France is continuously the most visited country in the world and the capitol city, Paris, is one of the world’s most visited cities with an average of 33 million foreign tourists visiting each year. Paris is officially nicknamed “The City of Light,” because the role Parisians played during the Age of Enlightenment, and because it was one of the first cities to be lit up at night by thousands of gas lamps. Unofficially, many know Paris as the “City of Love,” and we think that might be the reason why people keep on visiting Paris. Here is a list of things to do when you visit Paris.
1) Eiffel Tower
Insider Tip- Sit on the grass field in front of the Eiffel Tower, known as Le Champ de Mars. Enjoy a bottle of wine and watch the tower lights turn on as the day slips into night.
Insider Tip- Sit on the steps in front of Sacré-Cœur Basilica and take in a view of all of Paris. Have a local artist paint your portrait or visit the Espace Dali to see over 300 original works by Salvador Dali.
Insider Tip- Of course one has to see the Mona Lisa, but in the same room as the Mona Lisa are several great works by Titian, which had a heavy influence on Manet. Also try to see Georges La Tour’s mastery of painting light and be startled by the artwork, “Gabrielle d’Estrees and One of Her Sisters.”
4) Walk Along the Seine River
Insider Tip- Permanently docked on the Seine River in front of the Notre-Dame Cathedral are several restaurant and café boats. Stop in for a bite or a drink and watch the river slowly flow by the iconic Cathedral. A ten minute walk away is the historic bridge known as Pont Neuf.
5) Luxembourg Gardens
Insider Tip- This is a great place to walk, take some time to smell the roses, people watch, watch sport, or even rent a small r/c boat on the lake. There is also an art museum in the Luxembourg Gardens that always has very unique exhibits, Musée du Luxembourg.
6) Latin Quarter
Insider Tip- Located on the left bank of the Seine in the 5th and 6th arrondissements, the Latin Quarter is an area of Paris for pedestrians only. You can stroll through the narrow lanes filled with hidden shops and places to eat cheese, oysters, crepes, pastries and other famous French cuisine. There are also lots of fun dance clubs at night too.
7) Go to another Museum
Insider Tip- When in Paris, you’ll want to see as much famous art as possible, and there is a lot more than just the Louvre. To see ground-breaking contemporary artists visit the Palais de Tokyo, which is conveniently located next door to the Paris Museum of Modern Art and across the street from Musee Galliera (Museum of Fashion). And of course there is Musée d’Orsay, Picasso National Museum, and Musée Rodin.
8) Avenue des Champs-Elysees
Insider Tip- This is where you will find all the high-end name brand fashion shops of Paris. It is a beautiful wide avenue and a picturesque walk from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triumphe. The metro is also very easy and convenient in this area. If you are game, Champs-Elysees night club Le Queen can be a very fun night.
9) Something Special to Eat
Insider Tip- It all depends on what you feel like but I suggest you consult a Michelin restaurant guide to get a scope of locations and prices. My suggestions are the Cristal Room Baccarat located in the Baccarat Crystal Museum, the Chamarre located on Montmartre for a contemporary set menu, or Le Restaurant located at Club St. James.
10) Catch a show at Moulin Rouge
Insider Tip- Opening in 1889, the same year the Eiffel Tower was erected, this is still the hottest ticket in town. Take in a show and a meal in the traditional French gastronomy style. Be warned- Tickets don’t come cheap and book out well in advance.
What is on your Parisian Bucket List? Do you have any more suggestions or insider tips? Please post and share your dreams at BUCKiTDREAM.