Paris, oh Paris, is there a city more charming than you? No, I don’t think so. The best phrase I can use to describe it is that it is beautiful during the day and magical during the night. Every single minute I spent there was like being inside a movie, oh well I guess that’s why there are so many movies made there.
I spent only 3 days in Paris and from these 3 days I only went to the museum once, so it was enough time to see everything I needed and would like to see. I read many blogs and also carried a travel book with me so I could make the most of my time there. So if you planning to go there for only a few days this is the perfect guide for you.
Metro in Paris
The metro in Paris is incredibly fast and very easy to use, you can get almost anywhere in the city within 30 minutes. If you are going only for the weekend I recommend buying the weekend metro pass. It cost about 20 euros for the whole weekend and it lets you travel to all the centrals areas. When you buy your tickets you can also ask for a map, which is very handy.
Must Do’s in Paris
Visit the Louvre Museum – Not only a historic monument but also one of world’s largest museums, and trust me it’s so big that you can easily spent a whole day there (if you like museums). I didn’t spend much time inside the Louvre I only went in to see the Mona Lisa, beautiful painting, smaller in real life, but it is obviously a must see.
Eiffel Tower – One of the most recognizable structures in the world, the Eiffel tower is one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. It’s just really beautiful. You must go there twice, once during the day and once when it’s dark, it looks even more majestic during the night. You should wait to go up in the evening as the view of the city is just incredible, the Seine River looks beautiful during the night. It is a very romantic place, the tower has flashing lights which gives the tower a sparkly appearance every hour on the hour. I felt like a 10 year old kid when saw it, it looks magical and you must wait to see that. The lift that goes all the way to the top closes at 10pm and the lift that goes to the middle closes at 11pm. Make sure you go a bit earlier as there is usually a queue, although during the evening the queue is much smaller.If you are not scared of heights taking the stairs on your way down from the middle is a very nice thing to do.
Seine River – And for the romantics, walk by the Seine river just after the sun sets, it is very peaceful and incredibly beautiful.
Galeries Lafayette – Even if you are not a fashion enthusiast, the store flaunts the elegant Belle Epoque architecture, a beautiful place especially around Christmas time. The Christmas tree hanging from the ceiling is my favorite part. It is located near the Opera Garnier (another impressive building) so you can see two places in one go. If you are a foodie visit the food market on ground floor, you will be impressed by the amount of delicious things down there.
Le Marche Aux Puces – If your are a fan of markets, you can’t miss out Le Marche Aux Puces, one of the biggest markets in the world. Full of the most beautiful antiques I have ever seen. Very interesting place, some areas in there it almost feels as if you were in a different era. Once you get there you will see two markets which sell clothes, shoes, fake stuff, don’t worry, that’s not it! Ignore them and keep walking until you find the antique market. There is a lot of vintage clothes, jewelry, bags and much more. Amazing place in a not so nice area. I recommend going in the morning as there is less people, you can look at stuff in peace.
Notre Dame – Not your usual style of cathedral, the Notre Dame is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and one of the largest and most well known churches in the world. Amazing architecture, full of detail in every corner.
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur – Based at the highest point in the city, on top of the Montmartre mount you have an amazing view from there, not as great as the Eiffell tower but still very impressive. To get to the top of the hill you can either take the stairs or take the funicular, you can use your travel pass so no need to pay extra. The church is all white, a beautiful building. The atmosphere in there is amazing, there are some street artists doing tricks and singing, people sitting on the steps enjoying the show, a nice place to spend the afternoon. As the Sacre-Coeur is a popular tourist destination, there are people trying to make easy money from of tourists and also pick pockets. They usually work in two, so one distracts the target and the other one steals wallets or bags. I saw it with my very eyes, so be careful.
From the Sacre-Coeur you can go see the Moulin Rouge, the place is still running and you can buy tickets to go see the shows. If you are not interested in watching the shows I would recommend going during the day as it is not a safe area to walk around. The area is very different from the rest of Paris, there is a lot sex shops and strip clubs around there. You may be disappointed when you see the Moulin Rouge, the building doesn’t look as nice as it did in the movies (obviously) but it’s nice just to see it.
Arc de Triomphe – One of the most famous monuments in Paris, you can to go the roof of the monument for 11 euros, the arch is 50 meters high so you will have a nice view of Paris from there as well. You will have to climb the stairs on your way up, it’s quite pretty inside and you can take nice pictures in the staircase. The arch is beautiful, the walls are decorated with low relieves which evoke the battles of the French first Republic and Empire periods (1789-1815).
I hope this post was helpful, and that you enjoy Paris as much as I did. If you want to find places to eat in Paris, check out my second blog post about restaurants in Paris.
101 Things to do in Paris – TimeOut
10 Things not to do in Paris – Conde Nast Traveler
10 Free things to do in Paris – Telegraph
Restaurants in Paris – (JustWandering)