There’s so much to do and see during your French walkabout, it’ll be hard to figure out where to start. You (probably) won’t be able to fly a Nieuport biplane through the Arc de Triomphe de I’Etoile like Charles Godefroy, but with accommodation near the Arc de Triomphe, you can at least walk through it. Next, a visit to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will tug on emotional strings you didn’t know you had.
Now, everyone back home is going to expect you to return with tales of fancy art and what you think the Mona Lisa is actually smiling at, so head to the Louvre and put on your best art aficionado face. And since “The City of Lights” is considered one of the international capitals of high fashion, you’d be a mug if you didn’t look for a new ensemble to wear.
Follow your fashion sense to Le Marais district and poke around haute couture offerings, vintage stores and one-of-a-kind antique shops. Once you’re decked out in your new attire, show it off on the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower. Stop off at the gourmet restaurant on the second floor for a bowl of escargot. Ever wonder if the chefs gathered the little critters from the grass below?
Paris holidays usually begin at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), about 30km northeast of the city centre of Paris. The availability of taxis, buses and a fantastic railway system make getting to your hotel in Paris painless. There’s always the option to rent a car in case you want to get up and go at will, but be forewarned, Paris’s notorious roundabouts and thick traffic can be a pain.
You may not be French, but that doesn’t mean you can’t join in the festivities of Bastille Day or French National Day. It occurs every year on July 14th to commemorate the storming of the Bastille, which kicked off the French Revolution. Take in a performance of the aerobatic team of the French Air Force during the day and then park yourself in the grass at the Eiffel Tower for a fireworks show at night, all the while popping bottle after bottle of genuine champagne.
Let us fast forward to middle October, when the International Body Music Festival takes place. It’s completely dedicated to the production of unique sounds using only the human body, whether that be whistling, clapping, shouting noises or just drumming on the belly, whatever people can do to make a beat. Sounds pretty wild, doesn’t it?
The places to stay in Paris are incredible, but you can’t stay locked in yours forever. Make your way to the Left Bank of the River Seine and wander down the Boulevard Saint-Germain. Take a seat outside of the famous Les Deux Magots and order a plate of some of the best food in Paris. A glass of wine and some duck liver pate to round out the afternoon sounds pretty appetising, don’t you think?
Wait until the sun disappears for the day and then meet the crowd at the Place Raoul Dautry, your starting point for a night-rollerblading excursion. The locals will guide you around the city and past landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, both lit up brilliantly by bright spotlights. We hope your selfie game is up to date.
If you happen to only spend one day in Paris, don’t worry, we have the perfect plan for you. Get yourself the Paris Pass ® for access to over 60 museums and attractions and explore as many landmarks as you can. Start out at the most-visited museum in the world, the Louvre. Wander up to the Mona Lisa and see if you can figure out exactly what in the world she’s smiling at. No one seems to know, but if you have an idea, let us know. Be sure to get a picture in front of the giant glass pyramid in front of the main building.
Do you feel like taking a walk through the underworld? If so, creep your way through the Paris Catacombs and try not to scare yourself to death. After you make your way through the dark hallways, you’ll come across the Crypt of the Sepulchral Lamp. It’s a room where skulls and femur bones are stacked along the walls in some sort of macabre artistic style. You have the jitters yet?
Want to hit one more landmark before you depart? Great, because the Palace of Versailles is a ridiculous piece of architecture that every tourist in Paris should see. You might say Louis XIII overdid it, but who cares, this place is unreal. Now it’s open to the public and used as an art museum, so have at it.
Fall in love with this city or in the city—or both at once. Wotif has you covered with great selections of Paris hotels and deals on flights to Paris. Book today and say “Au revoir” to the land down under.
Hotels in Paris start at NZ$61 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.