What to do in Paris? Basically anything you want, you won´t run short on options any time soon. As you have abundance of things to do and places to see, the key to a successful trip is to pick out the right combination of sights and activities. With this story we set an example of a day trip to Paris.
The first day: Arrival and getting to know the city
Places and areas we visited on the map. (Routes are very aproximate)
Näytä suurempi kartta
We landed at the Charles de Gaulle airport at noon. After picking up the luggage we took the Roissy-bus shuttle to the downtown. The bus took us to Opera Garnier, right in the heart of the city. There we switched to the city bus number 42 to Rouelle –street in the 15th arrondissement. We had booked rooms at a hotel called Hotel Au Pacific on the Fondary –street (A street is called “rue” in French, so it would be rue Foundary in French) and we were in the hotel exactly two hours after our plane landed. Paris seems to have quite good connections for such a huge city.
Our neighborhood, the 15th arrondissement is quite cozy and truly French. Streets around the hotel Au Pacific are full of small shops and boutiques, which is typical Parisian style! Right after settling down we went for a lunch at Café du Commerceen, which is an old-school brasserie with traditional décor and furniture. The lunch was great there! On the rue Commerce you can find a lot of other cafés too, where you can sit back, sip an espresso coffee and look at busy Parisians walking by. Closest subway station to Foundary and Commerce –streets is called Motte-Piquet-Grenelle, where the subway lines 6, 8 and 10 cross paths. But this time we didn´t choose the obvious, the fast and easy subway, but headed off on foot instead.
We took a walk along the rue Commerce crossing the Boulevard Grenelle towards the Ècole Militaire, where we could already spot the Eiffel Tower in all it´s glory. We ended up in the park called Champ de Mars that lies between the Eiffel tower and the Military School. In the summer the park is great place to spend your time: trees give plenty of shade from the sun and the green grass is perfect for a picnic. You can also head straight to the Eiffel Tower, but be prepared for some waiting in line, because the tower is truly the tourist landmark in Paris.
We traversed along towards the other side of river Seine and Trocadero area. At trocadero lies the Palais de Chaillot, a magnificent structure built for the Universal Exhibition in 1937. We left the Trocadero and kept going southwest, alongside the river Seine. Along the riverside you can find for example a memorial for tens of thousands Parisian Jewish who were taken to Nazi death camps during WW2.
The route continued towards Ile aux Cygnes (meaning the Isle of the Swans), a little artificially made island in the Seine river. On the far corner of the island you can see a replica of the Statue of Liberty as the original was given as a gift to the United States by French government. There are actually 3 more Statue of Liberty copies in Paris. One in a museum called Musee des Arts et Metiers, Musée d´Orsay and the Jardin du Luxembourg garden.
From the Ile aux Cygnes we kept going along the avenue called Zola, through the Violet-street and headed back to our hotel for a good night´s sleep. The first day in Paris was just about to end.
Read on: Day 2 – From Left Bank to Notre Dame