Paris means taking long strolls alongside the Seine, watching sunsets at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and, of course, living a bohemian life! Walking through the neighbourhood of Montmartre is an artistic experience that has to feature on any trip to Paris. The area around the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur is much loved by locals and visitors alike. If you’re planning on travelling to Paris, there are lots of places you mustn’t go home without seeing. You could easily spend a whole day taking a tour of the Louvre
, but if you’re an art lover it’s well worth it. The Musée d'Orsay and the Centre Pompidou are two of the other most popular museums in Paris. If you like to shop till you drop, you’ll love all the famous stores on the Champs-Élysées. But if there’s one thing you really must see it’s Notre-Dame Cathedral. The views from its towers are breathtaking and its magical gargoyles will take you back to the age of Victor Hugo. At the Moulin Rouge you can catch some of the best cabaret shows in Paris. And you can't beat breakfast in Paris… How about a freshly baked French croissant?
At Friendly Rentals we have a wide range of apartments in Paris: perfect apartments for families with children, ideal studio flats for couples on a romantic getaway, stunning apartments with a terrace… Friendly Rentals apartments are equipped with all you need to feel right at home in the utmost comfort. We can offer you the best apartments in the main areas of interest in Paris (Arc de Triomphe, Bastille, Champs-Élysées, Le Marais, Montparnasse, Saint-Germain…). A far more affordable option than staying in a luxury hotel and with the added bonus of enjoying your own privacy in a much bigger space.
Our holiday apartments in Paris give you the chance to discover the city at your own pace, sample some delicious French cuisine, get to know locals’ way of life and customs and take part in the city’s many festivities. If you get the opportunity, don’t miss the celebrations on Bastille Day. Every 14 July the Eiffel Tower is lit up with spectacular lights against the backdrop of a stunning firework display.
What is there to see in Paris?
Paris is all about bohemian nights, fashion, gourmet cuisine and far more besides. The French capital is full of impressive monuments and historical buildings that will make you go oh, là, là! Some of the key sights in Paris are Notre-Dame Cathedral, Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées. The Montmartre district, popularly known as a neighbourhood of painters and artists, and the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur, are a must. As is the Hôtel des Invalides, famous for Napoleon’s tomb. No one goes home without going up the Eiffel Tower, symbol of Paris since 1889 and one of the most famous monuments in the world with breathtaking views over the city.
The Latin Quarter in Paris, one of the oldest in the city, is now one of the loveliest and liveliest areas in the whole of Paris, so make sure it’s on your list! The Panthéon, where many famous people are buried, is also worth a visit, as are the other cemeteries in Paris: Montparnasse, Père-Lachaise, Passy, Montmartre. They all have some of the most visited tombs in the world.
Art lovers never fail to fall in love with Paris, a city with some of the leading museums in the world. Discover the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile in the Louvre, lose yourself in the 19th-century paintings at the Musée d’Orsay and surprise yourself with some modern art at the Centre Pompidou.
If you want to escape from the hustle and bustle and feel like a true Parisian, there’s nothing like taking a stroll along the banks of the River Seine. The island of the Île de la Cité in the middle of the Seine is the heart of the city and boasts lovely views of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Le Marais, the Place de la Concordie, Place Vendôme and the Jardin du Luxembourg are also great places for taking a break, unwinding and getting ready for some more sightseeing.
Eating out in Paris
French cuisine is world famous for its gourmet food, excellent cheeses and delicious desserts, all washed down with some fine wine. There are plenty of bars and restaurants for eating out in Paris and most have a wide variety of dishes on the menu, so it can be hard to choose! We can recommend some typical Parisian dishes such as duck confit, moules-frites (tasty steamed mussels served with chips), escargots (snails typically cooked in garlic), pot-au-feu (beef stew with vegetables and spices), frog’s legs and filet mignon (a juicy beefsteak seasoned with pepper). For starters, try foie gras, and every decent meal in Paris should feature a good cheese board. Vieux Boulogne, Brie and Camembert are all wonderful cheeses. Cheese fondues are simply divine.
Those with a sweet tooth are in for a treat. Typical Parisian cakes and pastries include the irresistible brightly coloured macaroons (tasty morsels made with ground almonds, egg whites and sugar and filled with ganache). Other favourites are pain au chocolat and the classic croissants. There is a wealth of other Parisian cakes and pastries to compete with the famous French crêpes, the local dessert par excellence. They are delicious in all their varieties: with chocolate, fruit jam, ice cream or just with sugar. Why not try them all, including some savoury ones?
Shopping in Paris
French fashion has always made its mark. The city is home to leading luxury designers and the most bohemian and romantic styles in fashion. Luckily, if you fancy going shopping in Paris, there are plenty of marvellous options. With its wide range of shopping centres, department stores, shops and markets, Paris is the perfect destination for shopaholics. One of the most popular shopping centres is the Galeries Lafayette, now a historic building of interest thanks to its Neo-Byzantine dome. Close by is Printemps, with lots of luxury boutiques. The central Bazar de l’Hôtel de Ville is also worth popping into.
The top markets in Paris include the Île de la Cité flower market, the oldest in Paris, and the Marché aux Puces in Saint-Ouen, ideal for buying second-hand clothes, antiques, jewellery and other vintage items. It is also the largest market in Europe, with 2,500 stalls.
The main shopping streets in Paris are in four areas. In the Latin Quarter you’ll find good, reasonably priced shops. The Boulevard Saint-Michelle and Boulevard Saint-Germain are also good options. You can't go home without shopping on the Champs-Élysées, with its exclusive boutiques. Rue Saint-Honoré and Place Vendôme are also home to luxury shops, although the Avenue Montaigne has the crème de la crème. Don’t be scared by the high prices, simply enjoy some high-class window shopping.
If it’s souvenirs of Paris or local art you’re looking for, head over to Montmartre. The Place du Tertre is full of artists exhibiting their work and there are lots of art shops and galleries in the surrounding area. And the bank of the Seine by the Latin Quarter is perfect for buying old prints and posters. The best place for buying Parisian food is a supermarket or the many gourmet food shops.
Paris by night
Going out at night in Paris reveals the city’s most romantic and bohemian side. Having a drink in an elegant wine bar and then strolling past the Eiffel Tower lit up at night is quite an experience, followed by a jazz bar or cabaret. Paris by night has something for all tastes, so there is no excuse for staying in.
The hipster Oberkampf neighbourhood is a great option is you want to keep up with the latest fashions; Menilmontant and Gambetta are less touristy and great districts for seeing a live band in a bar. The Bastille is also worth checking out: besides its trendy bars, it also has some of the best nightclubs, cocktail bars and live music venues. Most of the bars and discos in Le Marais are aimed at a gay and lesbian crowd. And if money is no issue, the Place Vendôme is the place for you: sipping exquisite cocktails to the envy of onlookers. Montmartre, Pigalle the Champs-Élysées are also good areas to check out in Paris at night.
If you really want to push the boat out and go to one of the best cabarets in Paris, the Paris Lido (the emblematic cabaret on the Champs-Élysées), the avant-garde and innovative Crazy Horse, the Paradis Latin and, of course, the Moulin Rouge with its famous French cancan and giant aquarium are all great options for an unforgettable night.
Visiting Paris with kids
Paris is a great city to visit with kids. There are lots of places and perfect experiences for children to have a great time, which makes it the ideal destination for an unforgettable family holiday. Disneyland Paris is the most popular theme park in Europe and is a hit with young and old alike. You’ll feel like you’re in a fairytale with all the parades, shows and attractions. Another park for a fun family day out is the Playmobil FunPark. Divided into different themed areas (pirates, zoo, enchanted palace…), there is also a large gift shop where Playmobil fans will have a ball. Also on the outskirts of Paris is the Astérix Paris Park, with themed Astérix and Obélix rides, dolphin and sea lion shows and one of the largest wooden rollercoaster rides in Europe.
Paris also has lots of parks where kids will have an amazing time. We particularly recommend the Jardin des Plantes, home to the La Ménagerie Zoo with over a thousand animals. The Parc de la Villette is a little way from the city centre, but is a sure hit with kids. It has several play areas, including the Dragon Garden, where children can climb on a huge dragon before sliding down its thrilling slide. There is also a Garden of Mirrors, a 3D cinema, Children’s City, an enchanted forest, a garden of dunes and wind with a pedal-powered windmill and a giant bouncy castle. Kids just love it! Other parks in Paris worth a visit include: the Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Tuileries, Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Jardin des Halles, Parc du Champ de Mars and Bois de Vincennes.
The weather in Paris
Paris has a continental climate and it can often rain. Summer in Paris is often hot, with temperatures between 15 ºC and 30 ºC. Winter in Paris is cold but bearable, with maximum temperatures often reaching 10 ºC and minimum temperatures below freezing, but it doesn’t often snow. Whatever the weather, Paris is lovely.
When is the best time of year to visit Paris?
There isn’t any one single best time of year to visit Paris, although if we had to choose, we’d recommend visiting Paris in summer. It’s drier and you can make the most of more hours of sunlight. Some stretches along the Seine become beaches and neighbourhoods fill with music, free film screenings and a whole range of colourful celebrations. And summer also means Bastille Day, on 14 July, when the Eiffel Tower is lit up against a spectacular fireworks display.
Autumn in Paris sees the city clothed in shades of ochre, the streets take on a romantic air and the weather, although a bit wet, is usually fairly good.
Travelling to Paris in winter is a great idea: the streets are adorned with Christmas decorations and the Christmas lights give the city a special magic. You’ll find ice rinks in many of the main sights and you can enjoy a hot chocolate as you wander around some of the best Christmas markets in Paris: the Champs-Élysées, Montparnasse and La Defense are some of the most popular.
Spring in Paris comes with a bang! The days start to grow longer and the museums and main sights are open until later. The parks come into bloom and the banks of the River Seine come to life. Parisians get on their bikes and take to the streets!
What is there to see near Paris?
Close to Paris there is plenty to see, but the one place you really must visit is Versailles. Once the palace of King Louis XIV, it is truly spectacular: don’t miss the Hall of Mirrors or Petit Trianon (Marie Antoinette’s refuge). The gardens of Versailles are also worth seeing. If you have time, you could also visit Fontainebleau Château, residence of the kings of France for over eight centuries. Only an hour from Paris, lovely Giverny was an inspiration for Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Mont-Saint-Michel, Chenonceau, Cheverny, Orléans, Le Havre, Trouville-sur-Mer, Dijon, Le Mans, Reims and Deauville are other places of interest near Paris worth a visit.
Why rent an apartment with Friendly Rentals?
At Friendly Rentals we are specialists in holiday apartments. With over 14 years’ experience under our belt, we currently operate in 22 cities around the world. Our apartments in Paris are located in the best neighbourhoods and furnished with the utmost comfort in mind to ensure you feel right at home. We have apartments with a terrace, studio flats that are ideal for couples, apartments for business trips and perfect properties for families… Whatever you’re looking for, we’ve got it! Simply choose your apartment and enjoy a wonderful holiday in Paris.
All our apartments in Paris are regularly inspected to ensure the very highest quality standards. We aim to offer customers unparalleled service. You can contact us whenever you need to, either within office hours or on our 24-hour emergency number.