With so much to see and do in Paris, managing time can be a real issue, even for the most experienced traveler. Having a guide who knows their way around can be invaluable; the only thing better would be skipping the huge lines at the most popular sites. Could it be possible to pull off both? Yes! By booking Viator’s Best of Paris Tour, we accomplished this seemingly impossible feat.
The French invented the word gourmet, and the food that accompanies it. You can’t talk about a trip to France without out talking about the food. Food is a huge part of the country’s culture. What better way to experience it with a local guide leading us on a food and market tour of the Bastille district to some local gems. The Bastille district is infamous from the storming of the Bastille prison that stood in this neighborhood during the time of the revolution. However, there is much more to it now and we are going to taste it.
They do eat some strange things here, but so much of it is so good that it’s worth it to get to know the cuisine better. And with the many food tours in Paris on offer, you can be sure to order with confidence – and chow down to your heart’s delight!
It’s macabre and seems a little untoward to visit the site of human remains with a camera in hand. That being said, I’ve done it several times before, and have found beauty and cause for reflection during such excursions, which has encouraged me to do it again. And I was most deeply intrigued to venture deep underground Paris to visit the famed catacombs – piles of bones from 7 million former Parisians, spanning 13 centuries? It is truly a must-see. But not first without skipping the 3-4 hour line-up that exists outside the entrance during the peak season of summer – the crowd wrapped around the entire block and passed the beginning of the line. Our guide for the small-group Catacombs tour had been up early to wait in the queue on our behalf, and we were able to get in within the first thirty minutes of opening.
Patience is not a virtue of mine, and on several previous attempts I had arrived at the Louvre to find this deep queue. I quickly turned away and instead tackled the next on my to-see list – I did want to get inside but am not that devote of an art lover to waste several hours moving towards the entrance only inches at a time. Problem solved: I found my way in with a Skip-the-Line tour of the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay. Not only would I be skipping that long line, but I’d sample two of Paris’ best museums in one day, and do so in a small group setting.
The region in which Paris is located is called the Île-de-France – something you might not know right off-hand, but it’s a thing you’ll see in Paris often – especially in weather reports on TV. The reasons why it is called the “Island of France” is up for debate, but it’s the region’s name just the same. And the way Parisians behave sometimes, it’s like they think they’re on their own little island of fabulous!
In 2002, several European cities decided to have a “white night” – an evening in which popular monuments, museums and historical sites were open for free to the public. Some were a success, while others failed. Paris came out a clear winner, and today they still hold a yearly “Nuit Blanche” for everyone to enjoy. If you’re in town for it, here is what you can expect.
Paris’s Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most recognizable structures and if you think it’s impressive during the day it’s even more so at night. We visited the tour as part of the Eiffel Tower sunset tour. A trip to the tower at night is a must on any Paris itinerary.
What sets the VIP tour of Versailles with private viewing of the Royal Quarters apart from others of the Versailles complex is that we got to go places that most tourist don’t get to go, the best part, the king’s chambers. Most people that visit the palace miss some of the most beautiful and interesting rooms because they are protected. The rooms can only be seen on a special tour, hand guided by museum staff. The king’s apartments were the height of elegance with pounds of gold leaf covering hand carved oak details, silks from the orient, and other exotic items from around the world.