Top Five Places To Visit In Paris

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After spending a few days in the most beautiful city of all, I though I'd share with you what I consider to be the top five places to see when you're in the City of Lights, especially if you are only there for a short time.

Whether you're travelling to Paris as a couple, with friends, or as a family, it really is a perfect destination for everyone–kids included. Of course, it will be more challenging navigating the cobblestone streets and exploring the sites if your children are very young or still in a stroller, so my advice is to wait until your children are old enough to truly understand and appreciate the greatness, beauty, and history of Paris.

Top five places to visit in Paris: 

Sacre Coeur:  Did you know the Sacre Coeur is the most visited monument in the world? It's no wonder why it's such a popular attraction, because it is truly breathtaking. Every year, over 11 million people visit this basilica, which was built at the end of the 19th century. The interior is stunning, and if you're brave enough to climb to the very top, the views will take your breath away. It is quite the hike up, though, on winding, tight stairs, so be prepared to do a lot of walking. We happened to be visiting Paris during the summer heat wave in June, making the climb a little challenging. Sacre Coeur is located at the top of Montmartre, a beautiful area known for its artistic history. Tip: Wear comfortable shoes and bring water with you if you climb to the very top. Make sure to visit the Montmarte area afterwards for some delicious gelato. 

Eiffel Tower: The beautiful Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized monuments in the world, and the tallest structure in Paris. Over seven million people visit the Tour Eiffel each year. It is incredible to see in person! You can walk up to the first floor or take the elevator right to the top, (you can also walk up the 1,665 steps) where you'll see beautiful views of the city. We walked around the grounds and sat by the Trocadero Fountains for hours one evening, enjoying the view, taking in the beauty around us, and talking, until it was dark enough to see the dazzling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Every hour on the hour, thousands of flickering lights make the Tower sparkle. Tip: Head to the Eiffel Tower in the evening, to catch the sunset, and stay until it gets dark. Pack a picnic to enjoy by the Trocadero Fountains to pass the time. 

Notre Dame: Notre Dame, in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, is one of the most recognized buildings in Paris. I remember hearing the news that the Notre Dame had caught fire on April 15th, and I was devastated to see the damage this building suffered, which included the destruction of the spire. We were not able to go inside, but we still enjoyed looking at this beautiful, historic building. The construction to re-build the Notre Dame continues. Tip: Enjoy the walk along the Seine River. From the Notre Dame, you can walk to the Louvre. 

The Louvre: The Louvre Museum is one of the best art museums in the world. It features over 35,000 pieces of art, and you can transport yourself back in time while viewing everything from Egyptian mummy tombs to ancient Greek sculptures, including the famous Venus de Milo. The thousands of paintings that adorn the walls of the Louvre are all breathtaking, and you can also see the Mona Lisa up close and personal. It's a lot smaller in person, but cool to see. The Louvre is enormous and can seem overwhelming, so plan to spend the entire day there, or at least several hours. Tip: Look through the map first, to figure out what's a must-see during your visit, and plan your visit around that. Also? Wear comfortable shoes. 

Arc de Triomphe: Champs-Elysees, the most beautiful avenue in the world, is where you can shop till you drop. "Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Elysées," which means, "There is everything you could want along the Champs-Elysées." And it's true–this boulevard is a dream come true for those who love to shop. My favourite store was the ten floor Louis Vuitton, which is something I considered a must-see during my trip to Paris. Champs Elysees is also where the Arc de Triomphe stands. The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon to honour the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The arch, the largest in the world, is another breathtaking structure in Paris. You can also climb to the top of the Arc and take in the Paris view from above. It is a serious workout, though, especially when it's 40C outside. While my oldest son and husband braved the climb, I stayed cool shopping in Louis Vuitton with my youngest son Tip: The massive traffic circle surrounding the Arc makes it almost impossible to safely cross the street; to reach the Arc, follow the underground passageway on Champs-Elysées. 

Catacombs: The Catacombs are a great place to visit if you love history, but it's not necessarily for everyone. I didn't go, but my oldest son and husband did, and it was one of their favourite experiences in Paris. The Catacombs of Paris are underground ossuaries, which hold the remains of more than six million people in a tunnel network build to consolidate Paris' ancient stone mines. Be prepared for long line ups to get in, because only 200 people are allowed to enter at a time. There are 131 steps to go down, and 112 steps to climb to get back out. It's a pretty chilling experience, to walk through skulls and boned lined tunnels, but an experience unlike any other. Tip: Go first thing in the morning. 

If you have any specific travel related questions about Paris, just let me know!

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