Many people would love to visit the capital of France, the city of love. I have always dreamed of going and despite living in France for several years I never had the opportunity to go, until a recent trip with my university. Before going it is always best to plan any trip you go on. Here is, what I would say are the best places to visit and some advice.
I went on a walking tour of the Latin Quarter whilst I was in the capital and it is just beautiful! It is a lovely area with quaint Parisian buildings. It is somewhat expensive if you are planning on staying there, with most hotels costing around £200 or more per room per night, given the likes of Ernest Hemingway stayed in these hotels as they worked on their masterpieces. If your budget doesn’t stretch this far, it is still worth a visit, if nothing else but to look around the shops like Hugo Boss in Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
One of the most obvious tourist areas of Paris is, of course, the Eiffel tower and it is definitely worth it. But do take into account the hour long queues (at least) to get up (the 3rd floor was unfortunately closed when I went!) The views, though, are breathtaking. Also, like many tourist sites in Paris, if you live in the EU and are between 18-25, you get a discount (or sometimes you get in for free!)- all you need is a valid ID.
Sacré Coeur/ Montmartre
With this being the highest part of Paris, you can see the most spectacular views of the city. After you take in these views, you can then go and fill your stomach with crepes and macarons from the local shops and cafes.
Although Versailles is just beautiful, I would definitely suggest pre-booking tickets if you can, to avoid the hour and a half queue me and my uni friends endured. We then had to queue and pay to get into the gardens. Despite this, the gardens are spectacular but a full day is needed to see all that the palace of Versailles has to offer.
The Louvre houses works like the Mona Lisa and The Wedding at Cana. And whilst it is pretty cool to say you have seen these paintings, I’m not sure if the queues and navigating the masses was really worth it. The picture ops outside were pretty cool but there were way too many people for my liking!
The metro is pretty similar to the tube in London (although I haven’t used it often). Just as our trip was ending, I was just getting the hang of it. It isn’t signed as well as the London Underground so it was a little more confusing. Much like the underground, it can get very cramped; you must always keep an eye on your belongings as pickpockets are everywhere, especially in the metro. Also, you do need to be quick getting on and off as they give you very little time- with some of my trip partners getting crushed by the doors. On the plus side, you can usually find a musician on the trains themselves giving you some musical entertainment.
All around the major tourist attractions, there are plenty of men trying to sell general tourist souvenirs. They end up getting rather annoying, as many don’t exactly take no as an answer, one I even saw grab the wrist of a nearby tourist in order to put the bracelet he was selling on him! Not the best sales technique, I know!
Paris is a beautiful city and well worth the money! Go and enjoy it b ut like always, stay safe.