The romantic "City of Light" city known internationally for the Eiffel Tower and escargot has a lot more to offer than one would think. Paris, France is a city rich in history; with familiar landmarks that resonate for years. Visitors to France wonder how to find the unknown attractions to such a tourist friendly city. Exploring the Parisian streets is probably the best way to enjoy and discover new sights, smells and sounds.
Jardin du Luxembourg: Filled with greenery, statues and fountains, the Luxembourg Gardens is a picture perfect destination. It is the 2nd largest park in Paris and one of the most breathtaking since the early 17th century. It is the perfect place for a romantic stroll either with a lover, or for a wanderlust individual who will begin to fall in love with Paris.
Arc de Triomphe: If there is one famous landmark every tourist should visit besides the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe should be next on the list. Located on the famous street of Champs-Elysees; the famous arc honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Underneath the vault also lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. Most people don't know that the Arc is accessible where one can take fantastic panorama's of the gorgeous Parisian skyline.
Place de la Bastille: Formally known as a prison in Paris, the famous Bastille was the famous location that began the French Revolution. At the center of the square is the July Column which commemorates the July Revolution. It's historical significance also makes it a place for political demonstrations. Current day, it serves various functions as an area where a marina was built and a large open air market.
Musée de la Vie Romantique: If Paris is the city of love what better way to fully capture the idea than to a visit to the Romantic Life museum. The lovely infrastructure reveals a cobbled courtyard and garden; a serene haven away from the busy city. Years ago painter Ary Scheffer of The Netherlands moved into the building and used it as a studio and home for Romantic art. It was also a meeting place for famous induviduals such as Chopin, Rossini and Dickens. Numerous displays of portraits and mementos of George Sand are featured in the museum. To conclude the tranquil experience, make sure to enjoy a cup of tea in the tea-house.
École Le Cordon Bleu: French cuisine is one of the most exciting delicacies tourists look forward to trying. Mouths begin to salivate at the thought of warm French bread, crepes and fruit tarts. If you find yourself enamored by the French cuisine, taking a cooking class in Paris might be a great reason to visit the city. Though it is a little costly, Le Cordon Bleu is considered the world's premier culinary arts school.
Piscine de la Butte aux Cailles: Discovered as a source for hot water in the 19th century, the Piscine de la Butte aux Cailles Swimming Pool served as a hot springs and showers called the Bain Douches. Today, the large swimming pool is situated inside a large, rustic building. The sealed building is not the only reason you can swim on a cool day; the water is drawn up from the underground well where the original source was discovered years ago.
Sacre Coeur: If you thought the Eiffel Tower was the highest point of the city, think again with a little more spirit. The Casilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus stands tall located in the area of Montmarte. The area is known as a haven for unique artists looking for their next piece of work. The basilica was built to cure the wounds of the French after the Franco-Prussian War. Its design is a Romanesque-Byzantine architectural style; a fascinating site situated atop a hill. Climbing to the dome gives yet another great view of the city of Paris.
Napoleon's Grave: When you're known as one of the greatest military geniuses of all time, it is only certain that your grave site would be a tourist attraction. Napoleon Bonaparte from Corsica became French emperor in 1804 and conquered most of Europe by 1810. Though he was ultimately defeated in Waterloo, he is forever known in history. His remains are located under the dome of Les Invalides in Paris.
Marché aux Puces de Clignancourt: Even if Paris is known as a luxury shopping capital, the budget traveler or vintage aficionado can appreciate a flea market. With up to 180,000 visitors each weekend, this flea market has been around since the 19th century. Flea market finds include vintage camera, furniture, ceramics and other random items. Of course, bring cash and keep an eye on your wallet.
Catacombes: For a truly out of this world experience, visiting the Catacombs of Paris is a must for any tourist. It is a famous underground ossuary filled with caverns and tunnels that have the remains of Paris stone mines. It is a historical tradition to bury the dead on the outskirts of the city, but of course changed with the rise of Christianity. The site makes any cemetery or burial site a lot more interesting, and a little spooky for the visitor who imagines Paris as such a romantic city. It is said as the city grew, cemeteries ran out of space and used underground quarries for bones and remains. It is said that roughly 6-7 million Parisians were contained underground.