Paris Notre Dame by Panoramas

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 12th May 2010 and has been read 50118 times.

The City of LightsCapital of art, home of haute couture, the city of amour, no matter what you choose to call it, there is one thing you can be sure of: there's no place quite like the mesmerising metropolis of Paris. This city has shaped and been shaped by fashion, art and culture. Paris is a relatively small capital city, compared to its European counterparts. But don't be fooled by its snail-like form (all the arrondissements curl in the shape of the French national mollusc); Paris is a city that breathes culture and kudos, day and night.
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Why should I choose Paris for my year abroad?

Home to world-renown artists, bohemians and the fashion-savvy, each neighbourhood offers something different. Be it in the 1er, where you'll be taken aback by the Jardin des Tuileries, the symmetric Place de Vendôme and, of course, the art powerhouse that is Le Louvre. If you'd like to re-enact scenes from Amélie, do head to Montmartre, in the 18th, touristy but well worth a visit for the less crowded, and just as picturesque, side-streets. Here, you can enjoy the breathtaking view from the Sacré-Coeur; you'll be amazed at how such a small city can inspire so much romanticism, in even the most cynical of hearts.

Paris by vincemoblogThe Quartier Latin is brimming with students, and you'll be sure to find a nice eating alcove amidst the many eateries on offer. Shopping fanatics can make their way to rue de Rivoli, with ornate turn-of-last century department stores with vertiginous price tags. Or perhaps you would like to stroll down the vintage stores and grab a shawarma in the trendy Jewish quarter near Saint-Paul station? From there you could always have a short walk to Bastille, historical landmark for the French Revolution.

You can always enjoy the plethora of cool, eccentric bars of Rue de Lappe, with some retro restaurants straight out of a Truffaut film. Loads of art galleries pop up across Parisian streets, so art aficionados can enjoy sculptures, sketches and paintings in any given quartier. The Centre Pompidou will have you mesmerized, as much by its colourful exterior, as by its avant-garde exhibitions (free on the last Sunday of every month). If you fancy some solace away from the hectic blur of the city, head to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, the world's most visited graveyard, with tombs of none other than Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison, to name but a few.

What with France being the birthplace of the much emulated café culture, it would be wise to simply do as the Parisians do and find a good café to take refuge in. It's a really fantastic way to really soak in the hustle and bustle of Parisian life.

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