France’s capital is one of the most famous cities in the world. Boasting Disneyland, romance, fashion and culture, there’s a version of Paris for everyone.

A popular tourist destination, Paris is incredibly accessible, in terms of both transport and communication. Though French is the only official language, most of the city’s more tourist-oriented attractions have an understanding of English.

But, why not take a phrase book or a Duolingo course and challenge yourself?

Must sees for free

59 Rivoli is a renowned artists’ squat. After being acquired by the city to renovate the building and make it safer, it now has over 30 artist studios for a minimal rent. It’s open to the public every day but Monday, 1pm to 8pm for you to go and see what everyone is up to in the studios.

Closer to home than New York, the Statue of Liberty, Pont de Grenelle, provides the next best thing. Given as a gift to France from America, and installed three years after New York’s, you can access the statue by the Pont de Grenelle or the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.

Any cinephiles visiting the city can take the opportunity to pay their respects to Georges Méliès. One of the forefathers of special effects, Méliès directed Le voyage dans la lune, one of the first known science fiction movies. The grave is located in Père Lachaise Cemetery, and there is currently a GoFundMe campaign to help restore it.

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Top sees for a fee

In the Grande Galerie de l’Évolution is housed ‘The Room of Endangered and Extinct Species’. Kept cold and dark, with the only light sources being from the displays themselves, it is home to taxidermy and skeletons of animals that are either extinct or critically endangered. The display is on the third floor of the museum, and entry costs €10 (around £8.50).

The Grand Gallery of Evolution

The L'Atelier des Lumières is an immersive art installation. With the installations changing frequently, Van Gogh and Dreamed Japan are currently on offer until January 2020. The art pieces are animated and projected onto the walls, leaving you to walk through them. Tickets are not available on-site and must be booked in advance online for €14.50, or €29 for a full day (around £12-£25).

The Bibliothèque nationale de France was once the largest book collection in the world. Still one of the largest libraries in the world, it houses over 10 million books. Louis XIV’s globes are also housed on display in the library. A reader’s card from 5pm-8pm is free, but a one-day card is only €3.50 (around £3).

Paris at night

Getting around

Paris has an extensive public transport system made up of buses and the metro. Single metro tickets are only €1.90 (around £1.60), or can be purchased in a book of 10 for €16 (just under £14). Visitor passes are also available for use over all public transport for just €21.50 (around £18) for a two-day pass and €29.40 (around £25) for a three-day pass.

Montmarte Funicular

Eating out and going out

A favourite of famous US visitors is Harry’s New York Bar. Chosen by Ian Fleming to be Bond’s favourite bar, its real-life patrons have included F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Dempsey and Ernest Hemingway. The bar, now run by Harry’s grandson's widow, still serves cocktails to this day.

Dans le Noir? Paris is a restaurant entirely in the dark, hosted and served entirely by visually impaired people. Each menu is a surprise, to add to the mystery, priced at €55 for a two-course meal and glass of wine, with prices increasing for more courses or taster menus.

A traditional Parisian dish available is the ‘floating island’. Available from a number of restaurants, including Le Bistro Marbeuf, the dessert constitutes a pile of meringue floating in custard. Priced at €9 (just under £8), it won’t break the bank to give it a try.

Harry's New York Bar


Luxury: Les Jardins de Mademoiselle is a four-star hotel boasting Japanese garden inspired rooms, three green spaces, and heated pool. 15 rue Mademoiselle. From £162 per night.

Mid-range: Hotel du Printemps Paris is a two-star hotel with 4-star reviews offering triple rooms, luggage storage, and a central location close to public transport. 80 Boulevard de Picpus. From £62 per night.

Budget: Le Regent Montmartre is a hostel that offers free breakfast when you book online, private and dorm rooms, and events for guests. 37 Boulevard de Rochechouart. From £37 per night.

Statue of Liberty at Pont de Grenelle

The facts

Currency: Euros (€) £1 = €1.17

Time zone: GMT+1

The flight: 1 hour 30 minutes direct with easyJet from £39 return.

Best time to visit: New Year has cheaper flights, but April-June has mild weather and less crowds.

Visas, injections and precautions: None.

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