Posted 14 March 2023 in Travel Wanderlust

Reasons why you should say ‘Bonjour’ Paris

Every romantic Hollywood movie and fashion magazine is incomplete without the mention of Paris, which is often referred to as the ‘City of Love’. The epitome of fancy European culture, the city houses the best couturiers in the world, and some of the most famous and luxurious brands. Since the settlement of the Celtic people called Parisii in the 3rd century B.C., Paris has emerged as the nucleus for commerce, trade, industry, and art. This place has inspired so many artists to create some of their most famous art pieces and is home to several brilliant minds. 

Famous landmarks

The various landmarks, some extravagant while others humble, stand as a reminder of the city’s fascinating history. All of them stood the test of time and have an exquisite air of culture to them. Not only do these landmarks possess historical value but are outstanding examples of French architecture and art. 

Some of the beautiful landmarks are

Eiffel Tower

At a massive length of 312 metres, the tower looms over the city. It is the most visited place in Paris and you will never find this place devoid of visitors. It was constructed for the 1889 World Trade Fair, but over the years it has become the symbol of Paris. One can go up the tower and visit the gift shop, dine in the luxurious Jules Verne on the second floor, or go to the third floor and look at the view of the French Capital.

Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral

 It has been witness to many empires, kings, events, and still stands in its glory today. It is a medieval Catholic Cathedral that took two centuries to build. It is a classic example of French-gothic architecture and has hosted many historical events like the coronation of Napolean Bonaparte. Lady of Paris, as it translates, this place is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is a massive structure with rose-tinted glasses and splendid paintings. It has high ceilings and huge bells, which novelist Victor Hugo also mentioned in his book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The Cathedral is still undergoing minor repairs to restore the architecture to its original resplendent state after a fire in 2019. 

Basilica of the Sacre Coeur

It is located on the highest point in Paris, atop the hill Montmarte. It was built to commemorate the French victims of the Franco-Prussian War. A Roman Catholic Byzantine Church, it has four small domes and a single massive one in the middle. It is one of the most visited places in Paris. The floor mosaic inside, and the statues of Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX are worth adoration. It also houses five bells, four minor ones and the largest one named, The Savoyarde, which is only rung on special occasions. 


Inspired by the Roman Pantheon, it is located in the Latin Quarter, on top of the Montagne Sainte-Genevieve. It is a memorial monument that was built to house the crypt of famous French personalities like Voltaire and Rousseau. The facade of the structure has an obvious Greek inspiration with the tall pillars and the dome made of stone. 

La Conciergerie

Previously a courthouse and prison, which held Marie Antoinette and others prisoners during the French Revolution, it now functions as a national monument and museum. The landmark is accessible to tourists for visits. One can get a glimpse of the vast history of France through a visit to La Conciergerie. 

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The exquisite cuisine

Paris can truly be called a centre of gastronomy with over 400 restaurants and cafés, a good number of them being Michelin-starrer. Paris knows good soul food and serves an excellent array of them daily. Here are some of them:

  • Boeuf Bourguignon: It is made with beef stew, potatoes, onions, and French red wine.
  • Soup à L’oignon: It is known worldwide for its scrumptious taste made with butter, onions, mushrooms, cheese, and red wine.
  • Foie Gras: It is also a luxurious dish that originated in the south of France. It is served as an appetiser in most restaurants with bread.
  • Escargot: This dish is typically served with parsley, butter, and your choice of wine. 
  • Crème Brûlée: No meal is complete in Paris without a Crème Brûlée at the end. Served in a bowl, it is a creamy custard topped with caramelised sugar.

Parisian café culture

Café culture in Paris is more than just serving food and wine. It includes the Parisian art of sitting in neatly arranged arrays of wicker chairs, enjoying your beverage with something to bite while gazing at the architecture around. Do try the pastries. While here, visit:

  • Café De Flore: A favourite among notable writers and personalities like Albert Camus, Pablo Picasso, Simone De Beauvoir, and Jean-Paul-Sartre, the café lives up to its name and is a definite visit for all tourists. The items can run on the pricier side because of the legendary status and bustling crowds. However, the coffee served in little porcelain cups with its classic green insignia is a delight to the taste buds. 
  • Les Deux Magots: Often considered a rival to Café De Flore, it has its fair share of famous visitors like Hemingway, F.Scott Fitzgerald, and Picasso. Places like these were considered intellectual centres for political discussions and literary movements. Les Deux Magots has maintained its literary reputation with its annual award for writers, to promote literature. The pastry cart and the rich hot chocolate are among the most sought-after items. 
  • Shakespeare and Company: It was previously a bookstore and inspiration for the then-budding writers like Hemingway and James Joyce. Located only a short distance from The Notre Dame, it has been converted into a bookstore with a café to keep on the tradition but to also add a modern element to it. It serves tasty bagels and carrot cake that you must try while browsing the books.

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Shopping in the fashion capital of the world

Whether you are into fashion or not, Paris has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping. Starting from luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Jacquemus to vintage art collections in the local Parisian flea market, some of the places to shop from are:

  • Boulevard Saint Germain: Famous for its assortments of cafés, retail stores and hotels to stay in, the Boulevard stretches over an area of 3-4 km. You are guaranteed to find a chic collection of party and formal wear. Everything that is in style can be found here. If you do not wish to shop, then you can always take a long relaxing walk in the streets that offers a great view.
  • Le Marais: It is a certain place to find good thrift stores and vintage pieces from both designer and lesser-known 90’s brands. This area also has several restaurants to lounge at in between your browsing. The best time to visit it is on Sundays.
  • Triangle D’or: It is a high-end haute couture place to shop from. Also known as the Golden Triangle, it has shops that date back to the late 18th century. The birthplace of luxury fashion and haute couture, Triangle D’or holds incredible historical significance.
  • Rue De Rivoli: It has a central location with the Louvre and the Tuileries Garden located on either side. It is a long stretch of elegant shops, small boutiques, and multiple stores to shop souvenirs, art, accessories, or knick-knacks from. 
  • Saint-Ouen Flea Market: It is one of the oldest shopping places in Paris. It has vintage clothes, pottery items, small decor pieces for your house, and other tasteful things. 

Aesthetic museums and art galleries 

Paris is incomplete without its famous museums and art galleries. An amalgamation of intricate architecture, the subtle details, French style of art, and several well-known artists the city has inspired, are enough reasons for Paris to be every person’s dream.

  • The Louvre: Among the most prominent museums in the world, it is the second-largest art museum. The museum has over 35,000 pieces of art including the famous painting, Mona Lisa. The art and sculpture collection ranges from ancient and medieval to contemporary and modern art. It also has a few cafés in the museum to offer refreshments. One of the commendable qualities of the museum is its interest in keeping up with modern times and including representation. 
  • Musee d’Orsay: Located on the left bank of the River Seine, it is definitely a place for viewing collections of fine arts, ranging from skilful Monet to Van Gogh. It also hosts a good amount of Art Nouveau era decorative art, impressionist paintings, and post-impressionist paintings. It is an old train station converted into a modern and impressive museum with a fantastic view.
  • Galeries Nationales Du Grand Palais: Originally built for the Exposition Universelle in 1990, it was reopened in 2005. It went on to be a hit and hosted some of the most prestigious art exhibitions, displaying works of Irving Penn, Paul Gaugin, and others. It has a steel-framed roof made of glass, with a colourful eye-catching exterior. 
  • Musee De Orangerie: Monet expressed his romantic etherealism through his art, especially his painting of the water lilies which is displayed in this museum in all its esteemed glory. The plain yet simple background of the museum does a good job of highlighting the paintings and their details. One can also find several impressionist and post-impressionist art here. 
  • Musee D’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris: This museum is known for its monumental collection of modern art. It includes cubists, fauves, Sonia and Robert Delaunays, Rouault, and others. It even includes Matisse and Picasso.

Travel tips

  • Book your accommodation in Paris months in advance. 
  • It is advisable to book reservations for restaurants you want to visit to avoid long queues.
  • It is customary to greet the people in a restaurant or a store with “Bonjour” in the mornings and “Bonsoir” in the evenings.
  • Use the metros for travelling on a budget.
  • Do not order bottled water in a restaurant. Water is free of cost.
  • Many tourist attractions are closed on Sunday. Plan your trip accordingly.

How to reach

The capital of France is well-connected and easy to access via flights, trains or roads. 

  • By air: You can book IndiGo flights to Paris from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. The most used international airport in Paris is Charles De Gaulle and it remains the most accessible. 
  • By road: Paris is connected to almost all major European cities via Eurolines. You can avail of services of the state buses or the Flixbus, Megabus, and others. Paris also has an international bus terminal. It has excellent expressways in case you decide to travel by car. 
  • By rail: Paris has several train stations, and you can catch the Eurostar to come and go to other destinations in Europe like Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal or even various other parts of France like Normandy. 


Paris experiences a temperate climate. The summers are warm, and the winters are cold and chilly. The maximum temperature can rise to 24°C in the summer months. The minimum temperature drops to 1.4°C in the winter, especially in January. 

Best time to travel

Paris has mild and enjoyable weather throughout the year. However, the best time to travel is in the spring from March to May. The days are longer and there are several events taking place in the city. The city is alive with tourists and eateries serve excellent seasonal food. However, the prices are also higher due to it being the tourist season. If you want to avoid crowds and are on a tight budget, then you should visit in the fall from September to mid-November. The prices are lower, and Paris is more serene. 


Whether it is to have the most delicious pastries with a view, rejuvenate your love for art, history and culture, or just soak in the delights of this wonderful city, Paris is a dream come true. 

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