Forget an ordinary city trip to Paris.
If you’re looking for something exciting in this city of love and you prefer to avoid where most people go, then this article will give you some good guidelines. Here are six of my most recommended places to visit in Paris.
1. Père-Lachaise cemetery
Name one cemetery in the world that is more memorable and famous than the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
Dating back to the 19th century, the Père-Lachaise cemetery is a must-see location. There are thousands of grave monuments in this graveyard and most of them are decorated with amazing romantic art era sculptures. The graves of many famous people like Theodore Gericault, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Molière, Jean de La Fontaine, Frédéric Chopin and Oscar Wilde can be found in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
There are more than five thousand trees in the cemetery and whilst it might seem like a somber place to visit, it actually is an impressive experience to explore the old and narrow lanes in between the graves. The best time to visit the graveyard is around sundown as there are quite a few good spots where the sundown sunlight shimmers in between the trees. An enchanting moment.
The graves of many famous people like Theodore Gericault, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Molière, Jean de La Fontaine, Frédéric Chopin en Oscar Wilde, can be found in the Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris.
2. Île de la Cité
Being one of the little river islands of the Seine, Île de la Cité might sound recognizable because it’s home to the Notre Dame of Paris. In fact, medieval Paris was founded on this very spot. There are excavations beneath the Notre Dame square that are proof of an old settlement located on Île de la Cité.
I recommend that you visit the island with the Notre Dame (expect a very long waiting queue outside if you don’t go early). But, personally, I enjoyed Sainte Chapelle a lot more. It’s also located on Île de la Cité in Paris, but just around the block. The Sainte Chapelle is a chapel that will take your breath away because of its stained glass windows. These works of glass art are unique and the whole chapel is covered with them. It’s a beautiful work of art. Especially pay attention to the large rosary stained glass window at the North-West side of the chapel.
Visiting Paris would not be complete without a stop in the most romantic part of the city, Montmartre. Walking around in the narrow staired streets around “Le Sacre Coeur” in Montmartre after dark is a delight. The streets lights and calmness of the evening give a feeling of peace and you’ll feel like you’re walking in 19th century Paris because of the old houses and street infrastructure. In the evening, montmartre is famous for cozy bars and restaurants. During the daytime, the streets of Montmartre are more crowded and you’ll find yourself walking in between a vibrant atmosphere of street artists and tourists.
4. The Museum of Rodin
Just a few hundred meters away from the Eiffel Tower, Musee de Rodin is where you need to go for some of the most astonishing sculptures you’ll ever see in your life. Auguste Rodin was a 19th-century French impressionist sculpturer who mostly made bronze sculptures of which probably the most famous one is ‘Le Penseur’ (the thinker). There is a beautiful garden as an old mansion which both contain sculptures of Rodin. Take at least an hour or two to walk around in the museum of Rodin.
5. The Panthéon of Paris
I was astonished when I stumbled upon this 18th-century masterpiece of architecture in Paris. The Panthéon used to be an old cathedral, but it’s now more famous for the famous French people that are buried in its crypt like Rousseau, Voltaire and Marie, and Pierre Curie. The Panthéon of Paris in an icon of the liberty-oriented French constitution law and the statues inside are breathtaking. It also contains the Foucault pendulum, which is a device named after the French physicist Léon Foucault and conceived as an experiment to demonstrate the Earth’s rotation.
6. Quartier Latin
Only covering about a few streets in Paris, Quartier Latin is where you’ll find a vibrant student culture of Paris. There are many cozy bars and restaurants in this area that feels like a maze. It’s a good neighborhood for an evening out and during the day it’s nice to walk around here. Quartier Latin feels different than the rest of Paris because it feels like a local little town in Paris.
Spend at least 2 to 3 days in Paris
Because there is so much to explore in Paris it’s best to at least stay for a couple of days. Rent an apartment or hotel room via booking.com or Airbnb close to the city center and get a 2-3 day pass for the metro. The metro will take you anywhere you want in a fast, cheap and convenient way. You’ll be able to get from one end of the city to the other in no time.