Tag : paris

Inside-Notre-Dame-Cathedral-Seats

Top free things to do in Paris

Paris – the city of love and home to world class art, world class wine and of course, world class food. There’s no denying that Paris is one of the Europe’s most expensive cities – and with so much culture, it’s expected. But fear not, if you want to visit Paris but are short of a penny or two – there are fun, interesting and cultural experiences that you can enjoy still enjoy. Below we take a look at 5 of our favourite Paris activities that will cost you nothing – that’s right, nothing!

5 free fun activities in Paris

1. Land on your feet, on a Sunday

Say hello to First free Sunday programme. Get the timing right and you could be seeing some of the most popular museums and cultural phenomenons for free. Among those included are The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, along with a few lesser known but equally as impressive places like Albert-Kahn musée et jardins (a homage to gardens around the world) and the Musée de l’Assistance Publique, which celebrates the history of Paris hospitals. So you can see Paris in ways that perhaps you wouldn’t if you had plenty of money to go around – what’s not to love in this city of love.

2. Park yourself at Parc de la Villette

The French know cinema and this open-air cinema is proof of just that. Open throughout July and August – this open air theatre usually follows a theme and it’s a great communal, quirky event.

Cinema-plein-air-Villette-630x405-C-OTCP-Marc-Bertrand-157-08Image Source: Parisinfo

3. Visit the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Visiting Paris implies that at some point you will visit the iconic Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. It’s a sight to behold from both the inside and outside, and of course if you want to rub shoulders with the locals – outside the square is buzzing with local buskers and live bands to give you a real Paris feel.

Inside-Notre-Dame-Cathedral-Seats

Image Source: The Classy Traveler

4. Visit the Père Lachaise cemetery

Visit over 100 acres of graves, tombs and memorials and some of the world’s most famous graves. Jim Morrison from the Doors and Oscar Wilde are both buried here so although visiting a graveyard may not be on everyone’s to do list – it’s a great opportunity for fans to pay respect, and for everyone else – you can see some very over the top style tombs.

5. Take a walk in the many avenues

The sights and sounds of Paris are amongst the most pristine in the world. The architecture and general vibe of the city make for a beautiful walk, morning, noon or night. The French love to speak French, so if asking for directions and even striking up conversation – be sure you have a French handbook handy or maybe even a translation app to help you on your journey.

While you can certainly find lots to do in Paris for free, accommodation is a different story.  Hotels in Paris can range from the basic budget hotels to the luxurious hotels that only the elite can afford. Whatever your budget, be sure to look for a hotel, hostel or guesthouse that locates you in a good area of the city. Paris is a very large city so be sure to stay somewhere that has easy access to those key areas you will want to get along to.

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration, Travel Tips

statue of liberty paris

Hidden gems in Paris: What the guidebooks don’t tell you

There is a wealth of must-see attractions for any Paris-bound travellers, including the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, the Moulin Rouge etc etc. While their architectural brilliance or historical significance makes these attractions incredible in their own right, the long queues and general hustle and bustle that comes with any prominent tourist attraction can start to become tiresome rather quickly.

statue of liberty paris

If you’re sick of having to position your camera over the tourist standing in front of you while avoiding the excited gestures of the tourist to your side, you’ll be pleased to know there are a number of fabulous sights and attractions that are not inundated with tourists, giving you a chance to enjoy this beautiful city in peace whether they involve some wonderful Siene cruise tickets or no tickets at all, Paris has it all:

The Statue of Liberty

You’d be forgiven for thinking this paragraph belongs to an article about New York City, but Paris is actually home to three of its very own versions of the Statue of Liberty. Next to the Grenelle Bridge along the Seine River is a quarter-sized version of the 305ft one in New York. There are also two 10-foot prototypes in the Jardins de Luxembourg and the Musée des Arts et Métiers.

The Angel of Nagasaki

Among the rubble that resulted from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of World War II were the remains of a beautiful sculpted angel. While the body had been damaged beyond repair, her face and wings remained intact. The angel was transferred to Paris and given a home in the tranquil Japanese garden at the United Nation’s UNESCO headquarters in the seventh arrondissement, where it can be seen today.

Parisian fountains

Walking around a city is thirsty work, especially if you’re travelling over summer. However, rather than wasting time queuing in a shop and buying water, keep an eye out for the water foundations dotted around the city. Not only is the water completely safe to drink but you will even be treated to sparkling water at some.

Taxidermist’s shop

If you like scouting out the unusual while on your travels, you won’t do much better than the old taxidermist’s shop just off Boulevard St-Germain. With stuffed animals ranging across the entire kingdom – lion, moose, ostrich, zebra, polar bear and even a charging elephant – this stop-off is about as far from the beaten track as you can possibly get.

Booking a superb hotel in advance with Superbreak can help you make the most of a stress-free break in Paris.

 

 

Sources

http://www.nyhabitat.com/blog/2013/01/02/guidebooks-dont-tell-trip-paris/

http://www.francetoday.com/articles/2013/06/23/top_ten_unexpected_spots_in_paris.html

http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/980869/parisians-guide-to-paris

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Travel Tips

london paris bike ride

The London to Paris Charity Cycle

Are you considering a trip in Europe in the near future? Are you busy looking into rail passes, bus tickets, and flight deals? Well, there are certainly many ways to travel around Europe, but when it comes to getting from London to Paris, there is one way that you may have not considered: cycling! The London to Paris Charity Cycle definitely requires a little more leg power than other forms of transportation, but the pay-off is enormous!

london paris bike ride

What is the London to Paris Bike Ride?

The London to Paris Bike Ride is a 5 day charity cycle that offers an amazingly unique and challenging experience to all participants. Participants are able to select a charity of their choice (the organizers work with over 500 charities, and are always creating new partnerships), raise money for their chosen charity, and then carry out the almost 500km bike ride from London to Paris. The route is organized in a way that makes sure participants will see as much of the beautiful countryside as possible and it passes important landmarks such as World War I battlefields, historic towns, and gothic churches.

Who can participate in the London to Paris Bike Ride?

The minimum age to participate is 18. There is no age maximum, though those over age 65 are asked to get a medical form signed by their doctor. You do not need to be a professional cyclist to join the challenge! The majority of participants are of average fitness level, and are simply looking for a healthy way to meet new people, challenge themselves, and raise money for a cause that is close to their heart. Support vehicles are always nearby to help out, and will make sure no one gets left behind! If you are a vegetarian, or have any dietary restrictions, don’t worry! Meals can be catered to accommodate any special needs. All participants are asked to raise a minimum of £1,450 for their selected charity in order to take part in the challenge, and there is an additional £99 deposit required. Organizers will provide guidance to help you meet your fundraising goal.

What do I need?

Naturally, you will need a bike. While renting a bike is always a possibility, it is suggested that you use a bike of your own, so that you have the opportunity to train and get comfortable with it before your big ride. It’s also always a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic bike repair; simple repair kits are light and easy to carry. However, there will be mechanics on hand should you need them. In order to participate in the challenge, you will also need proof of travel insurance. This can be obtained on your own, or with the help of the challenge organizers. Meals are included in the trip (with the exception of dinner on the ferry to France, and lunch and dinner on the final day in Paris), as are accommodations, luggage transport, ferry travel to France, and return travel to London on a Eurostar train. Upon registering, participants will be provided with a comprehensive packing list.

How do I sign up?

London to Paris Charity Cycles takes place during various periods throughout the year. The next scheduled event will be taking place from September 4th-8th 2013, and then one will be happening from September 18th-22nd. Places are limited, and can fill up quickly, so don’t wait until the last minute! Booking can be done online. Free informational packages can also be ordered for those who would like more detailed information and testimonials.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration

icemagic

Ice Magic—Sculpture Festival in Paris

From November 25th 2012 through January 15th 2013, the Ice Magic Sculpture Festival is in full swing. Held annually, Concord Square in Champs-Élysées becomes transformed into a Christmas Village, with the Ice Magic Festival as its main attraction, now tell me that’s not enough to get you searching for city breaks in Paris. Adults and children will be mystified and transported into a cool, crystal world. If in Paris over the winter holidays, make sure to add this to your itinerary.

icemagic

These artists craft astoundingly intricate creations from ice. They are built with the use of large chunks of clear ice and snow flakes. Colorful lights are cast onto the sculptures, further bringing them to life yet paradoxically, freezing them in time. In the past, artists spanning from Canada, Finland, Lithuania, Austria, and France have sculpted 450 tons of ice in situ (on location) to recreate everything from exotic animals, historical figures, famous monuments, and well-known cultural icons. Gladiators, the Khazneh Petra, Angkor Wat, the Statue of Liberty, Mona Lisa, and the Great Wall of China are just a few examples of the wonders to be seen. Some of these sculptures are up to four meters high!

 

Make sure you bundle up before attending—in order to preserve the creations, they are displayed in a thermally insulated, frosty environment of -6°C (21°F). While braving the cold temperatures, more appreciation is gained for these artists who work in these chilling conditions while producing these spectacles.

 

At the end of the world famous event, esteemed panelists give out an award for the best artist in show as well as viewer’s favorite. But the fun doesn’t end with admiring the sculptures. Several events are held; from free magic shows and an individual speed carving competition. For children, the Little Chippers Festival teaches the technique and science of ice carving—helping to inspire and produce the next generation of ice sculptors.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips