“You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.” – Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
Throughout the ages, Paris has always been associated with love and romance and numerous literary authors have chosen this marvelous city as their setting. Nowadays, it’s perceived as one of the most romantic places to propose, while le français is deemed as the sexiest language in the world.
Nicknamed also the City of Lights (derived from La Ville-Lumière), the name has actually little to do with lights (although, Paris was indeed the first city to light up the streets at night). Actually, Paris was the birthplace of the Age of enlightenment and famous for being the centre of intellect and ideas.
While strolling around Paris, one is immersed in beauty and emotions, making it the perfect spot for a romantic getaway (which of course doesn’t mean that you can’t visit Paris as a solo traveler).
What to do in Paris?
The Eiffel Tower is the most iconic landmark and a must-see when in Paris. For some of the best views and photos take the Métro to the Trocadéro station and follow the Tour Eiffel signs. On top of the hill you will find the Palais de Chaillot and a wide esplanade with an open view of the Eiffel Tower. Or, grab a blanket and head to Champ de Mars for a relaxing picnic. Of course, you can also go to the top of the tower itself – if you don’t mind climbing the stairs, you will avoid the long lines.
Even if you are not a big museum fan, opt to visit at least the Louvre, fascinating from the outside as well as from the inside, or the Musée d’Orsay. After Louvre you can take a walk through the Jardin des Tuileries and feed the ducks in one of the fountains.
Head to the bohemian and picturesque Montmartre hill, famous for the Sacré-Cœur Basilica, for amazing views of the city. Feel like walking in the footsteps of Picasso and Van Gogh, while admiring the artistic displays at the Place du Tertre. If you happen to be in Paris in October, during the annual Grape Harvest Festival (Fête des vendanges) Montmartre is filled with numerous food stalls, where you can try escargots, oysters and other delicacies, accompanied by delicious French wine.
Close to Montmartre, in the Pigalle district, visit the birthplace of can-can. The most famous cabaret in the world, Moulin Rouge is marked by the red windmill on its roof.
Stroll along the 2 kilometre long Avenue des Champs-Élysées, starting from the Place de la Concorde and running all the way to the Arc de Triomphe. Climb the stairs to reach the top and enjoy the view.
Explore the Latin Quarter, especially the Panthéon and La Sorbonne, located on the left bank of the Seine. From here you can walk down to the Île de la Cité and the famous cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris.
Go on a shopping spree at the lavishing Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Again, a beautiful view awaits at the top (see the cover photo) and it is totally free. Around the corner, admire the beautiful opera house of Palais Garnier.
Spend the morning in Le Marais. Take the Métro to the Bastille station, then go for a walk from Place de la Bastille to Place des Vosges, the oldest public square in Paris. There you can relax and maybe read a book by Victor Hugo or one of the many other French authors.
Visit Napoleon’s tomb at the Hôtel des Invalides. Napoléon Bonaparte was one of the greatest military commanders in history and the Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814.
Go on an unforgettable cruise on the Seine river. I recommend the company Bateaux Parisiens; you will find their boats next to Pont d’Iéna, close to the Eiffel tower. The cruise is even more special around sunset. Walking next to the Seine and across its many bridges is also a memorable experience.
Other points of interest include Catacombs of Paris, Jardin du Luxembourg, (half) day trip to Versailles, and more and more.
For useful tips for your stay in Paris, check out my previous post!