“I’ve always dreamed about visiting Paris, one of those cities you put on bucket list and say “I’ll be there, sooner or later”. When you arrive in Paris you immediately understand that everything that has been told to you is true. Paris is the city of love, the city that makes you fall in love in every corner and takes your breath away every time you look at it. Paris is love and living the city with “your person” is undoubtedly the most beautiful thing.”
These is how I was talking about Paris posting a photo of the Eiffel Tower on Instagram few days ago. This city has stolen my heart, I fall so in love with it that I think I could talk for years, but fortunately I’ll publish just some “little” posts. Let’s start from the most important one, the one dedicated to the most important places to visit. Ladies and gentlemen, here are the top 10 places you cannot miss if you are in town:
1. EIFFEL TOUR
The Eiffel Tower is undoubtedly the symbol of Paris and for this reason has been the first place we visited as soon as we landed. Unfortunately, we didn’t go up because the queue at the entrance was really long and we wouldn’t lost time to wait. There are two solutions to visit the tower: be patient and wait or buy your tickets online, hoping for a “shorter” queue (unfortunately, even having the tickets you’re gonna wait downstairs).
We didn’t give up and we took lots of pictures from every point of view. My advice is to take photos from the Gardens of Trocadero during the sunset time to be able to capture every nuance with the right lights. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed! Also, if you’ll be there at night, don’t miss its lights. The tower so sparkling is even more beautiful!
2. ARC OF TRIUMPH/CHAMPS ÉLYSÉES
The Arc of Triumph, in the middle of Charles De Gaulle Square, is undoubtedly one of the most famous monuments of the city, desired by Napoleon to celebrate the victory in the battle of Austerlitz. From here starts the long and so famous avenue of Champs Élysées, undoubtedly the most important one in Paris, full of restaurants and boutiques of prestigious fashion brands and not only. The ideal for a bit of Parisian shopping!
3. PLACE DE LA CONCORDE/TUILERIES GARDEN/ PLACE VENDOME
At the end of the Champs Élysées there’s Place de la Concorde, the largest square in the city. In the middle, in addition to two beautiful fountains, stands the Egyptian obelisk of Luxor which is located exactly on the Historical Axis of Paris (Ax Historique), the imaginary axis that connects the monuments and the Parisian streets. Around the square there are also eight allegorical statues that represent the main French cities.
Crossing the square you enter the wonderful Tuileries Garden, the oldest in the city. The gardens, besides being beautiful, are also really large. They host the Orangerie Museum and the National Gallery of the Jeu de Paume, as well as numerous statues and works of art. Crossing the garden and going out on Rue de Tivoli you can reach in few minutes Place Vendome, another famous square, desired by Luigi XIV.
4. NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL
If you saw the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” when you were child, you cannot miss a visit to the famous cathedral of Quasimodo and its friends Gargoyles. Characterized by a Gothic style, the basilica is has large naves, gigantic vaults and a large colored rose window in the center of the façade. Admission is free, except for the visit of the towers.
5. LUXEMBOURG GARDENS
The Luxembourg Gardens, as well as the Tuileries Gardens, are public gardens. Opened in the fifteenth century desired by Maria de ‘Medici, the gardens are the ideal place to spend a few hours relaxing surrounded by nature. In the garden is located the Luxembourg Palace and numerous statues, including the one dedicated to the famous French poet Charles Baudelaire.
The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world and certainly the most important one in the city. At the center of the museum square stands the famous pyramid while inside are kept some of the most important works of art in the world, including our Mona Lisa.
It was the only museum that we had the opportunity to visit during our stay because we didn’t have so many time. Of course, even the Orsay Museum deserves a visit! But looking back to the Louvre … dedicate at least half a day when you’ll go there!
As a former dancer, to me the Opéra Garnier in Paris represents the theater with a capital T. I could therefore be biased when I tell you that everything in this place is magical. The ceiling of the main hall is even decorated with a beautiful painting by Marc Chagall. Together with the Opéra Bastille, it’s a part of the Paris National Opéra, created desired by Sun King.
If you’ll be in the Opéra area and you want to admire the city from the top, don’t miss a visit at Lafayette. Go up to the top floor and enjoy a breathtaking view over the roofs of Paris!
8. MONTMARTRE/SACRE-COEUR/MOULIN ROUGE
Montmartre is the district of artists in the heart of Paris, perhaps the most peculiar one. Dedicate at least half a day to visit the district because it’s really worth it. Once arrived by metro you can choose to climb the famous hill by foot or take the funicular that will lead you to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. The visit is free while the access to the dome costs 5 euros.
When in Montmarte, you cannnot miss all the murals, as well as several works of art, the famous Maison Rose, the wall of love and the very well-known Moulin Rouge.
9. GRAND MOSQUE OF PARIS
The Grand Mosque of Paris, located in the Latin district, is the largest one in France. This place struck me, especially outside. Its colors are really beautiful and it’s definitely worth visiting. Look at pictures!
10. PLACE DE LA BASTILLE/PLACE DE LA REPUBLIC
As you know, Place de la Bastille is the symbol of the French revolution. The Bastille doesn’t exist anymore and so only the July Column remains in the middle of the square.
Taking the metro from Place de la Bastille, you can reach in few stops Place de la République, another famous square in Paris. At the center there’s a big monument dedicated to the Republic. It’s a bronze statue of the Marianne surrounded by three smaller statues symbolizing the values of the French Republic: “Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité“.
In my opinion, these are the places you should visit if you are in Paris, but certainly thery’re not the only ones. We spent three days in the city because we then moved to Disneyland for other two days. Obviously, with more days you can certainly see more.
In addition to this “Top 10“, I’d also like to give you some info that will be useful if you are planning a trip to Paris:
– Metro: if you’re gonna stay in the city more than one day, I recommend you to buy the “Paris Visite“. This pass is available for different days and different areas. If your journey includes airports (surely) and Disneyland, it may be cheaper the pass for zone 1-5. Even if our journey included them, we opted for the pass of 3 days for zone 1-3. This is because from Charles De Gaulle we took Uber (much faster than the Rossybus) and from Disneyland we took the “Magical Shuttle” (certainly much more comfortable than all the subway changes)
– Museums/attractions: if you’re under 25 and live in one of the countries of the European Union, I have good news for you! The access to many museums and attractions in Paris is reduced or even free. For example, the Louvre is free, while the Opéra has a reduced admission fee of €8 instead of €15. I recommend you to consult the site or ask for it there!
– Uber: probably, many of you will be against Uber but I think it’s a really good alternative to the classic taxi. Why? Because you need just an app to call it, you can pay online and it’s cheaper. We used it to move from the airport to the center of Paris and during the night to come back to the hotel. Plus, if you sign up, the first ride is free!
I hope you’ve been tempted to visit Paris (or come back)
Au revoir Paris…