I recently spent a few days in Paris (thank you tax rebate!) The city was absolutely gorgeous, so I thought I would share a few highlights.
We enjoy walking a lot. Unlike Rome and London, Paris is much more spread out! So I would definitely suggest using the metro if you go to Paris. You can buy single tickets for 1.80 or a book of 10 single tickets which works out as being cheaper.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame was beautiful. As expected, there were a lot of people taking photos of the iconic front but do not neglect the rest of the building! If you walk around the outside of the church you can get beautiful pictures from all the different parts. The is a lovely garden behind it, where there even people taking engagement photos. It is free to enter the Cathedral, but as it is an active cathedral there are services going on thought the day, which makes it quite strange as you’re going around. Definitely have a look at the beautiful stained glass windows. It is also possible to climb to the top of the Cathedral but there is a very, very long queue.
Luxembourg Gardens –
Jardin du Luxembourg
We stumbled across these gardens on the first day and just had to return! Even on a Sunday it was bursting with life – runners, people sailing toy boats on the water, tai chi, people sitting and talking. The park is absolutely beautiful, especially on a sunny day, and there are lots of chairs around to sit and relax.
*Book Lover Note – In Les Mis this is where Marius first sees Cosette.
If you are under 18 it is free entry to the Louvre. It is also free is you are an EU citizen between 18-25, so remember to take your passport!
I was really thrown off at first. When I think of the Louvre, I think of the iconic glass pyramid. As we were walking down the river I was expecting to see it. However, that is just the entrance and it is in the middle of a courtyard surrounded by a grand building.
The Louvre is huge with lots more beautiful pieces than just the Mona Lisa. Although some plaques were in English, most of the information is in French, so I would recommend getting an audio guide if you are interested in learning more about the pieces.
When the cemeteries began to get too full, the Parisians decided to move the bodies under ground, deep below where the train and sewer systems of today. The opened up holes and dropped the bodies into the tunnels.
They now contain the remains of over six million people within the 200km tunnels and quarries. However, only a small portion is open to the public.
There is one entrance to the catacombs and only a certain amount of people are aloud down at a time. It is very popular – the queue went around the corner and we ended up queuing for almost two hours. Information in the catacombs is in English and French but it was worth getting the audio guide for extra information.
As it is underground; there are quite a lot of steps, the floor is uneven, it can be dark and have low ceilings at times and it was very chilling. It definitely isn’t for everyone.
We went twice and decided to go up the Eiffel Tower in the evening, and I’m so glad we did. At night the Eiffel Tower is lit up and it is beautiful to see the city at night. The queues to go up during the day are a lot longer than at night. You can walk or get the lift (we didn’t even attempt the stairs!). The down side was definitely the amount of people trying to sell you stuff, some of them were relentless.
We booked the tickets online before we went, depending on when you go (Peak time or not) depends on how much you pay – buying them online is a lot cheaper than if you buy it on the day.
The park is about 30 minutes out of central Paris but was easy to get to as we only needed one train. The entrance to Disney land is right next to the train station.
We spend a solid 11 hours in the two parks and it was MAGICAL! There is lots to do for everyone, the maps state whether rides are for children, families or thrillers. I would recommend looking up what rides are going to be closed before you go and checking what time the parades and the closing ceremony (definitely worth waiting for) it as.
There are lots of food places and shops all over the parks – as expected these are very expensive. We took our own water and some snacks but should have taken more as we ended up spending a lot on food.
Definitely worth going to!!!
We also went to the Hard Rock Cafe (becoming a tradition), the Arc de Triomphe, the Pantheon, and over the gorgeous Alexander Bridge towards the Grand Palais.
If I went again, I would love to go to Moulin Rouge (too expensive for me this time!) and to a few of the book stores.
Have you been to Paris?
What would you love to see/do?