This time of year makes me feel romantic here on the Cloud so I head to the “City of Lights”, Paris, France for an exquisite experience.
Paris was originally settled in the Third Century BCE by a tribe of Celts called the Parisii. During the Roman period, Paris was known as Lutetia Parisiorum and held many temples and public buildings. King Clovis I of the Franks made Paris his capital in 508 CE and it has been an important capital ever since. It gained prominence on the world stage during the Seventeenth Century when King Louis XIV was the most powerful monarch in Europe
The pyramid at the Louvre was a controversial addition
Paris was the centre of The Age of Enlightenment that produced great works of philosophy, mathematics, literature and art. To this day, Paris is a famous destination for artists, writers and intellectuals. Paris is most known today, however, as the “City of Love”. It is undeniably romantic and a great place to visit any time of the year!
If this is your first time to Paris, you must see the following sites. I visit them almost every time I am in the City:
- Louvre Museum: Once the royal palace and located on the Right Bank, this is not only the largest museum in Paris, but the largest museum on the planet! This is the perfect place to spend a day admiring over 35,000 works of art including the renowned Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.
- Arc de Triomphe: Standing proudly at the centre of the Étoile roundabout, this monument was erected by Napoleon to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz. Make your way to the top for an exceptionally picturesque 360-degree view of Paris. While you are there, stroll down the Champs Elysees; an avenue that runs from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
- Luxembourg Palace and Gardens: This enchanting garden is the biggest park in Paris and the perfect spot for a walk or picnic. The grand Luxembourg palace was once a royal palace, but is now owned by the French Senate. Stop inside for a tour or to check out the Luxembourg Museum.
- Eiffel Tower: Would a trip to Paris be complete without visiting the famous Eiffel Tower? Each evening the tower displays a brilliant light show every hour. I would highly recommend booking your tickets online in advance to avoid long waits!
- Musee d’Orsay: This museum is home to the largest collection of impressionist art in the world. It is situated in an architecturally astounding building that was once a running train station.
- Basilica Sacre-Coeur: Located in the charming neighbourhood of Montmartre, this beautiful church sits on the butte (hill) Montmartre, the highest point in Paris. Take the steps or the Funiculaire to the top for another opportunity to discover amazing views of the city.
It was designed as an elaborate billboard!
Here’s a Pro Tip: Notre-Dame de Paris is a wonderful place to visit on the Ile de la Cite but since the unfortunate fire engulfed the structure in April 2019, it has been under reconstruction. Sacre-Coeur is an excellent substitute for “Our Lady”.
While in Montmartre, be sure to visit the Love Locks on the Pont des Arts Bridge. The weight of the locks was causing damage to the bridge, so today you are encouraged instead to take a selfie on the bridge and tag #lovewithoutlocks. Share the love and tag #JourneyHero, too!
The Metro is close to everything!
Paris is a massive city and has multiple airports and public transportation options. There are two main international airports; Charles de Gaulle Airport and Orly Airport. The RER train is a cheap and easy way to move from the airports to the city centre, although if you fly into Orly airport, you will need to take OrlyVal Train to Antony Station in order to transfer to RER.
The Paris Metro is the best way to travel around the City. The Metro is very efficient with more than 300 stations and 16 lines. Another option are the city buses, which are great for sightseeing, although they are slowed down by the traffic in Paris. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also available but they can be expensive. Paris is best explored on-foot. Take a good pair of walking shoes and explore this grand city!
Here’s another Pro-Tip: If you will be in the city for more than a few days, consider buying a Paris Transport Travel Card which is good throughout the public transportation system.
Paris hotels can be expensive even though they are some of the very best in the world. The Four Seasons George V is perennially near the top of the world’s list of best hotels. If you don’t want pay, “George Sanc” prices, try one of my favourite hotels, the Arès Tour Eiffel. For a truly romantic experience, stay at Five Hôtel. It’s known for its amorous atmosphere, complete with elegant colours, fabrics, and even flower petals on the bed. For a cozy and relaxing stay, check out Le Relais Montmartre. This boutique hotel offers a homey feel in the heart of picturesque Montmartre.
You won’t go hungry in Paris!
When you’re tired of Champagne and want a cocktail, checkout Bisou. This imaginative spot offers no menu, but a talented mixologist is ready to create a cocktail just for you. You simply name your favourite herbs and spices and let the bartenders create a cocktail especially for you! Cafe de l’Homme is known for its wine selection but its cocktails are deliberately constructed and elegant. Finally, Le Syndicat is a retro-gem. From the outside, you would never suspect what lies within.
Enjoy exploring wonderful Paris and wave when you see me!