With the news of this weekend's events in Paris, my heart - like so many - was heavy.
France is a country that I've visited on several occasions and Paris was among the destinations on my first solo trip and my first European trip. Additionally, there is something special about its culture that makes France, and Paris, all its own.
For this post, I'm going to share with you some travel tips for your next trip to Paris.
First is foremost, my best times in Paris were when I went off the beaten path. Of course I had to check out some of the main sights, such as The Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe and of course walk down the famed Champs-Élysées, yet, even if you aren't comfortable speaking French, don't let that hinder you to explore other parts of this wonderful city.
Although this experience sounds quite simple, it's that simplicity that makes it all the more memorable. Head to a local bakery, supermarket or supermarché and grab all you need for a picnic, including some wine.
Next, with your baguette sticking out of your bag - you'll appear quite local at this point - head to the nearest park. In this case, you could blend a local adventure with a must-see landmark, such as enjoying an evening picnic while watching the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Or, head to one of my favorite parks, Jardin du Luxembourg.
Remember, in Paris, you can enjoy your wine with your picnic - bon appétit!
Take a walking tour, a self-guided walking tour. One of my favorite resources for this adventure is Frommer's. Of course, as you walk, you'll quickly realize you are fitting in your must-see destinations while also uncovering gems that you probably didn't even realize were there.
It's amazing what you will find along your journey and where the road ends up taking you.
Although this isn't within the city limits of Paris and yes some may consider it a tourist stop, don't forget to look just outside of Paris. The Château de Versailles, which houses so much history and exceptional beauty both inside its doors and outside in its gardens, is alone worth a trip to Paris.
For a high-fashion teaser of the Château de Versailles, check out this Dior short video that was filmed onsite.
Of course I've done the organized tours, which helped me to acclimate to the city. Yet, it was when I went off of the preset path that I grew to appreciate the people and the culture of Paris and of France even more.
I'm heading back there next year, and yes, I'm already planning to take the path less traveled.
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