By Lupita Peimbert
(Travel) – Paris is one of the most beautiful, romantic, and interesting cities in the world, no doubt. Simply said, Paris is a circle with a river crossing in the middle and around. One can find amazing and landmarks along both sides of the Seine river, but to see all its well-known treasures count to 20 because Paris has so much to offer. 20, by the way, is the number of district/arrondissements with #1 beginning at Ile de la Cité. For travelers visiting Paris for the first time, how about making choices from the following five themes?
Of course, a visit to the Musée Louvre is a must, as it houses many centuries of art and history; but know that it can take the entire day to see some of the exhibits only. The Musée d’Orsay is equally interesting, especially if you love French Impressionism. For variety and for eclectic pieces, go to the Centre Georges Pompidou. Other favorites: Musée Rodin –I love the sculptures and gardens, and Musée de la Vie Romantique. And don’t forget the 20 free small museums around the city, showing how people lived and decorated their homes.
Tour Eiffel, Arc de Triomphe, and Champs Élysées, the Pantheon, Sacre Coeur. You must visit all of them, and so hurry up! Some people have to go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower, others are happy with having it in the background of their pictures and selfies. The Arc de Triomphe is not only a majestic architectural beauty but a door to Paris. The neighborhoods around it are beautiful and worth a stroll. Champs Élysées doesn’t need an explanation. Visiting the tombs of the famous is something many people aim for when they visit the Pantheon where Victor Hugo and other illustrious. Sacre Coeur is beautiful inside and out, and it allows you breathtaking views of the City.
So many parks, so little time! – Luxemburg Gardens and Parc Monceau are two of my favorites. Parks are a great choice for a long morning or quiet afternoon, to sit and read, to walk slowly; in other words, to enjoy la vie! These other parks may spark your interest: Buttes-Chaumont, Bois de Vincennes, and Bois de Boulogne.
Notre Dame –who would not visit the place where the Hunchback lived? ;-). Also, the stained-glass windows with biblical scenes at Sainte-Chapelle are not to be missed. Both churches are amazing, and not far from each other.
5. The Metro. Any Metro.
The metro stations in Paris can bring you wonderful experiences. The Paris Metro, which began operating in the 19th century, is an underground train system that takes you everywhere within the Metropolitan area. The metro also connects you to trains that eventually take you to airports and surrounding towns and neighborhoods. Most of the stations are decorated with Art Nouveau, but each one has its own feeling and a theme. My favorites: Cluny-La Sorbonne, Abbesses, Arts et Metiers, and Concorde, just to name a few.
As mentioned earlier, there are 20 districts (arrondissements) in Paris, designed in a spiral. You start on the 1st Arrondissement in Ile de la Cite, in the heart of the city; continue to the right towards the 2nd and 3rd; cross to the other side of the river to the 4th, 5th, and 6th, and continue in a snail-like circle, to the 20. Often times, the best restaurants (brasseries) are found within the neighborhoods in the after-10 arrondissements, away from the tourist sites.
If you read this and have been to Paris –or live there, what places would you recommend?
Feel free to comment and add to the conversation. Enjoy!