Paris France guide to the different topics on tourism to the City of Lights, including tourist attractions, cultural activities, and cheap hotels.
Paris has been a favorite destination for tourism since the 12th century, and I’ve personally been fascinated by its wonderful monuments, unique opportunities for shopping, and an international atmosphere…
…and if you love the city as much as I do, we’re not alone, as around 45 million visitors come to enjoy the city’s sights and sounds each year.
Paris is known by many names, including “The City of Lights”, locally as “La Ville-Lumière“.
These nicknames originally referred to the city’s position as a center for education and new ideas during the Enlightenment.
However, later, the name has also been associated with the fact that Paris was one of the first cities in the world to have modern street lighting.
PHOTO: One of my favorite panoramas in Paris, a springtime view to the city from the steps leading to the Sacre Coeur church…which is located on the highest naturally occurring point in the city.
The city has had a colorful history, one of the most fascinating in Europe, in fact.
Ancient Roman empire conquered the area from the original tribes in 52 B.C., building a permanent settlement on Sainte Geneviève hill and along river Seine, especially surrounding the areas of Île de la Cité island.
First, Romans called the settlement “Lutetia“, later renaming the place as “Lutèce“.
The title “Paris” was taken into use when the King of Franks made the place his capital city, back in 508.
Most parts of modern-day Paris are from the mid-19th century rebuilding…
…when the city grew affluent very quickly, thanks to industrialization and the construction of railroads.
For centuries, Paris had been a maze of small alleys and narrow streets populated by wooden houses.
However, from 1852, an urbanization program, led by Baron Haussman, the city was completely reconstructed to house the now-famous wide avenues and neo-classical, monumental buildings.
The end result of this rebuilding program is what is today hailed as:
“the world’s most beautiful city“.
Each of the city’s districts, arrondissements, has its own, unique charm.
The most famous arrondissement is the one surrounding avenue Champs-Élysées, providing a cavalcade of…
- magnificent 17th century buildings,
- department stores, and
- wonderful tourist attractions (including Arc de Triomphe).
As a shopping destination, Paris is especially well-known for its department stores, highlighted by Galeries Lafayette and Paris Printemps.
However, if you prefer shopping malls, modern Paris has them as well with the most central being Forum des Halles, just a short walk from Louvre.
And a visit to Paris, one of the fashion capitals of the world, wouldn’t be the same without a visit to the fabulous fashion streets, such as Avenue Montaigne.
The city is also a one-of-a-kind cultural destination, with your choice of…
- world-class museums,
- famous galleries, and
- historical monuments.
Paris is popular throughout the year, but especially so during the summer months.
In the summer period, the local climate is warm and very pleasant, averaging around 25 °C (degrees Celsius).
Winters in Paris can get cold, but they are mostly reasonable…
..with an average temperature ranging often between 3 °C and 8 °C, rarely going below freezing.
Both spring and autumn periods are both mild, characterized by periods of warm days and cool afternoons.
As a holiday plan, you’ll be able to avoid the biggest tourist crowds by coming for a holiday just before or just after the summer months.
Paris France – Table of Contents
Eiffel Tower Paris France
Eiffel tower Paris France is one of the most recognizable buildings, most significant landmarks, and symbols of both Paris and France.
Arc de Triomphe Paris, the city’s main triumphal arch, is a dedication to those who fought for France, forming the western end of the famous Champs-Élysées.
Versailles palace was a residence for the French royal court from 1682-1789, and to this day, it is one of the largest palaces in the world.
Louvre Paris France (officially “Grand Louvre”) is the world’s most visited museum and also one of the largest museums on the planet.
Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris is the largest modern and contemporary art museum in Europe, and the third most popular tourist attraction in France.
Did you know that Sacre Coeur Paris church is located at the highest natural point in Paris? Read on to find out more.
Notre Dame Paris France is the city’s Gothic cathedral church, a landmark building, where, for example, Napoleon was crowned an Emperor.
Musée d’Orsay is an art museum in Paris, located in a beautiful Beaux-Arts building, with collections of art (primarily) from 1848-1914, including paintings, photographs, and sculptures.
Champs Elysees Paris France is a two-kilometer long avenue, one of the most famous and most expensive avenues in the world.
Find out about the most interesting tourist attractions in Paris, Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Les Invalides, Louvre, and Disneyland Paris.
A look into the three Paris France airport alternatives: Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly, and Beauvais Tillé (which is primarily used by budget airlines).
Subway in Paris (Métro de Paris) is the city’s most popular public transportation system, also widely known for having stations with beautiful Art Nouveau architecture.
Discover the most famous flea markets in Paris — including the world’s largest “marchés aux puces”: Saint-Ouen.
Discover Pont Alexandre III Paris, considered one of the most beautiful Art Nouveau bridges in the world.
Learn about Place Vendome square in Paris, home of the famous Hôtel Ritz Paris and location of the magnificent Colonne Vendôme column (with “Caesar imperator” Napoleon statue on top).
Disneyland in Paris France is an amusement park and a holiday village within Marne-la-Vallée, an eastern suburb of Paris, about 32 km from the city center.
Tips on how to find cheap hotels in Paris and a description of the cheapest alternatives, including Formule 1 hotels.
A look into the ways to travel London to Paris (and the other way around) by train, ferries & train, as well as buses.
Paris car show (“Mondial de l’Automobile de Paris”), was the world’s first car show when it debuted, and today, it is one of the most celebrated automobile events in the world.
Chateau de Vincennes is a massive fortress (constructed between 14th and 17th centuries), at a suburb of Paris, the town of Vincennes.
Grande Arche Paris is a modern version of the city’s historical Arc de Triomphe, and dedicated to humanitarian values (instead of military victories).
Les Invalides is a building complex documenting French military history, with museums and monuments, most notable being Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb.
Hotel de Ville Paris is a massive city hall from 1628, suitable to represent, at the time, the largest city in Europe and Christendom.
Musee de Cluny is a museum of Paris’ Medieval history, located within the heart of the Quartier Latin arrondissement.
Grand Palais Paris is a massive palace, build for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle, today functioning as one of the main exhibition spaces in the city.
Petit Palais Paris, a design by Charles Girault, was built for the 1900 Paris World Exposition, and today, it houses the Paris Fine Arts Museum.
Luxembourg gardens Paris is the garden area for the Luxembourg palace (where the French senate assembles), with over 100 statues, fountains, and other monuments.
Read more about Statue of Liberty in Paris, a 11.5 meter (38 ft) tall copy of the famous monument at the New York City harbor.
Learn about Chaillot Palace (Palais de Chaillot), constructed for the 1937 Paris World Exposition, at a great, central location in the city, opposite the Eiffel tower.
Discover Sainte Chapelle Paris, one of the most important churches in Christian faith, where over 30 holy relics of Jesus were historically stored.
Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris and one of the most centrally located, best known for its monumental fountains and the famous Luxor obelisk.
Place de la Bastille square is the historic location of Bastille fortress, whose storming (on July 14th, 1789) started the French Revolution.
Pantheon Paris was originally build as a monumental church, but today, it is a burial place for celebrated French statesmen — such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Louis Pasteur.
Paris catacombs are famous underground tunnels, historically used as a burial place, located south of the the ancient entrance gate (“Barrière d’Enfer”) to the city.
Arenes de Lutece is one of the most important remains from the Roman-Gallic period of Paris, when the place was known as “Lutèce”.
Carnavalet museum in Paris exhibits the city’s history in the premises of two magnificent city-palaces, Hôtel Carnavalet and Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau.
Chapelle de la Sorbonne Paris was build from plans by the famous Cardinal Richelieu Jacques Lemercier during 1635-42.
Find out more about Elysee Palace, the official residence of the French President and a magnificent palatial building in central Paris.
Moulin Rouge Paris (“Red Windmill”) is the world’s most famous cabaret, founded by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler in 1889, and located within the red lights district of Pigalle.
Comedie Francaise is a French national theater, one of the most famous theaters the world, performing out of three separate locations in Paris.
Conciergerie Paris is a historical royal palace and a prison, today forming part of the Palais de Justice building complex.
Ecole Militaire Paris is a historic building complex within the city center, where today, different types of French army training facilities are located.
Eglise de la Madeleine is a church in Paris, build by Napoleon for his “Grande Armée” (originally as a temple), with a design derived from classic Greek and ancient Roman temples.
A look at shopping in Paris France — the city’s best shopping streets, shopping centers, and department stores around Paris.
Forum des Halles is a vast, mostly underground shopping center in central Paris.
Saint Eustache Church in Paris, built during 1532-1633, was the baptismal church of Sun King Louis XIV.
Musee Picasso Paris is the world’s largest Picasso museum, with, for example, “Picasso’s Picassos”, the works Picasso kept for himself.
Saint Germain des Pres Church is a historic burial church of the Merovingian Kings from the 6th century.
Bourbon palace is the official meeting place of the French National Assembly (Assemblée Nationale, the lower house of the Parliament of France).
Eglise Saint Paul Saint Louis Paris is a Jesuit church in central Paris, build in 1627 by King Louis XIII.
Eglise Saint Roch is a late Baroque style church in Paris, whose foundation stone was personally laid by Sun King Louis XIV (in 1653).
Place de la Republique is one of the most politically significant squares in Paris, and has a massive “Marianne” (a symbol of France) monument at the center of it.
Place des Pyramides is a square with one of the most famous monuments in Paris, the golden equestrian statue of Joan of Arc.
Fontaine des Innocents is the oldest monumental fountain in Paris, done in the early French Renaissance style.
Fontaine Saint Michel is a monumental fountain within the historic Latin Quartier arrondissement (district) in central Paris.
Institut de France is an institution of the learned, located in central Paris in a magnificent, monumental building.
La Defense Paris is a modern, skyscraper dotted district, creating a wonderful contrast to the nearby historical center.
Learn about Saint Etienne du Mont, the burial church of Saint Geneviève (protector saint of Paris), near Panthéon.
Les Tuileries is a garden within central Paris, designed by Andre Le Notre, better known for designing the gardens for Versailles palace.
Opera house Paris, also known as Palais Garnier, is a 2,200-seat Baroque Revival style palace (designed by Charles Garnier), which housed Opéra National de Paris until 1989.
Musee de la Musique is a museum of European music (within La Villette park), with exhibitions representing periods from Renaissance to modern day.
Musee de l’Histoire de France is a museum of French History, located at the historical Hôtel de Soubise.
Find out about Palais de Justice Paris, located where justice has been delivered in Paris since the Middle Ages — prior to the current palace, from the ancient Palais de la Cité.
Get to know Palais de la Legion d’Honneur (also known as Palais de Salm), the headquarters for the French Legion of Honour (founded by Napoleon), located next to the Musée d’Orsay.
Palais Royal Paris is a historic palace, also known as Palais-Cardinal, assigned to be built by the famous Cardinal Richelieu from 1622-1629.
Place du Chatelet is a square at a location of the former Grand Châtelet fortress, where today, you’ll find the La Fontaine du Palmier, surrounded by sphinx statues.
Learn about Saint Germain l’Auxerrois, a historic royal church of the Louvre palace.
Read more about Saint Gervais et Saint Protais, one of the oldest churches in Paris, known for its long tradition as a center for church music.
Find out about Saint Severin Paris, a magnificent Gothic building and one of the oldest churches in the city.
Discover Sorbonne Paris France, one of the world’s most famous and oldest universities, located within the idyllic Latin Quartier.
Discover historical Gothic-style Tour Saint Jacques, with a statue of the famous mathematician, Blaise Pascal, on its base.
Discover Val de Grace Paris, one of the most beautiful Baroque buildings in the city, and one that did not get damaged during French Revolution.