The Ile-de-France region offers a unique and ideal backdrop for any vacation: from the Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame to the Moulin Rouge, the emblematic monuments of Paris rival the châteaux, landscapes, forests and valleys of its surrounding areas.
Admire the fantastic view over the rooftops of Paris from the steps of Sacré Cœur in Montmartre, or from the top of the Arc de triomphe, from the 5th floor of the Centre Pompidou, or even from the top of the Montparnasse Tower or the roof of the “Grande Arche”. Ile-de-France is filled with destinations that are ideal for visiting with friends or family. Famous sites throughout the region, outside of Paris, include Disneyland Paris, France Miniature, the Musée Grévin waxworks museum, the City of Science and Industry, and the Jardin d'Acclimatation. From the National Museum of Archeology in Saint-Germain-en-Laye to the Château de Versailles, the region is filled with French history.
From the National Park in Saint-Cloud to the Forest of Fontainebleau, to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Jardin des Tuileries and the tranquil Buttes-Chaumont , Ile-de-France region combines nature and relaxation. Four regional natural parks offer all the charms and the diversity of the Ile-de France countryside.
See Ile-de-France through the eyes of painters: the Château d'Auvers-sur-Oise or the Island of the Impressionists will transport you straight into the landscapes that have been immortalized by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, Daubigny and Pissarro. This pictorial discovery will lead you to some of the top museums in the world, such as the Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay.
Paris boasts nearly 70 Michelin-starred restaurants and a vast number of prestigious establishments. Typical brasseries serve French classics such as steak-frites and pommes parisiennes (Parisian potatoes), as well as more elaborate "bistro" style dishes. If you want to grab some food on the go, opt for a traditional simple baguette sandwich with ham and butter from any boulangerie, and enjoy a picnic on a bench in one of the many parks.
The Ile-de-France region produces a vast number of gourmet products: Houdan poultry, lamb from Ile-de-France, as well as Parisian mushrooms and cress from Méréville. The local cheeses (Brie from Meaux, Melun or Coulommiers) rival the fantastic desserts of the region, such as the Paris-Brest praline pastry, chouquettes or Cream Puffs and colorful macarons. There are also many recipes made with peppermint from Milly or cherries from Montmorency.
The Agricultural Fair in Paris brings together all these specialties, as well as many others from all over France. You can also find these local specialties at the International Cheese and Wine Fair in Coulommiers, at the National Ham Fair and Fleamarket or at the Fair in Corbeil-Essonnes.
Paris- Ile-de-France hosts more than 700 events per year: festivals, concerts, exhibitions, performances, fairs, sporting events and more. The city is constantly showcasing innovate modern and contemporary artworks as well as ancient and classical art within the many cultural institutions, from museums to galleries to the opera house to theatre houses.
Some of the top events that enliven the streets of Paris annually include the Tropical Carnival, Techno Parade, Gay Pride parade, and Nuit Blanche festivities. Other festivals, such as Jazz à Saint-Germain-des-Prés Festival and the Foire Saint-Germain showcase the city’s village-feel, which the capital has retained over the years. Numerous events and music festivals give Ile-de-France its rhythm: Banlieues Bleues Festival, Solidays, Rock en Seine, and more.
Ile-de-France invites you to share in the thrills of many great sporting events: the Hermès Show Jumping at the Grand Palais, the Roland-Garros tennis tournament, the finish line of the Tour de France on the Champs-Elysées and the final of the Top 14 rugby at the Stade de France.
Alongside the existing iconic monuments, many new sites have emerged: the Arab World Institute, the ‘First Arts’ Museum of Quai Branly, the film library, the City of Music, the Great Arch of Defense, the Opera at the Bastille, the François Mittrand Library (at the heart of a new district), “Docks en Seine”: the Cube at Issy-les-Moulineaux, the Cathedral of the Resurrection at Evry, the Grand Stadium of France at St. Denis, and the Museum Mac/Val at Ivry-sur-Seine.
Whether you are interested in sports, culture, food or history, whether you are a shopaholic, a fashionista, a fan of contemporary design or a party animal, Ile-de-France has something for everyone.