Even though I left Paris when I was seven-years-old, I still feel like a piece of my heart belongs to the City of Light. I’m always incredibly excited to go back there as a tourist and even after all these years I can’t help but let out a little squeal of delight whenever I catch my first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. What can I say? True love lasts forever.
This time I came with my camera and so I decided to show you some of my favorite sites in Paris. After all: they say that to love is to share!
Walking through the streets of Montmartre, it’s easy to understand why so many artists have chosen to live here over the years (Dali, Modigliani and Picasso just to name a few). With its traditional cafes and art sellers on the street, the little village exudes bohemian charm and poetry.
The streets of Montmartre surround the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, which sits on top of the hill and looks over Paris. Although the steep climb towards the Basilica can seem daunting at first it is definitely worth it. At the top the hill lays one of the best views of Paris! My only advice would be to lose the crowds at the main central steps and to head for the top through the side streets instead. As long you keep on going uphill you won’t be able to get lost and you’ll also get to see some beautiful Parisian apartments in the process.
The Eiffel Tower
More than a must-do, the Eiffel Tower is an essential part of Paris and to some degree France. Seeing the tower for the first time is an amazing experience that no one ever forgets. Besides its timeless design and elegance, the tower is also an engineering feat. Its steel work is even more impressive when seen up close and it’s hard to believe that such construction was even possible over a hundred years ago. And to think the tower was originally only meant to last 20 years!
My favorite view of the tower is from ‘The Trocadero’ but you can actually catch glimpses of the tower from all over the city.
The Louvre is the most visited museum in Paris and contains more than 35000 artifacts, some of which date back from Prehistory. The Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and The raft of the Medusa are just a few of the amazing pieces displayed here.
What I personally love the most about the Louvre is its architecture. It was home to the kings of France until Louis XXIV decided to build Versailles and as such it is deeply steeped in history. It is also huge and every time I visit the museum I discover new gems and see little details that I hadn’t noticed before. I could easily spend a whole week there just wandering through the indoor courtyards and galleries.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame is located in the oldest part of Paris on the ile de la cite (a natural island in the middle of the Seine). The cathedral is a unique example of Gothic architecture and is famous for its roof gargoyles, stained glass and relics. It is 850 years-old and recently underwent extensive restorations. The church’s interior is equally stunning and whether you are Christian or not, you’re bound to be moved by its beauty and serenity.
The Champs Elysées
Another symbol of Paris, the avenue of the Champs Elysées is home to the Arc de Triomphe as well as many luxury specialty shops, movie theatres and restaurants . This is where you’ll also find Ladurée: a teahouse renowned for its macarons and beautifully presented pastries. Sophia Coppola even hired Ladurée to make the pastries for her movie Marie Antoinette.
During my last visit, I indulged in a St Honoré Rose-Framboise (Raspberry and Rose St Honoré) which combined puff pastry, light rose petal custard cream, raspberry coulis, fresh raspberries and rose scented whipped cream. Divine…
Other areas to explore:
St Germain des prés – famous bars and restaurants.
Le Pére Lachaise – inspiring and serene.
Musee D’Orsay – for lovers of Impressionism.
La coulee verte – an elevated garden amongst on old railway.
Quai Branly – primitive artifacts in unique surroundings.
Jardin du Luxembourg – Perfect for a break from the hustle and bustle.
The Marais – delicious brunches and trendy shops.