Seine River

How to beat the queues at the Eiffel Tower

When the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889, it was originally – like the London Eye – intended to be a temporary installation, the entrance to the Exposition Universalle in the French capital. Once the magnificently tapering structure was complete, it quickly became the biggest draw in Paris. Plans to dismantle it were overturned, and for the next 41 years it was the highest structure in the world (until superseded by the Chrysler Building in New York).

Paris in the springtime

Yes, now really is the best time to enjoy the French capital before the heat and the hordes of summer arrive. By Harriet O'Brien

Sarkozy's summer of scandal

He came to power as a new kind of politician. Now the French President is beset by old-fashioned troubles. Can he survive?

48 Hours in: Revolutionary Paris

Liberty? Equality? Fraternity? As France celebrates Bastille Day, explore the capital's rebellious side, says Harriet O'Brien

Traveller's Guide: Normandy

In the fifth of our six-part series produced in association with Footprint Travel Guides, Andrew Sanger explores France's grandest duchy

Book Of A Lifetime: Of Walking On Ice, By Werner Herzog

Simple acts of walking are threaded through the fiction of many writers, such as Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Franz Kafka, who put their characters on the road for compelling reasons. So it seemed an idea to round them all up, and steer them into an anthology called The Burning Leg. Twenty authors gathered. Except my favourite was missing, because his words are non-fiction, though they flow fantastically. Quest, myth and even farce colour the pages of his rich and remarkable diary - the sort of diary that invites you to stop reading before pulling on your Timberlands.

The greatest wine sale ever known

The Tour d'Argent's cellar is one of the best in the world, but it is running out of space. So the Parisien restaurant has decided to sell off 18,000 bottles – and there are bargains to be had.

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Travel By Numbers: Normandy

As D-Day is commemorated, Ben Ross counts the ways this French region can provide inspiration for the visitor

Monet's green fields are no more

A sprawling industrial town stands where 'Les Coquelicots' once grew. John Lichfield returns to the scenes that inspired Monet – and finds a country rediscovering its past