A touch of Paris

A journal containing some reviews on the famous sights that this city has to offer. Also some travelling tips on what to eat and how to travel.

A beautiful and historic area.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 27, 2010

The Place de la Concorde is located at the end of Champs-Elysees walk and is worth the spot. It combines Parisian and Egyptian architecture. The fountains are spectacular and this is a central hub to go to many different iconic places. Plus it provides at great view of the Arc de Triomphe down the Champs-Elysees.

This is the city's largest public square has important historic value as well as it served as the site of the guillotine that was used to execute Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Robespierre and many others during the French Revolution.

The square itself is adorned by some nice fountains and an obelisk in the middle. It's nice to take photos around here, but not much else to see here. What is great is that Concorde is right at the other end of the Champs Elysees from the Arc De Triomphe. And it was nice to walk that long avenue. Quite romantic actually, the first half of the Champs Elysees.
Place de la Concorde
Avenue Gabriel
Paris, France, 75008
Aucun téléphone disp

A great historic monument

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 27, 2010

L'arc de triomphe is a spectacular historic archway monument situated on Place de L'Etoile. It is nearby the Champs Elysees, one of Paris' most famous avenues that connects to the Eiffel tower. Within the city zone of Paris there are many famous attractions that can be seen walking by foot.

There is a subway near the metro staion leading there,as you can't cross the roads. This area has crazy traffic as the monument is situated on a kind of island where several roads adjoin and dispatch.

Climbing up to the top is a bit tiring,as staircase is narrow, but it is a worthwhile journey. Views are quite nice. I went near the sunset when city started to get light up, and the spectacle was magnificent.

Although inspired by Emperor Napoleon’s victory in a battle, it actually honours those who fought for France in the Napoleonic Wars. On the inside and the top of the arc there are names of generals and wars fought. Underneath the Arc is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War One.

There is a room sortly before reaching the top, where history of the place and how it was made are on display, although most people seem to skip this part. When finally on top, be aware that surfaces can be quite slippery when wer and that railings are not very strong, so keep small children under close supervision. All in all, a pleasant visit.

A great tip that i would recommend is to get the museum pass whilst in Paris. It will cut out a lot of queue waiting and probably save you a lot of money as well as time. Paris is one of the most tourist crammed cities in the world. Also the area around L'Arc de triomphe has several bakeries and eateries at affordable prices. If on a budget try a baguette from a bakery, they are very filling and bakeries fill them with meat and cheese and are quite cheap.

All in all it is worth a visit, not to mention that the area takes stunning photographs.

Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles-de-gaulle
Paris, France, 75008
+33 (1) 55 37 73 77

A stunning and famous cathedral

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 26, 2010

The Notre Dame cathedral is stunning and is in the popular Place de Notre dame. The area is easily reached by the great Paris metro, Notre dame stop. The queue to the cathedral is large but dont let this put you off, its free to get in so the line moves soo quickly you are in within 2mins or so.When inside i was in awe of this amazing place. We easily spent 30mins or so just wandering about the cathedral taking in all the history and beautiful sights.

A great tip in Paris is that you should try to get tickets to the venues there ahead of time to avoid the queues lines that form. Daytime strolls behind the cathedral in the quieting atmosphere of the great garden and sitting area nested along the Seine river bank makes this area so picturesque and beautiful I visited in June which is an excellent time to visit and according to the guides, so are the autumn months.

Try your digital camera images of Notre Dame at night and use the sensational lighting available. Dusk is also great and shots taken from across the river are impressive. You cannot take good photos from the river cruises but you will see a different image of grand old Notre Dame and remember it! Inside you will marvel at the flowing lines of the architecture. Before you leave the island, make sure to visit St. Chappelle church where the windowglass coloring will leave an indelible impression upon your psyche.

The area hosts many concerts in the summer months and is very historic. The church amazingly was not destroyed in the second world war. Another thing i like is the area. It is so diverse and cosmopolitan, with several nationalities, gay friendly and a bohemian atmosphere. Unlike other attractions in Paris, the area is very affordable to eat and drink in. After the tower climb, make sure you go to the park on the right side of the cathedral to see the famous flying buttresses. Be alert to the many public nusiences outside the cathedral begging for money and trying to scam people, just say "non" to the numerous gypsies that ask you if you speak English. They will leave if you say no but why the French government tolerates this nonsense right outside a national treasure is beyond me.

For an added bonus visit the tower for the most spectacular views, but beware of the long queues. There is also a fee for this, very few sights in Paris are free, its a tourist city. I had a very spiritual experience visiting the tower whilst the bells were ringing, it made me wonder about what it was like years ago.

Well recommend a visit.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame
6, place du Parvis-de-Notre-Dame
Paris, France, 75004
+33 (1) 42 34 56 10

Frances most famous museum

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 26, 2010

The Louvre, without question is the best and most famous art museum in the world. It isnt the normal sort of museum where you only spend two hours but a museum where you spend a minimum of two days. Our tour guide told us that if we were to look at every single item in the museum for 2 seconds we would be there for over a week, get that! I have never been in such an amazing art museum with so many Greek/Roman sculptures and well behold, upon entrance we were greeted by the famous statue of Venus de Milo.

. Here there were a minimum of five rooms filled with sculptures. It was also interesting to see the sculptures that had been renovated in modern times. The original sculptures were in many cases covered with colorful marble and pieces were added where the sculpture had been damaged. I especially liked the Egyptian exhibition. This was done from a cultural aspect and all of the exhibitions were arranged to explain certain parts of the Egyptian culture.

After several hours of walking in the museum I started to get weary so i was glad to see rooms of famous Renaisence sculptors as painters such as Michaelango, and i noticed walking through this room that there were more people assembling. Eventually we got to the end into a room full of people and security guards standing holding back the crowds. There was the famous Mona Lisa. Everyone has to see it when they visit the Louvre, but I do not see the point. There is a railing placed 10m in front of the painting to prevent tourists was getting to close to it…. Now can you only really appreciate a painting when standing right next to it and not from 10m distance. The crowd standing in front of the painting is annoying and there are signs up forbidding photography but everyone takes pictures of the Mona Lisa. Legend has it that the painting is a copy with the original stolen several years ago.

A great tip is to buy the ticket in advance online from the Virgin Megastore. This will save you time since you will not have to wait in line to get a ticket and the crowds are swarming to get in. Another tip do not use the main entrance when getting into the Louvre. The line here is the longest. There are other side entrances into the Louvre. Also pay for the audio/video guide as half the time you will not notice the importance of the objects that you view, and will not pay due attention. My visit there was so much more enriching since through the audio/video guide. I had an interactive map which gave detailed explanations to many pieces of artwork that are not available without the guide.

The disadvantages of the Louvre include the mass of crowds, there is a necessity to use a map, this place is so big that you will get lost. Also it is expensive and the queues to get in are big, there doesnt seem to be anywhere to get a snack or a drink.

However the Louvre is well known for its treasures and the buildings exterior is amazing so i would definitely schedule a visit.

Musée du Louvre
99, rue de Rivoli
Paris, France, 75001
+33 (1) 40 20 51 51

The main sight of Paris

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by alanmack37 on October 26, 2010

The Eiffel tower is quite obviously the main sight of Paris. I remember coming on the airport bus from Beauvais and seeing the wonderous monument for the first time, and thinking I was close to the city centre when in actual fact I was 6 miles away. The tower is visible from any part of Paris, you have no idea how huge it is until you actually arrive in the Champ De Mars. Its steel girders are massive and it really is the most stunning monument you can see in any of the world.

Paris is the main city of romance and you get caught up in the culture of fashion, coffee and breads very easily. I travelled to see the tower with my brother where we stayed in the Bastille region in a cheap hotel. Travelling by underground is great in Paris, it is fairly safe and is a good way to see all the attractions. As you will be walking a lot in the city centre we decided against the expensive day tickets and instead chose a carnet (book of single journey tickets) which worked out the cheapest way as once youre in the main city it is possible to do most journeying by foot.

The Eiffel tower is a long iron lattice tower that has become the most visited paid monument in the world. The tower is an amazing 324 metres but when i seen it, it seemed to go up for miles. When we arrived it was late evening, but this is a great time to go as through the day-time the queues go on for quite a long time. Even at evening the queues to go up by lift were several persons long and also it was quite expensive for us being on a budget. We opted for cheaper tickets to walk up the levels.

The walk up was amazing but you require stamina, good for those that use the stepper in the gym, but i saw a lot of people having to come down because they didnt have the energy to proceed. It is quite a walk to the first level and then i remember the spectacular view i felt like i was on top of a high storey building and i had only travelled the distance of the size of one of the legs.

The second level is a more exhaustive walk as it probably takes twice the time to journey up the steps. I must warn you this is not for the faint hearted, so those that suffer from fear of heights or vertigo I would give it a miss.

We were only permitted to go to Level 2 but the views were stunning and crowds of people encircled the lookout, looking down on the Champs Elysee and other parts of the city. The lift permits you to go to the higher levels, but i cant imagine the views would be any better as at level 2 you get a good close up view of the city. There are also restuarants on level 1 and 2, but the food costs a fortune and i would much rather get out of tourist traps before I found somewhere to eat.

You have to come visit this when youre in Paris. You will be amazed at the views and a great taste of Paris.
Eiffel Tower
Champ De Mars
Paris, 75007


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