France Paris

  

France is a country of western Europe close to Italy. Its capital, Paris, is visited by people from all over the world. Its surname is Ville Lumiere since it reached the peak of its splendour during the Age of Enlightenment: wide avenues, classic houses Paris, rich museums, old churches Paris and modern Defence are what you can find and see in the photos of this category.

INTRODUCTION

This is a short article about my holiday in Paris.

I dreamed to visit the so called “ville lumière” at least once in my life.

I had studied French at High School but I hadn’t had the chance to go there until a few years ago.

Many people think that Paris glamour is often overvalued, considering this city one of the many traps for tourists.

Ok. To be honest there this is a risk you should be ready to face, but is there in the world a place that is free from globalization?

The challenge is to see the best and obviously the most popular attractions of Paris without being sucked by preorganized tours.


CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

- Île de la Cité

The two gothic towers of Notre Dame cathedral dominate the scene. Even if you are not catholic don’t miss a visit of this church: the high structure, solid and light at the same time, gives a sense of mysticism.

Close to it there is the Palais of Justice, seat of the Parliament during the French Revolution. The Conciergerie is part of it: here the Queen Marie Antoniette was imprisoned.

Before to leave the Île de la Cité go to the Sainte Chapelle: the stained glass windows are simply wonderful.


- Louvre Museum

A whole day should be spent to visit the Louvre Museum: my advice is to focus on what you are really interested in. There is such a huge quantity of art that it is not possible to see everything. Don’t forget that if you are less then 26 years old and are from the EU you can enter for free. Museums are free for everyone the first Sunday of each month


- Orsay Museum

If you love Impressionist painters don’t miss this huge exposition of pictures: Monet, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, Van Ghog, Gaugin and many other painters will let you dream…


ENTERTAINMENTS

It is not bad a relaxing walk in the most fashionable streets of Paris: a look at expensive boutiques doesn’t cost anything!

Rue de Rivoli, Rue Saint Honoré and Place Vendôme are the best ones. Place Vendôme is a gallery of jewelry shops: every international famous brand has its shop here.

Not far from Notre Dame there is the Latin Quarter: it develops around the ancient Sorbonne university.

Here you can visit the Pantheon: it was a church dedicated to Saint Geneviève, but now it is a mausoleum where famous French men are buried like Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo and Zola.

Close to it there is the Palais of Luxembourg, seat of the French Senate, with its pleasing garden.

The Latin Quarter is interesting for social life: a large number of restaurants, shops and bistrôts make the atmosphere friendly and lively specially in the night.

If you visit the quarter on Sunday morning don’t miss the Mouffetard market. The best metro stop is Place Monge (line 7). The market has medieval origins and today it is a sort of hymn to slow food. Every kind of typical French food can be found here: cheese, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables, meat, biological products and more.

Crossing Saint Louis bridge you can reach the other Paris island, the Île Saint Louis: it offers a peaceful corner in the middle of the city. To sit in a café drinking a coffee and eating a good croissant makes you feel a real “parisienne”.

Pigalle district: settled at the base of Montmartre. Nightlife is here very lively, there are many clubs and it is not a bad idea to see a show of the famous Moulin Rouge.


DON’T MISS

- Place des Vosges

One of the most romantic places of Paris is Place des Vosges: it is settled in the heart of Marais district. The nearby XVII century buildings and arcades create an old time atmosphere. Art galleries, narrow streets, shops and cafés complete the scene. The Chinese community is strong here: if you love Chinese food don’t miss a meal in Rue du Temple.


- Montmartre

Probably you will visit Montmartre (line 12, stop Pigalle): keep your time and go slowly. There is a funicular railway to reach the top, but the best choice is to climb the hill by foot. The glance over Basilica of the Sacré Cœur is superb: you just look up and a huge white dome is in front of you. The quarter is a full of hidden corners and painters who work in the open air: this was the place where many famous artists like Picasso, Monet and Dalí had their studios.


- river Seine boat tour

A boat trip along the river Seine is lovely: it is romantic if you are in love or amusing if you have children. There are many companies that organize tours: the price and the offers are various, if you want you can also have dinner on board but the most interesting part is sitting in the sun and look outside.


- Place des Vosges

One of the most romantic places of Paris is Place des Vosges: it is settled in the heart of Marais district. The nearby XVII century buildings and arcades create an old time atmosphere. Art galleries, narrow streets, shops and cafés complete the scene. The Chinese community is strong here: if you love Chinese food don’t miss a meal in Rue du Temple.


PRACTICAL ADVICE

According to the season you are visiting Paris you can change activities.

In spring it is nice spend more time in the open air and maybe organize a one day trip to Versailles: the Palace is superb but the gardens can’t be missed if flowered.

In winter the cold weather is perfect to see museums: Picasso Museum, the Centre George Pompidou and obviously Orsay Museum if you love Impressionist painters.

Christmas time in Paris is special: decoration and lights give the city a magic atmosphere. The Galeries Lafayette adobe their windows with mechanized scenes.

Paris wouldn’t be Paris without Eiffel Tower. In my opinion it is not worth to spend half day standing on a queue waiting for climbing at the top. The sight is ok, but it is more fun to walk here and there and look at the tower: it is a sort of ubiquitous entity that follow you during the day!


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