Paris

Travel to Paris, France with Joel Bond Travels
 

Is it possible to start an article about Paris without clichéd romanticism and sigh of 'ah, Paris...'? Without a doubt, Paris is a romantic getaway -- but there's more in the air than just love when it comes to the capital city. Rumours abound that the local government actually pays couples to make out in public spaces to keep up the romantic image -- an urban legend that the internet, at least, will neither confirm nor deny. It is, however, a confirmed fact that several hundred people a year are hospitalised in Paris for slipping on dog droppings left on the sidewalk -- so, if romance is in your eyes, be sure caution is at your feet, as well.

Regardless of love or, ahem, leavings, Paris is a great place to visit and you should see the Gallic charm that pervades the city. Of course there's the Eiffel Tower and baguettes -- but also the bouquinistes along the river, the majestic stained glass of St Chapelle, the karst landscape of parc de Buttes de Chambourg; corners of Paris you didn't know existed, but are beautiful in their own right.

And I bet you're dreaming about the food. Like any big city, Paris has more on offer than just French cuisine. Yes -- the bread really is that good here, but take time to explore the diverse offerings. Moroccan and north african tagines are exceptionally good, and arguably the world's best falafel can be found in le Marais district around the Jewish quarter. Keep an eye out for takeaway falafel restaurants with lines hungry customers wrapping around the block, and you know you'll have found a good one.

 

For the culture vultures, Paris has more than 150 museums to keep you occupied. Of course, there's the Louvre, with IM Pei's iconic glass pyramids serving as the main entrance. As the world's largest repository of art open to the public, it's collection of 380,000 pieces can keep you occupied for weeks. Of equal importance is the Musée d'Orsay, which houses more well-known impressionist and contemporary works of art. For sculpture, contemplate visiting the Rodin Museum to catch a glimpse of his famous 'Thinker'. Music lovers would regret nothing at the Edith Piaf museum. There's something for every kind of art lover in Paris.

For religious architecture, most visitors flock to the imposing bulk of Notre Dame; however, just across the island is the glorious, if not much smaller, church of Sainte-Chapelle, whose stained glass windows create walls of breath-taking light unlike any church you've seen before. For the devout and penitent, climbing the steps to Sacré Coeur in the Montmartre district will reward you with unparalleled views across the city: the less penitential can indulge in the funicular railway to the summit for the same view

 

Escaping the city centre, Versailles is a simply train journey away, and worth a full day's exploration in it's own right. Extensive gardens, spectacular fountains, lavish interiors bedecked with countless chandeliers and mirrors reveal the excessive opulence of the French monarchy that eventually led to its downfall.

But perhaps the finest joy of visiting Paris is that certain French ability to relish the fancier side of life -- be it a simple French press coffee in the morning, an extra flaky croissant with a spot of jam delicately smeared on your chin, a contemplative stroll along the riverbanks, or a finely wrapped and presented shopping parcel to carry home. Whatever the function, the French value form in equal measure, and it's impossible to spend any amount of time in the city without appreciating the finer things in life, even if only by accident.


Paris highlights:

Basilica of Sacré Coeur, La Defence, Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre, Musée d'Orsay, Musée Rodin, Notre Dame, St Chapelle, Versailles

Joel Bond Travels is pleased to offer extensive guided tours in and around Paris, building an itinerary around your specific desires. Contact me today to discuss your requirements, and discover your Paris today. Vive la France!

 

Key features: 

  • Well-researched, character accommodation
  • Flexible touring schedule: see what you want, when you want
  • No crowded tour buses or large groups
  • Save time, see more with a guide who already knows the area
  • Connect: options exist to dine with a local family in-home
  • Go deeper: break from the standard tourist circuit and discover more local places
Joel Bond Travels

Base rate for guiding services:

£275/day per group

Rates cover guiding services, local transport (private hire, where possible) and entrance to select sites. Contact me to enquire about booking flights and accommodation as well.

Minimum trip duration: 3 days

Max group size: 6 people

Enquire here about this tour, or download a booking form here.

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