Gay Paris; the City of Love; the City of Eternal Light. No matter what you call it, Paris is a city unlike no other in this world. For some it is the most romantic city, for others it is a beacon for cultural activities. No matter who you are one thing is for sure – Paris is a city that demands you fall in love with her. Today, Paris is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The city has everything for a traveler. Paris is visited by 20 million tourists a year. It is also the world capital of exhibitions and conferences (5% of global congress), as well as the world capital of fashion and luxury. There are 150 museums, sites and monuments among the world's most celebrated: the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre, Notre Dame, the Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe, the Grand Palais, the Conciergerie, the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the Ile Saint-Louis, Ile de la Cité, the Place Vendome, the Nation, the Republic, the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. This Paris travel guide is dedicated to providing tourism and travel information with travel tips and vacation ideas for the city.
For centuries Paris has been a centre of culture and art. Artists of all genres flocked to the city looking for inspiration and fame. Some had found it, others had to bask in the beauty of the more successful. Paris has been the subject of many famous paintings, scenes of wondrous landscapes that have continued to be a source of inspiration even today.
Paris has some familiar landscapes known throughout the world. The Eiffel Tower is perhaps the one that stands out for most. Known to the Parisians as the ‘metal asparagus’, it was constructed in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for the World Fair. It has become a beacon for Parisian tourism but few realize that it was almost torn down in 1909. Today, visitors flock to it in their thousands to have their breaths taken away by the outstanding views of the city at the very top.
The Louvre is one of the most famous in the world. It was first built in 13th century and later used as a home for the French royalty in the 16th. In the 18th it was transformed into a museum to which it remains today. It specializes in arts from the Middle Ages up to the mid 19th century from all over Europe. Collections include Etruscan, Greek, Coptic and Islamic and some of the most famous artefacts include the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
In the heart of the city you will find the Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris, also known as the Notre Dame. The cathedral was constructed in the 12th century on the site of a former temple to the Persian god Mithras whose religion was brought over to Europe by the Romans. This magnificent Gothic cathedral commands that you pay it respect as soon as you set eyes upon it.
Another great attraction to visit is the Arc de Triomphe. It stands in the middle of the world's largest roundabout, designed to mark the victory of Napoleon in 1806 but it wasn't actually completely until 1836. In 1920 the body of an unknown soldier was buried underneath the arch and a commemorative flame is lit each night every night to honour the brave men who lost their lives in World War One.
Paris is a city that has many great places to see and things to do. But one thing each visitor should do is to sample what the city has to offer in the way of food. Restaurants and cafes can be found on every street, from chic little patisseries to romantic historic restaurants to stylish eateries with huge ceilings and equally huge prices. This is French cuisine at its very best and should not be missed out upon.
The hotels in Paris can be just like her restaurants; there is something for everyone depending on what you want to spend. Accommodation ranges from quaint little guesthouses to the striking and magnificent hotels that are steeped in history and luxury. Budget travelers can enjoy and experience the city's charm.
There are many tours designed to see the very best she has to offer for those who only have a short time here. It is a chance for visitors to tour history itself and revel in the artistic and cultural beauty that makes Paris so very special.