit of Paris. Turn an evening in Paris into a Parisian night to remember!
Information
Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport
Paris is served by two major airports. Most international flights arrive at Roissy Charles de Gaulle (CDG), 30 kilometres from the city centre. Orly is 18 kilometres from the city centre. A third airport, Paris Beauvais, is mainly served by low cost airlines. Roissybus offers a direct bus from the airport terminals every 15 minutes and arrives at the city centre (Opéra) after a 45-60 minute journey (€9.10 for adults). One of the cheapest and fastest options (30 minutes, €8.50 for adults) is the underground RER B to Gare du Nord running every 10-15 minutes, from where you can connect to Paris’ metro network. Air France buses go to Porte Maillot and Etoile every 15 minutes, and taxis can be found near the terminals’ baggage collection area exits. A taxi from the airport to the city centre takes around 30-40 minutes and should cost €45-50.
Paris Orly Airport
Paris Orly Airport is located 18 kilometres from the city centre. From Orly, the automatic metro Orlyval takes you to RER B Antony station from 6am to 11pm. The fare is €11.65 and the journey takes about half an hour. The other cheaper option (€6.20) are the airport shuttle buses going to RER C Pont de Rungis station. As for buses, the Orly bus takes you straight to Opéra station. The bus costs €7.50 and takes 20 to 30 minutes.
Paris Beauvais Airport
Paris Beauvais, is mainly served by low cost airlines. A shuttle service is organized between the terminals and Paris-Porte Maillot. The ticket costs €17 one way and the journey takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Public Transport
The city’s local transport system is cheap and efficient. The bus, underground (metro) and commuter train system (RER) is divided into five zones. Tickets are valid on both buses and trains, and can be purchased from the stations and in kiosks. Travel cards, ranging from one to five days, are also available at the airport, at underground stations and from tourist information offices. The travel passes range from one day tickets for €10.85 to 5 day tickets for €34.70. A single ticket costs €1.70.
Batobus
Batobus is a boat service through the heart of Paris, with stops at eight key locations along the river Seine. It functions as a hop-on-hop-off service, and tickets are sold for one day (€16 adult), two days (€19) or one year (€60).
Taxi
Taxis can be hailed at stands or on the street, but they can be hard to find, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings. Beware of fake cabs at the airports. The starting price is €2.90, plus €1.28 per kilometer. Taxis Bleus +33 1 49 36 10 10 www.taxis-bleus.com Alpha Taxis +33 1 45 85 85 85 www.alphataxis.com
Post
Stamps are available from kiosks and news agents. For mail overseas, it is advisable to visit a post office. The central post and sorting office of the Louvre is open 24 hours a day. Main Post Office:
Pharmacy
Pharmacies are either open late or around the clock. Pharmacie Les Champs Elysées:
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