Springtime in Paris

My visit to Paris in 2007 was very short, so it was great to have more than a week this year to see the city. In this post, I will share some of my favourite photos of the Parisian attractions and sights to see in springtime.

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. Driving around the landmark is a bit hectic. There’s room for 4-5 lanes of traffic, but they aren’t marked. Cars, although they go slow, go in many different directions. I felt as though I was witnessing many close calls of cars barely missing each other.

After ascending its long spiral staircase to the top, you are rewarded with amazing views of the city. All the major roads, including Champs-Élysées, lead toward the Arc de Triomphe. It is neat now the streets all converge to the Arc de Triomphe and you really feel like you’re at the centre of Paris.

Here’s another view of the Arc de Triomphe, all the way from the other end of Champs-Élysées. Behind the Arc de Triomphe is the road leading to the La Grande Arche de la Défense or La Grande Arche which is a monument and building in the La Defense district. You can see to top of the building under the arc. Many people refer to it as the “new” Arc, compared to the older Arc de Triomphe.

The Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris is simply stunning inside. They are also happy to allow photography inside without flash, unlike Sacré-Coeur (below) which unfortunately does not allow any kind of photography.

The Sacré-Coeur (Sacred Heart) church is a one of the beautiful city’s landmarks that can be seen from many vantage points within the city (as it is on top of a tall hill). A fairly impressive street performer captivates a crowd on their way in and out of the church.

The Eiffel Tower is instantly recognizable not only as a symbol of France, but of tourism and travel in general. It was built for an exposition, a world’s fair, in 1889. It was only supposed to stand for 20 years, to be removed in 1909. Thankfully, this never happened.

I climbed the stairs to get halfway up the tower. The tallest building in Paris, Montparnasse Tower, stands out in the distance. Many locals dislike Montparnasse Tower’s appearance, and as a result, have been very reluctant to allow more towers to be built ever since.

At one end of the Champs-Élysées is the beautiful Jardins (Gardens) des Tuileries. It’s a great place to relax. I managed to make it seem as though the man in this photo is relaxing a bit too much in public.

Love padlocks appear on many bridges in Paris. The oldest ones I could see were from 2 years ago.

Although it’s hard to see here, a newly wed bride is sitting in the passenger seat of this car, parked along the side of the Champs-Élysées. The antique car was an unusual sight (I think) to see along here.

The Place de la Concorde is situated beside the Jardins des Tuileries at the end of Champs-Élysées. It’s a busy area for tourism with many attractions within walking distance. On Sundays and holidays, the buildings in the background are decorated with dozens of large French flags.

The Palais Garnier, operated by Paris Opera, is one of the most grand buildings I have ever seen. This picture most certainly does not do it any justice.

I hope you enjoyed this selection of Paris photos. Don’t miss my full photo gallery below. Check back soon for my final France 2013 post with more photos of beautiful Paris, the City of Lights, taken at nighttime.

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