It’s Time To Check Paris Off Your Travel Bucket List

Above: There's nothing quite like the Eiffel Tower at night
Above: There's nothing quite like the Eiffel Tower at night

Everyone has a different list of top must-visit cities, but no list is complete unless it includes Paris, France. Complete with iconic tourist attractions, the best bakeries and wine selection, amazing architecture and trendy neighbourhoods to stroll through as day turns into night, Paris is one of those cities everyone has to experience in person at least once.

Paris has a reputation for being the city of love and romance, and it doesn’t disappoint. The views, the intimate tables on crowded cafe patios and the artists who would like nothing more than to draw a portrait of a couple in love all add to the romantic vibe. Some people might think Paris is overrated, but why not find out for yourself? Here are just a few of the things you’ll see, do and eat in Paris.

All the baked goods

Technically, you’ve had a croissant before. But you haven’t really had a croissant until you’ve had one that is still warm straight from a French bakery. Flaky on the outside, buttery and soft on the inside is exactly how the croissant was intended to be. While you’re at it you might as well pick up a baguette or two, an eclair, and a bunch of profiteroles, meringues, and macarons. No one goes to Paris with the intention of sticking to their diet, so you might as well just embrace it. With all those options, plus quiche, crepes and some of the best falafel you’ll ever taste, you definitely won’t go hungry in Paris.

The Eiffel Tower at night

You absolutely cannot go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. Seeing it during the day is one thing, but seeing it at night is quite another. The views from the top of the tower are some of the best in the city, but simply seeing the tower all lit up (perhaps as you enjoy a cruise on the Seine?) is the real draw. Grab a bottle of wine and hang out in the park with the tower in the background—it’s a selfie opportunity you can’t pass up.

The French movie vibes in Montmartre

Walk up the front steps of the Sacre Coeur to look out over the city and join the crowds of tourists and locals who sit on the steps and the grass enjoying the atmosphere and a drink (there are people walking around selling beer and wine in case you forgot to bring some) Behind the Sacre Coeur, which is Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, you’ll find the Montmartre district. There are plenty of little streets to wander down that are full of bakeries, cafes, and shops just like the ones in Amélie. If you want to get a caricature or portrait done, this is where you’ll find the best artists in the city. Wander a little further and you’ll find yourself on Boulevard de Clichy and the Moulin Rouge cabaret.

Walks through the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter, which is on the Left Bank of the Seine surrounding the Sorbonne, is known for its student life and lively atmosphere with a number of tourist attractions, shops and cafes nearby. It’s free to go inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which is a medieval cathedral that looks straight out of a fairytale. There are also vendors lining the Seine selling souvenirs like your typical key chains and postcards but also used books, art, maps, and antiques.

Don’t forget to stop by Shakespeare & Company, a famous bookstore that used to serve as a gathering place for writers like Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, and James Joyce, and now houses aspiring writers in exchange for their help around the store. More than 30,000 people have slept in the beds that are tucked in between the bookshelves. If you buy a book there, don’t forget to ask them to stamp it!

More art and history you’ll know what to do with

If museums, galleries and reminiscing about the past are your things, Paris has plenty to offer. The Louvre is the world’s largest museum and it is home to famous artwork like the Mona Lisa and an Egyptian antiquities department of over 50,000 pieces. Find even more art at Espace Dali or Musée d’Orsay. For literature lovers, Maison de Victor Hugo is the restored 19th century home of the man who wrote The Hunchback of Notre-Dame and Les Miserables.

For a look back in history, don’t miss the Catacombs of Paris, complete with an audio guide that tells you how the bones of over six million Parisians ended up becoming walls of the tunnels that run under the city. Check out the resting places of Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and the infamous tomb of Victor Noir at the Pere Lachaise Cemetery. If you have a day to spare, head out to the Palace of Versailles, which is a royal chateau, now considered a wealthy suburb of Paris.

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick

Courtney Hardwick is a freelance writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared on AmongMen.com, 29secrets.com, therichest.com, and ELLECanada.com.  When she isn’t writing about relationships, and the best TV shows and books you should really already know about, she is working on her novel. She hopes to have it published by 2025. You can follow her on Twitter @Courtooo.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>