City Guide: Paris

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Even after living there a full semester, I still wont have experienced all this city has to offer. Here are some of my personal favorites that everyone visiting Paris should experience.

What to see/do:

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Even after living there a full semester, I still wont have experieced all this city has to offer. Here are some of my personal favorites that everyone visiting Paris should experience.

 The Louvre: the biggest collection of art in the world. Swing by the Mona Lisa just to say you’ve seen it, but plan to spend most of your time looking at the thousands of other paintings and artifacts it houses. My personal favorite exhibit is the Arabic and Muslim art. The artifacts and murals are absolutely beautiful and in all my travels, I have never seen another exhibit that even comes close to resembling it. Time commitment: ½ day or full day, depending on your preferences.

Arc de Triomph: located at the end of the Champs de Lyses, one of the most famous shopping streets in the world, the Arc de Triumph’s massiveness towers over the street and dominates your attention. In order to reach it, you have to go underground through the metro station because too many cars are driving on the street surrounding it. The view from the top gives a great overall of Paris. If you want a good view of the city, I suggest going to the top of this over going to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Time commitment: 1/3 of a day

Montmartre: The trek up to Montmartre could never disappoint. Go in the late afternoon to walk around and watch local artists paint and draw, and pay a visit to the Sacré Coure, a beautiful church located on a very tall hill overlooking Paris. If you go on a weekend, you will usually find local musicians giving free concerts on the steps leading up to it. Grab a bottle of wine and go at sunset for a great view of the city. You will feel like a true Parisian in no time! Time commitment: ½ day.

Picnic under the Eiffel Tower: the most well known monument in Europe, you would be crazy not to visit the Eiffel Tower. My recommended way to visit is to grab some snacks (baguette, crepe, cookies, ect) and a bottle of wine and have a picnic underneath. The only reason to go on top is to say you’ve been on top of the Eiffel Tower, but if you’re looking for a great view of Paris, Montmartre and the Arc de Triomph are more worth it. Make sure to stick around at night to watch the tower sparkle during the first five minutes of every hour. Time commitment: 1-2 hours. 

What/where to eat:

Crepes: crepes have got to be the most famous food in Paris. I would suggest buying one from a street vendor rather than a restaurant; they taste much better and you get to watch it being made right in front of you.

Croque monsuire/madam: croque monsuire is a thick cut slice of toast with cheese baked on top, and the madam is the same but with an egg on it too. My favorite is the madam, but both can be found at any corner café.

A different ethnicity of food: you’re in a place that’s famous for its signature foods and I’m telling you to stray away from that? Yep! Immigrants from all over Asia and the Middle East migrate to Paris, so therefor it also is home to great foods from around the world. At the metro stop Saint Michele (line 4) you can find great Indian, Lebanese, Pakistani, and Tunisian foods, or for the best Chinese in town head to  Porte d’Ivry on line 7.

Chez Paul: If you’re looking for some nice, authentic French food, Chez Paul is the place to go. Located between Bastille  (line 1, 14) and Ledru Rollin (line 8) metro stops, this fine dining restaurant does not disappoint. If you go, try the duck… IT’S AMAZING.

Boulangerie: these bakeries can be found on just about any street in Paris. Whether you’re looking for a macaroon, a baguette or just a slice of pizza, a boulangerie is your go-to. Make it a goal to try a different kind of pastry each time you go in. There are hundreds to choose from!

How to get around:

The metro 

  1. If you’re staying for only a few days, buy a pack of ten metro tickets. If you run out at the end, you can buy them individually as you need them. Pack of 10: 14 euros. Individual tickets: 1,80 euros. 
  2. If you’re staying for one or two weeks, buy a weeklong pass. Price: 25 euros for unlimited travel. 
  3. Staying even longer? Go ahead and get a month-long metro pass! Price: 70 Euro for unlimited travel. 

Tip: download the app “Paris Metro.” It will quickly tell you the easiest and quickest way to get from point A to point B, and works even works without Wi-Fi!

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