Paris is globally known for its cuisine, fashion and culture, making it a popular travel destination for people from all over the world. Also known as the City of Light, Paris is home to a wide variety of art museums and historic sights, giving visitors plenty to do in their spare time.
Paris is a transportation hub for the rest of Europe, with hundreds of international flights daily. Many other popular cities, including London, Venice and Geneva, among many others, are easily accessible by train, making Paris the perfect jumping-off point for exploring much of Western Europe.
The Palais de Congres de Paris is one of the world's top conference venues, boasting over 439,000 square feet of exhibition space. This venue encompasses four auditoriums and 85 meeting rooms as well.
Art lovers visiting Paris should not miss the world-famous Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay. Louis XIV's palace, Versailles, is just an hour outside the city and gives travellers a peek into his opulent lifestyle. The Champs Elysee is the central shopping and dining thoroughfare in Paris, providing endless opportunities to spend more than a few euros.
Paris is known for its luxury and decadence, and that is evident in the city's accommodation offerings. World-class five-star hotels offer all the luxuries you could desire, while hostels offer budget-friendly accommodation for those with tighter purse strings. A current trend in the area is toward holiday apartment rentals, with a wide range of options all across the city. Here are some great recommendations from top travel sites:
Paris is the world's capital for cuisine, with many saying that the French invented fine dining, so don't waste your dining dollars on international fast food chains. Take the time to find a local cafe so that you can sample some of the most exquisite food the world has to offer. While some high-end restaurants can be quite costly, there is no need to blow your entire budget on a single meal; many local options provide affordable meals that are just as rich and decadent as their more expensive counterparts. Here are some recommendations to get you started:
The Metro is, hands down, the best way to get around the city. Its extensive network covers the entire city and the surrounding areas, and fares are inexpensive. Not all stations are clearly marked, so it can help to have a map of the system with you. The trains run until about 1 a.m. during the week and 2 a.m. on weekends, so be sure to plan your night so that you don't miss the last train.
Velib is Paris' wildly successful bicycle exchange program. Once you sign up with a single-day or one-week pass, you can pick up a bike from any Velib bike rack in the city, then simply return it to another rack when you are finished. Not all streets in Paris are bike-friendly, though, so take care while riding to avoid the busiest streets, and always wear a helmet.
Traffic can get very congested in Paris, and local drivers tend to be highly aggressive, so visitors are generally advised to avoid driving if they are unfamiliar with these types of conditions. Also, the city streets can be a bit confusing at times if you do not know where you are going, as street names are not always clearly marked. Parking is metered except after 7 p.m. and on Sundays. You can pay by credit card or by purchasing a Paris Carte parking pass, available at most tobacco shops, called tabacs.