Happy New Year! We hope you’ve enjoyed the holidays, with lots of fun, festivities, friends and family. This time of year often invites reflection, as we look back over the previous 12 months and think about how we are going to treat the next. So, with a contemplative spirit, we’ve decided to look back at what developments have been taking place in Paris, and why they are good news for you – our future visitor!
Do Look Down
Let’s start with the most tourist-focussed change that was revealed in 2014: the glass floor of the Eiffel Tower! The first floor of the tower, usually skipped past by most visitors, has been given a $38.4 million facelift, and now offers a dizzying experience where you can stand and look straight down to the people waiting in queues*, 57 meters below.
A Day at the River
Cross the road from the Eiffel Tower and go down to the river Seine. Turn right, and a little further down, by the Pont d’Alma, you’ll find yourself at the start of the new “Les Berges” – a newly-renovated pedestrianized section of the riverbank full of activities for kids and adults alike: from riverside cafés and zhumba classes to floating gardens and games.
After five years of renovation and restoration, the Picasso Museum in Paris reopened in late 2014. Housed in the stunning Hôtel Salé, a 17th century Baroque mansion in the Marais district, the museum has now doubled in size. Not only are there over 400 pieces by Picasso himself, but also a selection of paintings he owned, by artists such as Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin, Miró and Matisse among others.
Getting Around Town
It’s not been easy for people living on the outskirts of the city center to get into Paris, with public transport limited and unreliable. But the long-term plan to make the lesser known suburbs more accessible is slowly taking shape, with the extension of the tramway resulting in two new lines: 6 and 8. The long-term goal is to encircle the city with a tramway, and to extend metro lines further into the “banlieue” (suburbs). This is good news for residents, of course, but also for tourists, who will have a larger selection of potential areas to stay in – and thereby lower prices – in a city where hotels do not come cheap.
Bio is Big
In French, “Bio” means organic, and the demand for fresh food and locally-sourced produce is growing bigger and bigger in Paris. It spells good news for healthy-minded tourists, who are often concerned about eating out in a country famous for a carb-heavy, cheese and meat based diet. There is now a plethora of organic food stores and restaurants, as well as more and more vegetarian and vegan eateries. Santé!
Have a look at the positive changes that have been going on in the ‘City of Light’ on a fun segway tour. If you’re on your way over soon, there’s a special deal on, with reductions on tours until February 28!
*Psssst! You don’t have to queue if you go on one of our Skip the Line tours…