Bonjour! (Good morning!)
Bonsoir! (Good evening!)
My friends and I just came from a week of vacay and I still cannot fathom how or why I came to visit this city of light. Paris was never on my to do list – well, not until now.
Here are my top 15 picks of the best places to visit in the city of light and love. Indulge!
1. NOTRE DAME
Located in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, the Notre-Dame de Paris or also known as the Notre Dame Cathedral is a medieval catholic cathedral with French gothic architecture. It is hailed as the most visited monument in Paris with about 13 million visitors every year, beating the Eiffel Tower.
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Hours: Every day of the year from 0800 to 1845 Hours. (1915 on Saturdays and Sundays)
*No luggage is allowed.
Tip: The line here is usually long, so if you must go inside the Cathedral, spare at least 30 minutes of your time queuing.
2. EIFFEL TOWER
The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 world’s fair to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Republic. Designed by Alexander Gustav Eiffel, it was coined as the world’s tallest structure for 40 years.
Address: 5 Avenue Anatole, Paris, France
Hours: Daily 9:30am–11pm. (Mid-June to early September: 9am–midnight)
Admission: Eiffel Tower ticket costs vary wildly. Adults over the age of 25 willing to take the 704 stairs to the second floor pay 7 euros, those aged 12 to 24 years pay 5 euros, and children 4 to 11 pay 3 euros. Admission tickets with elevator access to the second floor cost 11 euros, 8.50 euros, and 4 euros, respectively.
Tip: Always book “skip the line” tickets online prior to entering the tower for a smooth entrance.
3. PONT NEUF LOVE LOCK BRIDGE
“Love locks”, or “cadenas d’amour” in French, are padlocks that are attached to bridges, statues, fences or monuments by couples or individuals as a symbolic gesture of love. Although the love locks in Le Pont des Arts were removed, showing one’s affection of locking their love would still spring everywhere in Paris.
Address: 75001 Paris, France
Tip: If you prefer to preserve the bridges in Paris and avoid the tradition that has been contrived for 15 years, you can just simply walk along and enjoy the view.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is an avenue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, 1.9 kilometres long and 70 metres wide, running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located.
Address: Champs-Élysées. Faubourg du Roule
Tip: Enjoy walking here at night; the vibrant lights live up to its Parisian feels.
5. LOUVRE MUSEUM
The Louvre Pyramid is a large glass and metal pyramid named as the world’s largest museum and a historic monument in Paris.
I finally saw Mona Lisa here!
Address: 75001 Paris, France
Hours: Everyday except Tuesdays, 9am-6pm and until 0945pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Admission: Entrance to the Louvre is €15. On Bastille Day (14 July) and the first Sunday of each month entrance is free for everyone, all day.
Tip: Make sure to spend ample time here if you want to see the museum in all it’s corners. Literally it would take you two days if you spend 30 seconds on each painting! It’s that massive!
6. ARC DE TRIOMPHE
The intricately sculpted triumphal arch stands sentinel in the centre of the Étoile (‘Star’) roundabout. It has 284 steps and has a spectacular view of the entire city and the Eiffel Tower!
Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Hours: 10AM – 11PM
Tip: Even if you’re not up for the climb, do make time to visit the base of the Arc de Triomphe. It’s definitely stunning!
7. JARDINS DU TROCADÉRO
If there is one garden you really must visit when you go to the Eiffel Tower, it’s the Trocadéro gardens. The centrepiece of the gardens is the famous Warsaw fountains which, with its 20 water cannons, offers a remarkable water display, especially on summer evenings when the illuminations around the fountains add to the attraction.
Address: Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, France
Hours: Open 24 hours
Tip: Don’t forget to be creative and make the most of your time here! You get the best view of the Eiffel tower as well!
Montmartre is a large hill in Paris’s 18th arrondissement. The iconic hilltop neighborhood’s striped awnings, cobblestone streets, and lively plazas rest at the foot of its pilgrimage-worthy basilica, Sacre Coeur.
Address: Montmartre, 75018 Paris, France
Hours: All day
Tip: Before you decide to head to Montmarte, make sure you are wearing comfortable sneakers or boots since the uphill is quite steep and might cause you to have a leg strain afterwards.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.
Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Hours: 6am-1030pmAdmission: Free
Tip: Silence is strictly observed in the church. Whispering is not allowed too. I was reprimanded since I was talking. Again. ;D
The Palace of Versailles is a French royal palace located in the Ile de France region, about 15 miles south west of Paris, France, that was built for King Louis XIV in the late 1600s. There are more than 700 rooms, including 1,200 fireplaces and 60 staircases in the Palace of Versailles. In today’s money it would have cost roughly $2 billion to build.
Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Hours: From 9:00 am to 6:30 pm (closed on Mondays)
Admission: €20 without the Musical Fountain Show or Musical Gardens or €27 on the days of Musical Fountains show or Musical Gardens. The Versailles Estate is open and free of charge to visitors on the first Sunday of the month from November to March.
Tip: The line for the palace is way too long! So in order to save an hour of your day, proceed immediately to the gardens!
11. PARIS DISNEYLAND
Disneyland Paris consists of two parks, Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. Disneyland Park is the park everybody has heard of and expects, and Walt Disney Studios Park has a more general movie making theme – but it’s still very Disney.
Address: 77777 Marne-la-Vallée, France
Hours: Disneyland Park(10:00 to 20:00); Walt Disney Studios Park 10:00 to 18:00
Admission: Varies (Depends upon the packages)
Tip: When booking tickets online, don’t forget to include the fast pass access; they have a different entrance which saves your precious time.
12. MOULIN ROUGE
The most famous cabaret in the world! It tells the story of a young English poet/writer, who falls in love with the star of the Moulin Rouge. It uses the musical setting of the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France.
Address: 82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
Admission: Varies (Dinner is another rate).
Tip: Always follow a cabaret’s dress code. Smart attire is required.
13. SAINTE CHAPELLE
A sumptuous, intimate royal chapel in Gothic-style filled with remarkable stained glass windows.
Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Tip: Always take note of the timings; we were not able to enter this remarkable chapel since we were 30 minutes late. Ugh.
14. PARIS METRO
The Paris Métro or Métropolitain (French: Métro de Paris) is a rapid transit system in the Paris Metropolitan Area. A symbol of the city, it is noted for its density within the city limits and its uniform architecture.
Hours: Mon – Fri: 05:30 – 00:30. Sat – Sun: 05:30 – 02:15. Nights before holidays: 05:30 – 02:15.
Tip: You can save money by purchasing a carnet of 10 tickets for €14,50 from vending machines near the turnstiles in Métro stations.
15. GALLERIES LAFAYETTE
The Galeries Lafayette is an upmarket French department store chain. Its flagship store is on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris but it now operates in a number of other locations in France and other countries.
Address: Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, France
Tip: Prepare your wallets! They have a wide variety of sophisticated brands and they give tax refunds for tourists! So ready, set, shop!
These are my top picks for places to visit for beginners in Paris! Always check on the weather updates for appropriate dress code and never leave your camera at home! Paris is all picture perfect!
Merci beaucoup everyone! Until next time!
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