As I mentioned in the previous article dedicated to Paris, this post is about other major places you have to visit in Paris.
Avenue des Champs Elysées
This avenue is probably one of the best known in the world. It is filled with Parisians and tourists, who are here to enjoy the many shops there. This is from this avenue that you can see the Arch of Triumph, and where most of the national events are celebrated (the two World Wars, the celebration of the Bastide Day with the military parade, soccer games either nationals or world cups…etc).
- I like going to the Champs Elysées when I can, but it is something exhausting! I mean, going through all the shops, shopping and everything else is pretty tiring (my feet are generally very painful at the end of the day^^). I also recommend to walk there by night, especially during the Christmas holidays, as the lightning is amazing.
You can best access the Champs by the subway station Charles de Gaulle – Etoile.
It is one of the most famous places in Paris, known for its classic French urbanism and considered as one of the most luxurious places in the world. The place has many and many hotels all around it. At the center, there is the Column Vendôme, set up by Napoleon to commemorate the Austerlitz battle. Today, Place Vendôme is known as the place where many renowned jewelers are and as the place of the Parisian and world elegance. You can find brands such as Cartier, Chanel, Rolex, Vuitton, Hublot, Dior…
- I have gone through Place Vendôme may be once or two, and I liked it. All those highly renowned brands and their beautiful jewels, watches, dresses, hats… are just amazing. I highly recommend you to pass by Place Vendôme, and even if you cannot afford anything there, just enjoy the set.
The closest subway station to get to Place Vendôme is Opéra.
Le Pont des Arts- The Arts Bridge
This pedestrian bridge crosses the River Seine and links the Institut de France and the central square of the Louvre museum. This bridge is famous for all the love locks that lovers from around the world are attached to the bridge. Lovers generally put their first names and throw the key into the river. There are so many locks that accumulated over the years that it actually became a problem now. The weight of all those love locks are causing the bridge to bend, which can be dangerous for tourists and people walking through the bridge. Some locks are cut off by city workers but the number of locks is still overwhelming, and is said by some people to be that much that it does not look nice anymore.
- I have walked through this bridge a few times, and I think that’s a beautiful place to see. I also think that the locks thing is pretty cool, as we can see that many people from around the world really identify Paris as the city of love, and want to leave a souvenir or their love here. The last time I went there, in December 2013, I witnessed the overwhelming number of locks, and that’s true, it does look too much! That’s too bad, as I have read that some organizations even asked the city to ban all locks to preserve the bridge (which I think might be a good idea, but I also think some locks should be kept, just for the “tradition”).
You can access this Arts Bridge by the nearest subway station called Pont Neuf.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame Cathedral is a historic Catholic cathedral, considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It is easily recognizable with its two square towers. I think most people have seen it in the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Notre-Dame’s Treasury has some of the relics of the Passion of Christ including the Crown of Thorns.
- I have seen and visited the Cathedral when I was young, and I recall that the inside of it, and particularly the stained glass and sculptures, is amazing to see. It might be pretty much like other cathedrals but it is worth visiting.
The nearest subway station to access it is Cité or Saint Michel Notre-Dame by RER.
Père Lachaise and Montparnasse Cemeteries
Père Lachaise was formerly called the East Cemetery, and is the largest cemetery in the center of Paris. It is best known as being the first garden cemetery, the first municipal cemetery and as there are 3 WWI memorials. But it is also known as where many famous people are buried- Honoré de Balzac (French novelist of the 19th century), Bruno Coquatrix (French lyricist and music impresario), Alphonse Daudet (French author), Max Ernst (German artist), Jean de la Fontaine (French literalist), and others.
Montparnasse was formerly called the South Cemetery, and is home of many of France’s intellectual and artistic elite, but also foreigners. There are for example Serge Gainsbourg (singer and composer), Charles Baudelaire (poet), Simone de Beauvoir (feminist philosopher and author), and Sergio de Castro (Argentinian musician and painter) among others.
- I have been to the Montparnasse Cemetery, mainly because I love Serge Gainsbourg’s work. I walked around the cemetery, and I think that we can feel, in the atmosphere, that many famous persons are resting here. The sensation is different than we you walk in a “normal” cemetery, and of course, you can see many drawings, objects left by people to their beloved artists.
The best way to access the Lachaise Cemetery is by the subway stations Philippe Auguste, Père Lachaise or Gambetta.
The closest subway station for Montparnasse is Edgar Quinet, but also Raspail and Gaité.
I hope those additional places and reviews of them will make you want to visit Paris and all of its beautiful and full-of-history places. If you do, do not hesitate to give me your impressions!
A bientôt 🙂
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