Ok, this has to be one of the most famous upmarket shopping streets in the world, but don't let that put you off taking a look round. Window shopping can be almost as much fun as carrying handfuls of bags home with you. This incredibly manicured street is the best place in town to do a little people watching. Enjoy a coffee in one of the many uber-chic cafes along the strip or simply wander at your leisure taking in the elegant ambience of it all. Horse chestnut trees line the streets, snipped and buffed within an inch of their life and of course everything around you is neat, polished and perfectly ..well.... perfect! That's 1.91 km of perfection - rather impressive, I'd say.
Check out the famous Arc de Triomphe at the western end of the street while you are here. It's bigger than you ever imagined.
Google map: bit.ly/U65Lbe
A river island at the city limits, L'Ile de La Jatte offers memorable, tapering views of Paris along the length of the Seine. The island's park, famously painted by Georges Seurat, is also the location of 27 beehives, whose occupants harvest pollen from the city's flowers. The park is used appreciatively by the island's residents, but in our experience, they struggle to fill it, leaving plenty of room for visitors to relax or play. The handful of local eateries aren't great value, though tables over-looking the river will excuse the price to some. But the views that justified the trip for us were from the footpath that encircles the island, particularly at its most northerly point.
Metro station: Ponte de Levallois-Becon
Google map: bit.ly/Lq9UzN
With warm weather comes the opportunity to partake in the favourite past time of many Parisians: le pique-nique. The possibilities for picnics in Paris are endless, though my favourite spot is the Pont des Arts. This pedestrian bridge stretching out over the Seine from the Louvre is a perfect place to join the families, friends and lovers for an impromptu picnic; bunched on blankets laid across the wooden slats, while the sun sets behind the Eiffel Tower further down the river. Free of traffic, you can enjoy your picnic to the sound-track of the gentle hum of boats and barges that pass beneath and the the soft ripples of the river lapping the banks below.
Pont Des Arts. Metro: Pont neuf (line 7)
Google map: bit.ly/LwX98t
When I was in Paris for an exhibition recently I took a couple of American customers to this restaurant because it combines a famous landmark with French cuisine. I thought it would be an unforgettable experience for them and I was not disappointed.
It is on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower so at night the views are spectacular especially if you can get a table by the window. It is quite avant garde in the way it is designed with a sort of circular swirling purple light above which sounds strange but it is all done in the best possible taste. The lighting is quite subdued so that people can see the city and there are candles on the tables so the atmosphere is wonderful.
I am not easily impressed in restaurants becuase I do a lot of entertaining all over the world but I thought the food and the service here was excellent. We had the cheaper of the menus (not that any of them are exactly "cheap") but it was just great and as far as I was concerned it was certainly worth it.
You'll skip the queues at the bottom and go straight up to the first floor in a lift. If you are looking to do something in Paris for your partner or customers, you can't beat this.
Amélie was filmed mostly in Montmartre in Paris. Two métro stations feature: Barbès-Rochechouart and Abbesses, as does the Gare du Nord train station. There is a scene in the gardens which lead up to Sacré Coeur - there are great views there - and the bar where Amélie worked is on the right of a street which leads down from Rue Lepic towards Pigalle, where the sex shop is situated. The grocer's shop is recognisable and is also on Rue Lepic, but is now a gift shop. Amélie was skimming stones on the Canal St Martin, very near the Gare du Nord. The whole lot would make an enjoyable two-hour walk.
Montmartre, Abbesses, Gare du Nord, Canal St Martin, Barbes-Rochechouart
As with any location, it is good to find something large to climb to the top of to survey the city. There's the roof-top view from Samaritaine Department Store to score views of just about everything. And there's the Sacre Coeur on Montmartre Hill.
And then of course there is the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. These are members of the other big 5 attractions, the major places to see in Paris: www.ruba.com/guide/Donna_Cornelius/5_Places_to_See_in_Paris
Get climbing! Only 387 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower!
The Christmas window display in Galeries Lafayette is a must for all ages, but especially if you are travelling with children. The clever French even provide a little wooden platform with steps for the children to stand on. This year it is a pink Alice in Wonderland theme. While you are there don't forget the souvenir shop on the 6th floor which is surprisingly good value, and from there walk up the steps on to the roof to see all of Paris for free.
Galeries Lafayette, Boulevard Haussman, Paris 8
It is very romantic for couples, also a great treat for the family. The four-course meal is fantastic, also you get to see all the Paris sights as you take your time eating dinner and drinking wine and listening to the sounds of the piano. A great way to spend lunch or dinner.
Go to Sacre Coeur for the best view of Paris. Take a walk up to it and you can visit the small shops and cafes on the way up. It is the highest point in Paris, also a visit to the church inside is absolutely beautiful. Bonus: no need to queue for hours to see Paris and it is free! You can also take your pets up as well.
The Galleries Lafayette is a stylish department store in Paris. By taking the escalator to the top floor and then walking up the single flight of stairs from the restaurant, you can walk out on to the roof terrace and get a splendid view over Paris.
The height is about the same as the first level of the Eiffel Tower - but you won't have to queue, you can stay as long as you like (so long as the shop is open!), and it's TOTALLY FREE!
Galeries Lafayette, 40 Boulevard Haussmann, Paris 75009
Nearest Metro: Chaussee d'Antin Lafayette
Love art? Love food? Overload your senses and combine the two. Le Georges sits like a crown at the top of the Centre Pompidou. Seat yourself next to the reflective pool and indulge in the beauty of the Sacre Coeur and Notre Dame.
The sleek modernist style seeps through from the galleries below and encourages a creative flair to the food. This restaurant infuses Parisian chic and fiery Thai flavours with an artistic hand. Enjoy an exquisite meal and a long stemmed rose to accompany your hedonists' view of Paris.
Directions to one of Paris’s best-kept secrets: Take the Metro's Line 5 and get off at Laumière. Climb up Rue Laumière until you reach the main entrance of the most beautiful Parisian garden: Les Buttes de Chaumont.
Climb up the hill around the lake, up to the view point. Now the real secret: if you happen to be there on August 30th at about 8.20pm, you'll see the sun setting right behind the Sacre Coeur and the Montmartre hill, now that's a view that will stay with you for a while.
I love this place, they always have some crazy exhibition going on, the shop is full of silly postcards and amazing art books. And the café is definitely worth a visit, go to the terrace outside for fantastic views over the Seine and the Tour d’Eiffel. They also organise special events with DJs and live bands.
A no-star hotel in the front garden of Notre Dame Cathedral. The wallpaper is bizarre, there is no lift (five floors though), and the bathroom door (yes, we had an en suite) came away in my hand.
But the view from the window is breathtaking and the owner is friendly and helpful. Shakespeare Books is just across the street. Doubles from €60 per night.
4 rue St-Julien-le-Pauvre, Paris 75005
+33 (0)1 4354 1920
Hire a bicycle from Vélo et Chocolate by Canal St Martin just around the corner from Rue Riquet Metro and peddle around Paris.
It is a lovely cycle to the Sacre Coeur where you can view the whole of Paris. The more adventurous might want to peddle out to St Germaine En Laye where you have more wonderful views, but this time you can park up in the park by the Chateau and sip chilled rose wine while seated in a hired deckchair. Take your own knotted hanky to feel at home.
The grounds of Parc du Chateau de Versailles are beautiful and particularly worth a visit during April through to September when they are host to different spectacles.
The events are a true feast for the senses and lie only a 20 minute RER journey off the typical tourist route. An unforgettable experience.
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