Paris can look back on a long history: initially established in the third century BC, the Celtic settlement Lutetia (fans of the Asterix comics will know it well!) developed into the official seat of Francia in the sixth century AD, thanks to the Romans, who built a city there in the first century AD. The city continued growing through the Middle Ages, ultimately assuming enormous cultural and political significance no later than the reign of the Sun King Louis XIV in the 17th century. Though the royal residence was relocated to Versailles, Paris remained the country’s political center and thus played an epochal role when the Storming of the Bastille sparked the French Revolution in 1789.
Following the confusion of the revolution, Paris resumed its cultural and political climb, hosting six global exhibitions in 1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900 and 1937 as well as the Olympics in 1900 and 1924. Like other European capitals, Paris experienced terrorism and unrest after World War II and, more recently, the horrific terrorist attacks in January and November 2015. But that hasn’t stopped residents and tourists from enjoying life and its cosmopolitan flair – in line with the city’s motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur – Tossed by the waves but never sunk.
There’s more than just one Paris, by the way: there are 38 cities around the world named Paris, from Sweden to the US and Panama. But none of these enjoy the same level of popularity as the original: ten movies or commercials are filmed every day in Paris on average. With 1,803 monuments, 173 museums, 450 parks and gardens, and its famous landmarks, Paris undoubtedly offers a varied cityscape. Filming in France’s capital city is also free, which has certainly contributed to its popularity. Exceptions include footage in gardens, museums, and at swimming pools, which requires a fee.
Souvenirs (incidentally, a French word) from Paris are, of course, always a favorite, but none so much as the city’s unique stop sign: the sign at the exit of one construction company had been stolen so often that in 2012 they decided not to put it up again. It didn’t play much of a role in traffic anyway, as public transportation in Paris is very well developed and readily used. Incidentally, the Réseau Express Régional (RER) train system was originally supposed to be called Métro Express Régional Défense-Etoile – its acronym, MERDE, is French for “crap.”
Pedestrians on the other hand can stroll through the city protected by the shade of around 470,000 trees (as of 2015), all of which are referenced and measured. A behemoth undertaking. But the more than 9,000 “open terraces” (as of 2015) of bars, cafes, and restaurants also offer their fair share of shade and relaxation. Even if you were to visit one of these “open terraces” every day, it would take you nearly 30 years! And should you ever long to do one evening what seems only natural in the city of love, but discover you’re ill prepared, there are 31 condom machines throughout the city (as of 2015) – and of course an online map that shows where they are.
So, you see: there’s so much to discover and experience in Paris, regardless of what you’re in the mood for. We can offer a few suggestions:
Restaurant: “Au Pied du Fouet”
This restaurant, near the Musée Louvre, is suitable for lunch –a weekly changing menu with a good price performance is available. The restaurant is quite popular, not big, but worthwhile. For the otherwise expensive Quartier Latin this restaurant is almost cheap.
Restaurant Au Pied du Fouet
3 Rue Saint-Benoît, 75006 Paris
Restaurant: Ciel de Paris
The above mentioned restaurant fits for a nice special dinner with a fantastic cuisine. It´s located near Tour Montparnasse in a skyscraper on the 56th floor, from where you get a breathtaking view of the Eifel Tower and Paris. Breathtaking might be the bill as well, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Ciel de Paris
3 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris
Restaurant: Le train bleu
One of the most beautiful restaurants on the continent! Situated at the Gare de Lyon, the buffet was unveiled 1901 and classified Historic Monument in 1972. Decorated with paintings by the most prominent artists of the time, accompanied by carvings, mouldings and chandeliers, it features an unparalleled decor. You just have to see it with your own eyes! And that’s only the looks – the food is mostly inspired by French gastronomic tradition and absolutely fantastic!
Le Train Bleu
Gare de Lyon Place Louis Armand, 75012 Paris
+33 1 43 430906
Pâtisserie-comptoir: La Bossue
Some Metro stops away from downton, you will be fascinated by the typical French breakfast, handmade things and a big brunch selection. It´s all made with love for the detail. Be sure to try the madeleines! Start your day there, and you ´re not far away from the famous Sacre Coeur and the oldest French Shopping-mall “La Fayette”.
Pâtisserie-comptoire “La Bossue”
9 rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris
Cocktails & Longdrinks: Bootleg Bar
This bar is famous for its cocktails & longdrinks with still reasonable prices. Meet many locas here - always a good sign!
55 rue de la Roquette, 75011 Paris
Jazz Club: Le Caveau de la Huchette
This Club is known as “Le temple du swing”. Situated in a building from the 16th century, which became a Jazz Club in 1946 – that makes it one of, if not the oldest Jazz club in Europe. It has been a venue for some jazz greats like Lionel Hampton, Claude Luter, Bill Coleman or Art Blakey and was featured in the Oscar-winning movie “La la Land”.
Le Caveau de la Huchette
5, rue de la Huchette, 75005 Paris
Nightlife: Cité de la Mode du Design – Les Docks
Les Docks is actually an urban redevelopment project on the left bank of the Seine, between the Gare d’Austerlitz and the Gare de Lyon. A modern complex, most famous for its 1.600-square-meter terrace - an ideal place to have a drink and to dance under the stars. When the sun goes down you will also find some of the best night clubs and venues for dancing in the whole city of Paris. Just to name one location: The Wanderlust, where you’re able to experience a perfect mixture of music, cinema and food.
32 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Hotel: The Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile
A 4*-Business Hotel located near the world famous “Arc de Triomphe”, a roundabout with 8 lanes. If you stay at this hotel, you have many advantages. A direct access to the Metro is located under the hotel - where you can reach every place in a few minutes. The most fascinating feature of the hotel is the beautiful view of the Eifel Tower out of the room. When you book your stay, just tell one of the staff that you want to have a room with this particular view. The Hyatt Regency also has a Sky Bar called "Bar la Vue", which offers a stunning 360-degree view of Paris.
Prices start at 180 € for a double king size bed.
Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile
3 Place du General Koenig, 75017 Paris