There`s more to a Paris vacation than just visiting the Eiffel Tower. You`re probably already aware of that famous landmark and the world-famous art museum, the Louvre. While taking a look at both the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre are certainly recommended, if you limit yourself to those two places, you`re missing out on some other must-have experiences for your Paris vacation.
Visit the Musée National de la Marine
Located in the heart of the Paris historic district, the Musée National de la Marine is among the oldest institutions devoted to maritime history in the world. Its amazingly diverse collection has everything from 17th century ship models to contemporary pieces, figureheads and paintings.
See the Archaeological Crypt under Notre Dame
The Notre Dame cathedral square is famous enough on its own, but the crypt beneath is an important archaeological site which houses the foundations of buildings dating back to the Gallo-Roman period. Visitors get to view these ancient wonders and imagine life back in that period of history.
View the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is a famous structure that you may have seen before in works of art and pop culture media, including popular movies. The Unknown Solider tomb was inaugurated here in 1920 and a commemorative flame is revived each day at 6:30 p.m. as a tribute to those lost in war.
Explore the Père Lachaise
The Père Lachaise is an incredible 44-acre cemetery that dates back to 1803. The introduction of a new country-wide burial policy at the time created the need for the construction of three large burial grounds. The Père Lachaise was designed to invoke feelings of peace and contemplation by combining English-style designs with a garden landscape and is currently the largest green open space in Paris.
Experience the Thoiry Safari Park
The Thoiry Safari Park features 800 animals freely traveling across nearly five miles of land. The park features a glass tunnel through its dangerous cat section, allowing you to safely walk near lions. Other attractions include an adventure island trail and a garden.
Try Parc Astérix
While Disneyland Paris is well known and worth a look, try visiting the Parc Astérix, a sprawling Paris theme park. With activities for adults and kids as well as an Egyptian-themed section with more than 30 rides, the Parc Astérix offers attractions for the entire family.
Taste the Wine at the Montmartre Vineyard
The Montmartre Vineyard dates back to 1932 and features 27 different wine varieties. In October, the vineyard hosts a festival that features fireworks, a wine-tasting event and a grape-picking opportunity.
Tour the Château de Vaux-de-Vicomte
The Château de Vaux-de-Vicomte is the former estate of Nicolas Fouquet, financial superintendent of Louis XIV. The Sun King was so jealous of its splendour that he had Fouquet imprisoned. Guided tours are available, which include a visit to the estate`s carriage museum.
Be Inspired at the Musée Marmottan Monet
The Musée Marmottan Monet houses many works by famous artists, including Renoir, with its focus on Monet. The museum`s extensive catalogue features various pieces from the artist`s personal collection.
Go to the Espace Dall
The Espace Dall is entirely devoted to the flamboyant surrealist artist. Home to more than 300 pieces of Salvador Dali`s work, the gallery features paintings, sculptures and prints made by the master, including his famous clock series.
When you`re planning your Paris tour, make sure you research the available accommodations before you book. Compare the rates for villas and gites to confirm you`re getting the features you want at the best available price in the area you`re staying in.