France / Travel

A Weekend in Paris

08.01.17

The City of Lights, the City of Love, and home of the Eiffel Tower, Paris is one of the most famous cities in the world!

My latest work travel took me to beautiful France, where I had an entire weekend to explore Paris’s lively culture and amazing architecture! Check out my 10 favorite spots during my Weekend in Paris!

1 – The Louvre Museum

As the largest museum in the world, I had to give the Louvre its own post! Check out all the beautiful exhibits, paintings, and sculptures at the Louvre Museum in this blog post.

2 – The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris and stands at 164ft tall! The arch honors those that fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars (around 1792-1815).

The craziest thing about this monument is actually the streets around it. 12 avenues pour into one massive roundabout, circling the Arc de Triomphe; the lanes are unmarked and driving is a free-for-all! I’ve never heard so many car horns in my life…

3 – The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is as gigantic and impressive in person, like I always imagined it!

Each night, the tower puts on a light show on the hour; the Eiffel Tower sparkles and beams search lights across the city. Time seems to stand still for those few minutes, as both tourists and civilians look in awe!

4 – The Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame is a medieval Catholic cathedral, and is one of the largest and most famous church buildings in the world.

The cathedral and surrounding area has gone through many restoration and expansion projects, and is now almost 60,000+ sq-ft! Its beautiful stained glass windows and famous gargoyles make Notre Dame especially unique and breathtaking.

5 – Musée de l’Orangerie

While the Louvre Museum housed some impressive art, Musée de l’Orangerie was my favorite museum I visited in Paris. This art gallery has a collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, showcasing the works of Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and more!

Musée de l’Orangerie is most famous for having 8 of Monet’s Water Lilies murals. I was surprised to learn his paintings were so massive, and that he painted around 250 murals in his Water Lilies series!

6 – Luxembourg Palace and Garden

Created in 1612, the Luxembourg Garden is nearly 57 acres of bright green lawns, blooming flowerbeds, and tree-lined walkways.

The Garden was created by Marie de’ Medici (widow of King Henry IV of France) to go with her new home, the Luxembourg Palace.

Today, the French Senate owns the Garden, and actually meets in the Palace! The Luxembourg Garden attracts many with its beauty, lush greenery, and many statues & fountains.

7 – Boat Tour

While I was initially skeptical of taking a boat tour around Paris, I ended up loving it! There are tons of boat tour options down the Seine River, and each offer seeing Paris’s famous monuments from another perspective.

The boat tour was a relaxing hour to squeeze in more sight-seeing (and gave my feet a nice break from all the walking!)

8 – The (New) “Love Lock” Bridge

A trend found all over the world, a “love lock” is a padlock couples attach to bridges, fences, etc. to symbolize their love. While the original “love lock” bridge in Paris was dismantled due to the immense weight of the padlocks, it took tourists no time at all to find a new location!

Thousands of love locks can be found on the fences near Pont Neuf, surrounding the statue of Henry the IV.

9 – Sacré Cœur Basilica

Another Catholic church building, the Sacré Cœur Basilica sits on the highest point in Paris and was constructed from 1875 to 1914. This famous basilica is a political and cultural monument, and stands nearly 272ft tall!

My favorite part of the Sacré Cœur is climbing to the top of the dome! To get to the viewing tower, you have to climb seemingly hundreds of spiraling steps. The staircase is extremely dizzying and narrow at points, so is not for the claustrophobic!

The view from the top of Sacré Cœur was a Paris panorama, and my favorite part of the entire weekend!

10 – Coffee Shops!

There’s nothing better than people-watching and sight-seeing from a coffee shop window! Paris has the cutest cafes, some great coffee, and perfect sights.

While crowded and a bit touristy, my weekend in Paris was better than all my expectations. You can’t find another city with such astounding architecture and history, and I’m ready for my next trip out there!

Have you ventured to the City of Love? What are your favorite spots in Paris?

Happy Travels!

Laura

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