Paris is known the world over for its elegance, charming cafes and restaurants, its reputation as a fashion capital, and cultural haven. Famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral are unmissable sights for tourists.
Paris is divided into two regions by the River Seine, which separates the capital into the Left Bank and Right Bank. The Left Bank is regarded as the more bohemian, trendy part to its sophisticated Right Bank counterpart. The Seine also contains two islands: Ille de La Cite and Ille St-Louis.
Ille de La Cite contains the spectacular Notre Dame Cathedral. Climbing up the tower offers panoramic views over Paris. Saint Chapelle is also on the island, worth a visit to see the oldest stained glass windows in the capital.
The Louvre museum needs no introduction; containing the famous Mona Lisa by Da Vinci, it is also home to paintings by Velazquez, Rembrandt, Delacroix and Raphael. The Arc de Triomphe can be spied from the entrance to the museum, as well as the world’s most famous avenue: the Champs Elysees. Restaurants, cafes, shops and theatres line the street.
The Eiffel Tower, situated in southwestern Paris offers the most spectacular views of the city, standing at a height of 1,000 feet. The nearby Alma-Marceau metro station has ‘Bateaux Moches’ for hire, motorboats that take you on a tour of the city’s waterways.
The Left Bank is inhabited by many students and artists, and contains the Latin Quarter, a fashionable district containing many Latin bars and nightclubs. The famous Sorbonne University is in close proximity.
While in the area visit the colourful Jardin du Luxembourg park, and the Palais du Luxembourg, which is home to the French Senate. The Musee d’Orsay, situated in a converted train station is another popular attraction. The arty Montmartre offers further views of the city, however beware of the steep climb up the hill.