I have written many blog posts about France, but I have put off writing about Paris because…well, what can I say about Paris that hasn’t already been said? There are many large cities in France that are equally inviting and as beautiful as Paris, including Nice and Lyon; however, no travel site is complete without a post on Paris, so here it goes.
Paris is a city of parks, gardens, monuments, museums, cathedrals, markets, sidewalk bistros, buskers, unique neighborhoods and, when there are no travel restrictions, throngs of tourists. It is known as the city of light because it was one of the first cities in Europe to use gas lights along the streets and boulevards.
La tour Eiffel is one of the most popular sites in Paris. It is absolutely stunning at night, when it lights up the skyline. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, it was not very popular with the locals at that time. We visited when our daughter was 13. When we were getting ready to enter the elevator at the top, the crowd was so thick that I was physically pushed away from my husband, daughter and the elevator door! Not a pleasant memory, but the view from the top is spectacular.
Montmortre, the 18th arrondissement, is situated on the largest hill in Paris. It is an artistic area that was once home to Monet, Van Gogh and other famous artists. The famous Basilique du Sacré Cœur stands proudly on the top of the hill and is the only cathedral I have ever been to with a bouncer; no kidding. As I entered the building holding my camera, a large, well dressed man with a deep, booming voice said to me in his thick, French accent, “No photo!”
“Oui monsieur.” I replied meekly as I put my camera away.
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Louvre. There is too much to write about regarding this extensive museum, so I will simply say that it is an amazing experience. Our daughter, a teenager at the time, was excited to see the Mona Lisa. We arrived before opening and once inside, she quickly headed to the painting with us scurrying behind her, doing our best to keep up. The museum was mostly empty at that time of the day, except for a crowd of people in front of the Mona Lisa. Our daughter studied it for a just few moments, turned to us and said, “That’s it??”
There are many famous and beautiful gardens in Paris and Le Jardin de Luxembourg is my favorite. Located in the 6th arrondissement this magnificent garden has over 100 statues and activities for all ages.
Île Saint-Louis, one of the islands in the Seine River is a trendy spot for shopping and dining.
Another must see is Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris. Sadly, due to the fire last year, it is closed to visitors, but you can see the outside. I have written about this famous cathedral in a previous post, as always, please share your comments.
And, bien sur, there is the food. On our last trip to Paris, just a few months ago, we had an amazing meal at Brasserie Bellanger.
I have written over 20 blog posts about France. It is my favorite country. My husband and I took a trip there in March with the intent of finding a place to live; we had planned to move there for our retirement. You can read about that adventure here. Sadly, that has all changed. But we have not given up hope; maybe next year.
If you enjoyed this post, please check out some of my other blogs on France.
As always, please leave a comment, I love hearing from you.
Stay safe and healthy,