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see + do

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Paris see + do

With upward of 150 museums, scores of parks, lively café-lined boulevards—plus too many monuments and landmark buildings to count—this city and its must-sees of culture and entertainment are best savored over years. If you only have a few days, you can't go wrong with the obvious sights: the Louvre's extensive collection of art from antiquity onward; the Impressionist canvases of the grandiose Musée d'Orsay; and Notre-Dame de Paris, the Gothic cathedral midstream in the Seine. While the Eiffel Tower is another no-brainer, it's best enjoyed from a distance: Instead of queuing up with the massive crowd waiting to ascend to the pinnacle, head for the steps fronting Montmartre's Sacré-Coeur basilica, and you'll be rewarded with amazing views that include the Eiffel Tower's elegant fretwork frame. You'll do equally well relaxing on a park bench in the Luxembourg Gardens on a warm afternoon, strolling through the Right Bank's boutique-lined Marais neighborhood, or people-watching from a café in Saint Germain-des-Prés. But the key to finding the Paris everyone falls in love with is to get off the well-trodden tourist circuit and explore the city on foot or by bike, discovering hidden courtyards, pocket-size gardens, and unbelievably romantic streetscapes along the way.

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Île de la Cité and Île St-Louis, 4th Arr.

Midstream in the Seine, the Île de la Cité is Paris's birthplace, where a Celtic tribe known as the Parisii built their wattle settlement around 250...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Eiffel Tower, 7th Arr.

It's hard to imagine just how avant-garde this tower of cast-iron girders was when it was built in 1889 to celebrate the World's Fair and the centenary of the...more

Editors' Pick
Cinema, Paris

Even if you speak no French, Paris is the world's best city for going to the movies. On any given night, hundreds of films, both new and classic, are...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Château de Versailles, Versailles

People visit Versailles in the hopes of being absolutely dazzled by opulence. They're rarely disappointed. The palace is glorious, but unless you already have a...more

Editors' Pick
Centre Georges Pompidou, 4th Arr.

When it opened in 1977, the intention of this inside-out modern art museum—the staircases and pipes are famously exposed on its exterior—was to...more

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Canal St-Martin, 10th Arr.

Long a working-class neighborhood with an edge, the Canal St-Martin is the latest quartier to be reinvented by artists and young bohemians. Built in the early...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Bastille and Eastern Paris, Paris

Over the last decade, hip Paris has been leaning farther and farther east, as mega-rehab projects transform what was a dowdy part of town. The Place de la...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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