The very best of...ParisThursday 23 July 2015 by Irina Catana Few cities can top Paris for beauty, history and wonderful places to visit – it would take months to uncover all of it's hidden gems. Check out our guide for must-see attractions and events in this buzzing city.
The best things to see and do
On every visitor’s must-do list is the Eiffel Tower and museums like the Louvre, but this barely scratches the surface of what Paris has to offer. One of our favourites is La Cimetière du Père Lachaise – it’s the world’s most visited cemetery, with over 70,000 wonderfully ornate tombs. Big landmarks aside, the best of Paris can be discovered by simply wondering the boulevards and avenues of this captivating city, from the Sacre Coeur to the Left Bank, taking in all the markets, cafes and shops along the way. Neighbourhoods like Le Marais, Île de la Citéand St Germain are quintessentially Parisian, and not to be missed.
The best food and drink
Dining in Paris is a feast for the senses, from 3-star Michelin dining at Epicure and L’Auberge du Vieux Puits, to any one of the thousands of bistros and pavement cafes that seem to be on every street corner. Parisians take their food and wine very seriously, and you’ll find a world of traditional and modern French cooking, as well as some of the best ethnic cuisine in the world. If you fancy trying some haute cuisine, many top restaurants have a good value lunch menu, and you’ll find lovely bars and cafes on every corner, often open late into the night. In summer the clientele spill out onto the pavement, enjoying a glass of wine or a cold beer – find a table, watch the world go by, and enjoy!
The best way to get around
Paris is a big city, so your best bet is to travel between attractions on the Metro – it’s one of the best in the world, with great value ticket options. The city’s cobbled streets, peaceful squares and beautiful gardens are perfect for a gentle stroll, and there’s nothing more romantic than a wander along the River Seine of an evening, or taking a cruise on one of the many boats that take in the best sights of the city. One of the most fun ways to explore Paris is on a Segway tour, which will take you around all the main attractions over the course of a few exhilarating hours.
The best events and festivals
Paris’s biggest festival is Bastille Day on July 14, when a military parade marches down the Champs-Élysées, followed by amazing firework displays and dancing in the Place de la Bastille. Throughout the rest of the year, the city plays host to a vibrant festival calendar, from the Fête de la Musique in June, offering free concerts and street performers, to the wonderful Festival du Cinéma en Plein Air, which offers free outdoor film screenings in the Parc de la Villette in the summer, At the end of July, huge crowds gather on the Champs-Élysées to watch the end of cycling’s most famous race, the Tour De France.