By Linda Carter
As Published in The Wakulla News
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.
Consider purchasing the Paris Museum pass. www.en.parismuseumpass.com. Valid at over 60 museums, you can sample the museums, then return to those you enjoy. A simple calculation will determine if the price of the pass is worth it for you. Extremely convenient in winter, during peak season this is a huge time saver.
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.
Transport yourself to Monet’s home in Giverney when you step in to L’Orangerie Museum. Marvel at the room size paintings wrapped around the walls. Sit quietly and contemplate, with the smaller crowds you don’t have to hurry.
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.
Sample the food; Nutella crepes from street side vendors; mouthwatering croissants, completely unlike their US counterparts; and chocolate perfection. No wonder Paris is synonymous with food.
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.