Paris holidays from
Because there's nowhere quite like it
The bucketlist city
Anyone who’s ever dreamed of running away to Paris – perhaps to be a struggling artist, perhaps for love – knows what a special city it is. Nowhere burns brighter in the imagination than the City of Light. It’s the one on everyone’s bucketlist – it's something you simply have to experience at least once.
The city of Les Mis and Monet, Napoleon and Rodin, this capital has always attracted artists and dreamers. It’s still one of the world’s most-visited places. Crowds clamour for a glimpse of the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, couples cuddle up on bateau mouche tours of the Seine, and fashionistas channel Chanel as they swan around La Fondation Louis Vuitton. But even a huge number of visitors could never spoil it. From the serene Canal Saint Martin to Bagatelle Park, there are plenty of hidden corners for your next holiday. Book flights to Paris and prepare to fall in love all over again.
Carefully selected Paris city breaks
Best hotels in Paris for all types of traveller
We know that you come to a city to be close to the sights, which is why our carefully-selected hotels are always well-located. But you might not want to leave these Parisian pied-à-terres. If you're searching for hotels in Paris with Eiffel Tower views look no further than the Shangri-La Paris. If you're making a beeline for Le Galerie Lafayette, then stay at Hotel Paris Opera Affiliated by Meliá, conveniently located near the famous department store. Or splash out on luxury hotels such as Hotel Madame Reve, near the Louvre, with enviable rooftop views that are hard to surpass. Or opt for a boutique hotel and stay at Hotel Design Sorbonne, on the upmarket left bank, or Hotel Bowmann right in the Golden Triangle.
For your family’s Disneyland Paris holiday, all of our holiday packages to Disney's Hotel Cheyenne, Disney's Sequoia Lodge, Disney's Hotel Santa Fe, Disney's Hotel New York, Disney's Newport Bay Club and Disney's Davy Crockett Ranch include length of stay tickets to the Disney parks. Otherwise Explorers Hotel Marne-la-Vallee is located just over half a mile away and has a free shuttle to the parks.
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Paris holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Paris holiday
Much more than the sum of its sights – it’s a city that’s brimful of feeling. It ripples with pleasure in the evenings, when the Eiffel Tower puts on an hourly illuminations, and it shimmers in springtime – when chandeliers of chestnut blossom illuminate the boulevards. Sit back and soak it all in. Sometimes the best thing to do in Paris is nothing at all.
What are the best things to do in Paris?
1. Get the most out of your short break by pre-booking the two-, three- or four-day Paris Pass. Go up high to see many landmarks at once: climb the Eiffel Tower, ascend the Arc de Triomph or head to the Montparnasse Tower for city views. Or see the city from the waterline. Book a cruise along the River Seine and you’ll spot many great Parisian sights, including the Notre Dame Cathedral illuminated at night.
2. With some of the greatest art collections in the world, you’ll need a day to explore the highlights of the Louvre, but a couple of hours will allow you to make the most of the Picasso Museum or the sculpture gardens at the Musée Rodin. Everyone knows that twentieth century art is well-represented in the city by the impressive collection at the Musée d'Orsay, but far fewer people go to the Musée national de Moyen Âge (Museum of the Middle Ages) to see The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries.
3. Forget the Champs-Élysées with its ten lanes of traffic – and instead walk two streets over to the more pedestrian-friendly Rue Saint-Honoré. High-end shops like Bonpoint, Maje and Lanvin sit waiting for you to peer through their windows. Alternatively, save yourself a walk by riding the escalators to the upper floors of Le Bon Marché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette: Paris’s legendary department stores.
4. Whatever you’re doing, you’ve no excuse not to eat well: whether that’s a quick croque at a bakery, a leisurely ‘formule midi’ (set lunch menu) at a brasserie or a Michelin-starred concoction from a kitchen of connoisseurs. Save room for maracons: Ladurée serves some fine examples of this feather-light confection in its multiple boutiques.
5. Paris is synonymous with showmanship. Venues like Le Moulin Rouge, Le Crazy Horse and the Paris Lido are world-famous for putting on edgy soirées. Looking for a quiet drink? Parisians might drink Ricard as an apertif before their meal, but afterwards you could try a French 75 (ask for a ‘soixante quinze’) – a sophisticated sparkling cocktail of gin and champagne.
Which holiday type in Paris is right for me?
It might be an essential city to visit, but there’s no right way to ‘do’ Paris. You could trek the tourist trail, and tick off the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Élysées. Want to eschew the traditional tours? Hide out in the city’s museums and practise being Parisian – though your gasps of delight as you see the magnificent Monets in the Musée de l'Orangerie might give you away as an admiring visitor, no matter how hard you try and blend in.
Discover a pocket of magic just east of the capital. Disneyland® Paris has two fantastic parks to explore, plus the shops and restaurants at Disney Village® for afters. It’s less than 15 minutes from Charles De Gaulle airport by TGV (high speed train) or less than an hour’s drive out of the city – by car or shuttle.
Been there, done that, but want to go again? You might have missed the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton to the west of the city centre. Whilst you’re in the area, spend some time chanelling Marie Antoinette in the charming, rose-strewn Parc de Bagatelle. In the city centre, don’t miss Saint Chapelle. This exquisite church near Notre Dame has some of the most beautiful stained glass windows in the world.
Where is the best place to visit in Paris?
You can pinpoint the exact centre – it’s called ‘Kilometre Zero’ and it’s right in front of Notre Dame, the city’s 750-year old gothic cathedral. The city’s 20 ‘arondissments’, or areas, fan out from here in numerical order. Unsurprisingly, some big sights are in the First Arondissment: including the Louvre, which occupies an enormous building behind the Tuileries. This area feels like one of its grandest addresses, thanks especially to broad boulevards lined with smart, Haussmann-style buildings.
Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets. Prime real estate, the road is lined with fancy hotels, chain stores, high-end brands and late-night venues – look out for the Louis Vuitton flagship by day and the Lido de Paris by night. It’s a broad avenue that’s always busy and it runs from Place de Concord, through a smart park, and then past a multitude of chain shops all the way up to the Arc de Triomph. This enormous arch honours war heroes, and you can climb it for skyline views day or night. Want to stay here? The luxurious Four Seasons Hotel George V hotel is one of the most famous hotels in the area.
Once upon a time, Montmartre was a rural hill beyond the bounds of the city. Later it became an inexpensive quarter where artists like Modigliani, Mondrian, Degas and Van Gogh could have their studios. Now the area is trendy, with many people coming to climb the steep hill up to Sacre Coeur, Then mooching around the little shops in the cobbled side streets or visiting the small museum dedicated to Salvador Dalí. At the bottom of the hill, near Pigalle, renowned venues like the Moulin Rouge host nightly can-can cabaret shows, which certainly keep things interesting.
To visit the Eiffel Tower, you need to cross over the river. Traditionally, the Left Bank of the Seine was the artistic side. It’s still the place to come for some of the city’s best art museums: Musée d'Orsay, Musée Rodin and Musée National du Moyen Âge are all in the area. Montparnasse, with its enormous tower, has one of the best views of Paris from its observation deck, whilst the Jardin de Luxembourg, and the little streets around it, are some of the best places to wander. The people who love this area really love it. If you want to stay here, try the cosy Hotel Baume on the Left Bank. Plaza Tour Eiffel is actually on the other side of the river, but this convenient hotel looks right out over the famous ‘Iron Lady’ herself.
Hipsters, make a beeline here. Les Marais, once encompassing Paris’s Jewish quarter, is a great place for falafel and boutique-ey shops, whilst the Canal Saint Martin has a lovely, relaxed waterside café culture. The winding Marais streets eventually break out into Bastille: a huge square where the city’s modern opera sits. There's a few cemeteries and catacombs, but one – Père Lachaise Cemetery – gets the most visitors of any cemetery in the world. Many of its tombs only need one-word introductions: Balzac, Wilde, Colette and Proust are all buried here.
What are the best multi-centre breaks from Paris?
Barcelona is a great place to unwind if you’re shopped yourself into a stupor – it’s hot, sunny, and best of all, it has its own beach. Whilst many centuries of artists and architects have shaped Paris’s streets – from Haussmannian boulevards to Beaux-Arts buildings – just one artist is synonymous with Barcelona – Gaudi. For your first look at his Sagrada Familia, fly, drive over a couple of days or go to Barcelona by train. Take a direct TGV (high speed train) and you can be in the Catalan capital in under seven hours.
If you loved the Impressionists on the top floor of Musée D’Orsay, then you’ll love twinning it with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Paris is massive, Amsterdam comparitively small, but you’ll find that the Dutch capital stands up to the French. It’s very easy to reach Amsterdam from Paris. A direct high speed train connects the two capitals, taking roughly three and a half hours and trains run multiple times a day from Gare du Nord. Alternatively, you can drive in roughly five-and-a-half hours.
Holiday like a Parisian – by staying in France, just like the French do. Combine a city break with a beachy one on the French Riviera. Nice, the biggest city in the area, is six hours away by train from Gare de Lyon in Paris. In just half a day you can be sipping a chilled Provencal rose on a terrace overlooking the warm Mediterranean sea. While you’re at it, take a stroll on Nice’s famed Promenade des Anglaise and hop along the coast to Monaco, Cannes or Antibes.
If you’re ‘doing’ Europe, then this and Rome are two of the continent’s truly unmissable capitals. Paris has the Louvre but Rome has the Colosseum and the Capitoline, and between the two you can see some of the best-preserved treasures of the ancient world. You could fly in a couple of hours, drive over a couple of days, or take the train to Italy from Paris’s Gare de Lyon – connecting in Milan or Torino for onward travel to Rome.