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Paris, the capital of France

Paris, the capital of France

This is it! You are nearing a visit to the one of the world’s greatest cities, Paris! The capital of France is also known as the City of Light. This enchanting city, at the crossroads of cultures, is the capital of fashion and home to world highlights such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Avenue des Champs Elysées, to name but a few. In terms of architectural beauty, art history, events, gastronomy and sheer extravagance, Paris is a milestone ahead of any other city on earth.
Beyond the highlights of the city, Paris is the ideal place to discover the French art de vivre. Take a seat in a café and simply enjoy the scene in front of you: locals shopping fresh food from authentic markets, people taking their time for lunch which usually lasts more than an hour, women and men who are well groomed in a simple yet fashionable way… Simple things that make life much more enjoyable.
When it’s time to eat, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Indeed, Paris has a wealth of restaurants serving specialities from every corner of the world. And of course you don’t come to this amazing city without having a morning croissant, lunch in a neighbourhood bistro or dinner in a Michelin-starred restaurants if you wish to have a treat.
Paris has one of the world’s most extensive public transport systems. You can take a taxi if you are not much of an adventurer, but that would be a pity! Metro (subway or underground), buses and city bicycles are much more fun and are very easy to use, even for beginners. Go to any metro station and ask the RATP staff to help you out with the best ticket option. Don’t forget to ask for a free tourist map.
It takes more than a couple of days to discover Paris, but you can plan your visit according to our 3-day itinerary to see the best of the City of Light.

About France

Starting from the Paris-Gare du Nord station, take the Metro 5 to stop at La Bastille, the birthplace of the French revolution, in the enjoyable Marais quarter. From colourful small bars to popular clubs, this is the liveliest spot of Paris. Since the nineties, the Marais quarter has attracted many artists and designers. Following your visit to the Marais quarter, you’ll set off to the Latin quarter (take metro 5 and 10 to stop at St Michel). The lively atmosphere, cafés, bistros and restaurants will no doubt delight you.
Continue by foot to the Ile de la Cité, the place where Paris was born, which is a tiny island on the Seine River in the very heart of the French Metropolis. On the island, you’ll enjoy the magnificence of the Notre Dame Cathedral and next to it, you’ll find the famous Point Zero of Paris, the reference point to measure distances from Paris to other towns and cities. Not far from Notre Dame, is the Rue de Rivoli, where you can find trendy shops and most importantly the world’s largest museum – the Louvre Museum, home to the famous portrait of Mona Lisa. There are several landmarks to visit in the vicinity: the Georges Pompidou Centre which is home to modern art, the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries, and the Palais Royal.
Walking along the Rue de Rivoli, towards the Place Concorde, you’ll soon reach one of the most beautiful avenues in the world – Avenue des Champs Elysées. If you are in Paris in the Christmas period, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful illuminations. The rest of the year, the avenue is just as pretty with hip shops, restaurants and night clubs.
Our tip: In summer, the most famous urban beach, Paris Plage, is a huge success. For two months every summer, the banks of the Seine River is filled with tons of sand, parasols and tanned bodies. Get your towel down to enjoy summer in a unique way in Paris.
Montmartre is known for the Sacré-Coeur Basilica which offers a fantastic panoramic view over the city of Paris. Climb the stairs or take the funicular cable railway to the reach the Basilica. The view is particularly enchanting at sunset and few sights in Paris are more memorable.
Paris by night is just as exciting as visiting it by day. Indeed the Parisian nightlife scene is always animated and ever changing. You can of course make a beeline to the Champs Elysées or the lively Marais quarter. However, watching the Eiffel Tower at night is something that will captivate the most skeptical. The French and Parisian icon is beautifully floodlighted at night and the view from the top is grandiose. The shorter queues at night will allow you to visit this monument at your own pace.
Our tip: If you want to have a memorable dinner in Montmartre, why not try the saucy, yet classy show and dinner spectacle at the Moulin Rouge or a retro-dinner spectacle at Michou, a local institution.
Our tip: Non-EU visitors can obtain a tax deduction. Ask a shop assistant about it when you are the Galeries Lafayette or any big shops.

Montmartre is a gastronomical and cultural area with an authentic Parisian charm – a romantic atmosphere, legendary cabarets, music halls, theatres and streets full of history. Some say it is the last area in Paris which has a small town’s aura. This famous area invites you to stroll around and to enjoy a crêpe or an ice cream on a café terrace, while savoring its particular atmosphere.

Paris being at forefront of fashion, you will find designer shops, famous brands and many friendly boutiques all around the city. However, there is one place that stands out for its elegance and wealth of designer creations: The legendary Galeries Lafayette. The department store, created in 1894, has constantly reflected the styles of the times through a sophisticated selection of brands, ranging from the most prestigious to the most affordable.
If you are looking for posh boutiques, head to Place Vendome, which is not far from the Jardin des Tuileries. For those who are looking for antiques or bric-a-brac treasures, there are several vide greniers throughout the year.

Paris Tourist Office
25 rue des Pyramides. 75001 Paris
Tel : +33 (0)1 49 52 42 63

The city’s tourist office has a helpful personnel, insider information and tips as well as handy maps and brochures. The city’s tourist office also arranges tours and excursions and is a focal point for local accommodation.

Train station(s)

Trains are a convenient way of reaching many towns and cities throughout Europe. The majority of cities in Europe have a minimum of one train station, while larger, more populated cities have two or more stations. Train stations, in general, are located in the heart of the city. Review the map below to get an idea of where the train station(s) in Paris can be found.

While you're there

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How do you reserve a train seat with the europass? I cannot find an option to reserve two train seats from Paris to Marseille on the 21st of July and I wont buy a europass until I know I wont have to fork out an extra $300 to travel between the two cities. Any link to the site or details of how (...)

Jean-Pierre C. | 2017/06/26 answered | 0 Comments
Best method for travelling within countries Im wanting to travel between London to Rome then to Barcelona then to Madrid and finally back to London, would the Eurail pass be the best option ? is it the only cost i have to pay? and how about how much luggage is acceptable (...)

Hamit K. | 2017/06/17 answered | 0 Comments
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Customer reviews

  • Value for money
    Very comfortable trip | Graeme p. | 2015/11/16
    "Enjoyed to trip from Lyon to Paris .. very comfortable and everything ran to time. "

  • Value for money
    Perfect trip | Massimiliano r. | 2015/11/16
    "On time, comfortable, fast. "

  • Wonderful train service | . | 2015/11/14
    "The TGV service is excellent. From the arrival at the station, to the taking of our seats on the train, through the full extent of the train trip, to terminating the trip at our destination station - all stages were excellent. "

  • Value for money
    Paris to Bordeaux  | Catherine a. | 2015/11/12
    "We travelled as a group of 4 and our experience was excellent the train was comfortable and clean and ran to schedule, we have no complaints at all. "

  • Value for money
    THE EASY WAY | John k. | 2015/11/09
    "Once on board it was sit back and enjoy both inside and outside action. This experience was well worth every dollar spent. Comfort, value and convenience all up there with the best. "

  • TGV Nice to Paris | . | 2015/11/09
    "I found the journey along the Mediterranean to be somewhat slower than the speed I was expecting, but when we headed inland, the train speeded up. The seats are very comfortable and the charging points are very handy. Staff in the dining car were friendly and the food palatable. My main issue is the lack of seats at the departing train stations, not just Nice. It is not very convenient to have to stand around with luggage while waiting for a train. You can't walk around the town carrying all your luggage to pass the time. "

  • Value for money
    Paris Nord - Bruges | Judith Susan w. | 2015/11/08
    "Our journey was excellent train very clean and comfortable would defiantly recommend and would travel by train myself again "

  • Value for money
    TGV - PARIS TO ANNECY | Ronda m. | 2015/11/06
    "I have travelled this route many times on the TGV - First Class and the journey is around 4 to 4.5 hours for the direct train option. A very comfortable trip and up to TGV Standard - departed on time, arrived on time. The improvements to City of Annecy Railway Station were much needed and have been very well done. Looking forward to my next trip to this wonderful Region of Eastern France. "

  • Value for money
    Fast and convenient | Mason a. | 2015/11/04
    "Unlike the individual seats the seats with two couples facing each other are quite cramped even in 1st class and are best avoided. That said the journey was fast and convenient and we arrived in Paris before acquaintances who flew from Bordeaux. Unfortunately we traveled on a Sundayand the carriage was crowded with suitcases in the corridor,a fact ignored by train staff. "

  • Value for money
    The way to go! | Cathryn m. | 2015/11/02
    "The only negative aspect of our journey was actually getting to the platform with luggage, in order to catch the train at Angouleme station as access requires going both up and down stairs. Thank goodness for the generous assistance of younger fellow travellers. Apart from that it was an excellent experience , to be recommended. "

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