According to various surveys, France tends to be the tourism capital of the world. The city that brings in the most visitors? Its capital, Paris, of course! Many of us have long romanticised this city and for good reason. Nine times out of ten, it will live up to all of your expectations and preconceived notions. So, what should you consider getting up to while visiting the City of Lights? Here are just a few ideas to get you started!
The Eiffel Tower
You can’t even begin to speak of Paris without mentioning what may be its most iconic landmark: the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, this stunning piece of architecture draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors year-round. It’s not hard to see why. Its sheer grandeur is astounding! Now, this attraction is open most days of the year from morning until night. So choose your time wisely.
Ideally, you should visit while weather conditions are preferable. Why? Well, you don’t want your view from the top to be obscured by fog or mist. If you visit in the day, you will be able to take in a sprawling view of wider Paris. If you visit by night, you get to see the city all lit up. You will also be treated to a pretty light show on the hour every hour. We’d recommend paying the small extra fee to use the lift if you want to avoid exhaustion and the extra to visit the top tier is well worth the investment!
Chances are you’ve watched the Disney classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” at some point in your life. While you can’t expect to bump into Quasimodo or Esmeralda while visiting Notre Dame, you can expect the same magnificent building decked with gargoyles.
Try to reach the site just before the hour, so that you can hear the bells ring out. Then head inside to marvel at the interior decor. Just remember that this is an active religious institute, so to pay the respect that the site and the individuals worshipping inside deserve.
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
If you’re a fan of literature, then you should seriously consider making the short pilgrimage to Shakespeare and Company Bookstore. Lying just a couple of minutes’ walk away from Notre Dame, this small store is steeped in cultural and literary history. Originally opened by Sylvia Beach in 1919, the first version of the store was host to literary legends such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound, Djuna Barnes, Mina Loy, and Gertrude Stein.
Having closed during the second world war, it was brought back to life following the war and once again drew in literary genius. The likes of Alan Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Gregory Corso, Anais Nin, and James Baldwin all passed through its doors. Nowadays, you can expect shelves stocked with literature, quaint reading seats, cute views across to Notre Dame and a lovely cafe for a rest stop next door.
If you’re a fan of hot chocolate, you simply must visit Angelina. Originally just one store set up by confectioner Antoine Rumpelmayer in 1903, this now chain of tea rooms are renowned for their delicious offerings.
Perhaps best known is their famous hot chocolate. However, they also offer tea, pastries, and macaroons alongside sandwiches, salads, and other lunch items. The cost may be a little upmarket, but if you have the cash to spare, consider it a wise investment for the sake of your taste buds.
In the bohemian district of Montmartre lies the world famous “Moulin Rouge”. Much like the film, you can expect glitz, glamour, dancing, and music from this astounding cabaret show. Perhaps the only downside of this wonderful performance is its use of animals. Sign a petition here to remove this element and this brilliant night out would be absolutely perfect!
Louvre and Musee d’Orsay
Paris has a rich history of art. Some of the world’s greatest artists have flocked here to learn their craft and expand their style. So it’s not all too surprising that you can find two of the world’s most impressive museums lying on the same road here! The Louvre is iconic and expansive. Home to more than 380,000 exhibits, most tourists flocks to see the Mona Lisa.
The Musee d’Orsay is built in an old rail station and home to more Impressionist works, by artists such as such as Van Gogh and Degas!
As you can see, Paris is a hub of activity. These are just a few attractions and experiences that it has to offer! So plan your days wisely and fit in as much as you possibly can!