Paris and Ile De France
Travels in France begin with PARIS. The city of romance is filled with endless museums, art galleries and important cultural heritage. Take in the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower – both by day and night this is a stunning symbol of Paris. Wander along the Arc de Triomphe, which is probably the second most famous image of Paris after the Eiffel Tower – popping, on the way, into some of the famous shops on the Champs Elysees, the magnificent boulevard that stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
If you are interested in art, follow in the footsteps of the Da Vinci Code and visit the Louvre, home to a wonderful collection of art, including, of course, The Mona Lisa. If architechture is your thing, there is not only the Eiffel Tower and Versailes, but the gothic, renaissance, romanesque and modern areas. Before you head to the wine country – check out the famous Wine Museum. And for a food experience, Paris is the ultimate with restaurants to suit all budgets.
We have two hints for foodies in Paris:
1. When going for coffee, most cafes have three price structures – the most expensive is sitting at a table on the pavement, then there is sitting at a table inside – but for value and a “local” experience, take your coffee standing at the bar.
2. Visit the delightfully chaotic kitchen shop E.DEHILLERIN. On the corner of rue Coquilliere and rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau near the Louvre since 1820, Dehillerin provides kitchenware and pastry utensils to restaurants, hotels on hobby cooks throughout the world (closed Sundays).
Paris is a great base for exploring the countryside – chateaux, 15th century churches and small traditional villages.