Paris, the City of Love, The French city, known for its café culture, haute couture high fashion, and heavy traffic, is also a romantic hotspot. Paris has a high anticipation reputation (particularly if you’re whisked away there by your lover to whom you’re not yet married…) as the setting for many romantic movie sequences and even more marriage proposals.
But what if you don’t want romance, roses, or folks getting down on one knee? What if you didn’t want to go to the Eiffel Tower to get your ooh la la fix? Here’s our list of the top 10 things to do in Paris — diamond rings are optional!
Musée de l’Orangerie
The Musée de l’Orangerie is located in the Jardin des Tuileries on the Place de la Concorde. The Musée de l’Orangerie, while not as well-known as the Louvre, has the works of renowned painters like as Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, and Modigliani.
The Musée de l’Orangerie, probably most notably, proudly exhibits several of Monet’s Water Lilies paintings. This stunningly magnificent structure, which was originally erected in 1852 to shelter the citrus trees from the Jardin des Tuileries during the winter, now holds must-see artworks without the crowds.
The Louvre is a massive museum. As a result, if you want to see all of the museum’s 400,000 exhibits, you’ll need more than an afternoon (or plan a return visit). If you’re short on time but still want to check the Louvre off your Paris bucket list, do your study ahead of time and go directly to the exhibits you want to visit (using a handy map from reception).
The Louvre is a wonderful location with hundreds of paintings, sculptures, antiques, and mummies. Surprisingly, there’s a lot more than the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo, so if you want to escape the tourist traps, travel to the less well-known places.
Jardin des Tuileries
If a visit to the Louvre has left you feeling overwhelmed and in need of some space, the Jardin des Tuileries is a short stroll from the museum towards the Place de la Concorde. Since 1664, when they were given their proper position in the Parisian landscape, these magnificently manicured gardens have been preserved in immaculate condition.
Sit, relax, and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, or go to a café for a cup of coffee and a croissant (when in Rome, and all that). Spending time in green areas is a fantastic way to relax while visiting a bustling city like Paris, so be sure to include these gardens on your itinerary.
Pont des Arts
If you’ve ever seen a picture of a bridge fully coated with padlocks, you’ve seen a picture of Pont des Arts. Pont de Arts is a footbridge across the Seine Water where couples can eternally seal their love by closing a padlock, or love lock, etched with their names on the bridge and throwing the key into the river below.
At least, such was the case. The authorities removed all the padlocks in 2015 and installed screens over the bridge to discourage these public displays of devotion, since the bridge was weighted down by love locks. Even yet, some devoted couples may go to considerable measures to secure their padlocks.
Catacombs of Paris
Take a trip underground to the Catacombs of Paris, often known as the underbelly of Paris, if you’re interested in things a little bit horrific. The Catacombs, an underground labyrinth underneath the center of Paris, are the last resting place of almost six million individuals.
This so-called ‘ossuary’ was created in 1774 to assist alleviate the overcrowding that plagued Paris at the time. It became standard practice for covered wagons carrying human remains to make nightly visits to the catacombs and, believe it or not, tip the bodies down a mineshaft near the tunnels’ entrance.
The Montmartre Cemetery, which dates from the early 1800s, is located in Paris’s 18th district. It’s the ultimate resting place of individuals who were perhaps a little luckier than those who ended up in the Paris Catacombs.
Under the shade of lush, leafy canopies, you’ll find tombstones depicting the remains of great artists. Because it was built below street level in an ancient, abandoned quarry, this cemetery exudes a sense of tranquility and isolation.
If you enjoy history, here is the perfect spot for peaceful study and meditation. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll like the fact that Montmartre is home to hundreds of feline families. Nobody knows how or why, but they surely have the upper hand here!
The Rue Crémieux, located in Paris’s 12th arrondissement, is perhaps the city’s most beautiful street. This cobblestone lane, originally created for local laborers, is lined with quaintly painted, teeny little cottages in every color of the rainbow, making it the ideal location for an Instagram-worthy picture. Consider clay pots, window boxes, and plants, all of which are delightfully placed beside the lovely façade.
Keep in mind that this is a residential area, and overzealous tourists might irritate the locals. But take a stroll and take in the sights; it’ll be well worth your time!
Looking for a tall tower in Paris that offers panoramic city views? The Tour Montparnasse, not the Eiffel Tower! The Tour Montparnasse was the highest skyscraper in France until the Tour First building was completed in 2011.
Nonetheless, this is remains Paris’ tallest structure, and its observation deck provides some of the best views of the city. It was built as an office building in 1973 and is still used for that purpose, but it also includes a restaurant, le Ciel de Paris, on the 56th level (the building has 59 total stories) with a terrace that is available to the public.
So, if you want to see the finest of Paris without the crowds, go to the Tour Montparnasse!
If shopping is your thing, a trip to the Avenue de Champs-Élysées is a must. Even if your budget is more window shopper than actual shopper, you’ll feel like a movie star for the afternoon with its assortment of high-end, luxury boutiques.
As you take in each carefully designed window display, it’s definitely best to forego the high fashion killer heels in favor of more comfy footwear.
Canal St. Martin
Canal St. Martin is a nearly 5-kilometer-long Parisian canal that leads to the Seine River. The Canal St. Martin is a must-see for every brave explorer of Paris, whether walking beside it or on the water on a canal boat.
Whether you take a boat trip or go it alone on foot, you’ll be able to take in the breathtaking sights. There are lots of bridges to pass under and locks to explore if you’re a bridge fan. There are also several canal-side cafés and restaurants where you may take a break.
The fact that over half of the canal has been built over to make place for squares and public areas is astonishing. As a result, you might never know what’s going on above you.
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