Paris is my hometown. I was born there and lived there most of my youth until I graduated from high school and moved to the US. Here’s a list of some of my favorite things to do in Paris, for my friends that are traveling there this year:
- Visit the Eiffel Tower. It’s very important to buy your tickets in advance as the lines can very long otherwise.
- Wander around the Champs de Mars park which surrounds the Eiffel Tower. For families with smaller kids, be sure to visit the historic merry-go-round which is still in operation.
- Take a ride on the Seine River on an open-air Bateau Mouche boat.
- Walk along the elevated Promenade Plantée in the 12th district. Also known as the Coulée Verte, it’s an excellent way to see a little-visited part of the city – and from an unusual angle. This stretch of disused railway line, much of it along a viaduct, has been ingeniously converted into an elevated walkway and planted with a profusion of trees and flowers – cherry trees, maples, limes, roses and lavender.
- Have lunch or dinner at the Hawaii vietnamese restaurant in the 13th district.
- Climb to the very top of the Notre Dame Cathedral and see the famous gothic gargoyles and an amazing view. You’ll have to wait in line, but it’s worth it.
- One of my favorite restaurants that is reasonably priced is Le Montebello, which has a nice patio right across the Seine from the Notre Dame cathedral. Great for lunch or dinner.
- Treat yourself to the best ice cream in Paris on the île de la Cité at Berthillon.
- Ride the Metro underground and also the overground, which always offers great views of the City.
- Visit the serene Luxembourg Gardens.
- Visit the Palais the Versailles.
- Pastries are great all over Paris, but my favorite patisserie is Poilane. They have several locations, not to be missed.
- Quai d’Orsay Museum, the greatest museum in the world, and not nearly as crowded as the Louvre.
- Visit the underground catacombs burial grounds. Some people might find this a bit gruesome but it’s fun and gothic.