A Trip to Paris: What to See and What to Skip

By Meghan Brennan

“Paris is always a good idea.” So says the eponymous heroine of the film Sabrina. Finding truth in film can be a bit like believing everything you read on the Internet, but in this case Hollywood may have gotten it right.

Pont Alexandre III Paris, France

Cross one of the world’s most famous rivers on one of the world’s most famous bridges – Pont Alexandre III.

Paris is a city of adventure. Each of its arrondisements, or neighborhoods, is home to some attraction or landmark, and there is never time to see everything. So how are you supposed to pick? With our help, of course!

Let’s start with some easy ones – the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Both are symbols of this ancient city, and both provide fabulous views. So which should you visit? Ideally, go and see both, but if there is time to climb only one, make it the Arc. The Tower is generally swamped with tourists, and the view, while stunning, doesn’t look quite like Paris without the Eiffel Tower looming over all. From the top of the Arc de Triomphe, though, one can see the rooftops of Paris and all the major landmarks. It is a spectacle not to be missed.

Arc de Tromphe Paris France

If you travel around Bastille Day, you can see a huge French flag flying in the middle of the Arc de Triomphe.

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On to museums. Two of the most famous museums in Paris are The Louvre and the Musee d’Orsay, and they are different beasts entirely. If you must choose between the two, it is entirely a matter of preference. If you prefer Impressionism, then the Musee d’Orsay is the place for you, and you will probably be able to see all of it in one visit, including all the Van Gogh and Monet your romantic heart can stand. If you find yourself up for the challenge of The Louvre, though, and don’t mind leaving much of it unexplored, head there. Visit the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, wonder at Winged Victory and Madonna of the Rocks. Either way, it is guaranteed to be an incredible experience.

Musee d'Orsay Paris France

It’s a toss-up! Louvre or Musee d’Orsay? (Pictured: Musee d’Orsay by Pio3/shutterstock.com)

The fact is that Paris has innumerable sights to see and experiences to enjoy, and it would take a lifetime to see it all – one we would be very willing to give. So the solution to never knowing what to see next in Paris is obvious – as soon as you return home, you’ll just have to start planning your next trip back.


About Meghan Brennan

Meghan_BrennanIn between jet setting around the world to research blog posts, Meghan enjoys eating caviar and attending polo matches with the Queen. She also has a highly overactive imagination. When persuaded to interact with reality, she spends a lot of time in used book stores and planning her next adventure.