The uniform sandstone of the Haussmann buildings, the abundance of gilded historic monuments, and the glimmering Seine and its elegant bridges have arguably made Paris the most recognisable and romanticised cityscape in the world. But though the city wears its history – of monarchy, revolution, revolt and artistic innovation – with characteristic style, it is also increasingly looking to the future and outwards to the rest of the world.
Those looking to explore the city’s rich heritage can spend long afternoons getting lost in the Louvre or wandering the Musée d’Orsay, or ducking in and out of Paris’s countless historical churches (many of which were reinvented as Republican temples after the Revolution). For more contemporary tastes, there’s plenty of exploring to be done in the less tourist-trodden outer arrondissements – from arts venues on the sloping streets of Belleville to the boutique hotels and reinvented dive bars of Pigalle.
Explore our interactive map below for all the local highlights, and scroll down for our suggested day-by-day summary of the best things to see and do…
For further Paris inspiration, see our guides devoted to the French capital’s best hotels, restaurants, nightlife, bars, things to do, free things to do and shopping.