Is Paris the capital of romance?

Ahh Paris.

They say that Paris is the most romantic city in the world. But is all the ooh la la hoopla surrounding it, deserving of their reputation? We’ll put that theory to the test, when these two first-time visitors take on this Parisian city later this summer.

I have a suspicion that Paris will give Venice a run for its money. And Rome, and Florence, and oh yeah, Santa Margherita and Positano and Naples. It seems that every new destination that we experience, leaves us loving it more than the last.

We’ll never forget navigating our rented Audi around that final bend in the mountain to witness the breathtaking beauty of Amalfi. Or strolling the meandering narrow cobble-stoned alleyways cluttered with cafés and shops in Naples. It’s fresh, it’s new, it’s exciting. It’s inspiring and it’s what we love. So Paris, you’re in for it. And we look forward to everything you’ve got.

And with so much to see, in so little time, I’ve narrowed down our ‘must-do-and-see’ list to the following five along with one really big one.

So, let’s just start there. The really big one.

Eiffel Tower

We’re not going to Paris without taking in this countries biggest tourist attraction! But I’m cringing as I say that. Dishing out Euros for entry into touristy tourist attractions, lining up with hordes of people (for sometimes hours) just doesn’t work well with this couple.

But, most of this can be avoided if you plan ahead. And the monuments official site, LaTourEiffel encourages you to do just that. To witness its stunning views of the city, you’ll need to purchase your tickets online in advance, but did you know that you’ll need to choose your time as well? Research and homework are in store for this couple.

Cruise on the Seine

I know Mary will love this. How does a dinner and cruise sound? An oh so romantic and unforgettable jaunt along the Seine river. During our 4-hour cruise, the Nikon will be in overdrive taking every opportunity to capture breathtaking images of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum and those beautiful bridges that will pass over us. Stay tuned for these photos, as we’ll be sharing them in a blog upon our return.

Mona Lisa

We’re not museum or gallery people, but we can’t leave Paris without seeing the smile on Mona Lisa’s face. At some point we’ll have to join the line to pay homage to the Louvre museum. But do we? Once again we’ll need to plan our time (like maybe how to jump the que to see Mona) for this little outing and their official website suggests as much. You could probably spend days shuffling through the endless corridors of this cathedral but here’s an idea. Well, it actually comes courtesy of  The Secrets of Paris’ Heather Stimmler-Hall who suggests that after dark visits are best if you want to avoid the crowds. (Nights open until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays). Since groups tend to visit in the mornings, kids tire out early, and almost everyone else is off to dinner, you’ll avoid both ticket lines and crowds. Apparently the Louvre’s top floor Richelieu wing of European paintings is practically deserted. Sounds like a plan.

The Champs-Elysées

We just can’t leave Paris without having seen this historic icon. For all its glory and grandeur of The Champs-Elysées, the most beautiful and famous avenue in the world. The monuments like Arc de Triomphe and history connected to this avenue will be well-worth an afternoon stroll. Mary will love the idea of meandering along the massive sidewalks with their elegant facades, and expensive boutiques. Window-shopping (and restraint) will be in order especially when she sees the flagship stores of Louis Vuitton, Lacoste and Cartier are all right here.

Notre Dame de Paris

Well it wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without visiting yet another church. Famous, brimming with history, grandiose in architecture, we love it all. Notre Dame cathedral was originally built-in the 12th century, and is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture that took a mere 300 years to finally complete construction. This historic icon remains the biggest draw for visitors from around the world. And here’s something odd, it’s free!

Ritz Hotel

We’ll top off an evening with a visit to the most famous bar in the world. Bar Hemingway at the newly renovated Ritz Hotel. With much anticipation, our goal is to apprehend a couple of bar stools, savor a few world-class cocktails and people watch as we relax and unwind from our busy day. The bar at The Ritz in Paris was where Hemingway whiled away many a drinking hour. But, I’ll bet he wasn’t paying the current price of 23 Euros for a cocktail. Maybe we’ll just share a drink.

Back to you

Have you been to Paris? There’s a whole bunch more to explore but given the time restriction (3 full days) we keep having to narrow the list. Let us know if you have a favorite ‘must-see’ that we’ll just have to squeeze in.

Otherwise, stay connected and look for the photos in our follow-up blog.

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