Fresh from a city break in Paris, I already can't wait to go back. From the village-like atmosphere of Montmartre to the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower and the jaw-dropping art collections, there is so much to be charmed by. Here are our top tips for a short holiday in Paris.
Check out some art
The Musée d'Orsay is a magnificently converted railway station housing paintings and sculpture from 1848-1914. The Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection is one of the biggest in the world; truly awe-inspiring, it is home to some of the finest and most famous pieces by Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Rodin, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin and Cézanne. Museums and galleries aren't free to enter like they are in the UK, but they're well worth the admission price. Expect to pay around €10-€12 per ticket.
Relax in Montmartre
Montmartre is nestled up on a hilltop just north of the Blanche and Pigalle area. Probably best-known for the Sacré-Coeur (a huge white Roman Catholic basilica visible from most of the city), it's also home to an eclectic mix of funky bars, restaurants and boutiques. Take a walk up to the Sacré-Coeur, but instead of getting stuck in the tourist-trap eateries at the very top, stroll down to the streets around the Abbesses Métro, plonk yourself in one of the gorgeous cafés, order a double espresso and watch the world go by.
Don't go up the Eiffel Tower
No matter how many times you've seen it in films and print, the grand scale of what is arguably the most famous landmark in Paris will wow you in real life. However, if you've seen the city from the top of the Sacré-Coeur, you might not feel the need to head up all 704 steps (don't worry, there is a lift as well) of the Eiffel Tower.
People watch at Café Beaubourg
Opposite the Pompidou Centre is the Café Beaubourg where you can soak up the atmosphere (in my case, with another double espresso) of the buzzing Beaubourg area. The Pompidou Centre is famous for its "inside out" design -- the escalators and infrastructure are all built on to the exterior of the building -- but the fantastic modern-art collection inside is just as amazing.
Take in the Seine
A walk along the river is a must-do, but if you want something a bit more special then do take a look at the various tours and cruises on the water. Capitaine Fracasse is currently offering 30% off a 2-hour cruise with a 3-course meal and champagne. It departs minutes away from the Eiffel Tower and takes in the main sights, accompanied by a commentary.
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