One of the nicest ways to spend a day in Paris is to visit the beautiful Musee d'Orsay.
The restaurant on the top floor offers a very reasonably priced lunch and the tea rooms will restore you and your feet with an afternoon tea or something stronger later in the day.
A wonderful building with a fabulous courtyard which has a history of the chair as a permanent exhibition (not as dull as it sounds) with a lot of Arne Jacobsen alongside Kaare Klint.
Oh, and it has the best museum cafe I have ever eaten in.
1260 København K
Phone 33 18 56 56
The ancient cultural remains at Sanxingdui are world famous, being among the most spectacular in the world. Their historical, scientific, cultural and artistic value is immense and still being uncovered.
Two large sacrificial pits discovered from July to September 1986 at Sanxingdui constitute one of the most important archaeological finds of the twentieth century.
You can get there by bus from Chendu's northern bus station. It's a couple of hours and a local bus or taxi from the nearest town.
There are many Maori stories about how the country, natural phenomena and fauna were created, and reading up on them before you visit the country can enrich your journey.
Ranging from creation myths to stories of love and loss, these often humorous tales will enhance your understanding of the spirituality invested in the landscape by the Maori.
Maori Myth and Legend" by A.W. Reed is a nice introduction.
It may not be picture postcard perfect and may be a little frayed around the edges but it is a real living town.
The people are some of the friendliest you will encounter anywhere in the world. Within half an hour of stepping off the boat everyone will be greeting you on first name terms!
The mix of African and Arab influences in the culture and food make it a fascinating place to spend a few days. It is only a 20 minutes walk to Shela and the beautiful beaches further around the island. A great antidote to safari fatigue.
Inside the beautiful Vieux Charite building is a small but fascinating archaeology museum with an excellent Egyptian collection and lots of pottery finds from around the Mediterranean.
Upstairs (separate entrance fee) there are collections of Mexican folk art and masks from Africa and the Pacific. When we visited on a Saturday in August the museum was virtually deserted.
In the courtyard there is an open air cafe which serves good salads and other lunchtime dishes at reasonable prices (although service is a bit hit and miss) - it's worth visiting for this alone if you are sightseeing in the Panier district.
2 rue de la Charite +33 4 91 14 58 80
Great to visit there is something for everyone Disneyland for the kids and the Moulin Rouge for adults.
If you are on a tight budget there are still lots of things to do get a good guide book and DIY touring round Paris - have also found things to do for free via the internet ie free concerts in parks and churches all over the city.
Pick up an entertainment weekly for details.
Don't be put off by the thought of visiting a cemetery. This is a truly fascinating insight into history, culture and day to day life experiences of the people who rest here.
Far from ghoulish, more like awe-inspiring and in turns both humbling and tragic.
The beautiful surroundings are lovingly preserved and make it an uplifting rather than depressing experience.
The Ste Chapelle church on Ile de la Cite is an absolute must to visit.
Quite impressive downstairs, but the stained glass windows upstairs are incredible. Make sure you pick up an information sheet and look at some of the detail on the windows which all represent different books in the Bible.
It kept our party ranging in age from 12 to 50 occupied for the best part of an hour. Well worth the small entrance fee and much more interesting than Notre Dame just down the road.
Arrive in Paris and hire one of the city’s (carbon neutral!) self-service bicycles –Vélib’. Locate the cycle station at Gare du Nord and discover – quelle surprise! – they’re all taken.
No worries, there’s another station a short walk away on my road, rue Louis Blanc. But it’s permanently ‘hors service’... Carry on then to the Vélib station at Jaurès for a chat in the long queue before finally getting your hands on the ‘deux roues’.
Cycle along the pretty canal for a picnic at Parc de la Villette before heading back to Jaurés for a canalside drink at the MK2. Voilà!
The Carnavalet museum in the heart of the Marais not only has a magnificent collection of Parisian history, from medieval shop signs to stylish art deco exhibits, set in a most beautiful sixteenth century palace but is, unbelievably, free. It is closed on Mondays, and open 10am to 5.40pm.
For a cheap look at the Eiffel Tower and to beat the queues you can use the stairs instead of the lift. It costs only pence, means you don't have to wait and you get to stop and be alone on the way up and get to look at Paris without hoardes of tourists shoving around. There are a series of great snippets about the tower posted on the way up too.
Go to Paris and get he train out to Auvers. On the way stop off at Pontoise.
Here there is a restaurant called Pave de la Roche. This is run by a young French couple and has the most amazing menu giving you a gastronomic feast.
My favourite starter is cappuccino de moules. Auvers too is a delight and here in this small village you can follow Vincent van Gogh around with copies of his paintings placed around and see the room where he died and the famous church he painted.
The museum is a delight and you get transported back in time, have a pretend train ride and 'sit in a Parisienne Cafe' The whole experience can be done in a day and is a most enjoyable interlude away from the crowds of Paris.
The Hotel Delavigne in Rue Casimir Delavigne is the perfect hideaway for a romantic weekend out of the public view.
Friendly, discreet and inexpensive, you can romp away to your heart's content - the Boulevards Saint-Michel and Saint-Germain-des-Pres are an arm-in-arm stroll away - and relief for the conscience can be had just around the corner at Saint-Sulpice (which is great for Da Vinci Code nerd spotting too).
1 Rue Casimir Delavigne, 75006 Paris. +33 1 4329 3150
Visit the gardens at the Rodin Museum - a great place to sit, ponder and enjoy the gardens and sculptures dotted around the ornamental pool, lawn and wilder areas.
The cafe in the garden is also a top spot for a coffee or lunch. The gardens are open daily (execpt Mondays) and cost only 1 euro to visit.
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