“Paris holds the key to your heart” some say. Yet, there is so much more to Paris, France than the smell of baguettes, the Eiffel tower, the gondolas and the mad lovers. Paris is a place of culture, arts and romance. It is said to be the city of love, of light and of celebration. If you are looking for a gap year destination, you have just found one.
Let’s begin the feast of sights with the artsy side of Paris, as it is renowned for its museums and exhibit halls. Of course, there’s the very well known and much visited Louvre Museum, Musee d’ Orsay. Aside from the bigger museums, there are also smaller, but still stunning galleries such as the Musée de l’Orangerie, at the far end of the Tuileries Gardens and the Musée Marmottan. You can admire breath-taking paintings and pieces of art and nonchalantly stroll around the vicinity, feeding pigeons or feeding your mind. Centre Pompidou is also a must-go, as it is both an art gallery and a cultural hub. Books, paintings, and people, this what the cultural Paris is all about.
Another delight that Paris offers is its different infrastructures and buildings that showcase its sophistication and love for architecture and art. You can drive by Arc de Triomphe, or take a gander at the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Saint-Jaques Tower and the Sainte-Chapelle. For the ones who are brave enough, they can go see the Catacombs under the city itself. At night, even at day, the Eiffel Tower never fails to amaze. Said to be the symbol of the city itself, the lights of the tower and the breeze give you the enticing Paris atmosphere.
Aside from its tasty fashion centers (hello, Chanel!), it also has exquisite restaurants that, although are inexpensive as compared to bigger establishments, makes you want to come back for round 2 (or three!). Paris is also a gourmet paradise, and is filled with cafes and restaurants, big and small, all serving wonderful food of different kinds. Some of these are Le Fumoir, Le Comptoir du Relais, Camdeborde’s famous foie gras terrine and Christian Constant’s charming Café Constant. They have pastry and fine dining fit for the Gods.
In Paris, it’s best to get away from the rush of people, as it is a tranquil city. It is best visited when you’re in the mood to reflect and to appreciate. Get lost in the rain of paintings and books and get wafted away by the different scents and sights of the city and wish your gap year never had to end. Au revoir!