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Nathalie Cornish, Product Manager

"Paris is undoubtedly one of the world’s best City Break destinations and offers the perfect mix of history, culture, architecture, museums, galleries, shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. The Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe are all ‘must sees’ but don’t forget the Paris that exists a little off the beaten track. Wander the tranquil paths of the Jardin de Luxembourg, explore the charming shops in the Left Bank or even take time to visit Cimeitiere Pere Lachaise, final resting place of Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Balzac, Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf."

Paris at a glance

Paris is one of the most sought-after cities to visit, a must-see destination which embraces a romantic image. This timeless city offers some of the best sightseeing, art, fashion and dining experiences in Europe with a distinctive “je ne sais quoi” allure. Paris can fill the days of your city break with plenty of things to do, see and of course eat!

After ticking the Eiffel Tower off the list, there are still many monuments and buildings to explore, such as the Sacre-Coeur, the Chateau de Chantilly which is nestled in the Chantilly Forest and the Statue of Liberty. Yes, there is a small Statue of Liberty which was a gift from the USA to celebrate their friendship with France, this can be viewed from the Pont de Grenelle. Also, the Liberty Flame can be spotted right next to Pont de l’Alma bridge.

Charming cafés, patisseries and Creperies are dotted around this beautiful city, attracting people with the fresh smell of baked goods and the scent of those utterly scrumptious buttermilk crepes are a magnet for foodies. Restaurants neatly lined the streets of Paris, with many offering open air dining. With restaurants in abundance, the best way for choosing where to go is to follow the locals!

Perfect if you’re looking for:

  • Stunning architecture
  • Iconic sights
  • Indulgent cuisine
  • A bustling city break

Getting Around

Given the sweeping size of the city, the quickest way to get around is via the vast Métro system (on a par with the London underground). However, as many of the main tourist attractions are located in the central arrondissements, it’s easy to stroll between sights whilst stopping to enjoy a little pavement café culture.

Dining in Paris

A truly cosmopolitan capital, Paris is a diverse and eclectic culinary mecca, offering an international smorgasbord of dining options ranging from sushi to tacos to Vietnamese noodles.

It goes without saying the city also abounds with bistros, patisseries and Michelin star eateries for those, perfect for those seeking a taste of Paris’ famed cuisine.

Must-try local dishes

  • Bistro fare - soupe à l’oignonne, steak tartare, croque-monseiur and duck confit
  • Unmissable French sweet treats: crème brulée, iles flottantes, macaroons at one of Ladurée’s tearooms and mille feuille pastries at La Maison Angelina

Shopping in Paris

Known as the Capital of Fashion, Paris is a cosmopolitan mecca for designer boutiques and retail therapy with a luxury twist. Try the Haussmann-Saint-Lazare-Opéra district for luxury brand department stores, including the famous Galeries Lafayette.

Osprey Holidays top tips

Heading up the Eiffel Tower is tempting for city views, however we recommend going to Terrasse du Printemps Haussmann for sweeping views of Paris. The department store is located in Boulevard Haussmann at the 9th arrondissement, with the free rooftop terrace open between 9:35am-8pm, it is less crowded and you won't be disappointed!

Get your tailor-made city break itinerary

Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Paris designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:

  • All travel and transfers on days of your choice
  • Accommodation from our handpicked range of Paris hotels, to suit your budget and requirements

Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.

Important information
Population 2,243,833
Languages French
Currency Euro
Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
Average temperatures

(monthly highs °C)

Interesting facts

Pick up a picnic to enjoy in the Jardin du Luxembourg - follow your nose to the treats at the patisserie Gérard Mulot nearby!

Distance from airports
Charles de Gaulle 23 km
Orly 18 km
Railway stations
Austerlitz
Saint-Lazare
Lyon and Nord Station

Things to do in Paris

The most popular sights of the city are found within the first 8, most central arrondissements.

  • The Eiffel Tower: This famous structure is the iconic symbol of Paris. Enjoy the 360-degree panoramic view from the top.
  • The Louvre: Arguably the world's greatest art museum and home to the Mona Lisa.
  • Musée d'Orsay: The largest collection of Impressionist and Post Impressionist paintings in the world
  • Sacré-Coeur: Located in Montmartre, the 'artists' district, the white basilica enjoys stunning views over Paris.
  • The Pompidou Centre: The celebrated centre for contemporary art. 
  • Notre Dame: A masterpiece of French gothic architecture which stands on an island in the middle of the Seine.
  • L'Arc de Triomphe: The impressive centrepiece of the world's largest roundabout and the meeting point of 12 avenues.
  • Jardin de Luxembourg: Wander the formal terraces and chestnut groves of this beautiful park. A great place to people-watch. 
  • Latin Quarter: Stroll round the cafes and second hand book and clothing shops of this of this lively, bohemian area.
  • Champs Élysées: Wander down this world-famous avenue between the Arc de Triomphe and the Tuileries Gardens.

Excursions in and around Paris

Dinner Cruise

Discover Paris from the comfort of glass covered boat, departing from the base of the Eiffel Tower, and choose from the following options:

  • Etoile Service: includes a la carte 3 course menu, drinks, musical entertainment & table at the centre of the boat (tables for 2 to 10 people).
  • Decouverte Service: includes a la carte 3 course menu, drinks, musical entertainment & panoramic view (tables for 2 to 10 people)
  • Privilege Service: includes a la carte all inclusive menu, drinks, musical entertainment & excellent position by a large window (tables for 2 to 4 people)
  • Premier Service: includes a la carte all inclusive menu, drinks, musical entertainment & exceptional position at a round table to the front of the boat (tables for 2 to 10 people)

Moulin Rouge Show 

Enjoy this wonderful and famous show with a half bottle of Champagne included in the entrance price. Shows take place at 9pm and 11pm nightly or enjoy a Dinner Dance & Show from 7pm with a variety of menus to choose from. 

Louvre Museum, Skip the Line Guided Tour

Your priority access ticket will allow you to follow your guide straight into the world's largest museum. No need to stand in line! This guided tour offers the perfect opportunity to learn about the museum's huge collection and its greatest works of art, such as the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and the Coronation of Napoleon.

Evening Cruise & City Tour

This small group tour departs at 7pm so, depending on the time of year you can admire the sights from day to night or when the sun has set and they are already illuminated. Take a cruise on the river Seine for a unique view of the landmarks and their reflections then a minibus tour to see main areas of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, Trocadero Square, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and Louvre Museum. Can be taken as a small group or private tour. Includes hotel pickup.

Musee d'Orsay & City Tour

Explore the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art with an open ticket to the Musée d’Orsay, giving priority access to the permanent collection and standard entry to temporary exhibitions. The city tour departs at 10:00, 12:00 or 15:00 and takes in the major sights in a covered panoramic coach.

Eiffel Tower

Built for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, Gustave Eiffel’s tower was originally meant to be dismantled after 20 years, but who can image the Parisian skyline without this iconic landmark! There are several options for ascending the tower – up to the 2nd stage by stair or elevator or to the summit by elevator or a combination of stair and elevator.

Palace of Versailles

Best known as the residence of Kings Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, and seat of the royal court until the French Revolution, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in a wealthy suburb of the capital and only 20 kilometres from the centre. The Palace reflects the opulence of the time, boasting Baroque architecture, countless works of art, hand-crafted furniture and over 700 rooms!  Highlights include the King's Grand Apartment, The Queen's Grand Apartment (a mirror image of the King's) and the stunning Hall of Mirrors. The extensive gardens feature statues, fountains, flower beds, ponds and woodland. A variety of full and half day tours from Paris are available.

Giverny: Claude Monet's House & Gardens

The inspiration for many of Monet's works, this tour takes you to the house where the painter lived for 43 years. Discover his home, studio and gardens (including the famous Japanese bridge and water lily pond) as well as his collection of Japanese prints, considered one of the most important in the world.

Further Afield

Enjoying an extended stay in Paris or just looking to see more? There are several areas of interest that can be reached from the capital on a day or multi-day trip, including the UNESCO World Heritage listed island of Mont Saint Michel, Normandy & The D-Day Beaches, and the Loire Valley and its Chateaux.

We would be happy to arrange an excursion for you. To discuss options with a member of our knowledgeable team or to book, please contact us on 0131 243 8098.