It’s no shock that Paris can be seen as one of the most visited cities in Europe. People from all over the world come to see this wondrous city of fashion, love, inspiration and art. Paris is full of amazing places to see such as old cathedrals, markets, and is the perfect place for shopaholics. So what is there to explore? These are my personal choices on things to see in Paris.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. It stands in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The monument was built to commemorate the victories of Napoleon. In March 1806, French architect, Jean-Francois-Therese Chalgrin, was appointed for finding the most beautiful but possible location to place the arch. After studying many different places, Napoleon finally agreed on the site, Place de l’Etoile, on May 9th. After many years and architects (since it took so long, new architects replaced those who had passed away), the arch was completed in 1836. Also, a body of an unknown World War 1 soldier was buried under the arch and special services are held for him. Other ceremonies like the anniversary of the armistice which was signed between France and Germany in 1918 occurred there. Although the place is usually crowded with cars and people, this place is a wonderful spot to take pictures.
Musée du Louvre
The most famous museum and the home of the Mona Lisa, the Louvre has a wide collection of French paintings and sculptures. The international exhibit includes art from other countries such as Africa and Australia. The terrific part about the Louvre is that visitors 18 and below are free! This makes visiting the Louvre really affordable for families. Bonus features of the Louvre include restaurants for hungry tourists, audio tours, and guides to let you experience the Louvre to the fullest. My favorite exhibit was the Royal Exhibit because it contained lots of artifacts and paintings of royalty in olden times. I also loved the architect because it was different and antique rather than same layout everywhere.
This cathedral was also mentioned in a movie–the Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most famous pieces of architecture in France and also throughout the world. The Notre Dame is widely considered as French Gothic architecture, a commonly used layout for important buildings in early 1000’s to the 1500’s. The Notre Dame is open to the public, which allows visitors to see the breath-taking architecture inside. It is still a mystery to scientists and art experts on how the cathedral was built using simple tools like hammers and chisels. The best time to visit the cathedral is during spring because that’s when the amazing greenery blooms. During our visit, the weather was cold so there less greenery but the cathedral was indeed the greatest beauty.
Almost everyone knows a little about Eiffel Tower, but what about the origins? The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. The beautiful monument is named after Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed and built the tower. The main purpose of the tower was to mark the 100-year anniversary of the French Revolution in 1889. The tower was only meant to be a temporary exhibit and was almost torn down in 1909. But city officials opted to save it and use it as a radio telegraph station. That was its main use during World War I and World War II, where it was close to destruction when Hitler sent orders to destroy it. Now, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. It has even inspired replicas and models to be made around the world. Now the lattice tower is painted every seven years to keep it fresh-looking and is being renovated to avoid accidents. The Eiffel Tower is also the most highly visited paid monument with over seven million people per year.
If you’re visiting Arc de Triomphe you might as well go shopping for designer clothing at Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysées plaza. It is a wonderful place to go shopping and enjoy the cuisine of Paris. Another well-known shopping plaza is Louvre and Tuileries District. This plaza has more expensive things but the clothing and home decor is totally worth it. This district is also home to the Louvre Museum, iconic statues, and gardens. If you are looking for antique and valuable finds, check out a flea market. Don’t be afraid to go out to explore and find something you love!
For all the foodies, French delicacies are always on the list. So where to go for some of best? We went to Café Lomi on 18th street. Although it’s a bit pricey,it is one of the best cafes in Paris. Another restaurant only 2 minutes walk away from our hotel, called Le Ballon des Ternes, served authentic French food. The waiters there speak English and will guide you through the whole menu and make sure your selection is definitely something you will enjoy.
Whether you are a shopaholic, foodie, around the world traveler, or just here for fun, Paris can be a wonderful place to have fun with your family. Paris provides something for everyone.
– Riddhi (evilree21)
P.S. If you’d like to hear more about my trip or other things, just write them in the comments!