Paris | France
City of Light or City of Love, Paris is instantly recognisable and regarded as one of the world's most beautiful capitals. The city is known for its monuments, boulevards, boutique bistros and golden-stoned facades all densely packed so you can appreciate the characteristics of different quartiers (districts) with relative ease. Experience Paris's gracious charm and opulent tree-lined avenues, including the iconic Champs-Elysees. Explore the Left Bank's contemporary culture and watch the world go by from Boulevard Saint-Germain's trendy cafes and bars. Wander the banks of the River Seine, losing yourself in the romance of old riverside market stalls. Not to mention the countless museums to explore, harbouring treasures old and new, as you discover what Paris means to you.
Montmartre and Sacre-Cœur Basilica
Citroen 2CV Drive
Currency: Euro (EUR)
International dialling code: +33
Local time: GMT +1
Useful phrases: Bonjour (hello); Merci (thank you); Au revoir (goodbye); Bonsoir (good evening)
Metro: Using the city's metro is the most efficient way to get between the different arrondissements (or sections).
Picnics: The fresh produce and quality ingredients one can find in a grocery store in Paris means that the perfect lunch need not be at a sit-down restaurant, but simply at the Eiffel Tower accompanied by a crunchy baguette, cheese, wine and croissants.
Smaller breakfasts in Paris: It is common for breakfast just to consist of coffee and a small pastry when out and about as Parisians tend to have bigger lunches and dinners than breakfasts.
A Tour Director's take on Paris: "Walking through Paris without a goal or clear destination. Even though I pass through the same square, street corner or shop I always discover something new that in my memories was never there but in fact has been there for centuries. That could be a statue or a decoration on a building. The city never ceases to amaze me.
One of the most magical moments in Paris is the summer around sunset. When the sun goes down and the street lights come on. It feels like the city is covered in a golden for a very short period of time. My favourite place to be at that moment of the day is on one of the benches is in the courtyard of the Louvre." (Words by Rachel van der Hulst.)