Things To Do In Paris
The ideal Paris experience joins relaxation and vivacity with enough time to enjoy both an awesome feast and some time at the Louvre. Stir your soul at Notre Dame, haggle for French goods at the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil or shop till you drop at the Marché Biologique Raspail -- and then top everything off with a great spectacle at the Moulin Rouge.
Or gaze at the white domes of the church of Sacre Coeur that rise above the rooftops and the square of Montmartre, the highest spot in Paris. During the 1800’s, famous artists such as Toulouse-Lautrec and Renoir worked here. Today, painters still crowd the square, and visitors often buy their works as souvenirs.
When To Go:
With a tourist influx of 27 million guests every year, Paris is widely recognized as the most visited city of the world. The June through August timeframe is the least propitious time to visit, since most Parisians escape the summer heat of the city and a lot of things are closed. Paris is much better to visit in the spring (Apr-June) or fall (Sept-Nov), however it is additionally really lovely throughout December, when the city is fully illuminated with Christmas lights and fancy decorations.
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The yearly fashion shows and trade exhibitions bring many individuals to the city in September and October, so it may be troublesome to find a good hotel accommodation during this period. Hotels in Paris infrequently promote off-season rates; however room rates do tend to be a bit less exorbitant during the cool, blustery period from November to February. Airfares are less expensive during these months, and more package promo tours are accessible; airfares climb in the spring and fall, cresting in the hot time of year, when tickets definitely cost more.
Here are the top things to do when in the city of Paris:
The most famous landmark -- the symbol of Paris -- is a mandatory stop for a first visit to this city. The view from the top is definitely beautiful. Everyone wants to visit the tower in the evening to see the twinkling lights from the Champs Elysees, the promenade, and the Arc de Triomphe. Paris is indeed a beautiful city and the Eiffel Tower is its main character. It’s worth seeing during the day and again at night, to fully appreciate the bright and colorful city.
The tower has four huge lifts. From Tower 4 at ground level, the height is about 1050 feet. In the tower there are souvenir shops, a post office to send cards back home, and two lovely restaurants with buffets in the evening. After dark, the tower begins to light up and every hour for 5 minutes, it begins to glow with thousands of lights. It is one spectacular sight!
For those who love impressionism, the Musée d'Orsay is a must whenever you go to Paris. The museum is located in an old railway station in front of the well-known museum of the Louvre. You can admire the works of people who created the history of Impressionism such as Monet, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, etc. Equally spectacular are the galleries devoted to Henry de Toulouse-Lautrec and Gustave Courbet. Inside the museum there is a good restaurant that has very reasonable prices. If you have a Paris Museum Pass, you do not have to stand in line to get inside the museum. It has a huge collection of impressive paintings, but taking pictures is not allowed once you are inside.
Everyone falls in love in the room with a clock face, because it offers an amazing view of the Seine River and the city below the arrows and numbers. The building itself inside is also very attractive; the station building has a great ceiling, bright rooms, and everything is well maintained and preserved. It is an awesome building for housing masterpieces of world art. Upstairs there is a nice cafe with pleasant views of the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens. The Orsay Museum is certainly worth a visit if you want to be culturally enlightened and spiritually enriched while in Paris.
Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris
The Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful theaters in the world. Its elaborate and elegant interior decoration evokes the luxury of the Napoleonic times. The stairs and halls are all adorned in gold. This interior perfectly supports the sight of ladies dressed in evening gowns strolling along with their gentlemen on the balcony while awaiting the start of the performance. The Opera looks even more gorgeous when all lit up with its ornate ceiling lamps.
The overall atmosphere, the level of hip and chic, and sumptuous aura of the theater are beyond praise. The best seats in the boxes are worth $125 per person. To avoid any inconvenience you need to buy through the website in advance and for this you will be asked to register on the site. The comfortable halls and theater area have very rich and beautiful settings, and all the seats are arranged so that it will be convenient to view the main stage from any angle.
Pont Alexandre III
The Pont Alexandre III is perhaps the most interesting bridge in Paris; it stands out against the background of other bridges along the River Seine. This famous bridge has beautiful gold columns, sculptures, and elegant decorations that will immediately attract your attention. It is named in honor of the Russian Emperor. Thrown across the Seine between the Invalides and the Champs Elysees, it was opened on the eve of the World Expo 1900.
Its construction was fully implemented according to an agreement between Russia and France. Nicholas II, who decided to name it in honor of his late father Alexander III, laid the first stone. One of the most romantic bridges in Paris with a beautiful view, you should definitely go see it with your partner and take lots of photographs. Very busy and in constant use since its construction, this vehicle bridge has not suffered at all after a century of greatness, but on the contrary gives elegance and historical substance to its surroundings.
One of the top things to do in Paris is to take a leisurely stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens. It is very relaxing, as it gives you the feeling of being on a country estate -- and was indeed created as such by Marie de Medici, as the garden for her new palace. Reorganized many times after that, it now belongs to the state and is full of sculptures (80, including a mini-Statue of Liberty) and fountains. Children's activities are everywhere -- there are puppet shows, a carousel, sandboxes, kiosks selling toys and sweets, and the famous model sailboats that can be rented and poked around the octagonal pond using long poles. This small but beautiful park is used for recreation too; it offers physical education classes and interesting activities for children and families every weekend.
The garden also has citrus trees and potted palms, neat flower beds, open spaces, white stone statues, row of shrubs and open areas, and lots and lots of chairs to ensure there is a place for everyone. In this park they maintain a number of very old trees and a huge variety of greenery. You can have a picnic and feed the ducks at the same time. When in Paris, come into this garden, sit back and enjoy the beauty and relax in this oasis of tranquility.
Musee du Louvre
This is one of the biggest and best museums in the world, and is always filled with lots of people. It's amazing how even temples are housed within the Musee du Louvre. You need to spend at least a full day to admire so many famous and significant works of art. When looking for the Mona Lisa, you might get a little lost in the corridors -- but when you see her (and her smile), you forget everything. No reproduction is able to deliver the strange serenity that emanates from her smile, simple, and at the same time mysterious and sly. But be prepared to fight your way through the crowd of people who are enamored by her beauty. The sculpture of the famous Venus Milloskaya also has an extraordinary affect on the public.
It is the perfect place for art connoisseurs and lovers. Immerse yourself in the beautiful collections -- masterpieces of painting, sculpture, Egyptian sarcophagi and more. It seems that just by walking around the spacious galleries of the Louvre you can trace the history of all mankind, and feel the unique charm of France and its cultural heritage. It is difficult to imagine the Louvre without also admiring the interested and enthralled tourists who are looking at history through the open windows of a modern space.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The majestic Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece among the Gothic buildings of the world. It is perfect in any weather -- on a gray and rainy Parisian day in March and in April under bright sunny skies. The impressive history of the Cathedral starts in 1160 when the then Bishop of Paris decided to demolish the existing cathedral to build a better one. The rebuild was completed during 1250-1345. Since then there have been numerous additional renovations -- all the way up to a conversion to LED lighting in 2014.
Go to the back of the cathedral where you can find a small park and a great view of the building. There you can sit comfortably in the shade and enjoy the Parisian air. If you have enough time to explore the entire cathedral, climb all the way to the top and admire the scenic capital city of France from above. You can listen to the entire parishioner’s service; you can relax on a bench, look at the decorations, and with renewed vigor go for a walk along the Seine. You will want the time to reflect on the impressive work of the centuries of craftsmen who built these spires, buttresses and vaults, painted the murals, designed the stained glass, and sculpted the gargoyles that are all part of this iconic cathedral.
The best thing about the church is it’s not only a historic site/museum, but is also a fully-functioning cathedral where you can come and stay in silence, sit in a pew and reflect, and absorb the spirit of the building.
Arc de Triomphe
It is worth climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to admire the beauty of the city from this "big star" of the boulevards in France. This triumphal arch is one of the historical symbols of France. If there is no line (or if you have a Touristic Museum Pass), it is possible to climb up and look at the Champs Elysees, the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding areas.
The Arc de Triomphe has a spiral staircase (you can also try the lift). Beneath the arches are the remains of the Unknown Soldier, buried after the First World War, where an eternal flame burns. On the walls are carved the names of the great victories of the French army, including the Battle of Moscow.
The Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur)
The Sacre-Coeur is a huge beautiful cathedral; even in cloudy weather its pure white marble seems like a shining beacon for all of Paris. All around you can see lots of crowds of people scurrying to and fro. It is near the Place Montmartre where artists gather to paint in the open air, and vendors sell delicious soft ice cream. In the surrounding streets you find a lot more modern artists and many different cafes, where you can be happy to drink good coffee and taste delicious pastries. The Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre is an impressive sight and absolutely one of the top churches in Paris and beyond. The entrance fee is about $7.50 for an adult. The view is awesome, but from climbing the spiral staircase you might feel a little light-headed. To climb the main hill easily there is a funicular.
The best way to enjoy the River Seine is to book a romantic dinner on a riverboat at night. It offers an amazing experience -- a luxurious dinner and live music on the Seine and a chance to spend a completely different night out while in Paris. The glazed roof deck and the ship offer views of a magnificent, illuminated, and enchanting Paris.
The trip will take about two hours, but during that time you will see a different Paris than you would see when just walking through its streets -- although this option inevitably also leads to a lot of other options. View all the attractions of Paris, and see how the most important illumination points towards the Eiffel Tower. It's worth it. The menu is elegant and matched with a high-class service. Don’t forget to take a table right by the windows.
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