10 Things You Must See on Your First Visit to Paris
The first time I started traveling I was exploring every city on foot. That way I was able to tailor my trip the way I wanted.
But eventually I became more experienced and I learned to value my time more. I want to spend quality time in every city that I visit and see as much as possible in a short period of time. There were times when I was dragging my 2 large suitcases from La Guardia Airport to 8th Avenue & West 122nd Street in a bus. It is time consuming and at some point difficult to pull.
For my trip to Paris I wanted to change that and for the first time I wanted to have comfortable but still affordable holiday. After all, there are so many things that one needs to see in the “City of Lights” so wasting time on changing different public transportation was not an option this time.I found a great service that takes you from the airport to the hotel in no time. I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and took a taxi, that I booked prior to my trip, to my hotel. Thanks to Top Paris Transfer I managed to see everything that was on my list. The cab driver was really nice and he gave me some tips for my trip. You can check the prices here.
In this post you will find some of the most iconic spots, that you should not miss on your first trip to Paris, but does not include everything you can see or do.
Paris is the city of culture, it is beautiful and historic and it should be on everyone`s bucket list.
This comes as cliché, but Eiffel Tower is the first thing I remember when I think of Paris. It is the symbol of Paris and it is magnificent. For that reason it is a great place to start exploring the city. If you want you can ride the elevator up the tower and it is well worth it because the view is amazing.
There is a lawn nearby where you can hang out or have a picnic on the grass. Seeing the Eiffel Tower at night with all those lights is something I will never forget.
The Louvre is probably one of the most popular museums in the world. It is the place where you can find the popular Mona Lisa but also many more famous paintings. This place was a fortress initially but with time it became a museum. This is a place that you should not miss, no matter whether you are an artsy type or not.
Your trip to Paris cannot be complete if you miss the Notre Dame. This church is excuisite. It is a true example of a gothic cathedral and you can go inside or climb the 400 steps that will take you on the top of the church where you have another breathtaking view of Paris. The church was finished in 1365, after 200 years of construction. Climbing the stairs and getting close to the bell tower was really exciting and I am sure that it will be exciting for all those who have read The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Arc de Triomphe
At the end of Champs-Elysees you will find the massive Arc de Triomphe. This is a place that you just cannot miss. Climb to the top just before sunrise because you want to see those streets during the day and also during the night as well.
The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is a very popular attraction that you cannot miss. The palace itself is luxurious and it was constructed in 1623. Later the palace became the center of political power during the French Revolution. Louis XIV is the one who transformed the building and gave the look that it has now. You can visit many rooms and galleries inside and some of the gardens outside.
Montmartre is a Parisian district that I simply cannot get enough of. As you walk the cobblestone alleys you can hear authentic French music performed by street artists and see vintage stores which will take you back to the Belle Epoque. You can also visit the most popular cabaret in the world here, The Moulin Rouge but it is a bit pricey.
Basilica of Sacre Coeur
The Basilica of Sacre Coeur or also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Hearts of Paris is one of my favourite attractions in Paris. I am not a religious person per se, but this Roman Catholic church is astonishing. You simply cannot miss it. It was built on the highest point in the city so you have to climb some stairs to get there but the view of the city is well worth it. You can go inside but also there are paid tours for the crypt and dome.
Les Invalides is actually a complex of buildings that is dedicated to the military history of France and the resting home of Napoleon Bonaparte. Les Invalides is recognizable by its golden dome and the green lawn. At first the purpose of these buildings was a retirement home and a hospital but later it was repurposed. So today there is also a church and couple of different museums.
Palais de Luxembourg
Palais de Luxembourg covers 60 acres of lawns, statues and fountains where you can take a perfect stroll. What not many people know is that the Luxemburg Palace houses the French Senate and the debates are open to the public 3 days a week.
You do not have to be an opera fan to admire the Palais Garnier. This attraction is so popular in paris so Parisians only call it “the opera”. There are performances that you can attend, mostly ballet, but free tours are also available. This building is amazing and it is also the inspiration for “Phantom of the Opera”. The palace was built as part of the great Parisian reconstruction project and it took 15 years to finish.
Bonus Attraction: Disneyland Paris
You do not have to be a kid to enjoy Disneyland. I used to spend lots of time in Disneyland in Orlando , so when I travelled to Paris I had to see this amusement park too. It is located 32 km from Paris, and once again I thought that it would be really time wasting to use the public transportation to get there. This time I have used the service of Piyo Cab and thanks to their Budget Family pack we had an affordable and comfortable ride. This park was known as Euro Disney at the beginning but then it had its name changed. This is the most visited theme park so you have to visit it.
This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own.
Have you been to Paris before? How did you like it and what would you add to the list of the “must see” things in Paris?
Freelancer, blogger and a world citizen.