In Paris you will find some of the world’s most famous sights, and we will help you find some of the most exciting the city has to offer. We live centrally, at the Hotel Select on Place de Sorbonne. Take the Metro to achieve a lot during a few adventurous days, the highlights are lined up. We visit the most important ones – and also found some hidden gems.
Jardin de Luxembourg – a green paradise
There are many parks in Paris, the most famous being the Jardin de Luxembourg. The hotel is located in the Latin Quarter right next to this garden, and we start in the 250-acre park, which winds beautifully around the Palace de Luxembourg. The Medici Fountain is a highlight, and a number of 19th-century sculptures are dotted around the park. This is a green paradise not far from the west bank of the Seine!
Looking at the Eiffel Tower from the Tour Montparnasse
When the Eiffel Tower rose in the Paris skyline in 1889 as a contribution to the World Exhibition here, the criticism was massive. The tower’s 320-meter-high symmetry soon made it the city’s main attraction. We skip the line there, instead choosing Tour Montparnasse, take the elevator up to the cafe at the top of the 210-meter-high building with 59 floors. From there we have a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower and large parts of Paris.
Place des Vosges – oldest square in the city
We obviously have to go to the Marais, perhaps the nicest area in Paris with its great buildings, museums and medieval streets. Here we settle down at café Ma Bourgogne on the Place des Vosges, which is Paris’ oldest square surrounded by 36 houses with stone facades in red and white, slate roofs, attic windows and perfect symmetry. Richelieu and Moliére have lived here, and not least the literary and political genius Victor Hugo.
Get to know Victor Hugo in the Vosges
If you are on the Place des Vosges, you have to visit the largest house of all. Victor Hugo lived on the third floor of the Hotel de Rohan-Guéménée in the period 1832-48, he wrote most of Les Misérables here, among other things. He has also written The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, as well as a number of poems, plays, novels, travel letters and political pamphlets. In 1903, this house was turned into a museum of his life with portraits and belongings. This was truly an exciting museum visit!
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Cool Jewish quarter with cafes and shops
Once we are in the Marais, we go through the area where the Jews once lived, narrow streets with several good eateries, and we land on a table outside Marianne. The streets Rosiers and Écouffes were already established in the 13th century. Now there are elegant clothes shops here, and very little that reminds of the Nazis’ cruel persecutions. Here in the area you will also find Musée Picasso, that man is everywhere!
Montmartre – both bohemia and basilica
Montmartre is literally a peak, this is actually the city’s highest point. Painters and poets with a bohemian lifestyle turned the area into an artists’ area at the end of the 19th century. We go up and get a magnificent view from Sacré-Coeur. In the alleys below the church, we find cafes as evidence of Montmartre’s former charm. But, what were then dances and cabarets in the Pigalle district below are now sex shows on the Boulevard de Clichy …
Sacré-Coeur – photos for the memory book
Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh, Renoir, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec all lived or had studios in Montmartre. Everyone probably also visited cabaret places such as Moulin Rouge and Chat Noir. We enjoyed ourselves at Au Rendez Vous des Artistes. We will of course visit the Basilica Sacré-Coueur, we light candles for 58,000 French soldiers who were killed in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) of which the church is a memorial. And the sunset at Sacré-Coeur is a motif for the memory book!
Notre-Dame/Ile de la Cité – the heart of the city
From the foundation stone being laid in 1163, it took 170 years to build the cathedral of Notre-Dame. It was destroyed during the revolution and restored in 1864. Then it suffered a terrible fire a few years ago, and is now undergoing restoration. It is located in the middle of the Seine on Ile de la Cité, the island that is full of tourists. The neighboring island, Ile St-Louis, on the other hand, is an island for idyllic walking in the middle of Paris! Take in Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie and the flower market on the Ile de la Cité!
Memorial of the deportation of the martyrs
At the Square de l’Ile-de-France at the Ile de la Cité, we go straight to Le memorial des Martyrs de la déportation. It is a memorial to 200,000 Jews who were deported to concentration camps in World War II, an old underground morgue has been turned into a very worthy memorial. Down in the chamber, 200,000 glass crystals shine faintly through the walls with light to symbolize the dead. At the exit a sign with the following text: “Forgive – but never forget” steder i Paris, Reisetips Paris
Wandering randomly along the Seine
A typical Sunday walk in Paris is to walk along the left bank of the Seine (Rive Gauche). Here on the quays along the river, it has been about books for centuries. Mostly French books, but also postcards and posters. Lovely to just walk along the river, cross the beautiful bridges (Pont Alexandre III is the most beautiful with a view of the Grand and Petit Palais, the Invalides and the Champs Elysées) and of course you also get to see the gigantic Musée du Louvre along the river.
The Louvre – this is where you’ll find the Mona Lisa
The Louvre is a must see when you are in Paris. Here you will find as many as 350,000 valuable objects, including the Mona Lisa. It has been a fortress and residence for several kings, and it was actually Napoleon who had the Louvre converted into a museum! It’s unfortunately closed when we’re there because of a big event about … the latest news from the clothing front.
Parisians are above average concerned with clothes
It’s unbelievable what people can dress up with. During the half hour we stand outside the Louvre and look at celebrities, the two of us in ReiseKick realize that we still have a long way to go before we are fully dressed. We let ourselves be excited by the man in the silver suit on the left below here.
Fun, different wine tasting at the Louvre
Right next to the Louvre we find a cool place for wine tasting. A skilled sommelier takes us down to an unusual wine cellar. We use all our senses to learn the difference between wine types and wine regions in France. A different wine cellar, lovely wines and a clever French girl with perfect English, it can’t get any better. This class is really worth the entrance fee!
Lots of cool eateries with a historical buzz
Paris is a café city like no other. The distinction between cafes, bistros and brasseries is not always so easy to see, and we visited La Closerie des Lilas the first evening. A birthplace of bohemia, including Charles Baudelaire. The restaurant is expensive but the food is worth it and the bar is a good place to hang out with music and cool clientele.
Lovely Le Chardenoux
This evening is the one we remember best. The soul of this bistro from 1908 is simply to be loved. The restaurant is a historical monument that we are completely captivated by. Beautiful ornaments, well-used leather sofas, perfect menu, pleasant waiters, a decorated ceiling that must be a godsend, and a white fish dish with accessories that refreshes our perception of the treasures of the sea!
Les Deux Magots – Cafe Milou – Bofinger
We stroll through the Latin Quarter, and stop for lunch at Les Deux Magots, which competed with the neighboring Cafe de Flore to be the meeting place for the 1920s artistic elite. There will be a pavement table in the sun, where Hemingway, Picasso and Oscar Wilde sat. The next day we enjoy ourselves at Cafe Milou on the Place de la Bastille, where the city’s infamous prison was located. Close to the Bastille, we find Bofinger, the city’s oldest brasserie (1864), known for its oyster dishes and its Parisian atmosphere.
Efficient Metro – and still much to see next time
The metro system in Paris is cheap and efficient. It has an extensive line network and frequent departures, and during rush hour it is packed everywhere. We used the Metro more than we usually do, but we still missed top sights we must see next time in Paris: Arc de Triomphe, Les Halles, Pompidou Center, Champs-Elysées, Pantheon and Jardin des Tuileries for example. We hope the tips from our visit make it easier for you to experience Paris, and then you just have to enjoy yourself
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