New multimedia galleries, inventive wine bars, design boutiques, and tech start-ups have added to Paris’ monument-lined boulevards, museums, traditional bistros, and stores.
The wrought-iron Eiffel Tower, which pierces the clouds, the Arc de Triomphe, which guards the opulent avenue des Champs-Élysées, the flying buttresses of Notre Dame Cathedral, the lamp-lit bridges that cross the Seine, and the terraces of art nouveau cafes with their wicker chairs are all enduring symbols of Paris. The inside-out, industrial-style Centre Pompidou, the vertical garden adorning the Musée du Quai Branly, the glass sails of the Fondation Louis Vuitton contemporary-art centre, and the gleaming steel egg-shaped concert venue La Seine Musicale are just a few of the stunning modern and contemporary icons found in Paris, despite first impressions.
Whether you’re looking for a cosy neighbourhood bistro or a triple-Michelin-starred temple to gastronomy, you’ll find that every establishment takes pride in the exquisite preparation and presentation of high-quality produce, which is invariably served with wine. France’s reputation for its cuisine (the French word for “kitchen”) precedes it. You may put together a picnic to take to the city’s lovely parks and gardens from enticing patisseries, boulangeries (bakeries), fromageries (cheese shops), and bustling, colourful street markets. Numerous cooking classes are available, with locations ranging from home kitchens to the most prominent cookery schools in the world. They provide instruction for all schedules, skill levels, and price ranges.
The word “Parisian” is synonymous with style, and the city excels at fashion shopping. Paris continues to be at the forefront of global trends, and visiting its major haute couture houses and up-and-coming designer stores is an absolute must. Along with a plethora of vintage shops and flea markets, atmospheric bookshops and dark-green bouquiniste stalls stocking secondhand titles along the riverbanks, adorable children’s wear and toy shops, art and antique dealers, venerable establishments selling professional cookware, and, of course, gourmet-food and wine shops galore, you’ll also find hip concept and homewares stores as well as opulent art nouveau department stores.
Paris is one of the world’s great art repositories, housing treasures from antiquity onwards. Renoir, Rodin, Picasso, Monet, Manet, Dal, and Van Gogh are just a few of the masters who lived and worked here throughout the years. Along with major attractions like the incomparable Louvre, the outstanding impressionist collection at the Musée d’Orsay, and the collection of modern and contemporary art at the Centre Pompidou, there are also dozens of smaller museums that exhibit works in every imaginable genre, a wide variety of venues that host major exhibitions as well as unconventional installations, and the city’s vibrant street art.