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Get ready for beginners’ French
Get ready for beginners’ French

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1 Visit Paris as a tourist

France is a leading tourist destination, welcoming visitors from all over the world. If you live in the United Kingdom, then this is a convenient place to start, with a short trip across the Channel. You can get there by train, via the environmentally friendly Eurostar, arriving right in the centre of Paris.

Paris is one of the most-visited cities in Europe (and the world). It is home to the Eiffel Tower – the most-visited tourist site in the country – an iconic structure which seems to represent Paris in its own right.

If you like to spend your holidays sightseeing in cities, there’s much to see and do in Paris. You can stroll up and down the Seine, and browse the bouquinistes stalls selling antiquarian books and artwork along the banks; you might stop at the Notre Dame cathedral and marvel at the architecture; or visit world-class museums such as the Louvre or the Musée d’Orsay. Take your companions to the Centre Pompidou or walk up the Champs Elysées to the Arc de Triomphe. Look in at the luxury shops along the way (good for some window shopping!). When you reach the Arc, take a moment to pause at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, before climbing the monument for an unforgettable view of the city.

Activity 1 French monuments

Timing: Allow about 5 minutes

How many Parisian monuments and attractions do you recognise? Match the names to the correct photos. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with all of them. You can make guesses, or click to reveal the answers.

Using the following two lists, match each numbered item with the correct letter.

  1. The Eiffel tower / la tour Eiffel

  2. Book and art stalls along the Seine / les bouquinistes

  3. The Notre Dame cathedral / la cathédrale Notre Dame

  4. The Louvre museum / le musée du Louvre

  5. The Pompidou museum / le centre Pompidou

  6. The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees / l’Arc de Triomphe et les Champs Elysées

  7. The Sacré Cœur / le Sacré Cœur

  • a.A row of market stalls.

  • b.A palatial building with a large glass pyramid before it.

  • c.A large cathedral.

  • d.A church, built visibly higher than its surroundings.

  • e.A large monument built at the juncture of twelve avenues.

  • f.A building with its structural elements visible on the outside.

  • g.A tall iron tower located close to the river.

The correct answers are:
  • 1 = g
  • 2 = a
  • 3 = c
  • 4 = b
  • 5 = f
  • 6 = e
  • 7 = d