A weekend in Paris

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Banks of the Seine

Paris should really be explored on foot. Only then can you really appreciate the city's unique character. Where cars once sped along the Seine, pedestrians can finally stroll in peace on a total of seven kilometers between the Place de la Bastille and the Eiffel Tower. You almost automatically walk past the most important sights.

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Paris from above

At 210 meters, the Tour Montparnasse is the tallest building in Paris. The tower's public observation deck at offers a panoramic view of the city and its main landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Behind the Eiffel Tower you can recognize the high-rises in La Défense, the largest purpose-build business district in Europe.

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Eiffel Tower

But the Eiffel Tower is the city's tallest structure, at 324 meters. At seven million tickets sold annually, it's the world's most-visited tourist sight. A lift takes you to the top for 17 euros. But watch out! There's also a charge to climb the stairs. All that's free is the view from the top. The view on this postcard is from the Palais de Chaillot. The Trocadéro gardens are in the foreground.

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Sacré Coeur

The Sacré Coeur Basilica sits atop Montmartre, the city's highest hill, at an elevation of 130 meters. The neo-Byzantine pilgrimage church is one of the most romantic spots in Paris. If you want to avoid the crowds, it's best to come early in the morning or in the evening. The terrace below the main portal is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset above the city of love.

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Louvre Museum

Most visitors to Paris see the Louvre as a must. It's one of the largest museums in the world. The biggest draw is unquestionably Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Once you get into the museum, you need patience. There's no way anyone can see 35,000 exhibits in one day. It's better to select what you want to see before you go - and simply go again.

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Fondation Louis Vuitton

Museums are certainly no rarity in Paris, and in 2014 another museum was added to their ranks. The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Boulogne presents temporary exhibitions of contemporary art. Celebrated architect Frank Gehry designed the spectacular structure that houses it. Galleries and observation decks encourage visitors to explore that building as if it were an installation.

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La Canopée

Another new arrival: since April 2016, this structure has covered the area where Paris's once beloved central market used to stand, and later the Forum des Halles shopping mall led a miserable existence. The complex is called la Canopée, the Canopy. The immense structure unites an urban transit hub, a shopping center, restaurants and a variety of arts venues under its spectacular roof.

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Galeries Lafayette

When it comes to presenting consumer goods in style, 19th-century Paris was already at the forefront. The Grands Magasins were an entirely new kind of department store. The Galeries Lafayette epitomize elegant shopping. Like balconies in an opera house, the galleries around the central space spiral upwards, crowned by a glass dome 42 meters above the floor - sublime retail design.

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Take a break

Sit down and relax for an hour or so! That's best done in one of the many parks - for instance, here in the Jardin des Tuileries near the Louvre. The green metal chairs in the parks are icons of industrial design from 1923. They share a name with the famous Jardin du Luxembourg, where they were first set up: Luxembourg chairs. By the way, until 1974 people had to pay for a seat.

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Stop for a snack

You don't have to pay a lot to get delicious food in expensive Paris. You're in good hands in the Marais, the city's most famous Jewish quarter. On the Rue des Rosiers there's the best falafel in town. It's a joy to stroll through this quiet district with its boutiques, bookshops and bistros. It has largely escaped modern development and its residents are determined to keep it that way.

Stroll through the French capital and see just enough sights to leave yourself time to enjoy the French way of life: ten suggestions for an journey of discovery through the city on the Seine.