Sabtu, 07 Maret 2009

vacation to paris

Sabtu, 07 Maret 2009

Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro
1. Eiffel Tower. A true Paris icon, like nothing anywhere else in the world – 7th arrondissement. Access by metro line 6 to Trocadero (Bir-Hakeim is closed until 10/03/2008) then it’s just a short walk before you find yourself at the foot of this magnificent monument. Or, a little longer by foot but certainly more impressive is if you take Paris metro line 10 to La Motte-Picquet Grenelle and stroll up the Champ de Mars park for plenty of opportunities to photograph the tower as you approach ever closer. Line 8 Ecole Militaire will bring you even closer to the Champ de Mars parc.

Paris icons - Eiffel Tower Tip:
An interesting photo series you can try from the Eiffel tower is to choose a point (eg. The Champ de Mars, or, on the other side, the Palais de Chaillot in the Jardin du Trocadéro), take a photo and repeat from each level.

Paris icons - Eiffel Tower Tip: To avoid the long lift queues, join the "Tower by Stairs" (escaliers) queue. This way you walk up the stairs to the 1st level and then can take the lifts to the top. It's not too hard and you can go at your own pace. It's cheaper too!

Paris icons - Eiffel Tower Tip: Best time to go? On a Sunday when pollution levels are lowest so views are better and also first thing in morning or later in the evening. Peak tour bus times are 10am – 2pm. Avoid these if possible. Check out Eiffel Tower live webcam.

Notre Dame

2. Notre Dame Cathedral– 4th arrondissement. Access by metro line 4 to Cité which takes you directly onto Île de la Cité (the historical origins of Paris) and brings you to the front of the church. Or, if you prefer, metro line 10 Maubert Mutualité where your first impressions of the church will be its famous buttresses at the rear, viewed from the quaint Pont de L’Archevêché. When you enter the church, please remember and respect that it is a house of worship used daily by locals and visitors... keep your voices down and please do not use flash photography inside the cathedral.

Gargoyles of Notre Dame

Gargoyles – Taking the Notre Dame Tower (Tour) tour is the best way to view these intriguing water spouts and protectors from evil and also enjoy an unique view over the city. If you want to view the gargoyles, entry is from the street Cloître du Notre Dame which runs along side the church. Be prepared, you may have to stand in a queue. Paris Museum Pass is accepted here but you still need to queue. It really is worth the wait. There are many steps and some narrow spots. Take your time and you’ll notice where years of use have worn out the stone. For more info on the tour

Paris Icons - Notre Dame Tower Tour Tip: The Tower Tour is fun for kids! Get them to see if they can spot the elephant and pelican gargoyles.

Notre Dame Bell

Notre Dame Cathedral Bell
The tour also allows you to view the enormous bell in the belfry - housed in timber to absorb the sound waves which would otherwise crack the stone structure! Needless to say that when the bell tolls, to prevent possible deafness, access into the belfry will be denied.

Sacré Cœur
3. Sacré Cœur – 18th Arrondissement. The Basilique du Sacré Cœur is a beautiful white Byzantine-influenced stone basilica, built atop the highest point in the city. This makes the Paris icon stand out day and night. Access is via Paris metro line 2 to Anvers and walking uphill through the colorful, though somewhat touristy, streets of Montmartre. Be prepared to be approached by enterprising individuals trying to sell you goods on your way up the hill. Some are quite persistent. Be firm but polite, keep walking, avoid eye contact, just smile and say “no thank you” (“non merci”) and don't hesitate! Watch out for pickpockets!

Paris Icons - Sacré Cœur Basilica Tip: You can catch the funicular inclinator (covered by metro ticket) situated near the bottom of the hill on the left side (when facing up toward the basilica). This short ride takes you to just below the basilica.

After the hussle and bussle outside, the basilica is a wonderful place for contemplation and peace. Please respect this place of worship by keeping voices down and not using flash photography inside. For a relatively small price, about €5, you can access the basilica dome from the left side of the church for a great view over the city. Be sure to stop and take in the view over Paris on your way out through the main entrance too.

Montmartre-Place du Tetre4. Montmartre District– 18th Arrondissement. Accessible by taking metro line 12 to Abbesses (take note as you exit onto the street, of the Art Nouveau entrance). You can also access by strolling around the side of the Sacré Cœur. With it's colourful history and art at it's heart, this is one of the most vibrant areas of Paris With quaint streets, souvenir shops and many bistros, this definately should be included in Paris' top 10. There’s Place du Tertre, where artists gather to exhibit their artistic talents and sell their fair. Beyond, there is the Dali art gallery/museum (be prepared for an expensive entry fee: €10/A & €6/child). Sure there are a huge number of tacky tourist souvenir shops and people pushing you to buy stuff, but there are also nice galleries & boutique shops.

Go for the atmosphere, experience and exercise!

Paris Icons - Montmartre Portraits TIP:
Caricature Artist-Place du TetreIf you want your portrait drawn as a souvenir, save time and money and opt for a caricature. They're a lot cheaper and more fun – popular with kids! If however, you have the time and prefer a realistic portrait, stroll around and view the work in progress of all the artists before deciding. Be prepared… some take 15mins some take 40mins. Results can be mixed!

5. Louvre– 1st arrondissement. Metro access: line 1 Palais-Royal. Follow the signs to Musée du Louvre, where you will find yourself under the Louvre at the entrance with the shortest queue. The main entrance (with the longest queue) is above, via the pyramid.

The history of the Louvre dates back to the middle ages when it was built as a fortress to defend Paris against raids by the Normans and also the Vikings, who tried to access the city via the Seine. The Louvre Museum now houses an impressive collection of ancient Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan, Roman, Islamic art: sculptures, paintings, prints, furniture and decorative items up to the early 1850's.

The glass pyramid was added in 1989 and drew critism from purists who's arguments revolved around the conflict of architecture between the historic classical style of the museum and modern glass geometry of the pyramid. Some stated that the strking contrast was a successful solution to combine old with new. Either way, the resulting focus was good publicity. The Paris icon recieved even more attention recently by being chosen as the focus in the intrigue of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code...

It's well worth viewing the Mona Lisa -
Louvre Pyramidafterall, it is the world's most famous painting, although most people are unaware of its small size and the fact that it is under glass (to protect it from the moist breaths of the viewing crowds). If you have limited time don’t expect to take in much of this enormous museum and its 35,000 works of art. It would take about a week visiting all day, every day, to see all the contents.
The layout can be somewhat confusing too.

Paris Icons - Louvre TIP 1: This Paris icon is hard on little kids, even if they do get in free (up to 18 years), simply due to the vastness of the collection. After a while even adults can get Louvre overload. The Louvre is better visited if you have a specific subject or two in mind, for example, Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, then a browse around the ancient Egyptian wing.

Paris Icons - Louvre Tip 2: CLOSED Tuesdays! Best times? Monday morning from 9am or every day late evening (shuts 6pm except Wednesdays and Fridays when you’ll have access until 9:30pm). Weekends are busiest. Use your Paris Museum Pass! If you need to buy a ticket just for the Louvre, ask for the permanent exhibitions, which include the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, unless you know exactly what exhibition halls you want to see. Cost depends on time of day and exhibitions viewed. The disabled and families with small children in prams have priority entry. Once you have a ticket you can leave and re-enter for free on the same day until closing. For more info on the Louvre go to Louvre website.

Museé Rodin-The Kiss

6. Museé Rodin – 7th arrondissement. Metro access: line 13 Varenne. The Musée Rodin gives the impression that you are in a personal sanctuary. The building - Hôtel Biron, housing Rodin’s sculptures and also paintings of great French artists from his personal collection, has a real homely feel to it… Rodin actually lived within this establishment. The two levels of rooms are filled with some beautiful, some grotesque, but all vividly real and emotional works.

Rodin's-Pierre de Wissant
The leafy gardens outside are a wonderful backdrop to his emotive sculptures. There are 25 in all, including “The Thinker”, “The Burghers of Calais”, "The Gates of Hell". It’s a place where you will feel more like a visitor than a tourist. A real treat and a must to visit. Take your time here and enjoy!

CLOSED MONDAYS. Admission is free on the first Sunday of every month and always free for children and teenagers up to 18 years. Opens from 9:30am closing hours vary with season, ie. 5:45 spring and summer and one hour earlier in autumn and winter. There is more information on the Musée Rodin website.

Museé d'Orsay Interior

7. Museé d'Orsay – 7th arrondissement. Metro access: line 12 Solférino. The elegant Paris icon and a personal favourite, not only because I love Impressionist art but also because it is one of the most child-friendly and best laid-out art gallery/museums in Paris. There is a sense of real value for money when you enter and view many of the worlds most famous French paintings and sculptures from 1848 to 1914, all in a space that is easily negotiated. Grab a guide, see it all, don't miss a thing!! Got to be part of your Paris top 10!

Four Parts of the World Holding the Selestial Sphere

The beautiful building – originally a train station, Gare d’Orsay, was built on the site of the Palais d’Orsay in time for the 1900 World Fair. It was destined for demolition in the early 70s but saved when the significant architectural design (by Victor Laloux) was recognised and included in the listing of historical monuments. It was opened to the public as a new museum in December 1986 to house artworks from the period where the Louvre museum stops…1850. you can find more historical information, detailed floorplan and exhibit search at the Musée d'Orsay site

Museé d'Orsay entrance
The floor plan is simple; the collected works superb, the interior is spacious, light and elegant. The colours of the impressionist paintings are uplifting and a delight to the senses. As a bonus to your visit, outside on the steps leading to the gallery, there is usually some entertaining street theatre being performed.

Paris Icons - Musée d'Orsay Tip: Kids love the sunken plan of the south bank of Paris lit up under a transparent floor at the back of the museum behind the staircases.

Arc de Triomphe

8. Arc de Triomphe – 8th arrondissement. Metro access: lines 1, 2 and 6 Charles de Gaulle Etoile, or by foot down the leafy Avenue des Champs Elysées. Well worth a visit not only for the historical significance but also because there are not nearly as many flights of stairs as the Eiffel Tower and you can appreciate the surrounding boulevards and architecture because you are not too high up. You can find more info on the Arc de Triomphe site

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe was authorised for construction by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 as a monument to his victories. It was not completed until 1835, long after his death in 1821. Today it serves as the national war memorial with the light of the eternal flame at its base and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath.

Arc de Triomphe

There is a sub-street pedestrian tunnel which allows you to emerge out onto the “island” refuge unaffected by the surrounding traffic chaos. It’s amazing to stand and just take a moment to watch drivers negotiate this roundabout with its 12 point entry/exit – which explains the name Place de l’Etoile, or affectionately: l'Etoile ("the star")!

Ave des Champs Elysées

9. Avenue des Champs Elysées – 8th arrondissement. North-west access from Metro station Charles de Gaulle Etoile or south-east access from metro station Concord. This leafy, broad avenue is a great for a stroll either returning to the centre of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe or heading towards the Arc de Triomphe from the Jardin des Tuileries. Over the years fast food and other global establishments have taken some of the charm out of the avenue but it’s still pleasant to walk down one of the worlds most expensive stretches of real-estate and do some window shopping.

Flanked for the most part by plane trees (thanks to the foresight of Marie de Medicis in the early 1600s), the length of the avenue is just under 2kms. It can be considered very much a Paris icon, as it plays centre stage for many important dates in the French calendar: events such as the last leg of the Tour de France, the Bastille Day military marches and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Paris Flower Market

10. Paris Markets – Not exactly a Paris icon, but certainly a "must do" when in France. A Paris market can be found in every arrondissement. Paris markets are a must to experience, whether it’s the food market, flea market or flower market, it’s a quintessential Parisian experience, full of atmosphere and colourful characters.

Paris Food MarketThe food markets are worth a visit just to see the beautiful displays of the finest and freshest produce. Don’t hesitate to complete the experience and buy like a local. If the language is a concern just gesticulate, for instance, if you would like to sample some cherries just mime a handful and point at the cherries, but NEVER forget to say “bonjour monsieur/madame” first and “merci, au revoir” after paying.

0 komentar:

Posting Komentar

global vacations spots. Design by Pocket