And how to include some wellness
After I graduated from college, I went to live in Los Angeles and enjoy the summer with friends, before starting my real, adult job of teaching in the fall. I got a job working for a law firm as a library researcher—and I was in WAY over my head. In college, I’d worked in the BYU law library for three years, but my job mainly involved filing, labeling, and shelving the law books and periodicals. This new job involved law research. Needless to say, I had to do a LOT of faking it, and a lot of carefully watching my fellow researchers and trying to learn quickly on the job!
I’m sure you’ve felt overwhelmed by different experiences in life, but feeling overwhelmed by traveling to a new place should NOT be on that list! Part of my job is to help alleviate the overwhelm and give you some great ideas for what to do and see while you’re there, to get the most out of your experience.
A huge, iconic city like Paris can be a bit overwhelming. But once you read these suggestions, you’ll be a pro at sightseeing, along with including some wellness and fun along the way.
With over 130 to choose from within the Paris city limits, the challenge is choosing which museums to see and how much time to spend in them, since there is so much else to see and do in the city of lights.
There are historical museums, personal art museums, free museums, museums for the city of Paris, museums of international culture, science museums, museums for kids, museums that are monuments, modern art museums, special focus museums, church-based museums, decorative arts, and special exhibitions, just to name some!
The Louvre Museum is the most famous museum in the world. It is always crowded with extremely long lines. You’ll definitely want to contact me about getting your ticket before arriving, so that you won’t have to wait in a super long line at the security entrance and in a ticket line inside the lobby. Another tip: to avoid crowds, try to visit on a weekday morning!
The Trocadero Gardens were built for the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris and are home to a maritime and architecture museum, plus the Paris Aquarium. From the Trocadero place, you get an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower and can play with perspective; you can have fun holding the Eiffel tower in their hands.
A few details you need to know before you go to Trocadero: it’s free, and takes about 24 minutes to walk from the Arc de Triomphe.
The beautiful Eiffel Tower is famous the world over, and there are several ways to enjoy it. You can see it from anywhere in the city, but to get up close & personal you might want to buy a ticket. The most popular Eiffel Tower tickets are for guided tours to the second floor, tours to the summit, and local short Seine River cruises to enjoy the view.
The Trocadero gardens are perfectly lined up with the Eiffel Tower, and are the best destination for a view of the nightly light show. The lights come on every night as soon as it gets dark, and light up for 5 minutes every hour on the hour until 1 am. As soon as the first twinkle starts, you’ll hear the crowd gasp and cheer while pulling out their phones and cameras to capture the magical moment. It’s free, always open, and accessible to everyone.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe Paris, the most monumental of all triumphal arches, stands at the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, also known as the "Place de l'Étoile.” It’s located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées.
The triumphal arch is in honor of those who fought for France, in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. Engraved on the inside and at the top of the arch are all of the names of the generals and wars fought.
Under the city of Paris lie the bones of over 6 million former Parisiens. The catacombs were originally built because the local cemeteries were overflowing in the 1700’s. The local leaders wanted to discreetly transfer the bones to the city center, so these catacombs were built and the remains were carefully brought to these limestone passages and rooms. Small group tours operate here, to make sure that the requirement is met of allowing only 200 people at a time to this fragile and remarkable site.
Versailles was built by King Louis XIV in the 1600’s, and is located about 12 miles outside of Paris. When you visit Versailles, plan to take most of the day! This amazing location, which includes gardens, palaces, 60,000 pieces of art, and fountains, spans almost 2000 acres!
Wellness in Paris
Passerelles: 37 bridges cross the Seine River in Paris, and six of them are pedestrian bridges, or passerelles. Make sure you walk across at least one of them! The most famous Parisien bridge is the pont des Arts, which was created to look like a garden hanging over the river and is right by the Louvre.
Visit a spa: There are SO many spas throughout the city. One example is the Phytomer Spa Trocadero, where you could get a mani or pedicure, a body scrub and massage, a detox marine cocoon body wrap, anti-wrinkle or anti-pollution facial, or one of many massages.
Bike tours: I love bike tours because they're usually small and because they take you to out-of-the-way local places which you'd never experience otherwise! You could take a bike tour plus a mini Seine River cruise, either during the daytime or nighttime, or take a bike tour at Versailles, which includes a skip-the-line entrance to the Versailles Palace.
Don't get overwhelmed by Paris: travel with a group!
On our river cruise October 14-21, 2023, we'll start in Paris, with the chance to visit lots of the highlights listed above, plus others such as the Sorbonne University, the 400-year-old Luxembourg Gardens, the Champs-Elysees, and the Latin Quarter. Contact me for more information.