France is the most visited country in the world, and it’s capital, the legendary City of Light, is one of the major reasons. Since the 17th century, Paris has been the center of commerce, fashion, art, and science in Europe, and its modern status as a major transportation hub means it’s easy to get here. Paris is connected to the rest of Europe via high-speed train, several major highways, and two international airports. There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to accommodation, both within the metropolitan city center and in the outlying French countryside.
Ever since ancient times, when local tribes were using this region as a trade route and Roman armies were marching north, travelers have sought accommodation on the banks of the Seine. The proud tradition of welcoming visitors continues, and there are plenty of choices, but bear in mind Paris is an expensive city and prices tend to be on the high side. There are a plethora of conventional hotels, so here are a few of the more unique choices.
- Hostels in Paris are sleek, stylish, and have a myriad of different themes and designs. Most offer private rooms, all have WiFi, and some even have perks like bakeries and gyms in the same building.
- Bed and Breakfasts tend to be upscale, but there are a few that are priced at about the same as a hostel. You can spend as little as $80 dollars or as much as $400.
- Country Homes that are available for both long and short-term rental are actually in the city and suburbs. They are often apartments or suites designed with the French countryside in mind. These types of accommodations are ideal for families or groups and aren’t that much more expensive than conventional hotels.
Tourism in Paris
The tourist attractions in Paris are legendary, with famous galleries like the Louvre and monuments like the Arc de Triomphe common entries on every tourist’s bucket list. The Seine River that winds through the city has been declared a UNESCO Heritage Site, and the Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular attractions in the city’s suburbs. Those are the obvious choices. Here are a few of the less popular but just as compelling reasons to visit Paris.
- Parc Asterix. If you want to visit a theme park, skip Euro-Disney and come here instead. This theme park is named for the legendary Gaulish hero from the classic Asterix comic books and is legendary for its daring roller coasters and playful pre-Roman theme.
- Statue of Liberty replicas. It’s easy to forget that the statue that dominates New York harbor originated in France, as it’s such a quintessential American symbol. You can see these smaller versions in various places in the city, including the original conceptual plaster from 1878 that sits in the Musée des Arts et Métiers.
- La Madeleine. This is not exactly the oldest church in Paris, dating from the 19th century, but what sets it apart is the distinctly Roman design. It was built to honor Napoleon’s army and was inspired by an authentic Roman temple in the city of Nîmes in southern France.
- Château de Vincennes. Take a step back and gaze in awe at this massive medieval castle that’s almost 1000 years old. What began as a hunting lodge in the 12th century was eventually turned into this imposing fortress in the 13th century. French royalty was married and passed away here, and local legend has it that Louis IX departed from this castle for his last crusade.