Undoubtedly one of the most popular European destinations all year long, Paris can captivate you with its magnificent architecture, romantic bistros and mix of cosmopolitan and bohemian lifestyle. Here are my top 10 MUST-DOs in the City of Lights:
I couldn't start with anything else than Paris' most photographed landmark. Now, if patience is not your thing, I suggest you skip the visit to the Eiffel Tower coz most of the times the lines can be too long. Instead, you can enjoy the view of the tower from the most amazing spot, Trocadero Square where you'll have plenty of time to take photos or even enjoy a coffee on the go with a killing view. After all, Eiffel Tower is far more prettier from a distance and if you are a couple you'll definitely want to take a romantic photo with Paris' precious gem.
*If you insist on paying a visit to the actual monument, you can always buy your ticket online so that you won't have to wait in the last minute line and make sure you pay for a lift ticket coz believe me taking the stairs up to the top is really exhausting!!!
My personal favourite place in Paris which I always recommend is the area of Montmartre. Built on a hill, Montmartre's cobbled streets, architecture and a variety of genuine Parisian bistros and bars will make you feel like you were transferred on a different age. In every step, there is a sense of Parisian old-style romance in the air due to the place's bohemian past as an artist area. Walk towards the top of the hill till you find Basilica du Sacré-Coeur, a famous church with the most amazing panoramic view of the city. Don't forget to enjoy a glass of fine wine combined with some French cheese at one of the bistros and you might have the chance to get your sketch done by an artist. If that happens, definitely haggle, as the original price may be too high.
The Louvre Museum is by far one of the most impressive museums in the world and a visit there is always a unique experience. Rumor has it that you need a whole week to see every exhibit. From my experience, if you take the information map offered at the entrance and you make choices, your tour shouldn't take you more than three or four hours coz the museum is well organized in levels so you won't have any problem finding the exhibits you are interested in. Either an art fan or not, you should experience great art such as Venus de Milo or Da Vinci's Mona Lisa so make sure you include it on your to-do list. Again, purchase your ticket online or be prepared for a long line.
Champs Elysees is a vast avenue and home of the most commercial stores in Paris including brands like Dior or Luis Vuitton for those of you that are into shopping and can afford the prices. The avenue's highlight is definitely Arc de Triomphe which is situated at its starting point or else Charles De Gaulle square. Do not hesitate to take a few photos of the monument coz it's really impressive. Plus: If you visit the area around Christmas, the whole avenue is decorated and creates a festive atmosphere.
Parisians are commonly known for having a sweet tooth thus being masters at making delicious pastries. I recommend the macarons and definitely the original butter croissants. Guys! You have no idea!!!
I know what you are thinking: Why should I stand in a line to visit Notre Dame when I can simply admire its architecture from the outside? I myself have visited many churches and I assure you there's something about the interior of this particular one that fills its visitors with a sense of great awe. If you are particularly a fan of Disney's "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" you'll feel like you are following the steps of Quasimodo. Don't forget to visit the Vaults situated under the Church (you'll go from a different entrance) where you'll have the chance to see ancient ruins and learn about Paris' history through a spectacular virtual presentation.
Visiting Disneyland is not only for kids but for grown ups too, so don't miss the chance to see this amazing place that will make you feel like you were 5 years old again! Except for the rides, you'll see the most amazing settings, have a meal in themed restaurants and enjoy a cup of coffee in fairy-tale coffee houses. If you visit the place around Christmas, the atmosphere is magical and you might experience artificial snow-throwing.
Quartier Pigalle is the equivalent to Amsterdam's Red Light District having a notorious reputation for years due to its number of sex shops and cabarets with adult shows. Today, it gives a naughty tone to the city by still maintaining a lot of sex shops and the famous Moulin Rouge as its main highlight, but also a number of bars and restaurants. A visit there is an absolute must if you want to experience Paris' nightlife and you should also consider it for your stay coz it's a breath way from Montmartre and relatively close to all major attractions while hotel prices are significantly cheaper.
*If you want to catch a show at Moulin Rouge, you should definitely make a reservation online coz last time reservations can be too expensive!
Don't fall into the trap of either eating at fancy restaurants or at McDonald's for 3 days straight. It is the French that introduced us to the happy medium or else the Bistrot and it is awesome! You will be able to taste French delicacies such as their famous kinds of cheese at seriously lower prices than those of a restaurant.
Galeries Lafayette is one of the biggest shopping centers in Europe and it worths a visit to admire its impressive arched roof, browse the latest trends of top fashion brands & try the original French fragnances. They are far more superior than other perfumes and last longer.