Paris is one of the world’s best-loved and most romantic cities. Looking down from the Eiffel Tower you can appreciate the wonderful symmetry of its beautiful buildings, parks and long avenues. It is quite simply a planning triumph. Not just unscathed by time, but growing more attractive, romantic and mysterious as the years go by.
The words of the old song are still true. Paris is at its best in springtime, even if it does come with the occasional shower. But Winter can also be a great time to visit with all sorts of cultural events going on, while in summer the weather is warm and lazy – at times even sizzling! Traditionally August is when Parisians flee for the beaches of the west and south but these days, many restaurateurs are opting not to lock up and leave town and you’ll find considerably more places open during summer than you would a decade ago.
The city with over 3,800 historical monuments, it’s a little wonder why Paris is the most visited destination in the world. Over 40 million tourists visit this French capital every year and there’s always something to do here. It’s only a matter of know what to do and where to do it. We recommended visiting famous places like Le Sainte-Chapelle, Cathédrale de Notre-Dame, Musée du Louvre and Jardin des Tuileries for day one in our Paris itinerary. Day two is perhaps more recognizable and iconic by many – Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and Musée d’Orsay.
Place de la Concorde – Located in the city’s eighth arrondissement at the eastern end of the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde is the largest square in the French capital. The Place was designed by Ange-Jacques Gabriel in 1755 as a moat-skirted octagon and decorated with statues and fountains. It was named Place Louis XV to honor the king at that time and the square showcased an equestrian statue of the king, which had been commissioned in 1748 by the city of Paris, sculpted mostly by Edmé Bouchardon, and completed by Jean-Baptiste Pigalle after the death of Bouchardon.
This photo of Place de la Concorde is courtesy of TripAdvisor
At the center of Place de la Concorde is the 3,300-year-old Obelisk of Luxor, a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramses II. It is one of two obelisks the Egyptian government gave to the French during the 19th century. As the other one was too difficult and heavy to move to France, it stayed in Egypt. Besides the Obelisk of Luxor, Place de la Concorde is also known for the prestigious hotels that line it and by the two monumental fountains (Fountain of the Seas and Fountain of the Rivers). These two fountains have been the most famous of the fountains built during the time of Louis-Philippe. Designed by Jacques-Ignace Hittorff, the Fountain of the Seas and Fountain of the Rivers have become the symbol of Paris fountains.
This photo of Arc de Triomphe is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Arc de Triomphe – After exploring Place de la Concorde, take Métro line 1 at Place Clemenceau to Charles de Gaulle-Étoile where you would come upon one of the most famous monuments in Paris and France. Located in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the iconic Arc de Triomphe. Commissioned by the great conquering Emperor Napoleon in 1806 in homage to French military exploits and victories, the arch was completed 30 years later during the reign of Louis Philippe, the last King of France, who dedicated the monument to the glory of the revolutionary army and the French army in general. The names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces and the monument is also adorned with reliefs and sculptures depicting scenes from Napoleon’s epic battles. On 11 November 1920, the tomb of an unknown soldier killed in the Great War was inaugurated here to remember the 1.5 million soldiers killed in World War I. Since 1922 and even during World War II, every day at 6.30pm, the commemorative flame has been relit. Visitors can pay and go up the 50-metre high terrace on top of the Arc de Triomphe where you can see clearly each of the twelve avenues that stem from the monument, most of which bear the name of a famous battle fought by Napoleon, such as Friedland and Wagram. Paris is literally at your feet as you look out over the capital’s historic avenue with, on the one side, the Champs-Elysées, the place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Garden, and the Louvre and, on the other, the Arche de la Défense. With the exception of the Eiffel Tower, you won’t get a much better view than this.
This photo of Eiffel Tower is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Eiffel Tower – In the afternoon, head over to the pride of Paris. Standing at 324 m tall and weighing a total of 10,100 tons, the Eiffel Tower is an unmissable monument and symbol of the French capital. Built in 1889, this towering monument was completed in two years, two months and five days. Located on the Champ de Mars, the Eiffel Tower has become both a global icon of France and one of the most famous and recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower was built and named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel for the World Exhibition in 1889. Since then this graceful metallic structure has dominated the Seine riverbanks and Champ-de-Mars for more than 120 years. The tower also holds the title of being the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of tourists ascend the Eiffel Tower every year. The tower has three levels for visitors. Visitors can purchase tickets to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. At the top, visitors who are literally in the clouds enjoy a panoramic 360° view of Paris. At nightfall, the tower lit up with bright colorful lights to mark the change from one hour to the next. As people say, if you’ve not been to the Eiffel Tower, you’ve not really been to Paris.
This photo of Musee d’Orsay is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Musée d’Orsay – End the day by visiting this impressive former railway station turned art museum. Situated on the left bank of the Seine in the former Orsay railway station, Musée d’Orsay is a Beaux-Arts railway station built in 1898 by Victor Laloux for the World Fair. It was subsequently converted into a museum and inaugurated in 1986. The museum’s collection mainly consist of French art dating from 1848 to 1915, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography.The Musée d’Orsay conserves and shows the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world as well as outstanding Symbolist, Realist and Academic paintings. More than 5,000 paintings and drawings make up this collection including masterpieces like Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe and Olympia by Édouard Manet, the Danseuse âgée de quatorze ans by Degas, L’Origine du monde, Un enterrement à Ornans, L’Atelier du peintre by Gustave Courbet, five paintings from the Série des Cathédrales de Rouen by Claude Monet and Le bal du moulin de la Galette by Renoir. The museum is open from 9.30am to 6pm daily, except Mondays. On Thursdays, the museum is open till 9.45pm.
The Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysées, Louvre, Eiffel Tower are all close to Fraser Suites Harmonie and Fraser Suites Le Claridge Located in the business district of La Défense by the picturesque River Seine, Serviced Apartments at Fraser Suites Harmonie are Paris’s accommodation of choice for both business and leisure travelers. With a metro station opposite, an RER station within five minute’s walk, private underground parking and a reliable taxi and chauffeur service, it’s easy to travel to and from Paris’ best attractions.
Fraser Suites Harmonie offers a convenient and cost-effective alternative to ordinary La Défense hotels, whether you are relocating, on a training or graduate programme, working on location or simply enjoying a holiday or extended stay in Paris. Choose a spacious Paris studio or spread out in one- or two-bedroom serviced apartments. La Défense’s futuristic buildings tower against the skyline and the River Seine meanders past. Many rooms boast balconies with stunning views over river or city.
Fraser Suites Le Claridge is one of the most dramatic hotels in Paris: right on the Champs-Elysées, with sweeping views over classic façades, Parisian rooftops and a tranquil courtyard. Stars from Ella Fitzgerald to Ray Charles have chosen to stay in this magnificent early 1900s Paris hotel.
Due to its convenient location, it is easy to travel to and from this hotel in central Paris. Transport options include:
- Two-minute walk to metro stations George V (line 1) and Franklin D Roosevelt (lines 1 and 9)
- Direct metro connections to Concorde, Louvre, Châtelet, Porte Maillot, La Défense, Trocadéro, and many other locations in central Paris
- Five-minute walk to RER (light rail) station Charles de Gaulle Étoile (line A)
- Direct RER connections to La Défense (business centre), Auber (Opéra, Galeries Lafayette, Printemps) and Châtelet Les Halles (artistic centre of Paris)
- For those on a family vacation in Paris, the RER travels direct to Disneyland Paris in 40 minutes
- Taxi/chauffeur service
- Public car park next to the hotel
- Central Paris railway stations within easy reach, including Gare du Nord and the Eurostar terminal
- 30–45 minutes to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport by taxi or shuttle
- 30–45 minutes to Paris Orly airport by taxi or shuttle
- Two-minute walk to Vélib city bicycle hire station