Paris: An Enthralling Experience in the City of Light
One word that strikes the mind when one hears the name Paris is magical. The City of Light, as it is popularly known worldwide, unique city is home to around 10 million people.
With its beautiful city plan, exquisite architecture, museums, bridges, cathedrals, parks, shopping, flea markets, sidewalk cafes, wide and luxurious boulevards, elegant cuisine and numerous monuments, Paris never ceases to enthrall you with all that it has in store.
If the hint of a plan wandering around a visit to Paris is on your mind, here a few tips that could come in handy before and during your visit:
TIP 1: You don’t necessarily have to buy tickets for the Eiffel tower or for any other monument online, which will just cost you much more than it would if you purchase tickets at the location or at your hotel. Almost every hotel provides tickets.
TIP 2: When you visit the destination, you’ll encounter locals who will offer to rescue you from the queue in exchange for money. Avoid them, keep your patience, and in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes you’ll make it through. It’s best to leave the crowd management schemes to the authorities.
Indian Visa applications are submitted to the Embassy through M/s VFS, which is the only company authorized by Embassy of India, Paris to collect Indian Visa applications and requisite fee on its behalf. The schedule of the Visa fee for all categories of Visas is mentioned in VFS website http://www.vfs-in-fr.com.
The Visa application can be filled in and downloaded from the VFS website http://www.vfs-in-fr.com or https://indianvisaonline.gov.in. The Visa applications filled from any other source or website are not acceptable at the Embassy.
Also, there is no provision for online payment of Visa fees in respect of Indian Visa applications submitted in France.
Best Places to Visit in Paris
- Eiffel Tower: Words of praises fall short of glorifying this exquisite landmark of modern architecture. The iconic tower, built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, is the global cultural icon of the country of France. 324 meters high, it is one of the most visited monuments in the world with nearly 7 million visitors a year.
- Notre Dame Cathedral: It is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and Europe. Initiated in 1163 and completed in 1345, this cathedral is a sight with its portals surrounded by various sculptures and gargoyles that adorn the roof.
- Louvre Museum: The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. Located in the heart of Paris, this historic building is a former royal palace, with an area of 210,000 square meters including 60,600 for the exhibitions.
- Champs Elysées / Arc of Triumph: Built in the 19th century, it is the largest monument of its kind in the world. Impressive sculptures adorn its pillars. In addition, the names of 558 generals and the great victories are engraved on the top of the arc. Under the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of France.
- Cruise on the Seine: Find the best way to visit the “City of Light” enjoying a cruise on the Seine, especially at night. When the sun sets, the monuments are lit slowly. You get a panoramic view to the forefront so you can enjoy the beauty of Paris: Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Pont Alexandre III and many more.
- Montmartre: Montmartre is a hill located in the north of Paris, 130 meters high, having its name to the surrounding neighbourhood. It is best known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacred Heart, at the top.
- Palace of Versailles: The Château de Versailles is the most famous castle in France. This huge complex of buildings, gardens and terraces is definitely a must for any visitor who will be captivated by exceptional accommodations, lavish decorations, furniture and gilded works of Renaissance art.
- The Latin Quarter – Luxembourg Park: The Luxembourg park is a private garden open to the public created in 1612 at the request of Marie de Medicis to accompany the Luxembourg Palace.
- Moulin Rouge: The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret known as the spiritual birthplace of the famous French Cancan.
- Disneyland Paris: Fans of Mickey can visit Disneyland Paris which is located 32 km from central Paris. Disneyland Paris has two theme parks: Disneyland (with Sleeping Beauty’s castle) and Walt Disney Studios. Top attractions are Space Mountain, It’s a Small World and Big Thunder Mountain.
Squares in Paris
- Place de la Concorde:The majestic Place de la Concorde is arguably the most prestigious square in Paris and is renowned for its important part in French history.
- Place des Vosges: Often considered as one of Europe’s most beautiful squares, the Place des Vosges, formally named “Place Royale”, is a perfect symmetrical square bordered by 36 buildings, including the Victor Hugo house, now a museum.
- Place dauphine: The triangular-shaped Place Dauphine is located near the western end of the Île de la Cité with an access from the middle of Paris’ older bridge: Pont Neuf. The square, named after Dauphin of France, the future Louis XIII, was laid out in 1609 under King Henri IV while the Place des Vosges was still under construction.
- Place Vendome: The famous Place Vendôme in Paris’ first arrondissement ranks amongst France’s most beautiful squares. Located to the north of the Tuileries Garden, it is a magnificent example of neoclassical architecture in France.
The Best Area to Stay
Find a hotel at St. Germain for your stay. It is close enough to simply walk to most of the sights. It is a vibrant area with bars and restaurants in abundance and, on top of that it is just a 2 minutes’ walk from the Seine.
The Best Time to Go to Paris
July is the hottest month in Paris with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F) and the coldest is January at 5°C (41°F) with the most daily sunshine hours at 8 in September. The wettest month is May with an average of 26mm of rain.
Here’s a listed account of Paris’ seasonal calendar:
- Spring (21 March-21 June)
- Summer (21 June-21 September)
- Autumn (21 September-21 December)
- Winter (21 December-21 March)