Cities > Paris Travel Guide: travelgasm.com

Paris, France — nicknamed "La Ville Lumière" which translates into English as the "City of Light" or "City of Lights" and perhaps either refers to its position as a center of knowledge during the Enlightenment or its early use of gas street lighting — commonly is one of the most dreamed about and visited cities in the world.

From Claude Monet and Auguste Rodin to Ernest Hemingway and Woody Allen, Paris has long nurtured generations of artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative types, Parisien and expatriate alike. Creatives no doubt are attracted to the culture and business climate of Paris that embrace fashion and the arts as well as to its built environment and architecture that — at its best — can inspire artistic expression all by itself. Tourists, in turn, often are attracted by the visions of Paris that so many creatives have presented to the world.

Much of the core of Paris largely is unchanged from its Haussmann renovation in the 1800s, but rebuilding after WWII, 1960s Corbusian Modernism, and more recent glass and steel structures have slithered their way into and around the older portions of the city. Older lines on the Paris Métropolitain — among the earliest underground trains in the world — can be gritty and tattered, but the network does an admirable job overall and makes it easy to explore the entire city. If you've ever wondered why so many underground trains are named the "metro," it's because Paris has lent the name of its subway to subsequent systems the world over.

Although Paris is not an inexpensive city, travelgasm.com has found that a weaker Euro relative to other global currencies means that perhaps now is a more affordable time to visit Paris than in past years. Read on to make the most of your voyage...