Off the beaten path in Paris: a travel guide
Paris is undoubtedly one of the most romantic places on Earth. With the abundance of legendary tourist spots, one can feel overwhelmed when trying to plan the most memorable honeymoon trip in the City of Lights. We've chatted with photographer Alicia Lacey today who shares some of her top tips to find the places just off the beaten path...
From Alicia Lacey: "Paris has held a special place in my heart as I studied abroad there in college and it's where I first realized that my now husband was the one. I was looking forward to the day when I could return to the City of Love with him hand in hand, so we booked a spring trip to enjoy the city before it's busy summer rush.
Most of the popular sites to see when visiting Paris are no secret and I am certainly not one to shy away from major tourist destinations; after all, when visiting a new country I am a tourist and those sites are popular for a reason. But if I could give just one piece of advice when visiting this incredible city it would be this: walk. Walk anywhere and everywhere. Get lost on side streets and stumble upon random cafes.
Book yourself an Air B&B in the center of the action (I'd recommend anywhere in the 1st-7th arrondissements) and just get out on the streets -- I think you'll find the best parts of Paris are often those you didn't plan to find. You may still wish to have a plan in tow as there is a lot of ground to cover, but here are a few alternative ways to enjoy the major attractions.
It's wildly popular when stopping at the Eiffel Tower to ride all the way to the top for a view of the city. It's an awesome view, but I'd actually recommend doing this at The Arc de Triomphe instead as you will then have the Eiffel Tower in your city view! Upon arrival in the city, you'll hear vendor after vendor on the street offering cruises along the Seine. Skip the cruise and walk along side of it instead! It's so much more romantic and you'll be able to go at your own pace.
SKIP THE LINES
Sacre Coeur is a lovely place to visit but be sure to linger around the area of Montmartre after you finish up your tour. Rose colored buildings, sidewalk art dealers, and more history than anywhere else in Paris fills this small locale. The beauty of Saint Chapelle rivals that of Notre Dame except without the long lines. In the Luxembourg Gardens, you can always find a seat to relax and enjoy the view whereas in the Tuileries you will certainly have to stand for lunch! Although The Louvre has an overcrowded view of the (tiny) Mona Lisa, Musee D'Orsey will likely have many more recognizable paintings for the average viewer. There are just a few examples, but there are many alternatives throughout this destination that will take you somewhat off the beaten path while still getting to see the major sites.
One last thing that may be the most important of all -- no matter what itinerary you land on, just be sure to overindulge on all the wine, cheese, and pastries you can get your hands on. After all, love, this is France!"