Whether for a weekend or longer, choose one of our 5-star hotels in Paris for the perfect European break. The city of love, food, fashion and culture has an endless list of attractions. Or you could simply emulate the Parisians and indulge in some people watching from one of the city’s many cafés.
Aside from the quintessential must-sees, like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe and Sacré-Cœur, there are a number of other attractions to discover. The 23-hectare Jardin du Luxembourg is Paris’ most attractive park. Surrounding the Luxembourg Palace, it’s a popular mix of tree-lined promenades, flowerbeds, lawns and water displays – its circular basin is usually dotted with model sailboats. Make sure to visit the Île Saint-Louis. This island in the Seine river is home to the Notre Dame – its winding streets reveal a glimpse of an ancient Paris.
Art lovers will be spoilt for choice in Paris. First stop is the Louvre. Covering nearly 15 acres, visitors are advised to allocate a number of hours to this museum, if not more. The Musée d'Orsay is on the banks of the Seine, in an attractive old train station. Displaying works by some of the most ground-breaking impressionist and expressionist artists, including Monet, Manet, Van Gogh and Degas, it also has a number of artworks by lesser-known artists. For fans of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin, Paris’ Rodin Museum offers insight into his own work, as well as that of his student Camille Claudel, among others.
The Marais district is one of the city’s hippest areas. The heart of Paris’ gay scene, it’s a vibrant mix of innovative restaurants, vintage boutiques, lively bars and art galleries. Montmartre, home of the Sacré-Cœur, was once a peaceful village. Now a mix of tourists and artists, it offers great views of the city and, away from the main attraction, is a romantic and arty spot with an attractively residential feel. The nearby neighbourhood of Pigalle is slowly shaking off its reputation for sleaze, with a surge of music clubs attracting a young crowd. For traditional Parisian elegance, head to Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where you could make the obligatory stop at the pricey Les Deux Maggots – once the centre of Parisian café intellectualism – and enjoy some pleasant people watching.
With a host of luxurious 5-star hotels in Paris, visitors can take their pick of the best. Hotel Balzac, near the Champs-Elysées, provides excellent accommodation in the heart of the city. Minutes away from Rue Faubourg Saint Honoré, this 19th-century building combines traditional Parisian elegance with modern amenities. Its resident chef, Pierre Gagnaire, is renowned for his haute cuisine cooking. The Shangri-La Hotel Paris is moments away from the Paris Museum of Modern Art. With three restaurants, a café, spa, indoor pool and fitness club, guests are guaranteed a luxurious stay.
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