Top Three Paris Attractions

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Like many cities, Paris is a popular destination to spend a long weekend. This can often mean that you only have two or three useful days there and leave the City disappointed that you didn’t manage to fit it all in. A little bit of research and planning can overcome this because you can go with a clear mind as to what you want to do and how you’re going to fit it all in. Here are five of the best things to see and do in Paris to get you started.

1. Eiffel Tower

Arguably the most famous landmark in Paris, the distinctive Eiffel Tower looks down on the city from the Champ de Mars. There are various ways to see the Eiffel Tower and it is important to choose the one that best suits your preference, time constraints and finances. Whilst some people are happy just to look up at the tower and photograph it from ground level, most people prefer to venture at least some of the way up. It is open from 9.30am to 11pm during the winter and 9am to midnight in the summer. You can choose Long weekend in Paris whether to take the lift to the second or top floor or walk up the stairs to the second floor.

If you would prefer to spend a bit more time in the tower, you could book a table at one of its two restaurants. On the first floor is Le 58 Tour Eiffel, a brasserie where prices for lunch start from €20 and dinner from €76.50. On the second floor is Le Jules Verne, an Alain Ducasse Michelin star fine dining restaurant. This is a lot pricier, with lunch starting from €90 and dinner from €210. If you would like to dine at the tower but don’t like these prices, there is a buffet restaurant on each floor serving lunchtime snacks.

Owing to the popularity of this distinctive landmark, whenever you decide to visit there are likely to be queues. You can minimise the inconvenience of this by visiting outside of the busy summer months. Another alternative is to book onto a guided tour that will allow you to jump the queues. There are various companies offering this service and you can book in advance to make sure the timing of it suits you. You could even combine it with another Paris attraction such as a cruise on the river Seine. If you haven’t booked a tour in advance and regret that decision when you see the queues, there are always tour operators offering you the opportunity to join the tour at the last minute.

2. The Louvre

As a landmark, the Louvre with its iconic glass pyramid is almost as well known as the Eiffel Tower. As a museum, it is one of the largest and most celebrated in the world. Its popularity has increased even further since it was the setting for the popular novel by Dan Brown and subsequently the film, the Da Vinci Code. Unsurprisingly, the Museum has capitalised on this popularity by providing a visitor trail based on the scenes that were filmed in its galleries.

If you are more interested in the museum and its exhibits than the film, both guided tours and audio guides are available to give you information about each area and exhibit. There are also other themed visitor trails that allow you to tailor your visit according to the subject area that you are most interested in. For example, if you are fascinated by the history of this architectural masterpiece, you can follow the “From Palace to Museum” visitor trail. Following one of the visitor trails can assist greatly in your planning because the Louvre’s website (available in English) gives you a bit of information about each and tells you where to start and how long they last. That way if you arrive at the museum at 10am and have a lunch booking nearby at 12, you know you have time to follow the masterpieces trail (1 ½ hours), but would struggle to fit in the Palace to Museum trail (3 hours).

You can visit the Louvre every day except for Tuesdays when it is closed. On the other days it is open from 9am to 6pm except for Wednesdays and Fridays when it remains open until 9.45pm. There are always temporary exhibits in the Napoléon Hall so admission prices vary depending on whether you want to visit the hall or not. A ticket for the museum and Napoléon Hall costs €15, or you can see just the Napoléon Hall for €12 or just the museum for €11. There are various exemptions from admission costs so it is worth looking at the Louvre website to check whether you are exempt. Anyone under 18 can get free entry and some of the exemptions are unexpected, such as art teachers and 18 to 25 year olds living in the EU. It is also worthy of note that entry is free for ALL visitors (excluding the Napoléon Hall) on the first Sunday of every month and on July 14. If you are on a budget, this is an excellent opportunity to have a fabulous day out for free.

3. Disneyland Paris

If you are travelling to Paris with children, a visit to Disneyland Paris is a must. The different “lands” offer a fun day out for everyone from babies to adults. Since opening in 1992 as Euro Disney, the resort has undergone two name changes and massive expansion. In addition to the park, there are 7 hotels with each one based on a different theme. You do pay a premium for staying in a Disney hotel but it offers children an exciting all round experience. Whilst the theme park is outside of the centre of Paris, travelling there is relatively painless. Trains are available direct from the airport or from central Paris. Eurostar will also take you directly to the park.

As with other Paris attractions, there will undoubtedly be queues, particularly in the summer season. It is therefore essential to be sure what rides you want to go on as a family and navigate your way around the park starting with the rides you most want to go on to be sure that you don’t miss out. A guide to the rides and their suitability for different age-groups is available on the Disney Land Paris website.

Like many cities, Paris is a popular destination to spend a long weekend. This can often mean that you only have two or three useful days there and leave the City disappointed that you didn’t manage to fit it all in. A little bit of research and planning can overcome this because you can go…

Like many cities, Paris is a popular destination to spend a long weekend. This can often mean that you only have two or three useful days there and leave the City disappointed that you didn’t manage to fit it all in. A little bit of research and planning can overcome this because you can go…

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