Whenever you travel, it’s always a good idea to have a rough itinerary for all the things you want to do and see while you’re away. Whether you’re in Paris for awhile or just a few days, these are my top recommendations for a perfect Paris getaway.
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most obvious attraction in Paris, but for good reason. The structure itself is beautiful, but all around it is equally as amazing. The streets are lined with carousels, lights and vendors that really make you feel as though you are somewhere special. I recommend coming here in the evening, just as the sun is setting. You can have a picnic in the park overlooking the tower, or you can enjoy the view from the Trocadero Steps. Stick around ‘til it gets dark and watch as the Eiffel Tower lights up and begins to sparkle, spreading a feeling of magic over everyone around.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular and iconic architectural structures in Paris. It is covered in the names of those who fought and died in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Usually surrounded by tourists and traffic (as it is a HUGE round-a-bout), the best time to go here is probably early in the morning or later at night. If you have the time, venture up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for a view of the city. Full price to go up is 12 euros.
If you love shopping and cute café’s, then you’ll definitely want to wander down the Champs-Élysées. Enjoy browsing massive stores and the smell of noisette as you walk one of the most iconic avenues in the world. It runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, which is where you will find the Arc de Triomphe.
Musée du Louvre
If you are a lover of art or architecture, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to go to Musée du Louvre, or The Louvre. It is the central landmark of the city, and it is where you can find the Mona Lisa. Admission to the Louvre is 15 euros for adults. If you don’t have the time to go inside, there is still plenty to look at outside including the famous glass pyramids. These were possibly one of my favourite things in Paris.
Notre Dame Cathedral
After spending time at the Louvre, take a 15-minute walk along the canal and you’ll reach the site of Notre Dame Cathedral. On April 15th, 2019 the cathedral went up in flames. By the time the fire was put out, the spire and most of the roof had collapsed and been destroyed. Plans to restore the cathedral are underway but could require twenty years or more to complete.
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Attention all music fans and lovers of the Doors. Jim Morrison was buried in the Pere Lachaise cemetery. When you arrive there, you will see a large map which clearly indicates where his grave is. It is lovely to see the flowers and memorial pieces that have been placed around his grave. The cemetery itself is also very beautiful, with statues and plant life decorating the grounds.
*I also recommend doing a free walking tour while in Paris (or anywhere for that matter), as you will learn so much of the cities rich history and receive insider tips from the guide. I recommend doing walking tours with Sandemans. I have had great experiences with their guides and have received so much valuable information that I would otherwise have gone without. When the tour is over, it’s always nice to give your tour guide a tip, as they are doing this job on a volunteer basis (your tips are their main income!)
Where to stay:
St Christopher’s Inn – Hostel in the Paris Canal
This hostel was beautiful, clean affordable and right along the canal. It had a delicious and affordable restaurant and bar downstairs which was a great place to meet other travelers and hear their stories.
Metro!! Using transit in Paris is quite straight forward. I recommend getting the metro day pass which is 7.50 at the station. This way you can hop on and off as much as you please throughout the day, without having to pay each time.
Walking :) When you’re going to places close by & there’s good weather, walking is always the best option! You’ll see and experience so much more of the city and it’s culture just by wandering through the streets.
Paris is known as the city of love and lights. After being there, this saying means something much different to me. I used to think of it in a very literal sense, but now I think of it as what Paris fills you with, how it makes you feel and how it leaves you. You’ll fall in love with the history, with the architecture and art, with the food, with the parks. It will leave you feeling full of love. Paris will wake you up like the morning light. It will make you feel alive through it’s busy streets. It will fill you with magic as the twinkling lights overwhelm the night. Paris will fill you with love and light. It will leave you warm and glowing.
I hope you get the chance to go!