Things To Do In Paris
Paris is considered one of the great cities of the world. Spend any time there at all and you will realize the reputation is warranted. One could literally spend a life time in Paris, never leave once and be fulfilled. The place is that amazing.
Of course, you are not going to have a lifetime to spend in Paris, so what should you do in your short time? Well, the answer is to experience a combination of the usual tourist must see destinations and a bit of off the road local culture as well.
Just because a location is touristy does not mean it isnít worth seeing. In Paris, two obvious places simply have to be seen. The first is the Eiffel Tower and the second is the Louvre Museum. Letís take a look at both.
The Eiffel Tower is located smack dab in the center of town on the edge of the Seine River that winds through the city. The Tower was built in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. In modern times, you can ascend the Tower to get an incredible view of Paris in every direction. Yes, it is touristy, but it is worth it.
The Tower is open from 9 am to midnight in the summer and 9:30 am to 11 in the evening the rest of the year. Tickets are required and range from the equivalent of $5 to $25 depending whether you wish to climb the stairs to the top or take a lift. A visit will last an hour or two.
The Louvre is one of the preeminent museums in the world. Featured in movies such as the Da Vinci Code, the museum is one of the biggest in the world. It is located in the Louvre Palace on the right bank of the Seine and holds a staggering 35,000 plus pieces of art.
The Louvre is so large that this is one place where you really want to take a guided tour or you will end up missing out on significant art pieces. Tours start at 11 am and 2 pm each day the museum is opened and cost is about $12. One should arrive about 30 minutes early to book a spot. The tours last about an hour and a half, which is plenty of time to see the highlights of the museum without making your feet bark too much. The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
There are plenty of other touristy destinations [Notre Dame, etc], but spending all your time at them is a mistake. The greatness of Paris is really in its neighborhoods and you should take time to explore them. You will not regret it.
Paris is the single best walking city in the world in my humble opinion. The best time Iíve ever had there happened when me and friends stepped out of the hotel door and just started walking. Despite its huge size, Paris is really just a collection of hamlets that have their own personalities and are thoroughly enjoyable. For example, consider finding something to eat. The best places to eat in Paris are the sidewalk cafes. Your goal is to find a small one with what appear to be a lot of locals. Just plop down and order. As soon as they hear your accent, theyíll become very social and you will have a great time. Before you know it, a few enjoyable hours will have passed and you will have been invited to someoneís summer home.
If you are looking for a specific cafÈ to try, the best known is probably Angelina. Located on the opposite bank of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower, this tea room is beautiful and serves some of the best munchies and drinks in the city. The African hot chocolate is legendary if you are there in winter or spring, but you really canít go wrong with anything they offer.
Paris also offers some top quality shopping options. The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is the most famous street in Paris. It also happens to be the location of the best shopping. There are plenty of mega stores running down the street. If youíve brought a suitcase of money or your American Express Kryptonite Card, feel free to have at it in these stores. Walk over to Avenue Montaigne. Avenue Montaigne is a street in the 8th arrondisement of Paris, France. Avenue Montaigne boasts numerous stores specialising in high fashion, such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Fendi, Valen ino and Ralph Lauren, as well as jewellers like Bulgari and other upscale establishments such as the Plaza Athénée hotel. Plaza Athenee Hotelis a luxury 5 star hotel.
Paris is regarded as one of the most romantic, stylish and exciting cities in the world, and Hotel Plaza Athénée is perfectly placed to discover numerous Paris attractions. Midway between the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, not only is Hotel Plaza Athénée ideally situated for shopping but it is also close to several Paris museums and galleries including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower.
Music and theatre lovers will be delighted to discover that Hotel Plaza Athénée is also close to the Théâtre des Champs Élysées, which regularly features visiting international orchestras, opera and ballet companies, and the famous Théâtre de Marigny and Théâtre du Rond-Point are also close by. Palais Garnier, at the top of avenue de l'Opéra, has regular ballet performances and occasional operas.
For those of us on a budget, there is still plenty of great shopping and hotels to be had. The key is to turn ñ turn right or left off the main street. There are tons of little shops packed with everything a person could want down the side streets. You can find high fashion as well as odds and ends. To be honest, you should probably just block out the day because you are going to be here awhile!
A vist to Fourquet is a must if you love chocolate.
Paris is an amazing city. It lacks just one thing visitors need the most ñ some way to stop time so that everything can be seen and experienced. Enjoy your time there!
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