There are many places in the world that a lot of people talk about and you wonder “Is that place really that great?”
Some of them don’t live up to the hype and some are completely worth every bit of hype it gets.
Paris is definitely worth all of the hype.
Within 30 minutes of exiting the train station and walking to my hostel I was blown away by Paris.
I didn’t visit any of the sites or eat any of the food yet; I was only walking the streets.
I could already understand why so many people say Paris is their favorite city.
The Positives outweigh the Negatives.
Before I arrived in Paris I was thinking to myself that “I’m either going to hate this place or love it.”
Some of the negatives I heard were that it was a large, dirty, smelly city.
Full of rude people that don’t want to hear you speak English.
Paris might seem a bit messy with all the crappy graffiti everywhere.
But if they had some real artists do murals over that stuff you’d be looking at one of the coolest cities ever.
I didn’t think the city was smelly and I didn’t notice the people being rude.
As long as I started a conversation with “Bonjour” the locals didn’t seem annoyed switching to English once I spoke.
The size of the city might look big once you’re standing on the 2nd level of the Eiffel Tower.
But I still found it to be remarkably walkable.
I think the only time I took the tram was to get to a train station in a hurry.
Two of the main things everyone talks about when they mention Paris are the sites and the food.
For good reason; they’re both great.
The Louvre is the most visited museum in the world.
Even if you’re not into art it’s still a cool place to hang outside of and do some people watching.
If you do go inside you should know that unless you have 3 months to kill you won’t be able to see everything.
My recommended plan of attack(which is quick) is to go to the Denon Wing of the museum.
See highlights like Mona Lisa, Da Vinci paintings, and Greek sculptures.
Mona Lisa will certainly not impress you, but it’s one of those things people have to check out.
If you get there early enough you might not be behind 100 people.
All crowded around a tiny painting behind glaring glass.
From Ile de la Cite if you go northeast up Rue de Pont Louis Philippe for 1.4 km(20 min) you’ll make it to the Picasso Museum.
It’s the largest collection of Picasso’s work.
I went there right when it opened on a rainy morning and had the whole place to myself.
It made me realize that although he has some great art, he also has a lot of work that looks like it was drawn by a 3 year old.
Maybe I’m not completely understanding his work, but it was interesting to say the least.
Other notable sites in the city are:
The Catacombs – underground tunnels lined in human bones.
I’ve heard it’s become more crowded since the horror movie As Above, So Below came out.
I didn’t have time to make it to The Catacombs myself.
Although what I’ve heard is they’re not nearly as cool as he Church Of Bones outside of Prague.
Napoleon’s Tomb – Is… you guessed it… the Tomb of Napoleon.
I didn’t even know about this until I took a guided city tour that brought us there.
The explanation for why his tomb is built the way it is was kind of funny.
Let’s just say that Napoleon was a little ego maniac.
Paris Sewer Tour – apparently that’s a thing.
I didn’t partake in learning about the world’s longest sewer system.
But if you’re interested the opportunity is here.
SITES OUTSIDE OF PARIS:
The biggest and most famous site just outside of Paris is Disneyland Paris.
Only a 45 km(45 min) car ride east of the Louvre.
It’s Disneyland and it’s French.
That’s about it.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES.
Now let’s talk about that French food!!!
It is on another level when it comes to fine dining.
If you’re not trying to spend insane amounts of money at Michelin restaurants you’re still in luck.
Even the average dishes are still great in France.
I’m no food critic, so I don’t have any specific destinations.
But if you’re going to Paris to eat your way through the city you will have a hard time finding a bad place to stuff your face.
I’m also a big bakery junkie.
Bakeries were my go-to place when I needed a quick snack.
And let me tell you; Paris EXCELS at pastries.
Like I mentioned in a previous post, France needs to have a Bake Off against Italy.
Because I really don’t know who does it better.
Take Me Back.
Famous sites and food aside, Paris really is an amazing place.
Even the vibe you get from walking through the streets or along the Seine River makes you realize this.
In conclusion, Paris seems like one of those cities that can make anyone like it.
Do you know anyone that actually doesn’t like Paris and has a good reason?
Let me hear about it.
My name is Jeremiah and I'm an Arizona desert rat in search of the next adrenaline pumping adventure.
Follow me as I show you What and What Not to do when visiting new places in search of Cheap Travel and Cheap Thrills.