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A Trip to Paris: Visiting the French Capital’s Most Famous Attractions (Part 1) Posted by on Oct 28, 2013 in Uncategorized

What country do you think is the most popular tourist destination? If you guessed La France, you are correct. In 2012, 83 million tourists visited France. That’s more than the nearly 67 million people living in the country. C’est impressionnant, n’est-ce pas (It’s impressive, isn’t it)? France is the top tourist destination for a number of reasons. It is rich in culture, in history, and has some of the most famous landmarks in the world. Who hasn’t heard of la Tour Eiffel (the Eiffel Tower)? Much like the Statue of Liberty in New York, la Tour Eiffel is one of the world’s most iconic and recognizable structures and is what most people think of when they picture France.

Like many other capitals, Paris is home to an number of tourist attractions that are all worth visiting. Should you be pressed for time, at least try to squeeze in a few of the major sites such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, l’Arc de Triomphe, etc. For the uninitiated, let’s run through a couple of these monuments historiques (historical monuments) that should not be missed.

La Tour Eiffel

As mentioned above, the Eiffel Tower is without a doubt France’s most famous monument. Built between 1887 and 1889, this iron tower is located by the Champ de Mars (Field of Mars) and reaches a height of over one thousand feet. If you happen to have le vertige (vertigo), the view from beneath is not quite as impressive as the view from the top, but is still worthwhile. For a true Parisian experience, however, one must ascend to the top of the tower for une vue magnifique de la ville de Paris (a magnificent view of the city of Paris). Elevators will allow you to reach each of les étages (the floors) as quickly as possible but for those who yearn for a challenge, you can take les escaliers (the stairs), but only to the second floor. Equally impressive by night or by day, the Eiffel Tower is the must-see attraction in Paris, so be sure to include it in your itinerary. You’ll be glad you did.

L’Arc de Triomphe

Built by Napoléon in 1806 to commemorate his victory at Austerlitz and inaugurated in 1836, l’Arc de Triomphe (the Arch of Triumph) is another timeless symbol of France nearly as popular as the Eiffel Tower. The arch is located on the Place Charles de Gaulle and is connected to the Avenue des Champs Élysées, one of the most famous roadways in the world. You can choose to climb to the top of the arch for an impressive view of the city, although not quite as impressive as from the summit of the Eiffel Tower. Stroll down the Champs Élysées if you have some spare time but don’t plan to shop if you didn’t bring lots of money. Faire le shopping sur les Champs Élysées vous coûtera cher (shopping on the Champs Élysées will cost you). Cartier, Mercedes, Bentley and Mont Blanc are just a few of the high-end boutiques you’ll find along the avenue.

Be sure to bring a handful of Euros if you’re going to want to experience the view from the top of these two monuments. Walking around the outside is free but the view from above is well worth the price of admission. In the case of the Eiffel Tower, make sure you arrive early as the lines can be long, especially during the peak tourist season.

Most of all, enjoy the sites. Prenez plein de photos (take plenty of pictures) et bien sûr, n’oubliez pas de vous amuser (and of course, don’t forget to have fun)!

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