Paris: The Best City Break in France

Updated On: November 08, 2023


Paris welcomes millions of tourists attracted by its spectacular atmosphere every year. Of course, the delectable cuisine and vast art collections are equally deserving of praise. The Seine, a calm river that runs through the city, is bordered by opulent museums, ancient churches, and blocks of Rococo and Neoclassical structures. These structures are all accented by cascading trees and sparkling lighting.

The incredibly fashionable Parisians fill the cobblestone sidewalks and stunning bridges across the Seine on their way to the market, cafe, or cinema. Take a tour of the famed Musée d’Orsay, browse the stores in Le Marais or on the Champs Élysées, enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower top, or even plan a day excursion to Versailles Palace. In his autobiography “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway noted that Paris is a city of “many splendours.”

Best Time to Visit

Paris experiences a temperate continental climate. The Summers can be hot, but only sporadically, and the Winters are typically cool but not freezing. Rain frequently falls, more regularly than in London, and year-round.

Parisian Summers are remarkably similar to British Summers. The minimum and highest average temperatures from June to September are 13°C and 25°C, respectively. However, the humidity in this metropolis makes it uncomfortable to walk through the streets of Paris on the hottest days.

The Winters in France‘s capital are typically cold but not below freezing. Minimum and maximum temperatures on average range from 1°C to 7°C. Wintertime brings heavy rain and perhaps snowfall. Although Paris is beautiful year-round, the best time to visit is Summer. There is less risk of rain during this period, and the days are longer.

Top attractions

The city’s beauty in every neighbourhood reveals a distinctive appeal, seducing visitors. There is something to inspire you in all popular sites and hidden corners. Here’s a list of the top attractions in Paris.

Eiffel Tower

city breaks

The 1,063-foot (324-metre) tall Eiffel Tower is made of wrought iron. It was made for the Exposition Universelle, a global exposition in Paris in 1889. At the moment, it is Paris’ most well-known emblem. The tower was designed by two senior engineers employed by architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel, who later approved and suggested using it as the centrepiece of the Exposition Universelle. This world fair took place in the French capital in 1889. 

Upon approval, 250 workers were employed to begin the monument’s construction, which took more than two years to complete. The Eiffel Tower caused controversy when it first appeared.  The artists of the day considered the monument horrible, and it was repeatedly urged to be destroyed due to its low profitability. The tower radiotelegraphy centre helped in World War I by intercepting enemy signals.

With over 7 million visits per year, the Eiffel Tower is currently the most visited monument in the world. These statistics partially result from how well-liked Paris is as a tourist destination. Both the stairs and the Tower lift are available for use by visitors. However, it’s crucial to remember that there are 1,665 steps to the top before deciding how you want to see the monument.

Only the second storey is accessible if you choose to use the stairs. Although the admission ticket for the stairs is less expensive, we advise taking the elevator because the savings are insignificant. Early in the morning to beat the noise or at twilight, when tourists can see Paris lit up, are the most promising times to take in the breathtaking sights of Paris. The best choice is to purchase your tickets online to avoid lengthy waits at the Eiffel tower ticket office. 

Louvre Museum

city breaks - Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum, which houses the art collection of the French King and the spoils of Napoleon’s Empire, was founded in 1793. Free general entry to the museum has been available since it opened, which was considered innovative at the time. The largest museum in the world is located at the Louvre Palace. The stronghold built in the twelfth century saw numerous expansions and renovations throughout the centuries. 

King Charles V and Philippe II selected this palace as their home before it became a museum, furnishing it with their constantly expanding art collections. The spectacular structure, which has a total floor space of 160,000 square metres, was converted into one of the most magnificent museums in the world after the Royal Family relocated to Versailles.

To break up the monotony of the Louvre’s facade, a glass pyramid, which serves as the museum’s main entrance today, was constructed in the palace’s central courtyard in 1989. Only 35,000 of the over 300,000 pieces of art from the Louvre’s permanent collection before 1948 are on display to the general public. 

The extensive collection is divided into several departments, including one for oriental antiquities, one for Egyptian antiquities, one for Greek antiquities, and one for Roman and Etruscan antiquities. The museum also includes a section on the background of the palace itself, which provides information about Islamic art, the Louvre in the Middle Ages, paintings, sculptures, and graphic art.

Some of the exhibition’s most outstanding paintings are:

– The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

– The Wedding at Cana by Paolo Veronese

– Liberty Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix 

Due to the Louvre’s immense size, tourists need a whole morning to explore the museum and enjoy the most significant paintings, sculptures, and other works of art. One might easily spend several days touring the exhibits at the Louvre due to its size.

Despite the Louvre Museum‘s immense prestige on a global scale, its size, the heat, and the hordes of visitors might make the visit a little tiresome for individuals who are not particularly interested in art.

Notre Dame Cathedral 

One of the world’s earliest gothic churches, Notre Dame de Paris, was constructed on the Île de la Cité between 1163 and 1245. The cathedral’s name, which translates to “Our Lady” in English, honours the Blessed Virgin. The cathedral structure has undergone numerous renovations and restorations during the past eight centuries. The most comprehensive and substantial renovation began in 1845 and took 25 years to complete. 

The chapel was restored, sculptures were added, a new rose window was installed, and the flying buttresses were all redone during this renovation. Several significant occasions, such as the coronations of Henry VI of England, Joan of Arc, and Napoleon Bonaparte, have taken place at Notre Dame.

The cathedral experienced a catastrophic fire on 15 April 2019, seriously damaging the roof and the central tower’s needle. Visitors can tour the bell tower, where the Hunchback of Notre Dame lived, and take in the countless gargoyles that adorn the cathedral, in addition to the breathtaking views of Paris that can be seen from the top.

Since there is no elevator in the cathedral, visitors must climb 387 steep steps to reach the top of the two towers, which are accessible from the North Tower (rue du Cloître). We advise you to download the JeFle app and book an approximate visit time online to avoid endless waits. If you’d like, you can also utilise the equipment in the church. Both the neighbouring square and the church are currently off-limits to the general public.

Arc de Triomphe 

One of the primary icons of Paris is the Arc de Triomphe, along with the Eiffel Tower. It is 148 feet (45 metres) broad, 146 feet (50 metres) high, and 72 feet (22 metres) deep. The monument commemorates all of France’s military triumphs throughout the Napoleonic Wars. It took thirty years to construct the Arc, designed by Jean-François Chalgrin. 

After the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806, Napoleon ordered its construction. King Louis-Philippe then gave it the official opening. The Arc de Triomphe, which has stood for two centuries, has witnessed many of the city’s most crucial turning points.

 Including Napoleon’s funeral on 15 December 1840, the World War I victoried parade in 1919, and the “Victory Day” celebration in 1944 to commemorate the conclusion of World War II. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, built in 1921, is located at the foot of the Arc. Its flickering flame stands in for all the unidentified French troops who died in World War I.

Although shorter than the Eiffel Tower, this Roman-inspired arch offers just as breathtaking views. Last but not least, this location offers stunning views of the Champs-Élysées and the La Défense neighbourhood. Visitors must purchase an entry ticket and climb 286 steps to the observation deck. A modest museum and details on its construction are also located inside.

Latin Quarter in Paris

city breaks - Latin Quarter in Paris

During the Middle Ages, when the University La Sorbonne’s students, who lived in this neighbourhood, employed Latin as their primary language of study, the region was known as “Quartier Latin.” Students living in the Latin Quarter have significantly impacted the city since the Middle Ages. Students organised important political movements over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the uprising of May 1968, a nationwide strike that almost toppled the French government.

You approach the Quartier Latin, a tangle of narrow and picturesque lanes, after passing Place de Saint Michel, where a tall fountain depicting Saint Michael slaying a dragon stands. There are several inexpensive eateries and cafés with patios on these streets. Although several streets have excellent restaurants, Rue Huchette is the main thoroughfare and is always a wise choice.

The Panthéon 

The Panthéon was Paris’ first significant building. It was the first structure to provide a comprehensive view of the French capital and was constructed before the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. It is close to the Jardin du Luxembourg and situated in the Latin Quarter. Between 1764 and 1793, the Panthéon was constructed, with Jacques Germain Soufflot and Jean Baptiste Rondelet serving as the architects. 

The Panthéon was designed to unite Greek architecture’s stateliness with gothic architecture’s simplicity. The Panthéon served as a religious or nationalistic building during the nineteenth century, depending on the political rule. Famous French people were interred in the Panthéon’s cemetery during the Third Republic. This landmark visit can be separated into two parts. 


city breaks

A substantial hill, Montmartre is 427 feet (130 metres) tall. It is one of Paris’s most vibrant and most distinctive neighbourhoods. This region, often known as the painter’s quarter, houses the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur and a few of the oldest bars. Additionally, this area is brimming with eateries with terraces and artists selling their creations to both tourists and residents.

Until 1860, Montmartre was a separate commune outside of Paris; after that, it was incorporated into Paris as the eighteenth district. Many Parisians avoided the area due to the cabarets and brothels that sprang up nearby towards the end of the nineteenth century.

But during the Belle Époque, several well-known artists chose to settle in the region, changing it into the distinctive and unexpected neighbourhood it is today. Montmartre can be separated into two distinct regions. The first, located close to Place Pigalle, is distinguished by the dozens of cabarets and sex stores lit up by neon signs, including the legendary Moulin Rouge, which draws thousands of tourists annually.

The second is the more bohemian Montmartre, which can be reached using a funicular or the 197 stairs up the hill to the Place du Tertre. This is one of the most beautiful areas of Montmartre and a great place to eat dinner and stroll through the neighbourhood while taking in the artwork being created or sold by local artists.

The Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, a stunning temple from which you can get a unique perspective of Paris, is reached via a confusing maze of winding, steep, small streets and alleyways. When you arrive at the structure, you’ll notice that the steps leading to the basilica are frequently crowded with tourists and Parisians enjoying the scenery in the morning or afternoon. 

Les Invalides 

The magnificent Hôtel national des Invalides collection of buildings was created in the seventeenth century as a residence and medical facility for retired French soldiers. The first residents of Les Invalides occupied these structures around 1674. 

By the turn of the century, almost 4,000 soldiers and marines who had served in the French Armed Forces for more than nine years were qualified to retire here. Contrary to popular belief, these men spent most of their time studying and performing various activities, such as mending shoes and army uniforms.

For Louis XIV and the veteran soldiers, the cathedral was constructed. Every day, both would show up for worship, but they would enter the chapel through different entrances.

– Église du Dôme (Church of the Dome): Napoleon I’s bones are interred in the royal chapel, which was constructed between 1677 and 1706 and afterwards converted into a military pantheon. The 100-metre-tall golden dome is stunning from the outside.

– The Soldiers’ Chapel: Hundreds of trophies looted from the nation’s adversaries, depicting the French armed forces from 1805 to the twentieth century, are used to decorate this chapel area.

In addition to the artwork it houses, and its stunning golden dome, the Hôtel des Invalides is one of Paris’ most significant landmarks since it is both the final resting place of Napoleon I and an integral part of the French Armed Forces.

Visitors can also explore the sizable Musée de l’Armée (Military Museum of the Army of France).

Palace of Versailles 

city breaks - Palace of Versailles 

One of the most well-known palaces in the world, the Palace of Versailles was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO more than thirty years ago. Visitors are drawn to the palace not just because of its stunning architecture and extensive gardens but also because it played a vital role in France’s history.

In the village of Versailles, King Louis XIV expanded and renovated the pavilion and hunting grounds built by his father, Louis XIII. The Court and Government were transferred to the Palace of Versailles years later, in 1682. 

Until the French Revolution, successive monarchs continued to improve the palace. In 1661, the gardens were planned. These, however, were not finished for another 40 years. The building process took almost four decades since thousands of workers were needed to bring in soil and the appropriate flora. Part of the area was constantly flooded, and the remainder was covered in a thick forest.

The Château was transformed into the Museum of French History when the Royal family moved back to the nation’s capital in 1789. Visitors to the Royal Palace at Versailles will have the opportunity to explore many exquisitely designed chambers. The vast chapel, the King’s and Queen’s bedchamber, which is decorated with numerous embellishments, and the King and Queen’s Grand Apartments are the château’s most striking features.

The Hall of Mirrors

The Hall of Mirrors (Galeries des Glaces), a stunning 239-foot (73 metres) long gallery with 375 mirrors, is also significant. It is one of Versailles’ most renowned rooms, and it was here that the Treaty of Versailles’ armistice for the First World War was signed in 1919.

Versailles Gardens

More than 800 hectares of land make up the magnificent Versailles Gardens. Various flowers, trees, lakes, fountains, and marble statues may be found on the grounds. If you travel on foot, it is impossible to see the entire enclosure. Renting a bike or an electric car or taking the train that travels through most of the Gardens is the ideal way to explore the grounds.

The Petit Trianon

The Petit Trianon, where Marie Antoinette, Queen and Louis XVI’s wife, enjoyed tranquil and simple country life, and the Grand Trianon, a modest mansion of pink marble, are two of the most significant locations in the royal park.

Visitors can see the musical fountain show, where the water of the fountain pulses to the beat of the music from April to October. We advise looking at the schedule in advance if you’re interested in attending one of these displays because they only occur on specific days and at particular times.

One of the most famous sights in the city right now is the Palace of Versailles. Visitors will thoroughly understand French history and culture by touring these gardens. Additionally, you can go for a short nature stroll in the gardens.

However, it’s also vital to draw attention to some of the drawbacks of this excursion: the palace is constantly packed, seeing all the rooms is highly stressful, and the gardens are too big to see them all.


city breaks - Conciergerie 

Best Restaurants

Bustling with excellent restaurants, Paris has reclaimed its status as having one of the world’s best cuisines. Here are some of the restaurants you would want to visit.

Le Bistrot Flaubert 

Chef Nicolas Baumann and financier Stéphane Manigold have taken over this quaint cafe, which was first opened by chef Michel Rostang in the 1980s and featured a flea market-inspired interior. Your dinner cost should be in the range of average pricing. The attractive decor will draw more guests.

One of the most intriguing and fulfilling restaurants in western Paris is run by Korean-born chef Sukwon Yong, a former coworker of Rostang. He puts an Asian twist on French bistro cooking. Visitors can unwind and enjoy themselves in this location’s cosy ambience. You may anticipate dishes like lumache (snail-shaped pasta) with rabbit confit, red curry, and kimchi, as well as Korean beef tartare with avocado mousse and puffed rice. People frequently comment on how kind the staff is. Here, visitors appreciate the pleasant service.

Arnaud Nicolas

Arnaud Nicolas serves traditional French food. Many customers compliment the food, including delectable foie gras, pate, and pork terrine prepared by chief Arnaud Nicolas. Enjoy a tasty red, white, or champagne wine for yourself. Coffee is sometimes suggested as a test. Enjoy some delicious choux, pear pie, and parfait. 

Visitors can unwind and enjoy a fun time with its cosy atmosphere and stunning decor. The decor is simple and refined. Besides the excellent service, you’ll enjoy the average pricing range. You can find it on the verdant avenue in the aristocratic Seventh Arrondissement. You may bring a little bit of this dining experience home thanks to the little shop at the restaurant entrance.

Jean Imbert au Plaza Athénée 

When he debuted his menu of traditional French cuisine at his new eponymous restaurant last September, the upstart chef made sceptic Parisians swoon after the shocking news in June 2021 that chef Jean Imbert will replace chef Alain Ducasse in the kitchens of the Hotel Plaza Athénée. 

Additionally, the design has been updated in a traditional and stylish style that has brought back the radiance of gold in the Regency Salon. Imbert shuns the bold originality of some of his younger counterparts, As evidenced by a signature dish like a deconstructed vol au vent, which is served to the table with the plated contents concealed under a round golden sheet of delicate puff pastry. Imbert gently revises and alters classic dishes to make them charmingly modern.

David Toutain

David Toutain first dazzled Paris at Agapé Substance in Saint-Germain after working with Alain Passard and Marc Veyrat. The TO restaurant, which is housed in a structure that has the appearance of a posh Parisian hotel, encourages you to learn about French bistro food with Japanese elements. Now that he owns his restaurant, he serves some of Paris’ most daring and intriguing cuisine on his constantly changing tasting menus, which range in price from 70 to 250 euros. 

Consider meals like grilled foie gras in a baked potato bouillon with black truffles, a virtually transparent Parmesan gnocchi seasoned with the juice from cooking the cheese at shallow temperatures for hours, and a cuttlefish composition in a monochromatic white colour with yubaours.

Top-Rated Hotels

Whether in Paris for pleasure, shopping or business, you will find a hotel to suit your needs, mood and, most importantly, your budget. Here are some of the highest-rated hotels in The City of Light.

Le Bristol Paris 

Since it first opened in 1925, this storied palace hotel has been a mainstay in Paris. The Le Bristol Paris greets travellers with exquisite 18th-century design, roomy lodgings, and top-notch food just north of the Champs-Élysées. There is an on-site spa, a fitness centre, an indoor pool with views of the Sacré-Coeur, a steam room, and the Eiffel Tower. 

Past visitors lavished praise on this opulent establishment, calling their stays “magical” because of the grandeur of the classic, Parisian-style rooms, the delicious meals at the Michelin-starred Epicure, and the attentiveness of the personnel. 

La Réserve Paris 

The 19th-century Parisian-inspired interior design of the 15 guestrooms and 25 suites at La Réserve Paris – Hotel and Spa have brocade taffeta, velvet draperies, herringbone oak parquet flooring, antique furniture, and bathrooms with both Carrara and Turquin marble. 

Additionally, all areas feature contemporary conveniences like interactive tablets that regulate the lighting, TV, and temperature in each room and buttons that call for personal butlers. Consider upgrading to the Grand Palais Suite if you want views of the Eiffel Tower and added benefits like a balcony, two private bars, and a wine cellar. 

Recent visitors were astounded by the individualised treatment provided throughout the hotel, commenting that every staff member appeared ready and prepared to go above and beyond to make their stays enjoyable. Another benefit for previous guests was the hotel’s convenient location in Paris next to the renowned Champs-Élysées’ high-end stores.

Mandarin Oriental 

The manicured Jardin des Tuileries and the Place Vendôme are close to the Mandarin Oriental, Paris. This Paris hotel has a boutique spa, a 24-hour fitness facility, and an indoor lap pool, so guests have much to do while on the premises. The hotel’s rooms and suites have sleek, contemporary decor and a variety of views, including those that face the courtyard, provide panoramas of the city’s iconic sites and look out across Rue St. Honoré. 

Silk bedspreads, separate baths and tubs in the bathroom, a pillow menu, and oversized windows are further hotel benefits. Some frequent visitors also observed that this Mandarin Oriental did not appear as plentiful as its sister resorts worldwide. Recent visitors compliment the staff, the knowledgeable concierge team, and the delectable food and beverages supplied at the restaurants and bars. 

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

With dining rooms adorned with chandeliers, gardens brimming with greenery, and exquisite apartments, each accented with crown moulding and bursts of jewel tones, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée is the stuff of Parisian dreams. 

Even though the hotel has a charming European feel, plenty of conveniences are still available. Three restaurants are open on the premises, including Le Relais Plaza, which draws inspiration from the Roaring ’30s and offers upscale casual and fine dining options. 

In addition to on-demand chauffeured transportation, the hotel offers a spa and a 24-hour concierge service. The Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Élysées, and the Louvre are all within a 2-mile radius of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, so a car may not even be necessary for certain visitors. 

The hotel’s fantastic service and attentive employees left the biggest impression, despite the address and amenities that had previous visitors in awe. Remember that all of these comforts come with exorbitant room fees.

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme 

Located in the centre of the Light City, the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme puts visitors close to the Palais Garnier and the renowned Musée du Louvre. Previous guests commended its convenient location and cosy accommodations. 

The hotel’s 153 rooms and suites are decorated in a warm brown, beige, and white colour palette and feature flat-screen televisions, complimentary WiFi, and limestone bathrooms with soaking tubs, rain showers, and heated flooring. 

The on-site Michelin-starred Pur’ – Jean-François Rouquette is the only place to go for excellent French cuisine. The restaurant offers a la carte and prix-fixe multicourse meals and has an open kitchen approach. 

Other dining and drinking options at the Park Hyatt Paris include a glass-ceilinged dining room and a patio bordered by trees. Visit La Cheminée for a selection of teas, pastries, and tartines if you’re looking for a typical afternoon tea experience. 

Other on-site amenities include a spa, a gym, and several meeting rooms. Additionally, because of their affiliation with Hyatt, World of Hyatt Rewards members can accrue or use points at this park Hyatt location.

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