It's summer in Paris! Everything seems even more alive — with flowers in full bloom, street markets bustling, and so many absolutely fun things to do. A Parisian food walking tour will show off the best of the city — from boulangeries and chocolateries to secret epiceries where you find the best macarons. Musically, on June 21 Paris celebrates summer with the annual Fête de la Musique with free music throughout the city.
We like to enjoy the soft summer evenings by getting aboard a Seine River cruise (champagne-fueled, if possible!) Perhaps our best tip, though, is to book your activities well in advance, as tickets sell quickly. Speaking of tickets, a performance at Gothic jewel of a church, La Sainte Chapelle will add immensely to your Paris experience. One more thing — for readers of Paris Insiders Guide (that's you!) the Paris Pass is offering a 10% discount when you use Paris Insiders Exclusive Discount Code: INGUIDE10.
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The Eiffel Tower gets well over 7 million visitors a year, and that means long lines anytime, but especially in summer. The Insiders way to beat the lines is to try to book a skip-the-line tour that whisks you past the lineups and up the tower. Here's a list of the top Eiffel Tower tours.
What better way to celebrate in summer in Paris than a relaxing cruise down its romantic river? One of our very favorites is this champagne cruise along the Seine.
What's even better than a day spent cruising along the Seine? A nighttime dinner cruise, that's what! See Paris from a different perspective. You'll find that everything looks better from a bateau. Famous landmarks will pass by as you enjoy a multi-course French meal with wine.
Travelers love this complete night on the town. Start the evening at the Eiffel Tower for dinner 200 feet above the City of Lights. Then it's time to see lights of the city riverside, on an evening cruise on the Seine. Finally, enjoy the show at Moulin Rouge while sipping champagne. All the details are taken care of for you.
We love to kickstart summer with this 2-in-1 tour. Cruise the country around Versailles. Your guide takes you through the forests and pastures, to the local market and then on to the gardens of Versailles to visit the historic buildings, including Marie-Antoinette's farm. Use your passes to explore the Chateau de Versailles as long as you like.
This is our readers' favourite creepy nighttime tour. Paris has over 2,000 years of mysteries and legends, so it's an action-packed evening. Your informative guide leads you down winding streets and hidden alleys in the City of Romance and Intrigue. You'll learn about ghosts, wars, eerie events.
9 millions visitors a year means there are always long lines at the Louvre. But why stand in line when you can book a skip-the-line tour that not only gets you in a lot faster, but takes you directly to the best and most famous works of art. Another tip — these tours sell out, so be sure to book early.
Eat, drink & être joyeux! Get a taste of la vie bohème in vibrant Saint-Germain. Experience activities that the French adore — drinking wine, sampling charcuterie & playing a game of boules. Also visit Shakespeare & Co. (Paris' original English bookshop) and Notre Dame Cathedral.
When you're in France, the country that practically invented the art of scent, join an everything-perfume workshop led by an industry expert who also teaches at the Ecole Superieure Du Parfum (School of Perfumery) in Versailles. Learn the basics of perfume making, including the characteristics of distinct families of scents. Then dive in to make your own unique perfume to take home. How cool is that?
We want to share our best tip — before you leave home arrange your transportation from the airport into central Paris. We find it's comforting to be prepared and to know what's going to happen when you arrive. Easy and affordable is a shuttle van service right to your hotel. Choose from shared or a private vehicle, it's convenient and cheaper than a taxi.
But, wait a minute, here's our very best advice, and a real Insiders Secret — being picked up at the airport by our Paris pal and professional driver, Manu. Traveling is tough, and after the flight we appreciate some comfort. We aways arrange for Manu meet us at the arrivals gate whisk us into the city in his Mercedes S-Class. Honestly, it's the only way to do it!
Instead of worrying about trains, brochures and guide books, why not go the royal route? From your hotel, your driver/guide takes you to the royal estate. Use your priority tickets to skip the lines and head directly into this grand chateau. Then, stroll through the stunning gardens until lunch (included) on the Grand Canal. Later there's time to visit Marie Antoinette's fantasy village farm and the Grand Trianon.
Perhaps the most famous battle site of World War II, the landing beaches of Normandy still evoke powerful memories and emotions. Visit the most important sites on a day trip from Paris and remember those who fought there. Of course, there are the beaches themselves. Take a day to step back in time on a trip that returns you to Paris the same day.
If you're interested in World War I, there's no better place than France to visit the important battlefields from that bloody conflict.
Sure, its the former playground of royalty and home to some of the most magnificent castles in the world, but the Loire Valley also produces some of the best wines in France. See the most spectacular chateaux — Chateau Chenonceau and the amazing Chateau Chambord — and taste refreshing Sauvignon blanc, crisp Pouilly-Fumé and delicate Cabernet Franc wines over a leisurely multi-course French lunch.
Don't miss the summer chance to visit the fabulous gardens and house of Impressionist Master Claude Monet. In June the gardens are in magnificent bloom and you're going to love the lily pond with its Japanese bridge. Your driver/guide picks you up at you Paris hotel and whisks through the lovely French countryside to Giverny. You'll have plenty of time to wander among the gardens, flowers, Monet's house and the pond to reflect on the artist's sublime creations.
Only an hour from Paris is world-famous Champagne country. On this wonderful day trip you focus on the bubbly with guided tours and tastings at some of the most famous champagne houses. In between, enjoy lunch at a boutique winery. Sample as much as you want, your expert guide is doing the driving — door-to-door from your Paris hotel. Monday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday
We've just scratched the surface of what you can see from Paris in one day. Read our complete guide to learn about visits to historic Mont-Saint-Michel, to the best of Normandy, to Disneyland Paris, and even to London!
• Essential Day Trips – Our Reviews…
• Go Deeper into France – Private Day Tours from Paris…
The Paris Pass saves you a lot of money and time, getting you inside almost all the museums for free (and as many times as you want) and giving you unlimited rides on the Metro.
Paris Pass is offering a special discount, exclusively for our readers, but only for a limited time. Be sure to use this discount code – INGUIDE10.
With this special offer you will save an additional 10% on all 4-day and 6-day Paris Passes. What used to be just a good deal is now a great deal. And, since the clock doesn't start ticking on the Paris Pass until you first use it, you can buy it way in advance.
There are some stunning Gothic churches in Paris where classical music can be heard performed. But, hands down, the acoustically-perfect Saint Chapelle is our favourite venue in Paris for classical music. Imagine being swept away by the music of Vivaldi, Bach, Purcell and Monteverdi while surrounded by the spectacular vaulted arches filled with colourful and recently restored stained glass.
Don't just visit the world's most famous cathedral, be a part of it. There are four special performances in June. Enjoy the soaring stained glass and unbelievable acoustics as you list to concerts performed by some of the best contemporary musicians in France.
When in Paris, you must see a performance at the golden Palais Garnier in the Opera district. The building is so magnificent it will take your breath away. In June you have the chance to see a stellar production of the opera Lear performed by the Paris Opera. May 29 & June 1.
Also at Palais Garnier in June is a performance by the famed British ballet company. June 22, 23, 24, 25.
Benoît Jacquot's production returns to the Paris with a stellar cast including Sonya Yoncheva, opera's brightest new star. Verdi's masterpiece is the bittersweet story of Violetta, a young courtesan, and Alfredo, a young man who is pure of heart. Performed in Italian, with English and French titles. Opera Bastille. Many Dates in June.
The classically-inspired Église de la Madeleine owes its existence to France's last kings and to its first emperor. Today it's a popular venue for classical music concerts — hearing Vivaldi's Four Seasons performed in this historic church will be a lasting memory.
Enjoy a candlelight performance at the historic Eglise Saint Ephrem set in the Latin Quarter. Piano works by Chopin, Mozart and Beethoven will be performed as well as Bach's Goldberg Variations. Take in a concert, then wander through the most iconic of Paris neighborhoods, the Left Bank.
Pure Paris luxury! Take a three-hour cruise along the Seine in the luxury yacht, Don Juan II, as you are served a gourmet meal prepared by a Michelin starred chef. Combine romance, traditional French fine dining, and a tour of the City of Lights on the River Seine.
In a charming wine cellar smack in the center of Paris you spend an hour or two you covering a lot of French wine territory. This fun and informal wine tasting is led by professional sommeliers (in English) who deliver an extensive tasting of wines from the most important regions in France in a charming, centrally-located wine cellar.
The good thing about this tour is that any calories you consume from the delicious taste samplings are likely to be burned off by the walk! It all takes place on the gourmet haven of the Left Bank. Begin at a traditional fromagerie. Sample and move on to freshly baked baguettes, fine French wine, foie gras and famous French cheeses.
Combine your passion for Paris, chocolate and fabulous French pastries. Spend the afternoon tasting your way through the best chocolate shops, patisseries and boulangeries in Paris. A gourmet food expert will lead you through the neighborhood on this small group (8 people) walking tour.
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Paris and all of France will be filled with music on the longest day of the year as live bands play in parks and streets. Check the schedule to see where to catch live music. June 21.
But, don't worry. We've put together the best of popular exhibits during the month of June. You'll want to go to Musee d'Orsay to discover the painter Charles Gleyre who's believed to be true father of impressionist painting. Among his students were Monet and Renoir. Also catch the Henri Rousseau exhibit while you're there. Across town at the Pompidou Centre is a special exhibit of the works of Paul Klee.
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