You’re backpacking through Europe, or in my version glam-packing because I cannot fit all my clothes into a backpack, and you find yourself in Paris, but with only three days. You’re not sure what exactly to do because there is so much, and everyone has told you different things to do. So here I am to tell you more things to see, but ultimately the choice is up to you. Here is the list of my sights to see during your short time in a beautiful and busy city.
1. Eiffel Tower
I’m sure you didn’t see that one coming (kidding—it’s the center of the entire city). My first day I landed in Paris, I checked into my hostel and headed for the Eiffel Tower. In my mind, I didn’t think that I would be impressed. Too crowded, too touristy, too cliché. It may be all of those things, but it is also jaw-droppingly beautiful and peaceful. Stand underneath the Tower and look up. The intricacy of the architecture will have you awe struck. However, if you’re not one for architecture (if so, then Europe might be the wrong place for you) wait until just after sunset. The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is roughly 40 minutes before the sun sets. You will be able to gaze at the Tower and its reflection on the Seine River. There will also be shops with souvenirs, crepes, wine or beer, and abundant people watching to pass time while the sun colors the sky pink and orange.
Once the sun has set the lights begin to appear on the Tower. At first slowly, then all at once. And suddenly, in the dead of darkness you’ll be staring at a tall building with years and years of history, twinkling in lights. If you think that is the best it will get, just you wait. At the top of every hour the Tower puts on a little show for you. For a minute every light begins to dance and dazzle in the night sky. The first time I saw it, I literally stopped in my shoes and stared in amazement at this unique building.
2. Church of Notre Dam
Religious or not, the Church of Notre Dam is a cannot miss experience while in Paris. The architecture of the building holds a story in itself. The edges of the building have gargoyle sculptures, at first, you’ll think that it is beautifully designed and that it adds history to the building. Which is true, however, once you learn more about it, you’ll realize that those sculptures are there to cover up the rain gutters. The designers thought that having rain gutters sticking out would make the building appear less sophisticated, therefore, placing gargoyle sculptures to hide the mundane look of gutters.
Once inside the church, you’re able to see the stain glass windows in their beauty. Streaks of colored sunlight dances through as a Priest gives his sermon in French. At first, I felt uncomfortable because I felt like I was disturbing the sermon by walking around and admiring the artwork. It appeared disrespectful to me at first because there was so much background noise, while people were trying to listen to a sermon that holds great importance in their lives. However, after standing there for a little while longer and observing my surroundings, it appeared that my presence, along with the other tourists, did not bother those listening. No one turned their heads, instead, they were focused on absorbing the scripture that they came for.
3. The Louvre
Museums are not for everyone, but even if they are not for you, you need to make the trip to the Louvre. As you might know already, this is where the beloved Mona Lisa resides, and she nearly has an entire room to herself. She’s a pretty big deal because she has security guards and there is a rope to make sure that people don’t get too close. Wouldn’t that be nice?
All jokes aside, give the Mona Lisa a visit. There will be crowds, but while you wait to get closer to her you can admire the painting of two dogs on the wall adjacent to the Mona Lisa. And who doesn’t love paintings of dogs? It’ll make the time go faster.
Make sure you stop by the Egyptian exhibit on your way out because there is a mummy that is waiting for your company. In this exhibit there are tombstones, mummies, and artifacts from hundreds of years ago from a part of our world that the average human doesn’t know a whole lot about. At least I didn’t, so I was in awe at the history in this exhibit.
4. Luxembourg Gardens
If you’ve been walking miles each day to see all the sights, then I am sure you’re a little exhausted by now. Head over to Luxembourg Gardens and pick yourself a bench or a piece of grass to sit on. Bring some snacks, soak in the sun, and talk with your travel buddies. The day might not seem like much, but you might end up making some of your favorite memories. If you’re not tired yet, add some more steps to your day and take a walk through the park. You can enjoy the views of water fountains, ponds, and people soaking in their Vitamin D.
5. Love Lock Bridge
Although it doesn’t exist anymore, the Love Lock bridge by the Seine River is a stop that needs to be made. Standing on the bridge you have beautiful views of the river, with reflections of the buildings kissing the water’s edge. On the lamp posts there are remnants of the locks that did not get taken off. You will see initials and hearts scribbled on the locks and be reminded of what used to be here. Standing on the bridge admiring the views, brings a feeling of warmth to your heart as you imagine couples from all walks of life attaching their locks and throwing their keys. Forever forging their love story in Paris. The locks might not be there, but there is still lots of love to have. The city of love still stands strong, even if the bridge doesn’t show it anymore.
6. River Boat Tour
If you’re not a fan of walking miles outside to each destination or you don’t want to go into the museums because you care more about looking at the views, then a river boat tour is for you. You can catch a river boat tour about every thirty minutes down by the Eiffel Tower. The tour is one hour long and costs fifteen euros. The tour will take you past the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, famous bridges, and many more important sights in Paris. The guide will explain the history of each one, so you’ll get a little history lesson while you’re relaxing and enjoying the views.
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