Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.

PARIS & ILE-DE-FRANCE TRAVEL GUIDE





Despite its name, Ile-de-France is not an island. No spot could be less insular than this province at the heart of Europe, since archaic times a strategic crossroads between Britain and the Mediterranean, Germany and Spain. Home to some twenty percent of France's inhabitants — or about fifteen million souls — Ile-de-France is the nation's richest, most populous and productive region. Some might be tempted to view Paris, with its sumptuous monuments and historic sites, as a shrine to the glories of past kingdoms and empires. But that is not the whole story. Paris is a high-energy modern metropolis, a creative world capital.

The dining room of Restaurant Lasserre, one of our Top 10 French Restaurants in Paris
CRÈME DE LA CRÈME
Top French Restaurants in Paris

Since no one does French cuisine better than the French, it is no surprise that Paris boasts many of the world's best bistros, brasseries, cafés and restaurants in the world.


THE CLASSICS: REVISITED
Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée

With unconventional décor and revisited classic dishes, Alain Ducasse first caused a sensation at the Plaza Athénée at the start of the century. See what's changed a decade later.

The dining room of Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee

L'Auberge D'chez Eux in Paris

AFFORDABLE FINDS
Paris Bistros on a Budget

We've rounded up the best Parisian bistros where you can dine on simple dishes such as carefully simmered soups, lamb legs and stewed apple compote for a reasonable price.


OUI, CHEF!
Ritz Escoffier School

Learn from the masters themselves at one of the most esteemed hotels (which is temporarily closed for renovations until 2014) in the country. From French gastronomy to winemaker classes, there is something to satisfy every gourmand.



Ritz Escoffier School

Check out our guide to the Best Bistros in Paris

CLASSIC PARIS
10 Best Bistros in Paris
Known for comforting food and warm, romantic environments, bistros are ideal places to eat while in Paris, the city that made them famous. Check out our top picks.


THE CHARMS OF CHANTILLY
A Grand Castle on the Water
Reflected in the shimmering waters of its moat, the Château de Chantilly, located about 40 kilometers from Paris, looks like a fairytale castle, almost too perfect to be true.
Check out our feature on Château de Chantilly, located about 40 kilometers from Paris

Learn more about sightseeing in Paris with our 72-hour vacation guide

72-HOUR VACATION
A Veritable Feast
Chic, cosmopolitan and vibrant, Paris is the ultimate walking city. We don't recommend gearing up for a monument marathon including mechanical stops at the Eiffel Tower, L'Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame and the Louvre. Paris itself is the attraction, to be savored slowly and sensuously, as even the ordinary features of daily life are aesthetically appealing: walking around, shopping, stopping for a café and people watching.


VAUX-LE-VICOMTE
The Lost Château
of
Nicolas Fouquet
Vaux-le-Vicomte is located 55 kilometers southeast of Paris. Its opulence is awe-inspiring: the gilding alone is worth a trip. On Friday and Saturday nights in season, visitors can experience the ambience of the festivities held in 1661 in honor of Louis XIV.

Read our feature on Vaux-le-Vicomte, The Lost Château of Nicolas Fouquet




(Updated: 10/04/13 CT)

Whether looking to travel across the Australian Outback, the Canadian Rockies or historic Europe, these opulent trains will let travelers see the countryside in comfort.
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