There is so much to see and do in Paris. Many people have already asked me what I recommend, so here are the things I recommend you see and do! Not all of these things are tourist attractions either!
1. Musee de l’Orangerie – This was the highlight of Paris for me! I love Claude Monet’s impressionist paintings, and this is where his full-size Water Lilies are on exhibition. They take up two rooms and are magnificent. There is also a great impressionist painting collection on the lower level containing many works by Cezanne and Renoir. It was very busy when I went, and I asked when it wasn’t busy, and the guide said around 4 pm as they stop admitting people at 5:15. It is located inside the Tuileries Gardens
2. La Crypte Archeologique du parvis Notre Dame – This is the remains of ancient Paris or Lutetia, which was a Roman town. It was fascinating to hear how Paris developed and actually to see medieval remains of a town. It is located in front of Notre Dame down some unassuming stairs. I saw it when we visited Notre Dame but didn’t get to explore it then. I am so glad I went back!
3. Eat Pain Au Chocolat – This should be self-explanatory, but if not then let me tell you it is heaven. I don’t even like chocolate that much, but there is something about fluffy pastry and chocolate together. Make sure you get it fresh and have a café with it! You won’t be disappointed.
4. Look for hidden gardens – I kept running across fenced in park areas that had amazing gardens in them. Most of Paris is much like any other big city, grey and dirty. These gardens allow you to sneak away from the crowds and enjoy some great foliage. Everyone I found was open to the public and many had playgrounds and fountains.
5.Musee d’Orsay – Many people know about this great museum that is housed in an old train station. I went because I knew this is where much of Monet’s paintings are also held. They are all on the top floor. I also discovered some other artists in this museum that I will now be on the lookout for. Seeing the old train station also makes this a must see. Up on the top floor, you can see the two clocks that faced out and you can go out on the roof. The roof gives you views of the Louvre and the Seine.
6. Musee du quai Branly – I didn’t know about this museum until a tour guide told me about it. It houses collections from indigenous populations from all over the world. There are lots of native art and sculpture. The museum is also highly geared towards children and has lots of interactive attractions. Unfortunately, the Americas section was being renovated and was closed when I was there. The sign said opening June 2015, so hopefully, it will be done soon.
7. People watch – Paris is a great place to people watch! Sit at an outdoor café and order a café and a croissant and sit for a while and watch everyone go by. It will also give you a chance to rest your feet. Plus it is a very Parisienne thing to do!
Here is a trip plan that TripHobo designed for my trip to Paris! You can plan your own Paris schedule by using TripHobo, just click on create a Plan new Trip.
What do you recommend to do in Paris?
Musée de Cluny in the 5th, 6 Place Paul Painléve. Muesum of the medieval…plus they have the Unicorn Tapestries. Housed in a Gothic abbey with Roman baths which were found on the site. The gardens of the Musée Rodin, housed in the Hotel Biron. Musée Guimet on the Place d’Iena, marvelous oriental collections. For you who loves Monet, go out to see his gardens at Giverney. Or visit the Musée Marmottan Monet near the Bois de Bologne in the old hunting lodge of the Duc de Valmy which also houses the illustrated manuscripts from the Wildenstein Collection. It’s the largest collection of Monet in the world. The rose gardens in the Bois de Bologne are beautiful and make for a lovely visit. More?
I wanted to make it to the Cluny, but I didn’t have time. I did go to Monet’s house! That was really amazing.
Should have mentioned the BnF…Bibliothéque nationale de France. Awesome. And access is possible to almost everything with a request. When they have an exhibition, they can be phenomenal. They sometimes exhibit the illustrated manuscripts or Greek manuscripts. Such collections. I knew it when it was on the rue de Richelieu. They moved the major collections in 1996. Can’t remember the street name but its Metro stop Bibliothèque François Mitterrand.
We loved the Musee D’Orsay too. Monet’s waterlillies amazingly awesome in real life. Print does not do them justice.
We like to walk along food shop streets. Each shop window feels like a photo opportunity.
My daughter loved Paris Disney; me – meh.
Yes seeing any Monet in real life is way better.
Another thing I love in Paris…the bird market (Marché des Oiseaux) on the Isle de la Cité on Sundays. It is held where the plant/flower market (Marché aux Fleurs) is during the week. Quite near the Notre Dame. It’s an open market year round. You can buy birds and supplies, beautiful hand-made cages. But farmers also bring their fabulous cocks to show off during the day. It’s quite amusing to talk to them.
And a lot of people don’t know about the walking tours. They are listed in the little weekly guides you buy at the newsstands, in fact all entertainments are listed in those, exhibits, movies, performances, etc. The walking tours are all over the city, very inexpensive and usually led by historians. Some are in English. No reservations necessary…you just meet up on a designated corner at a certain time. Always got fabulous guides and learned a lot.
Another favorite was Sunday bike rides all over the city. Traffic not bad and you see so much more from a bike. I lived there for twenty years and there are still things I wanted to see and didn’t.
Great tips!! I should of emailed you before I went.
Sounds like you had a good trip. Next time!
I love walking along the Seine or taking a boat trip along the Seine. I also love just wondering around the streets and getting a little bit lost, you never know what you might find!
I totally agree about getting lost! I always find cool things to see. In Paris, I met a guy who made restaurant recommendations that way!
I think Paris is over-rated, but I do love Musee d’Orsay and Shakespeare and Co.
I do too. I didn’t love it. But there are amazing things to see.