Photo by Cristian Bortes  –  Link

Paris

France

A lot of places don't live up to their reputation and hype, but Paris is one of those rare breeds that most certainly does. The world's most romantic city is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world thanks to its stunning mix of Renaissance and classical architecture, its never-ending roster of cultural events and activities, and its top-notch selection of restaurants and bars. 

The magic of Paris is in its utter variety. Historic landmarks like the centuries-old Notre Dame and Jardin du Luxembourg are juxtaposed against more modern structures like the glass pyramid at the Louvre and the iconic Eiffel Tower, arguably the most recognisable tower in the world. Luxury hotels and designer boutiques populate Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Trocadéro, while the bohemian-inclined flock to hipster arrondissements like Le Marais and Canal Saint-Martin. Whether you've been to Paris a thousand times before or not even once, there's always something new to discover.

Paris is always a good idea

Not only is Paris a dreamscape for tourists looking for a romantic and varied trip, but it's also ideal for visiting at any time of year. In the summer time, streetside cafes fill up with fashionable Parisiens and Parisiennes snacking on iconic French specialities like croissants, foie gras and steak frites. Festivals and open-air musical events bring life and energy to the city, and on the 14th of July the Champs-Elysee is lit up with fireworks to celebrate Bastille Day. On long summer afternoons, people flock to the banks of the River Seine to watch the sun set over the city. The weather is pretty consistently pleasant, with temperatures getting up to around 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) in the height of summer.

Meanwhile, when December hits, the city transforms into a winter wonderland. Christmas markets illuminated by twinkle lights are filled with the aroma of mulled wine and sugary treats. Grand buildings like the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay look even more romantic blanketed in snow, and the famous department stores Printemps and Galeries Lafayette are decorated with festive window displays to mark the holiday season. With fewer tourists coming to Paris in the winter than in the summer, it's the perfect time to visit and get the authentic experience. Or, of course, you could wait til spring, when the gardens start to blossom and picnic season officially kicks off.

To sum up, in the wise words of Audrey Hepburn, "Paris is always a good idea."

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