Paris is split into two halves by the Seine. The Right Bank (rive droite) features grand boulevards and monumental buildings, the best museums and the city’s chicest shops around Les Halles. The Left Bank (rive gauche) meanwhile is synonymous with Bohemian, intellectual pursuits, a spirit that survives in the bars and restaurants around St-Germain. However well you think you know Paris, there are always new parts to discover within its village-like quarters, and its small centre is ideal for visiting on foot, with every turn revealing a famous landmark, a cosy café, a smart boutique or a busy boulevard. Paris is particularly beautiful in spring when the trees along the Seine begin to blossom and the city livens up after winter. It’s also fun to visit on France's national day, 14 July, when the storming of the Bastille prison is commemorated with a massive fireworks display and throngs of people take to the streets.
Created by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers in 1972, the Centre Pompidou is the place to go for all things modern. Housed in the former d’Orsay railway station, and built for the Great Exhibition of 1900, the Musée d’Orsay is home to a stunning collection of western art. The sheer size of the Musée du Louvre can seem daunting, but if you are short of time and just want to see the main attractions, such as the ‘Mona Lisa’, just follow the specially marked tour signs. The museum’s glass pyramid entrance, designed by I. M. Pei, is a highlight of modern Paris.
Inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, the Jardin du Luxembourg’s green metal chairs provide an ideal perch from where you can absorb all the beauty of this wonderful city. The Marais is a magical quarter full of aristocratic stone mansions: stroll along Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, take a detour along Rue de Sévigné, cross to lovely Place des Vosges – home to Victor Hugo, who wrote the classic novel, ‘Les Misérables’ – and wander through the two gorgeous courtyards of Hôtel de Sully.
The ornate Palais Garnier remains unrivalled for a glamorous night out; the interior drips with gilt, marble and red satin, providing a splendid setting for opera and ballet productions. Of course, The Eiffel Tower has symbolised Paris since 1889 and if you have a head for heights it is worth amking the ascent to the top for excellent, far-reaching views over the city in all directions. The 19th century Cimetière de Montmartre, where many of the greats are buried (Berlioz, Dumas, Truffaut, Degas and Nijinsky to mention a few), epitomises the artsy, quixotic, gentle, whimsical Paris that every romantic visitor secretly cherishes, while the peaceful Cimetière du Pere Lachaise is the final resting place of Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison. An alternative take on the city is via the extremely popular Catacombs – a tunnel network that runs under the city, created in the 1780s. With public burial pits overflowing in the era of the Revolutionary Terror, the bones of six-million people were transferred there. Nowadays a series of galleries envelop you in its slightly macabre history during two-kilometre-long tours.
Our Travel Consultants can advise on, arrange and pre-book many things to enhance your holiday. This includes everything from spa reservations and dinner reservations, to a range of special experiences available in our featured resorts that you may not know about.
The Eiffel Tower
It is worth noting that the queues to ascend the tower are usually shorter at night, so it can be a better time to go and the views incorporate the city's twinkling lights.
Springtime in Paris is a wonderful time to visit but it can get wet. The summer is usually warm and dry, while in autumn the changing colours of the trees lining the boulevards add to the city's charms. Winter can get quite cold.
These figures show monthly average maximum temperatures and monthly average rainfall for Paris.
British Airways from London Heathrow to Paris. UK regional departures are also available.
From London Heathrow to Paris: 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Travelling With Children or Without an Adult
Children travelling without both parents should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country (for example, South Africa) or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. Please contact the relevant Embassy for the county you are travelling to for further information.
Visa and Advance Passenger Information
All passengers must ensure they have a valid, acceptable passport, any required visa and any other documentation for both the final destination and any stop-off points en route. Please make sure that Advance Passenger Information is submitted in advance to travel for all destinations. Failure to hold correct documentation or submitting incorrect details with Advance Passenger Information or Visa applications may result in refusal of carriage or entry into a country. Please check with the relevant Embassy regarding visa requirements well in advance of your travel date. Charges may apply for some visas.
Passengers not travelling on a British Passport are advised to contact their relevant Foreign & Commonwealth office for individual Visa requirements.
For up-to-date resort information, visit www.fco.gov.uk
Health facilities, hygiene and disease risks vary worldwide and you should take health advice about your specific needs from your general practitioner or a specialist clinic as early as possible before travel. Those planning to become pregnant should discuss their travel plans with their healthcare provider to assess their risk of infection with Zika. For information about Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (such as Dengue fever and Chikungunya), Lyme Disease (caused by tick bites), and to receive advice on mosquito bite avoidance measures, please visit http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/insect-tick-bite-avoidance/
In addition, we highly recommend that you seek specialist advice from your doctor and, where recommended, obtain vaccinations or tablets for protection against, for example: Malaria, Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid. In some cases, treatments for Malaria should begin well in advance of travel. Travellers may also be required to show Yellow Fever Certificates on arrival in certain destinations ie, some African countries. Please note that you are strongly advised against scuba-diving for 24 hours before travelling by air. We would also like to draw your attention to the risk of DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and recommend that you consult with your doctor before travelling.
Visit the FCO website and select your destination country for the very latest travel advice: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.
Additional sources of information include: www.hpa.org.uk, http://nathnac.net,
www.fco.gov.uk, www.hpa.org.uk and www.nathnac.org, your General Practitioner or a specialised clinic.