Spending Time in Paris

Seine River Cruise

Seine River Cruise

I love Paris. I’ve always loved Paris, even before I ever got a chance to visit. The language, the casual elegance, the fashion, the wrought iron balconies, the lamp posts all add to the romanticism of this city. It took me a long time to visit and when I did, I only spent a few days. Knowing that I missed seeing so much, I returned, and again, I only spent a few days!

Realizing that Paris is not a city to be seen in bits and pieces, I would suggest to anyone wishing to visit, that you spend at least a week here. There are so many things to see and do, and when you only have a few days, you become set on seeing the tourist sites and miss out on the spontaneity the city offers. Here are a few of my suggestions if you decide to visit Paris.

 Get to know the city layout. I think a daytime river cruise helps you to get your bearings. It allows you to see where everything is and what is located on the left bank and the right bank.

The Eiffel Tower at Trocadero

The Eiffel Tower at Trocadero

Seeing the Eiffel Tower will always take your breath away. Whether you see it during the day from the river or staring straight up at it while standing under it. Watching it sparkle and twinkle in the darkness of the night is so exciting. But the most amazing view of the Eiffel Tower is from Trocadero, where the tower looms right in front of you.

Shopping in Paris!! There are so many boutique shops and designer stores to look through. There is also the Galeries Lafayette, a department store, that is a must visit during your shopping time in Paris. The store looks like a theater and the belle epoque dome is so exquisite.

When you make your way over to Notre Dame, you should also visit the Shakespeare & Company bookstore that is in this area. It seems so surreal to be browsing the same bookstore that Hemingway, James Joyce and George Bernard Shaw all used as their gathering place. Visit the second floor to see the beds that are still used by writers. Don’t forget to have the book that you purchase, stamped with the Shakespeare & Company logo. Such a great souvenir!

The Tuileries Gardens was the royal garden of the Louvre Palace and is a nice place to relax after spending time wandering through the museums or walking around Paris. This is the perfect spot to sit and relax in one of the green, metal chairs that ring the pond in the center of the gardens before you resume walking.

Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette

If after a few days of exploring, you want to take a break from the city, you can catch a train to Giverny (about 1 hour on the train) and visit the beautiful countryside where Monet lived. You can take a tour of Monet’s home and the lovely gardens. Or spend your day marveling at the beauty and wealth of Versailles Palace, the gardens and the Domain de Marie-Antoinette. (30-40 minutes by train). Taking a day tour from Paris to Normandy, is another option.

There are plenty of day trips to take you from Paris, but I am sure you will be happy to wake up in the city again to resume where you left off…visiting museums, sitting in a café people watching or walking the winding streets browsing the boutique shops. I can’t wait to return Paris and this time I will take my own advice and spend all my time here.

 

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