The famous song is April in Paris, but it’s magnificent always. At any time of the year in Paris, hearts sing and embraces are warm. I wish that I could say that I’m being overly sentimental or romantic, but this city does charm. When you visit once, the City of Light never quite leaves you.
Must-see sights in Paris
- Musée d’Orsay — Housed in a converted railway station with amazing Belle Époque architecture, this is my favorite museum in Paris. Not that the Musée du Louvre isn’t spectacular with the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and its Glass Pyramid designed by I.M. Pei. The grand Louvre is on everyone’s list of must-sees in Paris. But the Musée d’Orsay, with its wonderful collection of art that spans from 1848 to 1914, is a gem of Paris. Here you will find the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world (think: Monet, Degas, Manet, Renior, Cézanne, Van Gogh) in a unique left bank setting.
- Montmartre — Sitting high on a right bank hill in the 18th arrondissement, this historic district is the center of Paris’ Bohemian past. Many of the artists whose paintings you will find at the Musée d’Orsay lived and worked in this area during the turn of the last century (and perhaps visited the famed Moulin Rouge). With its tiny, winding streets, small squares, and beautiful panoramic views of the city, Montmartre is also home to the magnificent Sacré Coeur, a Roman Catholic basilica that was built as a memorial to fallen soldiers.
- The Ile de la Cité and Ile St-Louis — Connected to one another by a small bridge, these two islands in the Seine are full of charm and history. The larger Ile de la Cité was the site of the first settlement in Paris in 300 BC and is home to two landmark gothic churches: the spectacular Cathedral of Notre-Dame and the smaller and even more stunning Sainte-Chapelle. Visit these in the morning before the crowds gather and when the sunlight beams most beautifully through Sainte-Chapelle’s famous stained-glass windows. You can then spend the afternoon strolling through the utterly charming Ile St-Louis, which is filled with shops, galleries, and cafes (hint: order the crepes).
- Eiffel Tower — The Tour Eiffel is an icon, the quintessential monument of Paris. It can be seen from all over the city, and it’s a site to behold from no matter where you are standing. I spent one New Year’s Eve hanging out on Pont Neuf, drinking champagne, and watching the tower dance in a million lights at midnight. The photo above was taken from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and it’s well worth the stairwell climb to the top just to see that vista. But you cannot visit The City of Light without going to see the Eiffel Tower up close. Once there, wait in line and take the elevator to its third-level viewing gallery. The views from there, at night or day, are breathtaking, and to see Paris from this vantage point is something you’ll always remember.
As you can tell, I love Paris, and you will, too. If you are a single traveler thinking about visiting Paris, please join us on our singles group tour. Simply contact us for more information.