Paris Cemeteries: Strolling Among the Stars

Montparnasse Cemetery

Visiting Paris’ cemeteries may not be your idea of having fun. However, if you are truly in love with the City of Light, you have every reason to walk through the gates of one of the city's 14 intra-muros sites. The Père Lachaise, Montmartre and Montparnasse cemeteries figure among the most prestigious in Paris and France. Each one is a lesson in history told in an open and stunningly beautiful ... Read Full Article

Paris’s Place de la Bastille: Yesterday and Today

Colonne de Juillet

If you’ve seen the 2013 film “Les Misérables,” then you are already familiar with Place de la Bastille. It is the setting for much of the second half of the film, marked by the large, decaying plaster elephant. Place de la Bastille is a historic Parisian square that still plays a large role in contemporary French culture. Here is an overview of the history of Place de la Bastille, as well as its ... Read Full Article

Out and About in Paris – Part III: Les Enfants

Jardin du Luxembourg Pony Rides

Paris has the deserved reputation of being one of the world’s most romantic cities, but it holds plenty of opportunities for family vacation fun as well. Public parks and gardens are great escapes from the tiring tedium of a typical tourist regimen. At The Luxembourg Gardens, children ride ponies, float miniature sailboats in the central fountain basin, and enjoy programmed activities such as ... Read Full Article

An Uncomfortable Walk through the Paris Catacombs

"Paris has another Paris under herself", said the novelist Victor Hugo, in reference to 1300 miles of sewers, caverns, catacombs, alleys, and intersections underneath the great city. On my trip to Paris we had originally planned to tour the elaborate sewer network in honor of Hugo, who described the medieval labyrinth at length in his masterwork, Les Misérables. However, the sewers overflowed on ... Read Full Article

Les Galeries Lafayette, Paris: a Cultural Icon

If Paris is the capital of French fashion, Les Galeries Lafayette Boulevard Haussmann is its window displays, many Parisians say. In fact, Les Galeries stands for a lot more than that. Founded over one hundred years ago, the department store serves as a reference for ‘made in France,’ goods. Therefore, when you walk through the glass doors on 40 Boulevard Haussmann, you’ll be strolling through ... Read Full Article

Discovering Authentic Paris and Enjoying Places that Parisiens Love

  James turned to the hovering waiter. “Encore, deux cafés.” The big cups of creamy coffee arrived and soon my husband had sketched out a plan for my seventh visit to Paris, his ninety-third. He filled our September week with authentic Paris, must-see places and events that any tourist can fit around the obligatory sightseeing. We meandered down the oldest street in Paris, the Roman road ... Read Full Article

For Shakespeare & Co., All’s Well in Paris

  Paris' world-famed bookstore, Shakespeare & Co., went through some rough times in earlier days, but all’s well that ends well. The book-filled store at 37 Rue Bûcherie, a few steps from the Seine River, Ile de la Cité and Notre Dame Cathedral, is going strong, and represents a significant piece of Parisian and literary history. The first Shakespeare & Co. store, in another ... Read Full Article

Gustave Eiffel’s Masterpiece: The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower or Tour Eiffel symbolizes Paris now, but when it was built for the Universal Exposition (World’s Fair) in 1889, it was expected to be torn down within 20 years. The main thing that saved it was technology. Wireless transmissions, sent from an antenna on the tower, could travel far, so the French government decided it would remain as a permanent structure. Gustave Eiffel was a ... Read Full Article

Baron Haussmann’s Paris

If you’ve been to Paris, you’ve seen the work of Baron Haussmann. You may not have even known you were looking at it.  It’s hard to miss, because it permeates the entire city, well, it is the city.  Most city tours of Paris will at least mention Haussmann. To tell you the truth, for a long time my knowledge of “Haussmann’s Paris” was limited to what I had learned on various bus and walking tours ... Read Full Article

A Stroll Through Paris’s Les Jardins du Luxembourg

Luxembourg Garden with the Senat in the background

Located in Paris’s  6th arrondissement, the 55 acre Luxembourg Gardens is home to the French Senate, which is housed in the luxurious Palais du Luxembourg. The garden is comprised of gravel walkways, grassy expanses, and large pools and fountains in which one often finds children sailing model boats (no, that’s not just in the movies!).  Parisians come to the gardens in search of peace and ... Read Full Article