Paris is beautiful when the sun shines and when it gets dark; Paris is even still beautiful when it rains. When you’re visiting Paris on a rainy day, however, you’ll probably have to adjust your plans a little. Luckily, a little rain doesn’t mean you can’t explore the city. In fact, when it rains you have the opportunity to see and do things in Paris you might not have done otherwise!
One of the most recognizable landmarks in the entire world, the Eiffel Tower is an absolute must-visit when you’re in Paris!
No matter the season, the views from the Tower are spectacular, as is the Eiffel Tower itself. In this article, we’ll explore the history of France’s beloved iron lady, and give you practical information to make the most of your visit to the Eiffel Tower! Read the entire story here…»
Montmartre and the Sacré Cœur rise over Paris rooftops
One of the most famous districts in Paris is also one of the most recognizable: Montmartre with its Sacré-Cœur Basilica can be seen rising high above the Paris rooftops from across the city. The 130 meters (426 feet) high hill is famous not only for its remarkable church, but also for its bohemian past. The village within a city once was the home to artists such as Salvadar Dalí, Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. The picturesque Paris neighborhood still draws millions of visitors every year. In this article, we’ll highlight some of the top things to see on a daytrip to Montmartre! Read the entire story here…»
The Seine River, Pont des Arts and Île de la Cité at night in Paris
No matter the season, the Seine River never fails to charm visitors in Paris. In wintertime, the dashing lightshows of the Eiffel Tower are reflected in the still water of the Seine. In springtime, you’ll see couples attach a lovelock to the Pont des Arts and throwing the key into the river symbolizing their eternal love. In summertime, Paris Plages take over the banks of the Seine River, as people swim in floating pools or stretch out on the sandy beaches. In autumn time, the leaves of Parisian trees turn golden brown and float down the river, followed by the numerous tour boats.
It’s clear the Seine River is an integral part of life in Paris, and cannot be missed by any traveler! In this post we’ll tell you a little more about the most famous river in France, and also describe some of the best spots to view the Seine from in Paris. Read the entire story here…»
Abbesses station’s art nouveau entrance to the Paris Métro
No visit to Paris is complete without an exploration of one of the oldest, most efficient, and most elegant public transit systems in the world: the Paris Métro. This subway system is not just a way to get around the city; it has become a symbol for the City of Light, and has influenced countless other subway systems across the world. Unique art is not only displayed in metro trains in Paris, but whole stations and station entrances are part of the Paris Métro art as well.
A cast-iron Paris Métro sign. Photo by Fabio Venni.
The Paris Métro opened over 100 years ago, with stations designed by art nouveau architect Hector Guimard.
Guimard’s iconic designs, with cast iron entrances in floral and plant motifs, have given the Paris Métro its completely characteristic style.
Only two of Guimard’s original entrance designs survive: the Abbesses station on Line 12, which also features an enormous and ever-changing mural on the staircase walls, and the Porte Dauphine station on Line 2, which was inaugurated in 1900, the first year of the Métro’s opening.
Today we are going to finish up our tour of a great Paris neighborhood – the Marais. This is the second of our two-part series on the fantastic neighborhood of the Marais in Paris. Make sure to watch the first part of our Video Tour of Le Marais in Paris.
Video Tour of Le Marais in Paris, Part 2
Rue des Rosiers
The Marais used to be an important center of Jewish Paris and is still today to a certain degree. You can see the unique Agoudas Hakehilos synagogue designed by Hector Guimard at 10 rue Pavee, just off of des Rosiers, which used to be the one of the main Jewish streets in Paris. While many of the traditional shops have been taken over by designer boutiques, there are still some shops selling Jewish specialties. You can pick up some tasty pastries at the various Jewish bakeries or grab a falafel at the famous l’As du Falafel (34 rue des Rosiers), home to the best falafel in the world!
Further down the street is Chez Marianne (2, Rue des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais, on the corner at rue des Rosiers), a better option for a sit down meal. Here, patrons can make their own tasting menu of Eastern Mediterranean delicacies such as hummus, grilled eggplant and vine-leaf dolmas. The kitsch art adds to the charm of this restaurant. Read the entire story here…»
Lounging at the Paris Plage on the right bank of the Seine River
Every year, as temperatures start to soar in Paris, Parisians and tourists alike set out for the Paris Plages. These urban beaches transform certain areas of Paris into sandy summer paradises for a whole month!
A Map of Paris Plages
The first Paris Plage was organized on the banks of the Seine River in 2002 by the mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë. He wanted to give Parisians who were unable to go on a holiday to the seaside the opportunity to experience the beach right in their own city.
The event proved so successful that a new Paris Plage was opened at a location outside the city center, at the Bassin de la Vilette, in 2007, and the general idea of urban beaches has been copied by cities throughout Europe.
This year, the 12th edition of Paris Plages is held. The beaches are opened on 19/20 July and can be visited until 18 August 2013. For 4 weeks during the height of the summer season, you can build sand castles, work on your tan at the deckchairs, and enjoy games of Pétanque.
The beaches are open from 8 am to midnight each day, and they are completely free to visit!
Because the two different locations both have some unique activities, we’ll highlight the Plage on the riverbank and the Plage at the Bassin de la Vilette below. Read the entire story here…»
Bastille Day Fireworks ignite the skies near the Eiffel Tower in Paris
On Saturday July 14th 2012, Bastille Day will be celebrated not only in France but all over the world! One of France’s biggest holidays, there will be Bastille Day parades, parties and fireworks across the country.
The French Tricolor Flag is displayed at the Arc de Triomphe for Bastille Day in Paris
Bastille Day is a French National holiday (La Fête Nationale), which has been celebrated for over a century. Contrary to popular belief, Bastille Day doesn’t actually celebrate the storming of the Bastille. Instead, it commemorates the Fête de la Fédération of 1790, which was a huge feast held one year after the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. The feast celebrated the new constitutional monarchy and the general notion of liberty in France. Even though the constitutional monarchy was short-lived and was followed by many turbulent periods, about a century later in 1880, it was decided that the 14th of July would become a national holiday. The French often refer to the holiday simply as “le quatorze Juillet”. Read the entire story here…»
Paris Jazz Festival is one of the city's biggest musical events
The connections between Paris and jazz music stretches back to the 1930s. And what better way to celebrate and enjoy the influence of America in France and vice versa than to take in the annual Paris Jazz Festival at the beautiful Parc Floral in Bois de Vincennes?
For two months, from June 9 to July 29, jazz musicians from all over the world offer outdoor concerts in the Parc Floral every weekend. Whether you are a jazz aficionado, a lover of live music, or simply enjoy picnics in gorgeous settings, this festival will entertain, delight, and enchant you with music and beauty.
The Parc Floral is the ideal setting for enjoying jazz. Laid out in 1969 for an international flower show, the blooms in this exceptional park change with the seasons, making each visit a new experience. The Jazz Festival will set up two stages in the park, a main stage and another stage over the water. While you listen to the cool sounds of guitar, drum, trumpet, saxophone, clarinet, and the human voice, you can sit back and watch the eponymous flowers of the park sway in time to the music. Read the entire story here…»
Visiting the City of Light for the first time can feel a little overwhelming. Unless you plan to stay for the better part of a year, you know that it will be impossible to see everything. But of all the wondrous sights, sounds, aromas, and experiences that Paris has to offer, what should you focus on for your first trip? Here are our suggestions for the top five things to do on your first trip to Paris:
1. Visit the Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay. These two art museums offer an incredible breadth of art history between them, in addition to being breathtaking examples of repurposed architecture. The d’Orsay, which was once a railway station and still retains its Belle Epoque flair, is the smaller of the two museums and houses French artwork dating from 1848 to 1914. The Louvre is, of course, the most famous museum in the world and displays over 35,000 pieces of artwork.
Neither of these wondrous museums can be seen in a day, so don’t feel the need to try. Instead, plan a leisurely day for each, where you wander from exhibit to exhibit. The Louvre in particular offers highlight tours so that you can see the “greatest hits” of the museum. But no matter how you plan your stroll through these museums, you’ll certainly stumble across unexpected treasures.
Paris' Eiffel Tower and the Seine River
2. See the city from the Seine. The Bateaux Mouches boat rides down the Seine are famous for a reason. You get unparalleled views of the major sites of the city on a relaxing hour-long cruise. The city is at its most beautiful at sunset, so try to plan your cruise for those early twilight hours. Read the entire story here…»
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