the city of lights
Words By Erin Fonner
Despite recent tragedy, Paris is home to some of the most iconic art and architecture in the world, making it a rewarding travel destination, even for just a weekend.
Stay at the Artus Hotel. A boutique hotel in the St. Germain district, Artus provides a delicious full breakfast and a central location.
Wander through the streets of Saint Germain-des-Prés, taking in the sights and sounds of Old Europe. Stop for a coffee or a glass of wine or a leisurely bite to eat at one of the many cafés along the way. Walk to the Notre Dame Cathedral to appreciate its French Gothic architecture and intricate stained glass. Entrance is free. There’s a fabulous crêperie next to Notre Dame if you’ve got the grumbles. The egg, ham, and cheese crêpe is mouth-watering good.
Visit the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore in the Latin Quarter. Enjoy dinner along Rue de la Huchette and watch the lively university atmosphere created by the nearby Université Paris-Sorbonne.
Walk along the Seine to the Musee du Louvre. It can take up to a week to see everything inside, so save that for your next visit. Instead, admire the iconic Pyramide du Louvre, which serves as the Louvre’s main entrance.
Stroll through Le Jardin des Tuileries, a sprawling green space stretching from the Louvre to Place de la Concorde. Pass by the Egyptian Obelisk and head down the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe.
From there, hop on the Metro and take it up to bohemian Montmarte (Metro stop Anvers) to enjoy lunch in one of the eateries surrounding the artists’ square. Take the funicular, or the stairs, up to the famous Basilica Sacre-Coeur to catch a breath-taking view of the city and admire the
stunning white domes
and intricate golden mosaics. Entrance is free.
It’s about a 20 minute walk from Sacre Coeur to the Moulin Rouge. You can invest in tickets for a show, or simply snap photos in front of its windmill.
Arrive early at the Musee D’Orsay and admire the impressionist masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and others.
Relax in the Luxembourg Gardens. Pack a picnic, or enjoy traditional French cuisine at nearby Le Petit Medicis. Reservations recommended.
Cap off your visit by seeing the Eiffel Tower by night. Its lights twinkle every hour on the hour, and it is truly breathtaking. C’est magnifique!
if you go
The metro is the best way to get around. Buy a ten-pack of tickets,
and watch out for
Register for the U.S. State Department’s free Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive security messages and communicate with officials in the event of an emergency.
Expect springtime highs in the 50s and lows in the 40s. April and May are the rainiest months.
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