What to do in Paris
Paris, often referred to as the "City of Lights," is a destination that captivates visitors with its rich history, iconic landmarks and exquisite cuisine. In this article, we’ll delve into the must-visit places that define the Parisian experience.
Get to the Eiffel Tower
Undoubtedly the most iconic symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower stands as a testament to architectural brilliance. Visitors can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top for breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The tower is particularly enchanting at night when it sparkles with thousands of twinkling lights.
Visit the Notre-Dame Cathedral
Despite the devastating fire in 2019, Notre-Dame remains a symbol of Parisian Gothic architecture. While the interior is under restoration, the exterior still captivates with its intricate detailing and stunning flying buttresses. A stroll along the Seine River offers picturesque views of this historic landmark.
See the Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe
The grand avenue of Champs-Élysées, lined with theaters, cafes and shops, leads to the majestic Arc de Triomphe. The arch honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Ascend the arch for panoramic views of Champs-Élysées and the city beyond.
Explore the Musée du Louvre
Housing an extensive collection of art and artifacts, the Louvre is the world’s largest art museum. Home to masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, the museum is a treasure trove for art enthusiasts. Plan your visit wisely, as the Louvre’s sheer size can be overwhelming, and it’s advisable to focus on specific sections or exhibits.
Walk through Montmarte
This artistic neighborhood perched on a hill offers a rich cultural atmosphere and stunning views of the city. Explore the cobbled streets, visit the charming Place du Tertre where artists display their work and don’t miss a chance to see the iconic Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Montmartre’s unique character attracted artists like Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh in the past.
Consider some day trips from Paris
Just outside the city limits are some worthwhile destinations if you have a spirit for jaunty adventures.
- Versailles: Just a short train ride from Paris, the Palace of Versailles is a UNESCO World Heritage site that epitomizes the grandeur of French royalty. Explore the opulent palace, stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens and marvel at the Hall of Mirrors.
- Giverny: Art enthusiasts will appreciate a day trip to Giverny, the home of renowned Impressionist painter Claude Monet. Visit Monet’s house and gardens, which served as inspiration for many of his masterpieces, including the iconic Water Lilies series.
- Château de Fontainebleau: Another gem located just outside Paris is the Château de Fontainebleau. This historic palace, a former residence of French monarchs, boasts stunning architecture, beautiful gardens and a rich history that spans centuries.
From the enchanting Eiffel Tower to the charming streets of Montmartre, Paris offers a plethora of attractions and experiences. The landmarks are also cultural marvels and, while they could be called tourist traps, they’re actually somewhat essential places to visit when in the world-renowned City of Lights.