Marcia’s Paris Top 10 (Part 2)

A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled upon my blog-buddy Marcia’s post about the things she didn’t get to see during her recent trip to Paris. As I perused her list I realized (once again) how fortunate I’ve been to visit often—and to see so much.

I thought Marcia might enjoy a small preview of what she’ll see next time. So last week I posted some photos of the first five places on Marcia’s wish list. Now it’s time for the second half of her wish list.

6. La Basilique du Sacré-Cœur de Montmartre • To me, this church looks like a giant white wart on Paris’ otherwise creamy complexion. But you can catch some good street musicians there, and the view from its steps is breathtaking. Watch your wallet, though—the pickpockets love this spot, too.

7. Musée d’Orsay • Housed in a former train station, this museum’s building is almost as stunning as its collection. Here you’ll find an entire room of Van Goghs, Whistler’s Mother, Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, and hundreds of other masterpieces that will make you exclaim, “I can’t believe I’m seeing it with my own eyes!”

8. Montparnasse • Montparnasse was once home to Henry Miller, Salvador Dali, Jean Miró, Diego Rivera and many other brilliant writers and artists. And although some traces of the district’s literary heyday remain, today Montparnasse is more often associated with its 55-story tower, its lively nightlife, and its budget-conscious shopping district.

9. Château de Versailles • Construction of this opulent palace began in 1661 under architect Louis Le Vau, but Louis XIV didn’t officially establish his court there until 1682. To tour the palace is to understand the French revolution: The ostentation made me want to grab a pitchfork and a torch. But a visit to the gardens is divine.

10. Luxembourg Palace and Luxembourg Gardens • Marie de Medici’s former palace now houses government offices, so the public rarely gets a glimpse inside. But the gorgeous gardens are where seemingly all of Paris spends its Sunday afternoons.

So there you go, Marcia … something to look forward to on your next trip to Paris!


    • When you *do* decide to return, please drop me a note. Depending on your interests, I can recommend some wonderful off-the-beaten-track places I’ve discovered over the years.

  1. Aahhh, that’s better. Looking through these images has been an oasis of calm in the racket of family life. The lovely last one makes me think of Impressionism (which is very appropriate after your visit to the Musée d’Orsay)but it’s the two simplest that most appeal: the breath-taking colonnade with the tiled floor, and the image of perfect tranquillity in the green gardens. How you managed to find these quiet moments in such a busy city I can’t imagine – but thank you. They are perfect.

    • Hello, dancingbeastie! Lovely to hear from you. And thanks for your kind words, as always. It’s funny you should comment about finding quiet moments in such a busy city: I sometimes wait patiently for those quiet moments and then snap the photo when nobody is in the frame. In other cases, I crawl out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and take a few shots before the city wakes up. Either way, it’s always wonderful to feel as if I have Paris to myself — even if it’s just an illusion.

  2. Now you’re talking, H. In fact, this is much closer to what would be my personal top 5. You have inspired me and I have so much to say about your selection but no time right at the moment. Maybe I’ll do what I did last time and write my own blog piece in response and then we can be like two Swiss cowherds, blowing their Alpenhorns to each other across the mountains. I’ll let you know when it’s done. 🙂

  3. Words are really not enough — thank you. Love your lists. Your photos are breathtaking. They capture the essence of Paris, the simple beauty of it. Thank you!

    So, what is it about Paris anyway? What’s had us going on and on about it? I mean, I want to abandon my life and run away – to Paris. I can see why all those artists made it their home.

    • I should be thanking *you,* Marcia! After all … you came up with the list; my only contribution was to provide the photos. Thanks for the inspiration!

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