top places to visit in paris

 top places to visit in paris

Paris. Many call this the most romantic city in the world. Some know it only as the home to the Eiffel Tower, for others the home of crepes and Louis Vuitton. Candice and I always wanted to visit this historic city and see for ourselves all that we’ve only known about through books or video. Here is our take on Paris. The sites we saw and our experience in this city fondly called La ville lumière (city of lights)

Here are the Top 6 Must See Places in Paris

1. The Notre Dame Cathedral

Situated on the banks of the River Seine (which runs through the city of Paris), the Notre Dame is a Catholic church that was built-in between the 11th and 13th century. As we walked up the street leading to the Cathedral, it became so obvious why the Notre Dame is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its towering facade is beautiful yet manifests its authority. One of the things that made walking around the Cathedral memorable was the sounds of the church bells. It can buoy up any mood.

The Notre Dame, as significant as it has been throughout history has also been a target for much vandalism and damage. In fact, during the 18th century as a result of neglect, the Cathedral was in a really dreadful condition. To raise awareness of its significance, the Priests of the Notre Dame approached Victor Hugo, a renowned French Poet and author, to write about the Notre Dame. This resulted in the publication of the highly acclaimed The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

2. The Eiffel Tower

Millions of people from all over the world visit the Eiffel Tower every year. It is THE symbol of Paris. The backdrop of every photo, the object on most souvenirs, the central attraction for every visitor. The Eiffel Tower is all that and more. Our visit to the Eiffel Tower was marred by rain and an overcast sky. Nonetheless, just approaching the tower via metro and on foot made it so undeniable why the Eiffel Tower is so beloved by many. It is a massive structure soaring high up in to the sky of Paris. It is intimidating and a symbol of strength.

Many tourists see the Eiffel Tower as a symbol of love and romance. Photos of couple kissing in front of the tower is a common sight. The Eiffel Tower though was not built to commemorate love; far from it actually. It was built as the entrance arch of the 1889 World Fair (World Expo).

If you are touring this area, be vigilant. There are so many con tricksters and pickpockets in this area. It gets really crowded and the walking paths around the Eiffel Tower are uneven rocky paths, you see people tripping and falling on the ground.

Nonetheless, for what it’s worth this is a must see spot when you travel to Paris.

3. The Louvre

Undoubtedly my favourite spot during our visit. The Louvre is such a beautiful piece of work. Now I’m no architect or have a thing for art, but standing in front of the Louvre and gazing at the elaborated work took my breath away. Imposing yet alluring, Colossal yet exquisite. It was one of those spots you could just sit down and spends hours imagining how this place would have looked like when built for it original purpose.

Built in the 12th century, the Louvre was originally a castle and palace. In the 17th century a new palace was built (Palace of Versailles) converting the Louvre as a museum for the kingdom rich art collection. Today, one of the prized features is the Mono Lisa.

As Candice and I are not avid art lovers, we did not venture getting into the actual museum. Just walking through the square was enough to give us an experience we will not quickly forget.

4. Tuileries Garden

A beautiful garden between the Louvre and our walk towards the Arc de Triomphe. This garden combines beautiful greenery, pools, statutes and road side cafe’s. After spending a significant amount of time walking around the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden gave some respite. Grabbed some crepes and sat on the chairs by the pool watching flocks of birds and tourists.

5. The Champs Elysees

A highly significant boulevard spanning nearly 2kms, houses some of the most significant theatres, luxury stores and restaurants. We enjoyed our walk along this road, watching tourists from different parts of the world doing their bit of shopping and dining. We also used this as our stop for lunch, grabbing some typical French cuisine from one of the Cafe’s.

This is a very significant street for the French. Every year, their national parade passes here. The Champs Elysses also plays host of the finale to the Tour de France, one of the most important cycling events every year.

Now since we live in Dubai, we were unfortunately not blown away by anything on this street. It ended up being a long crowded street 🙂

6. The Arc de Triomphe

One of the most important monuments in Paris, this is where the Champs Elysees ends. The Arc de Triomphe was built to honour the those who died for France during the different conflicts and wars. In fact, beneath the arc is a tomb of the unknown soldier was killed during WW1.

This is a beautiful spot to visit. The Arc de Triomphe is at the centre where five roads converge, making it busy and a true meeting spot. One of the attraction of the arc is to get to the top and have a panoramic view of the city.