Joana and I have always liked to travel. Since we were kids, we dreamed of the amazing places we would discover in the future, together. When our opportunity finally came to make those dreams come true, we didn’t even think twice about our destination: our first trip would be to Paris.
I had already been there with my parents in 2001 and so I was excited to show Joana all the main attractions of one of the most romantic cities in the world. From the elegant avenues to Disneyland, we explored the city of Paris to the characteristic sound of the accordion and we returned home planning our next adventure.
To make your first trip to Paris even more special, we give you our list of the top 10 places we most liked to visit:
The Eiffel Tower was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us. I had already been there, but Joana hadn’t and it was truly special to see her reaction to one of the biggest symbols of the City of Lights. We walked through the gardens by the tower in the afternoon and decided to climb all the way to the top at night to see Paris all lit up.
ÎLE DE LA CITÉ
From there, we continued on to the oldest part of the city, visiting the Notre Dame cathedral, which had, up until then, only lived in our memories from the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and walking through the typical Parisian streets of Île de la Cité. Somewhere nearby, we even came across an ice skating rink which left us enchanted by the thought of the nearing Christmas season.
THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
I’ll admit that Joana and I are not the biggest art lovers. But we know how to recognize its value! And the Louvre, being the most visited museum with some truly iconic pieces in its collection, was a mandatory stop on our first trip to Paris. From the Marly Horses to the extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts to the Mona Lisa, there is so much to see in the different rooms at the Louvre.
SACRÉ COEUR AND MONTMARTRE
The Montmartre quarter was simply a must on our trip to Paris because it’s one of the most authentic ones in the city. We started our adventure by climbing the thousands of steps that lead from the Moulin Rouge up to the Sacré Coeur Basilica, and we ended it at the top, listening to a group of Parisians singing Beatles songs as the sun set on Paris.
PLACE DE LA CONCORDE
Besides being a historical landmark in the city, Place de la Concorde also has a gigantic Ferris wheel that offered us one of the best views of Paris.
CHAMPS ELYSÉES AND ARC DU TRIOMPHE
One of the most beautiful avenues of Paris, we saw it for the first time from the giant Ferris wheel on Place de la Concorde, with the red lights from the cars driving towards Arc de Triomphe and the white lights of those heading down the Champs Elysées. And of course we had to discover it on foot after that! Along the way, we even came across a Christmas Market which left us even more enchanted by the city.
The beauty of the stained glass windows of the Sainte Chapelle is truly indescribable. It’s a shame that photography isn’t allowed inside! But it’s absolutely worth it to spend a few moments inside this small chapel to admire its spectacular gothic architecture.
There are many bridges that cross the River Seine, but none of them compare to Pont Neuf. If you’re exploring the city on foot, you’ll be crossing it a few times since the bridge connects the Ìle de la Cité to both river banks.
Joana and I had always dreamed of Disney’s fantasy world. So spending a day to explore the Disneyland Park near Paris was an absolute must. It was a real dream come true experience and you can read more about it here.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES
Filled with luxurious rooms and perfectly manicured gardens, the Palace of Versailles is one of the most magnificent examples of royal residences from the 15th and 16th centuries. There’s lots to explore on this estate that spreads for more than 7 hectares so take a full day (or at least an afternoon) to discover the charm of this majestic palace.
Have you visited Paris? What else would be on your top 10 list of this city?
honeymooners, Paris 11/2011