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Paris offers more than iconic tourist sites

Paris, France was named 7th on Trip Advisor’s 2014 Top 25 World Destinations list. Paris remains one of the most exciting cities in the world because of its culture – music, art, architecture, and don’t forget the amazing gastronomy.

View of Paris with the Louvre in the foreground and Sacre Couer in the background
View of Paris with the Louvre in the foreground and Sacre Couer in the background
Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Whether drinking a glass of Bordeaux while people-watching at a sidewalk café, listening to a classical concert at one of the many cathedrals, eating a baguette or pain au chocolat, touring a museum, or strolling along the Seine, there is an abundance of free things to see and do while in Paris.

Skip the long lines at the Eiffel Tower and save valuable time by purchasing a guided tour ticket from Expedia. With this tour, your English speaking guide will walk you up to the tower’s observation area on the second level, provide historic information via headsets, and then you are on you on to ride the elevator to the top summit of the tower. A combination ticket can also be purchased which includes an hour long ride with commentary to see popular sights along the Seine River.

Visit one of the many market streets like Rue Cler - Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements. In addition to food, vendors display fresh produce, fish, flowers, cheese, wine, and the market is flanked by shops selling clothing, shoes, and hardware. For those on a budget, sandwiches and a soda or wine to go can be purchased at restaurant windows near Notre Dame and the Paris-Sorbonne University. However, have at least one exquisite meal at Le Meurice Alain Ducasse, one of Paris’s famous dining experiences, inside the Hotel Meurice.

If a risqué show at the Moulin Rouge is not on your bucket list, then go to the small cabaret show at the Au Lapin Agile (The Agile Rabbit) that features songs, poetry, and music. The 28 euro ticket price for the cabaret show includes one drink. The atmosphere is relaxing and there are several restaurants in the Montmartre neighborhood to enjoy after seeing the show. As well, near Au Lapin Agile and Sacré Coeur artists set up their easels along the streets in Place du Tertre, where colorful restaurants are also located. Place du Tertre is the highest point for viewing the City of Lights.

Finally, in addition to visiting the famous icons of the city, take time to enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Seine, a stroll in one of the many parks, place a love lock on the Pont des Arts Bridge, or simply walk around and admire the historical buildings. Profiter de Paris! (Enjoy Paris!)