A world city that merits the hype
All of the exalted babble about the "city of lights" can be enough to make you lose your crèpes. But Paris really is one of those places that every traveler should experience at least once. There are more landmarks here than arrondissements, yet every visitor will experience a thrill the first time the spindly span of the Eiffel Tower lurches into view. The Louvre will fulfill your lifetime quota for big-name masterpieces, and if you stop to contemplate the number of great artists and thinkers who have worked and wandered in this iconic city, you might experience a flash of existential pleasure. There’s a lot of history in Paris, and you can get to the bottom of it all with a voyage into the catacombs. Those with claustrophobia can visit any of the city's famous department stores or experience price-tag anxiety in the boutiques that crowd the chic boulevards. Oh, and come hungry. Paris really isn’t Paris without food. Café culture occupies a good part of any Parisian’s time, so you’d be remiss if you didn't pass a few hours doing likewise. At night, catch the Parisian cabaret. The performers seem even more brilliant after an absinthe, but you didn’t hear that from us. Paris is a legendary monster of a city, but with the right attitude and a bit of time, you can find some part of it to call your own.