1. The Eiffel Tower – yes I know, it’s very cliché, but the Eiffel Tower is Paris! I was persuaded by the boyf to walk up, so it’s a good job we’ve been out for a few years as I looked hideous by the time we got the top. I don’t even know why, i run! Why can i still not climb stairs? The views were amazing even though it was foggy. I was hinting towards the Champagne bar at the top, but alas it was not meant to be.
2. The Catacombs – I was a bit worried about going down to these, all the signs say no one of nervous disposition or this, that and the other. So I was having flashbacks to the caving debacle on a school trip whilst in the queue. But by the tint we got to the front, we’d been waiting for so long and I was so bloody freezing i was jus pleased to get inside! it turns out there’s actually loads of room and it’s really well lit. So if anyone else is a wimp like me, don’t let that put you off. My knowledge of French history is appalling and i actually thought it was something very sinister and macabre, i didn’t realise it was a sacred place built on the romantics trends and obsessions with death of the time. It needs to be seen to be believed, there are just walls and walls of carefully built monuments of bones, and you are only viewing a very small section on the tour.
3. The Louvre – another classic Paris trip, but what they don’t tell you, is there’s a random tobacconist downstairs that also sells tickets to the Louvre and once you have them you can literally walk straight to the front through the priority queue at the top! I would have felt bad, but i did my time at the Catacombs yesterday! It’s very much art lovers paradise. My only complaint is that there is almost too much amazing art. After a couple of hours you jut become so blaze about it all. Oh look another really famous amazing painting, in a roomful of more amazing famous paintings. Particular highlights for me were: Michelangelo, Mantegna, Durer, Caravaggio, Da Vinci, Delacroix, Rubens.
4. The Pantheon – i had literally never heard of this, i mean i knew there was one in Rome, but i thought that was the Pantheon, not that there were multiple ones knocking around across Europe! Apparently Foucault’s Pendulum is usually housed here, but looks like it’s been taken off display now. However, there is a lot to see in the crypt, as a burial-place for a number of national heroes such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Marie Curie.
5. Galeries Lafayette – Just go to this shop, seven floors of parisian fashion, it has everything there you could possibly want and the domed stained glass ceiling is beautiful. Except they didn’t have any other the knee socks which is the one thing i wanted.
6. Rodin Museum – i really wanted to go to this again, as i hadn’t been for years, but it seems a lot of it was shut for refurbishment and I don’t remember it being that big anyway. The sculpture ‘The Kiss’ is just beautiful and well worth seeing.
7. Sacre Coeur – lovely walk up Montmartre apart from the fact my legs were killing me from the Catacomb and Eiffel Tower stair day. We sat in their for ages, mostly to appreciate the architecture and a little bit because it was chucking it down outside. The sign on the front says make sure you are appropriately dressed, which made me laugh a lot as i was once swept out of a church by an angry Italian woman, i must stress was wearing shorts but they were more like mum shorts rather than hot pants.
8. Notre Dame Cathedral – i’m ashamed to say we didn’t go in as the queue was too big, but i have been there before when i was younger, actually i sang there as part of our school choir tour, don’t ask. It was really quite an experience and the acoustics are apparently great. But well worth seeing, get there as early as possible to try and beat the queue.
9. Arc de Triomphe – this is great, to see the real scale of it up close. Definitely walk down the Champs Elysees to get there, but it is just full of the same load of shops you can see in any other city. Maybe i’m just too used to living in London. Perhaps there is some sort of cultural significance…it seems it is also famed for the military parade as well.
10. The Padlock Bridge (Otherwise known as Pont de l’Archevêché) – was a real highlight for me, is just next to the Notre Dame. Also worth going to the Shakespeare and Company a cute english bookshop near by.
Next on my list to see are the Musee D’orsay, which many people have told me is brilliant, but we just ran out of time. The Palace of Versailles would have been a great day trip but we didn’t think about it until the last day and it turns out you need to buy ticks 24 hours in advance. I believe it’s relatively easy to get there on the Metro though. I actually feel a real sense of achievement that we were able to make our way round on the Metro! I would also have liked to see the Paris Sewers however, the day before we left our drains over flowed outside our flat at home and I just don’t think we could have faced the smell so soon afterwards!
Any other recommendations for what to visit next time?