Paris Sightseeing

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Quick links

Convention and Visitors Bureau (Paris Info)
La Conciergerie
Mairie de Paris
Museofile - All Museums in France (www.culture.gouv.fr)
Paris Museum Pass
Paris.com
RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens)
France Ile-de-france map
Arc de Triomphe Paris Notre Dame Cathedrale Paris Wallace Fountains Paris Pantheon Paris Orsay Museum Paris La Madeleine Paris Sacre Coeur Paris Eiffel Tower

Parks and gardens

Two of Paris' oldest and famous gardens are the Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg. The Tuileries were created in the 16th-century for a palace on the banks of the Seine near the Louvre.
Paris Jardin du Luxembourg
The Luxembourg Gardens (pictured below) were formerly private belonging to a château built for the Marie de' Medici in 1612.

The Jardin des Plantes, created by Louis XIII's doctor Guy de La Brosse for the cultivation of medicinal plants, was Paris' first public garden. Other large gardens in Paris are from the Second Empire and include the formerly-suburban parks of Montsouris, Parc des Buttes Chaumont, and Parc Monceau and were creations of Napoleon III's engineer, Jean-Charles Alphand. Newer additions to Paris' park landscape are the Parc de la Villette, built by the architect Bernard Tschumi on the location of Paris' former slaughterhouses, and gardens being added to Paris' periphery along the traces of its former circular "Petite Ceinture" railway line.

Parks

* Parc André Citroën
* Parc de Bagatelle
* Parc de Belleville
* Parc de Bercy
* Parc Georges Brassens
* Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge
* Parc des Buttes Chaumont
* Parc du Champ de Mars
* Parc de Choisy
* Parc Esplanade des Invalides
* Parc Floral
* Parc Kellermann
* Parc Monceau
* Parc Montsouris
* Parc Sainte-Périne
* Parc de la Villette
Jardin des Tuileries
Jardin des Tuileries

Gardens

* Jardin d'Acclimatation
* Jardin de l'Arsenal
* Jardin Atlantique
* Jardins de l'avenue Foch
* Jardin Pré Catelan
* Jardin des Halles
* Jardin du Luxembourg
* Jardin naturel
* Jardin du Palais Royal
* Jardin des Plantes
* Promenade plantée (former line of the Bastille)
* Jardin du Ranelagh
* Jardin des serres d'Auteuil
* Jardin Shakespeare
* Jardin Tino-Rossi
* Jardin du Trocadéro
* Jardin des Tuileries
* Jardin Villemin
CityZeum - provides audio guides and maps

Transportation in Paris

Paris Metro Sign
The public transit networks of the Paris region are coordinated by the Syndicat des Transports d'Ile-de-France (STIF). The members of this syndicate include the RATP operating 654 bus lines, the Métro, three tramway lines, and sections of the RER, the SNCF (operating suburban rails, a tramway line, and the other sections of the RER), and the Optile consortium of private operators overseeing 1,070 minor bus lines.
Paris is also the most important hub of France's motorway network and is surrounded by three orbital freeways: La Périphérique which follows the approximate path of 19th-century fortifications around Paris, the A86 motorway in the inner suburbs, and the Francilienne motorway in the outer suburbs.

Métro

The Métro is one of Paris' most important transportation system. The system, with 380 stations connected by 137 miles (221 km) of rail, comprises 16 lines, identified by numbers from 1 to 14, with two minor lines (3bis and 7bis). The trains run every day including public holidays from 5:30 a.m. to 12:40 a.m. and to 2:15 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Map.

RER

The RER, created in the 1960s to connect more distant parts of the urban area, consists of the integration of the modern city-centered subway and pre-existing suburban rail. Nowadays, the RER network comprises 5 lines, 256 stops and 365 miles (587 km) of rails. Map.

Tramway

Paris is served by a light rail network of 4 lines called the tramway. Line T1 runs from Saint-Denis to Noisy-le-Sec, line T2 runs from La Défense to Issy, line T3 runs from Pont de Garigliano to Porte d'Ivry, and line T4 runs from Bondy to Aulnay-sous-Bois.

National Railway

Paris is a central hub of the national rail network. The six major railway stations, Gare du Nord, Gare Montparnasse, Gare de l'Est, Gare de Lyon, Gare d'Austerlitz, and Gare Saint-Lazare, are connected to three networks: the TGV serving 4 High-speed rail lines, the normal speed Corail trains, and the suburban rails (Transilien).

Bicycling

Paris now offers a self-service bike sharing system called Velib' (vélo libre) with more than 20,000 public bicycles available at 1,450 parking stations which can be rented for short to medium distances including one-way drives. The city has plenty of bicycle lanes and may be rented for a day, a week, or a year.

International Airports around Paris

Charles de Gaulle Airport
Orly International Airport
Beauvais
SuperShuttle Paris provide transfers and shuttle service in Paris and the surrounding area including:
* Paris CDG Roissy Airport (Charles de Gaulle)
* Orly South/West Airport
* Beauvais Airport
* Disneyland Park
* Stations in Paris
* Versailles
A smaller airport is available in the town of Beauvais, 45 miles (70 km) to the north of the city, and is used by charter and low-cost airlines. A fourth airport, Le Bourget, presently only hosts business jets, air trade shows, and the aerospace museum.

Entertainment

Opera

Paris' largest opera houses are the 19th-century Opéra National de Paris and the modern Opéra Bastille. The Opéra National de Paris tends towards the more classic ballets and operas, and the Opéra Bastille provides a mixed repertoire of classic and modern.

The Opéra National de Paris also known as the Palais Garnier is Paris's central opera house that was built in 1875 and has 2,200 seats. It was designed as part of a great Parisian reconstruction by the Second French Empire initiated by Emperor Napoleon III and was originally named the Académie Nationale de Musique - Théâtre de l'Opéra.

Theatre/Concert halls

Theatre traditionally has had a large place in Parisian culture ands still holds true today and many of its most popular actors today are also stars of French television. A few of Paris' major theatres are Bobino, Théâtre Mogador, and the Théâtre de la Gaîté- Montparnasse. Some Parisian theatres also function as music concert halls and many of France's greatest musical legends such as Edith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier, Georges Brassens and Charles Aznavour found their fame in these concert halls. legendary examples of these are Le Lido, Bobino, l'Olympia, la Cigale, and le Splendid. The Elysées-Montmartre, reduced from its original size, is presently a concert hall.

Orchestre de Paris is one of France's premier classical music ensembles and was founded in 1967. They typically play in the Salle Pleyel concert hall. Music directors have included:
* 1967-1968 Charles Münch
* 1969-1971 Herbert von Karajan (Musical advisor)
* 1972-1975 Sir Georg Solti
* 1975-1989 Daniel Barenboim
* 1989-1998 Semyon Bychkov
* 1998-2000 Christoph von Dohnànyi (Artistic advisor)
* 2000-present Christoph Eschenbach
* 2010 Paavo Järvi has been selected to take over beginning in 2010.

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord

The New Morning is one of few Parisian clubs still hosting jazz concerts, but also specializes in 'indie' music. More recently, the Zenith hall in Paris' La Villette quarter and a "parc-omnisports" stadium in Bercy serve as venues for large-scale rock concert halls.

Cinema

Parisians tend to share the same movie-going trends as many of the world's global cities with a dominance of Hollywood-generated film entertainment. French cinema comes a close second, with major directors or réalisateurs such as Claude Lelouch, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Luc Besson, and the more slapstick/popular genre with director Claude Zidi as an example. European and Asian films are also widely shown and appreciated. A specialty of Paris is its very large network of small movie theatres and on a given week, movie fans have a choice of around three-hundred old or new movies from all over the world.

Average Monthly Temperatures in the Ile-de-France Region

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