One of Europe’s most famous – and most beautiful – capitals, Paris has been capturing the hearts and imaginations of artists, writers, and travelers for hundreds of years, and it’s not hard to see why. From wide, tree-lined avenues to picturesque cobbled streets, a sense of history and romance permeates the city. There is something to discover around almost every corner.
Split almost through the middle by the river Seine, with the Left Bank (or Rive Gauche) to the south and the Right Bank (Rive Droite) to the North, the city is then further divided into 20 smaller districts, or, arrondissements, which fan out from the center in a clockwise spiral. Each neighborhood has something unique to offer, but visitors on a tighter schedule should aim to take in at least the most central ‘single digit’ arrondissements, which are home to almost all of the major sights.
Apart from the month of August, when many stores, restaurants, and other businesses close for summer vacation, Paris is the perfect year-round destination. In spring, the mild temperatures will make sightseeing a breeze, while in winter Paris takes on a festive feel which will leave you in no doubt as to why it is known as the City of Light.
Hit the shops
From Coco Chanel to Christian Dior to Yves Saint Laurent, many of the world’s most famous fashion designers have lived and worked in Paris, finding inspiration in the city’s art, architecture and, of course, its famously stylish inhabitants. These days, shoppers flock to the French capital to browse the designer flagships of Rue Saint-Honoré and Avenue Montaigne, as well as the independent boutiques of Le Marais on the Rive Droite and Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Rive Gauche. Paris is also home to some iconic department stores. Just steps from the historic Opéra Garnier, you’ll find both the spectacular Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, while in the upscale 7th arrondissement, Le Bon Marché offers big-name designer brands and niche labels in an extremely refined setting.
Go gallery hopping
It would be easy enough to spend an entire weekend simply exploring the famous Louvre museum. It is home to some of the world’s most culturally significant and recognizable paintings (including, of course, the Mona Lisa), as well as a huge array of historic artifacts and sculptures. Yet Paris has so much more to offer when it comes to art. Fans of impressionism and expressionism should head to the Musée d’Orsay, where the likes of Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and more are displayed in the stunning surrounds of a former railway station, while if your tastes err more on the side of the contemporary, the Centre Pompidou is not to be missed. Built in the 1970s, this architectural masterpiece houses the Musée Nationale d’Art Moderne, a collection of over 100,000 works by 6,400 artists from across the globe, dating from 1905 to the present day.
Versailles is a city in its own right located just 16 miles to the west of Paris. The short train journey of around 45 minutes makes it the perfect day trip for those looking to explore beyond the confines of Paris. Once you’re there, the main draw is the legendary Château de Versailles. It was built in 1624 by French king Louis XIII but expanded dramatically and with no expense spared throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, most famously by Louis XIV. The sprawling 700-room royal residence glitters with gold leaf, huge mirrors, and gigantic crystal chandeliers, while its extensive gardens boast ostentatious fountains, a grotto, a labyrinth and even a faux-rustic hamlet.
Situated on top of a large hill in the north of the city, Montmartre has the feel of a quaint French village. Its pretty cobbled streets and squares are lined with colorful houses and cozy cafes, which will be familiar to anyone who has seen the film Amélie. Prior to World War One, the neighborhood was home to celebrated artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Amadeo Modigliani, many of whom are buried in the nearby Cimitière de Montmartre. Take in the views across Paris from the steps of the Basilique du Sacre Coeur, the white marble monument to the Franco-Prussian war, before heading for dinner in one of the area’s many traditional bistros.
Experience like city a local in one of our Paris luxury homes
After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to return to. Our luxurious Parisian apartments will have you feeling right at home.
6th arrondissement vacation rentals
Otherwise known as Saint-Germain-des-Prés, this Left Bank neighborhood has a bohemian-chic vibe, with independent boutiques and tiny wine bars sitting alongside private art galleries, designer stores, and Michelin-starred restaurants. The nearby Sorbonne university lends a scholarly feel to the area, which can be soaked up alongside a cup of coffee or chocolat chaud at Les Deux Magots, a favorite haunt of the philosophers Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, as well as writers James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway. Our6th arrondissement vacation rentals offer plenty of Parisian charm, with typical Haussmannian features such as high ceilings, large windows, and wrought-iron balconies.
Champs-Elysées apartment rentals
It’s one of the most famous streets in the world, so where better to stay on your trip to Paris than in one of ourChamps-Elysées vacation rentals? Stretching for over a mile from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées is home to museums including the Grand Palais and Petit Palais, the historic Théâtre Marigny and the Elysée Palace, the French president’s official residence. And then, of course, there’s the shopping: on the Champs-Elysées and nearby Avenue Montaigne, you’ll find the flagship stores of prestigious fashion houses including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Balenciaga, and Gucci, to name just a few. With space for up to seven guests, our Champs-Elysées apartments are the perfect choice for trips with family or friends.
Take your honeymoon in Paris
Paris is well-known as one of the world’s most romantic destinations, and with good reason. Couples who decide tohoneymoon in Paris can enjoy candlelit dinners at fabulous restaurants and cruises along the river Seine, as well as unrivaled shopping and culture. If you’re planning a special stay in this beautiful city, be sure to check out our selection of luxurious apartments, some of which offer views of the Eiffel Tower.
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