Paris: Top Attractions

Paris
La Belle Ville  (PhotoDisc)
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Hotel de la Tremoille
Timeless and elegant, this historic Parisian boutique masterpiece lies on a quiet street just a few blocks off the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. The place underwent extensive renovations in 2002, and now features fabulous antiques and glitzy chandeliers. The luxurious rooms and suites are soundproof, have all the modern conveniences you'd expect, and boast black-marble bathrooms. Service is impeccable, haute couture shopping is just steps away, and the spa and fitness center offers peaceful rejuvenation.

Four Seasons Hotel George V
Host to presidents and kings, the George V is one of the best hotels in the world. The place is classic, gilded, and Old-World luxurious. The rooms, as lavishly and perfectly decorated as they come, have the feel of old money. The large bathrooms and beds are truly fit for royalty. Security is tight and privacy is of the utmost—just the way most guests like it.

The Ritz Paris
Located on one of Paris' most gorgeous and historic squares, the Ritz exudes elegance as a symbol of luxury. Each room is different, but all are stunningly decorated with ornate rugs, intricate tapestries, brass beds, marble fireplaces, and reproductions from the reigns of monarchs like Louis XIV and Louis XV. Bathrooms feature giant tubs and pull cords which summon maids and valets. Additionally, there's a renowned cooking school on-site, and public areas boast museum-quality antiques.

Opera Garnier
Paris' most exclusive venue for opera and dance, this opulent building is a stunning tribute to late 19th-century France. Sculptures and marble adorn the façade. The interior burst with gilded busts and statues, multi-colored marble pillars, and stunning mosaics. For one of your most elegant evenings in Paris, take in a performance of the Opera National de Paris, whose trademark is its flawless combination of opera and dance.
Opera Garnier: +33.1.40.01.17.89, www.opera-de-paris.fr

Musée de Louvre
Home to the world's greatest art collection, the Louvre is perhaps the most fantastic museum in the world. Inside this former palace you'll find legendary masterpieces—the enchanting Mona Lisa, the armless Venus de Milo, and the ancient Winged Victory, to name a few. With 30,000 works on display, a single visit is overwhelming and begs a second—and third. I.M. Pei's ultra-modern, if controversial, glass pyramid stands at the entrance in stark contrast to the classic palace.
Musee de Louvre: +33.1.40.20.53.17, www.louvre.fr

Hippodrome de Longchamp
The Hippodrome de Longchamp is considered the most prestigious of Paris' eight horseracing tracks, a place where the city's high-flying society set congregates. It also awards the biggest purse in France and as such, plays host to major social events. Longchamp's most famous races are the Grand Prix de Paris in late June and the Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe in early October.
Hippodrome de Longchamp: +33.1.44.30.75.00, www.france-galop.com/fr/index.asp

Hermès
Haute-couture fashion has long been a trademark of France—owning a Hermès scarf, tie, or handbag is the ultimate French status symbol. The large Paris flagship store offers everything required for thriving in the highest of styles. Choose from dinner plates or signature fragrances, elegant clothing or all manner of the aforementioned scarves and bags. You can even purchase a saddle for riding. Before leaving, ask about touring the private museum upstairs.
Hermès: +33.1.40.17.47.17, www.hermes.com

Artcurial
From jewelry to sculpture to tapestries, this is (by far) the best and most prestigious place to browse and shop for contemporary art in Paris. Objets d'art are displayed in colorful and airy galleries inside a neo-classical building. Artcurial also holds auctions and sells limited-edition works.
Artcurial: +33.1.42.99.16.16, www.artcurial.com/infos_uk/infos.html

Louis Vuitton
Signature monogrammed brown-on-brown luggage sets have always been the bags of choice for the jet-setting elite. Consider picking one up at the Parisian shop. Other accessories and staples—all available at this multi-level establishment—include pens, journals, stationery, and notebooks. The store's upper level is dedicated to women's bags and shoes.
Louis Vuitton: +33.1.45.49.62.32, www.vuitton.com

Spa at the Hotel George V
Ornate marble, classic statues, and 18th-century prints greet visitors entering Paris' most decadent hotel spa. The relaxation room has lounge chairs and private music stations. Move on to a long menu of spa treatments featuring skin rejuvenation and body scrubs, therapies, and massages. Hot stone therapy and aromatherapy are signature specialties. Trompe l'oeil gardens surround the pool.

Published: 26 Apr 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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