• Kristina Costalos

Paris: 14 Things To Do

Pre Covid-19, Paris was a bustling hotspot, the 2nd most visited city in the world hosting 19 million visitors each year. We were lucky enough to fly into France just before our world changed in 2020, experiencing everything the 'City of Love' had to offer.

On this guide we'll visit the Eiffel Tower, the underground Catacombes and so much more! So if Paris is on your bucket list, save this Global Travel Guide in preparedness for when international borders open up.

TIP: To help you get around, click on the interactive Google Map at the end.

1. Louvre

If you've always wanted to see the Mona Lisa in the flesh, this is your chance! But keep in mind, the famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece is much smaller than expected. There can also be lengthy lines (similar to the ones you see at airport check-in counters) manned by security guards who give you just 60 seconds to take a photo and get a glimpse before you're moved along. While the hype around the Mona Lisa is something remarkable to witness, there is so much more to see within the world's largest art museum which is home to more than 380,000 objects. There are also numbered sections dividing Greek, Etruscan, Roman and Egyptian Antiquities.

Tip: Make sure you book tickets in advance and choose a designated entry time (access hour) to avoid the queues as 10 million people visit the Louvre every year.

Official website: https://www.louvre.fr/en

Price: General admission 18.00


2. Notre Dame Cathedral

A catastrophic fired ripped through this medieval cathedral for 15 hours in 2019, but the 850 year old church still stands. For now, Notre Dame remains fenced up and blocked off to the public while restoration work continues on the damaged structure. The French President has promised to rebuild the cathedral within 5 years. This is the view in the meantime:


3. Seine River

While you're visiting the Notre Dam, take a cruise or stroll along the Seine River on its doorstep. Here you'll spot artists drawing portraits of tourists, stalls selling trinkets and hundreds of canvas paintings of the Paris skyline.


4. Eiffel Tower

If you opt for the stairs (like we did) you'll have to climb up 328 steps to the first level and 1,665 to the top. Sounds tough, but I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face. The experience was magical and the added bonus was it helped burn-off breakfast! We purchased tickets to level 2, and along the way, read fun facts about the build which was carried out 130 years ago.

Tip: If you’d prefer, take the lift for a few extra euros. And, purchase tickets in advance and choose a time slot to avoid long queues.


5. Indulge

Cakes, croissants and baguettes. Parisian pastries are bliss.

We went to another realm while munching on profiteroles at 'La Parisenne' in Saint-Germain. And if you're up for something truely authentic, why not try escargot - SNAILS!

Some options:

'La ralais d'le Entrcote' - a Paris institution. There's no menu, just steak and chips.

'Les Refuge' - delicious fondu and wine out of a baby's bottle. Unique!

'Moustache' - French Restaurant.

'Buddah bar' - a restaurant/bar/lounge, located on the ultra-chic Faubourg St Honoré.

'Le Caveau de la Huchette' - a jazz club in the Latin Quarter. The building dates to the 16th century and has been compared to a cellar or labyrinth.

'Harry's New York Bar' - The bar was acquired by former American star jockey Tod Sloan in 1911.

Best view? Have dinner at the top of the Eiffel Tower.


6. Catacombs of Paris

This place will send a shiver up your spine.

Beneath the city streets, 5 storey's down, past the metro tunnels lie the Paris catacombs. More than 6 million human remains are piled-up in the former stone quarries. The circuit is 1.5km and takes around an hour to complete.

More than half a million people visit the catacombs every year.

Official website: www.catacombes.paris.fr/en

Price: 24.00


7. Thrift Shop

We couldn't find too many thrift shops in Paris, but we did stumble across Les Grands Voisins, a former 16th century hospital turned utopian, supportive and cooperative village in 2015. Here we bumped into music artist Ilowem.

Check out our Paris YouTube Travel Guide below for more.


8. Moulin Rouge

The spectacular cabaret show famous for the can-can dance. It was founded in 1889 and has become a tourist attraction known for its red windmill on the roof.

Website: http://www.moulinrouge.fr/?lang=en#

Price: Starting from 88.00 - 440.00


9. Champs-Élysées

This is the most famous shopping strip in Paris. From Channel to Louis Vuitton, H&M and Zara. You can shop til you drop and spend hours here admiring the best fashion Paris has to offer.


Watch our Paris YouTube Travel Guide here:


10. Arc de Triomphe

At the end of the Champs-Élysées, you'll spot a huge round-a-bout and an enormous monument called the Arc de Triomphe. It was commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806 and took 30 years to build. It’s marvellous.


11. 'Av. GEORGE V'

As you make your way back to the Eiffel Tower for a sunset picnic, you’ll walk past the Four Seasons hotel located on George V Avenue (off the Champs-Élysées). Out the front of this 5 star strip, you’ll spot the most expensive, high-end, ritzy cars in all of Paris. Just wow.


12. Flame of Liberty

This is the unofficial memorial for Princess Diana. The Princess of Wales died in a road accident in the tunnel below in 1997.


13. Rue Cler

Just a 10 minute walk away from the Flame of Liberty is Rue Cler, dubbed one of the best market streets in Paris. We found the most marvellous cheese and wine here to take to the park in front of the Eiffel Tower ('Champ de Mars') for a picnic which is just 5 minutes away.


14. Luxembourg Gardens

Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris these gorgeous gardens popping with colour will help you find your zen. But don't take my word for it. Out of 75,000 Google reviews, it has managed to attain an average star rating of 4.7 / 5. Not bad.


ACCOMODATION:

We stayed at the 3 star Fred Hotel.

It costs us $220 AUD a night (early September) which included a delicious buffet breakfast.