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.
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Best places to stay in 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.
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
Best boutique hotels 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.
Tour de dessert: Europe’s most delicious pastries, cakes and tarts
American cafe culture has come a long way in the last two decades: corporate coffee has spawned near two generations of independent cafes that offer more than the old standby of roadside diner joe and pie.
Gay and lesbian 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.
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.
Already visited the Eiffel Tower and the Lourve? Then this is the guide for you. It's the insider's guide to Paris, showing you the city as Parisiens know it. Our experienced author, Caroline Delabroy, has lived in Paris all her life and reveals more about the City than ever before.