Paris Things to Do Tips by longsanborn
Paris Things to Do: 8,772 reviews and 17,684 photos
Montmartre is a hill in the north of Paris and it is mainly known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Coeur on its summit. In the mid-1800s artists came to live in Montmartre. By the end of the century, Montmartre became the principal artistic centers of Paris. Pablo Picasso, Amedeo Modigliani, and other impoverished artists used to live and work in a commune in Montmartre.
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) is a Roman Catholic basilica and popular landmark in Paris. The top of the dome is open to tourists and you can get a spectacular panoramic view of the Paris city. If you are unable to climb up the long steep stairs, a funicular railway, (Funiculaire de Montmartre) climbs up the hill to the Sacre Coeur Church from the south while the Montmartre Bus circles the hill.
Downhill to the southwest is the red-light district of Pigalle. That area is largely known for a wide variety of sex shops and prostitutes. Pigalle also has several major show halls including Moulin Rouge, the world-famous cabaret.
Outside the Church of Les Invalides
Les Invalides is a popular tourist site today and it is also the burial site for Bonaparte and some of his family, for several military officers who served under him, and other French military heroes. Les Invalides consists of a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to France's military history, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans, the building's original purpose.
The most notable tomb at Les Invalides is that of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) in the crypt under Mansart's dome. Napoleon was initially buried on Saint Helena Island, but King Louis-Philippe of France arranged for his remains to be brought to St Jerome's Chapel in Paris in 1840. The renovation of Les Invalides took many years, but in 1861 Napoleon was moved to the most prominent location under the dome at Les Invalides. Napoleon Bonaparte's sarcophagus is huge in comparison to the actual height of the man. I thought it was very strange that the sarcophagus was very big since I read that Napoleon was a short man. When I walked around the floor of the sarcophagus, I could see displays his military achievements.
The military museum in the Les Invalides was also impressive and interesting, as you get to see many kinds of amoury, weapons, and uniforms worn throughout the different centuries. In the courtyard, there were different kinds of cannons used in warfares.
Hall of Mirrors in Château de Versailles
The Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles), or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles, France. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village, but it is now a suburb of Paris with city status in its own right. From 1682, when King Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in 1789, the Court of Versailles was the centre of power in France.
The Versailles main attraction include the State Rooms and Bedrooms, Hall of Mirrors, Royal Chapel, the grand Park and formal Gardens, etc. You will have to pay museum fee to enter the Palace and a separate fee to enter the Park and Gardens. I didn't find the Palace very interesting (except Hall of Mirrors) because the Palace was looted during the French Revolution and the rooms were mainly empty of its grand treasures. I believe you would be better off visiting the Park and Garden.
Directions: Versailles is served by 2 stations on Paris RER line C: Versailles – Rive Gauche and Porchefontaine. Versailles is also served by 2 stations on the Transilien Paris – Saint-Lazare suburban rail line: Versailles – Rive Droite and Montreuil.
Standing beside Vincent Van Gogh painting
The Musée d'Orsay building was originally a railway station, Gare d'Orsay, constructed for the Chemin de Fer de Paris à Orléans. In 1977, the station was converted to a museum and it was opened by President François Mitterrand on 1 December 1986. ACT Architecture (Renaud Bardon, Pierre Colboc and Jean-Paul Philippon) were designated to work on this conversion.
Musée d'Orsay holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. Art collections from world-famous major painters such as Renoir, Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, etc., certainly makes the visit to this museum worthwhile.
Directions: Métro: line 12, Solférino station; RER: line C, Musée d'Orsay station
The Arc Monument behind me
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous monuments in Paris and it stands in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly the Place de l'Étoile, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. The monument stands over 51 meters (165 feet) in height and is 45 meters wide. It is the second largest triumphal arch in existence. Its design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus.
Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War. It was originally decided in November 12, 1919 to bury the unknown soldier's remains in the Panthéon, but a public letter-writing campaign led to the decision to bury him beneath the Arc. The coffin was put in the chapel on the first floor of the Arc on November 10, 1920, and put in its final resting place on January 28, 1921.
The slab on top carries the inscription ICI REPOSE UN SOLDAT FRANÇAIS MORT POUR LA PATRIE 1914–1918 ("Here lies a French soldier who died for his country 1914–1918").
Address: Place Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile
Directions: Metro Line 1, 2, RER A : Charles-de-Gaulle Etoile
The Great Tower
The Eiffel Tower is unmistakenly the great symbol of Paris. It is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine. It is the tallest structure in Paris and the most recognized monument in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is also the most visited monument in the world.
Including the 24 m (78.7 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1063 ft) high (since 2000) which is about 81 stories. In 1902, it was struck by lightning, which caused builders to reconstruct 300 feet of the top. The lights illuminating the tower also had to be replaced since they were damaged by the high energy of the lightning.
There are 1660 steps (360 to the first level, another 359 to the second). It is not possible for the public to reach the summit via the stairs, lifts are required beyond the second platform. Lift tickets may be purchased at the base or either platform.
Directions: You can't miss it!!!
Champs-Élysées at night
The Champs-Élysées, literally means the "Elysian Fields", is a broad and busy avenue. Its full name is actually "Avenue des Champs-Élysées". It is one of the most famous streets in the world because of the cinemas, cafés, boutiques, designer brandnames and luxury specialty shops that line both side of the avenue. The name refers to the Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed in Greek mythology. The Champs-Élysées has been called La plus belle avenue du monde ("The most beautiful avenue in the world").
The avenue runs for 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with its Obelisk, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Étoile) in the west, location of the Arc de Triomphe. If you stand in the middle of the avenue, on the concrete island that divides the road, you can see the Arc de Triomphe on one end of the avenue, and the big Obelisk on the other end.
The Champs-Élysées is a great place for shopping and people watching. Just make sure when you get there, take great care of your wallets because you will be very tempted to shop till you drop! LOL...
The Bronze Torch
We just happened to stumble upon this memorial monument. We were walking around looking for a cafe when we saw this memorial - with papers and flowers sort of littering around the base; as we looked closer, Princess Diana's pictures were on them. Then we saw the tunnel further down and realized that this was the so-called famous memorial.
Anyway, the memorial is a bronze metal-shaped flame with marble/granite base. The memorial doesn't really stand out, and if you're not really looking for it, you could easily miss it - especially in a big and busy city like Paris.
Address: Place de l'Alma
Directions: North bank of seine, near Grand Palais
Persian antiquity in the Lourve Museum
The Louvre Museum (French: Musée du Louvre) is the oldest and one of the most famous art gallery and museum in the world. The building was previously a royal palace, and is famous for holding several of the world's most prestigious works of art, such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with St. Anne, Madonna of the Rocks and Alexandros of Antioch's Venus de Milo.
Located in the centre of the city of Paris, it is accessed by the Palais Royal - Musée du Louvre Metro station.
When my sister & I visited the Louvre in 2001, we spent almost 3 - 4 hours in the museum. There was so much to see that we almost forgot the time.
In 2005, the Louvre received a record 7.3 million visitors in part due to the success of Dan Brown's 2003 novel and Hollywood film "The Da Vinci Code" - making the Louvre as the most visited monument in Paris.
Directions: Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre
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