The romantic Paris with crooked houses
Alongside real highlights such as the Eiffel Tower, the cathedral of Notre Dame, and the impressive Louvre Museum, Paris also has much more to offer. Once you are on the island of Île de la Cité, after a look at Notre Dame Cathedral (currently under renovation), you should take the opportunity to look around here a bit more. On the island there is a second church, called Sainte Chapelle. This High Gothic palace chapel is part of the "Palais de la Cité", the former royal residence. Built in the 13th century, it still impresses guests with its rich interior decoration and artistic windows.
Our next point of interest is just a few metres away: the Conciergerie. This stunning Gothic building is also part of the former palace complex and was used as a court and royal prison. Among others, Queen Marie-Antoinette was imprisoned here during the French Revolution. Afterwards, we recommend a detour to the neighbouring island of Île Saint-Louis, to which there is a direct bridge.
The apartments on the island are among the most expensive addresses in the city, and the area accordingly features plenty of chic boutiques, high-quality restaurants, and trendy cafes. Berthillon is said to have the best ice cream in Paris. As we continue our walk, let's head towards the Pont Neuf bridge in the west of the Île de la Cité. As the oldest, originally preserved Seine bridge in Paris, it is a sight in itself.
A boat trip on the Seine
An extremely enjoyable way of discovering all the famous buildings along the river is to take a boat trip on the Seine. The so-called "Bateaux mouches" leave from the Pont de l'Alma. The cruise, which lasts just over an hour, takes you from the Eiffel Tower to behind the Seine islands and back, past the Louvre, the City Hall, Notre Dame, the Palace of Justice, the Musée d'Orsay, the Hôtel des Invalides, the Eiffel Tower and much more.
Sprawling boulevards, impressive buildings and pretty parks - like the Jardin des Tuileries or the Jardin du Luxembourg - demonstrate the splendour of the French metropolis. Stroll along the Champs-Élysées to take in the city's spacious boulevards. Or take a look in the windows of the luxury shops on Rue St. Honoré and Place Vendôme - but you'll have to dig a little deeper into your pocket for a souvenir.
The huge complex of the Louvre, the former royal palace on the Seine, also bears witness to representative splendour. The Sun King Louis XIV, however, preferred to have a new palace built in quieter surroundings and in 1682 moved to Versailles, 20 kilometres from the gates of the noisy and dirty capital.
With its size and splendour, and huge parks, this pleasure palace was a demonstration of the French king's power. The palace building and its gardens were imitated all over Europe. The complex, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, houses various museums and palace halls, such as the Hall of Mirrors, several magnificent salons, a chapel, and the royal apartments. Choose a sunny day for your visit to Versailles to ensure that you can admire the gardens in all their splendour.
You can discover romantic Paris with its crooked houses and small shops, its metro signs in an intricate Art Nouveau style, as well as its cafés and street art in Montmartre. Not far from the Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est stations, the district is centred around the hill of Montmartre, which is crowned by the sugary white basilica of Sacré-Cœur.
Take the metro to "Anvers", for example. From here it is just under 200 metres to the lower forecourt of the church. From here you can walk up through the parks or take the cable car. The view from the top is fantastic - make sure you leave time to take it all in. You can then explore the little streets on the back of the hill. Here there are little gardens and even a vineyard.
On the side of the hill is the neighbourhood made famous by painters such as Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, and many more. Many artists still live and work here today. Galleries and a number of junk shops invite you to stroll around and take a look. Heading towards Pigalle metro station, you will also find numerous clubs, cabarets, and variety theatres, the most famous of which is probably the legendary Moulin Rouge.
Get to know France's varied and fascinating capital city and enjoy all the comforts you could desire at the new H4 Hotel Paris Pleyel!