Paris Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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Paris Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Paris is situated in Northern France on the
banks of the River Seine. With a population of over twelve million people, the French capital is at the heart of the
Île-de-France region.  Paris earned her name, The City of Light,
during The Age of Enlightenment, when many visionary ideas were born. It is
a light that has remained undimmed, and which now attracts 42 million visitors
a year, making Paris the most visited city in all
the world.  Paris is a city easily explored by Metro,
taxi, and bicycle, but her charms are best found on foot. Her attractions are never far apart, and in
between, well, merely walking her streets is to wander through
picture postcards. The engine room of Paris is La Défense. This modern business district, filled with
light and art, is testimony that Paris is designed for living,
even when at work. From the futuristic Grande Arche at La Défense, the six mile-long Historic Axis of Paris leads
us back into France’s grand past. The Arc de Triomphe, built by Napoleon, rises
from the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle and offers commanding
views of the 12 grand avenues, which radiate outwards like a star.  From the Arc de Triomphe, The Champs-Élysées
continues along the Historic Axis. This grand avenue is where Parisians come to dine, shop, enjoy the theater and
to celebrate life. Gradually opening into formal gardens and
majestic buildings,  The Champs-Élysées merges into the largest
square in Paris, the Place de la Concorde. Just a short stroll away is the world’s greatest
treasure-house of art, the Musée du Louvre. Once a 14th Century Palace, today the Louvre
is the most visited art gallery in the world. With over 35,000 artworks, her most famous
residents are the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.  But be warned, this collection of priceless
artworks and antiquities is simply too vast to explore in just one
day. Not far from the Musée du Louvre stands the
Centre Pompidou, displaying the largest collection of modern
art in Europe. Parisians are still debating whether this
radical design is the vision of a madman or a genius! Notre Dame Cathedral is situtated on Île
de la Cité, a natural island in the River Seine. Completed
in 1345, this gothic masterpiece with her flying buttresses
and gargoyles has played center stage to some of the defining
moments of French history and literature. Parisians see it as their duty to enjoy life
to its fullest. The Luxembourg Gardens, with its Grand Basin,
fruit groves, and over 100 statues and fountains is the
ideal place to grab a deckchair and play the ‘Parisian at rest’.  Nothing says Paris like the Eifel Tower. The Iron Lady can be seen from all over the
city. However, nothing can prepare you for the moment
when you first stand at her feet, or the views from the top that you will hold
dear for a lifetime.  Looking north, the city rises into the hillside
neighborhood of Montmartre. Once the artistic centre of Paris, her twisting
streets and narrow lanes were at one time the home of Picasso, Dali
and Van Gogh. They are the perfect place to lose yourself
and discover those special Parisian moments. But you can never be lost for long in Montmartre, as long as you head upwards you’ll eventually
come to her gleaming white crown, Sacré-Cœur Basilica.  Leave the bustling city behind and step through
the gates of The Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. Here, amid the quiet world of bird song and
introspection, you can pay your respects to Jim Morrison,
Oscar Wilde, and some of the world’s greatest minds for
whom Paris is now forever home.   Once a day’s coach journey from central Paris,
the Palace of Versailles is now an easy half-hour train ride away. This magnificent 17th century Château welcomes
everyone, from heads of state to backpackers.  The River Seine runs right through the heart
of Paris, creating a natural divide between her famous
Left and Right Banks.  Of her 37 bridges, The Pont Alexandre III
is considered the most ornate, while the graceful Pont Des Arts offers some
incredible vistas of the city. Artists and photographers gather here to capture
the light, while lovers attach padlocks to the railings
as if to say “This is Paris, now we are Paris too.�


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