There simply isn’t enough time to see everything in Paris. This can lead to some anxiety when planning a trip. I am often asked for help on this subject. Instead of listing sites, I try to help them on how to plan an experience. The “City of Lights” deserves to be experienced, not simply checked off a list.
When traveling, one of the most important facets of attaining the best experience possible is booking a hotel in a neighborhood that suits your taste. Paris is a diverse town, with much to offer in every category. Find a neighborhood that matches your personality. You should put yourself in a place in which you feel a sense of residency. For example, if you love the idea of being part of the Lost Generation in the 1920’s that basically defined Paris for many of us, you may want to stay near the Latin Quarter.
Looking for more accommodations? Check out these Paris Hotels with balconies, from our Blogger Friend Bianca.
Take a Stroll
Watch the day unfold by the banks of the Seine. My favorite stretch starts at Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame de Paris is located, to the Pont des Arts at the foot of the Louvre Museum. Watch as shopkeepers and cafe’s prepare for the day to come. Maybe stop in at the Shakespeare and Company, have a café, and look through this world-renowned bookstore. You’ll find that walking the town will give you a better sense of what it’s like to be Parisian.
Take your Time
Sites do not only need to be seen. They also need to be truly appreciated, and the only way to have an enriching and fulfilling experience with a site is to not rush through them. I call it the “one church, one museum rule.” My favorite combination of my rule is spending the morning visiting Sainte Chapelle and seeing it’s beautiful stained glass when the sun is shining, and in the mid-afternoon, spending it in the Musee D’Orsay where some of the greatest works of Modern Art are kept.
Spend your Day Like a Local at the Park
My favorite park is Jardin du Luxembourg. This beautifully manicured park is open for everyone to enjoy. If you are a parent like me, this is the place to spend a day with the kids. On the premises are an amazing playground, an old-fashioned carousel, and donkeys to ride. Do as the locals and bring your lunch to the park and enjoy it near the Palais du Luxembourg where the park is most attractive.
Eat and Stay
The beauty of Paris is when you attain a table. It is considered yours for as long as you want. So, take advantage of this and eat and drink slowly. First, doing this is good for your digestion; second, it helps you get a real appreciation for the depths of flavor in which the cuisine is famous; and lastly, gives you the opportunity to take in the crowd and the almost always animated service that makes dining in Paris an experience. A restaurant where I like to linger is Brasserie Lipp.
By following these simple steps, you can expect to have the best time in Paris!
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