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Ranked as one of the most important and influential cities in the world, Paris is among the most-visited of all tourist destinations.

Facts like these are simultaneously impressive and unnerving, and frequently leave would-be visitors asking themselves whether they truly want to travel to such a popular destination. The answer to this question, however, should always be yes, for, despite its popularity, Paris has retained its essential Paris-ness, unhampered by the visiting hordes.

Overcrowded spots in the city are easily avoided, and fade in comparison with the grandeur of the city’s cultural and architectural landmarks and the unswerving vibrancy of the street life. Nowhere else will you find such an exhilarating mix of tradition and modern chic, of high culture and the everyday. What’s more, Paris is so compact that you are quite likely to experience all of these within 24 hours. Common sights on any given day might include market men and women selling their wares with love and dedication, trendy young students rushing to the Sorbonne, and chic Parisians wandering down the streets on their way to a pavement café or a cozy bar for an apéritif with friends.

Whether you come for the shopping, the culture, the food, the events or simply the ambiance, you are guaranteed to have the trip of a lifetime, or indeed the first of many trips of a lifetime; Paris has a way of drawing people back over and over again, each time to discover something new.

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