It’s the most traveled-to city in the world. Known for its spectacular sights, its incredible food, its high fashion, Paris has become the face of Europe. And, the City of Light lives up to its reputation. It’s the perfect place for a weekend getaway or a month-long immersion. And whether it’s your first time or your fifth, you’ll never have trouble finding new wonder in familiar sights or awe in the presence of something completely different.
You’ve seen it in pictures, post cards, movies, TV shows and more, but nothing can prepare you for your first impression of La Tour Eiffel. It truly stops you in your tracks, and forces even the most ardent camera protestors to indulge in hundreds upon hundreds of photos. It’s the primary symbol of one of the greatest cities in the world, and the team at AirportPreCheck.org attests that it’s well worth a spot on your Parisian itinerary. And if you have the time – and the euros to blow – the elegant and indulgent Le Jules Verne restaurant on the second level provides both a view and cuisine that are simply to die for.
Whether you’re a fan of the Victor Hugo novel or of one of the many films that adapted it, Notre Dame Cathedral represents the pinnacle of Gothic architecture in Paris. Its façade is magnificent to behold, but its inner nave will inspire the deepest awe, as Christians and non-Christians alike quickly find themselves lost in silent contemplation and admiration. For both a spiritual and secular experience, be sure to make the climb up the 422 steps to the bell towers above. You can see the bells, themselves, countless well-preserved gargoyles and Paris spread out before your very eyes.
Formerly the home of French monarchs, today the Louvre is the world’s most renowned art museum, featuring works from the greats like Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt, Vermeer and many, many, many more. To say that the Louvre is massive is to say that there are some days in a century. It doesn’t quite cover it. To experience everything the Louvre has to offer – from the floors completely covered in paintings to those adorned by sculpture after sculpture or antiquity after antiquity – you’d need at least three or four days. Or you can do what many travelers do and head straight for the “Mona Lisa.” There’s no wrong way to enjoy art, but if you’re interested in seeing the outside of the converted mammoth of a palace that is the Louvre, AirportPreCheck.org recommends picking and choosing the works you see.
A note for those short on time and interested in visiting a museum that only takes an afternoon to explore – consider the Musée d’Orsay. Just across the River Seine from the Louvre, this museum houses stunning expressionist works painted by the absolute greats, including France’s own Claude Monet.
Also known as the Opera Garnier, this opera house dates back to 1875 and was the setting for Gaston Leroux’s – and later Andrew Lloyd Webber’s – “The Phantom of the Opera.” And, living literature is hardly the only reason to visit this absolutely breathtaking building. From the imposing gold statues that sit atop the façade of the building, to the shimmering gold leaf used to decorate almost every last inch of the stunning Grand Foyer, to the Grand Staircase that is surrounded by variously colored marble friezes, the Palais Garnier was originally designed to steal away the breath of high-class operagoers in the 1800s – and it will successfully steal yours without a second glance.
Pont Alexandre III
Arguably made even more famous by Woody Allen’s film “Midnight in Paris,” the Alexandre III Bridge is as far from a standard, simple crossing as it gets. Extravagant, gold-winged horses adorn each of the bridge’s four corners. Intricate lanterns line both sides of the path. And if you’re traveling north to south, the unmistakable gold dome of Les Invalides will shine into view.
To get the best of both experiences, the team at AirportPreCheck.org recommends going during the day and at night. The gold statues shimmer in the sun during the daytime, but nothing can match the way the Eiffel Tower lights up the horizon at night.