Everyone knows that the food and wine in France some of the best in the planet. There is more to this nation than all of those astonishing sights that are famous the world over. But if you are there at the right time, you are going to be in for an even better treat with some of these celebrations. So do try to make it in time for all of the fun and festivities.
Cannes Film Festival
If you are looking to get star struck, then head on down to Cannes, South of France, in the merry month of May for the Cannes Film Festival. There are multiple films that are shown, promoted, and even nominated for the Palm d’Or. But you won’t just be able to see the stars on film, you might in fact get a chance to see them up close. Celebrities, actors, actresses, models, and all those other folks who live on the lap of luxury come to celebrate too. Just be certain to book in advance.
If you happen to be in the county in the month of July, head on down to Avignon and you will be in for an artistic treat. Not only is this festival one of the most famous, but it is also one of the oldest as well. With 20 or so various venues that celebrate it, you are sure to get your fill of art, music, dance, and cinema. Bear in mind, the highlight is always in the Palais des Papes.
Another great time to be in the country is in the month of February. In the south east coast, you could take part for two weeks of fun and festivities in the Nice Carnival. Imagine- floats, puppets, parades, and great french food. And additionally all of the dancing, music, and fireworks too. Just remember to book you hotel in advance. Just imagine how tired you will be after all of the fun.
But these aren’t the only festivals that France has to offer. So here are a few more- The Grenoble Jazz fest in March, Versailles in May, and Tour de France from June to July. Plus, let’s not forget all of the other major holidays that the whole world celebrates, like Christmas and new year.
Of course, everyone dreams of falling in love in the most enchanting area on earth-Paris. On the contrary if sparks don’t fly or if you are backpacking with someone who is just a friend or relative, then here are the top things to do and areas to go to that if you won’t find the love of your life here, you will, at the very least, fall in love with the city.
The Eiffel Tower
No denying it, the Eiffel Tower is pretty much the symbol of Paris. No one, downright no one, in their right mind would miss the Eiffel Tower on a get-away to Paris. Make your way to the very top and make the most of your get-away instead of just looking at it from afar. If you take the stairs, it will literally take your breath away, but if you’re not up for such a long climb(1665 steps from the ground to the top), you can always do it the easy way and just take the elevator. After all, there is a reason that over 6 million people a year come to see this sight.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The Notre Dame Cathedral is a beautiful sight, regardless of your religion, if you even have one. With its French Gothic type of architecture, ravel at the intricate carvings, the flying buttresses, and the ornate gargoyles guarding the roof up high. Be positive to take a walk all around it from the outside, look around the inside, and journey up the 387 steps to the very top of the towers where you could actually take a close look at those famous gargoyles, not to mention the panoramic view of the city.
Another must go to is certainly the Louvre and its iconic pyramid. You do not have to be a big art fan to enjoy this museum. This is the biggest museum in the entire world as it is home to some of the most famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. With over 35,000 on display, even a whole week won’t be long enough for you to see everything. If, like most tourists, you do not have enough time, you must positively sign up for the highlight tour.
Double Decker Bus Tour
Another way to get the most out of the city in the shortest amount of time is to take a double decker bus tour. The best in the biz would certainly have to be the L’Open Tour as it has an open top. Just be certain to check the weather conditions for any signs of rain. You have the choice to taking the one or the two day passes. With these passes, you will be taken on four different routes leading to 50 of the best spots in Paris. The passes also come with a set of headphones that you plug in so that you can also get some interesting trivia too. What makes it even better is that it comes in 8 alternate languages- English, French, Russian, German, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, and Spanish.
Traveling on the Paris subway system (Le Metro) is an excellent way to explore the city on the cheap. And like many popular destinations, Paris offers a tourist card called Paris Visite Carte, but as we found out it may not be the cheapest way to ride the city’s subway.
Sure, the Paris Visite Card maybe the easiest way to start using the Paris Metro, but that doesn’t necessarily mean its the most budget friendly. Depending on what day of the week you arrive in Paris, and how long you are staying, a better (cheaper) option maybe to purchase the weekly or monthly pass known as Passe Navigo Decouverte, which is only available through RATP/SNCF ticket windows in the subway and at train stations. One of the main differences between the two passes, is that the Paris Visite Card is valid from the first day of use, while the Passe Navigo Decouverte takes effect at the start of each week or month.
Except for Disneyland and Versailles, Paris’ famous sights and attractions can be found inside subway zones 1 and 2. Check out the fare chart below to see the different price categories for the Paris’ Metro and subway passes. All prices are in Euros.
Le Metro Individual Tickets:
One ticket 1.70
Book of 10 tickets 12.00
Single-use ticket purchased on a bus
Le Metro Paris Visite Carte
Zones 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day
1-3 9.30 15.20 20.70
1-6 19.60 29.90 41.90
* A perk to the Paris Visite Card is that the tourist pass can be used for discounts for various sightseeing tours and attractions in the city, for example, 20-40% admission discounts to Arc de Triomphe, the Opera House and the Pantheon.
Paris’ Pass Navigo Decouverte
Zones Week Month
1 – 2 17.20 56.60
1 – 3 22.70 74.40
1 – 4 27.90 91.70
1 – 5 33.40 109.90
1 – 6 37.60 123.60
*It cost an additional one-time 5 euro fee to obtain the Paris’ Navigo Pass. In addition, A passport size photo, which you can supply or purchase from a photo booth near the ticket window for 4 euro , is also required for your Paris weekly or monthly Navigo Pass, which is transferable between your Paris’ Navigo Pass.
Considered one of the most efficient transit systems in the world, I highly recommend picking up one of the passes for your Paris travels.
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