Friday, May 2, 2014

More From Paris

There is so much to see in Paris that in a week you can barely skim the surface. Nevertheless, we made the most of our time and saw many of the top attractions. Here are some places that can't be missed:

The Louvre:
Last time I was in Paris I spent 8 hours in the Louvre. Since I was by myself, I didn't have to consider anyone else's interests and was able to take my time exploring the masterpieces--and I still didn't see even a fraction of the museum! This time, Dan and my mom took Zoey while my dad and I relaxed. You don't have to spend a full day there, but while in Paris you have to go visit Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

View of the Louvre from the Tuileries Gardens

Luxembourg and Tuileries Gardens
One of my favorite places in Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens. The park is huge and features sculptures, water fountains, tennis courts, a playground and tons of lush grass. It is also the home of the French Senate. On a sunny day, there is no better place to be. A close second though is the Tuilieres Gardens. Located just outside the Louvre and with a great view of the Eiffel Tower, it's a lovely place to relax.

Notre Dame
This is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I've seen. It absolutely amazes me that it was built in the middle ages before heavy machinery was invented. And, did you know that many of the people who built the Notre Dame worked for free? They did it as a labor of love. Thanks to Rick Steve's audio tour for that titbit.

We managed to find ourselves touring the cathedral right in the middle of Palm Sunday mass. It was a little awkward taking photos while hundreds of people were praying, but we tried to remain respectful.

Eiffel Tower
You'll see the tower from lots of parts of Paris, but it is worth a visit to see it close-up--especially at night when it's all lit up. Starting at dusk (9 pm when we were there in April), the tower is a sparkly beacon. It stays alight all night, but sparkles for five minutes on the hour until 1 am. It makes a great backdrop for romantic or family photos. So iconic. I personally don't think it's worth it to go to the top though. It's a great view up there, but obviously you won't see the one thing that clearly identifies the city as Paris--the tower!

Arc de Triumph and Champs Elysees
The Arc itself is pretty, but not overwhelmingly interesting. We didn't go to the top, but I imagine those are some spectacular views. We did enjoy window shopping along the Champs Elysees though. Louis Vuitton, Mercedes and Cartier all have stores on this famous boulevard. We stopped midway for a delicious matzah sandwich that we brought from the apartment.

Passover lunch on Champs Elysees

I also highly recommend the Musee d'Orsay and Versailles. If you have time, the Rodin Museum; Sainte-Chapelle Cathedral; and the small but effective Deportation Memorial are all fantastic. But really, the best thing to do in Paris is just walk around and take in the atmosphere. It is one of my all-time favorite cities, and I am so glad I was able to see it with my family.


Read more about our time in Paris:
Sights in the City of Lights
Passover in Paris

1 comment:

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