France is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and Paris is the jewel in its’ crown. The City of Lights has an endless number of beautiful sights and historically rich museums. RCM editor, Precious Turner, enjoyed a long layover in Paris while on her way to Montmartre to visit friends. Here’s how she spent her time.
Notre-Dame de Paris (1 hour): My first stop was the beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris’s 4th arrondissement. The world-famous Catholic church is almost 1,000 years old, and although there’s often a lengthy queue to get in, however the wait is well worth it. An hour is plenty of time to appreciate the fantastic flying buttresses outside the cathedral, the stained glass windows and architecture inside.
Louvre Museum (3 hours): The Louvre is the world’s largest museum and it’s a must-see if you’re interested in art or history. Just a 15-minute walk from Notre Dame, you can enter from the main entrance in the Glass Pyramid but you’ll often encounter long lines. My tips is to use the lesser-known Galerie du Carrousel entrance. Bear in mind that the museum is closed on Tuesdays, and consider taking a tour so you can see the Mona Lisa and the biggest works without getting lost.
Tuileries Garden (1 hour): The beautiful Tuileries Garden should be your next stop. It’s adjacent to the museum and the perfect place to sit down and have a picnic lunch, or a take away Croque-Monsieur sandwich. The large central fountain usually has chairs placed around it so you can have a quick rest or explore the tree-flanked flowerbeds.
Place de la Concorde (30 minutes): Place de la Concorde, in the 8th arrondissement, is the largest square in Paris and offers views of some of the most beautiful scenery in the city. The two huge Concorde fountains and the Egyptian obelisk in the middle of the square are well worth a look, and it’s a great place to spot some of Paris’s most fashionable residents.
Grand Palais and Avenue des Champs-Élysées (1 hour): Just a 10-minute walk away from Place de la Concorde is the Grand Palace, one of Paris’s most fantastic architectural sights with its glass roof and Belle Époque decoration. It’s situated next to the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the city’s shopping hub. If that’s not your speed, you can still soak up the views on the pretty tree-lined avenue. The Arc de Triomphe is also just 10 minutes away.
Eiffel Tower (2 hours): The Eiffel Tower is, of course, a must-see. It takes half an hour to walk there from Avenue des Champs-Élysées, but you can catch an Uber if you want to save time. Be sure to book tickets to climb the Tower in advance and take a lift up to the higher levels if you aren’t a big fan of climbing stairs. The city view from the top of the Tower is worth the trip, however you get there, and it’s the perfect end to your sightseeing in France’s beautiful capital city.
This itinerary allowed me to explore many many of Paris’s most popular tourist attractions with enough time to make it up to Montmartre for the evening to meet up with friends. Just make sure to bring a comfortable pair of shoes, a bottle of water, and your thirst for adventure!