Paris sights and places to see

There are various ways to see Paris. You can do it on your own and discover things or you can go on a guided tour which will probably save you time but won’t give you the same feeling of working things out for yourself. You can hire a cab or walk and explore to your heart’s content. Walk down the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe and you pass some famous restaurants and hotels. Midway is the Rond Point and from there to the Place de la Concorde you may walk down a tree-lined avenue to Avenue Gabriel, where you find public buildings, including the Presidential Palace and, the American Embassy. At the Place de la Concorde you’ll encounter the Crillon and the Marine Ministry. About two blocks away is the Church of the Madeleine which is a must, as are Notre Dame on the Ile de La Cite and the Sainte Chapelle located inside the Palais de Justice, and which has the most beautiful stainedglass window arrangement in Europe. There are lectures and tours through the Great Cathedral that are most interesting. See also the Tuileries Gardens along the Rue de Rivoli, you can’t miss the Eiffel Tower or the Opera.

Go to the Left Bank and take a look at the Boul’ Mich, or, Boulevard St. Michel and the Latin Quarter. The Sorbonne is nearby and the Pantheon. The Luxembourg Gardens and Palace are here, too. Of course, climb the hill to Montmartre, with its twisting streets and many restaurants and cafes. Sacre Coeur stands on top of the hill and you get a magnificent view of the city below. Back in the heart of Paris you will, of course, see the Place Vendome, the Rue de la Paix. Take a stroll down the chain of Grands Boulevards: Boulevard de la Madeleine, Boulevard des Capucines, Boulevard des Italiens, Boulevard Poissonniere, Boulevard St. Denis, Boulevard St. Martin, which form a wide continuous avenue of shops and theaters.
Drive out through the Bois de Boulogne, with its lakes and fine restaurants and bridle paths. It’s charming.

Browse at the open book stalls along the Seine. Take a trip on the Seine River, on the colorful “Bateau Mouche,” and see all the familiar monuments from a different angle. Boat trips are 1 to 2 hours long, and some include lunch or dinner. Visit “Les Halles,” Paris’ central market at the end of a long night out, and have onion soup. Pay a visit to the Hotel des Invalides and Napoleon’s tomb. In fact, do anything that interests you. It is all fascinating.

Versailles-Fontainebleau .There are many short trips out of Paris to the environs which are practically musts. Versailles ‘is 12 miles away. Here are the gardens, the Palace of Louis XIV, the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon. You can see La Malmaison on this trip, too, the home of Napoleon and Josephine. Fontainebleau, with its Renaissance palace, its formal gardens, is fascinating. You can visit this on a standard tour or drive it in a cab. Fontainebleau, once a twelfth-century fortress, was reconstructed in the sixteenth century and eventually became the favorite residence of Napoleon. Drive through the 42,000-acre forest. During the summer in the gardens of Versailles and Fontainebleau there are fountain displays, Night Festivals with ancient dances, fireworks, etc. These nocturnal performances are a must, and tickets can easily be purchased in most of the travel agencies.Paris lies in the centre of a saucer-like hollow, protected by a circle of mighty forests – Fontainebleau, Rambouillet, Gompiegne, and others. These royal forests, each with its palace or chateau, give character to the Ile-de-France, a region otherwise flat and uninspiring.