Paris, the City of lights, visited by millions every year. Calling Paris romantic is debatable, but certainly the art, the food and the culture is sure to leave a mark. Paris has no shortage of places to see, narrow streets to stroll and get lost and innumerable things to do; planning a trip to this amazing city can be daunting, especially if you don’t have too much time to spend in Paris. I think setting aside 3 days for Paris is a good idea to get a taste of this wonderful city.
Here’s is a 3-day snippet of our itinerary in Paris; hope you find it helpful. By the way, if you haven’t already read my previous post on “Paris lights up at night”, do check it out.
DAY #1: Paris Walking Tour
Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame is the best place to get oriented to the City of Lights. Situated by the Seine River spiraling through Paris, the Notre Dame Cathedral, being the masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, attracts many, sunshine or rain.
Notre Dame literally means “Our Lady”, and is dedicated to Mary, whose statue is right in the heart of the façade, in front of the ‘rose’ window. An evening walk in the Notre Dame neighborhood promises to put you in a romantic mood.
A visit to Paris is incomplete without a visit to Sainte-Chapelle, a gothic style church, popular for the multitude of stained glass panels, depicting the entire Christian history. If you find all the stained glass images a bit overwhelming, you are not alone. Nevertheless, be prepared to be mesmerized by how the colors were played with in perfect synchronization, appealing to the eye.
The Crown of Thorns was once placed in the space above the altar, today the Crown of Thorns is safeguarded inside the Notre Dame Treasury.
Contrary to its name meaning “New Bridge”, Pont Neuf is one of the oldest bridges in Paris. Pont Neuf graciously spans across the Seine River, connecting both the sides of Ile de la Cite with the mainland. Observe the equestrian statue of King Henry IV on the bridge.
The Orsay Museum is a mecca for lovers of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art work. Paintings of famous artists, including those of Van Gogh’s, Monet and several others are housed in the Orsay Museum.
After enjoying the Orsay Museum, head over to the Tuileries Gardens close by and stroll through the well-manicured gardens and relax on one of the chairs by the fountain. The views of the Eiffel Tower emerging far behind the trees and the buildings is a sight to behold. It’s a great place to unwind, before going on your river cruise adventure.
Seine River Cruise
There’s no better way to see Paris than by cruising through the Seine River. The experience is best at twilight, with just enough sunlight to embellish the architectural details of the bridges spanning across Seine and the popular monuments situated by the river.
DAY #2: Louvre Museum, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées
Regardless of whether you like museums or not, visiting the Louvre, the largest museum in the world is a must. Louvre is now home to the famous Venus de Milo and Mona Lisa, protected within a glass enclosure. It also houses many many Greek and Roman sculptures and paintings by famous artists. Be sure to come back to Louvre at night to see the mesmerizing view of the lights inside the glass pyramid. To make the best use of your precious time, check out my post on “8 tips for enjoying the Louvre Museum”.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe majestically stands in the heart of Paris, with flocks of tourists standing all around the Arc, taking pictures with the cars and buses braving the unorganized traffic around this marvel. For breathtaking views of Paris, just climb the 274 stairs to reach the rooftop.
Champs-Élysées is the most glorious streets in the world, known for its theatres, restaurants and high-end shopping. Walk through the Champs-Élysées in the evening, to watch the crowds, to see the lights lighting up the city and to be entertained by the street performances.
DAY #3: Versailles, Eiffel Tower
Living in a palace like Versailles is every king’s dream. The Sun King, Louis XIV made this dream a reality by turning his dad’s hunting lodge into a palace of incredible grandeur. The lavish palace and the immaculate gardens make the Versailles one of the best day trips from Paris.
As cliché as it might be, you can’t leave Paris without going to the rooftop of the Eiffel Tower. Yes, it’s terribly crowded; yes, you need to stand in long lines; yes, you need to book the tickets several months in advance; yes, you need to brave those crowds. But when you are up there, at the top of this structure which has become a symbol of Paris, it is magical.
So, are you planning a trip to Paris? What are you most excited about?