The day goes away by itself, and in the aftermath is our long-awaited flight to Paris waiting for us. Paris is the city of museums, Gothic churches, the multi-ethnic neighborhoods and good food. Who goes to Paris for the first time cannot miss the must see of the city:
Notre Dame de Paris is an imposing Gothic church. Few know that the disturbing giants that look out over the city from its dizzying heights were added in the second half of the nineteenth century. Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris. Its height is variable due to the metal, which is sensitive to changes in temperature. The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees compete with the Eiffel Tower as a symbol of the city and a walk is a must.
The Louvre Museum and the Centre Pompidou cannot be ignored by those who go for the first time to Paris. In addition to the most popular museums, which are also among the largest in the world, there are unusual and lesser known museums, like the Museum of Perfume Fragonard or the Musée des Arts et Métiers, which houses the famous Foucault pendulum in the spectacular nave of Saint-Martin-des-Champs.
The Museum of Natural Sciences of Paris is different to all the other science museums. The Jardin des Plantes in it will leave you breathless and the enormous exposure with 40 km of shelves showing specimens preserved over the centuries seems like a great work of art with an aesthetic hipster.
PARIS IN TWO DAYS
Visitors to Paris in two days can make a selection of the most important museums to visit from the Louvre, the Pompidou Centre, the Musée d'Orsay. If and when you are tired of long lines and huge museums you can visit the Museum House of Victor Hugo, and relax in its country atmosphere. Things not to miss in the city are the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame de Paris and the Champs Elysees, you can add a visit to the district of Montmartre and its symbol, the Church of the Sacred Heart, and a walk to the Latin Quarter with a break in the most beautiful historical library of Paris: Shakespeare and Co.
In the Latin Quarter, there is another unmissable library which is called Abbey Bookshop.
PARIS IN THREE DAYS
Visitors to Paris with three days can devote themselves to see other charming neighborhoods like the Marais, Belleville, and Menilmontant with a visit to the Père Lachaise cemetery, where there are the graves of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Maria Callas.
PARIS IN 4 DAYS
Four days are ideal to visit Paris. In addition to the main monuments, you can enjoy an alternative art tour in Paris. Visit the Parisian catacombs and underground Paris is an experience not to be missed. Here you will find the Guide Alternatively Paris with little-known neighborhoods and corners to visit to experience Paris as the Parisians.
PARIS IN 5 DAYS
In five days you can visit the main monuments of Paris, eating at the bistro of the city, explore hidden places and fewer tourist corners, away from the usual routes. Here you will find the low-cost driving for six days in Paris. Village Saint-Paul is a district of Paris that seems frozen in time, the place to explore an unusual Paris that few Parisians know.
PARIS IN 7 DAYS
A week in Paris is always a good idea. You have a way to get into the spirit of the city, the atmosphere deeply and get an idea of how to live in Paris.
THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS
The Catacombs of Paris preserve the bones of more than 6000 people. They opened to the public towards the end of the 800 and since then have become a curious tourist attraction. Over the years, the bones were used to create the decorations in the underground quarries of Paris, creating a macabre atmosphere and evocative. Here is the official website of the catacombs of Paris with useful info to them.
STRANGE PLACES OF PARIS
Not getting tired of walking in Paris and discovering new corners of the city is almost impossible. In the middle of Paris postcards, there are unusual angles, neighborhoods and secret roads, where there is an atmosphere of yesteryear. Rue Cremieux is the most colorful street in Paris where it seems to be in a colorful village with crayons. The Mouzaia is a quarter of the nineteenth with a maze of pedestrian streets: built to house workers in low houses, villas, and townhouses, is a haven of peace, flowers, and colors.
Butte aux Cailles is another relaxing spot, with sleepy cats, stencil and climbing plants. Few know this corner of Paris, perfect for a walk off the usual routes. The rides of the museum in Paris is perhaps the most amazing among the small little-known museums of the city. It's a curio cabinet with rides and hand-painted wooden toys.
WHAT TO SEE AROUND PARIS
In one hour by public transport from Paris, you can reach castles and special gardens. One of these places to visit in the surrounding area of Paris is Giverny where Monet lived. It's also a lovely village with the house-museum of the impressionist painter.
WHAT TO DO FOR FREE IN PARIS
Paris is not a cheap city. Eating out, drinking and sleeping have prices similar to those of other Northern European capitals. However, you can visit on places with free admission. The visit to the Maison Balzac is free. A trip to the flea markets with the largest, spectacular and amazing is the market of Saint-Ouen flea is free until you decide to buy something.
59 Rivoli is a huge busy building that houses artists' studios around the world, which is also a permanent exhibition and a cultural center.
ALTERNATIVE AREAS OF PARIS
Canal Saint-Martin is one of the most interesting areas of Paris right now. The channel is the one that became famous thanks to Amélie and her fabulous world. To be clear is that in which the girl threw stones over the lock. A Canal Saint-Martin is a local giant with plants inside, a small essay cinema, exhibitions and above all curiosity of all kinds related to the colonial world. It's called Le Comptoir Général, and you should definitely visit it.
WHERE TO STAY IN PARIS
Sleeping in Paris hotels can be expensive. Fortunately, there are economic offers and attractive solutions in beautiful neighborhoods in the city. Find a solution with budget apartments in which it is worth to stay in Paris.
RESTAURANTS IN PARIS
Paris restaurants are the epitome of all that is in the city of Paris to eat between crystal chandeliers, antique prints, and paper silk wallpapers gathered over the years by the eccentric owners.
WHAT TO EAT IN PARIS
Paris is the mecca of good wine, pastry, and especially the chocolate.
SHOPPING IN PARIS
In rue de Charonne the fashion names share the walk with small independent shops that can be a viable alternative to buying something original and exquisitely Parisian. Canal Saint-Martin is the perfect place to indulge. In the Marais, there are the shops of the big brands. But if you go a bit higher, in Haute Marais you can discover small shops, little-known brands and an endless variety of alternatives.
PARIS WITH CHILDREN
Paris is a wonderful city to explore with children. The means of transport are functional and the whole town is well served excluding the most tourist places in the city. You can choose to sleep in neighborhoods far from the crowd and from a wide variety of museums and attractions perfect for the little ones. The City of Science and Industry, Parc de la Villette, offers an unusual and fun approach to science and also houses the La Cité des Enfants, with exhibitions, shows, and activities on the links between science, society and our daily lives.
The Musée en Herbe is an interactive space where children can become familiar with graphic and visual arts. In All Académie de la Magie you can watch fascinating displays of magic and discover extraordinary illusion games. The Gourmet Chocolate Museum could be a milestone to mark on your calendar, which is also fun for adults.
Mulhouse and Alsace
The first goal of this holiday came a bit by a chance to Mulhouse and Alsace. Mulhouse is the first town in France. The old town is lovely, especially the Place de la Réunion where stands the Town Hall, a mid-sixteenth century building decorated with trompe l'oeil typical of the Rhenish Renaissance, where stand out the coats of arms of the Swiss cantons.
Maybe it is Monday night, but the old town looks quite deserted and finding a restaurant to eat proves arduous operation. We eventually managed to eat traditional Alsatian dishes such as sauerkraut, meat mainly cooked pork over low heat in beer in other areas in the Riesling and macerated in the aromas.
The best thing to do in Mulhouse is to walk through the narrow streets of the center and be enchanted by the half-timbered houses, built of wood on the frame exposed, the typical local architecture. For museum lovers, though, there is something for all tastes from the Cité de l'Automobile, where about 400 cars are kept of all time to the Cité du train for lovers of railways.
Electropolis is an interactive museum that explains the history of electricity; the Museum of Printing on fabric, dedicated to the textile industry and, finally, that of Wallpaper, as the factory built here at the end of the eighteenth century has made famous and valuable. This list makes us understand the role that the area has had, as well as in the cultural and religious development of central Europe, including in industrial progress.
On the second day of this trip, as we reach Colmar, we decide to go part of the Wine Road, which runs through some pleasant Alsace countries, marked with brown signs on which there is a cluster. The route actually runs for 110 km from Thann to Marlenheim, it is also bike and runs along vineyards and campaigns in some parts, however, coincides with the highway. We decide to have to cross some by car and stop only in those that seem most characteristic.
To unite them is the presence of remains of defensive walls, the inevitable half-timbered houses, the storks that nest in this area, as well as being surrounded by vineyards. But undoubtedly it marks these two villages such as missed: Eguisheim and Riquewihr.
The first is a charm! Immaculately maintained, the village of Eguisheim develops in concentric circles around the church over which they have the nest storks; strolling through the narrow streets in the itinerary of the ramparts seems that time has stood to the Renaissance, and observe the succession of colors, decorations, blinds, and bay windows makes you lose track of time.
A call to reality are the courtyards of the wineries that invite you to sample the local wines, mostly whites; among those sampled, our favorites are revealed Sylvaner, fresh and light, suitable for summer and be accompanied with fish and Muscat, a strong aroma of fruit, perfect for an aperitif.
Riquewihr, the home of Riesling, is crowded with tourists, but still worth a visit. It is a riot of flowers that adorn the facades of houses, on which you can see valuable and original decorations in wrought iron signs. For tourists, Riquewihr is also the home of the Alsatian souvenirs with earthenware pots to sauerkraut plates, stork themed objects and typical glasses for Alsatian wine.
Another step that I recommend during the journey to Colmar is a detour from the Wine Route to the Murbach Abbey. It was founded in the first half of the eighth century by Saint Fermin and is completely surrounded by greenery. It's worth doing a 5-minute walk to get to the small Chapel of Lorette which dominates the entire valley. We arrive in Colmar before dinner. After a walk to the center, we find a good restaurant.
The third day begins with a visit to the city. Colmar was undoubtedly beautiful as they say. The previous two jewels, in my opinion, lose the challenge.
The old town is one of those who deserves the walk for a stroll on the amount of elaborately decorated historic homes that meet; one of these is the Maison des Tetes, adorned with heads carved in the Renaissance, one of which produced by Bartholdi (the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty in New York). Imposing is the collegiate church of Saint-Martin, so great as to seem rather a cathedral, built in red sandstone, which contains a fine Crucifixion of the fourteenth century.
We reach the Place de l'Ancienne Douane, where there are the most beautiful half-timbered houses of the city and, indeed, the Antica Dogana, where the goods were crammed in the fifteenth century. From here we arrive in Rue de Tanneurs and enter the Little Venice, the most romantic part of Colmar, where you can make a cruise through the channels admiring the buildings of the district of the tanners, with the tall, narrow houses and overflowing with flowers. Boats depart from Pont-Saint-Pierre.
Once in Strasbourg, it was cold and drizzling lightly. But once we get to city center everything seemed beautiful. The impression was very good. The city was elegant, where many tourists mingled with the locals on the bar tables. The women were beautiful. It was the right time for a stroll in the Place Kléber. It was broad and open and was suitable to look around and enjoy our holiday.
The Notre Dame Cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage Site was majestic and enchanting. On the central door stood a large rose window. On the right-hand side, we saw the clock portal. It was a typical Gothic building, illuminated by a succession of wonderful stained glass.
Through a 66-meter winding spiral staircase, we get out of breath to reach the terrace. It offered an interesting view of the old town, the Rhine plain, the Black Forest, and the Vosges. The Cathedral was even more spectacular in the evening when they begin the play of light. It was a sort of hyper show that through the use of special projectors. The colors animated every single detail of the exterior of the building.
Many tourist restaurants and souvenir shops in the square were remarkable historic houses, such as Ancienne Pharmacie du Cerf, the oldest French pharmacy (1268), Maison Kammerzell and the Cinquecento, decorated with wooden sculptures. Ancienne Pharmacie du Cerf is now converted into a headquarters for promoting tourism and culture.
The fourth day of great weather fits in well with the program of the day. We cruise the Ill, the river of the city. The boats (Batorama) depart from the landing stage of the Palais Rohan, home of the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Fine Arts. The tour was very interesting thanks to the explanations of points of interest. It was lovely for the views that we enjoyed by the modern Bateaux Mouches. It passes through Petite France, showing the operation of locks and the historic buildings in Strasbourg for example, the Alsatian Museum.
The audio guide recounted anecdotes bring the war of the religions when Christians and Calvinists were vying for territory and strife between France and Germany to win this land conquered by the Germans in 1870. It returned to France in 1918 before returning to Germany from 1940 to 1944. In fact, it is just across the German border, and I feel stronger admixture between the two cultural identities. Actually, the soul of the city is, at least for a two-day tourist like me, absolutely French.
Returning to the tour, the boat is also reaching the European zone. The Palace of Europe is home to the Council of Ministers, with the hemicycle wider Europe, while in the building ultra modern glass entirely there is the Palais des Droits de l'Homme, the European Court of Human rights.
Strasbourg also lends itself well to the wandering tourist, particularly in the Petite-France, the most special neighborhood of the city. Once here there were the homes of fishermen, tanners, and millers, which have now given way to atmospheric restaurants and clubs.
From the terrace of the Barrage Vauban, we enjoy a beautiful view of covered bridges, towers, and canals. At sunset, this city was enchanting.
The capital of the Alta Savoia, Annecy is a city of art with a wonderful architectural unity. Walking through the old town of Annecy is a real treat. With beautiful canals, the flowery banks, the adorable little bridges and its beautiful houses with colorful facades, Annecy lives up to its nickname of Venice of Savoie. It was a pleasure to walk along the canals or strolling the pleasant pedestrian streets!
In the heart of the Old Town, Palais de l'Isle was the old jail, and courthouse that now houses a museum. In the vicinity of this symbol of the twelfth century, Rue St. Clair was also rich with beautiful houses with porches that were a sight to behold. Overlooking the city, the Castle Museum, the former residence of the Counts of Geneva and the Dukes of Genevois-Nemours, is dedicated to archeology, anthropology, art, history and alpine lakes.
To conclude the visit in style, there is nothing better than a stroll along the beautiful Lake Annecy. The gardens of Europe, the Polyamory bridge crossing the Canal du Vassé, Avenue Albigny, tree-lined avenue of plane trees, and Champ de Mars are wonderful places that invite you to relax. To deepen the knowledge of the lake and surrounding mountains, visitors can take advantage of boat cruises and rent pedal boats or small motor boats.
France Travel Tips
The fantastic forest of Broceliande is an ideal place for those who love legends. It is said that Merlin has met the beloved Viviana at the Fountain of Barenton, whose waters are able to cure any disease. Do not miss the Port of Secrets, an interactive show for all ages that will introduce you to the secrets of the forest. At Saint-Malo, you can be catapulted into the distant past. With little ones, you can set sail on a real boat to take on the role of pirates.
At Carnac, you can walk in prehistoric times through to 3000 menhirs that arise in a forty-hectare site and are arranged in parallel rows a dozen four kilometers long. To pursue this issue you should visit the Prehistoric Museum of Carnac which houses one of the richest prehistoric collections.
For a holiday full of breathtaking beaches, raft rides in fabulous scenery and nature, Corsica is certainly a destination not to be missed. To combine adventure and desire, our advice is to go straight to Desert des Agriates, where you can aboard a horse-drawn carriage and reach the beautiful beaches of Plage de Loto and Saleccia. We also recommend a trip to the sea near the beautiful Straits of Bonifacio, which is a true spectacle of nature unique to the world.
And how to visit the city? Of course aboard a train, which is connected with all the main destinations on the French island. At Sartene is a wonderful Biopark where you can interact with the animals and ride ponies while Cupulatta is the largest European turtle protection center where you can admire the giant tortoises, those of the Seychelles and the Galapagos, just to name a few.
A trip to Provence is a colorful trip into a journey that is good for the eyes and the heart where children will be amazed by the ocher Roussillon, purple lavender, blue throats of the Verdon and the pink Camargue. You can watch the lavender in bloom from mid-June for the entire month of July and the most spectacular place for us was undoubtedly the Abbey of Senanque.
If what you want is a surprise, in the Camargue you can spot the pink flamingos in what is the largest brackish water lake in this region at Parc Ornithologique de Pont de Gau. From the beautiful village of Roussillon starts the route of ochres of the Luberon where children will have fun smearing colored powder on the path to a location, while in the Verdon Gorge can rediscover small Indiana Jones along the natural canyon in front of which it is hard not to be stupefied.
The Tour de France is one of the three men's road cycling Grand Tours and one of the most important sporting events in the world. Some steps and peaks have acquired over the years an almost mythical charm on the Alps and the Pyrenees. These are fixed points of the Tour and sometimes are even the Massif Central and the Vosges.