After I cut down the list considerably I get around 10 emails a day from companies’ mailing lists and one really hit a cord – Paris is Always a Good Idea. That is one of those statements that I just can not disagree with, yes, Paris is a good idea.
I have been to Paris twice, once when I was six months old and do not recall at all … duh. The second time I visited I was ten and am sad to report that I did not appreciate the city for what it was. The highlight of my trip, I can vividly remember, was our visit to Disneyland Paris. The things that were supposed to be impressive – The Arc de Triomphe and The Louvre – I recall that there was a McDonalds’s with ice cream cones by the arc and that the Mona Lisa was very small. I would love to go back soon and in anticipation of this trip. I have put together a collection of top attractions that will be on my “must visit” list:
Arc de Triomphe – It is a problem that the biggest thing I remember about the The Arc de Triomphe is the McDonald’s close by. For heaven sakes, it stands at the center of Place de l’Étoile the hub from which 12 grand avenues including the Champs Élysées. On my first visit I did not climb the structure but this time I will have to and get a glimpse of the panoramic view from the terrace.
Champs-Elyse – The Avenue des Champs-Élysées i s arguably one of the most famous streets in the world with actual cinemas, cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees and I remember none of it. I am sure I took a stroll down this street but next time I must do so with my camera in tow.
Eiffel Tower – The Eiffel Tower is really just a given. I did take the elevator up to the observation but we skipped dining at the restaurant high above Paris which I would love to do.
Notre Dame de Paris – Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France.
The Lourve – The Louvre or Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument and after re-reading Dan Brown’s The Davinci Code earlier this month I really would love to go again and have a new appreciation for some of the lesser known art.
Musée d’Orsay – The Musée d’Orsay is a museum on the left bank of the Seine and one I do not recall going to. I really think I would have remembered a musuem housed in a train station – it is located in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.
Basilica of the Sacré Cœur – The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica and often simply Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris, France.
Jardin du Luxembourg – Also known as the Luxembourg Gardens, is the second largest public park in the city and is actually the garden of the French Senate. It contains just over a hundred statues, monuments, and fountains, scattered throughout the grounds and I would love to spend an afternoon, armed with cappuccino and pastry, exploring.
Montmartre Walk – This Parisian neighborhood is known for its neon signs and souvenirs of windmills but I have heard great things from friends who have visited over the past five years. If you travel off the beaten path I am sure I could find something worth writing home about. Plus, while I am in the neighborhood I will have to stop by the French cabaret Moulin Rouge as I have been obssessed with it since the movie won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.
Palais Garnier – Another spot I missed last time was the world famous opera house. The Palais Garnier boasts1,979-seats and has been home of the Paris Opera since it opened in 1875.
Centre Georges Pompidou – As I was ten the last time I was in Paris my parents literally had to drag my brother and I to some of the “must-sees” but we missed the main library. The Centre Georges Pompidou is a complex in the Beaubourg area and was designed in the style of high-tech architecture by the architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano. It is worth a trip for the architecture alone because goodness knows I do not speak French!
Shopping in the Marais – Any street that advertises, ” Stock up here on smart staples for your wardrobe, writing desk and larder,” is somewhere I do not want to miss. Even if I do not pick up stationery from one of the many papeteries on rue du Pont Louis-Philippe I will be in seventh heaven with a fresh macroon or crêpe to accompany me on my window-shopping excusion.
the next steps are to figure out how and when I am going!