Leaving off some of the main Paris attractions because there’s plenty about them in guide books and on other blogs. Here are some personal highlights.
- Favorite was Musee d’Orsay and most people I know say they like it better than the massive Louvre; the space is very cool – a converted train station
- Picasso Museum
- Hotel de Ville (City Hall) on Rue Saint Antoine/Rue deRivoli always has free exhibits
- Palais Garnier (ok, so it’s the opera/ballet building, not technically a museum) regardless, it’s spectacular and you can tour the building and/or attend a performance
We checked out the Museum Pass since it helps skip long museum lines, but our schedule didn’t make it worthwhile.
Lots and lots to see and do, but Paris is a great city to just sit and watch, stroll around and stumble upon great finds (like this beautiful courtyard off of Place des Vosges).
- “Café culture” is embraced in the City of Lights. Even if you just order a coffee, the table is yours for however long you want. People watching is a national pastime.
- Ordering coffee – A “U.S. coffee” is a cafe crème (apparently no such thing as a café au lait); if you just ask for a café it means espresso. I found this blog post helpful
- Jardin du Luxembourg – On Wednesdays and Sundays they rent mini sailboats for the kids (and kids at heart) to push around the lake with a stick; add a picnic lunch of cheese, a baguette and a bottle of wine – perfection
- Place des Vosges – here’s an old BBC video about the square; Victor Hugo’s apartment is in one corner
- A walk down Rue Moufettard for “quintessential” Paris, good markets and window shopping
- Daily changing of the guards at the Arc de Triomphe at dusk (6pm-ish depending what time of year you go)