Paris Tourist Activities
Charles de Gaulle Airport is located just 25 km, or 16 miles to the northeast of Paris, one of the most famous cities in the European Union. This airport serves millions of tourists every year, and is the largest airport in France. The city of Paris can be described as one of the most fascinating and romantic cities in Europe, and there are endless attractions available for its visitors, including the world-famous Eiffel Tower. Very nearby the airport, attractions such as Disneyland Paris and Parc Astérix are major draw cards for tourists as well.
Paris is also often referred to as the ‘City of Light’, and many of its visitors are overwhelmed by its beauty. The city features buildings of superb architecture, and is famous for its artistic heritage. The River Seine runs through Paris, dividing it into the Left Bank and the Right Bank, and right through the heart of the city. The river is perfect for romantic boat cruises as it winds under numerous bridges which add to its charm, and some lovely restaurants and hotels line the river banks. There is also the Ile St. Louis, which is a large island on the River Seine itself. Hotels are plentiful in the area, and many up-market apartments are found nearby the river. On the Right Bank, in an area known as the Rive Droite, are many of Paris’ famous landmarks, such as the Champs Élysées and the La Place de la Concorde, one of the famous squares of the city which have seen important historical events. Paris is also famous for its endless shopping opportunities, and is especially renowned for items such as perfume, fashion, fine jewellery, wine and cheese. Various markets can be found throughout the city as well.
The number one Paris attraction is the Eiffel Tower, and it is also the most famous monument in Europe. The tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel, and was originally built in commemoration of the centenary of the French Revolution, back in 1889. The designer of the Eiffel Tower was also the individual who designed the framework for the Statue of Liberty. When the tower was completed, it was officially opened by the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VII of England.
Up until 1930, the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest structure, measuring a staggering height of 320 metres, or 1050 feet. It weighs 7,000 tons, and also took two years for it to be built, by over 300 steel workers. By the year 2002, over 200 million people had visited the Eiffel Tower, and it is today still a very popular attraction, visited by approximately 6 million people every year. Fortunately, a lift is available for visitors who want to admire the magnificent view from the top, but there are also 1665 steps, which can be negotiated for some of the journey. Levels one and two of the tower feature shops and the Jules Verne restaurant, while on level 3, there is a display of Paris, and Eiffel Tower memorabilia. From the top of the tower, on a clear day, it is possible to see a distance of 67 kilometres, or 42 miles. The Eiffel Tower is open during the months of July and August from 09:30 to midnight, and during other months from 09:30 to 23:00. The stairs however, are only open from 09:30 to 18:00. There is also a charge for admission, according to which level you would like to visit.
Another major Paris attraction is the Moulin Rouge, open for two performances every night of the year. It is a show which has been a delight to audiences from around the world since 1900, and features the famous French cancan, with all the glory of feathers, shinestones and sequins, coupled with original music and entertaining settings. The Moulin Rouge can be found at 82 Boulevard de Clichy, in Place Blanche, Paris.
Paris, the capital city of France, has many other attractions, including the Pompidou Centre, featuring modern and contemporary art, and works by Picasso, Matisse and Pollock, the Palais Garnier, the Stade de France and Place des Vosges, which is the oldest public square in the city. The area has a wonderful central park, which is surrounded by 17th century townhouses, and the square was built during the reign of King Louis XIII. A famous cemetery in Paris is the Cimetière du Père Lachaise, where many well know authors, musicians and writers from the past are buried, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Richard Wallace. Tourists in Paris can also visit the Conciergerie, a former jail for prisoners in the French Revolution, one of the world’s largest research libraries, known as the Bibliotheque Nationale de France and the Catacombs, found at 14th Arondissment. The Catacombs are Parisian tunnels, and are a fascinating underground maze used as the headquarters of the Résistance in World War Two.
Famous Paris landmarks and monuments besides the Eiffel Tower include the Notre Dame, a 12th century cathedral also known as ‘Our Lady of Paris’, Sainte Chapelle, the Panthéon and the Arc de Triomphe, which also features a museum relating to its construction.
Within a short distance of the city, tourists can find Disneyland Paris, which holds its own against the more famous Orlando Disneyland. The park features five ‘lands’, including Fantasyland, Adventureland and Discoveryland, and numerous rides, attractions and restaurants. It also covers an area of 607 hectares, and offers many popular hotel venues. The Parc Astérix is another popular amusement park, featuring all the well known Asterix characters and many other attractions. Children also love the dolphins and sea lions which can call the park home.
Tourist information regarding Paris attractions is available from areas within the arrival terminals, and many tourism bureaus can be found within the city as well.