I went to Paris last weekend and recommend some fantastic attractions to visit you have to see.
1. Montparnesse Tower
This has one of the best views of paris. The line to get up the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomph was so long, probably more than 2 hours. You can always buy a ticket for the Eiffel Tower in advance but you must book weeks before you go. I went up the Montparnesse Tower with no prebooking and we did not have to wait in line. Mind you, it was February, but still on a winter’s day you can see for miles. It cost 15 Euros each to take the elevator to the top with panoramic views of Paris. There was also an outdoor roof terrace, accessed by stairs.
Address is: Montparnasse 56, 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015, Paris
2. Le Marais
This was originally a Jewish quarter. Now it is very expensive to live here but there are still many shops (including vintage ones) along with Lebanese and Jewish restaurants. Le Marais is one of the few areas where shops are open on a Sunday.
Nearest metro: Republique – line 3 or 11, Hotel de Ville – line 11 or St-Paul line 8.
3. Places de Vosges
This the oldest planned square in Paris. The famous writer Victor Hugo lived in one of the buildings overlooking the places de Vosges. I really like this square, you can stay in the park for an afternoon day dreaming, but for me it brings back many memories of when I came here as a child. For those who love museums, his house has been turned into a museum. It is open every day except Monday and is free entry.
Address: 6 Place des Vosges, 4th Arrondissement
4. Jardin Tuileries
This jardin is located just outside the Louvre Museum and is located at the bottom of the Champs Elysees. At the beginning of the jardin is the Place de la Concorde. It used to be the grounds of the Louvre, the king’s residence. Walking through the gardens is an ideal way to spend a chilled out afternoon. There are two fountains in the middle of the garden and I have seen many children rent a mini toy boat for an hour or two. At night you can get a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower.
5. Jardin de Luxembourg
This is my favorite garden in Paris it is also the second largest park in the city. Locals and tourists come here on the weekends and after work. There are tennis courts to use, but I never quite worked out how to reserve a space. There are roast chestnut sellers in winter. When I last came to Paris, I stayed at the Fontaine de Luxembourg hotel just 5 mins walk from the garden. It is a perfect size to do a mini jog around.
6. Les Champs
Walk down les champs Elysees, it doesn’t cost anything. If you do want to go for something to eat, I suggest go off les champs as it will be significantely cheaper. One of the restaurants I went to was Le President, just at the end of rue le coliss. Les champs is a beautiful tree-lined avenue to walk down during the day or at night. There are the big brands down this street including the Louis Vuitton, Sefora and Abercrombie and Fitch.
7. Visit Notre Dame
Notre Dame is located on a small island on the Seine. It is a beautiful Gothic cathedral that was finished in the 14th century after it took over 100 years to build. It is free to enter, but if you want to do a tour up the top, there is a fee and you may need to wait in line – time dependant on the season.
I am not a fan of museums, any of my friends will tell you, but I cannot write a post about Paris without mentioning the free museum day. The first Sunday of every month, the museums have free adminssion including the Louvre, Pompidou and Musee d’Orsay. My friend used to work at the Pompidou and it houses some of Europe’s most famos modern and contemporary art collections.
9. Canal St-Martin
Not everyone visits the canals on their trip to Paris but I would recommend it, especially when coming in Spring. These canals were opened in 1825 and more recently in January this year were cleaned and the locks repaired. It is a quiet and peaceful part of a bustling city. There are many cafes and restaurants near by to visit before or after you go to the canal.