PLAN YOUR PARIS VISIT
Paris is an intense and extensive blending of the historical and the contemporary, the national and the international, all linked by one of the world’s most dense and rapid transportation networks.
Here you will find modern architecture vying for attention with centuries-old châteaux (castles) and bridges. In all sectors and neighbourhoods, you will note marvelous modern ventures and impressive urban revitalization. You will witness city wards, sites and individual structures engaged in the government’s and private heroic efforts at restoration and preservation. You will be able to stroll at leisure along imposing six-lane boulevards, gardened bridges and narrow sinuous lanes where traffic cannot reach. You will be able to accede to some of the world’s best garnished libraries and museums.
You will accompany locals scouring the well-replenished public market streets that have existed for centuries, under the awesome gaze of monuments that command the transition from the historic past, to the thriving present and towards the enticing future. You will come upon specialized boutiques, sprawling restaurants of all persuasions, mystifying displays in food shops, and thriving café and tea parlour life. Paris is dynamic, Paris is complex, but Paris honors its acclaimed authority to cater to the wayward traveler. Indeed, Paris can be full of magnanimous surprises, inifinite rewards, highly satisfying ... environmental ecstasy guaranteed and recommended!
GETTING AROUND PARIS
Paris is divided into twenty arrondissements (wards). The first is in the center of the city and from there they spiral out like a snail shell, with the low digits all close to the center and the higher numbers surrounding them. The River Seine divides the city into the Right Bank and Left Bank (Rive Droite and Rive Gauche).
As Paris grew along the Seine over the years, many villages and hamlets erstwhile quite far apart became a part of the city; some of these communes still retain the cozy independent spirit of the villages they once were. Most of the great historical monuments and the oldest areas of the original city of Paris are centrally located, clustered on both sides of the Seine, as are the administrative centres and several Ministries and Palaces.
Although it's tempting to take the Métro (underground, tube, subway), the best way to explore Paris is on foot. Walking along the Seine, strolling around the Jardin du Luxembourg, or indulging in some idle flânerie (casual wandering) along the Grands Boulevards will not only open your eyes to Paris's charm and beauty, but will enable you to discover the city's rich history. Paris is full of surprises and hidden treasures.
On the following pages, we wanted to have you share our experience of the city, so that each of your visits, however brief, can be as impregnated as possible with the special beauties of Paris. Hereunder you can find useful tips for visiting Paris in one or several days.