The grand Palace of Versailles in France
The splendor of the Château de Versailles, or Palace of Versailles, is known throughout the world. Once the home of French kings and queens, nowadays the Palace of Versailles and its marvelous gardens are open to visitors. If you’re staying in Paris, the Palace of Versailles and the city of Versailles make a great day trip. Versailles is located just 17 kilometers (10,5 miles) southwest from the city center of Paris. The easiest way to get to the Palace of Versailles is to take the RER C train to the “Versailles Rive Gauche – Château de Versailles” station, which is a short walk away from the castle.
In this article we’ll tell you something about the history of Versailles, and also give you some visitor tips to make the most of your visit to the Palace and City of Versailles! Read the entire story here…»
The Eiffel Tower rises amongst Parisian rooftops
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…»
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.
However, inside the metro stations, old art is effortlessly supplemented with the new. Read the entire story here…»
Canal Saint Martin
For an off-the-beaten-path treat, take some time to discover the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood on your next trip to Paris. This hidden gem may not be one of the most recognizable quarters of Paris, but it exudes a sense of elegant leisure that is oh-so French.
The center of this 10th arrondissement neighborhood is the canal, which was dug between the Seine and the river Ourcq under Napoleon’s orders in the early 19th century. At the time, there was a desperate need for fresh water, but today, the canal serves as a picturesque backdrop for Parisians and tourists enjoying a picnic lunch on its banks. Time seems to slow down as you sip your wine, watch the boats float by, and listen to the outdoor musicians serenade you. Read the entire story here…»
Valentine's Day in Paris
Paris is not only the most beautiful city to visit in the world, it is also unparalleled for romance and beauty. For Valentine’s Day this year, why not rediscover love through the age by taking a tour of the famous lovers in art and sculpture at the Louvre? You’re in for an unforgettable and romantic experience.
Most visitors to the Louvre take the time to admire the Venus de Milo, but you’ll want to look at her with new eyes on this trip. Venus—or her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite—was the immortal goddess of love and beauty. This graceful sculpture was carved around 100 BCE, and its unknown sculptor believed in appealing to Aphrodite for help with matters of the heart. Share a kiss with your sweetheart in front of this monument to love, and reap the rewards of Aphrodite’s favor.
Aphrodite was not the only god in charge of love in the ancient world. Her son, Cupid (also known as Eros) was the young man who shot love arrows at unsuspecting couples, making them fall helplessly in love with each other. Cupid also fell for a woman—the beautiful mortal Psyche, of whom his mother was jealous. The sculpture Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss by Antonio Canova depicts the moment when Cupid saves his beloved from an endless sleep caused by Venus. The elegant lines of this tender scene will move any art lover and anyone who has ever fallen in love. Read the entire story here…»
Neptune Fountain at Versailles
No trip to Paris is complete without a tour of the palace at Versailles, the French seat of beauty, decadence, ambition and artistry. The famed chateau was constructed and expanded under the reign of Louis XIV, who wished to employ the greatest architects, designers and artists of the time to create a palace worthy of a godly king.
Visit Château de Versailles on a Saturday or Sunday in warm weather (April through October) to see Les Grandes Eaux Musicales—the Musical Fountains Show. This unforgettable spectacle has each of the over 2400 fountains and waterworks throughout the palace grounds on and flowing to the rhythm of music. You can watch the jets of water rise and fall to the tune of Baroque operas and overtures, and marvel at the fact that 400-year-old engineering is still responsible for the playful movements of the water. Read the entire story here…»
Music along the Seine in Paris
The city of Paris is home to some of the most elegant, innovative, romantic and fun music venues in the world. No visit to the City of Light is complete without spending a night dancing until dawn in one of the hotspots that makes Paris famous. Next time you find yourself in France’s capital city, make sure you slip on your dancing shoes and head to one of these clubs. You’re in for a treat!
Named for the Turkish baths that once graced the same location, Les Bains Club in the 3rd arrondissement is famous for its all-night dance parties as well as its ability to draw A-list celebrities for a night of fun. The advice for getting in past bouncers with high standards is first, to dress to kill, and second, to make a reservation for a table in the Thai restaurant portion of the club beforehand. Dancing begins at midnight, and the dance floor is lively until dawn. Les Bains Club is located at 7 rue du Bourg-l’Abbé, Paris 75003. Read the entire story here…»
The Paris Music Scene
Since Josephine Baker’s heyday in the 20s and 30s, Paris has been a hub for live music, dancing, drinking, flirting and fun. After all, the City of Light is brightest after dark, when nightlife is at its well-dressed, glittery finest. On your next trip to Paris, break out your finest duds (or even better—buy yourself some new ones!) and visit one of these nightspots for an evening of Parisian music you will never forget:
L’Alternative in the 1st arrondissement is one of the newer clubs to grace Paris’s night scene. Though the venue was once a traditional cabaret bar, it’s now home to rock and techno beats for arty locals and visitors alike. This will be the perfect place to show off your latest tat and take in the newest fashions on the dance scene. In fact, the doorman is instructed to follow the policy of “no effort, no entry,” so have a great time choosing your outfit and makeup to ensure that you can enjoy the old-fashioned cabaret décor of red lights and black leather while you dance the night away. Visit L’Alternative at 5 rue Molière, Paris 75001. Read the entire story here…»
As the weather warms, Parisians and Americans in beautiful Paris naturally find themselves drawn to the water. The Seine River that bisects Paris into the Left and Right Banks provides a cool and breezy spot to enjoy the beauty of the city in full summer. Take time to enjoy the river that has inspired countless artists and is the lifeblood of Paris.
Visitors to Paris are in for a treat with the traditional Bateaux Mouches river tour, and summer is a wonderful time to glide along the river on a flat-bottomed boat. Though there is some controversy over how these “fly boats” got their name, everyone agrees that they are a delightful way to see the sights of the City of Light. Each boat company has different embarkation points, but you can expect to travel past the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, the Musee d’Orsay, the Louvre, Notre Dame, and the Hotel de Ville, not to mention many of the 35 gorgeous bridges spanning the Seine. With the wind playing with your hair, the sun glittering on the surface of the water, and some of the world’s most beautiful buildings and monuments drifting by on the shore, your Bateau Mouche river tour will be a treasured memory of your trip to Paris. Read the entire story here…»