A cultural weekend in Paris seems like the perfect short break, until you see the queues. Plans start off so hopeful, with at least ten museums and monuments to be visited in one day. But as the minutes slowly trickle by standing in the never-ending queue for the Louvre, the likelihood of getting round all the 'must-see' sites dwindles and vanishes.
But never fear, Paris has finally come up with a solution for those determined to see all the culture this city has to offer. The Paris Museum Pass is valid for two, four or six days and allows free entry - as well as the indispensable queue jump - into more than 60 museums in central Paris and the surrounding region. Walk straight into the Musée d'Orsay, the Centre Pompidou or the Musée du Quai Branly as many times as you like without waiting a moment in line.
As there is so much to do, perhaps take a long weekend to retrace the footsteps of Napoleon. Start off with a visit to his tomb at L'Hôtel des Invalides before climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, built in homage to the emperor's imperial victories and the victims of his numerous and bloody wars. Then head off to Fontainebleau to explore its excellent museum, as well as Napoleon's own rooms and the Malmaison Castle, home to his wife Josephine.
If this doesn't take your fancy, why not spend the weekend exploring the art and culture of the world - from Africa and Asia to the Americas. Start at the National Museum of Asian Arts, then move onto the Musée du Quai Branly and finish with a visit to the Institut du Monde Arabe.
Art lovers will also enjoy a tour of the workshops and homes of the artists that have made Paris the flourishing art capital that it is today. Take some time to visit the Musée National Eugène Delacroix and Gustave Moreau Museum, which is actually located in his old apartment and studio. The Rodin Museum is also one of the top on the list, as well as the reconstructed studio of Brancusi and the Musée Maurice Denis.
Fans of medieval and renaissance art are too spoilt for choice to be able to cram everything into a single weekend. However, the Basilica Cathedral in Saint-Denis, the Chateau de Vincennes and the Notre Dame are good places to start. After that, why not try the Musée de Cluny and take a trip out to Sainte-Chapelle for even more beautiful examples of medieval art and architecture.A weekend of outdoor activities in the Baie de Somme Spa weekend