Ah Paris, the city of romance! Where lovers walk hand and hand down the Champs Elysees and stop for a kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower. While this is all true, keep in mind that Paris is the most visited city in the world. With over 30 million visitors a year in addition to the residents, Paris can get pretty crowded and very overwhelming if you aren’t prepared. For that reason, I’m compiling a list of top 10 items to help you plan your time in Paris.
You can’t miss the Eiffel Tower!
Of course we are starting with the Eiffel Tower, I mean it is the iconic symbol of Paris and one of the top Paris attractions. Of course, you have to take the perfect selfie in front of the Tower and post it to Instagram. Then, check your scheduled reservation time (you did schedule a reservation time to ride to the top, right?), and head to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city. When making your reservation, try to time it so that you can be on the top of the tower at dusk so that you can see a gorgeous sunset and then be there when the lights are turned on the tower. Welcome to Paris!
CRUISE THE SEINE RIVER
The scenic Seine
The Seine River flows right through the heart of Paris, and cruising it allows you to see Paris from a completely different perspective. That is what makes it one of the top Paris attractions. Along the route you will see landmark building and gorgeous bridges, including the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf. Be sure and take note of the Pont Des Arts bridge as well. The Pont Des Arts is an entirely pedestrian bridge that is constructed of metal. In the spring and summer you will find people picnicking on the bridge! Wave hello to the people on the colorful houseboats as well as you pass by.
EXPLORE THE LOUVRE
The Louvre, another Paris icon is one of the world’s largest museums and of course, houses countless pieces of priceless art. Also take note that the Louvre is the world’s most visited art museum as well, so it easily gets crowded! You could truly spend days in this great museum, so I recommend doing your research first and entering with a plan of attack prior to your visit. I know that the Mona Lisa will be on your list, but also note that there is are exhibits from all over the world to see as well.
ARC DE TRIOMPHE
At one end of the famous Champs Elysees stands the famous Arce de Triomphe which is one of the top Paris attractions. The Arc de Triomphe was built by order of Napoleon in 1806 to honor the French army. For a small fee, you can go to the top of the Arc and get some great views of Paris. Safety tip: Don’t try to cross in traffic! There is an underground tunnel on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side.
SHOP ON THE AVENUE DE CHAMPS ELYSEES
The Champs Elysees is a shopper’s fantasy! Even if you don’t have the money to buy from the designer stores, you should at least stroll down the avenue and window shop. The avenue itself is popular as one of the famous Paris attractions.
VISIT NOTRE DAME
A glimpse at the Notre Dame
The gorgeous gothic cathedral, Notre Dame makes it one of the other noteworthy Paris attractions and is definitely worth a visit. Take time to stand outside and walk all the way the cathedral admiring all of the detail in the architecture. The Notre Dame was the first building to use flying buttresses in its design. Notice the amazing stained glass and the sculptures all around you as well. Now, Notre Dame can get very crowded, so keep that in mind when planning to enter this gothic beauty.
TAKE A WALK IN MONTMARTRE
Montmartre was one of my favorite neighborhoods in Paris. While walking here, I felt like I were transported back to Paris of the past. It’s here that you will find the Basilica of Sacre-Couer, the bar lined street of Boulevard de Clichy, and of course the famous Moulin Rouge.
CATCH A SHOW AT MOULIN ROUGE
The famous Moulin Rouge
I know, most people view the Moulin Rouge as touristy ever since Nicole Kidman got involved. Despite that, you’re in Paris so you might as well do all the touristy stuff while you’re here. Book dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge and prepare yourself for lots of red velvet and sparkles.
ADMIRE THE ART AT THE MUSEE D’ORSAY
The galleries of the Musee D’Orsay are home to the largest collection of impressionistic art in the world. Here you can admire works from Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas just to name a few.
TAKE A DAY TRIP TO CHATEAU FONTAINEBLEAU
Let’s not forget the Chateau Fontainebleau
I know what you’re thinking, why not Versailles? Well, Versailles is super crowded and overrun with tourist, that’s why. Instead, escape the crowds for a day and head to another fabulous chateau that is only about an hour outside of Paris, Chateau Fontainebleau. Home to many French ruling families, the chateau is gorgeous inside and out. Spend the day touring the beautiful grounds, and take the perfect selfie in front of the grand horseshoe staircase before going inside to see the bedrooms of Napoleon and Marie Antoinette!