Paris, the city of lights so-called because of the leading role it played during the Age of Enlightenment is a city that has enthralled and enchanted tourists for many years. Known throughout as one of the most, if not the most romantic city in the world, Paris has had many people under its spell for a long, long time.
This architecturally stunning city is a joy to visit and is a place that you could revisit time and again and never get bored.From it’s amazing visual structures such as The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to its exquisite dining and Fashion houses, Paris has been at the forefront of culture and art for a long time.
This is the home of such famous Fashion Houses as Dior , Yves Saint Laurent and Chanel and the place where probably one of the most famous paintings in the world resides, The Mona Lisa.
People visit Paris for many reasons, whether it is for the Fashion shows held twice a year or to just take in the culture and beauty of the City there are many reasons to visit and even more to return.
Whether you are in Paris for a day trip, a long weekend or an extended break there are some things that are a must do whilst here. Some of them will seem obvious but are still worth doing and some things are a little bit more off the beaten track and will show you a different side to the city here are 5 of the best.
Paris : 5 of The Best Things To Do
The Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is such a famous land mark that it would be hard to imagine Paris without it. This stunning structure that stands at 320 meters tall has stood in its position since 1889 when it was built for the World Fair. Hard to imagine that when it was constructed by Gustave Eiffel, it was there only temporary but its huge popularity earned its survival.
The tower has three floors and a lift that ascends throughout. The top floor having a champagne bar. There are other eateries on the other floors and gift shops. Climbing the tower is a great way to see Paris as the city seems to appear the higher you climb and gives you a different perspective of this amazing place.
If you make it to the top of the tower there is a museum that was Gustave Eiffel’s office which has been restored now to its original condition. The top of the tower has two levels one under cover and one open air so you can experience the view in two ways.
Nobody coming to Paris for the first time can really resist going to The Louvre and even if you have visited Paris many times before it is always worth going into this prize attraction that is renowned the world over. This is after all the most visited art museum in the world and one of the largest. This diverse museum has over 35,000 exhibits so there will always be plenty to see but the most prized must be Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (Room 6, 1st floor, Denon) although there are so many other stunning masterpieces by the likes of Michelangelo and Rembrandt to name a few.
The building itself is just as breathtaking to observe as some of the famous works of art inside, from the entrance via the 21m-high Grande Pyramide, a huge glass pyramid designed by Im Pei.
The sheer size of the Museum can be somewhat overwhelming, you will be taken over four floors, up and down many staircases and throughout three wings. The Denon wing alone stretches for 800 m along the Seine. The saving grace of this mammoth exhibition space is that once you have your ticket it lasts all day so you can come and go at your leisure, taking a breather when needed.
Père Lachaise which opened in 1804 is the world’s most visited cemetery with 70,000 tombs, some belonging to the rich and famous all here. Although not what everybody might think of visiting whilst on holiday, this cemetery is the final resting place of such people as Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde and attracts a huge amount of visitors some who come on almost pilgrimages and some who come just for the experience.
This 44 hectare garden cemetery has a peace and tranquility about it that is a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the frenetic city. Another amazing sight whilst walking through is the art work on a lot of the tombstones .The grave stones are packed together so if you are looking for one in particular then it is worth getting a map. Walking around can conjure up feelings of nostalgia, viewing all the people who have lived or worked in this great city and of this history that has passed through the gates.
Notre Dame Cathedral.
After The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral must be up there as one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. This masterpiece of Gothic Architecture has about 14 million visitors a year. The construction of this huge building started in 1163 and wasn’t completed until the early 14th Century. Inside this colossal structure 6,000 people can be accommodated for worship.
There are various architectural styles within the Cathedral due to the length of time it took to construct which run through from Gothic to Renaissance to Naturalism, all these mix of styles just add somehow to its beauty and splendour.
During the French Revolution in 1786 it was badly damaged but has been sympathetically restored over the years. Although there are numerous works of art, design and sculpture inside to marvel and enjoy for visitors, this is principally a working place of worship and there are three masses a day within for people who want to go to take part in a Christian celebration of mass.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe is a structure to revival The Eiffel Tower as a symbol of Paris. This stunning monument that was built to celebrate Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz in 1805 and dominates its position at the center of the place Charles de Gaulle.
The arc celebrates all those who fought for France with engravings down one side to Generals who have fought in different campaigns and in 1921 The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added. Every evening at 6.30 pm The Eternal Flame is re-lit.
A climb of 40 stairs will take you to the top of the monument where you will get a wonderful view down the Champs Elysees and the surrounding area. This is a huge monument standing at 51 metres high but to truly understand its size think of a biplane being flown through the center of it during the WW1 victory parades and this will give you some idea.
This is a tremendous spot to take in all the wonders that Paris have to offer and even if you can’t manage the climb to the top just standing at the bottom and viewing it is wonderful enough.