This is Part I of my Paris Tour Guide- Things to do in Paris. Be sure to see Part II to read even more about my most beloved travel destination. 😀
pAris was, and always will be, my dream destination. Many people find Paris to be overrated because of the expensive rate of living, but nothing could stop me from loving it.
Beauty can be found all over the city. The architecture is amazing, and so is the food. The Parisians are nice, the trendiest clothing and shops are just waiting to be found, and love is all around (it really is “in the air!”).
Walking down the serene streets was one of my favorite things to do while in Paris. I covered most of the neighborhoods (or arrondissements) of Paris on foot because I simply never felt tired; the buildings and cafés around me acted like a source of fuel. You can just keep walking and admiring the city forever.
I am so much in love with Paris that despite spending 5 full days there, I still couldn’t get enough. I hope that soon — really, really soon — I will be able to return to the city.
Watch Video of my tour to get a glimpse of Paris…
Things you will read about in the complete series – Paris Tour Guide:
- Attractions to visit in Paris
- What to eat in Paris
- Best shopping location in Paris
- Where to stay in Paris
- Time and weather in Paris
- Transportation in Paris
Did you know: “Age groups are divided into 3 parts in France – Kids, Young, and Adults. Entrance fees are charged based on these groups. That means if you are 24 years old or younger, you will be paying less for all the attractions. Yippee!!”
Paris Tour Guide will familiarize with all the above. Keep reading and be sure to check out Part II!
Attractions to visit in Paris
The Eiffel Tower – view the entire city at once!
The Eiffel tower is the one monument that almost everyone dreams about visiting at least once in his or her lifetime. I was always one of those people; I’ve admired its beauty for a very long time.
I was really excited to visit it and I had a wonderful time there! So, allow me to share my experience with you in the hopes that you’ll benefit from it.
How — and when — to buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower
I suggest you buy your tickets to the Eiffel Tower as soon as your flight is booked; otherwise, you may end up missing out on your most desired ticket — especially a priority access one to the summit.
I purchased the tickets approximately 2 months prior to my visit and yet, I still couldn’t fetch the tickets to the summit. This was likely due to it being the peak season for visits to the Eiffel Tower but still, why take the risk? Buy any and all tickets you need as soon as you can from the Eiffel Tower’s official website. Tickets are expensive on 3rd party sites! For the access to 2nd floor, the rates for each individual adult is 16 euros.
Did you know: “You have the option to climb the Eiffel tower by stairs as well, and the best part is that (at only 10 euros) this is the cheapest ticket to buy! There are 3 ways you can gain access to the tower: by lift, stairs or a mix of both.”
After choosing your tickets to the Tower, you will be prompted to select a preferred date and time for the visit. Choose this time wisely, with your own comfort in mind.
Purchasing your tickets online will guarantee another benefit (besides cheap tickets): You will not have to stand in line (provided you arrive on time)!
All you have to do is arrive 5 minutes prior to the booked time slot and go directly to the lift. Then, to your dreams! Don’t get stuck waiting in line; book online!
Food at the Tower
The first lift goes to the 2nd floor; afterwards, you have to take another lift to get to the summit. But please do spend as much time as you’d like on the 2nd floor! The view is amazing; you can see most of Mont-Marte directly from here. There are also plenty of washrooms, gift shops and eateries available.
The 1st and 2nd floor each has its own restaurant. There are also snack shops on both floors, and a bar located on the highest floor.
The restaurant on the 1st floor is called “58 tour Eiffel” and it offers set menus for lunch and dinner. They even offer vegetarian food (so if you are a vegetarian, not to worry)! The Lunch costs 39 euros (plus an additional 8 euros for the lift). Dinners cost more than double that amount.
As with purchasing tickets, I suggest you reserve a table for lunch or dinner at least 2 months in advance. Don’t take the booking process for granted. You can check the prices and the menu here.
Occasional activities nearby
When you visit the tower, you’ll be given the opportunity to Zipline from the Eiffel Tower. I didn’t get a chance to try it, but it seemed like an awesome experience. It allows a person to fly at a speed of 90 kilometers per hour! Only a select few get the opportunity to try it, however.
Tip: Download the Eiffel Tower app on your mobile phone to discover secrets made available only to the most passionate of travelers!
2. Take a cruise ride on the Seine river – admire the beauty of Paris!
No Paris trip is complete without a cruise ride. There are many options to choose from when we talk about cruises; you can take a like lunch or /dinner cruise, or even or you can combine an Eiffel Tower tour with a cruise etc.
I prefer the “Vedettes du Pont Neuf” 1-hour cruise. It is a small boat with a capacity of approximately 250 people, but it and gives full access to the top deck. This was one of the main reasons as to why I chose this particular cruise.
Did you know: There are 32 bridges on the river Seine. Pont Neuf is the oldest (and one of the prettiest) of them all.
The ride starts at Pont Neuf and runs every 30 minutes. The company I chose offers many cruise options, such as 1-hour or 2-hour rides. You can read more information about the type of cruises they offer here.
I suggest taking the cruise ride at night so you can enjoy seeing the Eiffel Tower lit up. A one-hour cruise costs approx 12 euros, but be sure to check out the early bird offers for a discount!
There is a cruise that begins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower called Vedettes de Paris. It offers all the things mentioned above, but it costs 15 euros. Choose any cruise you’d like, but do make sure it gives you the access to the top deck. It is important because you get a 360-degree view and you don’t have any barrier like a window between you and the beautiful view. You will definitely be able to feel the air of Paris in a better way.
3. Take a tour of Louvre museum – explore the myths surrounding the Mona Lisa painting
Even if you are not into Art, chance are you know of this remarkable piece of art: the Mona Lisa.
Years back, I remember wanting to visit the Louvre purely so I could see the Mona Lisa. I now, however, have many reasons to go back. My craving to visit the Museum increased after reading The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, one of my favorite authors.
The beauty of the Louvre is beyond the scope of this blog post but nonetheless, I will try to explain it. The very famous entryway of the Museum, aptly named “The Pyramid”, is a world-famous symbol of the Louvre. I just couldn’t get enough of it; if I could have sat there for hours and given my eyes a treat, I would’ve.
The Pyramid marks the entrance of the museum and also happens to be a very good location for amazing photographs. In fact, there are two-feet-tall pillars near the Pyramid that allow you to touch the peak of the pyramid (or at least appear to allow you to do so for photography purposes, I should say).
Did you know: “When looking at the Mona Lisa painting from an angle you may notice an elegant smile on her face. But looking at the painting head-on will cause the smile to disappear. This is the result of an optical illusion known as “sfumato” – a technique involving color and shading.”
When and how to book your tickets?
It’s important to note that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, so plan ahead carefully. If you already aware of and excited to see the wonderful work of artists like Raphael and Leonardo Da Vinci, all you have to do is grab one of their museum maps and an audio guide, and you will be good to go!
If you, like me, lack in-depth knowledge of most famous artworks, consider opting instead for a complementary “Welcome to the Louvre” guided tour.
This tour is available in English Monday through Friday at 11 am and at 2 pm. You will be given a receiver with earphones to listen to what the guide says in his mic. Remember to bring your ID, because it will be required in exchange for the receiver. You will get your ID back once the receiver has been returned.
You can only purchase tour tickets directly from the museum itself (there are no third-party sellers), but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still buy the museum entrance tickets online to save time. It will help you avoid waiting in line at the entrance.
Don’t be late for the tour; arrive according to the time you’ve selected. The best part, though: if you are under the age of 18, entry for you is free and you’ll have saved your travelling partner/s 17 euros!
I took the tour and can vouch for it being well worth your time and money. You will get to see all the famous paintings and sculptures and the guide will tell you the story behind each one. The tour ends at the hall where the Mona Lisa painting resides. The only downside is, you may not be given time to take enough photographs. If this happens, just ask the guide if he or she can leave you there for a few extra minutes. It worked for me.
Did you Know: The sunlight is visible till 10:00 pm in Europe!
The Mona Lisa is kept in a temperature-controlled room that took 7 million constructs. The glass that protects the painting is bulletproof.
There are many other celebrated works of art and sculptures at the Louvre like the Winged Victory of Samothrace.
The headless winged sculpture is called Winged Victory of Samothrace, it was made to honor goddess Nike and the sea battle.
The Apollo Gallery is very famous for its ceilings which are decorated with amazing paintings and the precious jewelry displayed in it. Here is a glimpse of the Gallery, the first image shows the entrance of the Gallery.
This Gallery is house to World’s No. 2 most expensive Diamonds – The Sancy Diamond. It is a pale yellow diamond of 55.23 carats!
Everything in the Louvre is treat for the eyes. There are cafes and Patisseries (or, Pastry shops) in the Museum that even have a few options for vegetarians.
4. Tuileries garden
It is a wonderful garden just near the Museum. After a good tour, consider relaxing in the garden (if the weather permits). There are many cafés and shops in the area surrounding the garden. The garden is further adorned by a huge fountain and lovely sculptures. There is no entry fee to get into the garden. You can find out what hours the garden is open.
5. Go to Pont des Arts (the “love bridge”) and pretend to put a lock on the fence
On the other side of the Museum is the Pont des Arts, or “Love Bridge,” which leads to the back entrance of the Louvre Museum.
A campaign titled “love without locks” began in August 2014 to keep the bridge safe as the weight of locks was making the bridge weak. The Mayor eventually encouraged the tourists to take selfies instead of putting padlocks on the bridge. In June 2015, the locks were removed. It was difficult to stop tourists from putting locks due to this being a famous ritual.
Did you know: At one point there were over a million locks on the bridge and it weighted approx 45 tons as a result.
Earlier padlocks were tied on these siderails but now glasses have been put here to prevent the same.
6. Admire the architecture of Notre-Dame – the epicenter of Paris
The Notre Dame is a highly-regarded, world-famous cathedral. As I mentioned above, it is the epicenter of the city, and very close to the Pont Des Arts. You must visit the church if you decide to visit Paris; after all, entry is free. (A fee is only charged if one wishes to go to the top of the towers.) It is open from 8 am to 6:45 pm on weekdays, and until 7:45 pm on weekends. Doublecheck to make sure you’ll have enough time to spend there prior to your visit. The timings change according to seasons (summer/winters).
Did you know: “The Notre Dame is the largest religious building in the world, At 425 feet long, 157 feet wide, and 114 feet high. Since the construction of the church in the 1200’s, the stained glass windows have stayed the same.”
It is easy to gauge the beauty of this place through these pictures. The church is beautiful from the inside, as well as the outside. Candles are available, and it is up to you whether you want to give to the church or not.
There is so much to do and see in Paris that I decided it would be better to cover everything in more than one post. I hope my love for Paris came through loud and clear in this post and that you will be back for the next one. I will cover even more Paris attractions in Paris Tour Guide Part II, so stay tuned!
Here’s a sneak peek of what I’ll be covering next time:
7. Go crazy in love with Disneyland
This is the favorite part of my tour (apart from the shopping of course :D).
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