Paris City Breaks 2016

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Pulsating Paris

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Paris city breaks are a recipe for captivation and inspiration, transporting holidaymakers into one of the most historic, romantic and infectious cities in the world. Seeping grandeur and magic, the capital of France is a magnet for artists, writers and culture vultures, boasting an endless number of iconic landmarks, architectural beauty and natural splendour – influencing generations and generations.

The city has become the ideal destination for city breaks; just a short hop across the channel and you’ll find yourself embedded in the heart of Paris. History buffs will revel in the array of palaces, castles, landmarks and museums, cuisine freaks will salivate at the aromas of delectable and traditional dishes oozing from classy eateries, and couples will find that everything is just that little bit more loved up during city breaks in Paris.

Romance, Art and Culture

You’ll capture the spirit of Paris in all corners, whether strolling along the vibrant streets, ducking into engaging museums or floating along the dissecting River Seine. There is a relentless artistic vibe present throughout the city, something you can detect from individual neighbourhoods to world-class museums. The captivating Latin Quarter evokes a bohemian atmosphere, cloaking a maze of narrow streets dotted with cafes, eateries and boutiques – this is where you’ll encounter Paris of old.

If you want to access this cultural ethos with comparative ease, setting foot in one of the city’s famous museums or basking in the shadow of one of Paris’ iconic landmarks will do the trick. Paris city breaks aren’t complete without a visit to the incredible Louvre. This range of fantastic museums, set amid an architectural triumph, houses wonders such as the Mona Lisa and is an overwhelming ode to the city’s cultural relevance. Meanwhile, a little further along the Seine sits the legendary and imposing Notre Dame Cathedral, while further north you’ll encounter the theatrical Opera area, noted for its stunning Opera House – one of the finest in the world.

In the Heart of France

Many of Paris’ most revered sites lie at the heart of France’s tourism lure, so there’s no surprise that the capital is one of the most visited cities on the planet. The city is the perfect destination for all manner of holidaymakers, whether embarking on a family adventure, a couple searching for a romantic getaway or a solo nomad hoping to embrace a significant cultural movement. Whoever you are, city breaks in Paris will introduce you to some of the world’s most memorable sites that are guaranteed to impress. The endless stretch of the beautiful Champs-Elysees meets the towering Arc de Triomphe, a structure that simply radiates splendour. Not far from here is the ever-recognisable Eiffel Tower, providing wonderful views across the city via a testing climb or a not-so-testing lift.

The Sacre Coeur is another of Paris’ grand and famous sites – a church perched atop the highest peak in the city. The city views are predictably impressive, but don’t keep your back to the church itself, this is an equally-impressive landmark of the city. Further afield from the city, the magic only continues. Families would be wise to drop in on Disneyland Paris – a haven for the young and young at heart, and one of the most famous theme parks in the world. The Palace of Versailles is another box to tick during Paris city breaks. This royal chateau encompasses all of the extravagant grandeur that characterises the breath-taking city of Paris – a destination simply not to be missed.

Paris city break attractions

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is probably one of the most famous attractions in the whole of Europe, as well as being an iconic symbol of Paris. No trip to the city would be complete without at least one photo of the impressive structure. There are three levels that you can stop at to admire the views of the city, day or night and you can either walk or get the lift to the first two.There are gift shops for souvenirs and restaurants where you can enjoy a gourmet dinner over-looking the city lights at night.

For more information, visiting hours and ticket prices, see here:

Arc de Triomphe

This stunning landmark that heads up the Champs-Elysees is a memorial to all those that have lost their lives serving France and is the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. When the Arc is lit up at night it frames the famous street in Paris and is also one of the main points that the Bastille Day parades pass every year on the 14th July.

Find out more about visiting the Arc de Triomphe:

Louvre

This famous art museum is one of the largest collections of art and sculpture in Europe and has over 380,000 pieces, from almost every era and country!

Find everything you need to know about the Louvre here:

Others

There are so many amazing sights in this beautiful city that it can be hard to fit them all in to a short break to Paris. We have put together attractions guides so that you can find out everything you need to know about the best places to see.

Find out more about attractions in Paris:

Paris city breaks couples

Hotels

For a romantic stay in Paris, the perfect hotel is never far away, whether you are looking for a quiet, secluded boutique hotel, or a grand building in the centre of the city. The Hotel Oceania is in the south of Paris, boasting recently refurbished leisure facilities and is just 200m from the nearest metro station. Another great option for couples is the Alane Hotel is within easy reach of the city’s main attractions and the hotel’s quirky shape means the all rooms are unique.

More hotels:

Sights

No city break to Paris would be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, even if you’re not brave enough to go to the top! You can visit seven days a week – make sure you get there early if you want to beat the crowds. If you want to see the city all lit-up, you can only take the steps until midnight, and the lifts run until midnight from June to September and 11pm from September to June.

Food and drink

Paris boasts one of the most diverse ranges of cuisines in the world, it has everything from tiny, quiet cafes on the backstreets where you can enjoy a coffee and pastry and watch the world go by, to Michelin Star restaurants where you have to book up to a year in advance! One of the best places to go for a stroll and find somewhere to eat is along the banks of the Seine and in the St. Germain area.

Museums and galleries

The Louvre is one of the most well-known museums in Paris and is home to the famous Mona Lisa painting. The Musee Rodin celebrates the artist of the same name in a stunning traditional Chateau and has pretty grounds to walk around. For the less arty, there is the Cite des Sciences et de l’Industrie – one of the biggest science museums in Europe, and the Musee d’Histoire Naturelle – perfect for nature lovers.

Paris city breaks hotels

Central

This hotel is right in the heart of the Montmartre and Opera districts, with a huge range of amazing bars and restaurants and shops, cinemas and theatres all within walking distance. It is only a two minute walk to the nearest metro station, making exploring the city a piece of cake!

For more information and to book:

Disney

This hotel is a paradise for families wanting to go on a Disneyland Paris holiday. The fairytale castle over-looks the surrounding countryside and there are indoor and outdoor playgrounds for children. For adults there is the Dream Castle Spa, inlcuding an indoor pool, fitness room and Jacuzzi. It takes just 10 minutes on the shuttle bus to get the Disneyland and just over 35 minutes on the train to the centre of Paris.

The Musketeer's buffet restaurant serves traditional French cuisine, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.And you ca get snacks and drinks from the Sans Souci restuarant and Excalibur Bar from 07.00 to 00.30.

For more information and to book:

Romantic

This hotel has an ideal location for exploring the centre of Paris, found right between the Champs-Elysees and some of the best department stores in the city. The modern rooms have every home comfort you could wish for and the bar and breakfast room are a great place to relax and have a delicious breakfast before exploring the city.

For more information and to book:

Family friendly

The hotel Normandy is great for families who don't want to walk far to see the main tourist attractions and monuments on a Paris holiday. The hotel overlooks The Louvre and is just a few minutes walk from the subway line 14, so exploring the other districts in the city is simple.

For more information and to book:

Paris city breaks weekends

Two night breaks

On a two night stay in Paris, you are going to want to fit in as much as possible, so staying in a central hotel, or one close to a metro station is a must! If you stay in a self-catering hotel, then you get to experience the best of the city’s cafes for breakfast, can grab a baguette on the go for lunch and try frog’s legs for dinner if you’re feeling brave. We recommend fitting in a night-time trip to the Eiffel Tower, jumping on one of the open top bus tours to see more of the city’s architecture, exploring the Latin Quarter and the Champs-Elysees to see the Arch de Triomphe. If all of this sounds like too much rushing around, relax in one of Paris’ beautiful parks or gardens.

Three night breaks

If you have a little longer in Paris, why not take a day trip to one of the surrounding areas? The five rivers surrounding Paris effectively create an ‘island’ – this area is known as the Ile de France. There are some beautiful castles (chateaux) in the area including Fontaine-bleau, one of the prettiest. You can hire a car to get there, take the train, or there are plenty of organised coach trips, too. The Chateau of Versailles is one of the most impressive palaces in the country and is a great day trip. If you’re with children, head for the Parc Asterix – a fun, cartoon based theme park.

Hotels

The Hilton Arc de Triomphe Paris Hotel is right in the centre of the city and is just minutes from the Champs-Elysees. It has a spa and sauna, perfect for relaxing after a long day on your feet exploring the city and a beautiful outdoor terrace to dine al fresco. The Best Western Plaza Elysees is also right in the centre of the city and is ideal for couples, families and groups of friends.

For more information and to book:

Getting around

Walking tours, tourist buses, metro, bicycle, RER (the high speed train network), boat trips along the Seine and taxis – there is no shortage of ways to get around this well connected city. Hiring a bike is one of the best ways to see the city, and it is so easy. They have a similar system to the Boris bikes in London – you can pick one up, ride around and drop it off at one of the many docking stations across the city. Boat trips are a lovely way of seeing some of the architecture along the Seine, as is one of the open top buses that tour the city. The metro is best for longer journeys, or take one of the over-ground trains.

Useful information

Language
French
Currency
Euro
Local time
GMT/BST +1 hour
Airport
Paris (Charles de Gaulle)
Flight time
60 minutes