I have been to Paris a few times, although the last 3 were the most memorable since I was there as an adult. This was in 2001, 2009, and 2012.
According to the World Tourism Organization, France is the world’s #1 tourism destination. There is indeed a distinct charm about Paris that people from all around the world collectively appreciate.
In the coming posts, I will share on what I like the most and least about Paris and what I believe are the must see/do in the city of lights.
WHAT I LIKE:
- THE CULTURE:
There is absolutely no doubt about it. What I like the most about Paris is the rich culture: from the architecture, to the museums, the food, the well-put-together clothing style (remember that Paris is the fashion capital of the world), and the general atmosphere of the city. For me, Paris is more about feelings and senses: the smell of freshly made crêpes in the streets, the sound of accordion music playing in the neighborhood kiosk, the sight of the people sipping on a glass of wine at a café (look for something more authentic than a Starbucks!), the touch of grass at the many public parks, and of course the taste of fresh delicatessen.
Yummy Nutella crepe
I truly find happiness when I get lost through the streets of Paris. Knowing that wherever these streets take me I will be fascinated by the beauty around. I feel free. Free to appreciate life and its goodness with great food, great drinks, great cultural venues, great green areas, and great vacation time!
Many locals find that ability to go into the unknown quite captivating about Paris. My college friend Stephanie recommends visitors to:
Go to Notre Dame de Paris while eating a crêpe, then get lost in the small streets of Saint Michel, follow the banks of the Seine and meander through the booksellers’ stands, then finish the evening going back up the Champs-Elysées.
Ahhhh….beautiful and romantic Paris…mesmerized yet?
- THE FOOD
As a big foodie, I have to elaborate a bit more on how much I love French food. I truly appreciate the pride French have in their food. Like the saying goes “if it’s true, it ain’t bragging”. Well the French have a lot to be proud of because they really pay attention to what they eat, why they eat it, and how they are to eat it. Don’t make the American “mistake” of mixing desert and entrée! There’s a time for apéritif, entrée, dessert, and last but certainly not least, fromage (cheese).
Although Paris is known for fine cuisine, I would recommend those on a small budget to grab a baguette, some charcuterie (ham, or salami), fruits, and drinks from the neighborhood superette (supermarket), get pastries from the boulangeries (bakery) and have a picnic in a park.
My friend Pamela and I enjoying one of the many public parks in Paris
A second option would be to find a restaurant in a non-touristic area (try the back streets) where you will find great food at a more affordable price. Whatever you choose as a dining option, keep in mind that restaurant kitchens tend to close a lot earlier than in the US. Bon Appétit!
My husband and I grabbing delicious Mediterranean food at a restaurant we found in a back street
In the next post I will talk abut the second thing I like about Paris: its transportation system