Day 1: The Notre Dame Cathedral and the Seine River
Start your day with the Notre Dame Cathedral. The is usually a few hours line to enter the cathedral. For us, seeing the Notre Dame from the outside was more than enough.
Forget about streets, the Seine River is the main “road” in Paris. On its banks are all the most important tourist attractions. There is a hop on hop off boat going through the Seine so called Batobus (http://www.batobus.com/en/batobus-pass.html). The boat stops at 9 locations: Eiffel Tower, Musée d’Orsay, St-Germain-des-Prés, Notre-Dame, Jardin des Plantes/Cité de la Mode et du Design, Hôtel-de-ville, Louvre, Champs-Élysées and Beaugrenelle. It is really the best way to start your Paris adventure. As you can drive with the boat for the whole day, don’t forget to stay the sunset.
The Seine River and sunset
Day 2: The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Avenue Montaigne, The Eiffel Tower
Our day 2 in Paris was Sunday, so visiting the Alexander Nevsky Catherdal was somehow natural for us. It is a Russian Orthodox church and when we saw it, we had to remind ourselves what we are still in Paris and not in Moscow 🙂
Avenue Montaigne we didn’t visit to shop. Let’s make it clear, we visited 30, Avenue Montaigne – a legendary address The House of Dior and a must for anyone having a slight amount of respect to fashion (https://www.dior.com/couture/nl_be/the-house-of-dior/the-story-of-dior/30-avenue-montaigne). It’s a history!
The Eiffel Tower is simply a must. No matter how tacky you find it, it’s still the Statue of Liberty of Paris. Visit it in the afternoon to admire the sunset or for example to get engaged 😀
Day 3: Musée d’Orsay, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées
From my childhood, I remember going through impressionism albums of my mum and spending hours on looking on the pictures. It’s not because I was some kind of a genius, oh God forbid, but simply because I was growing up during socialism in Poland and we didn’t have such a variety of books as today. Books in general were not always available, they were censored and even if they were in a bookshop, you had to stand in a line to get them. My mum was always about philosophy and art. Philosophy books didn’t have picture, so I was stuck with art albums. And thank God, as thanks to this I unconsciously learned how to recognize the personal style of major impressionist painters and of course I felt in eternal love with impressionism. So now you understand why Musée d’Orsay was a mecca for me. But even if you are an immune to art type like Dario, Musée d’Orsay should still be a must on your list.
The Louvre is a museum where you can spend the whole day. So choose wisely what you want to see there before you even get inside.
The Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées are perfect for an evening walk. However, I must admit that Avenue des Champs-Élysées didn’t meet my expectations. It was somehow hallow and not magical at all. Well, the only picture I have from there is from Disney store 😀
Day 4: Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre, and Moulin Rouge
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacré–Cœur, although very touristic, is a place in Paris that will not disappoint you. Get on top of it to get a great panorama view of the city.
Montmartre: whoever called it a mecca of art, has been dead for a long time. Nothing arty about this place is left. But if you already are in Paris, well, simply check it.
Moulin Rouge on the other hand, is not boring at all. Leave prudery outside and it might be actually a nice part of Paris for a walk.
Paris on the road
- Forget French speak English with pleasure; especially in Paris. With so many tourists visiting Paris everyday many Parisians simply don’t care about good manners and human decency. So whenever you try to get some information and do not speak fluent French, don’t be surprised, if someone acts rude. Just walk away and try to ask another person. The rule applies as well to information points.
- Already at the airport buy a travel pass for public transport. We were staying 4 days in Paris and bought the weekly pass. Thanks to it, we saved a lot of money and could use public transport freely.
- Lines, lines, lines. Lines everywhere, no matter where you want to go, so take it into consideration while planning your trip.