The name Paris conjures up images of romance, excitement and culture. There are endless historical sights to visit, an abundance of chic boutiques, cafes, bars, fascinating art galleries and museums and a lively nightlife scene. Sample some of the legendary French cuisine, which is frequently hailed as the best in the world. The cuisine extends so much further than the ubiquitous frogs legs, snails and horse steaks! Prepare to immerse yourself in the French culture, learn a bit of the language and don a beret for your tourist snaps. And if you’re in Paris during late May to early June, try to catch the Roland Garros, French Open Tennis Championships, which is the most-watched sports event throughout France.
The Eiffel Tower
The Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower) is one of the most iconic monuments in the world and thus it is also number one spot on travellers’ lists when in France. It was built in 1889 and is simply named after its designer Gustave Eiffel and it is 324 meters high. Three levels of the Eiffel tower can be visited by the public and it’s best to buy tickets in advance so you won’t have to wait in the long daily queues. Open from 9.30am to 11pm, try a moonlit visit. The Eiffel Tower is also hailed as the most romantic place in the world – just look out for all the couples popping the question!
Another site you visit when in Paris is the Musee du Louvre; one of the most famous art museums in the world. When it first opened in 1793 it contained around 2,500 works of art from all around Europe. It now contains about 35,000 paintings and sculptures from every medium, size and corner of the globe. In fact it’s said that it would take around 9 months to view every piece! So research your visit, prioritize your must-see list and wear comfortable shoes. Consider joining a guided tour so you learn as you discover.
Muss d’Orsay Museum
The Musee d’Orsay is another very popular museum which was once a train station. This museum has less art on display than the Louvre and most of the works of art housed here were produced between the 1840s and 1914. Add to your to-do list if you’re a fan of Monet, Pissaro, Renoir and Sisley as these artists all have works housed here. Again a guided tour will help you get the most from your visit.
The Jardin du Luxembourg is a very popular park in Paris and many people of all ages love to come visit this beautiful park, both local and tourists. You can read, relax and even sunbathe at this location. There are also activities for children and younger people as well as urban orchards, lemon trees, orange trees and oleander groves to wander. There is also honey production on site and once a month there are guided tours of the interior, although tickets are always in demand.
If you want to visit a religious site while you are located in Paris then Sainte Chapelle is very special. When it is sunny all the stained glass windows come alive. This chapel was initially built for storing holy relics; it took a little under three years to be built and is now considered a historical gem.
Notre Dame is a perennial tourist haunt for a great reason! Always buzzing with locals and visitors alike, Notre Dame Cathedral is used to measure all areas within the metropolitan area of France. It is visited not only because of the great architecture but also because of the rich history located here. It is very popular with the Catholics and can hold up to 6000 worshipers at a time.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe has a rich history which you can learn about on a guided tour. Initially commissioned by Napoleon it was finally finished some thirty years later in 1836. When on the observation deck on the arc you can enjoy birds eye views of the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur and Champs-Elysees. The views are simply breathtaking and you’ll appreciate the break after climbing the 234 steps up!