Paris has all but exhausted the superlatives that can reasonably be applied to any city. Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower have been described countless times, as have the Seine and the subtle (and not-so-subtle) differences between the Left and Right Banks. Yet, what writers have never been able to even slightly reflect is the grandness and magic.
Paris probably has more familiar landmarks than any other city in the world. As a result, first-time visitors often arrive in the French capital with all sorts of expectations: of grand vistas, of intellectuals discussing weighty matters in cafés, of romance along the Seine, of naughty nightclub revues, of rude people who won’t speak English. If you look hard enough, you can probably find all of those. But another approach is to set aside the preconceptions of Paris and to explore the city’s avenues and backstreets as if the tip of the Eiffel Tower or the spire of Notre Dame wasn’t about to pop into view at any moment.
You’ll soon discover (as so many others before you have) that Paris is enchanting almost everywhere, at any time, even ‘in the summer, when it sizzles’ and ‘in the winter, when it drizzles’, as Cole Porter put it. You’ll be back. Trust us.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
Best places to stay in Paris
Paris city guide
Paris has a timeless familiarity for first-time and frequent visitors, with more architectural icons than any other city along with glorious food, stylish shopping and priceless artistic treasures.
What's new in Paris for travellers?
Paris' iconic cityscape is often considered timeless. Yet the city has continually undergone changes, including a few that are finally being rectified (not least its increasingly traffic-choked streets)...
Best places to eat in Paris
Gay and lesbian Paris
Paris city guide Collector's Edition
Exclusive to Australia and New Zealand, Lonely planet has created three limited edition retro city covers to celebrate our 40th anniversary.
Paris in the springtime
Paris is an old favourite, but that doesn't take away from its charm. Whether you're a first-timer or are back for more, here are a few suggestions to make you fall in love with Paris this spring. Why go? Paris is the world’s most romantic cliché, but this is one place where the reality outstrips the myth...
Best boutique hotels in Paris
Composer Cole Porter was spot on: whether you’re in Paris during the springtime, the autumn, the winter or the summer, the world’s most romanticised city has a way of seducing you every moment of the year.
Moulin Rouge Show Paris
The Moulin Rouge is the number one show in Paris, if not the whole of Europe. No wonder it sells out quickly! Don't miss your chance to see the world-renowned showgirls and French Cancan dancers strut their stuff on the Moulin Rouge's historic stage. Moulin Rouge Paris sells out months in advance.
Eiffel Tower, Paris Moulin Rouge Show and Seine River Cruise
Enjoy a memorable night out in Paris by combining a visit to the Eiffel Tower and Seine River cruise with a cabaret show at the Moulin Rouge. Enjoy dinner at the Eiffel Tower's 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant followed by a one-hour river cruise, or dine on board a Seine River dinner cruise followed by a 1-hour visit to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Classic Paris: a fresh look at the City of Light
Get to the heart of the allure of Paris with Lonely Planet Traveller’s tour of its star sights, from the heights of the Eiffel Tower to the depths of the catacombs. Words by Rory Goulding. Images by Pete Seaward. Eiffel Tower The Eiffel Tower seen from the Palais de Chaillot. Image by Pete Seaward...
The Louvre, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower – we’ve selected the most iconic sights and the top experiences so you can enjoy the real Paris with the minimum of fuss.