Planning a family vacation or solo trip? Paris a perfect destination if you have never visited before. Paris is one of the most frequented cities in the world, and I understand why. I have been to Paris a couple of times, and I can never have enough of Paris’ breath-taking serenity. I always want to go back repeatedly because there are so many destinations to visit that a lifetime would not be enough.
You can visit Paris at any time of the years, but there are low and peak seasons. Summertime (June-August) is always the best time to visit because of the pleasant weather. However, you will need to bear with crowds in most of the tourist attractions. The prices are also at a peak during this time. Winter is definitely the low season because of the cold and rainy weather. The prices during winter are very low as very few people are visiting. The shoulder season (fall and spring) sees fewer people visiting hence reasonable prices, but the weather can be very unpredictable.
What are some destinations I would recommend for anyone visiting Paris for the first or 50th time? It is challenging to choose just a few, but here are the 10 places to go to in Paris and things to do in Paris. Take a look!
I am not casting stones, but have you been to Paris if you have not visited Eiffel tower? The symbolic Eiffel tower should be the first destination on your list. The iconic tower was built by Gustave Eiffel as a way to commemorate the French revolution. The tower has since then become the symbol of Paris. Its 324 meters high. Eiffel tower is one of the most visited destinations globally, with over 7 million visitors every year.
The first floor of the tower houses Eiffel 58, which is 58 meters above the ground. The second floor gives a breath-taking view at 115 meters above the ground. The best time to visit the Eiffel tower is in the morning hours to avoid waiting hours in line, especially during the peak seasons. Ensure you do your research as there are different charges on every floor. Climbing the tower gives you an unmatched view of Paris.
I can promise the Louvre Museum is not like any museums in Paris you have visited before. Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. Known for being the former Royal Palace, this historic building sits on 210000 square meters. The art museum is home to the great Mona Lisa, among other 35000 pieces of art. The remains of the fortress built in the 12th century are also visible in the iconic museum’s basement. The museum is divided into eight departments to help you find you’re bearing if you are pressed for time.
NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL
Notre Dame de Paris is a roman catholic cathedral in Paris. The architecture will take you to breathe away. It is considered one of the finest gothic French architecture in all of France and Europe. The construction of the cathedral begun in 1163 and was completed in 1345. The cathedral construction is a sight to behold with gothic belfry towers, sculptures, and gargoyles on the roof of the tower. You can walk around and admire the construction or ascend the steps for an excellent view of Paris.
Montmartre is well known for the white-domed Basilica of the sacred heart at the top of the hill. The hill, which is 130 meters high, gets its name from the surrounding. The Basilica was completed in 1919 in honor of French victims who lost their lives to the French-Prussian war of 1870. You can also visit the Square of Tertre when in the area and get to experience amazing art.
Champs Elysée has been dubbed the most beautiful street in the world for several reas0ons. The arc of triumph, which was constructed under the ancient roman architecture, is dedicated to the glory of imperial armies. It’s the largest monument of its kind in the world. Apart from the beautiful architecture, the street is also known for luxurious shopping, including Louis Vuitton, Montblanc, Cartier, etc. Whatever your budget, you will always find something within your budget on the champs Elysée.
CRUISE ON THE SEINE
Set sail on the waters and experience the best view of the city of light on a cruise on the seine. The view is especially beautiful at night as the lights on monuments, Eiffel tower, point alexander are slowly lit. You can also book dinner as you soak in the breath-taking sight of lit landmarks.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES
The Palace of Versailles was constructed in the 17th century as a symbol of military power in France and French supremacy across Europe. It’s the most famous castle in France. The Palace is home to intriguing buildings, terraces, gardens, unique decor, and guided works of the renaissance art. Ensure you don’t leave Paris without visiting the famous wall of mirrors, the royal chapel, and Marie Antoinette’s boudoir.
Disneyland Paris is always a joy to visit. The destination has two themes; Disneyland, which has sleeping beauty’s castle, and the Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland is a must-visit, especially if you are vacationing with your kids. The destination is located around 32km from central Paris.
If you are yearning some refined ballet, there is no better place to catch everything opera and ballet than Palais Garnier. Palais Garnier has been the pride of the city since its inauguration in the 19th century. The stage here has hosted some of the most beautiful operas and ballet production the world has seen. Spare some time to experience both new and old styles of ballet.
The Latin quatre of Paris is located on the bank of the seine. It’s known for the lively student life as its home to many higher education institutions. Luxembourg park is a private garden created in 1612 to accompany the Luxembourg palace at the request of Marie de Medicis. The park, which is open to the public, is pleasant to walk around. There are 106 statues, 3 fountains, and an orchard.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
If you want to have the time of your life in Paris, you need to plan. Here are some simple tips to help you travel efficiently.
Plan In Advance
It is always important to plan, so you have everything for your trip. Choose where you want to visit and do your research about the place before hopping on a plane to Paris. You need a valid passport, which takes about 6-8 weeks to be processed, which means you need to plan ahead. You can pay extra for the passport to expedite your passport in case you need it sooner. Ensure you have all documents in order before your trip to avoid any inconveniences. Also, ensure you have booked your plane or train in advance for the best deals. It’s hard to get deals when you are booking last minute. Transport within the city is, however, very efficient as you can get to all the destinations we have talked about on the train.
Plan For Accommodation A Week Earlier
Again, who doesn’t love a good deal? I always book my accommodation or lodging a week earlier when traveling to a new place for the best deals. When you book last minute, you will likely be under pressure to get a place and end up taking just anything thrown at you. You can even start checking lodgings 30 days in advance for more options, especially during peak seasons. You can also look at accommodation out of the city or hostels if you are on a budget. They tend to be better priced though you should not expect a high-end experience.
I know some people pack 3 suitcases when going away for a weekend but I recommend traveling light when visiting Paris. The places I have discussed in this article are far from each other, so you may need to move Airbnb’s or hotels closer to your destination. You also don’t want your luggage weighing you down during the visit.
Budget To Spend 3-4 Weeks In Paris
You can visit all the destinations we have covered in a week or even less but more time too can spend in Paris, the better your experience. If you get jet lag, you need a day to recover and adjust to the new city and the time difference. You also need time to relax during your vacation, which is why you need a couple of weeks. Plan at least 3 weeks of vacation to fully explore the beautiful city and its neighborhoods.
These are just some of the best places to tour in Paris. You will run out of options once you visit the city. With the destinations I have mentioned above, I can guarantee you will have the best vacation in Paris. You will even be going back a couple of times.