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Easy on the eyes and steeped in history, Paris earns its reputation as one of the most charming and culturally rich cities in Europe. Blessed with majestic tree-lined boulevards, packed with tempting boulangeries and patisseries, and teeming with countless quaint cafés spilling onto sidewalks, the City of Light offers travellers a treasure trove of stimuli not soon forgotten.

A touchstone of any visit must surely be Paris’ world-class museums and art galleries, from major stops like the Louvre and Museé d’ Orsay to the comparatively smaller collections at Musée Rodin and Musée Marmottan Monet. Of course, iconic structures like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame de Paris, and Arc de Triomphe headline most to-see lists, while the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées is still the city’s centre of hi-so fashion.

Stylish and sophisticated, Paris thrills in ways few other cities can.

Getting Around

Paris is divided into 20 districts, or arrondissements, located on one side or the other—the Left Bank and Right Bank—of the Seine River. Blanketing the city like a subterranean spider web, the Métro subway is the fastest way to cover ground in Paris, though exploring the grand City of Light on foot and by bicycle are certainly the most adventurous options. The Métro is also connected to the express RER trains, which make limited stops within Paris on their way to suburban areas.

Buses are another good way to get from Point A to B, with the €2 fares payable directly to the driver or with Métro tickets. Though the fares can be expensive (and complex), in a pinch taxis come in handy for travelling short distances.

By Metro Train

Safe, fast, and efficient, Paris’ Métro subway is the easiest way to get around. In operation since 1900, the Métro has 16 lines and upwards of 300 stations, with trains pulling into each station every few minutes and running from 5am to 12:30am (1:30am on Fridays and Saturdays).

Depending on how much you plan to walk and the length of your visit, it may make more sense to buy a carnet of 10 single-journey tickets for around €14 (US$15.60) instead of other pricier options, which include the Paris Visite pass (unlimited travel for one to five days) and Navigo Discovery card (weekly unlimited travel).

By Walking

Though when looking at a map it may at first appear too tough to tackle on foot, Paris is in fact an eminently walkable city, from its wide avenues lined with striking architecture to its elegant alleyways and pretty parks and gardens. For example, it’ll take just a few hours to walk from, say, the Arc de Triomphe on the Left Bank to Luxembourg Gardens on the Right Bank, via Avenue des Champs-Élysées and Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Of course, unless you’re in a hurry the best routes in Paris are often the most circuitous ones. Walk down comely side streets, take detours through small parks, and follow your nose—you never know what you’ll find in France’s captivating capital.

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