Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A City of Fashion & Passion: What Every Traveller Needs to Know when Visiting Paris

The “City of Lights”, the “City of Enlightenment”, the most romantic city, one of the fashion capitals in the world – these are just some of the names by which Paris go by. France’s lovely capital has often been featured in novels, movies, television series, books, etc. No matter what it is that tickles your fancy as a traveller – be it the history of the place or the people – you can be sure to find that and more when visiting Paris. To give you an idea about how you can maximize your ultimate Parisian getaway, let us have a quick list of some of the things that every traveller needs to know about the city.

What’s the Best Time to Book Paris Flights?

First, what’s the best time to book Paris flights? No matter which time of the year it is that you plan to visit the City of Lights, you can rest assured that there are plenty of other tourists who you can be with.

Weather-wise, the city’s being situated in the western part of Europe allows it to have cool winters and warm summers. If you don’t mind cuddling up next to your loved one most of the time, booking Paris flights during January will expose you to the time of the year in the city. But if you do like seeing the sights when the weather is warm, book Paris flights during the summer months.

What are the Must-Visit Sights in Paris?

Second, what are the sightseeing options in Paris that you just can’t afford to miss? Naturally, there’s the Eiffel tower which has had more than 200 million visits since the structure was inaugurated in 1889. View the tower during broad daylight so that you can see for yourself what makes it the most romantic tower in the world. But do it at night, too, when the tower is illuminated with thousands of tiny lights which reflect off the rest of Paris’ skyline.

Whether you’re an art lover or not, you would want to have a glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s original work Mona Lisa which is housed at the Louvre Museum. For those who love modern art and architecture, check out the Center Pompidou where there are concert halls, cinemas and kid-friendly entertainment alternatives. The Musee d’Orsay should be part of your museum hopping activity, where there also many masterpieces from world-class artists. Also, there’s the Arc de Triomphe which is as dear to the locals as the Eiffel Tower. Climbing it gives you an excellent vantage point of the city’s skyline.

How about My Shopping Options?

Lastly, if you wish to witness what Paris’ reputation is as being the center of passion and fashion, what are your shopping options? Just like Milan and New York, Paris is one of the fashion capitals of the world. If you’re a fashion lover, simply going people watching by the plush shopping districts in Paris will give you such feeling of joy once you see how well-dressed the locals and tourists are. If you are looking for high-end couture, go to the 8th Arrondisement. Summer is an excellent time to go browsing through the shops along Canal St-Martin and the Palais-Royal.

For vintage clothes, check out the Quartier Saint-Germaine-des-Pres. Flea markets, a few malls where the price of goods are mid-ranged, as well as upscale shops – these and more are the other options that you have whether you plan to burn a hole in your pocket or simply go window shopping in Paris.

George Peterson currently works as a consultant for travels to Paris (in Danish the term rejser til Paris) for a large Danish travel agency. He is also the man behind the Channel Voyager - a small travel blog.