I will be ranking these according to "must see" sights of the city, convenience, enjoyment of the whole family and popularity. The Louvre for example I would think is a must see for Paris but will not be on this list because it's a museum not a sight seeing destination.
|One of the last pictures I got before my camera died! Merde!|
1) Eiffel Tower
|La Tour Eiffel, it's prettier at night but you can study it more during the day...|
However, I did not stand in that GIANT line to go to the top of the tower. I had taken a Paris city view from the top of the Pompidou so I felt no need to stand in a line for 2 hours. The tower is also much more pretty at night I feel. They do a light show at sunset around 6 in the winter and I thought it was pretty. However, I found out from a local that they all hate it because they think it's tacky. Why would sparkles ever be considered tacky??? Oh, yeah... This is Paris where my glittered cat shirts from Hong Kong are looked at with disdain rather than seen as humorous.
2) Notre Dame Cathedral
|My favorite stop of the whole trip and I saw a lot of churches!|
When visiting Notre Dame it is very easy to walk to the remains of the Bastille, the Pompidou and the Musee Picasso. Also across the street from Notre Dame is the BEST book store, Shakespeare and Co. which has an unbelievable collection and used to be visited by famous authors such as Oscar Wilde, Earnest Hemingway and Victor Hugo.
3) Arc de Triumphe
|A symbol of Napoleon's victories.|
Right by one of Paris' most chic areas is the Arc de Triumphe, a symbol of Napolean's vicotries. There is also a twin of it over by the Louvre that has a chariot on top of it. You can climb to the top of the Arc which is something I didn't know until the Arc was featured on the Amazing Race. I think the most fascinating thing about the arc is the traffic around it. It's really fun to just watch the cars drive around it! Afterward you can walk down the the Champs Elysees to see the most ritzy of Paris shopping, have a tea at the famous tea house Marriage Freres and watch the world pass you by. You will pay more for everything on the Champs Elysees, so be aware if you are on a tight travel budget. Walking down the Avenue is a must do for your Paris Bucket list but you don't have to buy anything.
4) The SeineI first heard about the Seine River in an Abba song. "Walks along the Seine, laughing in the Rain." It's still one of my favorite songs because I think it's really sad and beautiful at the same time. I was determined to walk down the Seine and laugh in the rain when I was in Paris. I'll have you know I was able to do both, if you count sleet as rain.
The Seine is really pretty to walk down and it is different in all parts of the city. I walked down it around the Louvre, The Orsee, and down by the Bastille. You can walk down the entire course of the river if you're in the mood for a walk. Paris is BY FAR the best city to walk in. Even in the winter weather I loved walking in Paris, it was really beautiful and everything was really interesting to look at. If you want to see a lot of the city and are really tired, have someone in your party with a disability or a small child I highly recommend the river tours. They even run in the winter and you can see the whole city from the River Boats. You'll have a great opportunity to take photos, meet new friends and relax while enjoying the sights of Paris. And as a bonus: they are not that expensive!
5) Sacre Coeur Basilica
Sacre Coeur is a really excellent example of Neo Romanesque architecture. Beautiful during the day and night time it is really beautiful and a definate tourist attraction. Although I don't really understand how the red light district of Paris ended up being built around this beautiful religous landmark. Moulin Rouge is about a 10 minute walk from here. It was built in 1875 but was one of those properties that was fought a lot about and the original architect died before she was completed.
The Basilica cost an estimated 7 million francs and holds the largest mosaic in the world. The Christ in Majesty is an interesting Mosaic not only because of it's size but due to it's golden nature and the fact it's built into the dome ceiling. Sacre Coeur has become a symbol of Paris due to the fact people in the summer relax on it's giant staircase to study, read or draw and children enjoy it's beautiful antique carousel in front it. In the winter it is not so bustling with locals but instead is full of people wanting to take in it's beauty and sit upon it's famous stairs that famous authors read upon (Such as Oscar Wilde) and movies were shot on, such as Amelie. Sacre Coeur can also be seen outside of Audrey Hepburn's window in the movie, Sabrina letting us know that she was living in the red light district during her cooking school days.
|The Christ in Majesty mosaic inside the Basilica.|
|Neo Romanesque Architecture makes Sacre Coeur stand out in Montmarte's red light district|