Paris was the very first place I visited in Europe and instantly fell in love with this elegantly laid out city, with it’s beautiful vistas, and grand Renaissance architecture .Though jet lagged and bit tired after a ten hour long flight ; a few hours of rest in our rather small though comfortable hotel room, I was ready for the much awaited exploration of the the capital of France. The charms of Paris is mesmerizing indeed, the extraordinary weather playing cupid – mornings being pleasant and evenings splendid! The French architecture and structures from the Medieval era are a marvel in themselves and speak volumes of a rich past and history.
Stepping out from my hotel to the streets of Paris, the magic and beauty of Paris unfolded . The meticulously planned city has symmetrical, cream colored buildings ( not higher than 4 to 5 floors ) with the trademark French windows ….no sky scrapers in Paris came as a pleasant surprise. The exteriors of the buildings have retained the style of the Renaissance period and interior s modern and slick, having all amenities.
Fascinated by the few rickshaws on the wayside, I opted to take a half hour ride of the city on these unique mode of transportation. Though bit heavier on the pocket, it was a great experience – the cool, fresh breeze and views of the city around uplifted my mood. The friendly driver briefing me about the key attractions on the way. Finally, by the end of the trip, dropping us off at one of the numerous bridges over the river Seine.
Louvre Museum – this famous museum is the largest in the world and has an incredible collection of art, paintings , masterpieces and sculptures. Keep aside a full day to see this one of a kind museum, it’s worth it ! Being one of the most visited places in the world, tourists are awestruck by the exquisite huge tapestries and artwork of legends like Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Louvre also showcases the well known Venus de Milo statue.
Eiffel Tower – adorning the landscape of Paris needs no introduction ! Visitors are allowed to go upto the second floor of this gigantic structure to seep in fantastic aerial views of the surroundings. Views of the Eiffel Tower can also be had from key vantage points in the city.
Champs Elysees is an upmarket area of Paris, lined with all luxury brand stores, restaurants, plenty of activities keep happening here, it is an apt place to unwind.
Arche De Tromp – located within the precincts of the beautiful Champs Elysees Avenue , the fifty feet high Arche De Tromp caught my fancy not just for its arch shaped design , it has excellent views of the fine layout of Paris from its open terrace top.
Notre Dame Cathedral – this five hundred year old church from the Medieval ages is worth a visit . The interiors have exquisite Gothic architecture.
Paris is the perfect juxtaposition of a serene, beautifully laid out place, with a modern, trendy culture; an epitome of fashion, beauty and romance.. What I loved immensely about Paris was the river Seine flowing through the midst of Paris.
One of the best ways to enjoy Paris and the one I would greatly recommend is to take a guided boat trip on the enchanting river Seine, flowing through the center of Paris . Along it’s course, on both sides of the river are fantastic views of major iconic buildings including the Parliament house and other government structures. Boating not just for leisure but as a means of transport within the city is quite popular, as it connects all the major points. The river having well defined, grassy, tree lined banks running parallely on both sides – is a haven for people(families, children , friends, couples) to relax . Some find benches or carefree youngsters simply sit on the ground , with their legs dangling down into the serene river munching a croissant! Alternatively , like me, choose a cosy nook in one of the pretty cafés on the boulevard , done up in delicate wrought iron or cane furniture. Must try is the delicious croissant, variety of breads and pastries, and other gourmet delicacies of the region.
Be careful of your belongings at all public places. Check the prices before undertaking any local tours.
In some of the restaurants , serving staff may be rude and take you off-guard, avoid any altercation. Apart from these Paris is a pretty safe place for tourists.