How to fall in love with Paris? For me, it was love at first sight, but it took two times!
Falling in love with the enchanting French capital is not difficult. In fact, many of us do it. And once we have fallen in love we return again and again to feed the obsession.
So how should one begin this life-long romance? I have a couple of suggestions of ways to get to know this beautiful city and slowly fall under her spell.
To start I like to book tours. It helps me get a feel for the city, the neighborhood, the people and what's new or changed since my last visit. The guide is usually someone who has lived in Paris awhile and has lots of great tips and tricks to share. Some of my favorite tours have been with Context Travel:
I also had a fabulous time learning to make my own baguettes in a baking class at La Cuisine Paris. The instructor gave me great insider information on local restaurants.
No matter how long you are staying in the city of light, purchase a Paris Pass and get entry to more than 55 ‘must-see’ attractions for free. It is a brilliant introduction (and re-introduction) to the city and lets you design your own personalized itinerary. In addition, this pass lets you skip the line at hotspots such as the Louvre, Notre Dame, Musee d’ Orsay, Versailles, and the Arc de Triomphe.
On top of all that, Paris Pass comes with a useful guidebook, a free audio guide and a Metro ticket which allows you to use all Metros, buses and RER services for the duration of the Pass.
The next recommendation for getting to know Paris is something quite different. Why not explore the city in a thoroughly enjoyable and eco-friendly way by taking a Paris Segway tour? If you have not seen one before, a Segway is a two-wheeled vehicle for one person, driven by an electric engine.
There are no controls and you direct the Segway simply by changing the tilt of your body. It’s easy once you get used to it and your tour leader will give you plenty of time to practice.
On this tour, you bowl along through the beautiful parks and follow the sidewalks, attracting envious glances from passers-by. You see all the main landmarks of the city – the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Musée d’Orsay, and Louvre; as well as the École Militaire, Les Invalides, Place de la Concorde, the grand boulevard of the Champs Elysées, and many other places of interest.
I also LOVE the Paris tours in a vintage Citroen Deux Chevaux (2CV) car. Every Frenchman has one of these in their history and my husband always gets nostalgic when he sees one! They have tours all through Paris with stops to fuel up, your stomach that is!
To fall in love with Paris completely you must get to know her by night as well as by day. There are many quintessential Paris night-time experiences, but the one I’ll highlight here is the Moulin Rouge Show, where you can see the world-famous French Can-Can performed in its original home.
The present-day Moulin Rouge Show is the captivating ‘Féerie’, with 100 artists, 1000 flamboyant costumes, brilliant staging, and choreography, as well as stunning international acts.
‘Féerie’ is a sell-out attraction, so it is important to book ahead to avoid disappointment. Many tour packages include Moulin Rouge tickets as well as other activities. You could combine the Moulin Rouge Show with a Seine Cruise, a Paris Illuminations Tour, or with a delicious dinner at the Eiffel Tower against a backdrop of the sparkling city lights.
Of course, the easiest way to fall in love with Paris is to spend time with the people. French people get a bad rap, but I have always enjoyed my experiences meeting people who live in Paris.
Trust me, if you try any one of these suggestions you are well on your way to falling in love!
How about you? What's your favorite thing to do in Paris?
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