Paris, the capital, of France, is a delight for one and all. A major European city that has Baron Haussmann to thank for all its gorgeous tree-lined boulevards and avenues, the city has stunning buildings and the beautiful River Seine running through the city, monuments at every turn and gastronomic delights in the shops, restaurants and pavement cafes – making this a wonderful place for days out.
Packed to the brim with museums, working out which ones to head for can be tricky, but even if you don’t brave the crowds at the Louvre for at least a glimpse of the Mona Lisa, walk through it on the outside and peer down through the glass pyramids. The Musee D’Orsay, a railway station in a former life, and the Musee de L’Orangerie, home to many of Monet’s lilly paintings, are quieter options.
Whiling away time outside is a complete joy when in Paris, whether it’s ambling through brocante (flea markets) or sitting outside at one of the pavement cafes and watching the world go by. Notable Parisian gardens include The Tuileries Gardens, (Musee de L’Orangerie is here), The Luxembourg Gardens and Jardin des Plantes, the main botanical garden in the city. They all exude a French sophistication and boast landscaped grounds, lakes and fountains and tasteful kids’ playgrounds.
Or if you and the kids are feeling macabre, head underground to the Catacombs where you’ll find the remains of over 6 million people, stacked neatly along the tunnel walls as you pass by. Following in the theme of the departed, Pere Lachaise Cemetery is beautiful, full of the former great and glorious and an easy way to spend some time.
The Champs Elysees might be a hub for traffic fumes but it is still quite a sight to walk down and you’re rewarded with the Eiffel Tower at one end or climb up through Montmartre to reach the Sacre Coeur, with fabulous views of the city and full of artists touting their work.
Kids will love taking a look at the Pompidou Centre, an inside out architectural marvel that attracts the French youth who congregate outside skating, playing music and generally hanging out. It’s close to Les Halles, which is a shoppers paradise or for a more authentic French feel browse some of the many Parisian markets. Finally, make sure you jump on a boat and take a trip along the Seine, taking in all the sites from the deck – it’s a great way to see the city.
Or, failing any of the above, Disneyland Paris is a surefire winner, fun for all the family and will gain you enough kudos to last a year.