Nine Things to do in Paris
Clearly there are more than 9 things to do in Paris than what I am going to list here. And to keep things interesting, I am not going to list the big 5; The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triompe, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sacre Coeur. These are must dos, of course. Here are some other ideas if you have more time and want to do something different.
So in honour of all things Frenchy, here are 9 things you can do in Paris!
It is a definitely a strange recommendation, to visit a cemetery while in Paris. But this is not an ordinary collection of graves and headstones, there are many prominent people of history buried here, so wandering around is actually quite interesting. Jim Morrison, Edith Pilaf, Camille Pissarro, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Marcel Marceau, Delacroix, Modigliani are buried here, along with heaps of other European artists. It’s a peaceful place to wander around and is the most visited cemetery in the world, located in the 20th Arrondissement.
Beneath the city of Paris lie the Catacombs, where you can wander through tunnels and see human bones arranged in all sorts of strange ways. Do not do what I did and visit this alone! Too scary. Millions of Parisians’ remains were transferred there in the 18th century when the city’s graveyards and cemeteries were beginning to become overcrowded. It’s certainly a freaky place to visit and ponder history. Also a welcome change in temperature (14 degrees) if you happen to be there in the heat of summer.
Paris is home to some of the most amazing galleries, the Louvre of course being the main draw card. But if you prefer art from 1800 onwards, head to the Musee D’Orsay, to see all the Van Goghs, Manets, Monets, Gauguins and Cezannes you desire. Located in an old train station, centrally located near the banks of the Seine, and a short walk from the Louvre.
Okay technically the Chateau of Versailles isn’t located in Paris, but if you have the time take a day trip out on the train to see the beautiful buildings and grounds. I was there in the month April and had to queue for over an hour to enter and join a tour of the Palace and the bedrooms of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. Worth the wait, but be prepared for crowds! Don’t skip wandering down through the gardens and past the man made river, take a boat out, ride a bicycle and wander around Marie Antoinette’s village and stables. I wish I had packed a picnic! A lovely day outing.
Dotted around Paris are carousels, a throwback to historical times and introduced by one of the King Louis, who had a penchant for merry-go-rounds and all things bling. This beauty can be found at the base of the Sacre Coeur. For a guide to finding more, click here.
You can easily get lost walking around the many Arrondissements of Paris, such of the neighbourhoods of Montparnasse, Montmarte, around the banks of the Seine, and along the Champs Elysees. I loved exploring the Latin Quarter, its quaint squares, architecture, statues, fountains and interesting shops.
The tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte is located in the dome of Musee De La Armee, the military museum housed in the Les Invalides. It’s a huge complex to wander around, with museums, galleries and tombs of notable military personnel.
There are many amazing green spaces in Paris, my favourite probably being the Tuileries Gardens opposite the Louvre. When there on my own I constantly was walking around town and continued to stumble across small parks and gardens, like the one below next to the St Theresa Church.
9. Go shopping!
There are so many amazing shopping areas in Paris, whether it is a department store like the Galleries Lafayette or just browsing the streets, markets and shop fronts. There is something for every budget; whether it is high end designers, cool new stores or antiques and market finds. And if all else fails, just window shop and treat yourself to coffee, baguettes and crepes!