How to Make the Most of Paris

How to Make the Most of Paris

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The truth is… I didn’t love Paris but I did lots of things wrong on my trip that I’d do differently the next time I visit. I didn’t visit Disneyland, even though I really wanted to. I didn’t visit the Louvre because the lines were too big. I didn’t even go up the Eiffel tower because I didn’t want to be a clichéd tourist. Secretly, I want to go back to Paris and do it properly and these are the things I’d do differently:

disneyland-paris

I’d visit Disneyland:

Whether you want to spend just a day at Disneyland or an entire weekend, there’s so much to see and do there it will keep you easily entertained. If you live somewhere else in Europe you can simply plan Paris weekend breaks to Disneyland and get lost in the wonder and magic for a weekend. If you live further away, you can tact a trip to Disneyland onto your bigger trip around Europe. It doesn’t matter how old (or young) you are, Disneyland is a special place everyone should visit at least once.

view_from_top_of_eiffel_tower

Go up the Eiffel Tower:

I didn’t think I needed to; I thought standing at the bottom was enough and admiring the structure I’d been fascinated with since I was a child. When I got home I was looking through a friend’s photos that he’d taken from the top of the tower, it seemed to be a whole different perspective of Paris. I have a fear of heights so didn’t bother going up and now I almost feel like I need to return to Paris so that I can see what Paris looks like from the top.

paris_louvre_france_wallpaper-wide

Visit the Louvre:

Yes, the lines will be huge, daunting and seemingly relentless, but there’s a reason the tourists all flock to the Louvre. Paris was one of the first places I ever visited on my travels and if anything was expensive or too consuming, I simply couldn’t be bothered. Now I’ve traveled more and realize how much it will cost me to get back to Paris to visit the Louvre, I wish I’d waited in line and parted with the fee. Although I’ve been to Paris, I missed out so many of the key experiences I feel like I didn’t really see Paris.

champs-elysees-paris-france

Go Shopping on Champs-Élysées:

I managed to save a lot of money for my trip to Paris, but I was so busy penny pinching I didn’t get to really enjoy it. I concerned myself with overpriced espressos and couldn’t commit to buying any new clothes in Paris because it felt so much more expensive than home. I have nothing from my trip to Paris, no special dresses I indulged in and no stereo-typically Parisian scarves that I invested in. I’m not a huge shopper when I travel, but I wish I had something to remind me of my few days in Paris. Shopping along Champs-Élysées is unlike anywhere I’ve ever been and I wish I had something to show for it.

I’m planning to visit Europe next year and while Paris wont be the top place I want to visit on my list, it’s very high up there because I feel like we have some unfinished business.

Have you been to Paris? What did you think? What would you suggest I do the next time I visit.

4 Comments

  • Michele says:

    We loved Paris our favourite was the Eiffel Tower we prebooked a sunset visit and the view was spectacular. We loved walking around the suburbs, just looking at the old buildings, people watching and finding small markets and just being in the moment. We were there in Winter so look forward to seeing it again in another season. I hope you get the chance to go back again.

  • Chuck says:

    Rick Steves offers tips on how to avoid lines, specifically mentioning the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre (among others) on this page: http://www.ricksteves.com/plan/tips/avoid-lines.htm

    In a nutshell, it often involves booking a reservation ahead online, and/or buying some kind of city pass, and/or going in through a different & lesser-used entrance.

    • Izy Berry says:

      Ah awesome, I totally need to check that guide out. I’m not a fan of lines. I’ve never tried a citypass, but they seem to be pretty good value, especially in expensive cities.

  • Chuck says:

    P.S. I went to Paris as a kid with my parents a long, long time ago, and it was one of my favorite places. And the Eiffel Tower was my absolute favorite place, because I love having an expansive view of a beautiful or interesting area.

    I have some fear of heights too, but it’s only in places where I feel like I really could fall over the edge (e.g., the edge of a roof or cliff). When I’m behind a sturdy wall or railing, it’s not a big problem. I even took a hot-air balloon ride for the first time in my life recently, in Turkey. The basket came up to my chest, so I had no sensation of being able to fall out easily. (I still had a bit of trepidation but it was minor and went away pretty quickly.) Of course your fear of heights might work differently from mine!