Few cities elicit the feel of Paris. The breathtaking encounter of the city we call Paris is nothing short of a miraculous trip through time. Travel to Paris and feel the charisma of the city itself. Experiencing even a little of what Paris has to offer will not only leave you with more knowledge of their vivid history but the beauty will excite your senses and leave you wanting more.
Baron Haussmann’s reformation of Paris between 1852 and 1870 brought symmetry of construction and a freedom of movement, redefining the medieval alleyways into the modern broad boulevards that help tourists and Parisians alike to experience the “best of Paris”. This renovation of Paris, however, did not disrupt the essence of the city, but only expanded the possibilities of what you can do in Paris. The transformations added to the magic and feel of Paris and enhanced the many attractions that allure us to this fascinating city with its French ways
Whether your travel plans are long or short, Bernard and I will ensure your visit will be met with the best of Paris and our itinerary will make certain that each moment is well spent. When your visit ends be assured that you will be taking some of the true “flavour” of Paris with you.
Although there are many things to do in Paris, some of our main points of interest for our short weekend would include Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, and (of course) the Eiffel Tower. We cordially invite you to grab a map of Paris and join us as we explore the magnetism and charm of the “City of Light” together. Our walking guide details what to do in Paris. Visit Paris Landmarks and fun places to visit.
Friday: Arrival between 9-9:30 am
|9 - 10:00 am
|10- 11:00 am
St. Julien le Pauvre
|The Tea Caddy
|1- 2:45 pm
Shakespeare and Co.
|1- 2:45 pm
|Les Fontaines Wallace
|3 - 5:00 pm
|Place du Chatelet
Notre Dame de Paris, the empress of all cathedrals offers a visitor spiritual, theological and human insight into one of the most important focal points of faith in the city of Paris. With its construction taking almost 200 years it is one of the city’s greatest treasures symbolizing a privileged place of prayer and faith for the Christian life. During the early 1800’s the cathedral was in a condition of such great disrepair that the city fathers decided to tear it down – a decision that was later revoked thanks to Victor Hugo. This famous cathedral has since undergone four major repairs and survived two world wars. This site is truly a “must see” in your “best of Paris” tour.
St. Julien le Pauvre
St. Julien le Pauvre, in French means “Saint Julian the Poor”. Built between 1165 and 1240, this is one of the oldest churches in Paris. From Roman times to present, this church has been a witness to the city’s unfolding history. The paving stones in the courtyard of the church are from an ancient Roman road leading to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela. Today, the church is assigned to the Melkites - Eastern Catholics who follow Byzantine Rite. As you can see from the map of Paris above, it is within walking distace from Notre Dame and a landmark that shouldn’t be missed if you travel to Paris.
The Tea Caddy
Follow the map of Paris above, and just across the street from St. Julien le Pauvre is this wonderful café which serves great sandwiches and delicious desserts. It offers a warm setting with beautiful oak beams and a cozy décor. The genteel little room presents true British flare with the many teas offered. Of all the things to do in Paris having tea in a Parisian cafe is a must, especially for the more refined senior traveller’s pallet.
Shakespeare and Co.
Right out of the pages Harry Potter, we find ourselves stepping back in time as we visit the most unique bookstore in Paris, or maybe the most unique anywhere. With its long history reaching back to the year 1919, it has served as a place for many famous authors including Ernest Hemingway. As in the past tradition, and as it still continues today, visiting authors and students come to work and sleep amid the piles of books soaking up its unique literary atmosphere. A must stop for any traveller who loves a good book. Before you leave, be sure to throw a coin in the well. The old tale is that if your coin goes into the well, one day you will travel to Paris once again.
Les Fontaines Wallace
While you’re visiting the bookstore, be sure to notice the unique architectural fountainin the front. From the littlest visitor who finds the water a refreshing playground, to the senior travellerwho appreciates its history, style and artistry, everyone seems to still enjoy the source of water to quench your thirst. Sir Richard Wallace, an Englishman, built and donated these to Paris after the Prussians sacked the city in 1871. They are recognized worldwide as one of the symbols of Paris.
Place du Chatelet
We follow our map of Paris to this historical public square sitting in the heart of Paris on land that was once the site of a medieval fortress of the Grand Châtelet. Upon approaching Place du Châtelet, the first thing one will notice is the large fountain that sits in the centre known as the Palmier Fountain. It was built by Napoleon III in 1808 and erected to pay homage to Napoleon I’s victory in Egypt. Each victory is etched on the obelisk and decorated with Egyptian writing and figures. Today it is a favorite meeting place for the Parisian people.
Saturday: Full day of activities
|Arc de Triomphe
|Place des Etats Unis
|Flamme de la Liberte
Arc de Triomphe
As the traffic flows steadily around the roundabout, history flows from the center of the grand thoroughfare through one of the most famous monuments in Paris, the “Arc de Triomphe”, in English “Triumphal Arch”. Napoleon I commissioned the building of this magnificent arch as a tribute to the glory of the French Army. This monument honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and throughout the generations became the place to rally the troops before battle and afterwards celebrate victories. The names of all French victories and generals are inscribed on its surfaces. History buffs would consider this among one of the best of Paris attractions.
Place des Etats Unis
If you travel to Paris from America, this place will hit home. Prior to the US entering WWI, 38 American pilots requested permission to join France’s Lafayette Escadrille. The monument in the Place des Etats Unis is a memorial honoring the 23 Americans who lost their lives in support of France. Jean Boucher was the creator of the bronze statue which was inspired by a photograph of a soldier and poet, Alan Seeger. Seeger's name can also be found, among those twenty-three Americans.
We continue on our map of Paris to our lunch spot. Can we ask for anything more appealing than this warm friendly location with its great views and a varied menu? “Les Arts” represents the delicately traditional French cuisine. Its charming terrace is secluded from the busy ‘hustle and bustle’ of the city and welcomes you to the more relaxed side of Paris. Mangeons! (English: “let’s eat!”)
Ladies, it’s not a trip to Paris without the fashion. Fashionistas should include this showplace of 18th to 20th century fashion on their agenda. Marie Brignole-Sale, the Duchess of Galliera, donated her estate to the city of Paris and in 1977 it became the Museum of Fashion displaying 300 years of extravagant clothes. The garden in back is the perfect place to rest those weary feet while pondering your list of things to do in Paris. (Update: This site is closed until Spring of 2013)
Flamme de la Liberte
The “Flamme de la Liberte” in Paris is a replica of the flame carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty at the entrance of New York harbor. It was offered to the city of Paris in 1989 by the International Herald Tribune. More importantly, it represents a gesture of thanks for the restoration work done on the Statue of Liberty three years earlier, and a lasting symbol of friendship between the two countries. Incidentally, just beneath the bridge was the site of the accident which killed Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997. The flame has become an attraction for both American tourists who travel to Paris and supporters of Diana.
Sunday: Morning activities only/assuming plane leaves in afternoon
|10 - 11:30am
|Musee du Quai Branly
|Lunch - Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel
|1:30 - 3:30pm
|3:30 - 5 pm
|5 - 7:00 pm
|7:00 - ?
|Pont de Artes
Musee du Quai Branly
This museum is affectionately nicknamed MQB and is the legacy of the previous French President, Jacques Chirac. The “Musee du Quai Branly” known in English as the Quai Branly Museum (named after the physicist Edouard Branly), features art and civilizations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and South America. The museum is located near the Eiffel Tower (see our map of Paris).
Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel (Lunch)
For an enchanting experience of the French cuisine the “Brasserie de la Tour Eiffel” is an affordable Parisian dining experience for their soups, salads, and sandwiches not to mention their yummy deserts. This spot is also located near the Eiffel Tower (see our map of Paris).
Wondering what to do in Paris? Well The Eiffel Tower should be number one on your list of things to do in Paris. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world and is a must see for the Paris traveller. The tower, now an iconic symbol of Paris, was originally built for the Universal Exposition in 1889. The Eiffel Tower, intended to be torn down after the event, instead remained to become the most recognized landmark in the world. Warning…lines to ride the elevator to the top can be calculated in hours. This is a great time to plan your list of things to do in Paris on your next trip.
The best view of the Eiffel Tower is from the balcony of the Tracadero. Originally the name Trocadero, referred to an emporium or place of trade. Today vendors are selling souvenirs, entertainers are entertaining and people are enjoying the activity of life in the most beautiful city in the world. Something is always happening here. From here, you can experience the Eiffel Tower, the city, the art….it is truly the best of Paris.
Pont des Artes
As we ponder on what to do in Paris, let’s not pass up this intriguing pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Seine River in Paris. As loves who travel to Paris soak up the ambience and romance of the city, its cafes, restaurants, cobbled streets and the many historical landmarks, we certainly can’t leave out this romantic site. The latest craze is for lovers to attached initialled locks to the side of the bridge, pledging their love to each other. One of the old wives’ tales is that if you throw your beret into the River Seine and if it floats, you will find love in Paris. So, be sure to give it a try! The saying, “Love is in the air” is here for the best of Paris hopeful romances and traditions for anyone that treads this bridge.