Paris, the city and I have an endless love affair. Whenever I travel there, I lose myself in the food, the art, the cafes, the strolls across the streets. Somehow, I still never feel I scratch the surface as I always happen on more places that need to be seen and experienced.
Planning you first trip may seem dizzying with all the art, museums, cafes, history and restaurants. Where do you start? These are my top places to carve out time for on your first trip to the City of Light.
The Louvre houses over 380,000 pieces displayed over 652,300 square feet and is considered the largest museum in the world.
Musée du Louvre, 1st arrondissement, +33 1 40 20 53 17, louvre.fr. Opening hours: M, Th, Sa–Su (9 am–6 pm), W, F (9 am–9:45 pm), Tu (closed). Price: €15. Free days: first Sunday of each month (Oct–March), Fridays after 6 pm for those under 26.
The Musée d’Orsay houses the best impressionist and post-impressionist work in Paris. This is my favorite museum. You’ll find masterpieces by all the great artists of the world, including Degas, Monet, Manet, and Van Gogh.
1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 7th arrondissement, +33 1 40 49 48 14, musee-orsay.fr. Opening hours: Tu–W, F–Su (9:30 am–6 pm), Th (9:30 am–9:45 pm), M (closed). Price: €12, €9 after 4:30 pm every day but Thursday, free first Sunday of the month.
The Museum of tChurche Shoah (the Holocaust Museum) is one of the most in-depth museums on the Holocaust. It is a little know museum but worth taking time to see.
17 Rue Geoffroy l’Asnier, 4th arrondissement, +33 1 42 77 44 72, memorialdelashoah.org. Opening hours: Su–F (10 am–6 pm), Th (10 am–10 pm), Sa (closed). A free guided tour is given at 3 pm (in English) on the second Sunday of every month.
Museum Travel tip: Get the Paris Museum Pass. This four-day pass costs €62 and covers over 50 museums and attractions. It covers all the museums above, so getting this pass and using it to see all the attractions listed in this article will save you around €50!
San Chapelle Cathedral is my favorite for the stained-glass windows. It was created to house Christian relics by Louis IX such as the Crown of Thorns. 10 Boulevar du Palais 75001 Paris http://www.sainte-chapelle.fr. Opening hours: 9 AM to 5 PM.
Versailles is an all-day affair and well worth it! I recommend that you go on a weekday to avoid paying for the gardens. Also, go in the reverse order as everyone else and you will not deal with such a large crowd. Go to Marie- Antoinette’s estate than the gardens and last see the Palace.
Place d’Armes, Versailles, phone: +33 1 30 83 78 00, website: en.chateauversailles.fr. Opening hours: Tu–Su (9am–6:30pm), last entry at 5:45pm, M (closed). Price: “The Passport” ticket gives you admission to all the palace tours (grounds, Trianon Palaces, and Marie Antoinette’s estate), the Musical Fountain Show, the Musical Gardens, and the exhibitions: €27 (one day, with passport), €30 (two days).
Pere LaChaise is the most visited cemetery in the world. Here you can visit the grave of the Doors Leader, Jim Morrison, along with Chopin, Moliere, Edith Pilaf, Rossini and Oscar Wilde.
boulevard de Ménilmontant – 75020 Pariswww.parisinfo.com Free entry for all. A detailed plan can be downloaded from https://www.paris.fr/cimetieres Guided tours are organized on Saturdays and Sundays. More information on http://www.paris.fr/cimetieresNovember to mid-March: Monday-Friday, 8h-5:30 a ; Saturday, 8: 30-5: 30; Sunday and public holidays, 9h-17h30. From mid-March to October: Monday-Friday, 8 a-5 p Saturday, 8.30 am-6 pm; Sunday and public holidays, 9 a – 5 p.
Eiffel Tower is best seen in the early morning to beat the crowds.
Champ de Mars, 7th arrondissement, +33 8 92 70 12 39, toureiffel.paris. Opening hours: Daily (9 am–midnight) during the summer, with slightly shorter hours during the rest of the year. Price: €16–25, depending on how high you go.
Travel Tip: On the way to the Eiffel Tower, stop Wander Cler. You will find the best cheese, meats, breads and chocolates in Paris. Take a picnic to eat before heading up the Eiffel Tower.
I am sure you are excited to discover Paris. If you are looking to plan your next trip to Paris, check out the 6 day/ 5 night Bonjour Paris package from Daiquiri Tours USA at https://www.daiquiriusa.com/promotion/5
Au Revoir my travel friends! Our next blog we will dedicate to all the delicious places to eat in Paris.