It is no secret there that there is so much to do and see in Paris, it’s hard to narrow it down to the essentials while still getting the full Parisienne
experience. Especially if it is your first time visiting you want a good balance of everything she has to offer. There’s a wide spectrum of things to do, but one thing is for sure you'll definitely be getting a good workout every day from walking the various gardens Paris has to.
Without a doubt, the Eiffel Tower is one of Paris’ most recognisable monuments in the world. The tower was only meant to last 20 years, today it shines bright as France’s architectural icon. You only understand its sheer magnitude once you’re standing underneath it. Although you’ve most likely seen it in movies or photos, you’ll still be impressed by the Iron Lady, especially when ascending this architectural feat. Whether you decide to observe from the first floor, second or the summit, it is an adrenaline inducing experience.
However, if you’re someone that can appreciate its grandness from ground level, there are other ways to enjoy the iconic monument. A personal favourite of mine would have to be the hourly evening “light show.” Every night from sundown to 1a.m., at the beginning of each hour, the iron edifice illuminates creating a golden sparking effect for 5 minutes. The Champ De Mars is the park located directly underneath and extends for 780 metres. It is often overlooked as tourists prefer to view the Eiffel tower from afar, but the close proximity is a positive especially when a true Parisian picnic is involved. Just next to the Eiffel Tower is one of the best streets in Paris to buy food, rue Cler, this is where you can find the best French cheese, wine and baguettes.
While the Eiffel Tower is the most recognised symbol of Paris, the ultimate destination for travellers is the world's greatest art museum, the Louvre. Not only is it the largest, it carries work from almost every civilisation on earth. Holding the most renown pieces of artwork, the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and Winged Victory.
One of the most famous avenues, at 1.9km in length and 70m in width, the Champs Elysees is a hub of activities, including the avenue itself. There are many reasons to head to the 8th arrondissement. It Is predominantly a retail strip for fashion and continues to attract luxury fashion lovers from around the world. There is the iconic flagship Louis Vuitton store, situated on the corner that many opt to buy their first ever piece from this store.
At the easternmost end of the avenue is the square, Place de la Concorde. This is the biggest public square and has been used as a point of entertainment for decades. You will always be able to find something happening on the Place de la Concorde. During winter the Big Wheel comes to life and in summer across the courtyard taking place are markets, carnivals and art installations.
The famous avenue ends at the Arc de Triomphe, the triumphant archway is another popular attraction for travellers in Paris. It is worth passing by and taking a quick snap to admire its architectural beauty. Paying to climb it or simply walking underneath the arch and through the pillars you’ll be able to experience it.
Discover Degas, Renoir and Manet under the soaring roof of one of the old railway stations, Musée d’Orsay. The recently renovated gallery contains the world’s largest collection of Impressionist masterpieces. Including the works of Money, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, guided tours of the museum highlight the best of the best.
Nothing is more Parisian than lounging on a lawn chair in the sunshine or an impromptu picnic in the Luxembourg Gardens. Bordered by Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, these gardens are a favourite circuit for joggers and walkers. There are many paths that are perfect for an afternoon stroll past the various 106 statues that are spread throughout the garden.
A walk through these gardens in summer is a must when visiting Paris. There is a Ferris wheel and fair in summer and the flower beds are in full bloom, making it that ever more special. The flower beds in the Tuileries are inspired by the current exhibits at the Louvre therefore always changing seasonally. One way to start your walk through the Tuileries is outside the garden, under the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, to take in the entire garden. Walking through the centre, different pathways will take you to different views of flowers, fountains, the Louvre and of course green lawn chairs scattered throughout. You’ll be fighting the locals for a chair if it is a nice day but going in the morning is usually best to avoid as many people. However, walking as the sun is going down, or any time during golden hour, is especially stunning.