“Paris is always a good idea.” – Audrey Hepburn
Audrey Hepburn was a British actress and humanitarian. Recognised as a film and fashion icon, she was ranked by the American Film Institute as the third-greatest female screen legend in Golden Age Hollywood, and was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame.
Audrey Hepburn loved Paris. She made six movies there: Funny Face (1957), Love in the Afternoon (1957), Charade (1963), Paris When It Sizzles (1964), How to Steal a Million (1966) and Two for the Road (1967). However, Audrey Hepburn never actually said this famous phrase. But as Sabrina, at the end of the iconic Billy Wilder movie Sabrina, she declares, “Paris is always a good idea.”
Paris contains numerous iconic landmarks, such as the world’s most visited tourist site the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, Moulin Rouge, and Lido, making it the most popular tourist destination in the world with 45 million tourists annually.
- The Eiffel Tower: No other monument better symbolizes Paris. Completed in 1889, this colossal landmark, although initially hated by many Parisians, is now a famous symbol of French civic pride.
- Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral: Being the symbolic heart of Paris, this impressive cathedral is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture which construction began in the 12th century. It was the inspiration for Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. NOTE: Notre Dame Cathedral was struck by a massive fire on April 15, 2019, resulting in the collapse of the roof and the spire.
- Arc de Triomphe: The Arc de Triomphe exudes grandeur and offers a central view of the city. Inspired by the great arches of antiquity, the Arc construction began in 1806, on the orders of Napoleon I to honour the victories of his Grande Armée.
- The Louvre: Home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Louvre is considered one of the greatest art museums in the world with an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages.
- Basilica Sacré Coeur: Perched on top of the highest point in Paris, this Montmartre landmark, a 19th-century basilica built by the French government following the Franco-Prussian War, features a large medieval dome that provides excellent views of the city. Behind the church is the artists’ area.
- Les Invalides is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments related to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building’s original purpose. The Dôme des Invalides is the tallest church in Paris at a height of 107m with the tomb of Napoleon.
- Museum d’Orsay: Once a railroad station, this beautiful museum now houses a staggering collection of Impressionist art created between 1848 and 1914.
- Opera Garnier: Masterpiece of theatre architecture of the 19th century built by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 housing the Paris Opera since it was founded by Louis XIV.
- The Tuileries Garden: Located within the Place de la Concorde, this garden demonstrates the Parisian style of intricate landscaping.
- Pantheon: Underneath, the final resting place for the great heroes of the French Republic including Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie; above, a marvellous view of the city.
- Père-Lachaise Cemetery: Unlike any cemetery in the world. Ornate grave stones, monuments set among tree lined lanes. The graves of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Frederic Chopin, amongst many others.
According to Wikitravel, Paris, the cosmopolitan capital of France, is one of Europe’s largest cities, with 2.2M people living in the dense, central city and almost 12M people living in the whole metropolitan area. Located on the river Seine, Paris has the reputation of being the most beautiful and romantic of all cities. Paris is vastly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food and design. It is home to the world’s finest and most luxurious fashion and cosmetic brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint-Laurent, Guerlain, Lancôme, L’Oréal, Clarins, etc. A large part of the city, including the River Seine, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city has the second highest number of Michelin restaurants in the world (after Tokyo).