Paris. 10 things to do.
The city that teaches you to enjoy life. Being lost through cafes, restaurants, museums, strolling along the banks of the Seine, it is normal to want an endless vacation in the heart of the romantic and agitated Paris. The tourist attractions emerge without stopping, the rhythm of the city seduces you, the food and the selective wines convince you of the French culinary supremacy. As Hemingway said, “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
Beyond all the famous tourist attractions, Paris cultivates intimacy. Its neighborhoods are like a network of villages, each with its distinct universe. In each of these you will discover a local community with shops, cafes and restaurants set up many decades ago, picturesque figures and bohemian stories. This is only one of the "fortress’ " faces and we are proposing you to explore Paris at your own pace.
We propose you 10 things to do while in Paris and you can choose those who are the most appropriate for you:
1. Visit the Eiffel Tower
No, we do not mean to wait in line for hours to go up to the tower. You can admire it from nearby. The Trocadéro is one of the best places for seeing the tower, or you can get up close and personal with him as well. We also suggest grabbing a bottle of wine or a pastry nearby. If you want to go up, it is better to reach here early in the morning.
The third platform of the Eiffel Tower has one of the best views over Paris, stretching for 70 km, as far as the outskirts of the French capital, Charles de Gaulle airport and the countryside beyond its suburbs. If your aim is to admire Paris itself, it is better to come down to the second platform, from where everything will look closer and you will be able to see the city’s most famous monuments in detail. Although being the highest viewing point of France, the Eiffel Tower is too far west for a really good panorama.
2. Get up to the Arc de Triomphe
A staggering arc in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle. This is a great view of the Avenue des the Champs-Élysées, one of our favorite streets. In order to get up to the Arc, take the underground passage so you can explore around it and climb up the 284 steps to the top. We think this is one of the best views in of the city.
A commemorative flame for France's Unknown Soldier is rekindled everyday at 6:30 PM. That's the most appropriate time to visit. In order to avoid the crowds, come early in the morning or buy your ticket online.
3. Visit Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral
We think the main old churches and basilicas contain the story of the city they are in. This Gothic place of prayer is the symbolic heart of the Paris and, for many, of France itself. Napoleon was crowned here, and kings and queens exchanged marriage vows before its altar.
Highlights of the cathedral include its three spectacular rose windows, treasury and bell towers which can be climbed. Be sure you don’t miss the the North Tower, the 400-odd steps spiral to the top of the western facade will bring yourself face-to-face with frightening gargoyles and a spectacular view of Paris.
The best time to visit the Cathedral is early morning, when it is brightest and least crowded. One of the best views of the cathedral is from square Jean XXIII, the little park behind the cathedral.
4. Admire top Paris sights from the river on a relaxed Seine sightseeing cruise
The Seine is the river that runs through the city. Enhance your Paris sightseeing experience on a glamorous Bateaux Parisiens Seine River cruise, including dinner and live music. Enjoy unobstructed views through floor-to-ceiling windows and pass world-famous Paris monuments as they begin to illuminate in the sunset. Live French music and dishes inspired by classic French cuisine will create an unforgettable atmosphere.
5. Wander through the Louvre Museum
Louvre holds tens of thousands of works of art – from Mesopotamian, Egyptian and Greek antiquities to masterpieces by artists such as da Vinci (including his incomparable Mona Lisa), Michelangelo and Rembrandt – it’s no surprise that this is one of the world’s most visited museums.
For many, the main attraction is Leonardo da Vinci’s painting “Gioconda”, better known as Mona Lisa (Room 6, 1st floor, Denon).
It is Important to be with someone who can guide you through the labyrinth of galleries and corridors. This is a must-see attraction at least once in a lifetime.
6. Explore the Catacombs
Paris’ most macabre attraction is its underground tunnels lined with skulls and bones. In 1785 it was decided to solve the sanitary problems of Paris’ overwhelmed cemeteries by exhuming the bones and moving them in disused quarry tunnels. The Catacombs were created in 1810.
After descending 20m (by 130 narrow, dizzying spiral steps), follow dark, underground passages to the ossuary (1.5km in all).
The terrain is uneven and can be slippery – sturdy shoes are the most recommended. In the tunnels the temperature is a cool 14°C, the only toilets are by the exit and flash photography isn't permitted. It's not appropriate for young children or faint-hearted persons.
7. Admire the city from top of the Montparnasse Tower
We think it is the best view over Paris! The 56th floor of Montparnasse Tower is ideally located to discover all of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre and the Luxembourg Garden appear under new perspectives.
8. Take a walk in the Luxembourg Garden
The Luxembourg garden is the largest public park in Paris. The garden contains over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains, all scattered throughout the grounds. In the morning, you’ll see lots of runners. For lunch, we recommend you to have a picnic here if you have time and it is a nice day.
9. Take a stop on Isle of the Swans
Paris has three islands on Seine. The third of them and the least-known island, the artificially created Île aux Cygnes, was formed in 1827 to protect the river port. Its measures are 850m by 11m. On the western side of the Pont de Grenelle is a soaring one-quarter scale Statue of Liberty replica, inaugurated in 1889. Walk east along the Allée des Cygnes – the tree-lined walkway that runs the length of the island – for spectacular Eiffel Tower views.
10. The “I Love You” Wall
Few visitors can resist a selfie in front of Montmartre's “Le Mur de Je T’Aime”, a public artwork created in a small park by artists Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito in 2000. Made from 511 dark-blue enamel tiles, the striking mural features the immortal phrase 'I love you' 311 times in nearly 250 different languages (the red fragments, if joined together, would form a heart). Find a bench beneath a maple tree and brush up your language skills.
To reach every of these places, you will need not one, but at least 3-4 days. But we hope these 10 ideas will serve you as a beginning of a great rendez-vous with The City of Lights and Love!