Top 5 Things To Do In Paris (for a day or weekend)13:30
When visiting Paris a couple weeks ago, it was my first trip that I organized mostly by myself. From accomadation and train times, to Disney park tickets and things to do. We ended up spending one full day in Paris and a few hours the next day before catching our flight back, so we didn't have long to hit the best tourist hot spots. There were four of us in total and we all really enjoyed how easy and accessible the sights were from each other, as well as the beauty in every place we went.
1. NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame was the first place on our list. We were staying in the 14th arrondissement of Paris, close to the Catacombs, so we decided to take a quick train using the RER B to get to Notre Dame. This cost us just under €2 each and we were there in no time. As soon as we exited the station, we spotted the Notre Dame across the road from us. If you are one who appreciates architecture, particularly churches or cathedrals, then it's definitely one for you. It's incredibly beautiful and detailed, and also great for photographers or to just tick off your list. As we had little time, we decided to not go inside. However, if I ever go back I'll sure to make time for it, as I hear it's outstanding. So if you have longer I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you take a bit longer to look inside.
Estimated Entry Price: Adult: €10.00
2. THE LOUVRE
We didn't spend long at The Louvre as we didn't have enough time to go inside and feast on the artistic delights such as the Mona Lisa, but there are lots of lovely photo opportunities around the area. It is filled with people posing in various positions alongside the water fountains and glass prisms. It is also surrounded by beautiful architecture and the walk from Notre Dame to here was very pleasant. If you are keen on the tradition, there are still many places that people have been placing locks alongside the river on the way, and this time on railings that won't break the bridge.
Estimated Entry Price: Adult: €15.00
3. ARC DE TRIOMPHE
The Arc De Triomphe was one of our favourite places to visit on the trip. We took the route from The Louvre past the Place de la Concorde and Cleopatra's Needle and along the Champs-Élysées. This was a very pleasant walk, passing fountains, statues and modern art features. We even passed various photoshoots in place, which was lovely to see as an inspiring photographer. After gagging over the window shopping delights that were out of my price range, we were greeted by the beautiful Arc. (Champs-Élysees also has a lot of food options if you need to stop, including a Mcdonalds or Burger King if you're on a budget). You have to go underground to come up in the middle which is free, but if you would like to go to the top you must buy tickets while underground. The Navy seemed to be having a memorial celebration of some kind while we were cueing, and once security checked we were met with tackling a huge amount of stairs. It can seem daunting but if you just look at the step in front of you and keep going, you'll be there in no time, and trust me, the view at the top is worth it. Once at the top you get such a breathtaking view of Paris. Immediately everyone swarms the side with the Eiffel Tower but you can also see Sacré-Coeur, Champs-Élysées and the Grande Arche de la Défense. We went just as the sun was setting, and actually spent a lot of time up there watching the people and traffic down below, and just taking it all in. My sister was proposed to, the sun went down, Eiffel Tower lit up and then we decided to tackle back down the stairs, which is much easier on the way down.
Estimated Entry Price: Adult: €12.00
FREE for under 25s, just show ID (thanks to the girl behind us who informed us just as we were about to pay).
4. THE EIFFEL TOWER
The most famous sight in Paris. You can see it from various points exploring Paris, but there's nothing like seeing it up close at night. The lights bring the tower to life, and transform it into one stunning piece, especially when the lights sparkle on the hour, every hour. Sadly the site is crammed with people trying to sell you things and the cue for the tickets is pretty long (as expected). There's a variety in ticket choices; but as we went around 9pm we couldn't get the stairs, but it's an option you might like to consider. The lifts are compact and small, which can feel strange going up, but even those scared of heights should be fine. One of the most interesting parts for me was looking out, back at the Arc de Triomphe and seeing how small it looked in comparison. That, and getting an expensive glass of champagne to celebrate the new engagement.
Estimated Entry Price: Adult to the top: €17.00
5. THE CATACOMBS
The Catacombs might not be for everyone but it is certainly a unique experience. I can't say I've ever seen human remains in person before this, let alone walking by thousands in a dark tunnel. There was a very long way for the Catacombs as we planned to go Monday originally, to find out it was closed, so had to go Tuesday. We waited roughly 2.5 hours (but you might still be able to get it done in a day as we didn't go to Notre Dame until 3pm). It was a long boring wait, but it was definitely worth it. When entering you have to enter down a big winding staircase that goes on for quite some time, when you are then greeted with information boards about the tunnels. The history is captivating and helps you understand more about everything you will see. You then have to walk along the tunnels for a while before you actually come to the skeletons through a separate room. It was highly surreal to see at first, but as the tunnels went on it became more normal and I got use to it, although it still fascinated me. I'm usually the 'darker/weirder' child so jokes were made about me enjoying it, but the other three I was with actually enjoyed it too and found it very interesting, so I highly recommend.
Warning; there are also lots of stairs to climb when exiting and there isn't much room to stop and take breaks. These steps seem steeper than that of Arc de Triomphe too.
Estimated Entry Price: Adult: €12.00
Well, there you have my top 5 things to do in Paris. I know that they are stereotypical and touristy, but the sights are popular for a reason, and I hope my advice and view on them helped with planning your trip to Paris or just giving you an insight on what there is in the city. I would love to go back and do more, but I think I would like to visit another country for a short break and see what I can do in a day or two there first. Maybe Italy or Amsterdam.
Thanks for reading, and happy travels.