Monday, 13 April 2009

10 reasons to visit PARIS

It is the city of light, the city of romance. But there's much more to the French capital than its reputation.


For the price of a little shoe leather and a bit of puff, there's an after-dark treat in store in Toulouse Lautrec's former stomping ground of Montmartre.

Climb the hills and steps to the floodlit basilica of the Sacre Coeur and turn around.

Nothing could be more breathtakingly romantic than that view over Paris by night.

Artists and musicians often gather here so there could be a bit of guitar strumming to add to the atmosphere.


The artist Pablo Picasso was still wooing the ladies into his nineties and the man himself seems to come to life in the intimate Musee Picasso at 5 Rue de Thorigny.


The famous lover Casanova is said to have turned to chocolate to fuel his passions. Long regarded as an aphrodisiac, it tastes good, too.

The cafes of Paris do great mugs of steaming hot chocolate, especially Cafe Flore and La Coupole, both on the Boulevard St Germain, once haunts of writers such as Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald.

Feminist writer Simone de Beauvoir is said to have called into La Coupole for a hot chocolate nightcap most nights before she died in 1986.


Anyone feeling poor but peckish will love the little restaurants in Rue de la Huchette just off the Boulevard St Michel.

It's full of Turkish delights with everything from street food to quaint little bistros offering tempting set lunches that won't break the bank.


It could set you back an arm and a leg, but for a real taste of ooh la la you can't beat a show at the Moulin Rouge where high kicking can-can dancers are still the main attraction.

The windmill turning outside the theatre in Place Blanche on the Boulevard de Clichy dominates Pigalle, the red light district of Paris.

Entrance to a show and half a bottle of Champagne costs £78, while dinner and a show starts at £110.


Rodin's sculpture created a sensation when it was first shown and since then it has become a symbol for lovers everywhere.

See the original at the Musee Rodin, 77 Rue de Varenne.

Rodin was said to be another one with a raging libido and Gwen John, sister of flelsh artist Augustus John was one of his lovers.


The bridges of Paris separating the classy Rue de Rivoli on the flight Bank and the Latin Quarter of the Left Bank seem to have a life of their own and you can soak up the vibes for nothing.

Buskers play everything from accordion music to jazz on some of them.

On others you can see the Eiffel Tower in one direction and Notre Dame in the other, and the quays are full of flower and picture stalls.


Take to the River Seine, a focal point in the city, on a Bateau Mouche and get a different perspective on famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower.

A boat trip is especially atmospheric at night when you can also dine on board.


At the other end of the scale, put some oysters, that other famous aphrodisiac, on the menu.

Paris is full of restaurants selling this king of seafood but for dining that's a little more private visit the sumptuous food hall of Galeries Lafayette and stock up with a sensuous picnic to eat back at base.


Hop on a bus and see the city in comfort.

Les Cars Rouges stop at nine top attractions including the Louvre, the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower.

For other interesting cities, go to

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