Are you dreaming of Paris? There is something magical about Paris, France. And it’s not just from movies, because when you are in Paris, it still feels like you are on a movie set.
Last week I wrote about my beloved city of Chicago. This week, I’m thinking a lot about one of our sister cities, Paris. My first time in Paris was 20 years ago on my first passport and and my first time really traveling overseas.
Dreaming of Paris
Paris is the reason I fell in love with travel. For an American, born and raised in homogenous suburbs of New Jersey, it was like stepping back in time. I was in awe of the cobblestone streets, the stunning architecture, the cheese mongers and bakeries for each neighborhood, and just the overwhelming feeling of history at every turn. I felt like I was in a movie.
Paris is a huge city, but if you break it down and just visit certain districts or arrondissements one at a time, it can be easier. From charming Montmartre and the leafy park Bois de Bologne, to starkly modern La Defense and the ‘real life’ working class neighborhood of Belleville, Paris will surprise and delight. Use the metro to get around and then just wander. Admittedly, some of my favorite food there is not French (except cheese, crunchy baguettes, and macarons), but there is a nice variety of international food all around.
Short on time? See how to do three days in Paris.
If you’re visiting for the first time (or second on third!) you will want to see some of the Paris highlights.
- Walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Eiffel tower.
- Make sure to stroll along the Seine river or take a river cruise.
- Visit the famous Notre Dame church and climb to the top to get a great view.
- Set aside some time for the HUGE Louvre, but plan it out and narrow down what you want to see because you just can’t see it all. Some of the Louvre’s most famous works include Mona Lisa (she will be mobbed and is tinier than you might think), The Winged Victory, and the Venus de Milo.
- Visit the pretty Musee d’Orsay.
- Spend an afternoon strolling around charming Montmartre in Amelie’s footsteps and visit the Sacré Coeur.
- Explore parks like the famous Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens) and Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Gardens).
For more detailed ideas, check out the Trading Travelers 3 Days in Paris Itinerary.
I’ve been there now at least four or five times and feel a need to return soon. And not just because its a fabulous city, but because of the people in it — warm, kind, open, and fun people. I’m thinking of Paris today.
Have you been to Paris? What memory stands out for you?