Paris assaults the senses, demanding to be seen, heard, touched, tasted and smelt. From romance along the Seine to landscapes on bus-sized canvases to the pick-an-ism types in cafés monologuing on the use of garlic or the finer points of Jerry Lewis, Paris is the essence of all things French.
Gaze rapturously at its breezy boulevards, impressive monuments, great works of art and magic lights. Savour its gourmet pastiche of cheese, chocolate, wine and seafood. Feel the wind in your face as you rollerblade through Bastille, or a frisson of fear and pleasure atop the Eiffel Tower.
Paris is a city to discover. So see the sights, visit the museums - they're part of the experience. But then jump on the metro or a bus and get off at a place you've never heard of, wander through a quartier where French mixes with Arabic or Vietnamese, poke your head into mysterious shops, have lunch in a local restaurant, or just perch on a café terrace with a vin blanc and let yourself fall in love with your very own Paris.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track