Friedrich Nietzsche said, "An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris," and indeed, is there anywhere on earth that infuses even the mundane with quite so much glamour and elegance? It isn't just the Louvre that houses artistic splendor, but every aspect of the city itself, from its legendary architectural charm to the oh-so-chic population. What a picturesque scene it is just to watch the locals picnicking on the banks of the Seine or walking in pairs along the Champs-Élysées!
Divided by the silky green Seine, the City of Light brims with quaint sidewalk cafes, ancient cathedrals, and charm galore, more than living up to reputation as the world's most beautiful and romantic city. Take up residence in one of our charming Paris rooms in the exciting 1st arrondissement, swing your leg over a bike, and perhaps tuck a baguette under your arm, for there are countless things to do in Paris, whether you want to plan it all out in advance or simply roam the city to see what you stumble on.
Things to See
Once finding the best hotels in Paris to stay at, you will soon discover that there are few cities in the world that contain as vast an array of world-renowned monuments and museums as Paris. Millions around the world recognize and admire these sights without ever having visited, yet still there is something magical about experiencing them in the flesh. Once you've decided where to stay in Paris, make your way to the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower. Once considered an eyesore by much of the local population, it's now one of the city's most recognizable and beloved symbols. Whether gazing at its reaches from below or admiring the view from the top deck, you can't help but feel seduced by the Iron Lady's power to heighten and inspire your emotions.
Just across the river, the Arc de Triomphe stands mighty and firm to honor those who died in the French Revolution as well as the Napoleonic Wars. Stand beneath its massive arch and absorb the history it stands for, then contemplate the proximity of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which rests in the vault below.
Just down the Seine, the Mona Lisa smiles coyly within the walls of the Louvre, and the Gothic majesty of Notre Dame presides over the Ile de la Cite. For a darker spin on the city's history, descend into the Catacombs to explore the final resting place of more than six million Parisians, entombed in the 18th century when city cemeteries became overcrowded. Even in these somber city bowels, there is a measure of grisly artistry in the tidy stacks of endless bones.
Eating and Drinking
Paris hotel deals will place you among untold culinary riches on every square and street. And with the money you save from booking one of the cheap hotels in Paris, you'll have more for all the delicacies Paris has to offer. louvre place that takes great pride in its culinary side. Paris makes food and the dining experience an art form. Take a seat in one of the ubiquitous sidewalk cafes and let the flakes fall from your pain au chocolat like confetti. Treats like this are reason to celebrate, after all. And a cafe au lait is the perfect complement to people-watching and contemplating the leisurely Parisian pace—it seems like they're taking their time in every bistro, cheese shop, bakery, and cafe...much like you, this place knows how to savor the moment.
For lunch, sample a croque monsieur and chase it with a few crepes. Don't forget to step inside a fromagerie for some local camembert, and be sure to try the classic aperitif Lillet Blanc in the late afternoon as you gather your energy for an unforgettable evening in the City of Light.
Art isn't only to be found in architecture and food presentation, but also the tasteful manipulation of living things, and Paris definitely knows how to maintain a good garden. Park yourself in a chair at the Luxembourg Gardens, positioning yourself to enjoy the facade of the Palais de Luxembourg, which is fronted by a lush, vibrant ring of flowers. There's no better way to practice the art of being than by spending a lazy afternoon observing the activities of the locals and soaking in the hum of Parisian life.
Later, wander down to the edge of the Seine in any riverside park with a bit of wine and cheese for a picnic. If the gentle flow of the water mesmerizes you, board a cruise boat and drift down the Seine's sinuous length in style while toasting your fellow passengers on the beautiful Parisian evening.
Day Trips from Paris
The artistry of Paris defies farewells, but how can you limit yourself to its boundaries when the grandeur and historical verve of Versailles calls you beyond the city limits? This magnificent palace served as the French royal seat of power for about a century prior to the French Revolution. Pace through the ornate Hall of Mirrors, admiring the elegant chandeliers, golden statuettes, and of course the omnipresent mirrors. This room is not only beautiful, but it carries vast historical significance: Many treaties have been signed here, including the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.
Close your eyes and try to wrap your mind around that great historical moment which, though beyond living memory, took place not so very long ago. Outside, meander through the perfectly manicured gardens surrounding the palace. These elegantly trimmed hedges and banks of flowers are widely considered to be the best representation of French garden design anywhere, and certainly they make for an enjoyable view. A walk through the gardens will bring you to the Queen's Hamlet, where Marie Antoinette famously played out her rustic fantasies with her closest friends.
Ernest Hemingway wrote, "If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast." But you don't need to actually live in Paris, or be young, to come away with the same conclusion. Indeed, Paris is a moveable feast, and you will take from the feast the dishes that most interest you. Formulate your own opinions and let the city's artistry touch your soul in the way it was meant to.
There's no right or wrong way to see the city, but it certainly helps to find lodgings close to the action. Travelocity can help you find the best places to stay in Paris at great prices. Get exclusive deals on the Travelocity mobile app, and be sure to book your flight and hotel together with a Paris vacation package to save even more and devote every dollar (and every moment) to exploration, revelation, wine, and—of course—art. So book your reservation now with Travelocity in one of the many 5 star hotels in Paris; you owe it to yourself.