There are many sides to Paris. It's a city that wears its heart on its sleeve and is impossible to pigeonhole - and that, of course, is an essential part of its charm. For a first-time visitor, its A-List attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Louvre Museum take top billing, but that's only scratching the surface. You'll find that each neighbourhood has its own distinct personality and comes with a plethora of cafes, shops, and attractions - enjoy the grandiose boulevards of the Champ-Élysées, the quaint bistros of Montmartre, the art galleries of Le Marais, and the bookshops of the Latin Quarter. Then engage in a little shopping, and see why Parisian chic is famed the world over for being the epitome of style - duck into the vaunted Galeries Lafayette or Printemps where you will find gourmet food, designer clothes, jewellery and homeware. However, it's food where Paris really excels, experience fine dining in one of 100 Michelin-starred restaurants that have made a home here. However, you can also simply stroll along the River Seine and Paris will reveal itself to you - see Île de la Cité, the Musée d'Orsay, the Bastille, and the Grand Palais all nestling against its sun-splashed banks, and wind your way to its most famous attraction, the Tour Eiffel.
Paris welcomes visitors throughout the year. If your plan is to explore the city on foot, then visit in the spring or autumn when the weather is a pleasant 10-20°C. July is the hottest month with temperatures peaking at around 25°C, January the coldest (a nippy 5°C), and May the wettest. Temperatures can vary by 5-10°C in all seasons, so check the forecast ahead of your trip. It's worth remembering that many Parisians take their annual holiday in August and many businesses, including restaurants, shut down for the month.
There is no doubt that Paris is among the elite of culinary capitals - and some would argue that it's the finest. The city's reputation as a gastronomic hotspot is recognised by food critics, discerning foodies and demanding residents - and now it's your time to experience something special. So, what can you expect? Chefs push the boundaries in three-star Michelin restaurants, while classic dishes and regional French specialities are de rigueur in neighbourhood bistros. There's a flourishing cocktail bar scene, while the neo-bistro revolution shows no sign of halting.
You will need a valid passport to travel and it's advisable to carry some identification with you - a photocopy of your passport is fine. Visit GOV.UK for advice on passports, visas and other travel necessities.