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Paris Attractions & Ile-de-France
There is an endless amount of things to do for your Paris vacations. Paris is one of the most beautiful and great cities of the world which conjures visions of sophistication, drama and romance.
Every year, millions of visitors experience its magic as Paris has both grandeur and coziness.
Although the city is massive, it is easy to get around the compact city center and all areas of Paris either on foot or with the highly efficient Paris Metro public transportation system.
While the public transportation system is excellent, Paris is the perfect city to explore on foot, walk up and down narrow cobblestone passages and wide boulevards, meander through the streets and discover unexpected pleasures on your Paris Vacations.
Take a Paris map with you and you won’t get lost.
You need time, patience and good pair of walking shoes or sandals to discover the many secluded walkways and treasures on your Paris vacations.
If you wander far from your hotel, you can easily take the Paris Metro back.
Paris Map and Its Districts
Paris is divided into 20 districts called Arrondissements, and these numbers also form the postal codes for the city. You will see them on addresses, and they’re reasonably well marked on your Paris map.
Understanding the layout of the city will help you find your way around more easily and make your walks on your Paris vacations around the city more enjoyable.
You may also notice that many Paris locations are described as being either on the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) or the Rive Droite (Right Bank). This refers to the areas on each side of the Seine River.
The left bank is south of the Seine River (bottom half of the Paris map), and the right bank is north of the river (top half).
I have arranged this travel guide by featuring the Paris arrondissements and have listed the most famous and popular places to visit in each district for your Paris vacations.
Information for Your Paris Vacations
Paris is imbued with history, culture, fashion, well-tended gardens, and cafes perfect for people watching on your Paris vacations. The city boasts more than 80 museums and at least 200 art galleries.
On their first Paris vacations, new visitors are eager to visit the all the best know sights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Pompidou Centre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Elysées and Montmartre but some of the most memorable sights can be found off the well-worn tourist path.
There are so many extraordinary places in Paris and by exploring the city you will discover what you love the most.
Paris Vacations, Romantic Restaurants, Bistrots and Bakeries
Apart from its sheer physical beauty, the choice of restaurants and bistros in Paris, cultural events, shops and boutiques, and entertainment, there are so many unique Paris attractions, that any trip to the city of light is guaranteed to be an exhilarating and stimulating experience.
Wander around anywhere in Paris and if you need to grab a bite to eat,you will easily find wonderful boulangeries, grocery stores, romantic restaurants and charming bistrots.
There is an incredible variety of culinary delights you can experience on your Paris vacations. Select fresh bread, pastries, fruits and vegetables, gourmet cheeses, meats and wine at the open-air markets, or enjoy a mouth-watering crepe freshly prepared in front of you at a crepe stand.
Delectable, delicious pastries are artistically showcased in grand window displays of Parisian bakeries.
The Paris Museum Pass for your Paris Vacations
The Paris Museum Pass is a pass you purchase at a small flat fee which provides free admission to about 60 national Paris attractions, museums and art galleries in the Paris area and allows you to cut through the line ups.
The City of Light is full of great views – and many of them are free!
Take a walk along the River Seine. The views are spectacular.
As you walk along make sure to look down the walkways bordering the water and you will see lovers kissing beneath the trees, fishermen patiently holding a fishing line in the water, students deeply engrossed in their books, joggers jogging and families strolling with their children.
Great Views to Explore During Your Paris Vacations are:
- At the top of the Eiffel Tower
- On the steps and terraces of Sacre-Coeur Basilica and Montmartre
- The Georges Restaurant on the roof of Beaubourg (Centre Georges Pompidou)
- The roof of the Institute of the Arab World
- From the North Tower of Notre Dame
- On the rooftop bar of Galeries Lafayette or Printemps department stores
- What many don’t know is that visitors can go to the top of Paris’ tallest skyscraper, Tour Montparnasse, and see the highest views overlooking all of Paris.
Top Picks of Paris Attractions
- Arc de Triomphe
- Avenue des Champs-Élysées
- Centre Georges Pompidou
- Eiffel Tower
- Galaries Lafayette
- Jardin de Luxembourg
- Louvre Museum
- Musée d’Orsay
- Notre Dame
- Opéra Garnier (Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra de Paris)
- Place de la Concorde
- Seine River Cruise
- Pont de l’Alma (Princess Diana’s memorial)
For more Top Picks visit the list of arrondissements provided above.
Seine River Cruise – A Must Do of Paris Vacations
The Seine River cruise is one of the most popular of Paris attractions which gives you an opportunity to see magnificent architecture, romantic walkways and breath-taking city views.
You have a choice of simply daytime sightseeing excursions or elegant dinner cruises. In addition to the Seine River cruise, you can also explore the Paris locks in the Saint Martin Canal. If you don’t have time for a cruise on St. Martin Canal, this is a great district for a leisure walk or a picnic.
Paris Architecture – One of the Best Paris Attractions
For lovers of architecture, check out my page of Paris architecture to see a small but interesting collection of unique architectural photos from my visits to Paris.