Read my article originally published on The Daily Meal HERE.
Paris is a magical destination filled with iconic attractions and hidden treasures throughout the city. Visitors are drawn to the many cozy cafés, romantic streets, designer boutiques and museums that hold historic pieces of artwork.
From the most awe-inspiring panoramic views to the best shops to try macarons, here are the top ten things you should do before leaving Paris.
1. The Louvre at Night
The Louvre Museum is one of the largest museums in the world, but can sometimes feel crowded and overwhelming. What many tourists don't know is that when the sun goes down, the Louvre becomes intimate and quiet, allowing guests to fully indulge in the impressive art collections. Discovering the Louvre at night can be one of the most memorable highlights of a Parisian getaway.
2. Eat Escargot
If you don't try escargot in Paris, you're doing it wrong. As one of France's most iconic delicacies, it's a popular dish and essential to enjoying the authentic taste of France. There's different varieties, but they're usually served in a garlic parley butter sauce.
3. Picnic by the Seine River
Head to the open-air market and pick up some freshly baked baguettes, cheeses and wine to enjoy a lovely picnic lunch on the banks of the Seine River. Better yet, wait to watch the sun go down for an incredible sunset view of the city.
4. Walk the Bridges
The Seine River and its bridges have always been central to life in Paris. Perhaps one of the most famous bridges, the "lovelock bridge", is popular among couples for its symbolic meaning and sentimental messages.
5. Taste Macarons and Chocolates
Paris is home to some of the best sweets, especially when it comes to macarons and chocolate. Ladurée is a famous pâtisserie, or pasty shop, in Paris that is well-known for its yummy, rainbow-colored assortment of macarons. For the best hot chocolate in Paris, head to Angelina, where they serve a thick hot chocolate with a dollop of mascarpone and whipped cream.
6. Dinner with a View
Want to enjoy your meal with an incredible view? Kong is a trendy restaurant that boasts a glass-top indoor roof terrace with terrific views of central Paris. The restaurant draws in club-goers and newbies to the Paris scene for its decor, music and atmosphere. Kong is a must-try for its quality fusion cuisine such as Japanese black truffle udon noodles, pan fried tuna steak and peking duck spring rolls.
7. Top of the Eiffel Tower
One of the most photo-worthy spots in Paris can be found at the very top of the iconic Eiffel Tower. A check off the bucket list for most, The Eiffel Tower has become the most recognized feature of the Paris skyline, yet still manages to amaze. At the very top level of this landmark there are several stunning panoramic views of the city from various viewing platforms that are perfect for great photographs.
8. Stroll through Champs-Élysées
Stroll down one of the greatest avenues in the world, the Champs-Élysées, to find beautiful gardens, centuries-old architecture and high-end designer shopping. This fashionable avenue is filled with stylish cafés and restaurants and is a common route leading straight to the Arc de Triomphe.
9. Climb the Arc De Triomphe
For those seeking a bird's-eye view of Paris without the long lines, the Arc de Triomphe is a must. After climbing approximately 280 steps, visitors can enjoy panoramic views down all twelve of the city’s grand boulevards from the top of one of the most iconic French monuments.
10. Visit Palace of Versailles
Once home of the kings and queens of France, a visit to the Palace of Versailles is the perfect day trip from Paris. Best known for its lavish gardens, Hall of Mirrors, and beautiful gold architecture, Versailles is an extravagant residence that was built in the seventeenth century.