The Sacré Coeur Basilica, sitting atop the Montmartre Hill, has one of the best vistas in Paris. It is a bit of a hike up the winding streets and the 222 steps. But you’ll be rewarded by beautiful houses, churches, parks and even a vineyard in Paris! This walk provides opportunities to sample caricatures by the local artists. Who knows, you might even have time to stop for a drink and a show at the Cabaret Le Lapin Agile.
Discover the Paris village of la Butte aux Cailles with its low rise houses and laid back atmosphere. Cobble streets and passageways wind their ways from quiet villas to local restaurants, bakeries, brasseries and family run shops. From small public gardens, to old buildings such as the Romanesque Byzantine Church Sainte Anne, or the Place de la Commune de Paris where the 1871 Paris uprising was fought, history quietly accompanies your steps far from the tourist crowds.
Left bank (rive gauche) or right bank (rive droite) of the Seine River? This long walk (or jog) will take you from the Eiffel Tower across Paris, all the way to the Latin Quarter. Cross bridges to discover imposing palaces, museums and gardens as you discover the riverside of Paris. From the Tuileries gardens, to the National Assembly, rest along the banks as tour boats and stately barges sail by.
Walk the nooks of the old Roman city of Lutetia at the heart of Paris. Marvel at the learned professors (and reveling students) of one of Europe’s oldest medieval universities, the Sorbonne. The Latin Quarter is home of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Pantheon, cobblestone streets, countless churches and even the Great Mosque of Paris. Streets are lined with bookstores (from mangas to scholarly tomes), cafés and hole in the wall party hotspots.
Although most deciduous trees in the Jardin des Plantes are still bare-branched, you can't miss the cherry trees (and related species such as apple, pear) blooming in a riot of white and pink! The most remarkable must be the Japanese Cherry Shirotae (Prunus serrulata shirotae) along the central main allée, with its low branches that seem to ply under the weight of a thousand white flowers.
The Musée Guimet is friendly to babies and prams, any day including weekends. There is an easy sloping ramp on the left handside for prams and wheelchairs. The museum has impressive collections of Asian arts and civilisations from Borneo to the Hindu Kush, Greco-Bactrian to Meiji.
Our baby boy loves opera and ballet. Is it the singing or the music or a bit of both? While he's still too young to enjoy a full performance of Carmen or the Swan Lake, we thought we'd try touring the Opéra de Paris.
Located a stone's throw away from the Tour Eiffel, the Quai Branly is a great museum to visit with kids. It showcases beautiful pieces from the four continents, from huge totems and masks to everyday objects and musical instruments.
Here's another reason to celebrate! Head to one of Paris' quartiers chinois (Chinatowns) and celebrate the Lunar New Year! Celebrations last two weeks, until the day of the first full moon after New Year.
After helping yet another haggard-looking lost tourist in the Paris métro today (this Scandinavian gentleman nearly hugged me out of relief when I indicated which corridor he should follow!