If you have plans for an intellectual, beautiful and inspiring experience, you must consider visiting Paris. As my family and I wanted a fun destination that fitted our love of cultural attractions, we decided to hit some of the most famous cities in Europe. Here comes a five part series of our trip to France and Italy. Enjoy!
For accommodation, we decided to rent a nice little apartment in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris through Airbnb. It was a great decision as we were close to most attractions, had many local boulangeries right downstairs and a kitchen to cook when we did not feel like eating out. As we were at the top floor, we even got a beautiful rooftop view. Renting apartments in Europe definitely feels like the right thing to do. If you are not someone very fit, then be sure to not get the rooftop apartment because of all the stairs this may imply.
After smoothly landing at the Orly airport, we bought the 6 days Paris Museum Pass that will give us access to nearly all the attractions in town. We then left our luggage at our place and walked to the Louvre, exploring for a few hours. We were able to finish about 1 and a half floors of exhibitions, but we were just way too jet lagged to continue. Louvre deserves more of our focus! We hence went back to our apartment and take a quick nap.
In the evening, we took the metro to reach the Montmartre neighborhood. This is a beautiful place where you can find the famous Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. From there, you can see one of the most beautiful view of Paris.
Afterward, we walked to the artist street nearby called Place du Tertre. Many people were enjoying a delicious dinner, getting their portraits down and buying French Crepe Sucre. This is where artists like Picasso spend years of their lives perfecting their arts.
We ended the day by visiting the famous Moulin Rouge theater. At night, this is one of the prettiest building to visit. Some may recommend going in for a show, but it is just too expensive for us. If that is something you may want to consider, don’t forget to book in advance as they sell out quickly.
The second day was spend at one specific spot: The Chateau de Versailles. Famous palace you may have read about in novels and mangas, this is a must visit for most tourists. The palace is huge with many chambers of amazing aristocratic furniture, large royalty paintings and invaluable masterpieces. It is the legacy of the last three kings of France: Louis XIV, XV and XVI. It was truly fun to visit it. If you ever decide to go, make sure you search which day is less crowded. We went on a busy day (as there were other activities happening) and the line was monstrous. Having so many people around at the same time makes you feel like you are simply following the line and you get a lot less time to enjoy the moment.
Afterward, we had the opportunity to walk around the Jardin de Versailles, the Petit Trianon and the Grand Trianon. The Petit Trianon was Marie-Antoinette’s personal quarters while as the Grand Trinon was the place later used by Napoleon first.
Starting from day 3 is when we started hitting multiple must visit places as we had a long list of must do. Paris has too many attractions to visit. I will simply name these places as well as give you a sneak peek picture below.
- Seine River
- Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
- Jardin des Tuileries
- Place de la Concocorde and the Obelisk
- Louvre Part 2
- Centre Pampidou
- Basilica Notre-Dame de Paris
- Champs Elyssees Street
- Petit Palais
- Grand Palais
- Pont Alexandre III
- Musee D’Orsay
- Musee D’Orsay Part 2
- Musee de l’Armee + Les Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb)
- Musee Rodin
- Wall of Peace
- Champs de Mars
- Eiffe Tower
- Jardins de Trocado
- Picasso Museum
- Victor Hugo Museum
I also wrote down all the places I wish we got the time to visit, but sadly didn’t. In case you are planning a similar trip yourself, hopefully this will allow you to have a more complete list of must do.
Places We Didn’t Get to Visit
- Galeries Lafayette
- Opera Garnier
- Eglise St-Suplice
- Jardin du Luxembourg
- Pere Lachaise Cemetery
- Marmatton Monet Museum
- Monet’s Garden
Wow, after listing all these places, I realize just how blessed we were to visit these world heritages. The Paris trip was definitely a unique experience that I am willing to do again any day. Art should be enjoyed many times and I am sure the first and second time I see Monet’s Notre-Dame paintings would be totally different experiences. Furthermore, who could resist croissant, baguette and creme brulee everyday? What about steak tartare and delicious mashed potatoes? I already miss French cuisine.