Things to Do in Paris
I always resisted visiting Paris. Why? I thought it was probably overrated and would be a waste of my time and money. I was wrong; the most wrong I’ve ever been. Paris is simply a delightful and beautiful city. It lives up to any and all expectations in its timeless beauty, spectacular landmarks, glamorous streets, iconic cuisine, and exquisite museums. There are many things to do in Paris; hard to pick just a few. I stopped by Paris after a visit to Normandy!
Things to Do in Paris
First place to visit is the most obvious: EIFFEL TOWER! Do not forget to visit during the evening as it is lit up and on the hour, it sparkles for a few minutes. If you wish to enter the Tower, yes you can and yes you should, but I would recommend booking a skip the line tour if you are travelling during peak season as the lines can be long (two hours-long). I booked through Viator and have always had a great experience with them.
One of my favourite things to do in Paris is a visit to the Louvre. Originally constructed as a fortress in the 12th century then rebuilt as a 16th century royal residence, it was turned into a museum in 1793 following the French Revolution. The most famous piece of work at the Louvre is the lovely Ms Mona Lisa by one of the greatest painters in history, Leonardo da Vinci. However, there are many great pieces of art ranging from Assyrians, Etruscans, Greeks, and from antiquity. There are more than 35,000 pieces on display. It is an overwhelming museum to visit but absolutely breathtaking. 🙂
Other things to do in Paris includes a stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to make your way to the Arc de Triomphe which started construction in 1806 by Napoleon to honour his French army that had triumphed over a large portion of Europe by that time. It was completed many years later in 1836, long after Napoleon’s death in 1821.
Speaking of Napoleon, I suggest a visit to Les Invalides is in order to visit the tomb of Napoleon, members of his family and other notables.
Once you’ve enjoyed the cafes on Avenue des Champs-Élysées, hop the metro to visit Notre Dame Cathedral and its flying buttresses and lovely gargoyles. 🙂 The Cathedral took almost two hundred years to complete (12th-14th centuries) and has gone through several restorations over the centuries. The interior is a delight but do not neglect to visit the exterior to view the flying buttresses and for the entrance to visit the South Tower. Be prepared for a long trek up the steps (387 steps) to the top of the South Tower to view the gargoyles up close and a panoramic view of Paris. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
One of my little off the path spots is the Rodin Museum. It is located near Les Invalides and filled with sculptures by Rodin. It was heaven! I wish more people would visit this museum! It was created when Rodin himself donated his works and collections to the French State in 1916. Auguste Rodin created some of the most wonderful modern sculptures.
One last thought on my favourite things to do in Paris – WALKING! You can walk everywhere. I only took the metro once or twice when I was there; I simply walked everywhere. I stayed at a hotel near the Eiffel Tower. I walked to the Tower, Les Invalides, the Louvre, Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. I took the metro to Notre Dame since it was further away but I loved walking around Paris especially at night. It was during the busy season of travel but it was relaxing and soothing. I have never been so relaxed. 🙂