Paris is an evergreen destination. It makes no difference what time of the year or what decade, Paris will always be in fashion. But did you know that the Eiffel Tower now does a little light show at the top of every hour in the evenings? Or that the Champs-Élysées goes car-free the first Sunday of every month? Sarah Dandashy of Ask A Concierge shares a few fun “new” facts about some of Paris’ most famous sites.
Here’s how you can see the City of Lights in a new way.
Classic, iconic, and so Paris. The Eiffel Tower is an obvious must-visit attraction in Paris, but there are a few new additions that make the trip even more worthwhile. Be sure to head to the top of the Tower to see Gustave Eiffel’s office, and then swing by the Champagne Bar. Make it a true date night and enjoy an incredible meal at the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor. But if all else fails, watch the evening light show. At the top of every hour, The Eiffel Tower sparkles for five minutes.
Arguably one of the most fashionable shopping streets in the world, the Champs-Élysées is more than a retail destination. It is also historic and home to most parades and demonstrations in Paris. In an effort to reduce pollution, the government initiated car-free Sundays. The first Sunday of every month, this famous shopping avenue goes car-free, becoming a pedestrian-only experience. Interestingly enough, this event reportedly decreases smog by nearly 40 percent.
The Champs-Élysées ends at the Arc de Triomphe, the almost 200-year-old monument built to honor those who fought for France—in particular, those who fought during the Napoleonic Wars. This is the site of both the Memorial Flame and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A destination for most visitors, often tourists might not realize they can actually go to the top of the Arc. Don’t let the busy roundabout deter you—the actual entrance to the Arc is via an underground tunnel.
Montemartre is the highest point in Paris. This neighborhood, known for its white-domed basilica, Sacré-Cœur, has been a haven for artists for decades. Dali, Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso all spent some time there. Today, it’s a bustling destination full of tourists and locals selling various souvenirs. It is also home to the Espace Dali, the Lapin Agile, and the famous Moulin Rouge.
The Luxembourg Gardens were created in 1612 by Queen Marie de Medici, inspired by the famous gardens in Florence. It is divided into two main gardens, British and French. There is also a pond, an orchard, and a huge fountain. Today, it is a destination for families, hosting numerous events and activities from rides to games. Located near some of the most famous schools in Paris, it is also very popular among students.
There you have it. Who’s ready to go to Paris?
Want to learn more about the capital city of France? Check out:
- What It’s Like to Visit Paris One Year After the Terrorist Attacks
- Catacombs & Ghosts: The Dark Side of Paris
- A Global Editor’s Top Paris Restaurants
Video by Nino D. Gordeli. Text by Sarah Dandashy for PeterGreenberg.com. You can watch her other videos for travel tips & tricks at AskAConcierge.tv.