This is my 1st time writing a blog & it kinda feels like I’m on a 1st date: sweaty palms, butterflies in my stomach, trying to find the right words to say. I want to tell you everything about me & everything I know, BUT I also want you to think I’m a mystery and keep coming back for more. So let’s move past this crazy, 1st date feel and imagine that we’ve known each other for years.
I want to start with my recent trip to Paris, France.
Do I love Paris? By all means, NO! Paris is nasty, smelly, rude, and dangerous, but I cannot resist the history, art, & famous landmarks and attractions, so I do visit Paris from time to time.
When you think of Paris what automatically comes to mind? I’m sure 99.9% of you said the Eiffel Tower and that is a reasonable answer since the media and advertisements always link the 2 together. I recommend everyone experience the Eiffel Tower at least once. BUT, if you are going to venture to the top either book ticket reservations months ahead of time (like 3-4 months) or try your luck and go early (be there around 9 am). It gets crazy busy around that area later in the day and at night. For the best photo ops go to the Trocadéro across the Seine River from the Tower. The Trocadéro, built on Chaillot Hill, has an open rotunda that is directly in line with the Tower (See pics). One of the prettiest views of the Eiffel Tower is from a boat on the Seine River at night! The light show starts at around dusk and goes until around 2am and let’s just say it is AMAZING!!
Eiffel Tower light show at dusk Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
The 2nd most popular attraction in Paris is the Louvre which is home to the…you guess it, the Mona Lisa. But, of course that’s not the only thing that it has to offer, not with its 3 wings of vast artwork (the Sully, the Richelieu, & the Denon). If you wanna do it up right, allow for a week in the museum. I know, I know that’s not possible, so at least allow 2-3 hours to see the highlights. Some of those highlights are the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Marly Horse, Venus de Milo, the Dying Slave, The Code of Hammurabi,The Coronation of Napoleon, Whistler’s Mother, and on & on & on I could go. There are so many great pieces at the Louvre you will want to see it all, but unless you are taking a few days you won’t be able to.
Here are a few tips for visiting the museum:
1. Just like the Eiffel Tower, get your tickets before hand. Most lines that you will see are not for entrance to attractions but for people who are buying tickets. You can get them online at the Louvre’s website.
2. Don’t attempt to see everything! Do some research, make a plan for the top pieces you want to see, map it out, and go…
3. Don’t go on a holiday or the 1st Sunday of each month (free day for everyone). The crowds during that time are horrendous and it will be hard to enjoy the museum.
A few other places you need to see…
- Notre Dame
- Musee d’Orsay
- Take a bus tour of the city. The L’Open Tour offers guides (usually audio) of the famous landmarks and sites all around town.
- Arc de Triomphe & Avenue des Champs-Elysées
- The Latin Quarter
- Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
- Saint-Michel Fountain
- Place de la Bastille
- And by all means take time to sit at a cafe and enough the scenery.
Tips & Tricks for Paris
- Pickpockets are rampant in Paris!!!!! I can’t stress that enough. Make sure your possessions are secure and you are aware of your surroundings at all times. Trust no one that you don’t know. Kids are brought up to steal and pickpocket & they are pretty good at it. Yes, if you can’t tell this happened to me. A young girl attempted to steal my wallet from my purse that I thought was secure enough. Thank goodness I caught her before she was able to take anything.
- Don’t pay any attention to the cold, unwelcoming attitude of the French; it’s not personal, they do that to everyone.
- Learn a few French words and use them; it will get you a lot farther.
- Find a grocery store and stock up on snacks and drinks, or if you see one while walking around dash in there and grab something. It’s a heck of a lot cheaper!!
- Eat a crepe!!!!!! And eat another one for me!!