8 Reasons to Visit Paris Right Now

As Dan and I prepare for our upcoming trip to France and Italy, I can’t help but reminisce about the last time I was in France. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know my family spent about two weeks staying with my grandparents in Chaumont back in 2014, and squeezed in a couple of days in Paris before flying back to the States. It was a trip that changed my life.

To some people, Paris is over-hyped, over-advertised, overrated. It’s not all that, they say. To each their own. I worried that, after romanticizing Paris and building it up for over a decade, I might be disappointed. What if all the naysayers were right?

The Stunning View of the Eiffel Tower from Notre Dame
The stunning view of Paris from the towers of Notre Dame de Paris.

I’m happy to report that was not the case. Paris was everything I hoped it would be, and I’m so ready to fall back under her spell in just a few months. It’s a place everyone should visit at least once in their life – especially if you think you’ll hate it! Try not to be charmed by the intricate details of the buildings, the avenues, and the history on every street corner. Here are a few reasons why I think everyone should visit Paris at least once.

The Food

Crepes From Les Galandines Near Notre Dame, Paris
Stopping for takeaway crepes after a blissful morning at Notre Dame.

Let’s start with the obvious. Great food is practically a hallmark of Europe, and Paris is no exception. While in the city, our limited budget meant filling up on the complimentary hotel breakfast and eating throughout the day at casual restaurants and creperies. I don’t think we ate a single bad meal in Paris, but my favorite was probably eating crepes on the run between climbing the towers of Notre Dame and catching a bus to the Eiffel Tower. And for those who can afford to add a bit of luxury to their trip, Paris is home to dozens of Michelin-starred restaurants.

The Monuments

Looking Up at the Gargoyles of Notre Dame de ParisA Line of People Winds Around the Pyramids of the Louvre, ParisFamily Photo in Front of Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris

Because you can’t go to Paris and not get a photo of the Eiffel Tower. My personal can’t miss experience is the eternal Notre Dame de Paris, but truly, there are so many iconic buildings to visit.

Step Back into the 1920’s

Artists have been trying to capture the essence of Paris for centuries. I’m a sucker for the era of Fitzgerald and Hemingway, and reading about Paris in the 20’s is enough to sweep me off my feet. Seeing some of the places mentioned in A Moveable Feast was a real treat, and better yet is feeling that sense of the la vie boheme still alive in many parts of Paris.

The French Women

Does this even need to be said? There’s a reason we in the states have a fascination with the casual-cool, effortless beauty of French women. From capsule wardrobes to French beauty staples like Caudalie, there really is nothing not to like. And while we’re talking about French people, the stereotype of rude Parisians is a little unfair. Like any major city, it has its share of scam artists and downright rude people, but the majority of the people we talked to were friendly and happy to share their city with us. From happy, joke-cracking shopkeepers to the Catacombs employees catering day-in and day-out to hordes of tourists, we were treated kindly and with more interest than disgust throughout our trip.

Beauty is Everywhere

The Carved Ceiling Detail at the Arc de Triomphe, ParisHeavenly Statue in the Montparnasse Cemetary

Sepulchre in the Montparnasse Cemetary of Paris
Even the cemeteries are oddly beautiful.

When traveling, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the big sights, masses of people, and dizzying public transit options. Paris has so many beautiful sights, but for me it’s the little details that give the city that sense of je ne sais quoi. There is beauty around every Parisian corner, and finding beauty in the small things makes me feel so much more appreciative and alive. Plus, it’s heaven for this lover of beautiful doors!

History and Art

If your perfect vacation includes napping on a beach all day and whiling away the hours at all-you-can-eat buffets, maybe Paris isn’t the city for you. Now, I like a good beach day here and there, but my ideal vacation would be spent getting lost in a maze of charming streets and soaking up the local culture. Paris has no shortage of world-famous museums and historical monuments, each begging to be explored. If art and history are your thing, you certainly won’t be bored in Paris.

The Parks & Gardens

Statues Outside the Louvre in Paris

It is increasingly rare to find sprawling green spaces in metropolitan cities, but Paris is full of them! Over our two days in the city last summer, we only had time to stroll through the famous Tuileries gardens, but there are so many more worth mentioning. I love the relaxed vibe of a city that celebrates picnics in the park, the beauty of nature, and long walks to nowhere in particular.

The Parisian Attitude

Paris as a whole has such a relaxed vibe. Compared to major U.S. cities, where the mottos seem to be “Go, go, go,” and “More, more more,” it’s refreshing to spend some time in a city which values, well…taking some time! Here, it’s all about enjoying life. From lengthy, multi-course meals (and plenty of wine) to strolls in the park, to just breathing the city in, Paris is a great place to recharge and get some perspective on life.

Beautiful Buildings on a Typical Parisian Avenue

Of course, Paris also serves as a fashion icon, and people flock to it from all over the world to see Fashion Week models and everyday people alike. Aside from picking up a few souvenirs and my fair share of wine, however, I didn’t do any shopping in Paris. I visited Paris for the sights, the food and the Insta-worthy photos, but I left feeling like I understood what it is that draws people from all walks of life to the city. There is something for everyone, from the brand-hungry fashionistas, to the future Hemingways, to the history buffs. Many people have tried to explain what it is that makes Paris, well, Paris. It is truly a city unlike any other, and if you ask me, it’s due to the French people’s emphasis on personal wellness and taking time to smell the roses, rather than rush about missing the beauty right under their noses. Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Take the time to breathe it in.

10 thoughts on “8 Reasons to Visit Paris Right Now”

  • I loved Paris on my first visit in 2010 and I really hope I get to go back sometime soon so I can see if I feel the same way. I loved the green spaces and the people watching best of all.

  • I really liked Paris when I visited – for exactly the reasons you list! I love the food, the monuments and definitely the la vie boheme attitude that lingers in certain places. I think that’s probably why my favorite area is Montmartre and my favorite monument the Sacre Coure – i just love sitting on the hill with the Sacre Coure lit up behind you as the sun sets over Paris. Amazing!

  • I like your points. I would probably add wines to the list, but, arguably, it could be part of the food.

    Reading your post though made me think about travelers’ tendency of trying to convince friends, family, readers of visiting some particular place. Granted, I am guilty of doing the same quite often too, but recently I had an encounter with one of my relatives that made me think about the futility of these attempts. Essentially, she has her mind set and does not bother with even listening to anything new. Sad. I wonder how many people like this are in the world.

    • Wine absolutely is worth mentioning! I think it all ties in with the idea of just enjoying life, taking long walks and drawn-out meals, etc. I admire the way the French live.

      And yes, I agree there are some people who just don’t want to give a place a chance! Their loss. 😉

  • I love Paris! I too get confused when people say it’s not that great. To each their own though. I’ll be back in September and I can’t wait!

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