Paris-the city of love and romance places that no one belives its beauty. There are tons of things to do in Paris that are entirely unrelated to the L-word. (Although our contributors have said that they feel romantic just walking the streets of this beautiful city.) Paris is full of history, culture, and delectable food, so come ready for an unforgettable vacation with your culinary taste buds prepped and your French translation book accessible.
Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris:
- Want to see the whole city of Paris from above? Visit the Eiffel Tower as part of your trip. The Eiffel Tower, designed by Gustave Eiffel, is the tallest structure in Paris and can be viewed from all Paris points, whether you’re on the River Seine’s right bank or left bank. It was constructed between 1887-1889 to serve as the entrance archway to the World’s Fair and as a celebratory landmark marking the French Revolution’s 100th anniversary. Interestingly, the Eiffel Tower was intended to be built in Barcelona for their World’s Fair in 1888, but it was rejected.
- If you are on a budget or enjoy the exercise, you can climb the Eiffel Tower’s stairs to the top for 4.00 Euros, or you can pay a bit more to take the lift up to either the very top first or the second floor. Of course, the view from the top can’t be beaten, but “the second floor offers great photo opportunities,” says Paris frequenter Darrin Gleeman. On the first floor, you will find an array of shopping and dining opportunities and the Eiffel Tower Post Office. One unappreciated photographic viewpoint is at the Eiffel Tower base, where hundreds of people sit, walk, ponder, and play. The combination of the Eiffel Tower’s majesty and architecture and the energy emitted by people on the ground in front of it cast varying perspectives on the structure and the photograph itself.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris – The Louvre Museum in Paris:
- One of the oldest and most visited museums in the world, the Louvre museum in Paris houses an exhaustive collection of art from around the world, including Venus de Milo, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Madonna of the Rocks, and, of course, Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa. This magnificent building originally served as a royal fortress. Today, the Louvre is a public museum that offers Egyptian art collections, Eastern art, Greek art, Islamic art, and European sculptures, paintings, drawings, and more. It recently was featured in one of the more acclaimed and debated novels (and later a movie) of our time, called the DaVinci Code. Darrin Gleeman recommends that any Paris traveler “check out the surrounding gardens and the glass pyramid – breathtaking!”
Go to the Moulin Rouge in Paris:
- During your trip, don’t miss a show at Moulin Rouge – the oldest cabaret hall in Paris built-in 1889. Moulin Rouge is translated to Red Mill or windmill in English, precisely what is placed on its roof, although it is an imitation red windmill. Full of adult dancing, singing, and extravagant costumes, a visit to Moulin Rouge will be a night to remember. Even Frank Sinatra and Edith Piaf once performed here. You can order Moulin Rouge tickets online that include dinner and a show. The dinners are lavish – there are generally three choices – and are accompanied by French wines.
- If you want to book cheap flight tickets to travel in Paris, then book your flights from the Delta Airlines Tickets site to save you time and money.
Stroll Paris’s Montmartre:
- Montmartre is the Montparnasse of the Right Bank in Paris and was “founded” by Jongkind and Camille Pissarro in the late 19th century. It is a hill that sits on the Right Bank of the River Seine, known by sight because of the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur that sits high on the horizon.
- Montmartre is known as a social destination and an artistic one. It is a popular nightclub hotspot with many restaurants and is a comfortable place to walk with family and friends late at night or during the day. However, it made its name as an artistic hotspot for famous artists such as Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, Salvador Dali, and Pablo Picasso – all of whom either worked on the hill or had studios there.
- Montparnasse, on the Left Bank of the River Seine, was a more refined and less gritty locale for aspiring artists of the 20th century. Rent was cheap, but ideas abounded, which attracted artists of all denominations, i.e., painting, sculpting, writing, poetry, music composing, etc.
Climb the Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph):
- Want to see the world’s most massive triumphal arch? Visit the Arc de Triomphe on the Right Bank of the River Seine. Commissioned by Napoleon to honor his Army and commemorate his victory at Austerlitz, this arch took nearly thirty years. It is known for its intricate engraving and the tomb of the unknown soldiers today located beneath the arch. To learn more about the monument’s history, you can visit the small history museum located inside. Even if you are not interested in the monument’s historical aspects, this grand arch presents a beautiful contrast to modern Paris’s urban landscape.
- Ernest Hemingway once said that if you were lucky enough to live in Paris as a young man, then it would stay with you wherever you went. For it is, as he said, a moveable feast.
- Paris cafés are the epicenter of Paris’ social life. They provide relaxation, culture, and people-watching opportunities but mostly intellectual stimulation, especially in Montparnasse. Artists such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Robert Capa, and others often drank and lunched at Lipp’s and Café du Fleur on St. Germain, Café de Medici’s at the Luxembourg Gardens on Montparnasse, Harry’s New York Bar near the Opera House, Au Cliron Chausseurs on Montmartre, or the Ritz at Place Vendome.
- Mr. Gleeman warns that your trip to Paris would be incomplete without sipping espresso and nibbling on a croissant in a café during the afternoon or evenings.
- Because Paris only about six miles across, you can cover much of the city by foot, but Paris’s metro – or subway – can be essential. The Paris Metro is an experience to behold even though it is a subway. Its underground is clean, artistic, organized, and the trains are quiet. It seems to be the antithesis of what American subway systems offer and is the preferred method of traveling into and out of Paris arrondissements.
- You can preplan metro trips by using the RATP website first, which will give you detailed directions. There are a few things to be aware of when planning travel by subway. Paris has a low crime rate for a metropolitan city, but you still must be aware of pickpockets and other scammers that can be quite creative. Additionally, you need to hold onto your ticket the entire time you are in the station, even after you finish the last leg of your train ride, as you can be fined if you are found without your ticket in hand.
Paris Accommodations and Apartment Rentals
- Paris has impeccable food and impeccable accommodations, whether that is a high-end hotel, an apartment rental, or a hostel. If you are looking for a charming, quaint area to stay, try Ile de la Cite Montmartre or Marais. Want to stay where famous artists once stayed? Try Saint-Germain-des-Pres or the Latin Quarter, all located on the Left Bank. Or if you are looking for more modestly priced accommodations with a bohemian feel, look for a place slightly east of Paris.
- Renting an apartment in Paris can be a great way to submerge yourself into the city and feel right at home. Because apartments are equipped with kitchens, this can be a great money-saver if you want to keep leftovers or make a few breakfast items before you head out in the morning. You can generally find apartment studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom rentals.