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Paris, France

Part 2: Discover Paris, the City of Lights in France


Arc de Triumph

Arc de Triumph

Image from the author's vintage postcard collection
By Susan Breslow Sardone

The most captivating city in the world, Paris is relatively compact, which makes it a great place for lovers in France to explore on foot. Most major sights and museums are within walking distance of one another. And the best hotels in Paris are destinations unto themselves. From the decor to the service to the food, you'll experience the ultimate in luxury at a top-of-the-line Paris hotel.

For a panoramic view of Paris, take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower. If you can arrange to have a meal there, arrive at the Restaurant Jules Verne just before twilight to savor the beautiful vistas.

First-timers will also want to see Paris' world-famous churches, Notre-Dame Cathedral and Sacré-Coeur Basilica, which stands on Montmartre hill overlooking the capital city of France.

A center of culture for centuries, Paris boasts some 130 fascinating museums. But if you can only make it to two, the illustrious Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay -- known for its Impressionist collection -- ought to top your list. In main Métro stations, intrepid visitors can pick up a one-, three-, or five-day museum pass good for admission to 70 museums in and around Paris.

Do leave time to wander through Paris. Exquisite gardens, stunning architecture, cobblestone streets, beautifully landscaped parks, stylish boutiques, and the lively cafés and bistros along the banks of the river Seine all await your discovery in France's most dynamic city.

That's Entertainment

Spend a night at an authentic Paris cabaret, such as La Belle Epoque, which features a dazzling show with can-can girls plus dinner by candlelight and dancing to a live orchestra.

Lido de Paris, known for its exquisite showgirls, mounts an extravaganza that includes ice skating, aerial and aquatic ballets, and some 600 costume changes for its "Bluebell Girls." The menu, designed by Paul Bocuse, includes a wine list with 60 different Champagnes from France.

Top Hotels in Paris, France
Shangri-La Hotel, Paris
Mandarin Oriental Paris
Hotel Fouquet's Barriere
Four Seasons Hôtel George V
Castille Paris
Hôtel Napoleon
Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome
Hôtel Meurice
Hôtel Plaza Athenee
Hôtel Pont Royal
Hôtel Ritz

For Info on Paris in Depth: See About.com Guide to Paris Travel

All About France

Part 1: Introduction >
Part 2: Paris, France
Part 3: Provence & the French Riviera >
Part 4: French Travel Tips >
Part 5: French Tourism Regions >

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