Paris is well known as the place that inspired Hemingway and Balzac and the official backdrop for some of the best love songs and culinary experiences in the world. Her streets overflow with culture, art, and history but, there’s a certain charm that transcends the clichés.
France’s capital is more than 2,000 years old and you can feel every bit of history while traversing cobblestone alleyways and admiring the fossils that are Paris’s cathedrals. Part of the fun of Paris is getting lost in the moment, finding something beautiful waiting for you around the next corner or down the next rue. When your adventure is up, you’ll always have the Eiffel Tower guiding you home.
We recommend if this is your first visit, to book a hotel in the heart of the City, There are several forms of public transportation as well as a Hop-On Hop-Off bus pass which is available in 1-3 day options. Also, be sure to purchase in advance the “skip the line” passes for several attractions including the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and tours of Versailles (both the interior and the gardens).
If you are visiting for up to a week (choose from 2, 3, 4, or 6 days), we advise you purchase the Paris Pass which includes entry to over 60 attractions and the Hop-on Hop-Off bus. Also included is the Metro and a travelcard for the public buses for transportation. For the adventurer, check out the segways.
Attractions and Museums
- Arc de Triomphe
- Champs des Elysees
- Eiffel Tower
- Moulin Rouge
- The Catacombs
- Notre Dame Cathedral (can only be seen from exterior due to fire)
- Louvre, Monet, Grevin Museums
- Left Bank
- Palace of Versailles
Details about Eiffel Tower optiions
Most visitors ride the elevator at the Eiffel Tower, but travelers with a sense of adventure can save time and money by taking the stairs. Climb the 704 steps to the second viewing platform of the Eiffel Tower. Opt for a ticket to the summit and take the elevator to the very top.
There are several levels that one can visit, as well as enjoy dinner (can be combined with a Seine River cruise as well) while absorbed in the magnificent views of Paris – the Seine River, and the Champs des Elysees; also see landmarks such as the Louvre, Arc de Triomple, and Notre Dame Cathedral from above at one of the platform levels.
Palace of Versailles
Formerly a humble hunting lodge, the Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles) is the extravagant creation of Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. Embellished to epitomize royal decadence (the inequality of which tindered the French Revolution), Versailles features 700 rooms replete with frescoed ceilings and carvings, plus the Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles), which brim with geometrically designed walkways and fountains. No visit to France is complete without experiencing the grandeur. Allow 1/2 to a full day if interested in both the gardens (with optional fountains show) and interior, plus transportation round-trip Paris.
The palace’s 700 rooms would take days, but be sure to take a tour that visits the highlights. Gold-framed windows let light into the Hall of Mirrors, while priceless antique furniture decorates the King’s Grand Chambers. The Royal Chapel features a number of columns, and in the gardens, the Grand Canal dominates while the Musical Fountains dance to classical music.
History and culture buffs, along with anyone looking for ethereal photo ops, likely has Egypt on their bucket list. An Egyptian adventure kicks off with the exploration of ancient monuments that survived the ages, including the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Sphinx and the sacred tombs in the Valley of the Kings. We also recommend stargazing or sandboarding in the desert, hopping aboard a Nile River cruise and unwinding on the pristine Giftun Island, home to crystal-clear waters.
You can take an Egyptian cooking class, visit the colorful street markets in Cairo or book a camel trek. End your trip with a few museum visits — we love the Grand Egyptian Museum, Coptic Museum and Nubian Museum, which showcase treasures from the past as well as stunning architecture.
Jump into a serene Bob Ross-esque landscape painting with a road trip through Ireland. The rolling hills of lush greenery (sometimes dotted with sheep) creates a backdrop for ancient, hard-to-believe-they-are-real castles. While the drive also meanders along breathtaking coastlines and cliffs. The Bunratty Castle in County Clare, the royal Hillsborough Castle near Belfast, Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, Killarney National Park and Cliffs of Moher on the Wild Atlantic Way are must-sees.
A portion of the southwestern corner of the country is home to a scenic route called the Ring of Kerry, which packs a snapshot of Ireland’s diverse geological scenes into a 179-kilometer (roughly 110 miles) loop. Cityscapes are equally present with similar memories to be made, like at the Guinness Brewery in the heart of Dublin, or the country’s oldest city of Waterford, which yes, is home to Waterford Crystal.