Our recent visit to Paris was a lot more relaxed especially as we had seen and done most things touristy the first time round.
It did however allow us the luxury of re-visiting the places that we felt were the ‘must see’ spots.
Whether you’re on a flying visit and don’t have much time or you’re visiting Paris with kids and want to take it slow, this is a short list of places and experiences you definitely want to get to
No one can visit Paris and not go to the Eiffel Tower. It is THE landmark of the city and if you can only get to one place – here is where it must be.
For the full effect, take the metro to Trocadero and walk via Palais du Chaillot towards the Eiffel Tower. If the weather is good, enjoy a leisurely stroll (ignoring the crowds and hoards of people) through Jardin du Trocadero.
If you are able, we would definitely recommend going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. From there the bird’s eye view of the city is spectacular.
Also read our earlier post on Beating the Queues at the Eiffel Tower
The pearly white Sacre Coeur Basillica is another must visit destination in Paris. If you’re fit and enjoy a hike, walk up the steps to the summit of Montmartre and you will be rewarded with a fine view from the highest point in the city. Another less taxing walk is through the shopping streets up the side paths to the church.
Failing that, there is a tram (free with a travelcard) which takes you right up to the top.
After that, take a stroll around the Artist’s Haven of MontMartre where you can get your portrait done as quickly as 10 minutes.
The Louvre, home to numerous master pieces, is in itself a sight to behold. Formerly one of the palatial homes of the French royalty.
The modern addition of the glass pyramid which also serves as a light funnel has added another landmark to this already well known place.
Many queues surround the most famous of the art work housed in the Louvre, the Mona Lisa.
So is it really a must see? Well, for purists, the simple answer would be yes. however the reality is that the Mona Lisa, is actually quite a small painting, hidden behind security glass and as camera flashes are not allowed, and the throngs of people fighting to get right up to the front, about 3 feet away, the reality is that you would get a better view of the Grand Dame from a picture.
Still The Louvre, if you have time, is definitely worth a visit.
Champs Elysses, the manicured tree-lined boulevard of shopping paradise, is one of the must visits in Paris. Even if just to wander down the boulevard watching the more well-heeled Parisienes go about that daily shopping jaunts.
Stop outside the Louis Vuitton shop and you may well have an Asian tourist ask you to help them out by buying an extra LV bag for them (apparently LV only allows the passport holder to buy one item each per day).
A short walk away is the Arc du Triomphe which is worth a quick look, if you don’t pass any of the other Arcs in the city.
Most tourist and travellers in Paris would get on the metro or walk, however seeing how closely tied in to the River the life of the city is, it is quite an insightful way to view the city from the river.
Although a cruise down the river is an amazing experience, another way to get around the city is simply to use the Batobus that is like a Tourist Hop-On Hop-Off water bus.
Paris is a city that is full of wonderful and amazing monuments, sights, gardens, markets and experiences. This list would hardly do justice to the vast array on offer to the Paris visitor. The purpose here though is simply to share our favourite places in Paris.
If you have visited Paris, what were your top Five must-sees?
If you haven’t visited before, where would you go?