You’re going to Europe and you have some time in Paris… what do you do? Where do you start? (Small internal panic…) How do you make the most of your time in one of the most beautiful city’s in the world?!?
- Bring walking shoes and walk, walk, walk! In our opinion, one of the best ways to see the real Paris is to simply walk. If you can orientate yourself so you vaguely know where you are going, the streets of Paris are generally very pretty and well worth the blistered feet!
- Orientate yourself about the city. Prior to our arrival in Paris, we bought online a Paris Pass for 2 days, which gives you admission to hundreds of attractions all over Paris, plus a special que line so often there is no lining up for Paris Pass holders (which also helps to maximise your time in Paris).
The Paris Pass also gives you a day pass on the Big Bus hop on/hop off tour.
We did a full loop of the bus first to orientate ourselves and found that was an enormous help. The Paris Pass also gives you free admission to the Paris Story, basically a movie on Paris’s history. The interesting thing about the Paris Story was that it also showed you what any relevant building look like today, so as you are going along in your day, you can recognise a building and understand it’s history. After doing the Paris Story and the full loop of the hop on/ hop off bus, we had a great idea of what else we wanted to see.
- Sit on the steps of the Sacre Coeur at sunset and listen to the buskers.
The steps of the Sacre Coeur give an amazing view of Paris spread out below and at sunset the view is breathtaking! At any one time, there are hundreds of people sitting on the steps, soaking in the view and enjoying the variety of music played by the buskers.
- Sit at a sidewalk cafe and watch the world wander past you. Hot coffee at a street cafe in Paris… need I say more?!?
- Cruise on the Seine River. Running pretty much through the centre of Paris, the River Seine is divided into the Left and the Right Bank.
A cruise along the River Seine, whether for a romantic lunch or dinner cruise or on a busy tourist cruise, is a wonderful way to get a different perspective of Paris! We did the tourist cruise during the afternoon, and it also helped my tired feet to sit for an hour…
- Spend more time in the Louvre than dashing through to see the Mona Lisa. The Louvre is the largest museum in the world and offers an incredible 380,000 pieces of art, spread through the Louvre Palace over 60,600 sq metres!
Most famous is the Mona Lisa, but the crowd is usually 30 deep to view this masterpiece. Absolutely take the time to view the other works of art that interest you or even just take a wander through the corridors – the Palace itself is amazing!
- Have dinner in the Latin Quarter. Situated near Notre Dame Cathedral, the Latin Quarter is a maze of lovely cobblestone streets filled with little shops, restaurants and bars, and is a wonderful place to sit at a street cafe and people watch.
- Go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe – the view is more than worth the climb!
Sitting majestically at the top of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is a soldiers memorial. There are 284 steps to reach the viewing platform at the top where the view is simply incredible! 360 degrees around Paris… amazing!