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Writers, travellers, artists, photographers and filmmakers have tried to capture the magic of the French capital for hundreds of years. Time and time again, they have failed. It may be possible to understand and admire the magnificence of its architectural splendours, the appeal of its long tree-lined boulevards, the draw of its vast, green parks, but that unique feeling of strolling through this open-air museum on a clear night cannot be reproduced by any medium. Paris is a city that must be experienced first-hand. Instantly recognizable for its iconic architecture, it is a vibrant metropolis in constant change. Though perennial monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame Cathedral are a must, as are world-renowned museums such as the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, there are wonders to be found on every corner. From the trendy bars, boutiques and galleries of Marais to the artsy and bohemian feel of Montmartre to the grandiose elegance along the Seine, there is plenty for all tastes, a full range extending from earthy grit to over-the-top sophistication, but always with an emphatic and inimitable Parisian flavour. A pioneer in design of all kinds, Paris is consistently at the forefront of innovation in everything from the arts and culture to fashion and gastronomy. Be it for shopping, dining or sightseeing, it is hard to find a better place than this, the world’s most visited city.
There is never enough time to take in everything that Paris has to offer. Visiting the sights and museums is immersive and awe-inspiring and could easily keep you occupied for months. But visitors are best rewarded by simply venturing out into the night. Like most truly great cities, Paris is best experienced after dark and without a fixed route in mind, when the explorer is free to stumble upon an unexpected sight or an undiscovered hole-in-the-wall, drawn in by an alluring scent or some sort of innate feeling. One thing is for sure, you will never run out of things to see, do and experience in Paris.
Paris’ cuisine surprises as much for its variety and range as it does for its quality and exquisite presentation. From small family-run bistros to Michelin-starred restaurants run by internationally famous chefs, dining here is more art than science. Sweets, pastries, cheese and fresh market produce are also an essential part of the Parisian gastronomic experience, as are, of course, local specialties like foie gras, macarons and crème brûlée. Top it off with a treat from a specialty chocolaterie and a fine local vintage in the evening to complete the tour of the best delicacies Paris has to offer.
Fresh baguettes and croissants with a strong espresso in the morning, aromatic teas or pastis in the afternoon, a local vintage with friends in the evening, it's never the wrong time to visit a Paris cafe. They are a quintessential part of the Parisian experience and the perfect vantage point from which to engage in a lazy afternoon of people watching. The wide variety of drinks and the occasional live music round off the cafe experience to perfection.
Paris’ nightlife is intense and very diverse, offering options to satisfy all tastes. From high-tech dance clubs to mellow jazz haunts, there is always something to fit your mood. Trendy and popular bars abound, serving high-quality drinks with a good mix of people and music, and it is not uncommon to find live DJs. For a unique dose of vibrant local entertainment, you can't beat Paris' famous cabaret venues.
Shopping in Paris is synonymous with famous designers and luxurious brands (the names Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior come to mind). But you will also find more affordable options to match your budget in the huge department stores or many popular neighbourhood markets. Take your pick of fashion, food, books or souvenirs.
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