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France is indeed beautiful – from its Cote d’Azur beaches and Loire chateau to vintage wines and gourmet food. It’s the largest country in Western Europe so there’s a province for everyone and a city for every taste. The Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, the Pyrenees forming a border with Spain, the Alps shared with Italy and Switzerland, and rivers including the legendary Loire and Rhine, ensure stunning landscapes. From this land have risen historical figures such as Joan of Arc, Napoleon and the Sun King, and Louis XIV. France breathes history but bursts with artistic accomplishment too – stand and feel the magic of scenes captured by renowned painters such as Monet, Cezanne and Picasso. The land too has given us Champagne and burgundy wines, truffles and Camembert. Markets overflow with glowing peaches and cherries, and chefs transform this bounty into haute cuisine. Paris, the city of light and the French capital is, its residents believe, the heart of France. With the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Seine River, who can blame them for being biased? But follow the French into the countryside and you’ll find a different world of stone villages, fields of lavender, vineyards and seaside playgrounds of the rich and famous.
What other city can conjure up romance, elegance and chic sophistication like Paris? This is a city to savour – whether from high among the lattice work of the Eiffel Tower or from a pavement cafe with a glass of Bordeaux in hand. The treasures of the Louvre, the glories of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and the elegant Champs Elysees – all are essential Paris. But be prepared to detour – watch a game of boules in the Jardin de Luxembourg or dither between a rich, custardy millefeuille and a flaky pain au chocolat at a nearby patisserie. Watch artists at work near the Sacre-Coeur Basilica and marvel at the Impressionist masterpieces in the Musee ’Orsay. People-watch in a side walk cafe and when the sun sets, fall in love with Paris all over again.
Our favourite things to see and do The Paris Museum Pass – A sightseer’s best friend, allowing entry as many times as you wish to over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris. Check out the crazy traffic from the Arc de Triomphe, have Mona Lisa’s eyes follow you at the Louvre and imagine times gone by at Chateau de Fontainebleau.
Canal St Martin – With its old iron footbridge, Canal St Martin was made famous in the movie Amelie and is lined with cafes and restaurants and is a great place to hang out.
Tour Montparnasse – For stunning views of Paris. From here you can see all the major sights, and it is far less crowded than the Eiffel Tower.
Père-Lachaise Cemetery – Said to be the world’s most visited graveyard and some of the most frequented graves are those of Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Chopin and Oscar Wilde. Get a free map on the way at the conservation office just inside the main entrance off Boulevard de Menilmontant.
Saint Chapelle – Not far from the Notre Dame, Saint Chapelle is a spectacular cathedral with the most amazing stained glass windows.
3 Prices to Pay in France – At a cafe stand at the bar like a local (the most economical). Sit down inside the cafe and the price goes up, and if you sit outside on the footpath the cost is even higher, but worth it for the people watching.
Paris is Full of Surprises – Problem is that you might miss them if you don’t know where to look. There are plenty of guides that give interesting ideas for self-guided walks. Investing in a set of guide cards or a book is well worth it. The “City Walks” series are great and cost from about $40. If self-guided isn’t for you, your travel consultant has plenty of guided options.
When you purchase the Paris Pass you will get free entry into over 60 sights and attractions and free use of Paris’s metro and buses to get you around. Skip the Line fast track entry is at many of the major sights which helps avoid the long queues
Paris Bike Tour
Are you ready to see Paris as you’ve never seen it before? This is perfect for both first time visitors and Parisian veterans.
It offers a great orientation of the city, you get to see the sights, learn some interesting history and hear great stories – all as you cruise along the bike lanes of the city.
L’Open Hop On Hop Off City Tour
A great way to get your bearings in this fabulous city. You’ll see the famous sights with a bird’s eye view from a double decker bus and the commentary will give you all the interesting facts. The best part is that you have the flexibility to jump on and off where and when you want.
Guided Visit of the Louvre Museum
Enjoy a guided tour of one of the world’s largest and historic museums. See and learn about famous works such as Leonardo da Vinci’s
Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Coronation of Napoleon before having free time to explore.
Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Guided Tour
Built for the World’s Fair of 1889, the Eiffel Tower stands tall at 324 metres and can be seen from anywhere in the city. Today it is one of the city's most visited monuments which means it can get busy. Your tour guide will Skip the Lines and take you to a special entrance and straight up the tower.
Paris Visite Card
Make getting around the city effortless by purchasing this before leaving home. Travel on the train, Metro and bus networks unlimited times over a set number of days. Avoid the hassle of ticket queues, unfamiliar machines, language difficulties and save your feet when you need a rest.
Advertised airfares are per adult and are based on a return fare in economy class on specified airline • Prices include ticket taxes & surcharges based on most direct routing with no stopovers and are correct as at time of loading, but may fluctuate depending on exchange rates • From Auckland a Prepaid Passenger Service Fee of $14 per person is included in the package price – this replaces the New Zealand Departure fee of $25 per adult. • On/after 01 Jul 10 all direct international departures from Christchurch will include a NZD $25 departure tax this is additional to the advertised prices above. • Fares are exclusive of departure fees from other airports • Prices exclude a House of Travel booking fee of $24.95 per person • Flight & routing restrictions apply • Sales end as specified above • Travel as specified above. • Full payment is required upon purchase • Min/max stays apply • Capacity is limited and may not be available on all services • Prices shown are for online bookings only.