Overview

Paris leaves an impression on everyone, from students perfecting their langue française to tourists who wonder why the French don’t pronounce half the consonants in each word. This city has been home to countless films, daydreams, and kings named Louis, and it easily destroys all diets with its arsenal of buttery croissants and delicate pastries. Nearly everyone in the world idealizes Paris, whether it’s for the Eiffel Tower, the intellectual literary cafes, or the impossibly chic and be-scarfed denizens of the city. But don’t let yourself be disillusioned by ideals—yes, everyone is in love with Paris, but this place can be rough, and that waiter over there? Yeah, he’s judging you. When you get Englished for the first time (when your mangled French inquiry is interrupted with an English response), you’ll start to realize that your Converse won’t cut it after all and that maybe you should have paid more attention in French class. Paris will charm and bitchslap you with equal gusto, but don’t get too le tired—think of it as a gentle form of Parisian hazing. Once you learn your way around the narrow, cobblestoned streets and nail down your merci, beaucoup, Paris will be more spectacular than ever. Some tiny corner of it will be yours in memory and experience, whether it’s admiring a painting in an empty room at the Louvre (they exist), listening to the bells of Notre Dame chime as you sit by the Seine, sunbathing in the gorgeous Jardin du Luxembourg, or biting into your first Nutella banana crêpe. Slow down and don’t worry about how well you’re fitting in—this city is big and captivating enough for everyone to claim their little slice.

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The Paris Top 5

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  • Panthéon

    If there’s one building that doesn’t know the meaning of antidisestablishmentarianism, it’s the Panthéon.

  • Musée d'Orsay

    Aesthetic taste is fickle. When a handful of artists were rejected from the Louvre salon in the 19th century, they opened an exhibition across the way, prompting both the scorn of stick-up-their-arses académiciens and the rise of Impressionism. Today, people line up at the Musée d’Orsay to see this collection of groundbreaking rejects.

  • Jardin des Tuileries

    The gardens grew as each successive king added something to call his own.

  • Centre Pompidou

    The center’s functions are as varied as its colors; it serves as a cultural theme park of ultra-modern exhibition, performance, and research space.

  • Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

    Not your average Parisian park, the Buttes-Chaumont was modeled after Hyde Park in London, but it seems more like Pandora from "Avatar."

Sights

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Food

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Nightlife

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Accommodations

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