Put your Feet to the Test in Paris

So you’ve survived your first day in Paris. Now it’s time to raise the bar and get those feet some much needed exercise. You’re thinking, “Surely, I could use the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus!”. Ah! But do you want to might miss out on the quaint sights en-route? Paris is best explored on foot. That said – it’s not the easiest task. If you have four days in Paris, you might want to make an informed decision of what you choose to see. In the month of May, the weather is cool with an occasional drizzle. By noon, you’ve got plenty of sunshine. With the kids at school, there couldn’t be a better time for beat-the-crowd-travellers to discover Paris!

Get up early! Preferably, at the crack of dawn! I’m joking. But, it won’t be half as bad if you do get up early, especially, if you aren’t centrally located.

Get hold of a tourist and Paris Metro Map. You could either start at the Louvre and end your walk at Champs-Élysées or trace the same route backwards. It might be a good idea to start at the Louvre. After all the heavy walking, your brain might be too fatigued to appreciate the treasures in the museum.

Louvre

Unless you hate art, you mustn’t miss a visit to the Louvre. There is the minor inconvenience of having to stand in a line. And if you’ve forgotten to charge your camera batteries, you might understand the frustration of having to find a convenience store, before having to start all over again. You must be prepared that it will not be able to see everything in the Louvre. You could spend days at end and barely scrape the surface of the museum.

We opted for an audio guide and chose the masterpieces tour. Highlights of the tour include : statues of Aphrodite also known as ‘Venus De Milo’ and Michaelangelo’s ‘The Rebellious Slave’ and paintings such as ‘The Wedding Feast of Cana’, Mona Lisa, and the ‘Raft of Medusa’.

Drown out museum fatigue and lunch pangs at Le Comptoir du Louvre (beneath the pyramid) or head towards Paul (outdoors) for some sunshine.

A walk outside leads you to the Tuileries GardenTake a break. Sit and watch the water gush down the fountain. If it’s a Monday morning – I can ensure you –  it will all the more enjoyable thinking of your colleagues working in their cubicle.

So far, so good? Up ahead, is the scenic River Seine. If your spouse hadn’t forgotten to charge his camera batteries, maybe you’d have time for a cruise. After some quick shots of the Place de La Concorde and Eiffel in the background – it’s time to head towards the Assemblée Nationale. Now the best part of the walk here, are the statues carved on bridges and walls. Take a breather; observe, admire, and walk on. Do stop to help lost tourists on the way – never mind if it’s only your second day in Paris. The Musée de l’Armée  looks great from outside, but choose wisely, if the clock is ticking towards 2:00 pm.

You’re going to now approach the most famous monument in Paris. Sometimes the hype of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time, might actually kill the joy of actually seeing it. Yes, it’s a metal tower. Maybe, it’s those tired feet that have taken over your mind. Quick snaps, before you buy the ticket for the elevator ride up. If this has been on your bucket-list, the walk has been worth it! The view from above is spectacular. With clouds casting their shadow on the white dotted buildings below and the cool breeze blowing in your hair; this is a moment to etch in your memory.

There is excitement at the base of the tower. Immigrents will accost you and try to sell replicas of the Eiffel Tower. You might be tempted to buy some and that’s when the police might show up. Never mind. Head to the Jardins du Trocadero, instead. Besides being scenic, you’d get excellent shots of the Eiffel Tower from here.

Legs tired, yet? Maybe? Time to get lost again. Well the timing might not be that great, considering it’s approaching 4:00 pm. Smile! Although your legs are killing you and keep asking for directions. It’s possible that locals may not know the way around. Don’t hesitate! Arc de Triomphe is just around the corner. So tell your tired feet to move along.

The sun is about to set and you see the last few rays channelling through the Arc de Triomphe. Take a moment – you’ve earned it. Bang opposite is the Champs-Élysées boulevard. It’s not half as stunning – as it would have looked in the night – but it’s still quaint with it’s cafes. Now you’re kicking yourself that you have to get back to your hotel, your feet have given up, and its still a couple of metro stops home. But it’s been a good day! You’ve achieved all that you dreamed of. Off to sleep now!

Want to take a guided tour, instead? Won’t blame you. These options look interesting.

http://www.timeout.com/paris/en/great-paris-walks

http://www.discoverwalks.com/paris-walking-tours/

http://www.paris-walks.com/

14 responses to “Put your Feet to the Test in Paris

  1. Oh beautiful Paris! And now i remember – how i walked and walked, I even took the stairs at the Eiffel Tower! As you rightly said, it’s best discovered when walking. I find this to be true for most European cities. Nice post 🙂

    • Thanks Namrata! 🙂 We’re high on nostalgia too. Couldn’t agree with you more on the walking bit. Based on the responses, I guess, everyone’s done their fair share of walking in Europe. Hehe…

  2. Good blog on the touristy pleasures of Paris mate☺ I experienced your travels, and your frustration with unforgiving cameras. I’m looking toward such a trip, without kids!!!!

    • Thanks sis! 🙂 Travelling with kids deserves another blog. You’d have to wait for 10 more years for the kids to grow and allow you to travel on your own. It’d be interesting to see how Paris would be then.

  3. I remember the touts under the Eiffel vividly (but not pleasantly). We actually saw a cop chase them on his bicycle as they scrambled at his appearance. Not that they had a chance, the cop’s cycling was Tour de France level (to us). 🙂

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