The city of Paris has been an enormous point of interest in Western Europe for hundreds of years. In the last couple of centuries, the city has been seized by countless nations – the English, to the French monarchy, The bourbon kings, Napoleon, the republican French and even the Nazis. Paris today is a prosperous city of stability, beauty, and love. With fantastic cuisine, the world’s finest wines, and famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomph, and the Louvre museum, it’s not hard to see why Paris sits on the bucket lists of so many!
Leaving London on her 36 day Topdeck Tour the day prior, Emily woke up in a Paris hostel and realised she had just one single day to fit in as much sightseeing as possible. With a clear sky and the sun on the rise, Em packed her bag and set out on her very ambitious adventure! This is what she saw:
Located in the northern reaches of central Paris, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica is an enormous cathedral that rises above the central city. It was completed in 1914 – a relatively new addition to the French capital. Its design is a powerful mixture of Eastern/Byzantine with a splash of classical Roman, featuring Western statues, pillars and arches alongside Eastern domes and towers. Inside are the beautiful rich tapestries, altars and paintings which are commonly found in many Catholic cathedrals.
The church is very pleasing to walk through, and a particular motivation to visit is the incredible view of the city from the top of the basilica.
With over thirteen million visitors every year, Notre Dame is Paris’ most popular attraction. The cathedral is perhaps the finest example of French-gothic architecture to ever exist. And wait until you hear how old it is – over 840 years! Have you ever seen anything that old? If you like historical monuments, this is definitely the place for you.
Em soon paid a visit to the grand cathedral, which is conveniently situated very close to the city centre- close to the Louvre and surrounded by the Seine river.
Em stood outside the Louvre – the world’s biggest museum which famously houses Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Need we say more?
Arc de Triomphe
Em also visited the Arc – a very famous symbol of French might. While many nations built monuments to commemorate their military conquests, this one is the most well-known. Commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, the arc today is constantly surrounded by chaotic traffic! Seriously Paris, a 10+ lane roundabout with no line markings!?
Bike Tour of the city
As the afternoon sun lowered, Em then met up with the rest of her tour group for a bike tour hosted by Fat Tire Bike Tours. The ride lasted three hours, and was at a leisurely pace. Ah! It feels so nice to relax on two wheels after a jam-packed day strolling through the city. The only stresses were battling the crazy French drivers!
Picnic Dinner and Cabaret show
After sharing a picnic dinner with her tour group, Em decided to finish her night at a cabaret show! The performance was an optional extra on the tour agenda, but it was worth every penny! The show featured lots of French singing, topless women, dancing and complimentary wine. If you have the time, we definitely recommend spending an evening at a French cabaret show!
As the sun set on her day in Paris, Em returned to her room with aching legs and exhaustion. But it was worth it. Paris had treated her well.
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