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Paris Like a Local

7th February 2017

Paris is an intriguing destination of romance and culture – a historic capital city with dreamy charm. From wandering back streets and discovering new and old art to picnicking on the banks of the Seine or at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Paris is certainly a city to be savoured slowly.

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For elaborate interiors
There is no denying that Paris is beautiful; influential architects have shaped the cityscape through the ages, from NotreDame Cathedral to the Centre Pompidou. To immerse yourself in the real glamour of a bygone era, rather than venturing to the Palace of Versailles, head to the Palais Garnier in the heart of Paris. The ornate gold interiors, grand staircase, and the mesmerising ceiling painted by Mark Chagall put this opera house in a world of its own.

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For modern-day marvels
Paris might be known for buildings from a bygone era, but plenty of modern creativity has been injected into the city. Explore the futuristic architecture of the Fondation Louis Vuitton, a cultural centre designed by Frank Gehry in the Bois de Boulogne. The Fondation houses the extensive private art collection of Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury label powerhouse LVMH.

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For views
Before joining the queue to climb the Eiffel Tower, consider the smaller, but no less impressive Arc de Triomphe. From the top of the Arc, not only does your view include the Eiffel Tower, but you get a direct view straight down the Champs-Élysées, too.

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For masters of art
The Louvre may be the most famous gallery in Paris, but on the opposite side of the Seine is the bright and airy Musée d’Orsay. Housed in a former train station, you will find a huge number of Monet, Degas, Cézanne, and Van Gogh works here. The building itself is a Beaux-Arts masterpiece, boasting a gilded ballroom and stunning city views from the topfloor cafe.

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For authentic Parisian fare
While the area of Montmartre is undeniably Parisian, you will find a more authentic experience on the Left Bank in Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Where wealthy locals work and play, this atmospheric arrondissement is dotted with traditional crêperies, bistros, and famous literary cafes such as Café des Flore – one of the oldest coffeehouses in Paris.
For hidden Paris
Something you won’t find in many guidebooks or on maps is Les Passages, a chain of covered shopping arcades that weave between buildings from the 9th arrondissement to the Palais Royal in the 1st. You will find dusty bookstores, jewellers, and restaurants alike filled with locals.

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