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

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