Paris Is Always a Good Idea
In the words of Audrey Hepburn, “Paris is always a good idea”. Paris is magical, romantic, and should be on the top of everyone’s travel list. I have been fortunate enough to visit Paris six times and it honestly never gets old. The art, culture, food, history, and shopping is world class. Read on to see what makes Paris a must see.
Louvre Museum: Located in the Louvre Palace which was built by King Phillip II in the 12th century. It’s almost 800,000 square feet and houses works from prehistory to the present. The Louvre is the world’s most visited museum, and for good reason. I’ve spent an entire day at the Louvre, and have also rushed through it in less than 2 hours. It’s always worth a visit.
Orsay Museum: Don’t tell the Louvre, but the Orsay is my absolute favorite museum. It is located in the former Gare d'Orsay, an old train station. The building itself is a work of art, but it’s the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art that is the real draw. All of my personal favorites are here; Degas, Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Renoir, and Van Gogh.
Notre Dame Cathedral: This famous church was ravaged by a fire in 2019 and is not currently open to visitors. It is still worth a visit, as it is at least partly visible. Notre Dame is located on the Ile de la Cite, one of two natural islands of the Seine.
Sainte-Chapelle: This stunning church is just a few blocks away from Notre Dame and is another lesser known site definitely worth a visit. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but after climbing a flight of stairs, you’ll be dazzled by the over 1,100 stained glass windows in this former royal chapel built in the 13th century by Louis IX. The first time I visited Sainte-Chapelle, I literally had tears in my eyes. It is just that beautiful.
Eiffel Tower: This iconic monument is one of the best known in the world. No trip to Paris is complete without a visit. Purchase tickets to the top well in advance. Grab some cheese and a baguette and have a picnic at the park adjacent to the Eiffel Tower. And be sure to be somewhere in the city where you can see the tower on a weekend night when the lights sparkle. It will change your life.
Champs-Elysees: This picture perfect street runs about 2 km long and stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the majestic Arc de Triomphe. There is something for everyone here. If you are a fan of Louis Vuittion, be sure to visit their flagship store.
Sacre-Coeur: This stunning Roman Catholic Church stands at the highest point in the city and is known for its towering white domes. It is located on top of Montmartre Hill, which is a charming area full of history and art. The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a relatively new landmark in Paris; construction began in the late 1800s and the church was completed in 1914. Climb to the top of the dome for gorgeous views. Be sure to visit the charming shops and cafes in the surrounding Montmartre neighborhood.
Visit the Seine: My favorite way to enjoy the Seine is to take a stroll along the banks of the river. An evening river cruise is a relaxing and romantic way to see the city from a different perspective. Be sure to visit one of the beautiful parks near the Seine too.
Arc De Triomphe: Located at the end of one of the famous shopping streets in the world, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, you can climb 280 stairs to the top for a breathtaking view of the city. This massive arch commemorates the soldiers who fought in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It has become a well-known national monument of France, and you can climb about 280 stairs to get to the top for an amazing view over the city.
Food: Paris is a food lover's dream and it should be your goal to eat your way through the city. Visit Laduree for their famous macaroons, sample baguettes and croissants at boulangeries, enjoy steak frites at Le Relais de l'Entrecôte, and find a neighborhood cafe for savory and sweet crepes.