More Info on Paris

Top Tips & Things To Do:

 

  • April, May, June and September are the best months to visit. Many establishments close for the customary month-long holiday in August and most shops are shut on Sundays throughout the year.
  • Manners matter and a polite “Bonjour” or “Bonsoir” (“Hello”) in the evening and “Merci, au revoir” (“Thanks, goodbye”) on leaving shops and restaurants always goes down well. Lunchtime’s the best time to find bargain plats du jour (set menus) and restaurants like to know you’re coming so it’s best to book in advance. To be treated like a local, dine later. Similarly, always book ahead to secure a room.
  • Skip the queues with The Paris Museum Pass, allowing fast-track entrance to over 60 museums and monuments in the city and surrounding areas along with discounts. Available from the Paris Tourist Office: http://en.parisinfo.com
  • Everyone wants to head up the Eiffel for the views, but the Arc de Triomphe, Trocadéro, Montparnasse Tower, Notre-Dame’s gargoyle’s eye vista, plus open-air terraces at the Pompidou Centre and several department stores all boast amazing panoramas…with the photogenic Eiffel in them!
  • Avoid tourist traps with tailor-made tours. Themes include culture, fashion and shopping, encompassing Paris’ past and modern glamour in places usually closed to the public. Art limousine tours take in the best galleries and artists’ ateliers etc., while guided tours of historic glass-roofed shopping arcades filled with shops/tearooms/restaurants/art galleries like Passage Jouffroy offer old-world charm. Do theCracking The Da Vinci Code’ tour with your own private symbologist, tracking down clues from the bestselling thriller!
  • Shopaholics should pick up the pocket-sized Paris Shopping Book from tourist information points for top shopping addresses and itineraries for the select, trendy, Bohemian-chic, creative and savvy shopper. Entrust your look to a personal shopper/coach for informed style advice, tips on shops to visit and brands to adopt. Pressed for time? Some will even shop for you! Try Paris Princesse (www.parisprincesse.com) for bespoke experiences.
  • Little Ones love L’Aquarium de Paris-Cineaqua, one of Europe’s largest aquariums, and the world’s oldest zoo. Disney magic awaits at enchanted kingdom Disneyland Paris, just 30km away.
  • No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the magnificent Château de Versailles for a glimpse of opulent Louis XIV splendour. Don’t miss the dazzling Hall of Mirrors or a stroll through the impeccable gardens to Marie Antoinette’s fairytale country-style palace Petit Trianon. Château de Fontainebleau’s another grand royal estate.
  • Play at being a Parisian with an array of archetypal experiences and chic’n’trendy courses for mastering the art de vivre (art of living)…Paris-style. Bed down in an artist’s studio-turned-contemporary loft with private balcony, go on gourmet walks, chocolate and market tours and learn the secrets of French cooking with express lessons from top chefs, visit vineyards on an oenology tour or create your own couture scent! For an unforgettable day that’s soooo Parisian, let Paris Pour Un Jour (www.parisforaday.com) be your guide.
  • From open-air cinemas and museums to gastronomy and open days in artists’ studio, check out the tourist office’s list of free events and places to visit to savour the Parisian way of life without spending a penny! http://en.parisinfo.com/discovering-paris/themed-guides/paris-for-free

 

Events Calendar

Paris hosts hundreds of events all-year-round, from great classics and major sporting to the artistic and unusual. Many celebrations correspond to a public holiday. Experience Paris during the glitz’n’glamour of semi-annual fashion tradeshow Paris Fashion Week, the excitement of Bastille Day or the magic of Christmas!

Highlights include:

Jan: Shopping aficionados capitalise on the capital’s winter sales before the highlight of the fashion calendar – Paris Fashion Week. Designers, models and fashion lovers of clothes descend on the capital to watch the who’s who of fashion world showcase their spring/summer and autumn/winter collections. (Held Jan-Mar for autumn and Sept-Nov for spring).

Feb: Red hearts and roses fill shop windows, while electronic information boards display love messages for Valentine’s Day in the city of romance.

Mar/Apr: Easter sees cake shops’ and chocolate makers’ window displays themed with eggs. April sees the Paris Marathon.

May: The French Open Tennis Championship takes place at Roland-Garros.

Jun: Get in the groove for Fête de la Musique music day, with free concerts throughout the city.

Jul: Military bands march along the Champs Elysées to mark Bastille Day on French National holiday 14th July, followed by cyclists in a blaze of Lycra for Le Tour de France.

Jul/Aug: Paris-Plages’ artificial beaches on the banks of the Seine create Summer’s city ‘seaside’, with open-air concerts, boules competitions, wall-climbing and a floating swimming pool.

Sep: Be inspired by Paris Design Week.The Fête de la Gastronomie commemorates French gastronomic expertise, tradition and innovation. Lovers of art, history and horticulturalists shouldn’t miss the Days of Heritage and Secret Gardens of Paris events, offering unique opportunities to discover hidden gems inaccessible throughout the rest of the year.

Oct: Montmartre celebrates La Fête des Vendanges wine harvest festival with parades, dancing, regional food and wine tasting followed by fireworks. Hardcore culture vulture? October’s dusk’til-dawn Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night) sees museums, parks, pools and cinemas stay open all night, while the famous Salon du Chocolat puts chocolate and chocolate makers in the spotlight. Meanwhile, FIAC (Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain) contemporary art festival attracts international art lovers, collectors, dealers and artists from all over the world.

Nov: Le Beaujolais Nouveau tasting season celebrates the uncorking of the yearly vintage of the fresh’n’fruity red wine.

Dec: Come Christmas-time, the city’s bedecked with glittering lights, Christmas trees, festive markets and nativity scenes… you may even find some snow! Take to the ice on the rink outside 19th-century City Hall and don’t miss department stores’ decadently-decorated window displays. On New Year’s Eve, crowds congregate on the Champs-Elysées or at the Eiffel Tower with bottles of champagne for the twelve strokes of midnight and inevitable New Year kisses.

FACTBOX

Get there with…

 British Airways: www.britishairways.com

Eurostar: www.eurostar.com

Paris is served by most of the world’s major airlines at its two international airports Roissy Charles de Gaulle and Orly (approx 25km North-East and 14km south of the city respectively). Aéroports de Paris (www.aeroportsdeparis.fr) offers a premium concierge service for an upscale clientele. Paris’ ‘third airport‘, Beauvais is situated 75km north of the city. Charter-a provide private air charterservices (www.privateaircharter.eu), while Jetbox offers both private jet and helicopter rentals (www.jetbox.fr).

The city’s also connected to Europe’s major capitals by evermore efficient and rapid TGV links. Six major train stations in the city centre, including Gare du Nord (from which Eurostar operates) and Gare de l’Est, each serve various regions of France and Europe.

Getting around the city is easy… whether on foot, by Métro, bus, funicular, bicycle or scooter. The Paris Métro has around 300 stations, their entrances marked by a big yellow ‘M’. It’s a good idea to avoid the rush hour and you can save money by buying a ‘Carnet of 10’,  rather than individual tickets.

 

Taxi transfers, chauffeur service and car rental:

Taxis are available at airports or from Taxis G7: Tel: +33 (0)1 41 27 66 99 (in English). The central taxi number is +33 (0)1 45 30 30 30. American company Über (www.uber.com) offers a luxury taxi service. VIP transport in the form of classic and vintage cars, convertibles etc. is available for airport transfers and daily journeys, making getting around the capital a remarkably luxurious affair. Limos can be hired from Paris Major Limousines (www.1st-limousine-services.com)

A number of national and international car hire firms offer a range of vehicles, including Europcar (www.europcar.fr) and Avis (www.avis.fr). Autolib’ (www.autolib.eu) is self-service electric car rental service.

 For comprehensive information about the city, check out the official website of the Paris Tourist Office: http://en.parisinfo.com

 

Stay at…

 Hôtel Villa Fénelon 2*

23 rue Buffault

75009 Paris

www.villa-fenelon.net

Tel: +33 (0)1 48 78 32 18

A peaceful haven with a pretty internal garden in the city centre.

 

Hôtel Beaubourg 3*

11 rue Simon Lefranc

75004 Paris
www.beaubourg-paris-hotel.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 74 34 24

A cosy stopover near the Pompidou Centre, in the heart of the dynamic Marais neighbourhood.

 

Hôtel Langlois 3*

63 rue Saint-Lazare
75009 Paris

www.hotel-langlois.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 48 74 78 24

An old-fashioned setting for a bit of elegant belle époque Paris, with spacious rooms filled with antiques galore to satisfy art nouveau and art deco lovers.

 

La Maison Favart 4*

5 rue de Marivaux

75002 Paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 97 59 83

www.lamaisonfavart.com

Experience sophisticated refinement in a beautiful boutique hotel close to the magnificent Opera house.

 

Four Seasons Hôtel George V  5* with Palace distinction (symbolising excellence, perfection, luxury and timelessness in a 5-star hotel)

31 avenue George-V

75008 Paris

www.fourseasons.com/paris/

Tel: +33 (0)1 49 52 70 00

Feel like a film star at decadent flower-filled George V, renowned for its distinguished two-Michelin-starred restaurant Le Cinq, just steps from the Champs-Élysées.

 

Le Meurice 5* with Palace distinction

228 rue de Rivoli

75001 Paris

www.lemeurice.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 44 58 10 10

Member of the Dorchester Collection and property of the Sultan of Brunei, Le Meurice boasts three-Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse’s fine cuisine and Empire-style splendour with a touch of opulent glamour, adorned with gilding, marble, antiques and chandeliers. Spread over the entire seventh floor, the Belle Étoile Royal suite’s private terrace boasts 360° city views.

 

Le Bristol 5* with Palace distinction

112 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré

75008 Paris

www.lebristolparis.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 53 43 43 00

Winner of numerous accolades and voted ‘best hotel in Europe’ by Condé Nast Traveller magazine, this historic palace’s past guests include Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Orson Welles. With its three-Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant Epicure and upscale brasserie, it’s a firm favourite for fashion aficionados, flocking to its famous ‘Fashion Saturdays’ high teas, where major fashion houses including Yves Saint-Laurent, Givenchy, Chloé and Versace have presented collections.

 

Hôtel Parc Hyatt Paris-Vendôme 5* with Palace distinction

5 rue de la Paix

75002 Paris

www.paris.vendome.hyatt.fr

Tel: +33 (0)1 58 71 12 34

Steeped in history and situated in an exceptional location near the Louvre and River Seine, the royal suite enjoys its own spa and terrace overlooking prestigious Place Vendôme, ensuring guests are pampered beyond their dreams. Secure Michelin-starred Le Pur restaurant’s La Table du chef, for a private table experience with the chef in attendance.

 

Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière 5* with Palace distinction

46 avenue George-V

75008 Paris

www.fouquets-barriere.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 40 69 60 00

As a forerunner in sustainable development with an emphasis on technology, this lavish, eco-friendly palace is committed to ‘Dignified Luxury©’, offering hybrid limousines for getting around Paris. Comprising five buildings in a glitzy location in the heart of Paris’ Golden Triangle , the hotel offers the magnificent U spa, a ‘secret’ garden plus internationally-renowned brasserie Le Fouquet’s.

 

The Mandarin Oriental 5* with Palace distinction

251 rue SaintHonoré

75001 Paris

www.mandarinoriental.fr/paris/

Tel: +33 (0)1 70 98 78 88

In a prestigious location mere steps from the Louvre, this sanctuary with its wonderful Hong Kong-meets-Paris tone has one of the city’s largest spas, while its dining options are another star feature, with refined cuisine by Thierry Marx at two-Michelin-starred Sur Mesure. The Royale Mandarin duplex offers 360° panoramic city views.

 

Shangri-La Hotel 5* with Palace distinction

10 avenue d’Iéna

75116 Paris

www.shangri-la.com/paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 53 67 19 98

Royal treatment is guaranteed at this stunning mansion built for Napoleon’s grandnephew Prince Roland Bonaparte in 1896. Oozing old-world elegance with marble hallways, chandeliers and a spectacular glass dome…it’s very grand indeed. The Hong Kong-based group’s first hotel in Europe boasts the continent’s first to offer Cantonese cuisine, or embark on a French culinary voyage at two-Michelin-starred L’Abeille.

Le Royal Monceau Raffles 5* with Palace distinction

37 avenue Hoche

75008 Paris

www.leroyalmonceau.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 99 88 00

All about art, the avant-garde Royal Monceau Raffles is decorated with hundreds of works of art, boasts art concierges, a cinema and a luxury artist’s studio room. Its chic’n’trendy Philippe Starck-makeover aims to appeal to a youthful clientele, in particular 35-50 year-old ‘millionaires in trainers’.

 

Drink/eat at… 

Chez Jeanette

47 rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis

75010 Paris

http://chezjeannette.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 47 70 30 89

A cheap and unpretentious, fashionably-traditional hangout for cool Parisians, close to the up-and-coming Canal Saint-Martin.

 

Aux Folies

8 rue de Belleville

75020 Paris

www.aux-folies-belleville.fr

A traditional brasserie in lively Belleville that’s been a hit with Parisians since the 18th century! A true landmark with a packed terrace filled with ‘Bellevillers’ at all times of the day and night.

 

La Grande Dame at Hôtel Sezz

6 avenue Frémiet

75016 Paris

www.hotelsezz-paris.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 56 75 26 26

Hip design-hotel Sezz (in the seize arrondissement!) has Paris’ first Veuve Clicquot bar, with a rose-petal-shaped alcove and range of Champagnes and products from the famous brand.

 

Bar de Lapérouse

51 quai des Grands Augustins

75006 Paris

www.laperouse.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 43 26 68 04

In the one-of-a-kind setting of the historic Lapérouse restaurant, this cool bar has been a trendy literati meeting-spot since 1766.

 

Le Dokhan’s at Radisson Blu Le Dokhan’s Hotel

117 rue Lauriston

75116 Paris

www.radissonblu.fr/hotels/france/paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 53 65 66 99

Looking for glamour in a romantic, small-scale-yet-ultra-chic setting? Then this is the place for you. Located between the Trocadéro and Champs Elysées, Paris’ first Champagne bar oozes charm in a hotel that’s as intimate as they get, with a concierge meeting your every need.

 

Be Boulangépicier

73 boulevard de Courcelles

75008 Paris

www.boulangepicier.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 46 22 20 20

Discover delicious gourmet sandwiches, pastries and more at this bakery/grocery store with seating, jointly owned by Alain Ducasse and master baker Éric Kayser.

 

Au Duc De Montmorency

46 rue de Montmorency

75003 Paris

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 72 18 10

This humble market-style bistro’s renowned for its creative, freshly-prepared set menus and wines served up for next to nothing!

 

L’Apicius

Two Michelin stars

20 rue d’Artois

75008 Paris

www.restaurant-apicius.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 43 80 19 66

Located in a magnificent townhouse, this wonderful restaurant’s impressive succession of fine rooms offer a chic mix of classic, rococo and modern styles, plus a superb wine list and garden terrace.

 

L’Ambroisie

Three Michelin stars

9 place des Vosges

75004 Paris
www.ambroisie-paris.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 78 51 45

Set in a royal mansion in the beautiful Place des Vosges, this Parisian institution of French haute cuisine since 1986 elegantly combines classicism and modernity. A gourmet lover’s paradise.

 

Cristal Room Baccarat

11 place des Etats Unis

7506 Paris

www.cristalroom.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 40 22 11 10

Enter a wonderful star-studded world of illusion in this Philippe Starck-revived luxury ‘crystal palace’, with artistic heritage and inventive cuisine by Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin plus a sumptuous crystal chandelier-bedecked ballroom for private hire.

 

Shop at…

La Vallée Village

3 cours de la Garonne

Serris – Marne-la-Vallée 77700

www.lavalleevillage.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 60 42 35 00

For heavily-discounted fashion brands from the likes of Diane Von Furstenberg, Jimmy Choo and Kenzo, hop on the Shopping Express shuttle service from Place des Pyramides to this chic shopping outlet, just 35 minutes outside the city.

 

A.P.C. Surplus

20 rue André Del Sarte

75018 Paris

www.apc.fr

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 62 10 88

Score half-price discounts on past A.P.C. collections.

 

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

40 boulevard Haussmann

75009 Paris

www.galerieslafayette.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 42 82 34 56

This world-famous, upmarket department store’s a city pitstop for both women’s and men’s designer shopping. Don’t miss the stunning stained-glass art deco dome or rooftoop terrace views following a Champagne lunch in the wonderful gourmet food hall.

 

Frank & Fils

80 rue de Passy

75016 Paris

www.francketfils.fr

Tel: +33 (0)1 44 14 38 00

The last word in glamour for chic Parisians, this magnet for discerning fashion lovers offers exclusive shopping from all the top names, from Armani and Burberry to Paul Smith. Don’t miss the Luxury Photo Booth Studio by legendary studio Harcourt, for fantastic passport-sized photos with the famous brand’s style usually reserved for film stars.

 

Agnès B

7 rue de Passy

75116 Paris

www.agnesb.com

Tel: +33 (0)1 55 74 04 60

Embodying the quintessential French approach to simple yet stylish dressing, Agnès B is the champion of minimalist chic and wardrobe basics.

 

Chanel

29-31 rue Cambon

75001 Paris

www.chanel.com

Tel +33 (0)1 42 86 26 00

The Parisian fashion house created by Coco Chanel in 1910 remains one of the emblems of French luxury and the epitome of class and elegance.

 

 

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