Paris may be famous for the romance, the food, the art and the wine but the city is still full of secrets. If you’re planning a getaway to Paris, look beyond the Eiffel Tower to the parks and lesser-known attractions to enjoy exploring this mysterious capital from one of our two fabulous VI Hotels.
1. Take in one of Paris’ open air markets. Our top pick is Marché Bastille, a foodie’s delight. Market traders set up shop from 7 a.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, selling local cheeses, fruit, crepes and much more.
See here how it looks like.
2. The city is divided into 20 arrondissements
3. Don’t forget the Louvres is open late on Wednesdays and Fridays! Often this is the best time to appreciate the art as it is quieter (and cooler in the summer!) if you’re looking for a few contemplative hours to yourself.
4. Paris has a population of more than 2.2 million people
5. We know that Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Visit in winter and be sure to enjoy ice-skating in front of City Hall as the historic building provides a dramatic back-drop.
Get some impressions right here.
6. An Egyptian treasure from the times of Ramses II stands not far from the Eiffel Tower at Place de la Concorde. Look our for its bronze and gold pyramidion.
7. Escape the tourist bustle and relax in one of Paris’ quieter squares surrounded by impressive architecture. Our favourite is Place des Vosges in the Marais district with pretty 17th century townhouses neatly lining the lush square (Victor Hugo lived here!)
Curious how it loos like ?
8. The famous Eiffel Tower actually swayed 13cm during a storm in 1999!
9. There’s only one stop sign in the entire city of Paris
10. For amazing panoramic views without the huge crowds, head to Montparnasse Tower. Our frugal tip (if dinner is too pricey or fully booked) is to opt for breakfast at the tower’s posh restaurant, providing a basket of delicious breads and pastries with coffee and views.
Check out some photos right here.
11. The city was called Lutetia during Roman times or “Lutetia of the Parisii”
12. Paris has a ‘sister city’ – Rome!
13. If you want a balance between education and fun, both outdoors and indoors, the Jardin des Plantes has a fascinating botanical garden and Ménagerie where children can enjoy spotting different species and learning something along the way.
14. Disneyland Paris had over 14.9 million visits in 2013 – making it the most visited tourist destination in Europe!
15. The Sorbonne (Paris IV) is Paris’ oldest and most famous university
16. For those with children, Jardin du Luxembourg will easily keep them busy for the entire day. With a huge outdoor play area, ice-cream stands, sandpits and puppet shows (marionettes!) kids won’t tire of the attractions whilst adults can read or admire the stunning architecture of the 6th arrondissement.
17. The cafe ‘Les Deux Magots’ was a favourite spot for many literary greats including Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce and Bertolt Brecht!
18. Moliere, Chopin, Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison (from The Doors) are all buried in Pere Lachaise Cemetery
19. Browse the famous book stalls lined up along the River Seine. Besides thousands of books, there are vintage poster prints and art on offer.
Inform yourself and take a look at those pictures.
20. If the temperatures are soaring, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont should be top of the list. In the 19th arrondissement, its mystical greenery is different to those austere parks in the centre; with steep paths, waterfalls and temples to explore.
21. The Moulin Rouge was founded in 1889 and still puts on fantastic shows to this day!
22. Paris is a museum-lover’s dream come true. While the Louvre is top of our list, don’t miss the Rodin Museum which tends to be a little quieter with a pretty sculpture garden and the artist’s house packed full of his work.
Take a look right here.
23. Bastille Day (the French National Day) takes place on the 14th of July with parades, parties and fireworks lighting up the city!
24. Take a day trip to Monet’s stunning garden to Giverny, just west from Paris. At the Vienna International Hotels, take the shuttle bus nr. 54 until the RER A. Go with the RER A until Auber station, wherefrom you then walk 10 minutes by foot to the metro stop St. Lazare. Last but not least take the train Venron. Don’t miss the famous bridge over the lily pond and colourful flower beds. It’s one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.
25. And VI Hotels have not one but two hotels in Disneyland Paris – our Magic Circus Hotel and Dream Castle Hotel!