When in Paris...
... do different. Deviate from “all things touristy” and acquaint yourself with best kept Parisian secrets. There is much on offer that helps you create your own offbeat holiday experience in Paris special. Create your own innovative “Tour de Paris” and take in the city’s major attractions through unique modes of transport... does a 2CV car ride or a Segway sound tempting? Paris lets you in on a little secret: its own vineyard nestled in Montmartre! Museums dedicated to chocolate and wine? Yes, they exist... in Paris! There is always something “new” that waits to be discovered. Go on... pull out all the stops on your Parisian holiday!
Discovery with a Difference!
Sightseeing in Paris is as varied as it can get. From conducted bus tours, to sightseeing cruises on the Seine, to guided walks of different districts, to personalised tours... your options are endless. Opt for the different. Take in the sights of Paris through the comforts of a 2CV car evoking nostalgia. Your friendly chauffeur who also doubles up a guide deconstructs Parisian history as you drive past glorious monuments reflecting the best of France’s heritage.
For the more adventurous, a Segway tour makes for an exciting discovery of the city. Glide past Parisian landmarks such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees, Tuileries Gardens, and more on your own personalised state-of-the-art transportation. With morning, afternoon and evening tours possible, be prepared for an exciting journey through Paris!
The humble tuk tuk (or our popular rickshaw) finds a home in Paris! Embark on a refreshingly different experience of discovering Paris’ attractions on brightly coloured tuk tuks that confidently weave their way through snazzy Renaults, Jaguars, Citroëns, Mini Coopers and other such contemporary mean machines that grace Parisian roads! A host of options are yours for the taking... classical discovery tours of monuments, to atypical tours that bring you closer to the “real” Paris.
A Bohemian Rhapsody in Montmartre
Connect with all things Bohemian on a visit to Montmartre. Home to many famous painters, artists musicians, and lovers of all things artistic, it is no surprise that Montmartre is often referred to as the artist’s village. Its cobblestoned streets, flea markets, the presence of inspired artists working away at a canvas on a street corner lend credence to this image. In close proximity to the Opéra area, Montmartre is easily accessible by funicular or metro.
Do not miss the Basilica of Sacré Coeur that is a major highlight here. While the calm and tranquil atmosphere of the Basilica draws you in for your own dialogue with the Almighty, it is the absolutely stunning bird’s eye view of Paris that makes you want to sit outside on its steps and take in unforgettable images of the city.
Head to the Clos Montmartre for an encounter with a Parisian vineyard. Owned by the City of Paris, you will find 27 varieties of wine made from fine varieties of Gamay, Pinot Black and Metis grapes from different regions. If you happen to be visiting in October, do not miss “Les Vendanges de Montmartre” the annual harvesting festival. In true artistic spirit, the arrival of the new wine is celebrated with great pomp and fervour. Wine tasting, colourful parades, concerts and a huge firework display lure you to be part of this revelry. There is always a reason for celebration in Montmartre!
A Wine Shrine
Located near the Eiffel Tower, Le Musée du Vin (The Wine Museum) is a sacred haven for lovers of all things wine. Housed in limestone quarries, the museum showcases a rich collection of 2,000 pieces or tools used in viticulture, winemaking and wine tasting and also serves as a wine cellar. Depending on the time you have, the Museum proposes a host of activities that can be completed within 45 minutes to those that extend for a half day as well! Typical activities include guided audio tours of the museum to raising toasts at wine tasting sessions in the end. Tuck into a delicious gourmet meal at the Museum’s restaurant where a spread of French delicacies with perfectly paired wines (of course!) awaits you. Santé and Bon Appétit!
For another authentic wine experience, head to De Vinis Illustribus, a wine cellar and shop near the Panthéon and discover a treasure trove of legendary wines. Owned by an enthusiastic husband-wife duo, rely on their expert advice for choosing the best wines for your friends and family back home. Participate in their famous wine tasting sessions that acquaint you with France’s best kept open secret.
Sweet Encounters of the Chocolate Kind
No one can resist chocolate, and rightfully so! This is why it is no surprise that in Paris you have a Chocolate Museum or locally known as the Musée Gourmand du Chocolat dedicated to chocolate. The Choco-Story Museum traces the history of chocolate spanning 4000 years to its contemporary existence. Learn more about the techniques used in making the best quality chocolate and indulge in delicious tasting sessions! Special activities for children add the “fun” element to learning more about chocolate.
Go a step further and succumb to sinfully delicious chocolate at “Un Dimanche à Paris” for an all in one experience. At heart a chocolaterie, it also houses a tea salon and a full scale restaurant. Here, chocolate is everywhere and you will also find a tasting area with a state of the art teaching kitchen. Its tempting hot chocolate and a selection of mouth watering pastries such as chocolate éclairs, brownies, truffles and other yummy treats completes your outing!
Rooftop SoiréesFancy partying under the stars? Les Docks located on the Left Bank of the Seine makes it possible. This avant-garde construction which boasts of a rooftop, home to nightclubs, restaurants and also great views of the Seine. Stop by for a drink in the evening and stay longer for a open air party experience Parisian style!
Christmas Cheer in Paris
With winter round the corner, the time is perfect to plan a Parisian getaway. Indulge in Christmas goodies and special offers at the beautifully illuminated Galeries Lafayette. Add to the festive joie de vivre by visiting Christmas Markets in famous Parisian districts creating a unique festive ambience of their own. A stroll down the Champs Elysées takes you past twinkling lights and decorations. Each of the 200 trees that line this avenue sparkle brightly adding cheer to wintry evenings. This year, Trocadéro near the Eiffel Tower will recreate the effect of a European Christmas village. “Trocadéro on Ice” will bring to Paris a mountain resort complete with an igloo, snowman, an outdoor ice rink, the works creating a surreal village in metropolitan Paris! The Market at Saint Germain presents you 25 beautifully created chalets that sell assorted arts, crafts and local produce. Also a literary hangout in the days gone by, drop in for a coffee at any of its two iconic cafes: Les Deux Magots or the Café de Flore.