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
It is a disused elevated railway line that has been turned into a very attractive park. Reach it from a set of stone steps behind the Bastille Opera House and walk along it for as far as the Peripherique if you want. It is extremely relaxing, with trees, flowers, water features, benches and a big park half way along. There are lots of places to access street level for food, drinks and toilet stops.
For your first day in Paris, take a classic walking tour with an English-speaking guide to take you to all the main sightseeing spots. It only costs about 20 euros per person for 3.5 hours but you get to see all of Paris on the first day and allows you to go back and re-visit any of the sights for the rest of your holiday or go elsewhere. Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of walking and bring your camera!
Since this was our first visit to Paris, we weren't sure how to best spend our time. We came across Aeon's site and ended up taking a tour. We were, all in all, pleased with our tour and guide. She was knowledgeable and willing to answer any of our group's questions - even our most ridiculous ones. And, trust me, we had a few since we were there during the Metro workers strike in 2007. She was willing to start our tour later due to us not being able to get to the meeting point in time.
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
I've found my most wonderful, eye-opening walks around this beautiful city have a simple origin - just take a two Euro coin and every time you come to a junction, give it a spin. Heads turn left, tails turn right. Just don't rely on it to take you back to the hotel!
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