By Linda Carter
As Published in The Wakulla News August 8, 2013
A visit here requires substantial planning. The sheer size is overwhelming, but you can hop on a tourist bus for a great overview. Unlike many European counterparts, Paris’ biggest sites are not within easy walking distance. Sit back on the bus and let the famous sites roll by, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and Sacre Coeur Cathedral. Now with your favorite choices in mind, it is easier to budget your time.
Climb the tower at Notre Dame Cathedral. The winding staircase seems to spiral up forever. Reward yourself with a close up view of the gargoyles, and a panoramic view of the city. The Sacre Coeur is perched on a hill in the distance is an awesome sight.
Discover the riot of colored glass in the Sainte Chappelle. Multi colored glass casts a warm glow all around. Bible stories told in the colorful images stretch to the ceiling.
Prepare to be overwhelmed at the Louvre. The largest museum in the world with over six miles of galleries; there is no way to see the whole museum in a day. Using the museum pass, make several short visits, and focus on your must-see items.
Stroll through the Latin Quarter, birthplace of Paris, and home of university students for centuries. Find a café, sit back and take in the atmosphere.
What visit to Paris would be complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower. Originally reviled by the Parisians, the tower has become synonymous with the city of light. Indulge in a meal, or simply take the elevator to the top.
Arrive mid November through early January for the famous Christmas market. Stroll past the 150 authentic chalets along the Champs Elysses. Sample delectable deserts and a myriad of cheeses, and wines. Browse among the teeming stalls. With the several hundred dollars you save traveling off-season, you can splurge.
The holiday lights add to Paris’ enchanting nightscape. Take a tour and soak up the ambiance. Climb the Arc de Triumph at night for a bird’s eye view of the sparkling lights changing color, and the hourly twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower.