Wednesday 16 May 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Paris

1. The best views of Paris can be had from Montmartre, which is home to the famous Basilica of the Sacré Cœur. It has also been home to Dali, Picasso, Monet and Van Gogh and now has many unusual and interesting shops and cafés.

2. It’s easy to get around by public transport on the Metro, which has a comprehensive network, the RER, to take you out to the suburbs. If you’re going to be making a lot of journeys it’s cheap to buy books of tickets or carnets. You can also use the Vélib’, bicyles which cost €1 a day in subscription, plus charges for every 30 minutes, although if you use them for less than half an hour there’s no additional charge on top of the subscription.

3. There are numerous parks and gardens where you can relax and watch the world go by.

4. On the first Sunday of each month you can get into the larger museums, such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, the Pompidou Centre, for free. The under 25s can also get into the Louvre for free on Friday evenings after 6pm.

5. You can see a lot of interesting and beautiful parts of Paris along the River Seine, either by walking along the banks, or by taking a boat trip.

6. There are some interesting areas of Paris worth wandering around, including the Latin Quarter and the Right Bank with their narrow, winding streets and lots of small shops and cafés.

7. If you’re looking for bargains, the flea market on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays at Porte de Clignancourt in the north of the city is well worth a visit.

8. In the evenings many Parisians like to sit along the banks of the Seine with wine, cheese and bread, but if you prefer a livelier kind of night life, a good place to head for is the area around Place de la Bastille.

9. The Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, at night the it is lit up, and every hour after midnight for 5 minutes the lights flash and sparkle. When it was built in 1889 it was the tallest tower in the world. Different shades of paint are used at different levels of the tower so that it looks the same colour to people on the ground.

10. The Promenade plantée is the world’s only linear park. It runs for 3 miles along an old railway viaduct from the Bastille almost to the Bois de Vincennes in the eastern suburbs. Many of the arches beneath the park have been made into arts and crafts workshops.

Photo of Arc de Triomphe courtesy

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