"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

Shilo’s Top Ten Paris

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I have lived in Paris twice, worked there as a guide and interpreter and visited the beautiful, historic city several times more- but never enough. Out of all the wonderful, amazing things to do in the city, these are my Top Ten.

  1. Musée Rodin: Not only a museum but the former home of the amazing sculptor August Rodin, you will find a well-kept rose garden, The Thinker, and many more unfinished sculptures, for Rodin believed that art, like life, is never finished.
  2. The Catacombs: Over twenty million skeletons rest underneath the streets of the Montparnasse neighborhood, arranged by type, not owner, and often artistically. Deep underground you walk, walk, walk, and then walk some more through this “Empire of Death.” Bring a flashlight.
  3. Ile de la Cité: Go at sunset to the birthplace of Paris with a picnic in hand, and watch the buildings of Paris turn pink as night falls and you share the evening with the youth of the city, out for the very same reasons as you.
  4. Boul’ Mich’: The artery of the Latin Quarter, the Boulevard Saint-Michel, is a throbbing lane of students and madness swirling around. Cheap cafes, restaurants, bookstores and clothing shops abound.
  5. La Defense: This giant, modern arch to the west of the city is where I like to go when the crowds get to me; indulge in the crazy fountains and modern art sculptures or go up to the top of La Grande Arche, so giant that all of Notre Dame cathedral could fit inside.
  6. Champ de Mars: Right under the Eiffel Tower, there is no  better picnic-and-party spot in Paris and perhaps the world. Visit on Bastille Day (July 14) and you will find one of the most raucous parties ever, complete with flinging fireworks and plenty of wine.
  7. Mouffetard and Place Monge Markets: Rue Mouffetard was the ancient street from Paris to Rome, and medieval murals still line this cobblestoned street which fills up with vendors every day but Monday. The nearby Place Monge market is open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays and adds to the village atmosphere. Go before noon for the best goods.
  8. Père Lachaise Cemetery: While it is a little freaky to hang out in a graveyard, Père Lachaise is not just the famous resting place of Jim Morrison, Gertrude Stein, and Oscar Wilde, but a bonafide sculpture garden and art museum, beloved by any with a gothic turn of heart or a dark streak down their back.
  9. Dali Museum: It’s like, SO SURREAL! If you like your art with a slice of freak, head up to Montmartre for the small but densely packed Dali Museum, filled with sculptures, sketches, paintings, melting clocks, optical illusions and yes, that giant mustache.
  10. Random Café #46 with glass of wine: This is my favorite activity in all of Paris and maybe the world- sitting, sipping, relaxing, and watching the beautiful people swirl around you as you contemplate life. Santé!

Author: worldromper

I write, wrestle wiener dogs, win big at skee-ball and wander at large on a world-size scale.

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