French Travel Highlights

Paul Baderman 
by our France expert Paul Baderman
Below are some of the French Travel Highlights from our Travel Experts. If you have any France tips, reviews or highlights of your own that youíd like to share with our experts then please send them to us here.
Where culture, ancient history and antiquities are exhibited in world-class presentation to interest people of all ages - The Louvre Museum, Paris. Really you need to set aside more than a day - youíll need many weeks to see it all but if you have only a day I strongly recommend, before you leave home, you go on to The Louvre Museumís site to work out your priorities because the 35,000 works of art, in eight departments over 60,000 sq metres of exhibition space will take ever so long to try to work out your 'tour' when you get there. Iíve been several times and will go again, for sure. The massive building was first a palace before being opened as a museum in 1793 and since then has evolved to be a major Paris tourist attraction in the 21st century. The collection includes sculptures, paintings, antiquities from all over the world, decorative arts and of course everyone wants to see the Mona Lisa. I found her a little disappointing but donít let me influence your view; on the opposite wall there is a huge, grand religious painting and I find that much more impressive - each time I see it I find more dogs somewhere in the superb work. My favourite place in The Louvre is in the Richlieu Wing - Napoleon IIIís palace rooms. Now truly when to arrive in this gold and red-themed suite of rooms and passageways, with large, bright chandeliers you will be blown away with the grandeur. Last time I visited the Venus de Milo (Aphrodite) which was found on an island and now stands proudly in The Louvre and attracts many visitors - I liked her and of course sheís in my photo album. You enter via the modern pyramid and thereís a huge reception area where you buy your tickets and get the all important pamphlet which outlines all the different areas and then you make your way up the escalators and choose where you want to visit. The Louvre Museum is culturally and historically important in Paris, indeed for France so include it on your next visit if you like the best from your travel spend.
Lois R
Paris is a beautiful city and is one that can be better appreciated by foot (or by water - try the Bateaux-Mouches for a great view of the city from the River Seine). Keep away from the over-priced and often poorly executed restaurants around the Champs-Elysees - try asking the Concierge in your hotel for local recommendations.
Maria Kenny
Paris has seduced me. This intimate partner and I have many a rendezvous in our memories. The French capital is so easy to get around, underground or on the buses but best of all the Parisienne Walk: stroll amid the history, great shopping, green parks and make sure you go up the city-sights opportunities like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc d'Triomph - it is fabulous from above. One of my favourite places is the Napoleon suite in the Louvre Museum - gold, red and chandeliers abound - stunning. Notre Dame cathedral is a wonder to behold, inside and out: I just love the stain-glass windows and several times I've experienced a mass there - heavenly. Paris eateries are superb and I just love popping in to the Latin Quarter to roam around the little restaurants lane - perfect Paris!
Lois Ronberg
Head to Monmartre, and stand on the steps beneath the basilica. Stretching out before you are the most marvellous views of Paris.
St Raphael
If the Riviera seems a bit expensive, why not try the lesser known towns of St Raphael and neighbouring Frejus as better value alternatives to Nice, Cannes etc.


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