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Paris

Paris Travel Guide

Everything you need to know on where to eat, stay and play in Paris. Paris, the city of light, the most romantic city on earth… whatever the superlative-laden description you use, they all apply here. The French capital as we know it today was settled by the Parsii people between 259 and 225 BC on the Ile de la Cité, on the banks of the Seine which is now occupied by Notre Dame and more than a few souvenir shops. Since then Paris has endured a colourful history, including a Roman conquering, vikings, a royal monarchy and a revolution or two along the way. Now a sprawling multicultural metropolis of 2.2 million people (there are over 12 million people in the wider urban Paris area), the city is divided into 20 arrondissements containing a number of distinctive neighbourhoods and world-famous sites. Among the city’s most iconic landmarks is Montmartre with its rich art history and Sacré Coeur; the literary enclave of Saint-Germain-des-Prés; the funky former Jewish quarter of the Marais; the haut shopping (and even hautier ladies) along Rue Saint Honoré (pronounced Honeray), the Louvre, the Champs Élysées and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. Whatever your travel tastes, here is International Traveller’s guide to the latest and greatest in Paris.

Paris france food Eiffel tower tour
Review: 58 Tour Eiffel, Paris
Tourist fare or tour de force? Tiana Templeman takes a chance on a dining experience at the iconic Eiffel Tower.   It is hard not to feel just a little bit smug as we stroll past the enormous lift queues and join the small line for those dining at 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant. My husband and I are heading to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower for an evening of French wine, fine cuisine and romance. Or, at least that’s what we hope. We could also be heading for two hours of dining hell with bad function food, cheap vino and every tour group in Paris. With the iconic wrought iron structure towering above us, it’s impossible not to get caught up in the excitement as everyone in the restaurant’s exclusive lift jostles for position, eager to catch a glimpse of Paris and tonight’s dining venue. Our sense of expectation (and impatience) builds as we mill around the grand double doors that open with a flourish at precisely 6.30pm; everyone is seated across the restaurant’s two levels in minutes, with tour groups allocated a separate area, away from the intimate tables for two and four. 58 Tour Eiffel offers three pre-booked options for dinner, priced from $118 to $165, depending on the table location and whether wine is included. It’s our lucky night because our mid-priced ‘privileged seating in the main room’ booking ends up having the same Trocadéro view as the most expensive tables, albeit one row back from the window. With two two-hour seatings per night, 58 Tour Eiffel runs with military precision, although our friendly waiter manages to give the illusion that his guests have all the time in the world. We have just finished our welcome glass of Champagne when the entrée of spiced king prawns arrives, served atop a colourful scattering of avocado, grapefruit and sweet edible blooms. The dish is far better than we expected from what is essentially a tourist restaurant. The roast herbed guinea fowl breast that follows, with mashed potato, green asparagus and mushroom cream is quintessentially French and equally impressive, as is my husband’s choice of grilled lamb. Fortunately, there is a break before the rich chocolate marquise for dessert, which leaves us time to enjoy the view and another glass of wine before we end our evening with a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, bien sûr.   Details 58 Tour Eiffel, Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, Paris, France.   The IT Verdict With food and service that exceeds expectations, this iconic dining experience delivers. Location: 10 / 10 Dining atop the Eiffel Tower is hard to top. Style / character: 6 / 10 The food and the view beat the bland, beige décor. Service: 8 / 10 Friendly and professional. Atmosphere: 8 / 10 Bustling and lively with a touch of romance. Value for money: 8 / 10 Better than expected given the exchange rate. Notes: You can also visit for a picnic-style lunch without a reservation.   All IT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.  

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