5 things to do in Paris

I arrived at the Charles De Gaulle Airport at 7:55am on the 25th of June, 2014. I met my dear friend Andrea at the airport and together we caught the train to the Tim Nation Hotel where we were staying. The trains were colourful and full of character and buskers frequently performed between stops.

The following list is compiled from some of our most memorable experiences in Paris. Without further ado, here are five unmissable places and activities for visitors in Paris

1. See the Eiffel Tower

We visited the Eiffel Tower at 8pm on our very first day. We were unfortunately too exhausted to climb the stairs and took the escalator instead. Three things surprised me. Firstly, the Eiffel Tower was much higher than I expected (even though we only travelled to the second level). Secondly, the sun remained high until 10pm or later, so despite the fact our visit took place later in the evening, our photos were still bright and full of colour. Thirdly, I knew that there would be a spectacular view of Paris from the tower, but I did not realise how truly mesmerising it would be. If you do visit the Eiffel Tower, be wary of pickpocketers and be aware that you may have to wait in a line for some time.

2. Walk along the Seine River

The Seine River is frequented by tourists, people watchers and artists. At certain points you will see landmarks such as the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Institute de France and well known bridges like the Pont des Arts, which only this year collapsed under the weight of love locks. The experience costs nothing (unless you buy postcards or Eiffel Tower keychains along the way) and is a wonderful way to relax and explore the city. To make the experience feel even more French, bring a baguette for lunch.

3. Taste l’escargot!

L’escargot (or snails) are served with six on a plate. They are surprisingly chewy and taste strongly of garlic, and I can’t say that it was a personal favourite, but I would certainly recommend trying it at least.

4. Visit the Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes was so much larger than I expected. There were museums, statues, flowers, greenhouses and even a zoo on the grounds. If you are in Paris, visiting the Jardin des Plantes will occupy you for at least an entire day.

5. See the art of the Louvre Museum

The Louvre is undoubtedly one of the most renowned museums of France and indeed the world. Whether you are an art fanatic or completely ignorant in matters of the art, visiting the Louvre will make for an experience unlike any other. Be pre-warned however, that the Louvre is likely to be absolutely packed with tourists, and understandably, since it is rather amazing. I visited the Louvre around 10am and it was already crowded, but I have heard that the earlier you go, the better it will be. There will still be a line and there may still be way too many people milling about, but nowhere near as many. The Louvre is home to the famous Mona Lisa as well as innumerable paintings, relief, sculptures and even modern works. You are sure to be intrigued and inspired by your visit, though you may also be exhausted by all the manoeuvring around other people. Despite the crowds, I can honestly say that my visit to the Louvre was a truly singular experience and I am so glad that I went.

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