Paris - France

The name Paris summons images of romance, style and elegance. Famed for its cafe culture, galleries and iconic architecture, the French capital is, along with London and Rome, one of Europe’s true “must see” cities.

Chic Parisians take style seriously and the city is one of the great fashion capitals of the world. Modern Haute Couture originated in 1860s Paris and the tradition has been carried on in the years since by such great names as top designers and fashion houses have been French, including Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Lanvin, Chloé, Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Guy Laroche, Yves Saint Laurent and current shoe designer to the stars Christian Louboutin (whose signature red soles are seen on all the right red carpets).

If you choose to visit Paris, you won’t be alone! Paris is among the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and welcomes 45 million visitors every year, over 24 million of whom are from overseas.


Theatre and Opera

Theatre has long been a core part of sophisticated Parisian culture; a tradition that carries on to today. The Théâtre Mogador, Bobino and Théâtre de la Gaîté-Montparnasse are among the great destinations for lovers of theatre. Be sure to check for listings and tickets in advance as performances regularly sell out.

Some of France's musical legends, such as Édith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens, and Charles Aznavour first came to the public’s attention through performing in Parisian concert halls such as Le Lido, le Splendid, l'Olympia, la Cigale, and Bobino (again).

Paris' most renowned opera houses are the nineteenth-century Opéra Garnier and more modern Opéra Bastille. Programs at Opéra Garnier lean more towards classic ballets and opera, while the Opéra Bastille mixes classic and modern.


French food is internationally famous and with good reason. From the humble farmhouses of the south to the finest Parisian dining rooms, French food is a cut above almost anywhere else.
Paris' culinary reputation is often traced back to the diversity of the city’s inhabitants in the nineteenth century. The French railway system was laid out in such a way that Paris was the hub where inhabitants of all parts of France met, bringing with them the gastronomical traditions of their own regions and creating something unique. This has only become truer in the twentieth and twenty first centuries as emigrants from France’s former colonies bring with them their own styles and flavours.

Paris Hotels developed at the same time as the restaurants and particularly during the preparation for the Expositions Universelles (World's Fairs). Probably the most luxurious of the new Parisian hotels, the Hôtel Ritz, was developed on Place Vendôme from 1898.



Paris's most famous art museum, the Louvre, welcomes over 8 million visitors each year and hosts a huge selection of works of art, including the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo statue.

The Centre Georges Pompidou houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne, while Musée Picasso and Musée Rodin are home to works by Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin respectively. Meanwhile Art and artefacts from the Impressionist era and Middle Ages are kept in Musée d'Orsay and Musée Cluny.

No first trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower on Champ de Mars, by far Paris' most famous monument.  Gustave Eiffel’s nineteenth century construction averages over six million visitors per year and is the defining landmark of Paris.

The famed cathedrals of Notre Dame and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur receive twelve million and eight million visitors, respectively. Disneyland Resort Paris is a major tourist attraction not only for visitors to Paris but for visitors to the rest of Europe as well, with 14.5 million visitors in 2007.


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Paris has an oceanic climate and sees relatively mild winters (down to 3°C) and warm summers (up to around 25°C), which are not dissimilar to London.

Spring and autumn have mild to occasionally warm days and cool evenings. Rain falls throughout the year, and although Paris is not a very rainy city, it is known for sudden showers.

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