Paris holidays aren’t just for those seeking romance. If you’re a culture vulture who loves art, history, literature, and everything in between, you’ll find you can tantalise yourself in this fantastic city.
Holidays to Paris are ideal for exploring eateries of all varieties, as the city has become excitingly multicultural during the 21st century and offers some of history’s most exciting events, including the French Revolution and various aspects of the Renaissance era.
Whether you’re going for a week or a weekend, there’s plenty to see and do in Paris.
The Palace of Versailles
If you’re prepared to venture beyond the city’s immediate districts, you can treat yourself to a day at the Palace of Versailles. This opulent palace was once home to the ill-fated Marie Antoinette and her husband King Louis XVI, as well as many of France’s monarchs before them.
Key attractions include the dazzling hall of mirrors, gardens that appear to meander for miles and Marie Antoinette’s mini estate, where she would spend hours with her children and friends.
At some points during the year you may also catch fireworks, which are as spectacular as the palace’s last owners would have liked them to be.
You may feel that a visit to Paris isn’t complete without a visit to the Louvre. Take a walk into the glass pyramid to explore some of history’s most revered paintings and sculptures. Whether you’d like to venture as far back as the Ancient Egyptians or sample something more modern, the Louvre has art work to admire.
While there, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the surprisingly small Mona Lisa, and do explore the nearby area for some of the best macaroons and hot chocolate creations you could hope to sample.
Hotels in Paris’ nearby Left Bank are ideally situated for walking to the art gallery, otherwise you can reach it by jumping on the metro. While there, don’t forget to catch a glimpse of the surprisingly small Mona Lisa, and do explore the nearby area for some of the best macaroons and hot chocolate creations you could hope to sample.
Notre Dame is open between 8am and 6.45pm. While there you can either participate in a service, or simply admire the cathedral’s architecture. Like many of Paris’ top cultural attractions, Notre Dame features handy audio guides that allow you to effortlessly explore its history.
If you feel up to the challenge, you can take the 380 steps that lead you to the cathedral towers, where you can take in the atmosphere that has given rise to stories like Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame.
A volunteer youth group at the cathedral orchestrates tours that vary according to the group’s age range. If you want to take photos while there, you may find you have to pay a small fee.
The Catacombs of Paris
Featuring 2km of bones that were removed from the Cemetery of Innocents during the 18th century following complaints from Paris’ residents, the catacombs have an eerie yet ethereal feel to them. It takes dozens of steps to descend to and ascend from the attraction, but once you’re down there you can experience a fascinating tour that’s conducted in English.
Although France is well known for its wine, the vineyard in Montmartre is a hidden pleasure for even the most dedicated of wine buffs. This tiny patch of vines is located just at the bottom of Montmartre, and while it isn’t a typical attraction for those going on holiday to Paris, it certainly may be worth a visit.
Although the wine there isn’t to everyone’s taste, you’re more than likely to delight the wine connoisseur in your family when you return with a bottle for them.