France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older- intelligence and good manners.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald
A Few of My Favorite Spots in Paris
I have always loved Paris. There is just something so romantic about this European city famous for its fashion, its food, and its history. I have been fortunate enough to visit this city a few times but every trip is unique. As I prepare for an upcoming visit to the city of lights, I thought I would share a few of my favorite spots.
Play tourist at Montmartre and find the Moulin Rouge.
Now I would be lying if I said Montmartre wasn't a total tourist trap. There are people offering to sketch your portrait, tons of people stampeding their way up the famous hill and way too many little souvenir shops. I personally love the whole vibe!
I have climbed the hill specifically to attended mass at the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur and the whole experience was incredible. I stumbled around the small streets and I ended up buying a few art prints from some local artists (all under 50 euros). My first taste of escargot was in an adorable little bistro at the top of the hill followed by an impromptu photo shoot with the amazing city views serving as a backdrop. If you decide to visit Montmartre, make sure you look for Moulin Rouge at the bottom of the hill.
Explore the countless book titles inside the famous Shakespeare and Co.
A short walk away from Notre Dame Cathedral sits a very famous little book store. During the 1920s, this bookstore served as a unique gathering place for then aspiring writers such as James Joyce and Ernest Hemingway. Today it serves as a purveyor of books new and old, antique editions and it is a free library open to the public. Even if you are not an avid reader, the sheer history of the shop makes it a must see on my list.
Search for Quasimodo at Notre Dame Cathedral.
This is an obvious destination for any new comer to Paris. It is an icon landmark in the city and famously brought to life in the story of the Hunchback Quasimodo and his gargoyle friends. (At least in the Disney version anyway.) This cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. A must for any visitor to Notre Dame is to climb the tower. At the top, enjoy the stunning view of the city and try to spot a gargoyle or two! Reward yourself after the hike with a delicious glass of champagne.
Get lost in the hall of mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
Palace, check. Beautiful gardens, check. Rooms full of history, check.
If you have read any of my other posts, you know that I am a huge history nerd. The Palace of Versailles is one of my absolute favorite places in the world not just Paris. Technically, it is not located in Paris but I highly recommend taking the short train ride outside the city center to visit this magnificent work of architecture and grandeur.
Louis XIV's opulent vision has remained beautifully untouched for your viewing pleasure. Get lost in the palace gardens, rent a small boat on the lake or search for the hidden hideaway of the infamous Marie Antoinette. Definitely make sure you take the audio tour on your visit, it truly helps to immerse yourself in the history and splendor of the palace.
See the Eiffel Tower. Duh!
The Eiffel Tower is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Where ever you go in Paris you will more than likely be able to see this iconic structure. If you have the time, I definitely would climb to the top but try and do it during the day so you can fully appreciate the stunning views this steel fixture has to offer. If you are a little strapped for time, visit the tower at night time and see it all lit up from the ground level. However you decide to enjoy the tower, it is a must see for anyone visiting this city.
There is always something to do and see in Paris.
It is an amazing city to visit when you are romantically involved with someone or not. It is beautiful in the spring and just as beautiful in the winter months. Every time I visit this city I fall more in love with it.
I hope you enjoy a few of my favorite spots and maybe one day, you can share a few of your own with me.