Paris deserves its reputation as the most romantic city in the world. Home to magnificent architecture, grand boulevards, arresting art, jewel-box patisseries, smart boutiques and cutting-edge fashion, it also has a small enough centre that you can explore it on foot – and getting lost is half the fun. Explore the different arrondissements, each with its own distinct personality; people-watch on wicker-chair-lined café terraces that spill onto cobbled streets, visit colourful food and flea markets, stroll around the beautiful Tuileries Garden and meander along the winding banks of the Seine. There are hotels for every budget, from the palatial to the contemporary, and there’s an unrivalled food scene, which spans trendsetting neighbourhood bistros to multiple-Michelin-star restaurants. However well you know Paris, you’ll still find something new to discover.
Best time to go: ‘Paris is always a good idea’, declared Audrey Hepburn. But, to be specific April.
The weather in Paris: Paris has a fairly mild climate, with average daily highs of 8°C in winter and 25°C in summer.
How to get there: Paris has two airports: Aéroport Charles de Gaulle, 27km to the north, and Aéroport d’Orly, 16km to the south (aeroportsdeparis.fr). Eurostar (+44 87 0518 6186; eurostar.com) runs from St Pancras International to Paris Gare du Nord. TGV services also link Paris with Amsterdam and Brussels.
What’s the currency? Euros.
Best ways to get around: To really take in the city you should walk everywhere. Alternatively, the Métro is the quickest transport system, but it can be very crowded and confusing for newcomers to navigate.
Essential things to pack: Alex Stedman of The Frugality shares her tips in our ‘What to pack for a city break in Paris’ video. See more inspiration for what to wear in Paris from Louis Vuitton.
Recommended films set in Paris: 1950s cult classic An American in Paris, heart-warming rom-com Amélie, Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and hit musical Moulin Rouge.
Recommended books set in Paris: Ernest Hemingway’s evocative memoir of his time as a struggling writer in 1920s Paris A Moveable Feast, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo; or for more modern reading, Dan Brown’s thriller The Da Vinci Code.
Check out our favourite on-screen Paris locations.