Paris - "The City of Lights"
Paris may be the European city with the most iconic sights - the Eiffel Tower, the glass pyramid at the Louvre, Notre Dame's towers, the Arc de Triomphe, the Pompidou Centre... all of which you can view from the hop on/off bus which I recommend for when you first arrive. Yes, it is touristy but it gets you orientated with this large city while also seeing the "best of" Paris.
Paris is also famously known for its cuisine. Whether you want to dine at Michelin-starred restaurants, or pick-up fresh bread and cheese from the corner bakery and fromagerie (to make your own picnic on the Eiffel Tower lawn - write that down), you are sure to eat well. There are also hands-on cooking classes with professional chefs so you can learn some new cooking techniques to take home with you. There's even a macaron-making class! Yum.
And yes, there is wine too. You can visit wine shops, attend wine tastings, or go on day-trips to nearby wine regions such as Champagne, Burgundy or the Loire Valley. Wine may as well come out of the taps. I'm surprised it doesn't.
Besides eating and drinking, there is a lot to see and do in this beautiful city. Art museums are everywhere - besides the Louvre, top museums include the Musee D'Orsay (one of my favorites), Musee Rodin (sculptures/sculpture garden), the Picasso Museum, d'Orangerie (home of Monet's massive Water-Lilies), the Pompidou Centre... There are also museums dedicated to the Medieval Ages, the Military (complete with Napoleon's tomb), French Cinema, Fashion, Religion... Something for everyone.
Then there are the parks and gardens. The cemeteries with tombs and the Catacombs. Dinner on a river boat or in the Eiffel Tower. Beautiful churches and charming boutiques. Chocolate shops and bakeries. Bookstores and art galleries.
Popular day-trips include: the Palace of Versailles, the beaches of Normandy, the castles and towns of the Loire Valley, Monet's former home at Giverny (now a museum), the Champagne region and even London!
Paris is one of my favorite large cities. It isn't the cheapest place to visit, but it is somewhere not to be missed. I'd love to share my love of the city with you!
Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa)
Seine River Cruise
Easily Combined With:
- Amsterdam - 3 hours
- Brussels - 1.5 hours
- London - 2 hours
- Zurich - 4.5 hours
- Barcelona - 6.5 hours
- Elsewhere in France