Paris – Ideal weekend break

PARIS

Paris, the City of Love! With its gorgeous architecture, stunning skyline and amazing food, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do in this vibrant city. There is something for everything with the city’s wide array of restaurants, exciting tourist attractions, stunning architecture and local French cuisine – there’s plenty to do!

Our top things to do in Paris this winter:

VISIT THE EIFFEL TOWER

It wouldn’t be a trip to Paris with seeing one of its most famous attractions – The Eiffel Tower. Constructed in 1889 – it took two years, two months and five days to build, with 7,3000 tonnes of iron used and 60 tonnes of paint – phew! Today it stands at 1063 feet, 31 feet higher than when originally built. The Eiffel Tower boasts breath-taking views of Paris from three different floors, including a variety of restaurants, gift-shops and a champagne and Macaroon bar. Definitely a must-see!

TRY LOCAL FRENCH CUISINE – CHEZ TRASSOUDAINE

If you’re after some local cuisine in a cosy family environment to warm up from the cold, then Chez Trassoudaine is just the place for you. Situated just west of Notre Dame, this family-run restaurant was established in 1970 and has a gorgeous aesthetic. The space is designed around the bar, with a large dining room on one side and a glass-roofed winter garden on the other. You can sample their famous potatoes sautéed in goose fat or maybe chow down on some fresh fish delivered daily from the fish market. Yum!

TAKE A BALLOON RIDE IN PARC ANDRÉ-CITROËN

If the Eiffel Tower isn’t your thing, then why not experience the gorgeous Parisian views from a hot air balloon ride situated in Parc André-Citroën. The park is in the 15e district of Paris and was founded in 1992. It is located on the site of a former Citroën factory and is named after André Citroën, founder of Citroën Cars (fun fact)!

The 10-minute hot air balloon ride rises up to 300m high and fits up to 30 passengers. An adult ticket costs from €12 which can be added onto your break!

WANDER AROUND THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and is home to Davinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting, as well as a whole collection of western art from the Middle Ages – 19th century.

Amble around the aisles soaking up the history and culture that it has to offer or have some lunch in the grounds while taking in the stunning glass architecture of the Louvre Palace. Tickets are from €17 and the Louvre is open every day except Tuesdays.

Paris – Introduction

Paris is often referred to as ‘the City of Love’, and it’s not hard to see why. Its elegant streets and lofty landmarks exude a dreamlike quality as well as oodles of style and sophistication. The city has been an important hub since Roman times, later becoming the political, cultural and economic centre of France. But it’s the romantic ambience, immortalised in such films as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie, that makes Paris so popular with visitors today. Whether it’s taking a romantic stroll along the River Seine or soaking up the artistic atmosphere of Montmartre, Paris has everything the heart could desire for the perfect weekend away.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

Spectacular views of Paris from the top, and well worth queuing for.

The Louvre

The Louvre

A priceless collection of antiquities and art, including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

The mighty Gothic cathedral that inspired Victor Hugo’s Hunchback novel.

Other things to do in Paris

Paris is crammed with world-famous landmarks, so there is no shortage of things to see during your visit. The Champs-Elysees is a good place to start, with the grand Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Place de la Concorde and Jardin de Tuileries at the other, down by the romantic River Seine.

 

The Louvre is by no means the only famous art gallery in Paris, with the Musee d’Orsay housing another noteworthy collection which includes masterpieces such as Monet’s Water Lilies. Paris is also renowned for being one of the world’s great fashion capitals, and is a great place to indulge in a shopping spree, whether in the Haute Couture shops of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore or the bargain-filled Parisian flea markets.

 

No trip to Paris would be complete without spending some time in Montmartre, the city’s artisan district. Walk up to the Sacre Coeur, the impressive church built on the highest point in Paris. There are stunning views over the city, as well as a bustling square filled with artists selling their work. Not far from here you will also find the famed Moulin Rouge, the setting for Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed film of the same name.

 

Eating and drinking in Paris

France is celebrated for its fine cuisine, and Paris is no exception. However much or however little you want to spend, a delicious meal is easy to come by. Start the day with coffee and a croissant in one of the many cafes and patisseries for which Paris is famous. For lunch on a budget, try a traditional French bistro or even a hearty snack such as a crepe or baguette from a street vendor in the tourist centre. A candlelit dinner in a Parisian restaurant is a romantic way to end a day of touring this dreamy city, with many offering fixed price menus for three or four courses along with delicious French wine.

 

Paris climate

Paris generally has a pleasant climate, though summers are rather hot, and snow is not unheard of in winter. Rainfall is unpredictable, with sudden downpours liable to catch you out throughout the year. Book hotels in Paris at any time of the year and you are sure to find something to love.

 

When to go to Paris

Paris can be visited at any time of year, though temperatures soar in August causing many Parisians to escape the city, meaning that some shops and restaurants may be closed. The spring months from April to June are the best time to visit, when the weather is most comfortable.

 

Flying to Paris

Flights to Paris usually land in one of two main airports, both of which enjoy easy access via a range of public transport to central Paris. Charles de Gaulle, 30km from the city centre, is the primary hub, while Orly is closer at 18km away; some budget airlines fly to Beauvais, which is less convenient at 75km from central Paris.

FRANCE – Current travel advice issued by UK government

15 July 2016

 

Summary – An apparent attack on Bastille Day celebration in Nice. If you are in the area follow the instructions of the French authorities who are at present advising people to stay indoors at this time.

If you are in the area follow the instructions of the French authorities who are at present advising people to stay indoors at this time.

The EU Referendum held on 23 June delivered a clear vote for the United Kingdom to leave the EU. The Prime Minister has made a statement. In his statement, the Prime Minister reassured British people living in the EU, and European citizens in the UK, that there would be no immediate changes to their circumstances, and that there would be no initial change to the way people can travel. Until it leaves, the UK remains a full member of the EU. The period for exit, under the EU Treaties, is two years unless the other Member States agree to extend it.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.

A national state of emergency will remain in place until 26 July. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

The French government has launched a free smartphone app to alert users about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks. Users will be able to view alerts for up to eight geographical areas. The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), is available in English and French. You can download the app by entering the term ‘SAIP’ in the Apple App store or Google Play.

While there continue to be large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally, the security situation has improved significantly since the summer of 2015. Although the risk of incidents has decreased, you should keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic in and around Calais, and secure your vehicle when it’s left unattended.

There’s occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais. Check the website of your chosen operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pick-pocketing. See Safety and security

The Emergency phone number in France is 112.

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See Health

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.