Must See in Paris – From Café au Lait to The Louvre and Beyond!

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The Eiffel Tower (photo via Wikimedia Commons)

Paris is one of those magical cities of the world, and nearly every traveler who passes through leaves a bit of their heart behind. It’s a place of vast beauty, deep cultural significance, and major touristic appeal. Whether you’re looking to sip a Café au lait in a Parisian cafe, view the priceless art in the city’s massive museums, snap a photo of the Eiffel Tower, or do all of the above, you’re going to fall in love with Paris.

The other day, I posted about some of the best things to do in Barcelona, but today, I’ll be focusing on must-see things in Paris, France.

Of course, I have to start this list with the Eiffel Tower.  Many of you know that I’m not a huge fan of tourist-trap “must-see” monuments, but the La Tour Eiffel is somehow different. It’s such an iconic representation of Paris, that it simply has to top the list.  Skipping it would be like going to San Francisco and not snapping a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge, or like going to Disney Land and not riding the Tea Cups. The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel in for the World’s Fair in 1889 to mark the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. Today it’s one of the most visited and photographed sites in Europe and a trip to the top will give you some seriously spectacular views of the city.

Even if you’re not the art-loving-type, you really can’t go to Paris without visiting a couple of the city’s (and the world’s) most famous museums. The Louvre is probably the most well-known, and it happens to be the world’s largest art museum as well.  That means you’ll have access to over 35,000 pieces of art, including some of the most famous pieces of art in the world, like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Unfortunately, that also means that the place is HUGE, and you really can’t see it all in one day. It’s best to pick and choose a couple of your favorites and not to overdo it. Musee d’Orsay is another famous museum in Paris, where you’ll find an incredible collection of French art from the likes of Renoir, Van Gogh, and Monet.

Before you completely check out of the art scene, head over to the Notre Dame Cathedral.  A piece of art in it’s own right, the architecture features many impressive carved gargoyles, keeping with the French Gothic style. It’s worth it to take a walking tour of the cathedral to learn a bit about the history.

And when you’re ready for something a little different, head to the city’s most famous street, the Champs Elysees.  Here you’ll find a seemingly endless string of expensive shops, cafes and restaurants. Even if you’re in Paris for the shopping (or can’t afford it!), it’s certainly worth taking a walk down the wide avenue, from the famous Arc de Triomphe the Jardin de Tuileries to the Arc de Triomphe is worth a walk.

Of course, there is so much more to do in Paris, that it would be hard to fit it into 10 blog posts. If you’ve got time to spare, and you’re looking for a nice place to use as your home base, you might consider the option to rent Paris apartments. You can find great deals, even for short-term stays. But if you’re more into the budget hostel vibe, there are plenty of options for that too, ranging from small boutique hostels, to massive dorms with party-happy travelers.  A quick Google search will always point you in the right direction.



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