Friday, January 8, 2016

Paris: Doing the tourist thing

I was only in Paris for a few days, so it was taken up hitting all the touristy places that have been written about millions of times before. So instead of doing that, I'm just going to provide a few useful tips on each place.

First: The Louvre

The Mona Lisa
Venus de Milo
Napoleon's dining room

It is best to get to the Louvre before opening time to ensure that you can get in before the hordes of people - and when you do get in, head straight for the famous artworks as they get very crowded too.

The Louvre is an enormous place, it can be done in a day - but that's still a fast pace.

From the Louvre it's a nice walk down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.

Panoramic view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe
The tower from the Arc de Triomphe

You can climb up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe which gives a panoramic view of Paris. The best part of these views is that you can capture the Eiffel Tower in these photos (unlike photos of Paris from the tower).

The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower at night

There's not much more to say about the Tower that hasn't already been written, however, one thing that the guide books miss is that on the river below the tower are several food trucks that serve beer and provide a perfect viewing place for the tower.

The food from the trucks is average to say the least - the space could be so much better utilised. However the beer from the greasy chip truck is relatively cheap. Don't buy drinks from the nicer pizza truck next door - they're €3 more.

Hopefully fellow travellers will find these tips useful. Paris is an amazing city with much more to offer than the tourist icons - I would've liked to stay longer but I had planned to spend the Christmas and New Year period in a beautiful island far to the North: Iceland.

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