Paris is a real metropolis. The city is very suitable for a city trip; It is easy to reach by Thalys from other countries in Europa or by plane and most sights in Paris can be visited in less than a week.
With the metro you can travel throughout the city in no time. View the metro map here. It is recommended to take the metro as much as possible, but also explore on foot, to get the best impression of the beautiful city.
Unfortunately, you notice that Paris is touristy in many places. In high season, the city is packed with tourists. In the busy areas, the prices of the restaurants go up considerably and everywhere you’ll see street vendors with all the same fake brand bags and souvenirs.
You have to love the French people. They sometimes seem a bit gruff and are generally serious nationalists. They generally don’t like tourists. The city is, just like Amsterdam, full of tourists and you sometimes get enough of that. They appreciate it when you try to speak French. “Bonjour” and “Merci” are often enough to get a friendly smile back. Show that you appreciate their country and language!
As a younger (12-24 years) you get a discount in many places or you are even free when you show your ID. Many museums are also free on the first Sunday of the month. Ideal! But keep in mind extreme crowds.
Top 6 places to visit in Paris
1. Eiffel Tower
Of course one of the most famous sights in Paris. Yes, you must have visited it during your visit to Paris. You really have a fantastic view of the city and the Seine from the 300 meter high tower consisting of 3 floors. You can choose the elevator (€ 9 to the second floor & € 15.50 to the top) or the stairs (€ 5 to the second floor). Be aware of a long queue. At the bottom of the Eiffel Tower, many people sell their souvenirs and fake bags on the street. Many sellers work without a permit and this is not allowed. The sellers quickly flee if they see the police by lifting all their belongings in one go.
2. Arc De Triomphe
The Arc De Triomphe is also one of the most famous sights in Paris. It is located on Place Charles De Gaulle, a gigantic busy traffic square. You reach the building by means of an underground tunnel. Under the Arc De Triomphe is the grave of the unknown soldier who died in the First World War. It is recommended to climb the Arc De Triomphe, because you have a beautiful view of all the major roads that lead to the square. A ticket costs € 12 and if you are younger than 25 it is free.
3. Notre Dame
Just like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame cannot be missed on your list of places of interest in Paris. You are scared of the gigantic row at first, but it is quite fast. The church is really beautiful inside. You can also choose to climb the church. Entrance to the church is free, climbing the towers costs € 8.50 if you are over 25 years old. Unfortunately on 15 April 2019 a structure fire broke out beneath the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris and did enormous damage.
4. The Louvre
I thought this beautiful and gigantic museum was one of the most beautiful sights in Paris. The Louvre is also free on the first Sunday of the month (October – March), but (as you might expect) it is extremely crowded. The Louvre is always free for Europeans under 25 (upon presentation of your ID). The queue in front of the main entrance of the Louvre is gigantic. You quickly wait for hours. Do not, because there is also a side entrance. And it is not known to most tourists at all. We received this golden tip from our hotel. Below on the image you can see where the side entrance is located.
I really liked the Louvre. The Mona Lisa, the highlight for many people, was not so special to me. The painting is located behind a large glass wall in a space almost completely filled by tourists. To get a glimpse of it you can do your best to squeeze in the front. I would especially enjoy the many other works of art. We went on two different days, because you cannot see the whole museum in 1 day.
Lafayette is a large department store in the 9th arrondissement. The department store has a beautiful stained glass dome. In the ten-storey department store you can especially buy a lot of designer clothes.
6. Père-Lachaise Cemetery
This is the largest cemetery in Paris and the most visited in the world. This is because many celebrities are buried there. We visited this cemetery on 3/07/2011. Jim Morisson of The Doors, who is buried in this graveyard, died exactly 40 years ago. You can get a free map at the beginning of the cemetery. It was a special experience and there are plenty of beautiful funerary monuments to visit.
France is the third largest country in Europe which covers an area of 551,500 km². The country has over 66 million inhabitants, 2.2 million of whom live in the capital Paris.
The currency in France is euro. The price level in France is approximately equal to the prices in the Netherlands. Around tourist spots it will be a lot more expensive than in the small towns or in villages.