Need I say more… Visiting Paris is every girl’s dream, well at least for me. We traveled to Paris from Nice by TGV High Speed Train and took a Taxi from the train station to our Hotel in Saint Georges area.
The Paris Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic sites not just in France, but in the entire world. This engineering marvel, constructed between the years 1887 to 1889, is a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognized structures of the world.
The Paris Eiffel Tower has a total of three levels, the 1st floor, 2nd floor, and the top level. On the first floor, there are museum exhibits, a glass floor, changing exhibitions, souvenir shops, and restaurants. The second floor has the Jules Verne restaurant, some more eateries, shops, and an observation area.
The summit is mainly an observation area that is 276 metres above the ground. It is the highest observation deck in Europe. The top floor is divided into two levels. There is also a champagne bar and a recreation of Gustav Eiffel’s office.
The queue to go up the tower is long so always buy the ticket in advance to save time and avoid the long queue.
After sunset the tower is illuminated with thousands light bulbs and looked even more breathtaking.
Jardin du luxembourg
The Luxembourg Garden is one of the most charming attractions in Paris for both locals and tourists. We came here to rest after a long break and see the beautiful park. The park houses several metal benches surrounded by numerous statues and sculptures, a perfect place to relax and enjoy a bit of fresh air.
Overflowed with flowers and trees whose shade will be greatly appreciated during the hottest months of the year, visitors can also play tennis or petanque, take a short course in forestry, or start beekeeping thanks to the bee hives found in the garden.
Children can rent small wooden sailboats in the duck pond and push them into the water with a long stick as was done at the beginning of the twentieth century. In the park, children can also enjoy several puppet shows.
Open Hop on Hop off Bus tour
We bought Paris Pass as we wanted to maximize our sightseeing in Paris. The Hop on Hop off Bus tour is part of the package.
The Sainte-Chapelle is the finest royal chapel to be built in France and features a truly exceptional collection of stained glass windows. It was built in the mid 13th century by Louis IX, at the heart of the royal residence, the Palais de la Cité, to house the relics of the Passion of Christ. Adorned with a unique collection of fifteen glass panels and a rose window forming a veritable wall of light, the Sainte-Chapelle gem of Rayonnant Gothic architecture.
Prepare to be dazzled by the 1,113 stained glass windows in this gem of Rayonnant Gothic architecture.
Seine River Cruise
Seine river cruise is a very popular way to see Paris. These short river cruises allow us to take in many of the highlights of the city: the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc. as we float along the Seine River.
Many of Paris’s most famous and important buildings, bridges, and attractions can be seen from the river. The river viewpoint also allows us to gain some good insight into the city’s history, evolution, and architecture. In fact, the banks of the Seine in Paris were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Le Marais is the closest you will get to the feel of medieval Paris and has more pre-revolutionary buildings and streets left intact than any other area in Paris. A glance at some of the beautiful buildings and houses indicates the wealthy status of the former residents. After the revolution, much of the area was abandoned by the rich, and poor bohemian types moved in. The area was considered so squalid at this point it was nearly destroyed by city officials who wanted to modernize Paris. You should keep in mind that before Napoleon showed up the Marais is what most of Paris looked like— a labyrinth of cobblestone alleys.
The rest of Paris was razed by Napoleon and Haussman who wanted to build huge avenues and gigantic squares such as the Place Concorde. These are now the glory of Paris, but they were originally conceived so that armies and artillery could be moved around the city to keep the poor in check and defeat invaders. On a more metaphysical level, the purpose of such broad space is to make the citizen feel small and powerless when faced with the giant civic machine of government, or an obedient army.
Le Marais is privy to the small and approachable Paris of the past, the place to wander in maddening circles and never find your way, the place to hole up and read Sartre or Camus in a café window or stare at that Parisian beauty with her slim cigarette and wild scarf. The Marais is also the most famous Jewish quarter in Paris and in much of Europe, still maintaining strong traditions.
Sacre Cour Basilica Montmartre
The Sacré-Coeur, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. At the top of the Butte Montmarte, it has one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the capital, from 130 metres above ground. In a Roman-Byzantine style, the Sacré Coeur is recognizable by its white colour. Inside the building, the ceiling is decorated with the largest mosaic in France measuring about 480 m². The crypt is also worth a visit.
And to go even higher up, visitors can access the dome where the 360° view of Paris is magnificent. A short walk from the Sacré Coeur is the Place du Tertre, the district of Abbesses with its steep, winding roads, and at the bottom of the hill, the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret
Museum de l’army and Napoleon’s Tomb
The Army Museum at Les Invalides was originally built by Louis XIV as a hospital and home for disabled soldiers. It now houses the Tomb of Napoleon and the museum of the Army of France. The museum has a huge collection of military paraphernalia dating from antiquity to the present day.
The Musée de L’Armée was established in 1905 by merging the Artillery Museum and the Historical Army Museum. It contains 500,000 objects, including weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, emblems and paintings.
The other big attraction is the magnificent Tomb of Napoléon; Napoléon passed away in 1821, on the island of St Helena, where he had been in exile since 1815. He was buried in a valley beneath the shade of weeping willows. His remains rested there until October 15th 1840 when King Louis-Philippe ordered the emperor’s body be returned to France.
The Tomb of Napoléon was designed by the architect Visconti (1791-1853). It is made from red porphyry with a green granite base and circled by a crown of laurels and inscriptions of the great victories of the Empire. The body of the Emperor was laid in the tomb on April 2nd 1861.
Cathedral Notre Dame
is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include its large historic organ and its immense church bells.
The cathedral’s construction began in 1163 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many presidents of the French Republic.
Our Accommodation in Paris: My Hotel in Opera Saint Georges
I love this hotel, this was by far the best hotel for the price during my trip in Europe.
The room was pretty spacious for the 2 of us (compare to the room we had in London) and spotless clean. Shower room works properly and the size of the sink is decent too.
Bed size is decent and pretty comfortable. The location is super, walking distance from Saint Georges metro stop and not so far from Opera and Sacre Cour. There is also a mini market nearby open until 23.00 and some good restaurants nearby (we had nice dinner in a nearly Lebanese Restaurant). The receptionists are also attentive and helpful.
We booked the shuttle to the airport thru them as we both had heavy suitcases from all the shopping spree. Cost €26/person or €18 if there are 2 people.
Breakfast included, which was nice and free wifi which worked well in the room.