by Steve Smith
‘’When good Americans die they go to Paris’’ according to Oscar Wilde. He obviously felt that Paris was the next thing to heaven. It is a city that has captured the imagination of people far beyond the borders of France. The metropolitan area of Paris has a population of around 12 million due to the employment opportunities the city provides. Paris is regarded as one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. It is regularly used in a descriptive sense to give the reader an idea of how impressive a particular city is elsewhere in the world. Any city described as the ‘’Paris of the East’’ for example will immediately capture the travelers’ attention.
Paris sits either side of the River Seine in Northern France and offers visitors culture, history, fashion and cuisine. Parts of the city have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site; landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe are the reason why almost 50 million visit the city each year. There are many Michelin restaurants in Paris with French cuisine one of the most respected in the world.
The well-developed tourist infrastructure makes a visit to Paris a real pleasure. City life can be expensive but there is accommodation available for most budgets and it is possible to eat well without having to go to an expensive restaurant. There are plenty of organized tours to introduce a newcomer to Paris. Armed with a Museum Pass locals and tourists alike can enter many of the museums and galleries as well as monuments that require some form of payment. Not only are such passes value for money those with a pass have no need to queue which can be frustrating in the main tourist weeks.
There is so much to see and do that it is worth planning the trip in advance. Just look at this brief list of what Paris can offer and you will realize that your time in the city is precious:
There are areas as well as landmarks. Montmartre attracts artists whose visitors can watch as they paint. Within walking distance, down the stairs is the famous Moulin Rouge; Paris never sleeps and has a great nightlife If you have too late a night that might stop you making an early start the next day. It is up to you how you spend your days in Paris; they are likely to be memorable. Oscar Wilde was right.
What is your favorite memory of Paris? Please share in the comments!
Steve Smith graduated in Politics from Liverpool University; he has worked abroad and in the UK and travelled for most of his life, mostly for holidays. After visiting Istanbul and the Turquoise Coast in South West Turkey he has made the country his home.