Paris Hotels Articles

March 30, 2010

Top three places to visit in Paris, France

Paris is the most beautiful, most enchanting and most habit-forming city in the world. As a certified Francophile, I am admittedly obsessed with Paris. In any given September you will find me in The City of Lights.

As a first-time visitor, you will never have time to see and do everything on your list. Even given a month in Paris, I’ve still gone home unsatisfied that I’ve had sufficient days to see it all. In order to bring a sense of peace to your trip, scale your planned activities down to reasonable! In order of importance, here are three sights that should top your list as you initially explore Paris.

1. The Eiffel Tower: The Eiffel Tower is worth visiting because from the upper platform you can see the Seine River and all of Paris. It’s a great way to get your bearings by seeing all of Paris laid out before you. Most landmarks are clearly visible, including the Arche de Triomphe, Le Sacre Coeur Cathedral in the North, and the Tour Montparnasse, out in the 14th. You can also see the rows of beautiful Haussmann- designed buildings that line the Champ-de-Mars and the streets below.

If you’d rather see the view over Paris without the lines and crowds into and out of the Eiffel Tower, go to Montmartre. From the stairs in front of the Sacre Coeur Cathedral, you can see a beautiful panorama of Paris below. If you’re not so good with being stuffed into elevators, no matter the view from the top, perhaps a stroll around Montmartre would suit you better than the Eiffel Tower, while affording you a beautiful view of Paris from the Butte. Otherwise, Le Tour Eiffel is a must see.

2. Notre Dame sits on the Ile de la Cite, one of the islands in the Seine. The old Cathedral is amazingly beautiful. Its Gothic spires make it perhaps the most recognized Cathedral in the world. It is humbling to be in this spiritual place, no matter your religious affiliation. The peaked interior arches soar upward, drawing one’s eye to the heavens and reminding us of how small we actually are in the grand scheme of things; I’m sure this was in the mind of Notre Dame’s architect in 1163, when construction began on the present-day cathedral.

Prior to Notre Dame, as early as the 3rd Century B.C., ancient tribes had settled on the Ile. Notre Dame is actually built on the ruins of former civilizations, as is most of Paris built on ruins of Paris’ Gallic-Roman ancestors. Unlike many of Paris’ attractions, there is no admission charge to visit the cathedral.

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