The Hazel Eyed Traveler

A scenic travel and lifestyle blog by Katie Alice

Top Things to Do in Paris

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Ahh Paris the city of love, fashionably slim frenchwomen, suave gentleman smoking very thin cigarettes  and the casual Parisian strolling down the street with a beret and a baguette under their arm. So maybe I did not see all these things while in Paris.  In fact these are all quite cliche.  Other than my romantic self, I saw one other woman sporting a beret (no men to speak of) and although I did witness many a suave frenchman none of them were partaking in any extremely thin cigarettes.   

Prior to stepping foot in Paris I knew the cliches.  When I thought of Paris I though of the Eiffel tower, and the idea of the city intrigued me.   At the same time before I saw the city my excitement was mediocre at best.  Sure I dreamed of seeing all things Parisian but I did not completely know what to expect.  The minute I stepped foot in the city any doubts I felt vanished.    The city completely took me in it's arms and swept me away.   I could feel magic in the air with it's strong, elegant, and proud architecture.  I almost felt as if I had been swept back to another time when women of elegant birth were gently breed and men were never seen without a top hat and cane.  Or more recent history when intellectuals flocked to Paris during the time of Freud, Picasso, the Fitzgeralds, Ernst Hemmingway, Josephine Baker, and Gertrude Stein.   My love for Paris blossomed and I cannot wait until I find my self once again immersed among the Parisians.   But until then I will console myself with french wine and putting together this list for you of what I believe are the best things to do while in Paris.   

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Notre Dame
Built in 1163, in a Gothic style, Notre Dame is the Cathedral with the chair of the Archbishop of Paris.   A place close to my heart I literally ran with anticipation toward the beautiful church that carries such a vast history.  Whether you  (like myself) grew up with the Disney film classic the Hunchabck of Notre dame, are a lover of architecture, a Christian on a holy pilgrimage, or do not want to miss out on anything Parisian you cannot leave without standing in the shadow of this magnificent Cathedral.   If you like me cannot miss seeing fantastic views then you can choose to climb to the top of the towers.  You will be charged 10 euros but be prepared it is not an adventure to be taken lightly since the climb is 422 steps.   But if you choose to undertake it the views are most definetly worth it.

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The Louvre 
The most visited museum in the world filled with hidden secretes waiting to be uncovered.  This was originally built as a palace before housing all the treasures that it holds today.   Of course as many know this is the home of the Mona Lisa. 
I recommend you buy your tickets in advance so you will have less of a wait.  There are a few different entrances to enter the Louvre such as the Le Carrousel Du Louvre, this is underground and is easier to access if you take the metro.   It is usually less crowded than the main entrance, Le Pyramide.    

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Eiffel Tower
No self-respecting list of the best things to do in Paris would be complete without the iron lady.   Standing elegant she proudly overlooks her beautiful city.   Always a perfectly photogenic spot, a trip to Paris is not complete without seeing it's most iconic landmark.   I highly recommend purchasing a ticket to the top and viewing the splendor of the city spread out below.   It is quite magnificent, seeing the city lights begin to lighten up the city at dusk.

While in Paris you cannot leave without first indulging in a delicious crepe.  As an enthusiastic chocolate lover I did not hesitate to enjoy many a Nutella crepe.  With the warm Nutella oozing out of a freshly made crepe you are in for a treat. But if a dessert crepe is not your thing you can opt for a savory crepe which I must admit I also eat and thoroughly enjoyed.

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Basillica du Sacré-Cœur du Montmartre 
A stunning cathedral quite different from Notre Dame but beautiful in it's own right.  As a a connoisseur of stunning views I did not hesitate to climb the 300 steps to see the beautiful views of the Eiffel tower and the rest of Paris spread out below.

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Arc de Triumph
One of the most visited monuments in Paris.   Constructed in 1806, the arch was built to honor those soldiers who died in the French revolutionary and napoleonic wars.  Just like the Eiffel tower and 
Sacré-Cœur you can visit the top of the monument.   

An iconic and beautiful avenue made up of elegant buildings, beautiful outdoor cafes, and any luxury boutique you could ever want.   Perfectly manicured green trees line the avenue with the Palace de la Concorde on one end and the Arc de Triumph on the other.

Luxembourg Gardens 
If you are craving a little more greenery you can find that at Luxembourg Gardens.   You can easily relax here with a picnic, sunbathing, or even people watching.    It's a lovely place to unwind between visiting places in the city.

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Strolling by the River Seine  
The River Seine, one of Europe's most inspiring and romantic rivers.   Strolling by this enchanting river through the heart of Paris with the Eiffel tower in the distance and a croissant in hand creates the perfectly picturesque idea of Paris.  And even though it is the stereotypical Paris, how can you not partake?  Even on a gray rainy day the city gives off a glow of possibilities and looks like it stepped right off the pages of a storybook. 

Remember you can purchase a Paris Pass and receive free admission to many of these attractions such as the Louvre and Notre Dame Cathedral among others.

Do you have a favorite place to visit or activity in Paris?  I would love to here in the comments below.

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