I’m back and still talking about Paris! I have a little bit of an obsession with the city.
Last week I wrote about some of my favorite spots in the city, but I couldn’t fit it all into one post. Here are some more of my favorites, complete with a few funny stories and tips from my experiences.
Naturally, no list of attractions in Paris would be complete without the Eiffel Tower. It’s absolutely worth a trip to the top, where you’ll get a breathtaking view of Paris.
I also really enjoy sitting in the area around the tower. The tower lights up at night and it looks exquisite! I recommend stopping at a supermarket and getting a bottle of wine, cheese, and some crackers for a nighttime picnic. It’s very peaceful and romantic. The Eiffel Tower bathrooms do close at some point, so I don’t recommend drinking an entire bottle of wine yourself. You might have to pee in the streets. Not saying this happened. But I’m not saying it didn’t.
(Side note: I just now happened to discover that the lights at night are copyrighted and you’re not supposed to distribute pictures of it? Until I know more about it, I decided not to risk a fine by posting any haha.)
Top Eiffel Tower Tips:
- Do not use it as a meetup spot with your friends. It is entirely too busy to find someone there. If you do need to meet someone, you need to be VERY specific. Yes, I did once spend over 30 minutes walking around trying to find my friend before giving up and going back to the apartment.
- Keep a close eye on your belongings. There are actually frequent announcements at the top saying “pickpockets are loose on the tower” which is humorous, but Paris is definitely known for pickpockets. (This didn’t happen to me but I was involved in a very dramatic phone theft situation. Ask me for that story sometime.)
- There are about 3 million people trying to sell you something around the Eiffel Tower, to the point that it can be really overwhelming. Ignore them. If someone comes up and says something is free, it’s not free and they’ll ask for money if you take it. It’s best to just avoid eye contact with all of these people.
This museum is one of my favorites, but difficult for me to tell people about because I still don’t 100% know how to pronounce it correctly (whoops). It sits across the river from the Louvre and is much easier to get through. If you want to see some great artwork but don’t have as much time, this is a better option. It features the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in the world, which is one of my favorite periods of art. You’ll also find a lot of bizarre nude paintings.
The design of the building is unique because it used to be a train station. I didn’t get the best pictures in there but it’s so beautiful!
If you plan on buying anything from the gift shop, don’t wait until the absolute last minute. They will close the gift shop even with a long line of people waiting to buy something. You’ll be left standing with postcards in hand, almost in tears, wondering what to do because you need a post card from everything you visit!!!
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Alright, so I know it sounds really weird to say that I loved visiting a cemetery, but this one is absolutely gorgeous. It’s really big and similar to a park in many ways, and many of the tombs are very beautiful and elaborate. A lot of famous people were buried there, such as Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Frédéric Chopin. The weather was lovely when I went and it was so peaceful to walk around by myself for a while. It’s perfect for a reflective stroll in the city!
This is a beautiful cathedral that sits on top of a massive hill. While you’ll have to climb a lot of steps to the top, you’ll get a wonderful view of the city!
I wouldn’t call this one of the top locations to visit, and we didn’t go inside. The area is pretty shady and there are lots of sex shops, so overall not the idealized Paris you imagine. But Moulin Rouge is one of my favorite movies, so naturally we had to stop by and get this pic.
Fun fact: It wasn’t until after visiting that I realized “Moulin Rouge” means red windmill. Not as romantic as I had thought.
While the catacombs weren’t my absolute favorite (it was pretty creepy), it’s still worth a mention. You climb down a 130 step, spiral staircase to walk through underground tunnels that hold the bones of about 6 million people. Cheery! We didn’t see anyone coming out when we were waiting in the hour long line, so we considered that maybe the tourists that came through got added to the piles of bones. Then my friend pointed out that, “Somebody would have put that on Tripadvisor.” (For the record, you can’t see anyone come out because the exit is so far away from the entrance.)
All of the pictures I took inside turned out horribly – just imagine dark tunnels and piles of bones and skulls.
I do have this gem from the gift shop at the end:
Overall Top Tip for Paris:
Make sure you know where you’re going; the streets are confusing as hell. I got lost almost every day. It’s a character building experience for sure, but better avoided.
If you’ve read all this, I thank you. While this certainly isn’t the most comprehensive guide to Paris out there, I wanted to put together some of my experiences to share with you.
If you’re planning a trip and have any questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
Or if you’ve been and you have any favorite locations that didn’t make the list, let me know so I can visit next time!