For the past three days, I’ve been in Paris. Oh Paris, I just love you! Somehow, this is my third time here – and I’m still learning. The beauty of Paris is that even if you get lost, you can grab a crepe or croissant and regroup. It’s like food for the brain.
So in Paris, you’ve got your big five: the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe & the Louvre. Everything else, be it cool or interesting, falls behind.
The Eiffel Tower is a must. Having been there before, I went more for the idea of it this time (and to take a pic with a stuffed animal for my niece!). My favorite part about the Eiffel Tower is actually the neighborhoods surrounding it. People just going about their business, with the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower. You round a corner and there it is, just hanging out waiting for you. Gets me everytime!
The actual Eiffel Tower area, underneath and surrounding the tower, is mayhem. People everywhere and as such, a great spot for pickpockets. I’ve actually seen it happen. Keep an eye on your things and ignore anyone trying to sell you anything or, particularly, asking for a signature for XYZ organization. Going to see the Eiffel Tower is free, but going up to the different levels of it is not. I recommend checking it out at night, the tower lights up a different intervals and looks as though it’s sparkling.
Located in the 7th arrondissement.
Sacre Coeur is another gorgeous sight to see in Paris. It is up on a hill so some stair climbing is required. It’s worth it though. If you’re planning on going inside, remember it is a church and you’ll need to dress appropriately (tank tops and shorts are fine, but nothing risqué). At the bottom of the hill there’s a carousel, which I’m too old to go on but looks like a blast.
Located in the 18th arrondissement.
Notre Dame. Another church. Honestly, it’s worth a trip to complete your time in Paris. It really is a sight to see, it’s just not as impressive as Sacre Coeur. I particularly enjoy walking along the river afterward. The Seine is beautiful anytime. When the street shops are open it’s a nice way to pass the time.
Located in the 4th arrondissement.
The Arc de Triomphe is kind of a two-for-one type deal. The street that leads up to the arch is none other than the Champs-Elysees. The arc is a great place to go on a clear night to see the best views of Paris. Are there somewhere between 200-300 stairs to climb? Sure! But after you catch your breath, you’re in for a treat. My first views from here were when I was 18 and I still remember the feeling it gave me. It made me fall in love with Paris.
The bonus is that you can then walk along the Champs-Elysees and shop or have dinner. Note: food on the Champs-Elysees WILL be expensive and WON’T be the best food you’ve ever had. We’re going for ambiance here.
Located in the 8th arrondissement.
This time in Paris, I skipped the Louvre and I feel like I’ve committed some sort of crime. But then I think, I’ve seen the Mona Lisa twice in my life… wouldn’t three times be overkill? Anywho, whether or not you love museums this is the museum not to miss. Wonderful, historical works of art are literally hiding behind every corner. It’s amazing. If you’re in town, I also recommend checking out Musee D’Orsay for some more contemporary pieces.
Located in the 1st arrondissement.