Paris is definitely a place you will fall in love with, as cliché as it sounds, trust me, you will. Its grand avenues, intersected with small cobbled streets, the patisseries, the smell of fresh croissants in the air, you need not search any further for a fantasy, you have come to the magical place.
Gertrude Stein said, “America is my home country and Paris is my hometown.” This quote is true on so many levels, for so many people. A visitor in Paris, even without knowledge of French, is prone to feel at home in at least one bit of Paris. And despite its bohemian feel, Paris is a bustling city where you can always find something to do.
Paris is separated by the Seine, parting it into the left and the right bank. The left bank refers to the city of artists, the old Paris. It could be said to be the cradle of bohemianism. The right bank contradicts it by being the center of elegance and sophistication. Whichever you prefer, or both, neither one will let you down on its reputation.
Paris may be the best city to explore by foot, as any road offers you a new variety. It’s suggested that you take a camera and explore, you never know what you will discover. For those however, who would like a more structured stay, here is a summary of things to do.
The Eiffel Tower is the most obvious choice, but also with reason. This metal asparagus was built in 1889 and has stayed the monument of Paris since then. The queues are long, but the view is worth the wait. Musee de Louvre is the second obvious choice. A monster of a museum, meant in the best possible sense of the word. An amazing experience for any art lover, it is suggested that you take an entire day for a trip to the Louvre. Walk through the different eras of art and have a rest in one of the many cafes inside the museum.
Walking along the Champs-Elysees is a definite must if you are visiting Paris. It would be like going to New York and not stepping onto 5th Avenue. It offers a good combination of high streets shopping dispersed among more prestigious stores, such as Cartier and, of course, Louis Vuitton, the greatest attraction on the Champs-Elysees. The line to enter it could sometimes be compared to the entrances to Paris’s famous museums. If you are already at the Champs-Elysees, than not making a stroll along the Golden Triangle would be a shame. Known in French as Le Triangle d ‘Or it is made up of Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V and is known for its world-famous stores such as Dior, Celine, Chanel and Givenchy.
Paris 6 Day Weather Forecast
Chance of Rain59°/41°
Chance of a Thunderstorm57°/45°
Chance of a Thunderstorm57°/48°
Another must on Paris, once you are done with your shopping, is to visit its splendorous parks. Positioned next to the Louvre and Palais Royal are the Tuileries gardens, filled with students, intellectuals and tourists on warm sunny days. Sitting around and doing nothing is not an unusual thing in Paris. Once you are done with the sightseeing in the Louvre, take a sit among one of the finely shaped hedges or on a bench next to the water fountain, role up your sleeves and enjoy the sun.
Another park that is worth mentioning is the Jardin du Luxembourg. It is the largest public park in Paris and the head of the French Senate which is housed in the Luxembourg Palace itself.
If sitting around in parks is not really your thing and you have seen all the big museums (Louvre, Musee d’Orsay,…) than head down to the third arrondissement, the old Jewish quarter, which is filled with a selection of more independent shops and cafes. From there it is only a short walk to the Notre Dame and the “literature” quarter. A stop at the famous Shakespeare and Company bookshop is not to be missed by booklovers.
If you are looking for another popular, yet not as typical part of Paris, than the artist’s quarter of Montmartre is just the place for you. Most known for being the red-light district and for the Moulin Rouge, it is probably one of the classiest red-light districts you will see. Apart from this, it is a beautiful quarter, with the Scare Coeur as its main piece shining at the hilltop. This white basilica, seen from every bit of Paris, will take your breath away, probably more so than any painting in a museum.
There is Paris in a nutshell. There is so much more of Paris to explore though, so get your walking shoes on and just walk the entire city. That would be my best advice.