Ernest Hemingway called it a “Moveable Feast”. Thomas Jefferson said, “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in The Point of Life”. If you are looking for a no frills travel guide to the most wonderful city in the world, then you’ve come to the right place. There are endless things do and see in the city of lights, but if you only have a few days, then what’s worth it and what is probably a waste of time?
- Wait in line to get to the top of the Eiffel Tower. This could take you several hours and the view is nice, but isn’t the Paris skyline so much better with the Eiffel tower in it?
- Go to the top of Notre Dame. Same deal with the eiffel tower. It will take up far too much of your time and Notre Dame’s best features are down at ground level where you can avoid Claustrophobia.
- Fight your way through the crowds to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. It’s just not that spectacular, and actually quite small.
- Wear uncomfortable shoes. You will be walking A LOT. I know it’s Paris and you want to strut like a Parisian, but leave your heels at home.
- Pay a huge amount of money for a fancy french meal at the restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower. It’s just not worth the cash.
- People watch at any cafe on on the Ile de la Cite. There is a beautiful little island in the middle of the Seine that houses Notre Dame, endless delicious cafe’s, a wonderful little park at the very tip of the island, and of course, Sainte Chapelle. You really
can’t go wrong with any square inch of this place!
- Pay to see a classical concert inside of Sainte Chapelle! You will really feel like you’ve been dropped into a time warp as you relish Vivaldi in the wall to wall stained glass church. Go for the slightly more expensive ticket and enjoy a glass of champagne afterwards.
- See the impressionists section of Musee D’orsay. If you’ve never seen a Monet or a Renoir in person, now is the time! It almost knocked me to the floor!
- Go to the top of Sacre Coeur and relax on the front steps of it. Of any view any the city.. This is one that’s worth the wait and the climb!
- Take the day trip to see Versailles. You will easily get lost in the gardens there and stumble on some of the most beautiful scenery straight out of Cinderella. It might be a tourist trap but this is one Royal Palace you just can’t miss.
Above all else…
Get Lost! Wander the windy cobblestone streets and enjoy the unique, dreamy art nouveau, Parisian architecture. Stop in at a cafe and get a shot of espresso or a cappuccino with a pain au chocolate. Admire the chic and sophisticated Parisian women who just seem to have life all figured out. Shop anywhere in the city and don’t miss the walk down the Champs Elysee. Grab a bottle of wine and some cheese from a local grocery store and relax on the lush, green lawn under the Eiffel Tower. Savor a nutella crepe from a bench at the Tuileries by the Louvre and appreciate the statues. Enjoy the Seine – walk along, gaze at the bridges, take a boat down it or eat at one of the restaurants or cafes on it. Explore. Savor. Enjoy.
To sum this whole thing up, try to avoid the things that you feel like you should do because you are there and you may never come back. Stick to reveling in it all and taking your sweet time.
Paris is about just that.
I think this video by Mairie de Paris sums it up: