Paris, France – The essential tourist guide

Paris, France - Old house on Champs d'ElyseeI love Paris ! I think most everyone who visits this city will just love it! I’m not really sure about people living in Paris though, but I still think most people living there love the city. Being a large city, Paris offers everything to everyone in terms of entertainment, food and tourist attractions. It is hard to pick the best tourist attractions, but if you’re only spending a few days in Paris you’re better off sticking with the well known tourist attractions. These Paris tourist attractions are what makes Paris famous, so they are worth seeing them.

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My favorite tourist attractions in Paris, France

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  • Walk on Champs-Élysées. This is my favorite part of Paris.
  • The Eiffel Tower is amazing! It can be very crowded with tourists but it is worth your time.
  • Louxembourg Palace (Palais de Louxembourg) is a great place to relax and surround yourself with history. This is a lovely palace with a lovely garden.
  • The Tuileries Gardens (Jardins de Tuileries) are beautiful and if you take your time to walk through them you will be transported to older time when life was slower.
  • The Louvre Museum is great! It is very large, so you need to have a plan for visiting it. However, before visiting the Louvre Museum, walk around the museum courtyard and admire the architecture. You will be impressed by the details.
  • La Defense business district is modern. If walking through old Paris makes you want to see some modernity, La Defense is definitely the place to visit.

Walk on Champs-Élysées

Champs-Elysees is probably my favorite part of Paris. I love walking from the Arch of Triumph all the way down to Place de la Concorde. There is nothing like walking slowly during the fall season when the leaves are falling. Make sure you climb on top of the Arch of Triumph especially around sunset to see beautiful views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.

Paris, France – Woman walking by a restaurant on Champs Elysees.
Paris, France - Woman walking by a restaurant on Champs Elysees.
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Champs Elysees is a beautiful street filled with people, restaurants and shops. It is best walked from Tuilleries Gardens to the Arch of Triumph. Once you get to the Arch make sure you take the time to go in the underground tunnel and actually climb on top of the Arch of Triumph. You get amazing views of Paris and a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.

Paris, France – The majestic Arch of Triumph marks the end of Champs Elysees.
The majestic Arch of Triumph marks the end of Champs Elysees
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Climb in the Eiffel Tower

Either you look at it from the ground or you climb on the top, the Eiffel Tower is impressive and it is a must see when visiting Paris. In addition, make sure you walk through the park just south of the tower. You will be able to rest a little and see beautiful views of the tower.
Read my guide for visiting the Eiffel Tower

Paris, France – Eiffel Tower seen from the nearby park
Paris, France - Eiffel Tower seen from the nearby park
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Visit the Louxembourg Palace and Gardens

The Louxembourg Palace is one of my favorite places in Paris. We visited in the afternoon and we were hungry and tired. After grabbing a sandwich we rested on one of the benches facing the lake. After relaxing a bit, we enjoyed very much walking around the beautiful garden and admiring the flower arrangements and exploring many of the paths. This was such a treat!

Louxembourg Palace and Gardens is a very relaxing park in Paris, France.
Louxembourg Palace and Gardens is a very relaxing park in  Paris, France.
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Visit the Louvre Museum and the Tuileries Gardens

What an amazing museum! The Louvre Museum is very large and you need to plan carefully so you can enjoy your visit. You should allow an entire day to see the museum and the beautiful Tuileries Gardens nearby. I believe that the Louvre Museum should be visited together with a stroll through the Tuileries Gardens. They are both beautiful.

Paris, France – The Tuileries gardens in front of the Louvre Museum. The Eiffel Tower is visible in the distance.
Paris, France - The Tuileries gardens in front of the Louvre Museum. The Eiffel Tower is visible in the distance.
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Visit La Defense business district of Paris

La Defense is the modern business district of Paris. There are plenty of skyscrapers as well as lots of restaurants. I loved the large open space in the middle of the modern buildings. Also, the square modern Arch of Triumph is very impressive when seen up close. It was definitely worth our time to visit La Defense.

Modern buildings in La Defense are completely separated from the old city center was a very smart idea for Paris, France.
Modern buildings in La Defense are completely separated from the old city center was a very smart idea for Paris, France.
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Getting to and around Paris, France

Paris is a transportation hub! This means there are many ways to get into Paris. Paris has a few airports with Charles de Gaulle being the largest. If you’re coming from the USA you will most likely arrive at Charles de Gaulle. If you’re flying one of the low cost European airlines you will come into Paris Beauvais or Paris Orly.

If you’re using the train you will most likely arrive at Paris Garre du Nord (if you’re coming from North of Paris) or Paris Garre du Lyon (if you’re coming from South of Paris). Once in Paris, the best way to get around is the subway, as long as there is no workers’ strike (which happens pretty often).

If you have never driven in Paris, France then the subway should be the only option for you. It’s clean, on time and pretty cheap. It’s the best way to get around central Paris.

Map of Paris, France and surrounding areas.

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Is it worth visiting Paris, France?

I have visited Paris on three separate occasions and loved it every time. If you get to visit the city though, make sure you use public transportation. Here in the States we rely way too much on our cars, especially in California. However, if you visit France don’t even think about renting a car just for visiting Paris…you’ll hate it! Plus, it will be very expensive and you’ll miss out on the walking. I think walking and public transportation are the best things in Paris (besides all the sites of course). You get to see the corner shops and sample regular food (not only fancy restaurants) and you get to see lots of people going about their daily life. Hmmm…and a definite bonus about walking would be that you get to lose weight. This way you can eat even more of the great French food.

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One Response

  1. Jada May 12, 2016

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