Allons À Paris! Top Ten Things To Do In This Beautiful City
Paris is surely one of the most exciting cities on the planet, perfectly capable of keeping you entertained no matter how long you’re visiting for. The only problem is deciding what to do if your time is limited.
There are so many sights and attractions that it can be difficult to know where to start. So, here are ten places that every visitor to Paris should see before they leave.
1. Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower).
The most famous landmark in a city full of memorable places, the Eiffel Tower is not to be missed. Originally built as the temporary centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair, it was the tallest structure in the world for more than four decades, and earned its place in the affections of the Parisians.
The top of the Tower can be reached by elevator and gives a stunning view over the city. The lift even runs until late in the evening, and looking down on Paris at night is something you won’t be forgetting any time soon.
2. Notre Dame.
It’s not hard to see why Victor Hugo chose this incredible cathedral as the backdrop for his famous novel. The renowned gothic-style church is an impressive sight from the outside, but the interior is on another level. Gazing up at the huge, circular stained glass windows as the sunlight pours through may be one of the few times your jaw genuinely drops.
3. Cruise on the River Seine.
Always popular, these cruises are available throughout the year. Don’t worry, the boats are heated in winter! The commentaries are informative and interesting, and a journey along the river is an excellent way to get a feel for this distinguished part of Paris. Some of the trips come with champagne and/or food to add a touch of class to the experience.
4. La Basilique du Sacré Couer.
This beautiful white basilica crowns the highest point of the city, and so the view from the top is a superbly impressive panorama of the French capital. One of the most remarkable features of this Roman Catholic church is an impressive mosaic – one of the largest in the world. Photography may be forbidden once inside, but the beauty of the interior is likely to stay fresh in your memory for years to come.
5. Moulin Rouge.
This is a cabaret like no other. Instantly recognizable by the red windmill on the roof, the building is famed for being the birthplace of the can-can dance and for bringing a certain level of titillating fervor to Paris in the late 19th century. Now an extremely popular tourist attraction, the Moulin Rouge always delights, and the décor is much the same as ever.
6. The district of Montmartre.
Home to the Sacré Couer, the Moulin Rouge and much more, Montmartre is an area full of character, famous for its nightlife and bohemian past. Many of the greatest artists ever to have lived, including Monet, van Gogh and Picasso, were inspired by this district and spent plenty of time working here. Many people who visit Montmartre fall in love with this historic place and find themselves drawn back here again and again.
7. Musée du Louvre.
Possibly the most renowned museum in the world, and certainly one of the largest, this vast collection is housed in a palace with more than eight centuries of history behind it. The museum features an incredible array of paintings, sculptures and artifacts from all corners of the globe, some of which date back several thousand years. No other art museum can boast such high footfall as the Louvre, and with the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo on display, that’s unlikely to change.
8. Musée d’Orsay.
Another museum on the banks of the Seine, this one has its home in an ex-railway station, although the setting is far grander than you might imagine. The Musée d’Orsay features the world’s largest collection of impressionist masterpieces, overflowing with works by a staggering array of acclaimed artists – Renoir, van Gogh, Monet, Manet and Cézanne to name just a few.
9. Arc de Triomphe.
This is another of the iconic landmarks to be found in Paris, standing proudly at the head of the Champs-Élysées as a monument to French military triumphs, dedicated to the soldiers who died for their country. An enormous archway (so large that a biplane has been flown through it!), the Arc de Triomphe is an absolute must-see, and climbing the stairs to the top is well worth the effort as well.
10. French cuisine.
The French are known around the world for their exemplary cuisine and the fine dining available in Paris is no exception. From delicious breakfast pastries to lavish evening meals, there is something to suit absolutely every palate and every budget. Wine tasting evenings are another wonderful way to experience a celebrated part of French culture.
Paris is an incredible city that’s dripping with history, architecture and romance. It really is a city that everyone should visit before they die. And, Paris is sure to delight, impress and inspire at any time of year and for any length of stay. All ten of the things listed are superb, but Paris also has an extraordinary wealth of other activities, attractions and sights just waiting to be discovered. VIGOROUS
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