Visitors flock to Paris from every corner of the globe for a taste of Europe's resplendent past – whether that means marvelling at the outlandish Gothic grandeur of Notre-Dame Cathedral, or coming face-to-face with the enigmatic Mona Lisa in the legendary Louvre art museum.

But scratch between the refined surface of the iconic French capital and you'll find a multicultural modern metropolis, replete with cutting-edge galleries, quirky flea markets and dress-to-impress nightclubs. It's also a culinary juggernaut, where you can feast on French staples like succulent steak frites and mouth-watering mussels in garlic and wine sauce. Paris is also one of the world’s great fashion capitals, and you’ll find retailers selling cutting-edge trends right across the city, from the famed department stores on Boulevard Haussmann to the unique boutiques found along Rue Saint-Honoré.

What to see & do in Paris

Featured stories & fun stuff

Paris is perhaps best known for its landmarks, many of which are surprisingly close together in the heart of the city. Just thinking the name of the French capital immediately conjures up images of the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and The Louvre’s iconic glass pyramid. Walk a little further and you’ve got the Notre-Dame Cathedral, Moulin Rouge and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The list goes on and on. With its...

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Where & what to eat in Paris

Paris – and France generally – is famous for its food. Dinnertime is the highlight of any day in the City of Light, with the promise of fine French cuisine and some first-class international offerings, too. Even a simple snack during the day is something to savour, with the elegant and iconic macaron gracing many an Instagram feed. The choice of dining options available in Paris is staggering, with each as...

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Where to shop & what to buy in Paris

Paris has been one of Europe’s main fashion capitals for decades, if not centuries. If you’re in search of a new look, you can find something different and interesting at any price – from the latest designs in the boutiques of Champs-Élysées to vintage threads from the many flea markets around the city. If you want to maximise your shopping while minimising your walking, there are also some great outlet...

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Where to go & what to do at night in Paris

Nightlife in Paris offers a party that never ends, in a vibrant city that offers a dizzying array of subcultures, moods, settings and vibes. Whether you're engaging in ostentatious and refined cocktail bars, vibrant dance clubs with DJs pounding out the latest hits or a bohemian poetry reading, it's all right here.If you're looking for hip and bohemian, try the Oberkampf district's edgy cafes and music venues. For full-on party...

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Useful information

Paris is a large and complex place, but one that can be easily enjoyed if you know what you’re doing. The city has a good public transport system and a wealth of opportunities to enjoy the unique culture and atmosphere of the French capital, but it helps to know where you’re going and what you’re doing before you hit the streets. We have plenty of basic information here to help you...

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Where to stay in Paris

More information about Paris

Let a Paris city break whisk you away on a journey into a wealth of history, haute cuisine, and fine arts. Stroll back to your Paris hotel hand-in-hand across the River Seine at twilight and discover your very own City of Light.

Get your bearings

The River Seine flows through Paris, separating the central area into the Right Bank and Left Bank. The Right Bank starts with the Louvre Museum and Renaissance-era Marais district, with the tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Élysées and major department stores further north. On the Left Bank, south of the River Seine, the Latin Quarter borders the Luxembourg Gardens. The Eiffel Tower dominates the skyline further west. Sitting in the middle of the Seine are two islands: the Île de la Cité, crowned by Notre Dame Cathedral, and Île St-Louis, a quiet enclave of 17th-century houses.

Centuries of culture

A day at the Louvre Museum gives just a hint of the treasures collected over the centuries – da Vinci’s enigmatic Mona Lisa is just one of 35,000 works of art on display. Spend the afternoon with Degas, Renoir and other French Impressionists at the Orsay Museum, and discover new angles on art at the Pompidou Centre in the Marais district. Dress up for an evening of opera or ballet at the opulent Palais Garnier or glossily modern Opéra Bastille. Alternatively, come as you are to hear traditional French songs by candlelight in Belleville, the multicultural district Edith Piaf called home.

Parisian wining and dining

Sipping an aperitif or coffee at an open-air café is an essential Paris city break experience, from hill-top Montmartre to the Latin Quarter. Order champagne and burgundy by the glass at mirror-lined wine bars in the Marais backstreets, then travel back to the 19th century at ornate brasseries in Montparnasse. Every neighbourhood has its local bistro serving fluffy omelettes and rich game dishes like rabbit and duck. The Belleville district specialises in Middle Eastern, Vietnamese and other ethnic cuisines.

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