Hé, okay after all, I'll try a little effort. So, if I had to pick some particular spots, I'd say those of arrondissements 1 to 6 are the most friendly to me. Those are the most central arrondissements, smaller than others, so they don't make any too large area. They include the oldest districts of the city. My opinion is you'd rather stick to them and obviously skip stuff like the Eiffel tower if you have no time to waste in standing in lines.
Here's a list of the quarters you should carefully stroll in:
Île de la Cité
. If you're curious about medieval churches, the inside of the Sainte-Chapelle
feels better and more intimate than that of Notre Dame, cause it's much smaller and full of lovely glass. It's within the complex of the Palais de Justice
, which also includes the Conciergerie
, another significant sight from the Middle-Ages. Going up to the top of Notre Dame
is cool, however. The view from up there is great and you get its well known gargoyles in closeup. Beware of long lines, though. You'll have to be select, cause lines are often hellish.
The district of Beaubourg. That's where the contemporary art museum of the Centre Georges Pompidou
is. There's a large construction site at les Halles nearby, but the surrounding streets are still normally accessible. Have a walk in rue Rambuteau
Not far away from Beaubourg at all, you need to stroll in the Marais
, some of the most picturesque quarters.
The Latin Quarter
. Same kind of stuff as the Marais but it's even more popular to young adults, cause there are lots of higher education establishments. Little streets around the place Saint-Michel
feel good at night. Lots of restaurants and locals there. That spot is a good idea for going out in the evening. Right there
. You see those blocks behind the quais Saint-Michel and des Grands-Augustins seen from the river? You should go there.
The Jardin du Luxembourg
. One of my favorite parks that's in the 6th arrondissment, so you won't have to go too far away when you feel the need to escape from the streets that are somewhat noisy because of cars.
. Yet another classic. Have a walk along the boulevard Saint-Germain
. Don't hesitate to turn and stroll in the little narrow streets that come to a larger boulevard/corridor. You might get a little lost sometimes, but lots of people like that. That note goes to everything above and to any quarter you'll visit. You can also walk along the rue de Rennes in the same area, that would take you from Saint-Germain-des-Prés to Montparnasse. Here's a picture of rue de Rennes as an example of a random Haussmannian commercial corridor.
Except for that black tower in the background, that's the typical environment you'll be in while in the very center. Minato would like to take you to some more unusual and underground areas. His point of view is cool but unwise if you're not familiar with the place yet and your stay has to be short.
Beside those most central areas, I guess you should take a little time to see the surroundings of the avenue des Champs-Élysées
, cause they say it's a must-see. Also Montmartre
in the 18th arrondissment, and a few squares like these in or around the "Triangle d'Or" (Golden Triangle) of the 8th arrondissment:
Place de la Concorde
. Warning: rather pedestrian unfriendly but the architecture around is a sight.
Place de la Madeleine
Place de l'Opéra
. That's where the Opéra Garnier
sits. Some famous stuff.
Those are not too far away from one another and major boulevards/avenues come to them, so they're quite noticeable and you want to see that kind of urban fabric all around.
By the way, when you'll be in the Marais, don't miss the Place des Vosges
. It's an important one for from the early Renaissance, thus one of the most original.
You should also check out the Palais-Royal
that's nearby the Louvre
. Eh, that's an obvious destination, so you probably won't miss this thing.
Finally, aside the Luxembourg and the Tuileries
, I have to add 2 more parks cause you'll likely need some to relax; the Parc Monceau
in the 8th arrondissement and the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
in the 19th arrondissement.
Oh, and don't forget about a walk along the Seine river when you're in the center.
Voilà, hoping those tips would help if you're feeling lost. There are too many museums to mention. Just go to the Louvre. It's so large that anybody should find some stuff to entertain them in there, no matter what you're particularly interested in. Ahhh yeah, there might possibly be those long lines, though... The best would be to have your ticket before you get there, so you don't have to wait at all and can feel that relief it is to skip their lines. I like the Orsay museum
too. It's in a former rail station, very cool building but the museum itself is exclusively dedicated to the impressionist era, so if you don't like that kind of art, it'd most likely be a pain.
You should be here yet, the weather's been nice for a couple of days. Like spring's ahead after that 6 months long boring fall. There's almost no more winter over here. Hé.