When you hear the word Paris, what crosses your mind?
Perhaps your thoughts race through the “city of love” – where insanely good-looking people eat their French cuisine and spend their days basking in the ambience of love. Well, for the most part of that is true. Except for the fact that only good-looking people get to enjoy everything that Paris has to offer, that is. There are tons of things to do here besides sampling French cuisine.
Located in the northernpart of France, this French capital is the hub of metropolitan living and is visited by at least 42 million people annually. Its considered one of the most livable places in the world and one of the most environmentally-friendly too.
Here are our top five suggestions of things to do in Paris:
Visit the Eiffel Tower
This landmark monument is an international icon and truly one of the most recognisable buildings in the world.
Constructed in the 19th century during the French Revolution, many famous movies have used the tower as a backdrop in their scenes. Enjoying the sunset in one of the two restaurants there, Le 58 tour Eiffel and Le Jules Verne, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in paradise.
Though Eiffel Tower tickets can be expensive – it’s definitely worth the expense to have this experience!
- By Metro: Line no.6, metro station Bir-Hakeim : if you take this line which runs above ground, you’ll get a view of the Tower as you approach the Bir-Hakeim station. / Line no.9, “Trocadéro” station
- By RER: Line C : Champs de Mars – Tour Eiffel station
- By Bus: Bus 82, stops Tour Eiffel or Champ de Mars; Bus 42, stop Tour Eiffel; Bus 87, stop Champ de Mars; Bus 69, stop Champ de Mars
The Eiffel Tower is always open:
- from 9 a.m. to midnight from mid-June to early September
- from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year
The Louvre Museum
Pronounced as Musée du Louvre in French, this is the largest and most visited museum in the world. The Louvre is a landmark, much like the Eiffel Tower but with an aura of rich history behind it.
It opened in 1793 and has well over 35,000 historic and cultural artifacts displayed in its expansive halls. From antiquities dating back from the days of the Egyptian pharaohs to the near Eastern, Greek, Etruscan, Islamic and Roman empires, you have a vast depth of artifacts to satisfy your quest for ancient historical knowledge.
- Metro: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station (line 1)
- Bus: the following bus lines stop in front of the Pyramid: 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81, 95, and the Paris Open Tour bus.
- Car: an underground parking garage is available for those coming by car. The entrance is located on avenue du Général Lemonnier. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
- Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday: from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Wednesday, Friday: from 9 a.m. to 9:45 p.m.
- Closed on Tuesdays
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe or the “Triumphal Arch” is a monument constructed to honour all those who bravely fought and sacrificed their lives for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. The whole monument itself is engraved with all the significant French victories and generals and beneath its vault, it is said that the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War 1 is situated here.
- Metro: lines 1, 2 and 6, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
- RER: line A, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
- From April 1 to September 30: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
- From October 1 to March 31: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
- Closed on January 1, May 1,May 8 (morning) July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris is another outstandingly breathtaking building in this beautiful city. The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame is an ageless structure that was first constructed in the early 1200’s by Maurice de Sully. By the early 1300s, the chapels of Notre Dame were finished. For a beautiful view of Paris, climb up the towers and feast your eyes on the panoramic views of this magnificent city. Behind the cathedral, there is a small garden that you can only see it from the top, as visitors are not allowed into this part of the building, which is an added perk besides the view of the city.
- Metro: lines 4 (Station Cité or Saint-Michel), 1 and 11 (Station Hôtel de Ville), 10 (Station Maubert-Mutualité or Cluny – La Sorbonne), 7 and 11 and 14 (Station Châtelet)
- RER: line B and C, Station Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame
Sample the French Cuisine
French cuisine is known the world over for its artistic, technical and flavorfulness. You cannot possibly leave Paris before tasting the many regional dishes on offer. Enjoy the croissant, which is a flaky, buttery pastry. Its named is originated for its distinctive crescent shape. Do not miss out on the many Michelin starred restaurants in the city centre too.
Now you know why Paris is distinguished as the “city of love” as not only it sparks romance in the movies but also in the hearts of anyone who visits her.
[Images credits: Taylormiles/Flickr, john_vosburgh/Flickr, grufnik/Flickr, anirudhkoul/Flickr, cuellar/Flickr, stuckincustoms/Flickr]
Things to do in Paris - Review