A guide to Where to Visit in Paris

Our trip to Paris in August of this year gave us the great opportunity to re-visit some of the most famous attractions of Paris and at the same time introduce them to our children. Below is an extract from the where to visit guide we have produced to help you make the most of your next trip to Paris. See the full guide to Where to Visit in Paris here

Arc de TriompheArc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe crowns the western tip of the Champs-Elysees, standing on probably the most famous roundabout in the world, also known Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile (of the star) for the star-shape the roundabout casts.

The wide, leafy Champs-Elysees, Paris’s most famous avenue, is a focal point for the French nation, witness to momentous events such as De Gaulle’s triumphal Liberation march in 1944 and the soccer World Cup celebrations in 1998.

Jardin des tuileries
The Tuileries, at the eastern extent of the Champs-Elysees, is dominated at one end by the place de la Concorde and at the other by the mighty Louvre.  There are also views of the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Musee d’Orsay.

The Louvre
The Louvre is one of the largest and most famous art galleries in the world, with its legendary works and vast collection spanning thousands of years, from ancient civilizations to mid-19th century European paintings.

The main entrance is through I. M. Pei’s striking glass pyramid (1989) in the Cour Napoleon. Escalators take you down to a subterranean foyer, where you can pick up a museum plan and decide which of the three wings will be your first port of call.

Les Invalides
Visit Les Invalides to see Napoleon’s tomb and an absorbing army museum. Although its architecture is pompous, severe and authoritarian, Les Invalides was actually built to house wounded and elderly soldiers. Louis XIV was thinking of others for once when he commissioned Liberal Bruant to design the imposing building, with its 195m facade.


Summer sport in the French Alps

Like a lot of middle-aged folk we know, cycling has become a bit of a passion.

This summer we even managed to drag, sorry encourage, our nine year old to enjoy the sites and sounds of mountain biking in the French Alps.

It’s a little different to road biking and the French Alps certainly poses some terrain challenges but the stunning views and easy transport up the mountain via cable car certainly makes for some great photo opportunities.

Enjoy the video…


Overnight stop in Saint Quentin


Each summer on the way back from the south of France we tend to stop at different towns on route and explore somewhere new.


Hotel de Ville, St QuentinThis year we wanted to locate the war grave of a great uncle so we travelled a little further north than usual and stopped off in the town of Saint Quentin, located in the Aisne department in Picardy.

First of all can we recommend the Hotel Memorial (www.hotel-memorial.com), perfect for an overnight stop. Very reasonably priced rooms, including family suites and it can also accommodate dogs. Parking in a quiet courtyard is also available with no height restrictions (fortunately as we had our bikes on the roof). The ladies that run the place are kind and courteous and the breakfast, although a tad expensive, is value for money if you the time to appreciate it all.

I’ll stop now or you’ll think you’re on Trip Advisor.

Start your visit by walking across to the ‘Place Hotel de Ville’, a beautiful central square where you’ll find the town hall with its stunning gothic facade decorated with 173 sculptures inspired by the daily life of Saint-Quentin.

Theatre Jean-Vilar, St QuentinSaint Quentin itself has a remarkably eclectic style of architecture – also in the square is the ‘Theatre Jean-Vilar’ which was built in the middle of the 19th century with a neo-classic façade and just behind here you’ll ‘La Basilique’, a stunning cathedral dating back to the thirteenth century.

There are plenty of eateries in and around the main square, mostly serving traditional French bistro food, and an array of your typical French town centre shops.

Places to visit include the Antoine Lecuyer museum where you can discover the works Maurice Quentin de la Tour (1704-1788), an internationally renowned pastel artist, and the ‘Musee de Papillons”, where you can find a priceless collection of exotic butterflies.

If you need to walk the dog, head over to the ‘Parc des Champ Elysees’ and wander amongst the Sunday morning petanque tournaments.

Trescault CemeteryThe cemetery we visited was in Trescault, just north of Saint Quentin, where we were pleased to discover Great Uncle Sam Bouston, sadly having died on the battlefields of WW1 at the age of 21. Rest in peace, Sam.


Where are your favourite places for a stopover?