The LANDMARKS. The cafes. The FOOD. The Wine. The MUSEUMS. The nightlife. The SHOPPING. The culture. The ROMANCE. There are an infinite number of reasons to visit and…
Fall in Love with Paris, La Ville-Lumière
Stroll in the moonlight by the river Seine – Indulge your inner fashionista in St. Germain-des-Prés – Wander the eclectic alleys of the Marais – Relish in the delicious macaroons of Ladurée – Savor the flavors of the sidewalk bistros in the Latin Quarter – Get a kick from the street artists in Montmartre. No matter what beat you march to, Paris is the true embodiment of all your senses. So go ahead, indulge in those senses and take in these sights…
The Eiffel Tower
No one can imagine the city of light without its signature monument, the Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889 for the World Fair by Gustav Eiffel, it was almost torn down just 2 decades later, due to opposition from the city’s artistic and literary elite. Thankfully for you and I it was saved – whew – and today is the symbol of Paris. It’s impossible to visit without seeing and reveling in this iconic spire from afar, below and atop.
A visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower is not just for the hopeless romantics 🙂 The view is quite striking and you’ll see a very different perspective of Paris! But before you go, a few tips on avoiding the lines.
Arc de Triomphe
This magnificent monument of Paris was originally commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate the victories (and the return) of the Grand Armee and those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Unfortunately for Napoleon, that didn’t happen after his abdication and the Arc wasn’t completed until 1836, years after his death.
Standing proudly at the west end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe rises 164 feet tall and is France’s symbol of patriotism. If you don’t make it to the top of the Arc, it’s worth a visit underneath it. You’ll see the names of the French victories and generals that are inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces, a pretty remarkable tribute.
This historical monument and landmark is the most visited museum in the world. Home to some of the most famous works of art including Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and the marble statues of The Winged Victory of Smothrace and Venice de Milo, the Louvre welcomes more than 9 million visitors a year!
To catch a glimpse of the masterpieces without the long lines, resist entering through the glass pyramid (opt for one of the side doors instead) or purchase your tickets online in advance.
This French Gothic-style cathedral was completed in 1345 and is quite possibly the world’s most renown cathedral with upwards of 13 million visitors a year! Distinguished for its size, architecture and antiquity, additional interesting features of Notre Dame include the use of flying buttresses (one of the first in its time), the famous gargoyles, its rose windows and the 2 bell towers that can be climbed.
Though you won’t catch any glimpses of Quasimodo on your trip, it’s thanks to Victor Hugo’s Hunchback of Notre Dame that helped restore the appreciation of Gothic architecture in the early 19th century and inspired the preservation and renovation of medieval treasures in Paris, such as this cathedral itself.
This 19th century Roman Catholic basilica is located at the top of Montmartre, overlooking Paris. Climb to the top of the dome, the second highest viewpoint of Paris after the Eiffel Tower, and be rewarded with excellent views of the city.
The works of French painter and sculptor, Auguste Rodin, is housed in the mansion now known as Hôtel Biron. The museum features over 300 pieces and includes Rodin’s most famous works, including The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. The gardens around the museum are immaculately kept and a highlight of the visit.
The Musée d’Orsay holds the world’s largest collection of impressionist masterpieces including works by Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh and Degas. The beautiful building was a former railway station built in the late 19th century, Gare d’Orsay. If you’re a fan of impressionist art, this should be on the top of your list.
Treating Your Taste Buds
Indeed food is one of the reasons to visit Paris. There are so many ahhh-mazing restaurants in this city! Here are just a few recommendations to whet your appetite.
- Breakfast at Les Deux Magots
- Lunch at Le Bon Marché
- Le Café Marly near the Louvre
- Drinks at Cafe de Flore
- Ralph’s Restaurant
- La Société Restaurant
- Le 104
- Le Pied de Fouet