The region in which Paris is located is called the Île-de-France – something you might not know right off-hand, but it’s a thing you’ll see in Paris often – especially in weather reports on TV. The reasons why it is called the “Island of France” is up for debate, but it’s the region’s name just the same. And the way Parisians behave sometimes, it’s like they think they’re on their own little island of fabulous!
In 2002, several European cities decided to have a “white night” – an evening in which popular monuments, museums and historical sites were open for free to the public. Some were a success, while others failed. Paris came out a clear winner, and today they still hold a yearly “Nuit Blanche” for everyone to enjoy. If you’re in town for it, here is what you can expect.
Paris’s Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most recognizable structures and if you think it’s impressive during the day it’s even more so at night. We visited the tour as part of the Eiffel Tower sunset tour. A trip to the tower at night is a must on any Paris itinerary.
What sets the VIP tour of Versailles with private viewing of the Royal Quarters apart from others of the Versailles complex is that we got to go places that most tourist don’t get to go, the best part, the king’s chambers. Most people that visit the palace miss some of the most beautiful and interesting rooms because they are protected. The rooms can only be seen on a special tour, hand guided by museum staff. The king’s apartments were the height of elegance with pounds of gold leaf covering hand carved oak details, silks from the orient, and other exotic items from around the world.
The thought of taking a tour in Paris makes many travelers think of the herds of zombified tourists following a chipper guide holding an umbrella aloft. But Paris is the most visited place on the planet, so it stands to reason that there is a lot to discover – and there are walking tours in Paris for every conceivable interest. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
In many cities, the smaller boutiques are the “true” shopping experience, while the corporate-run department stores are best left to the masses. But this does not hold true in Paris; sure, the boutiques are exquisite, but its department stores have a rich history, beautiful architecture, and their own character that’s been hard won over the centuries. Yes, centuries. Here are the major department stores in Paris, and what you can expect from a visit to them.
Paris is one of those cities that has you grabbing for your camera at every turn, but what about those postcard-worthy snapshots that can only come from a bird’s eye view? Here are our top picks for the best views in Paris.
Possibly one of the most French things you can do in Paris is to take in the dinner and Moulin Rouge Show. The historic theater located in the Moulin district of Paris at Place Blanche puts on a fantastically French show done in traditional style. The venue holds about 1,000 people and sells out nightly. The VIP Moulin Rouge Show with Dinner and Champagne had us seated in the best views in the house center stage on the balcony. Only 10-12 tickets are sold each show making it an extremely intimate and elegant setting.
It’s hard to believe that after three years in France I had not yet explored the Chateau de Versailles. While I had seen photos from friends’ previous visits and heard that it was a pretty grand place, I had been reluctant to go because of the long lines that surround the chateau and its reputation. Enter the Viator Exclusive Versailles Tour. The only way I was prepared to immerse myself in the opulence of kings and queens was on a VIP tour that skipped the line and had us in the Chateau practically before anyone else, providing us with a private guided tour and all the secrets of the chateau and its history.
From guide books to websites to your friend who just returned from vacation, it seems like everyone is always recommending that you see the food markets in Paris. But, why? What is so special about Parisian food markets that makes people swoon over the mere mention of them?