Paris is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and is often included in most people’s bucket lists but what is it about that city that makes so many long to explore its beautiful streets. Is it the romance of the city? Or the history? Or the art? Or more importantly the food? Whatever it is this city has a draw to it like some kind of huge magnet. Maybe that is what the Eiffel Tower is made of??
When you think of Paris you think of style, sophistication and class. Just thinking of the city conjures up romantic images in your mind and not the just standard romance it’s the romantic ideals of the city. With its architecture, it’s quaint side streets, the stylish people sitting outside cafes drinking coffee, the hidden and not so hidden love stories that inspired the paintings inside the galleries and the photographs that locals and tourists still capture just transport you into a French dream-like experience.
Audrey Hepburn was so right, Paris is always a good idea.
If you are exploring simply for the weekend or for a longer period there is more than enough to experience and leave you wanting to come back for more. To help you either work out what to see and do or to just fuel even more wanderlust for this stunning city here are our top 15 reasons to visit.
You can see some awesome art
A lot of the worlds best art and artefacts can be found in the museums and galleries of Paris. Some of them even have a day where they are free to visit so do check out if you are travelling on a budget. There will be queues but it is worth the wait to see these artworks with your own eyes. Obviously, the Louvre is a must visit but you should also visit the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Petit Palais and the grass-covered exterior of Musee du Quai Branly.
You can marvel at the Eiffel Tower
There is nothing more magical than seeing the Eiffel tower lit up glittering at night. This is one landmark that should really have more than one view on your trip. Sunrise, during the day, sunset and then at night. Whatever the angle whatever the weather it’s a magnificent place to be.
A bird’s eye view is the best view
There are several vantage points where you need to get up high and witness the city from a bird’s eye view. Climb the stairs at the Sacre Cour for breathtaking (once you get your breath back from climbing) view of the city with the river and Eiffel tower or climb the Effile tour to see the view of the city streets. If ever there was a city to see from above it has to be Paris.
You can meander along the River Seine
Lazing by the river in the summer sun, or cruising along under the many bridges on a boat tour- Paris is yet another city that should be viewed from the water.
You can eat alfresco
The cafes take up just as much space on the pavement as they do inside. You’ll notice that the chairs are usually all lined up looking out to the street. It’s the perfect place to order a drink and people watch to your heart’s content.
You get all the history
With so many historic buildings and monuments, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to see and do. There is Notre Dame Cathedral that dates back to 1163, The Arc de Triomphe (just don’t try and drive around it! #confusing), the Sacre Coeur Basilica (one of my absolute favourite places in Paris) to the Ile de la Cite where Paris was born in 300B.C Paris has had many different rulers and all of these have their mark on the city which makes it a like a history book that you can step inside and explore.
You can appreciate true style
Fashion and Paris are synonymous with each other. The best shopping and the best style can be found on the streets of Paris. It’s not showy or gaudy it’s all just classic. Maybe keep the credit card locked in your hotel safe if you are out shopping.
You get a whole lotta bridges
Paris is no Venice when it comes to bridges but it does have a staggering 37 bridges spanning the river Seine. All are designed differently and all beautiful a couple of our favourites are Pont-Neuf, Pont Alexandre III and Pont de l’Alma
You can pack a picnic and get the grass between your toes
For all the amazing things to see inside the museums, galleries and historic buildings you’d be forgiven for not even thinking that there are parks to relax and unwind in. There are so many perfectly manicured gardens across the city to enjoy. You should check out Jardin des Tuileries, Jardin du Luxembourg and Le Jardin des Serres d’Auteuil.
It’s almost wrong not to be a tourist
The age-old debate of being a traveller or tourist. In Paris, it is almost wrong not to be a tourist. Who goes to Paris and doesn’t go to the Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower and Arc Triomphe? People who don’t really want to see Paris that’s who!
You can explore all the neighbourhoods
There are 20 arrondissements within Paris and sometimes just trying to work out where to say, go out and explore can be a little intimidating. Each has its own charms, vibe and areas to be a little wary of. So your research and try to experience at least 3 of them on your travels. Montmartre in the 18th arrondissements is a firm favourite of ours as the 1st arrondissement due to the picturesque views and of the course, the Keira Knightley Chanel adverts were filmed there.
You can get those steps up on your Fitbit
An abundance of walking tours focusing on different aspects of the Parisian life or do what I do and walk until your lost and then just see what gems you can find along the way. It’s an easy city to walk around and whilst there is public transport it would almost be a sin to use it and miss some of the best street scenes in all of Europe.
You can fall in love
Maybe with a local but more likely, it will be with the city itself. Paris is always referred as one of the most romantic cities in the world and once you are they you will melt to its romantic charms. The art, the history, the music all were fueled by love and lovers in the city. Even the simplest of things just sounds and feels more romantic in Paris. Drinking a coffee in a cafe on a Parisian street, walking the side streets in any weather, lazing in the park or sitting along the banks of the river enjoying a croque-monsieur.
You can eat all the food
French cruise is an art form and where better to indulge than in the capital. From rich meat dishes to simply a warm croissant n the morning from the boulangerie, there are so many dishes you need to devour. Macaroon’s, and crepes are also must for a sweet treat. As with most places try to find some smaller cafes and restaurants and not the usual touristy ones the food will be so much better.
You can escape the city for the day
From feeling like French royalty at Versailles to taking in the water lilies Monet style in Giverny to witness and reflecting at the poignant rows on rows of white crosses at Normandy. There are so many places close to the city to take in more of what France has to offer.
What’s your favourite thing about Paris? Have we left anything off? We’d love to hear your suggestions below in the comments.
Want to see more reasons to visit other great cities, if so be sure to check out our Copenhagen, Marrakech and Venice posts.
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