Paris Recommendations:

I have written about Paris before, complete with fairly descriptive recommendations and explanations for said recommendations. . . but with many friends about to embark on a Parisian adventure, I thought it was important to give some current,  somewhat succinct, and perhaps more practical suggestions for prospective visitors.

7 Things I Wholeheartedly Recommend in Paris:

These are listed in no particular order of importance, and are all “worth it” in the extreme. If you don’t want to get caught in crazy touristy traps or the crush of an overwhelmingly over-stimulating museum for the duration of your visit, that’s normal. These are my strong suggestions for anybody visiting who wants to catch a good glimpse of what Paris has to offer . . . and I’ve included some helpful practical info for planning your visit!

Le Musée Rodin

What is it? A gorgeous, stunningly-beautiful-yet-manageable, non-overwhelming, highly worthwhile, indoor-outdoor museum that contains MOSTLY the gorgeous sculptures and artwork of François-Auguste-René Rodin.

Practical information:

  • Entrance fee = 9 Euro, or included with  Paris Museum Pass access
  • Hours of Operation: 10am- 5:45pm (last entrance = 5:15pm), every day BUT Monday
  • Location = 79 Rue De Varenne (closest Metro stops = Varenne or Invalides)

rodin museum - a glimpse

L’Orangerie

What is it? Have you ever seen the GIGANTOR paintings of water-lillies that Monet did? Like: entire walls? This is that.

Practical Information:

  • Entrance fee = 9 Euro, or included with Paris Museum Pass access
  • Hours of Operation: 9am-6pm (last entrance at 5:15pm, also closed on Tuesdays and the morning of July 14th)
  • Location = Jardin des Tuileries (see below -closest Metro stop = Concorde)

Orangerie - on a map

Les Catacombes:

What is it? Lots and lots of bones, stacked eerily underground in a beautiful-yet-terrible reminder of human mortality. It’s morbid, yet memorable; fascinating.

Practical Information:

  • Entrance fee = 8 euro
  • Hours of Operation: 10am-5pm (last entrance at 4pm, also not open on Mondays)
  • Location = 1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (closest metro stop is Denfert-Rochereau)

catacombs - a glimpse

Le Marché aux Puces

What is it?  Pure magic in the form of one of, if not THE, world’s biggest flea market. Antiques, clothing, housewares, art, EVERYTHING. Feel free to poke around on the M.A.P. website for more info.

Practical information:

  • Hours of Operation: usually open on weekend days, although Sunday seems to be the best bet for the most vendors!
  • Location:  Up and Down and in and around Rue des Rosiers in St. Ouen  (WAAAAAY up North in Paris- closest metro stop is probably at the Porte de Clignancourt)
  • IMPORTANT:  make sure you find the real Antique Market and the actual place because there is also a cruddy couple rows of vendors which can be misleading and cause you to be highly disappointed. . . don’t be fooled by this external nonsense. Find the real “Marché aux Puces” Because on the outside it’s all just crappy modern junk, not the antique mecca that I heard so much about. . . . and then I stepped into the magical old fashioned fairy-tale world that is antiques. . . and it was all better.

puces - a glimpse of what it's like

Versailles – la Domaine de Marie Antoinette

What is it? It’s the place where Marie Antoinette lived out her fantasy of being a peasant/actress/normal human being when, in actuality, she was the Queen of France, and not a popular one. It’s adjacent to the GIGANTIC and opulent chateau of Versailles, and sometimes people skip it because they assume it will just be more of the same opulence and gilt. HOWEVER, it’s beautiful, it’s quaint and it’s akin to setting foot into a setting for an old-fashioned fairy tale.

Practical information:

  • Entrance fee = 10 euro (although that does not include admission to the big palace of Versailles – the TOTAL “passport” ticket to all parts of Versailles is 18 euro)
  • Hours of Operation:
  • Location: Place d’Armes – 78000 Versailles, quickest access for travelers is by RER C, a train quite like the commuter-rail. To quote the website: “To get to the palace of Versailles, make sure to buy a ‘Paris – Versailles Rive Gauche’ ticket for zones 1-4”

domaine de marie antoinette - a glimpse

l’Arc de Triomphe – CLIMB IT

What is it? To quote Akon’s personal assistant, whom I overheard say this to the rapper himself whilst visiting the Arc: “This is a famous french monument.” To quote Sherlock Holmes: “Do your research.” Aside from its historical and cultural importance, if you climb the towers this is the absolute best view of the city of Paris!

Practical information:

  • Entrance fee = 8 euro, or included with Paris Museum Pass access
  • Hours of Operation: 10am to 11pm – cost =  to go up – if you’re there this weekend it’ll be crazy b/c the 14th is Bastille day, so there should also be fireworks and such
  • Location: Place Charles de Gaulle – at the top of the Champs Élysées (closest Metro stops are Georges V or Charles de Gaulle- Etoile)

arc de triomphe - a glimpse

Les Bateaux-Mouches

What is it? It’s a boat tour that takes you up and down the length of the Seine River, allowing you to see the sights and relax your aching tootsies at the same time. You can see the path/direction of these boat tours in the picture below! Bateaux mouche map - explanation

original map via

Practical Information:

  • Entrance Fee = 13,5 Euros
  • Timing information: Frequency – a bateau-mouche leaves about every 20 minutes. Duration –  about an hour and 10 minutes
  • Location/Departure point: Pont de l’Alma (on the northern side, or Rive Droite/Right Bank) at a place called “Port de la Conférence” in the 8th arrondissement (le 8ème).

Bateaux-mouches - a glimpse

In Conclusion:

There are many sights not included on this list. . .including (but not limited to) La Tour Eiffel, Le Musée D’Orsay, and Le Louvre. These are incredible/beautiful/worth while too, but I tried to keep the list above as succinct as can be. ALSO, there is the question of food. Paris has phenomenal food, but you can fall into the touristy food traps like anyone else and miss the magic. I won’t go into food here, but I STRONGLY recommend you check out Parisian food-suggestions from David Lebowitz [x] [x], whose food-blogging about Paris revolutionized my taste-bud experience of this fine city.

eiffel tower

Travel safe, friends, & amusez-vous bien!

 

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2 thoughts on “Paris Recommendations:

  1. Pingback: Top 10 Attractions in Paris – Video | A to Z France Facts

  2. Pingback: Row, row, row your boat | Les blogs | My Frenglish Thoughts

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