If you have a trip to Paris coming up in your future, first of all, lucky you! Paris is one of the most visited European cities. You definitely will not have to worry about running out of things to do or wasting time sitting in your hotel room feeling bored.
Whether this is a trip of a lifetime, a special occasion or celebration, or a business trip, you will probably be finding a hotel right in Paris, also called the “city of lights.” Many of the landmarks and things to do in the city limits are well known but one interesting thing to do before leaving for this or any trip is to research some different activities or a new restaurant in the area. As an alternative to doing the legwork of research, ask the locals for out of the way places to dine or shop.
I do this every time I go to my favorite spots all along the east coast. No matter how many times I have visited a particular city, I send for tourist books and brochures and check online for new things to do. It is also fun to check out some of the restaurants online so that you won’t be choosing your dining spots while knowing nothing about them, the cost of the food, or what is actually being served.
Paris is an exciting city every day and well into the evening with its nightlife. The first thing that comes to mind for most people when thinking about Paris is the Eiffel Tower. It is a wonder to behold at any time of the day, but after dark it becomes even more special. It is completely lit up with countless lights and for about ten minutes every hour, there is a light show where the lights seem to “dance.”
There are a few restaurants inside of the tower itself so for an unforgettable meal, you may want to consider that option. If you are using the steps, be sure to arrive before 6 p.m. at most times of the year for admittance. You will be able to use the elevator after the step entrance closes, however. Do some shopping after dinner in the tower, and be sure to stop and truly enjoy the grandeur of this lovely city from somewhere in the tower.
Other things to plan to do while you are in Paris are to see the Notre Dame Cathedral (be prepared to take many photographs all over the city, by the way) and it really would not be a complete trip to Paris without saying hello to the infamous Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum.
You will need to plan enough time in the museum. With smaller places you can possibly see what you want to see at any given museum in an afternoon or a few hours. That is not really true with the Louvre, though. Be sure to put aside at least most of a day if you want to see some of the most well known art pieces housed here. When making your plans, remember that the Louvre, like some other world museums, is closed on Tuesdays. Other days you can enter starting at 9 a.m.
The building of Notre Dame actually started in 1163 so if you have an interest in history, religion, or stunning architecture, you will want to see this Gothic structure. You will need to check ahead for a time when you can explore the building. Although it is definitely open to tourists, the cathedral still holds Mass there a few times each day.
If you enjoy bringing out the child in yourself or if you are traveling with “real” children of any age, Disneyland Paris is found about 19 miles from the city. Check with the park for the times the gates will be opening. Often it is 10 a.m. but there are certain times of the year when they open at 9.
For the beginning of 2006, Disneyland Paris will be opening at 10 a.m. from January 2 to March 10 and the same from March 11 until April 2. The park opens at 9 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays between March 11 and April 2, though. Check the schedule for opening times covering the rest of the year. As with any other Disney theme park, prepare for spending the entire day at the park and dropping into bed bone tired!