26 Nov 2012

The Sights of Paris

The Lourve
Cost: 11E per person

This. Is. One. Massive. Museum!

My main advice prior to going to this museum is to go to the web site to understand what exhibitions and collections are on offer and plan ahead. I’m not talking about knowing every piece of items in the museum but have an idea of what key monuments you want to see, that way you know where they are located in the museum so you have an idea of where you need to be heading. To avoid tiring yourself out from walking back and forth through the museum, identify what items you want to see and plan items in order so you’re not back tracking like we were. You can hire audio guides (like we did) for 5E each. They are in the form of a Nintendo DS which unless you are familiar with one can be a little tricky to use. They do have interactive GPS component which will guide you from point A to B but I still highly recommend planning ahead. The masses of people and tour groups also impacted the ability to walk around the museum quickly.

A massive property about 40mins train ride outside of Paris. Don’t be alarm by the commute outside of Paris there are so many other tourist going to this property you could probably just follow the masses. The property is another 7mins walk from the station, again just follow the masses and signs, you wont get lost.

There are entry and group tour vendors selling tickets to Versalle on and around the station. In my opinion don’t bother unless you do want to join a tour group. The lines to buy tickets were long but I soon noticed people walking past the line so I followed and found several ticket machines issuing tickets. These machines are located in a room close to the manned ticket windows. From memory these machines do only accepts credit cards but are touch screen so very easy to use. To purchase tickets choose the English version and followed the prompts to purchase entry tickets including audio guides. 

This place hosts mostly art and historical artifacts pertaining to the property itself.

Other sights we saw but didn’t enter … (probably because there was an entry fee)
Beautiful old church with lots of history. Key historical info that I learnt during the bike tour we did through Paris about this Cathedral:
  • The famous book title The Hunchback of Notre Dame written by Victor Hugo saved it from being potentially demolished as the book drew new found interest in the church. 
  • The building itself with stood two World Wars.
  • Restoration of the church began in 2000 and still on going. They commenced cleaning the exterior to remove the dirt and muck on the building itself and if you visit today you can see the color tone between what parts have been cleaned and parts to be cleaned.
On Sunday evening there is a Filipino lead service where the service is spoken in tagalog. 

Here you can also visit the spot considered the very central point of Paris. There’s a plarke in the ground so you know exactly where it is. You can climb the towers of this church (at a fee).

Another beautiful church in Paris, perched up on a hill with beautiful views of Paris is Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.  Because it is on a hill be prepared for a bit of a hike. There are many steps to climb to get to the top but its not like the Effie Tower where its a step after a step. Around the church there are  gypsies about due to the large number of tourist that come here so be on your guard. Again you can also climb this church to see high views of the city. 

What key sights do you recommend seeing in Paris and why?
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