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Paris

4.8 /5 61 votes

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Best Time: June - August Read More

Ideal duration: 3-5 days

Nearest Airport: Paris Check Flights

"The City of Lights"

Paris Tourism

Bonjour Mon Ami! Paris needs no formal introduction - synonymous with culture, architecture, food and fashion. That je ne sais quoi of the French capital makes it the dream destination for many. So would you want to leave Paris 'Before Sunset' or would you take our word and spend a 'Midnight in Paris'?!

One of the greatest art repositories in the world, harbouring artistic pedigree in the likes of Renoir, Rodin, Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh. The magnificent Louvre, exceptional impressionist collections and the Centre Pompidou's modern and contemporary art, a plethora of smaller museums showcasing collections in every genre imaginable. The mesmerizing wrought-iron spire of the Eiffel Tower piercing the skyline, the Arc de Triomphe guarding the most glamorous avenue, the Champs-Élysées, the regal Notre Dame cathedral, lamp lit bridges spanning the Seine and art nouveau cafes spilling on to wicker-chair-lined terraces. At the forefront of international trends, chic designer boutiques, vintage shops, flagship haute couture stores and flea markets - redefining style, elegance and class. Exquisite French cuisine, enticing patisseries and boulangeries (bakeries), luscious fromageries (cheese shops), fragrant wine shops. Bohemian Montmarte, trendy Marais. Tree lined boulevards, prolific green parks and of course the grand Seine. Wine and cheese. One word to describe all of the above - Paris.

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Nightlife in Paris

The City of Lights earned its name not without reason. Paris is awake all through the night. Paris' turbulent variety of subcultures and moods is perhaps best witnessed on a night out. Experience a younger, edgier nocturnal scene, or a classic night at a cabaret or jazz show, you are sure to have a memorable evening out. Marais, Oberkampf, M_nilmontant and Gambetta are some of the dynamic nightlife destinations crowded with pubs and nightclubs, while Vendome spells opulence in terms of chic establishments like the Ritz bar frequented by Ernest Hemingway! Ready to faire la fte?

Shopping in Paris

Paris is the mecca for even any ordinary shopaholic! From flea markets to second hand and vintage clothes shops, from designer boutiques to international labels, you ought to loosen your purse strings here. (Disclaimer: This list is not exhaustive, since Paris is for the indefatigable shopper!) Golden Triangle - From Porte Maillot to George-V, avenue Montaigne and the rond-point des Champs-€lys_es, Paris offers the best in haute couture and ready-to-wear luxury fashion. You will find all your Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Ralph Lauren and a dozen more exquisite international labels. Rue Saint Honore - Stretching from Palais Royal and ending at the Elys_e Palace, this is the pit stop for designer shopping and elite French brand names. The ultra hip Collette is located here with its various close competitors in line. Le Marais - Le Marais is for the youngsters - street fashion and casual wear. Dotted with boutiques of young designers and concept stores, this neighbourhood is chic, hip and creative. St-Germain des Prs - Haven for street shoppers, this pretty street is lined with Parisian buildings and a lot of greenery. There are many interesting stores for home decor, clothing and gourmet food. A great place to shop for souvenirs to take back home. Covered Passages - These architectural gems were precursors to shopping malls, with glass ceilings, marble walls and mosaic floors. The elite Parisians frequented these places for the luxury stores, restaurants and cafes. Even today the charming vestiges of these preserved passages are home to boutiques, art galleries, fine dine restaurants and cafes. Although there are very many to see, some of the best include Galerie Vivienne, Passage du Grand Cerf, Passages Joffroy & Verdeau, Passage Molire, and the Cour du Bel Air. Rues Des Martyrs - Paris's market streets are usually overlooked, but this bustling street full of fromageries, boulangeries and boucheries demands a visit. This central neighbourhood market has been in existence for over two hundred years. The older purveyors selling from fruit to fish compete with the newer, more high-end pastry shops, chocolatiers, gourmet caf_s, and upscale boutiques, creating a lively atmosphere. If you are in the city during sale season, held biannually, first time during January - February and again during June - August, you will have a glamorous wardrobe to flaunt back at home and all at a steal!

Currency in Paris

Visa and Master Card is widely accepted in hotels, restuarants and shops, though only few places accept American Express. Carry smaller denominations in Euros especially for public transport.

Exchanging Money in Paris

Though some banks in Paris will exchange your currency for Euros, Exchange Bureaux specialise in these transactions. A commission is usually levied for exchange depending from place to place and the form of payment. The Bureax, like CCF, display the exchange rate outside based on everyday fluctuation. If the difference between buying and selling rates is approximately 5% then the rates are correct. Numerous exchange bureax are situated in busy tourist areas. Alternatively you can withdraw Euros from 24 hour cashpoints using your international credit or debit cards.

Daily Budget for Paris

Paris is essentially a luxury destination, however you can tailor your daily expenses factoring in your budget, by making compromises here and there. A minimum of approximately EUR 60 - EUR 80 will have to be spent inclusive of public transport, entry to museums, two course meals at small cafes and a coffee/glass of wine or two. If you choose to dine at the expensive bistros, shop at the boutiques, visit the night clubs be prepared to shell out a good EUR 250 per day.

Religion of Paris

Roman Catholic

Paris Customs

Politeness and exchanging formal greetings is appreciated in Paris. Informal American style manners are considered impolite and learning a few French words will be to your advantage. Use bonjour and au revoir when entering and leaving shops, even if nobody responds. Address women as madame and men as monsieur. Always use please and thank you. Tipping in Paris will show an appreciation for the service rendered, so if you are genuinely satisfied leave few Euros after meals and at least 5% of the bill in bigger establishments. There are no particular norms for dressing in Paris. Needless to say religious places require respectable dressing. The French like dressing in a dainty and elegant manner. If you are dining at a chic restaurant, check beforehand for dress codes, since jeans might not be acceptable in all places.

Language of Paris

French. Bonjour - Hello Merci - Thank You S'il vous plaît - Please Je ne parle pas franais - I don't speak French Parlez-vous anglais? - Do you speak English? Combien a co_te? - How much does that cost?

History of Paris

From Lutetia to Napoleon's Empire, from the declaration of the Republic to the Paris Commune: Paris was right at the heart of events that marked French history and shaped it presently. Paris was inhabited by the Parisiis, a Celtic Gaul tribe in the 3rd century BC. Realising the strategic importance of the city owing to the river Seine affording numerous trade opportunities, Julius Caesar conquered the territory in the war of Lutetia in 52 BC. Thus was established the Roman city of Lutetia. This era saw the grandiose of Roman architecture as baths, palaces and theatres were built. Christianity was introduced in the second century AD. Roman rule continued till the 5th century, when the Franks invaded led by Clovis I. Paris was made the capital city, named after the Parisii tribe that inhabited centuries ago.

Restaurants and Local Food in Paris

The word 'cuisine' is of French origin, which is in itself saying a lot! So intricate in nature and delicate to the palate, French cuisine is more of an art form. The French have an eye for detail, which can be envisaged in the presentation techniques of various dishes.

Cheese, butter, black truffles (a type of fungi), wine, meats like veal and beef, etc. are the most commonly used ingredients to conjure a hearty Parisian fare. Breakfast is never a massive affair in Paris since the French prefer eating light. You must have the croissant, claiming its origin in France. Just in case the actual croissant doesn't appease you try the other forms of the light, flaky pastries like the Pain au Raisin (sweet custard-like filling and raisin), Pain au Chocolat (filling of pieces of chocolate) or a Chausson aux Pommes (baked with a filling akin to apple sauce). For a more savoury taste, try the French bread - baguette smothered with oodles of French Butter. The bistros and brassieres (French for breweries) serve some exquisite delicacies, which are a delight for meat and seafood lovers.

Some of the popular favourites you must try are Steak Frites (traditional steak with Frites), Huitres (oysters), Mouclade (mussels baked in cream and white wine sauce), Confit de Canard (duck confit), Beef Bourguignon (slow cooked beef stew with Burgundy wine), Chateaubriand or Filet Mignon (tender cut of prime steak pan seared in bernaise sauce), Coq Au Vin (chicken in wine sauce) or the well known Onion Soup (beef based broth, baked with onion & cheese) with Croque/Mounsier Madame (French version of the cheese grilled sandwich with ham filling). The more adventurous can try the Escargot (snails cooked in butter) or the Steak Tartare (finely chopped raw beef, marinated and seasoned) or even Cuisses De Grenouille (frog legs coated with bread and eggs!) Foie Gras or fattened duck liver, with a velvety texture and typically served with truffles, toasted bread and white wine, is a pleasure to the palate and demands a try when in Paris.

You owe it to yourself to indulge in some sinful decadence for dessert, so make sure you have room for enough. Choose from dessert soups, crème brûlée, soufflé, gauteux, madeleines, brilliantly coloured macaroons (visit Laduree, the shop that started selling these beauties) or simple ice cream (Berthillon sorbets are a must try! ) or chocolates; you will only be left craving for more!

Sample the crepes from the creperie stands while on the move. In an assortment of both sweet and savoury these ultra thin pancake like delights can make a quick snack as you amble around from one museum to another.

A visit to a Paris fromagerie will astound you at the sheer variety of cheese manufactured. Learn about cheese making techniques, the origin of ingredients while you sample some exotic varieties. Many bistros also serve other international cuisines, ranging from American to Asian. If you try the falafel on the streets, you will realise that this popular Middle Eastern dish has infiltrated the Parisian consciousness so much so that it is regarded as a local delicacy.

They say wine flows like water in Paris. Frenchie Bar a Vins or Juveniles or in just any other bistro, choose between the red, white or rose to compliment your food.
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Paris Reviews

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Kovid Kapoor 11 months ago
Paris was amazing - definitely as good as we expected it to be.
Rutvi Saxena 11 months ago
This one is you have already seen-it's in every movie, every tv show, every book, the epitome of romance and French elegance. The Eiffel tower is a well, towering structure made of wrought iron situated in Paris, France. The intricate lattice work and draws millions of tourists every year. There are four gateways at the four cardinal directions at the base of the tower, from where you purchase your ticket and go up-via an elevator or stairs. Very few people choose the over 1,000 steps-climb, and it would be a good idea to be particularly careful of your valuables; the crowd proves to be fruitful for pickpockets. There are three floors, with the first two having restaurants, patisseries and souvenir shops. The third floor provides a stunning overview of Paris, and is the highest point to observe from in all of European Union- Fashion Street, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées-all appear to be glittering points from the top. The Eiffel Tower lights up at night in beautiful colours, and you'll find several keychain sellers shouting Shahrukh Khan when they see an Indian; the smallest keychains cost 1 euro for 7 pieces-about Rs10 per piece! Make sure to take something warm to protect you against the howling wind on the upper storeys, and a good camera for those panoramas.
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