“An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris”.
5 DAYS IN PARIS
Before your departure, do not forget to check/bring with you:
DAY 1: VISIT PARIS – RIVE DROITE
Oh Paris! Any word will not be enough to describe the beauty of this city. Art, history, style, romance, everything is in Paris. This is the place where the glorious past meets the contemporary trends, where the French meets the cosmopolitan, where the tradition meets the evolution. Every corner of Paris can tell you so much and transport you into a magic world. Either you go for a romantic weekend, either for a crazy weekend with friends, either for a cultural trip, you will find what you need and you will leave with wonderful memories. Paris is so big and rich of things to see and do that you may probably need minimum a week to see everything. Nevertheless, since not everybody can have such a long vacation, we will try to explore the main parts of the city in few days. The first day will be certainly dedicated to the centre and its attractions on the left side of the Seine river. Everything can be done on foot and since it will be a long day comfy shoes are strongly suggested.
- You can start your trip by taking off at the metro stop “Chatelet” and taking the direction to the Cathédrale de Notre Dame. Emblem of the Gothic architecture, this cathedral was built on Ile de la Cité in a Roman temple’s place between the 13th and the 14th century. The main facade is impressive and portrays the event of the Last Judgement. The interior is majestic, with its 30m height, its several arches, and its wonderful windows.
- From Notre Dame, we will first explore the northern side and then move to the southern one. Just after the cathedral towards north, you will run into the Hotel de Ville. This is the main city hall since 1357 and its big facade shows statues of politicians, artists and literates who gave their important contribution to the city’s development.
- After few minutes walking from Hotel de Ville, you will arrive in front of a strange building: the Centre Pompidou. This centre was commissioned by the former president Georges Pompidou, with the purpose to create a place to promote contemporary plastic arts together with books, cinema and design. Nowadays the centre hosts one of the biggest contemporary art collection in the world and the first public library in Europe. It is open every day and ticket can vary according to the facilities you want to have access to (e.g. if you want to have access to the exhibition the pass will cost around 13€). After having visited the Pompidou centre, you can have a lunch break in one of the several cafes around, in order to charge your batteries for the second part of the day.
- From Pompidou centre towards east, you will be able to explore one of the most charming neighborhoods in Paris: le Marais. Formerly known as an aristocratic area, it hosts nowadays very important and ancient buildings. In the most recent past it was the residential Jewish area, whereas nowadays it is most known to be the Village.
- The Marais ends up in Place des Vosges, a very elegant square hosting houses of important personalities such as Victor Hugo and Georges Simenon.
- From Place des Vosges, after a short walk, you will arrive in Place de la Bastille. This is the place where the Bastille fortress was erected to be destroyed later on July 14th 1789. There are still some remains (found out during the metro construction), although the place is generally known nowadays for its opera house, its restaurants and night clubs.
- After a very long day, you can take some time to rest and then go out again to enjoy the Parisian nightlife. For the first night out you can go back to Marais and/or Bastille, have a nice dinner and go to dance in one of the great clubs of the city.
DAY 2: VISIT PARIS – RIVE GAUCHE
The second day in Paris will be dedicated to the exploration of the central area located on the left side of the Seine river.
- Time to cross the bridge now and explore the southern part of the centre (rive gauche). The first area that you will run into is known as Quartier Latin. This is the student area, where numerous important schools and universities (i.e. Sorbonne) are located. All around are pedestrian streets, bars and restaurants. For a break into the nature, enjoy a walk in the fantastic Jardin du Luxembourg and, just after the gardens, do not forget to visit the Pantheon, a stunning neoclassical buildings aiming to honor some personalities who marked the history of France.
- Keeping on walking, you will arrive in the elegant area of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. This neighborhood hosted for many years several intellectuals in its several cafes, especially existentialist writers like Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir.
- After a lunch break, it is time to reach the river side and experience one of the best activity of Paris: a ride with the Bateau Mouche! There are several departure stations along the river, pick one of these and embark for a 1h sensational boat trip along the river. While enjoying the silence of the waters, you will be able to admire the most beautiful corners of the city. After the trip, find a nice spot along the river and take a nice rest or enjoy a nice picnic or simply have a pleasant walk.
- For the second night out in Paris, you can go back to Quartier Latin and have a nice dinner and drink there.
DAY 3: VISIT PARIS – THE TOP TOURIST EXPERIENCE
On the third day in Paris, we are finally going to visit the top tourist attractions, the ones that everybody going to Paris wants to visit.
- Take the metro and get off at “Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel”: you will be in front of the main symbol of the city, the Eiffel Tower. Designed by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the World Expo, this tower became immediately the main attraction of the city. Erected on 324m, the tower is built on different floors that can be visited every day. The queue will be huge, but it is worth doing it, especially once you are upstairs and that you will be able to admire a stunning view of the entire city. During the night (until 1:00 am) the Eiffel tower creates a spectacular game with its thousands lights, something that you cannot miss!
- From the Eiffel tower, take the metro till “Charles de Gaulle – Etoile” and you will arrive to another main symbol of Paris: the Arc de Triomphe. Erected in 1836, the monument honors the Napoleonic troops and their successes. You can access the top of the arch and have a fantastic view on the surroundings.
- The Arc de Triomphe marks the beginning of one of the most famous streets in the world: the Avenue des Champs Elysées. This avenue of almost 2kms, linking Place Charles de Gaulle with Place de la Concorde, hosts remarkable institutional buildings (such as the President House) as well as luxury shops, cinemas, restaurants, gardens and statues of historical personalities.
DAY 4: VISIT PARIS – MONTMARTRE AND PERE LACHAISE
On the 5th day in Paris you will abandon the city centre and go to two special places, very different but both charming.
- Take the metro and get off at “Pigalle”, you will arrive in Pigalle neighborhood, most known for its sex shops, clubs, cabaret and the world-wide famous Moulin Rouge.
- From Place Pigalle take the streets up and you will arrive in one of the most characteristic and romantic neighborhoods in Paris: Montmartre. In order to access Montmartre you have to climb a lot of stairs, but the effort is definitely worth, since once you are on the top you will be able to admire one of the most amazing views of the city. Behind the wonderful panorama is the fantastic Basilique du Sacré Coeur.
- After a visit to the basilica, go out and explore the fantastic butte de Montmartre: painters everywhere ready to take a portrait of tourists, bars, restaurants, museums (among them you can find the Dali museum), all set in narrow old streets with ancient buildings plenty of art and history.
- After a lunch break in Montmartre, take the metro again and stop in “Père Lachaise”, in order to get access to Père Lachaise Cemetery. This is one of the most famous ones in the world and hosts the tomb of many historical personalities (e.g. Oscar Wilde, Maria Callas, Molière, Marcel Proust, Amedeo Modigliani, Jim Morrison and many others).
DAY 5: VISIT PARIS – THE MUSEUMS
The last day in the wonderful Paris can be dedicated to the artistic treasure that its museums preserve. Paris is a real cultural capital, with exhibitions everywhere and all the time, you can spend days and days to explore them. Although, one day will suffice to visit the two main ones: the Musée du Louvre and the Musée D’Orsay.
- The Louvre is probably one of the most popular museums in the world. This museum hosts a huge collection, from Egyptian art, to Greek art, from French painters to Italian ones. Several masterpieces are there, among them the most known is La Gioconda from Leonardo Da Vinci. The museum is open every day (except on Tuesday) and the entrance costs around 12€.
- Not far from Louvre is Musée D’Orsay. This is personally my favorite one, since it hosts a stunning collection of Impressionist masterpieces. All the big names, such as Monet, Manet, Renoir, Cezanne, are there. The museum is open everyday, except for Monday, and the entrance costs 9€.