A Weekend Break in Paris
Paris, affectionately known as the city of love and the fashion capital of the world, is the most visited city in Europe and will forever be one of the best city break options in the world. The Parisian culture, the monuments, the shopping and the museum make Paris one of the most breathtaking and exciting cities you can visit. Its proximity to the UK means it’s a very good place for a weekend break as it offers you a quick flight and plenty of time to enjoy the city itself, especially if you use a French bus company to get around. . However, there’s so much going on in Paris that trying to cram in everything can be tricky; so we decided to look at some of the highlights!
Not to be missed Paris
There are some landmarks and sights that really shouldn’t me missed and it’s a very good idea to start with these as they offer you something particularly special.
The Eiffel Tower
The quintessential Parisian postcard image; the Eiffel Tower cannot be missed. This beautiful iconic landmark towers over the city and the river Seine and provides some of the best views of the city you can get. The queues can be a little imposing but you should definitely head to the summit; here you can enjoy your vertigo whilst the wind whips you – all the while staring in awe at the beautiful cityscape stretching around you. At night the Eiffel Tower is lit up like a Christmas tree by thousands of tiny, twinkling lights so make sure you come back to enjoy it!
For its collection of probably the most stunning art in the world the Louvre is a must visit. It’s most popular for the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo but don’t be fooled into thinking this is all that’s on offer here. The galleries stretch for over 7km and feature a treasure trove of brilliant works from Caravaggio to Michelangelo and beyond. Get the Mona Lisa out of the way and instead walk the emptier halls immersing yourself in the beauty all around you. Finally make sure you see the Napoleonic apartments as these are opulent, decadent and steeped in history.
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world and certainly the most famous. It is a perfect example of French Gothic architecture and the beautiful circular rose windows are stunning in terms of scale and in terms of beauty. Aside from the rose windows, the inside is imposing with its high vaulted ceilings and incredible organ. The outside is equally impressive with the flying buttresses and towers being beautiful. If you want you can climb the towers to walk along the outside. This is a great chance to see the roof and windows up close but you can get better views elsewhere!
The Tuileries and the Champs-Elysees
While there might be other more iconic monuments in the city the stretch of parks and gardens of the Tuileries that joins the Champs-Elysees is one of the best places to see the city and to experience the truly romantic and beautiful side of Paris. The Tuileries begin just outside the Louvre and the beautiful gardens give you a stunning view all the way down to our final attraction. The gardens are well kept and relaxing places with a few café stands to enjoy. However, it’s the views that are simply brilliant with the Eiffel Tower looming off to one side and the long tree lined boulevard of the Champs-Elysees stretching in front of you down to….
L’Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe stands at the end of the Champs-Elysees and is one of the most elegant, impressive and humbling sights in all of Paris. It’s a 50 metre high neoclassical arch which memorialises those who died in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic walls. Beneath the arch lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with a flame that never dies to commemorate the lives of those lost in World War One. It’s a humbling experience but stands as a symbol of French national pride with its incredible carvings and incredible location. A trip to the top is well worth the view of the Champs-Elysees, Louvre and the Eiffel Tower so don’t miss out.
While these are our absolute must sees on a weekend break to Paris there really is a lot to see and do and we have a few more suggestions that we’ll skim over briefly. For art lovers the Musee D’Orsay offers a fantastic selection of Van Gogh and other artists and is well worth a visit. For romantically inclined visitors and architecture lovers Sacre Coeur is a must with its beautiful white domes and romantic views across the city. The river Seine is also a great place to stroll and enjoy the scenery while a day trip to Versailles is a must if you’re having a long weekend away. Beyond these great attractions you can spend your time enjoying the quintessential Parisian culture; from the food and patisseries to the café culture.
If this has inspired you to book a weekend break then don’t forgot to take out a suitable travel insurance and remember your EHIC card. For more information please visit Columbus Direct.