Paris, the City of Light. Paris, home of delicate pastries and strong coffee. Paris, the place where artists sketch in lively, public gardens, where writers write on wobbly tables on the sidewalks of street-side cafes and where ordinary girls from Boston fulfill a lifelong wish of visiting a place so seemingly distant and exotic it’s like only a spectacular dream could make it feel real.
But then the dream becomes a reality and the city she’s pined after for so long lives up to every expectation. (And that’s one of the many reasons I love this city.)
I could pontificate for days about the endless ways Paris feeds your soul with its culinary delights. Or the way it inspires with its effortless street style and big-name fashion houses. But this post has a different agenda.
This post has nothing to do with food or fashion because those things are obvious (and I could dedicate many, many blog posts to them. Heck, I think I will). If ever you needed more reasons to visit, here are seven more:
1. Beautifully crafted Métro stations like Cité. I love those weeping light fixtures.
2. 360 views of the city besides the Eiffel Tower. My top picks include the Arc de Triomphe (pictured), Notre Dame, Tour Montparnasse (the only skyscraper within the périphérique) & from the Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.
3. Public gardens for people watching, like the Jardin du Luxembourg (pictured below).
4. Wandering through Cimetière du Montparnasse. Am I telling you to meander through a cemetery? Um, yes. But this one is beautifully pruned and preserved and in one of my very favorite neighborhoods. Notable graves include Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre (buried together), Guy de Maupassant, Charles Baudelaire, and Samuel Beckett.
5. Exploring the neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has a unique attitude and feel like the boho-chicness of Montmartre or the medieval alleyways of Marais (pictured).
6. Paris Plage (the beach on the River Seine). For the past 11 years, the city of Paris has transformed the concrete sidewalks of the Seine to a summertime getaway with sand, green spaces and free chaise longues (lounge chair) rentals.
7. Twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower. At dusk, the Eiffel Tower truly sparkles every hour on the hour. It’s been disputed that the Tower has a copyright on all images of the Light Show, but I found it pretty difficult to find some official language on the subject. Even so, I’ve decided not to display a photo, you know, just in case. But, you can Google away and see some fantastic, iconic shots of the beautiful structure all lit up.
Oh and PS – Happy International French Week!
Do you love to travel? Is there a city that feeds your soul? Is there a place you’d love to visit in the future? Share your travel wish list with us!