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Paris

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HIGHLIGHTS

CITY TOUR

About Paris

La Ville Lumière welcomes you with four kisses on the cheeks...

You could spend a lifetime in Paris, and keep discovering treasures it has to offer and history in every corner. So, if you wish to know everything about the history of the city, the best point to start with, is the Musée Carnavalet. Otherwise, in order to facilitate you the task of planning your stay, we have chosen the highlights.

So, if you find yourself in Paris, one of the first things you could do, would be to have a glance of the city from the Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889, for the Universal Exhibition, it should have been only a temporary addition to Paris. To speak the truth, not only it's still there, it's either the symbol of the Ville Lumière. Until 1931 it was the tallest building in the world, built with 7000 tons of steel. The record was taken, after that year, by the Empire State Building in New York. In order to get the elevator that goes up to the edge, you will probably have to wait a loong, looong time. You could probably diminish the queue if you decide to take the "active" option: 1665 steps to the last level. Enjoy...

After Austerlitz, Napoleon decided to build an Arc de Triomphe celebrating the victory in the battle, but with his fall, the Monument was completed only in 1836. Even if it's not as high as the Tour Eiffel, the panorama from the platform is gorgeous. Not only: you can spend hours looking at the bas reliefs celebrating the history of the Republic, and visiting the Unknown Soldier's Tomb too. And, if your are coming from the Champs - Elysées, do remember to stop by the sculpture of the Marseillaise.

The Louvre is among the must see of the city too. You cannot go to Paris and miss Mona Lisa's smile (and neither the pyramid, nor the Venus of Milo...). And, if you're an Impressionism's lover, the Musée d'Orsay - a converted train station - will show you what you're looking for (together with the Musée Marmottan) . Inside you will find chef d'oeuvres of Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Degas and Cézanne among others. But, if you like Picasso instead, try the Musée Picasso, an impressive collection of 3'500 artworks by the artist. The Centre Pompidou is an artistical work in itself: the architects Rogers, Piano and Franchini - in order to create a flexible space inside the building - left elevators, stairs, tubes and structural frame in the outside only. The tubes, in rue du Renard, painted in several colors, aren't a artistic schizophrenia, but a way to distinguish the function connected to them. When you will have finished admiring the outside, remember that inside you will find the Musée National d'Art Moderne, hosting paintings of Matisse, Pollock and Miro. The Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie on the contrary, will offer you a different kind of vision: inside, every wonder of the technology and science will amaze either you, or a younger audience (so, if you have children, remember that's the right place to bring them, in order to make them happy during a rainy day).

By the way, if the day isn't rainy, remember to stop by th Palais de Chaillot (with Musée de la Marine, the Musée de l'Homme and the Théâtre National de Chaillot), and admire the Trocadero Gardens, another remaining for the Universal Exhibition of 1878. Spread over ten hectares - from Palais de Chaillot to the Seine and the Eiffel Tower - they are the meeting point for lovers, roller-skates' enthusiasts and people in search of some harmony. But, before you leave them, look back at the Palais de Chaillot and remember two things: first, inside it the General Assembly of the UN adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Second, it's exactly in this Palais that the picture of Adolph Hitler in Paris was taken.

La Défense is another place you should not miss, in the west outskirt of the city: within the center for the industry and business, the biggest of Europe. The Palais de la Défense is the oldest building being part of the restructuring of Paris began in 1962. There, you will have the chance to see the Grande Arche, an enormous cube, bigger than the cathedral of Notre Dame, built during 170 years on the Ile de la Cité, above the ruins of a Roman temple. And, if your interests for places of cult is high, on the list of those to visit, you should not forget the Panthéon, whose construction was decided by Luis XV, in order to say thanks to the Lord for the recovery from an illness. There, the tombs of the greats of France, are waiting for you. Mirabeau, Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Pierre and Marie Curie. The Sacré Coeur was otherwise built after that Paris had been saved from the Prussian attacks. If the works began in 1875, only in 1919 it was sanctified, after that France had won the war. Do not miss, among other things, the great mosaic of Christ, the cupola and the bronzed doors. But one of the masterpieces of architecture, that will for sure leave your breathless, is the Sainte Chapelle, that, during Middle Age, had been defined the door to Paradise. Do not miss there, the window of the Passion of Christ, and the Apostles' Statues. The Abbey of Saint Denis, isn't only important for the fact it's the considered to be the first gothic building, whose construction began in 1136. The Abbey is either where you will find the tombs of the monarchs of France, among which Luis XVI and Marie Antoinette. If you're exactly on the path of Marie Anotoinette's life, the highlights should be Versailles, where you will have the chance to spend almost and entire day there, discovering how the kings lived, and the beauty of the gardens, and the Palais de la Conciergerie, where she spent her last days, before being executed. Many guests passed by the rooms of the Conciergerie, in order to be guillotined for the Liberté the Egalité and the Fraternité, among which Charlotte Corday, Danton and Robespierre.

Paris is a city either lively at Nights. At the Opera you will have the chance to watch some ballets, otherwise at the Moulin Rouge, you will have the chance to spend a different evening, where the polka ballet was born, or at the Crazy Horse, with its cabaret performance. But, if it's a nice evening, why don't you behave as a real "Parisien de Paris" and buy a baguette, and enjoy it on Pont des Arts, or on Alexander the III Bridge, meanwhile admiring its decor? Or, alternatively, you could book a "Paris by night" Segway tour...

Finally, a note on shopping. Before saying Au Revoir to that city of wonders, in Place Vendôme, among the embassies, you will have the chance to buy some jewels. Rue du Fabourg Saint Honoré, on the other hand, is full of designer boutiques, and historical shops as Hermès or Chanel. The same happens with the Quartier Latin and Marais. But, from Monday to Saturday, in Porte de Clignancourt, a flea market will have hundreds of wonders for you to choose from and the Marché aux Fleurs et Oiseaux will delight anyone, with its colours and life; and if you're looking for Shopping Centres, hit either Au Printemps or Galeries Lafayette.

Look to live alongside the local Parisians by renting a Paris apartment. See the Louvre of Eiffel tower while knowing your quiet apartment waits close by. Remove the hassle and other accommodation and look to live alongside the homely comforts that can make a good holiday great.

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