Around Paris and its famous monuments, Île-de-France has an indisputable wealth of heritage and sites of natural beauty. So do not hesitate to make a foray outside of the boulevard périphérique to see them!
Behind the historic gems of the Palaces of Versailles and Fontainebleau, the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte and Basilica of St-Denis, venues dedicated to contemporary art are emerging, such as Vitry-sur-Seine's MAC/VAL. The region is also something of a hotbed of architectural innovation: see, for example, the skyscrapers of La Défense business district or the Fondation Louis Vuitton, in the Bois de Boulogne, which was designed by Frank Gehry.
Delve into the area's history and explore Roman Gaul at the St-Germain-en-Laye Museum, the Middle Ages in Provins, the Renaissance at the Château d'Écouen, the Great War at Meaux's museum (Musée de la Grande Guerre). Once you have taken in the attractions of Disneyland Paris, you will be delighted to remember that the region is also first and foremost a vast area of countryside, from Fontainebleau Forest, Vexin Nature Park and the Haute-Vallée de Chevreuse, to the bucolic riverbanks of the Marne and the Oise. Île-de-France certainly boasts a diverse hand.
Michelin's recommendations for Island of France
Recently excavated Pre-Incan treasures
Finely chiselled gold jewellery and puma-shaped, stirrup-spout earthenware bottles – the recent discoveries of the Moche culture unearthed at the Trujillo archaeological site and in the tomb at Lambayaque bear witness to the expert craft skills of the early Andean cities along the northern coast of Peru.
Paris : the Swan Isle (l’île aux Cygnes)
The 37 bridges of Paris
Unlike many other great world capitals whose rivers flow apart from the modern centre, the River Seine has always had pride of place in Paris. Indeed, the Seine’s Île de la Cité is still today one of the city’s geographical and institutional hubs. It’s no wonder, then, that Paris has so many bridges - 37 as of 2006 - to attest to the great river’s determining role in its history.