“Even the pigeons are dancing, kissing, going in circles, mounting each other.

Paris is the city of love, even for the birds.”

Samantha Schutz

 

Speaking of Paris, it certainly will not be separated from the following nicknames: City of Love, City of Light, and Capital of Fashion. All of those became part of the identity of Paris, which ultimately lure tourists to come and visit there.

No wonder, Paris became one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, as well as being one of the favorite honeymoon destinations for travelers who want to build memories as one of the new couple in one of the world’s most romantic cities.

Exploring Paris is pretty easy. Easy if you’re used to this city, but maybe a bit confusing for those who just came there for the first time. For the first time traveler who plans to visit this city, you can start by getting to know basic information about Paris, such as the following; Including knowing what destinations should be visited while staying there. Also get to know the tips and tricks to explore Paris to maximize your holiday in that city.

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Basic Information

Paris
Paris, via orbis-travel

As the capital of the French country, the city of Paris is also the most populous cosmopolitan city in the country. The city is located on the north side of France, and is home to at least 2.2 million populations in its city area, and a total of 12 million populations throughout its metropolitan area. The city is on the northern side of the country of France, with a relatively flat land topography and is located at an altitude of 35 meters to 130 meters above the sea level.

The history of Paris began since Parisii, a sub-tribe of the Celtic Senones, who began to settle in the area (which is now become the city of Paris) in the mid-3rd century BC.

Beginning in the Middle Ages, Paris then famous as a political, economic, religious, and capital city of France. Various important buildings and various landmarks were later established in the city, whose charms can still be enjoyed today because Paris has never been hit by major disasters or terrible warfare.

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Paris’s Magic Charms

Love padlocks in Paris
Love padlocks in Paris, via korona-spb

Tourism in Paris was declined after two terrorist attacks in 2015, as well as the attacks in Nice in 2016. But overall, Paris is still consistently included in the list of cities that must be visited in the region of Western Europe. One of the reasons lies in the nickname “City of Love”, “City of Light”, and “Capital City of Fashion” which had been pinned on the city of Paris.

These nicknames are not attached without reason. For example, behind the nickname as “The City of Love”, slipped a number of reasons why Paris later known as one of the most romantic cities in the world, which is then identical with romance.

One of the main reasons is said to be because of the very strong romantic atmosphere widespreaded in every corner of the city, which is presented through various classical buildings that are still very well preserved until now.

Paris city landscape
Paris city landscape, via 500px

Surely, Paris indeed is one of the cities that greatly maintains the city’s atmosphere. The city landscape along with its old buildings are still very well preserved, especially since this city was never destroyed by natural disasters and war.

The city skyline was well maintained, and the Eiffel Tower (300 meters high) is still the highest building/structure in this city. Things like that make the atmosphere of Paris almost never change from time to time, thus the atmosphere radiating an aura of romance.

Paris at night
Paris at night, via ameveo

Paris is also known as one of the most light-dotted cities. If viewed by history, Paris was one of the first cities in Europe to use gas as a road lighting system, so the word ‘light’ has been so synonymous with this city. As for the present, the lighting in Paris, especially on the popular spots, is remarkably beautiful.

For example, on the Eiffel Tower, which designed with special illumination had successfully made this tower look more attractive at nightfall, though still focus on the concept of energy saving. Not only Eiffel, overall Paris does look more cool at night, especially when the lights start up and make the ancient buildings in the city seem so alive.

No wonder Paris is so worthy of bearing the nickname as the City of Light, although it also refers to the importance of the role of Paris in the Age of Enlightenment that occurred in Europe in the 18th century.

The look of a boutique in Paris
The look of a boutique in Paris, via iwc

Meanwhile the nickname Fashion Capital pinned on the city of Paris because the city is hosting a number of top-class fashion designers and famous cosmetics. For example, Lancôme, Yves Saint-Laurent, Dior, Chanel, and many others. In other words, Paris became one of the shopping paradise for those who claimed to be lovers of famous brands.

Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral, via wiki-travel

Beyond its appeal as the City of Love, the City of Light, and the Capital of Fashion, the other charm of Paris lies in a number of landmarks whose popularity reaches world class. Let’s say, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and of course the Eiffel Tower.

Not only has a variety of landmarks that are already hundreds of years old, Paris also has a number of modern landmarks and attractions that always succeeded in attracting tourists to visit the city. Let’s say, Disneyland Resort Paris, Parc Astérix, and many others. Paris is also rich in amazing museums, so visiting the museum becomes one of the most recommended activities in Paris.

A restaurant with a view to the Eiffel Tower
A restaurant with a view to the Eiffel Tower, via hotelthatinspire

Beyond the things which already mentioned above, there is still another attraction of the city of Paris, such as the culinary. Yes, Paris is well known as one of the culinary paradises in Europe.

The city is rich in restaurants serving a variety of delicious culinary, ranging from pavement restaurants, to restaurants which located in five-star hotels. It’s not hard to find a variety of restaurants that offer romantic scenery, which surely strengthens the image of Paris as the City of Love.

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What to Do in Paris

  • Visiting Various Popular Landmarks
Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower, via travelandleisure

It can not be denied, Paris definitely has many landmarks that are very iconic and popular to foreign countries. Among the many landmarks to visit while in Paris, the Eiffel Tower remains at the top.

You can climb the tower to enjoy the atmosphere inside and around the tower, eat in the restaurant, and do many other things. But if the queue into the Eiffel Tower is too long, you can enjoy the Eiffel Tower from a distance. For example, by eating at a restaurant or staying at a hotel that offers a view to the Eiffel Tower.

Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe, via techtimes

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the landmarks which is also too beautiful to be left out. Do not be satisfied just by looking from a distance. You can climb those 284 steps to reach the top of the Arc de Triomphe, and enjoy the view to the surroundings to your heart’s content (because the position of this tower is located in the center of Paris).

Sacré Coeur
Sacré Coeur, via tishineh

There are many other landmarks to visit in Paris. Sacred Heart Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral, Pantheon, Sainte Chapelle, Catacombs, Sacré Coeur, to Opera Garnier; those are just some of the landmarks that are too awesome to be left out. You may also consider to visit the Châteu de Versailles or the Palace of Versailles which lies just outside of Paris.

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  • Admiring the Magnificent Museums
Museum Louvre
Museum Louvre, via quizz

Paris has many awesome museums, and The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is always ranked first from the list of museums that must be visited while in Paris. But if you prefer a relatively laid-back museum, consider visiting other amazing museums like the Musée d l’Orangerie, the Musée d’Orsay, the Rodin Museum, the Musée Marmottan, and many others.

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  • Tracing the Seine River
Seine River Cruise and Eiffel Tower
Seine River Cruise and Eiffel Tower, via foxnews

The Seine River is the heart of Paris. Around the river there are some of Paris’s iconic landmarks, such as the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Eiffel Tower and many more. In addition, in this river there are some beautiful bridges that are often used as objects of photographs by the tourists, as well as a number of other interesting sights that are really fond to be missed.

One of the best ways to enjoy the true charm of the Seine River is by boat. By using this method, you can not only travel from one place to another, but at the same time you can enjoy the atmosphere of Paris from the river. Alternatively, you can walk on the banks of the River Seine. If necessary, you can at once stop by the parks which located not far from the Seine River to take a break.

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  • Explore the Streets or Popular Areas of Paris
Champs-Élysées
Champs-Élysées, via luksgezi

Paris has many avenues whose popularity had been known all over the world. Let’s say the Champs-Élysées which often touted as one of the most beautiful roads in the world. But if you want to find other alternatives, you can glance at the streets or other areas that are not less charming. Let’s say, La Coulée Verte (promenade plantée), Montmartre, or explore various canals and rivers in Paris.

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  • Shopping, Shopping, Shopping
Illustration
Illustration, via reuteren

It is a common secret that Paris is one of the world’s shopping paradise, especially for fashion lovers. This city is host to a number of famous brands and world class designers fashion boutiques. Believe me, it’s not hard to find fashion shopping spots in Paris.

But Paris is not merely belongs to those who love high fashion. This city also has many other shopping alternatives, ranging from modern shopping malls, shopping districts, to small alleys where they have flea markets. So, if you claim to be shopaholic and definitely have a plan to do shopping in the city, prepare your budget, okey!

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  • Walking Down the City
Walking down Paris
Walking down Paris, via centraldereservas

Believe it or not, walking around Paris is one of the recommended activities to do in Paris. The real charm of Paris will be felt once you walk between the old buildings, down the alleys, not the main road, especially if the activity is done when the city lights are on. At such a moment you will agree that Paris nickname as the City of Love was not randomly choosen.

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  • Culinary Tour
Pavement Café in Paris
Pavement Café in Paris, via hobiz

As the host of 66 Michelin-starred restaurants, Paris is certainly one of the culinary paradises. Moreover, Paris has long been known as one of the cultivation of culinary in Europe. Want to taste culinary luxury in a 5-star hotel? Hang out at a pavement cafe while enjoying the Parisian traffic? Or maybe you guys prefer a simple bistro that offers authentic flavor? All can be done in Paris.

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  • Play at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris, via onedio

Since Disneyland Paris began its operations on April 12, 1992, this place has consistently become the favorite tourist park in Paris. Even today, Disneyland Paris is still consistently become the most visited theme park in Europe. So, do you still need an excuse to go to Disneyland Paris?

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  • Doing Side-Trip to the Other City
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace, via chuansong

If you want other variations of atmosphere while in Paris, you can consider doing side-trips. Rouen, Provins, Fontainebleau, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, to Versailles, are just a few of the many places that can be visited in a short time from Paris.

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Myth VS Facts

Riots in Paris
Riots in Paris, via capital.fr

Those exposed to “Paris syndrome” would probably dream that Paris was a place of endless romance, and really light-filled city. Countless people who think Paris that is portrayed in various tourist brochures is as beautiful as reality.

In fact, Paris is no different from any other city in the world. Although Paris is synonymous with love, light, and fashion, this city is not spared from a variety of criminality and vandalism, eventhough the numbers may not be too many. Congestion, pickpocketing, streaks in public facilities, to waste and sewage problems; are the things you can still find in Paris. In fact, sometimes can you also find riots there.

Moreover, although this city is known as the Capital of Fashion, do not expect you will find people dressed in high fashion hanging around the streets of Paris. Remember, do not have too high expectations, or you’ll just pull a long face.

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Access and Orientation

 

To Paris

If using air lines, you can land at one of 3 international airports closest to Paris: Charles de Gaulle International Airport (Roissy), Orly International Airport, and Beauvais (Aéroport de Beauvais Tillé).

Charles de Gaulle International Airport is the main airport to reach Paris. It is located in the north-east of Paris, and has 3 terminals. If you land at this airport, you can use the RER commuter train (from terminal 3), and it will stop at several stations such as Gare du Nord, Châtelet-Les Halles, and others.

To ensure you get on the right train, pay attention to the “RER B” or “All trains go to Paris” signage. It’s just, because of the many cases of pickpocketing that happened to tourists in this commuter train, it is better to use a bus or taxi. The risk is, your trip may take longer because the Paris traffic can be very crowded, especially at certain hours.

Orly International Airport serves more domestic flights. For international flights, usually only European airlines are landing here. This airport is also served by commuter RER-B heading to Saint-Rémy-les-Chevreuse.

But you can also use OrlyBus to reach Paris (about 30 minutes distance), at a rate of less than € 7.70. Alternatively, you can use the 183 bus (from the front of Terminal Sud). It costs about 2 Euros, but it takes about 50 minutes to reach Paris.

Meanwhile Beauvais is the smallest airport of the three airports in Paris, and serves low-cost carriers. From this airport, it takes you about 1 hour by bus, with rates ranging from € 15,90-17.

 

Orientation in Paris

Paris is quite easy and convenient to be explored on foot. In addition, on foot, tourists can enjoy the true atmosphere of Paris, which may not be visible if traveling by metro or bus. Alternatively, travelers are advised to use the metro, which is predicted to be the second easiest way (after walking) to explore Paris. Other than that, tourists can also rent a bike, although not all the streets in Paris are friendly to cyclists.

Actually, there are other ways that can be used to explore Paris, namely by bus, taxi, or rent a car. However, given Paris was not spared from traffic congestion problems, the travel time can take much longer than walking, taking metro, or riding a bike.

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Note:

Photos taken from various sources (see caption) without additional edits other than the resizing process.

 

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