Paris City Breaks | Book Weekend Breaks to Paris - Holiday Supermarket


Paris City Breaks

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Paris - the city of light

If you haven't been to Paris, you haven't lived says the saying. It is one of the true world cities; a place where you daydream of one day living and there's just too much to explore in one short visit. That said, Paris is the ultimate city for romantic weekend breaks and if you can't make it happen here, maybe it's time to hang up your dancin' shoes...

There are multiple locations in central Paris to base yourself and still be within walking distance to your preferred sightseeing 'must do's'. The metro is excellent however, so don't be worried about jumping on and getting to where you want to go - there will be a station within 500 metres of your destination.

Whether it's the artistic locales of Montmartre and the Louvre, or whether you're after a foodie experience, Paris is bound to please. Paris is probably one of the ultimate weekend getaways for most people, but don't be fooled, it can be as cheap - or expensive - as you want it to be. There's nothing quite like a baguette sitting beside the Seine, just as there's nothing quite like a Michelin-starred experience on Avenue Foch.

Cruising the gloriously gothic Notre Dame, checking out the vast and many galleries and museums or just strolling the Champs-Elysees, Paris is an easy city to love. And contrary to myth, the locals are quite willing to help if you ask nicely.

Spring in Paris is a wonderful thing, but you can enjoy Paris pretty much any time of year. Most of the action is indoors - the world's best museums and galleries, for example. The catacombs are a must see, as is the Musee de l'Orangie, the Musee du Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame.

Eating out in Paris - cheap, expensive and everything in between

Everyone comes to Paris and the restaurants know it. Avoid the tourist hotspots, and look out for artistic rendering of your bill. And don't order anything 'special' that's not on the wine list or menu.

The budget options - try Le Relais Gascon in Montmartre. It's a bistro with legendary salads. There's plenty on the menu, all of it with that French 'I could care less about unhealthy ingredients' attitude and just plain delicious as a result. 6 Rue des Abbesses. If you're after an unpretentious little cafe, go to Un Zebra a Montmartre. Nothing fancy, but wholesome food at a decent price. Address is 38 Rue Lepic.

Mid-price options - staying in Montmartre, try La Table D'Eugene at 18 Rue Eugène Sue. This is a cut above the ordinary, yet still moderately priced. Modern bistro twist with cod, mushrooms and plenty of sauces. Chez Gladines in the 13th Arondissement (30 rue des Cinq-Diamants) is excellent value for money. This Basque restaurant does duck, salads, ham and the like in a fresh way.

Splurge - choices, choices! You are in the centre of gastronomy here so the choices are endless. You could go traditional with Alain Ducasse or you can go something slightly adventurous at Pierre Gagnaire, in the Hotel Balzac, 6 rue Balzac. The food is nothing short of exquisite with stand out dishes including the Grand Dessert and the soufflé.

What to wear, when to go

Paris has a typical European weather pattern. Winters are cold, wet and icy with the occasional snow storm. Summer can be humid and occasionally very hot. Spring is wonderful, although crowded and autumn is also pleasant. Bring the umbrella just in case.

Don't let Paris scare you

Sure, it can get way crowded, and yes, the occasional local will treat you like a dumb tourist. And yes, those taxi drivers will try to take you for a ride, but just relax. Paris is a world city with all that implies. Be careful, make a list of everything you want to see and just go with the flow.

Musee du Louvre - famous for having the paintings everyone has heard of  - yes, several of them, including the Mona Lisa. It's tucked away behind a bulletproof screen, surrounded by dozens of camera clocking tourists, and it's hard to know what the fuss is all about. Spend all your time exploring the other parts of the Louvre. The sculpture is world-class, the many masters such as Monet, Titian, Gauguin, Rembrandt and Raphael are well represented.

Sainte Chapelle - has the reputation of being the best-looking church in Paris. And it's hard to argue. The stained-glass windows are stunning and best viewed on a sunny day.

Eiffel Tower - cliché it may be but you've not been to Paris until you've taken one of those pics where you're patting the top of the tower with your open palm. Climb (if you're fit) to the top and take in the breathtaking view of Paris. For something a little different take one of the underground At The Eiffel tours. See the machinery room and the military complex in Champs de Mars.

Musee Nissim de Camondo - this delightful museum houses one of the greatest collections of decorative art from the Louis XV period. Put together by a wealthy banker, the collection is housed in his mansion/apartment and is dedicated to his only son who died in World War I. The story behind the collection is rather touching and a lovely commemoration of a father's love for a brave son.

Le Marais - the suburb of Le Marais was once a rather desolate, swampy rats nest of a place that has been revitalised. It's now the centre of hipster-dom for Paris and is a great way to spend a day. Cruise the bars, wander the back streets, dine on a baguette and soak up the atmosphere. There are plenty of little boutiques and cafes to keep you occupied for hours.

The must see - is the Musee de l'Orangie, particularly if you love the Impressionists. This little museum houses a lot of Monet's work, including Waterlilies and it's a perfect way to spend a wet Sunday morning.


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