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How to enjoy Paris (an eye witnessed city guide)

In the Jardin des Tuileries with Louvre behind me

In the Jardin des Tuileries with Louvre behind me

A glimpse at the French capital

Paris is a romantic place to visit. Probably the best place to visit for the honeymoon. But it is also good for any kind of vacation.

The city of parks, monuments, museums, old beautiful architecture, Paris is rose-blooming all year through. Even in December you will find roses blooming in the parks. But winter is rather cold and not very comfortable. Though there is little snow, you can feel the penetrating chill of the wet air and the cold wind.

It is better to visit Paris starting the end of March and till the beginning of November. Summertime is the best though.

Walking the stairs to Montmartre

Walking the stairs to Montmartre

City walks and talks

All the way along the Seine river starting l’Ile dela Cite and up to the Eiffel Tower is the joy of a walk! But you must be a good walker as it is a long way to go. Yet, what about renting a bicycle? There are special bicycle stations here and there along the streets so you can take one of those and enjoy the ride! Bike lanes are good to ride on. And Sunday is probably the best day for a bike ride as there are very few cars in the streets.

Another alternative – take a boat tour on any of “Vedettes de Paris” boats. You will see more than you want to see! They will guide you through the city in any language possible.

If you like challenge and thrill, there is an opportunity to see Paris from the height of an air balloon in the park of Henry Citroen. Prepare to have your breath taken!

You can also go up the Eiffel Tower to get the sky-view of the city, but please prefer the lift to the stairs unless you are a trained alpinist – 324 meters of stairs up, that hurts! Once on the last floor, you can be happy to know that you are now on a monument higher than Cheops pyramid.

Your other must-visits are Montmartre – another beautiful place to sky-view Paris, Georges Pompidou museum, the Louvre museum, the Opera of Paris, Notre Dame de Paris and the avenue of the Champs Elysees. If you are a lover of the modern architecture, then you must go to the Defense – the so-called city of the future. You will be startled by the bizarre monuments, strange high buildings and the futurist ambiance. I felt like in the story of Isaac Asimov every time I went there. If you are brave and open to brain-storming, visit Salvador Dali museum and Picasso museum. Yes, it takes courage to face the works of these artistes belonging to the so called “fin du siecle” period. Surrealism and cubism, the revealed collective subconscious of Dali and the avant-garde experimentation of Picasso. Genies are hard to understand!

Eating sushi in the Galeries Lafayettes, Paris

Eating sushi in the Galeries Lafayettes, Paris

The specialties of Paris

Back to a more normal life, there are plenty of restaurants in any tourist area so you do not need to worry about finding the good address. You will find Chinese, Japanese, French,Belgium, Italian and Russian cuisine. I would recommend “Lyon” restaurants – their cooks are masters of the seafood. Their specialty is sea muscles cooked in many various ways. And you must absolutely taste the genuine French pastry – the French are talented in appeasing the appetite of those who are kin on desert. You can find a boulangerie on the street corner and ask the courteous lady or gentleman to have a take away of a delicious baba au rome or tartelette aux framboises or eclair au chocolat or any of these tasty chef d’oeuvres. Or you can sit at the table in a tea saloon and enjoy the city views while having your tea with your pastry.

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On the outskirts of Paris there is the Disneyland resort, with two thematic parks, hotels and a nice Disney village. A great way to shake the hand of Mickey Mouse and spend time with children!

Another place to visit outside Paris is Versailles – the former residence of the French kings and queens. If you watched “Marie Antoinette” directed by Sofia Coppola, you will find the place familiar :)

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Comments

Anna Sidorova (author) from Russia on October 03, 2011:

Chris Jewell, thanks for mentioning Monmartre! It's one of my favorite spots in Paris, also!

Chris Jewell from Brittany, France on October 02, 2011:

Paris is one of my favorite cities and Montmartre is a great part of the tourist experience. The artist market makes this a really good visit.

Anna Sidorova (author) from Russia on May 21, 2011:

You are most welcome! Some memories brighten up our life, don`t they?! Thank you for the interesting comment!

Mohan Kumar from UK on May 20, 2011:

I love Paris- there is so much to enjoy and admire- whether it is the beautiful buildings, the promenades, the astonishing museums, the shopping everything to admire. As you say I loved walking, taking the metro, boating on the river and climbing all the various steps whether Montmartre or the Eiffel. Paris is summertime is good for the soul. thanks for reminding me!

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