Paris got its start as a Roman outpost. This was around 52 BC when Rome was flexing its empire and was looking to set up a base of operations to keep the Gallic upstarts in check. They settled on a place along the banks of the Seine that was home a local tribe who had already built a fort there. The Roman legions swooped in, conquered and keep the city hopping up through 486 A.D. After Rome fell, the Parisians were ready to pack up and move on but were persuaded by St. Genevieve to stick around. They did, and we have modern Paris to thank for that. Of course, that is all ancient history. Today, Paris is often referred to as the City of Love and the City of Lights. That’s appropriate because if you’re going to fall in love, you should be able to see your object of affection. Here’s where you should go when you land in Paris:
Arc de Triomphe/Eiffel Tower/Champs Elysees
Consider this the Parisian trifecta. The first two structures are iconic pieces of architecture that you’ll be snapping pictures. The moment you see those two places, you’ll be able to say with confidence, “I’m in Paris.” As for the Champs Elysees, it’s great for strolling but not so much for shopping. The prices are way too high. Find a nice bistro and sit outside for a few hours of people watching. Make sure you update your Facebook status at that moment to have all your friends seething with jealousy.
Chateau de Versailles
This was the palace many a King Louis. While everyone was losing their head during the French Revolution, Versailles survived. It’s an amazing piece of history that will leave you gobsmacked by its elegance.
Montmartre is a bustling neighborhood that at first glance might look like a bit of a tourist trap. Yes, there are lots of neon and souvenir stalls, but this isn’t where you need to focus. Instead, wander out from the center to explore the side streets. That’s where you’ll find the real charm of Paris in tiny shops and cafes.
This museum started out as a fort. It then became a palace. Today, it is the world’s largest art museum. Apparently, visiting the Louvre is an investment in time but well worth the trip and the crowds. After all, this is the home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Can you go to Paris without going to the Louvre?
If ever there was a city to stroll in, then it is Paris. This is a city ripe for strolling. Your GPS tracker on your Smartphone will make sure you never get truly lost but just watch how the time flies in the city of lights.