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Some people come to Paris to scour the word-beating museums and tick off bucket-list sights. Others arrive to explore bohemian Montmartre, get lost in the cobbled alleys of the Marais or people-watch along Canal Saint-Martin. Yet others come to brasserie hop, or while away hours surfing the boutiques. Whatever your reason for coming to Paris, it's always the right one – because as Audrey Hepburn so rightly pointed out in the film Sabrina: "Paris is always a good idea." Whatever category you fall into – epicurean, fashionista, sightseer or business traveller, whether you're looking for a romantic hotel hideaway, a family-friendly hotel with interconnecting rooms, or short-term accommodation with business facilities on hand, there is the Paris hotel in our portfolio for your every need.
Paris was founded more than 2,000 years ago on an island in the middle of the River Seine – today's fabulously beautiful Île de la Cité– and soon expanded across both banks of the river that today bisects the city, giving us the simmering rivalry between Right Bank (Rive Droite) and Left Bank (Rive Gauche) that still exists today. And so the Île de la Cité is an appropriate place to start a tour of Paris landmarks. Restoration work after the 2019 fire is ongoing at the glorious, Gothic-style Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, but it remains one of Paris's most iconic sights. Steps away, take a peek at the jewel-coloured stained-glass windows at Gothic-era Sainte-Chapelle, complemented by a vibrant décor of gold, deep blue and crimson. The Eiffel Tower has marvellous vistas over the Seine and the city's major sights from its wrought-iron viewing decks. Other attractions with fantastic views include the fabled Arc de Triomphe – an imposing 19th-century symbol of a united France – or the observation platform atop the modernist Montparnasse Tower. You'll find further dramatic city panoramas from the steps outside the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, and from there, it's only a few paces into the charming, cobbled streets of Montmartre for a mooch around indie art galleries. Paris has numerous major art museums, with two standing out from the crowd. The Musée du Louvre may be the repository of some of the greatest artworks in the world, but don't try to see everything in one day. Cherry pick among the gallery's treasures, which include Leonardo's Mona Lisa, the classical Greek Venus de Milo sculpture and The Lacemakerby Jan Vermeer. Fans of Impressionism can head straight for the Musée d'Orsay and its unrivalled collection of works by Cézanne, Pissarro and Manet, stylishly displayed in a former railway station. A dinner-cruise along the Seine or dining on moules marinière and steak-frites in a buzzy Latin Quarterbistro are almost Parisian rites of passage. Alternatively, dress up for a night of opera at the Palais Garnier, classical concerts at the stately Théâtre du Châtelet or a show and cabaret at the Lido de Paris – ask our concierges to secure tickets for you.
Special Things to do in Paris
With time on your hands, you can discover places to visit in Paris at leisure – here are some recommendations of things to do in Paris if you're staying for several days. The Musée Carnavalethas had a facelift and is back in business; it's the perfect launch pad for learning about Parisian history through its displays of antique furniture in period rooms. Dedicated devotees of art have a cluster of Paris exhibitions to consider: see the world's most comprehensive collection of Monet's work at the Musée Marmottan Monet, or tour Rodin's bronze and marble sculptures, housed in an eponymous villa-cum-museum with a peaceful garden. Witty and wacky contemporary installations are found in one of the newer kids on Paris's artistic block, the outstanding Bourse de Commerce – Pinault Collection. Shopping in Paris is a sheer delight, from international brands on the Champs-Elyséesto indie boutiques in trendy Le Marais, where you'll unearth vintage clothing and artisan leather goods. Don't forget Paris's passages couverts: these wonderfully ornate shopping arcades with marble floors and vaulted glass roofs include elegant Galerie Vivienne, good for rare-book dealers and upmarket homeware. End your shopping spree in hip boutiques around the Bassin de la Villette, and then take a twilight stroll along the Canal St-Martin, abuzz with craft-beer pubs and cool cafés. Dedicated foodies can trawl the Marché des Enfants Rouges – Paris's oldest covered market – for fresh fruit, seafood and Lebanese street snacks, and graze on Chevre goat's cheese and crêpes from the Marché d'Aligre. Add a freshly baked baguette from a Paris boulangerie and flavoursome macarons from an upmarket patisserie and you're all set for a picnic in the Jardin des Tuileries.
Paris Day Trips
If you have a couple more days to spare, there is plenty to see just outside Paris too. One of the most popular day trips from Paris is to the UNESCO-listed Château de Versailles, the 17th-century showpiece of the legendary Sun King, Louis XIV, and absolutely built to impress with ornate façades and breathtaking size. Impress it does too, thanks to a rococo interior of almost inconceivable opulence, amid lavishly furnished, frescoed and gilded apartments. Outside, all is just as magnificent, with tinkling fountains and classical statuary in hectares of formally landscaped gardens designed by André Le Nôtre. The easiest way to get to Versailles is by train – journeys take around 40 minutes. Travelling with family? Then Disneyland Paris will be high on the bucket list. The frothy fairyland of Cinderella's Castle, children's fun with Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Star Wars-themed adrenaline rides is an easy 40-minute train ride from central Paris, but if you're looking for a few days at the resort, we have various family-friendly hotels near Disneyland Paris. Other day trips from Paris include a tour of Monet's Gardens (an hour) in Giverny – a must for all lovers of Impressionist painting – and a visit to the MAC/VALcontemporary art museum in Vitry-sur-Seine (20 minutes).
Arguably the gourmet capital of the world, Paris can certainly lay claim to some of its best restaurants, and its multi-Michelin-starred establishments have long set the benchmark in global fine dining. Today sees innovative chefs showcasing regional produce in cosy brasseries serving the bistronomic classics onion soup and steak tartare – and thanks to the city's status as a multicultural melting pot, some of the best restaurants in Paris also serve Vietnamese pho soups, Moroccan tagines or Senegalese yassa spiced chicken. The city's fabled café culture continues apace, so you can linger over some of the best brunches in Paris at chic art deco cafes. Parisian wine bars offer up vintages from Loire vineyards or a glass of something sparkly from the Champagne region, while you'll find a burgeoning cocktail and beer scene around Oberkampf and Bastille.
With hundreds of properties in our Paris portfolio, we're confident that we have the hotel for you. Among our hotels in Paris city centre, offerings include spa hotels near the Opéra Garnier, luxury hotels with Eiffel Tower views and a selection of 5-star Paris hotels near the Arc de Triomphe. Our accommodation also covers many family-friendly hotels – some of our best family hotels in Paris have special bed and breakfast deals – and there are also plenty of hotels near Disneyland Paris. If you're only overnighting, the best places to stay in Paris may be our budget hotels in city-centre Paris. Anyone travelling for work can rest assured that we have hotels with meeting rooms and coworking space close to Paris-Gare-de-Lyon and business hotels at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Getting to Paris
Paris is one of the most-visited cities on the planet, and with a well-developed tourist infrastructure, it's accordingly very easy to access. International and European flights arrive at either Paris Charles de Gaulle or Orly airports, both with fast rail, bus and taxi connections into central Paris in around half an hour. A third airport option is Paris-Beauvais Airport, which serves budget airlines from across Europe; it is located north of Paris and journey time by public transport is roughly 1.25 hours. Car hire is available at all 3 airports. Paris is also a Eurostar hub, with high-speed, direct services coming into Gare du Nord from across France, northern Europe and the UK.
Getting Around Paris
Much of central Paris lends itself to exploration on foot – think leisurely walks in Paris along the Seine, or saunters through the tranquil Jardin du Luxembourg – but if you're short on time, then the efficient and integrated public-transport service can be a life saver. There are 16 métro lines, with the most useful for tourists being Line 1 (with stops for the Champs Elysées, the Musée du Louvre and Centre Pompidou), and Line 6, which runs partly above ground and offers excellent views of the Eiffel Tower. Trams, local trains and buses operate throughout the city, and of course, you can also hop aboard the Batobus and cruise down the Seine to the Musée d'Orsay and Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. Or how about a city tour of Paris on an open-top bus? If you're travelling to Disneyland from Paris, RER Line A trains from Châtelet les Halles connect in around 40 minutes to Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy for the Paris amusement park.
When to Visit Paris
There's never a bad time to visit Paris – winter's the season for discovering all the cultural attractions, although mild weather for much of the year sees travellers and locals alike filling pavement cafes and lingering along the banks of the Seine. In summer, life moves outdoors and the tourists arrive. One word of advice though: in August the city all but closes down, with Parisians fleeing the heat, and restaurants, bars and shops closed for the annual holiday. A Paris trip in spring or autumn means warm, sunny days and thinner crowds – just ideal for exploring the city.