Paris. Sounds almost like a travel writing cliche. A city with iconic sites, a long history of intellectuals, excess and revolutions. Starving artists and dreamers drawn to the inspiration of a muse. Culinary traditions that define the height of food for a large portion of the world. The very definition of cosmopolitan and yet still very french. Beyond the big ideas and reputation, what does a regular person do in Paris? Sometimes a visit is just a visit and doesn’t need to be a pilgrimage.


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There are some things that shouldn’t be missed. Without a visit to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and a stroll along the Seine it would be lacking. You will probably be met with questioning looks back home if you skip on these. Not that climbing the tower or typical tourist photos of holding the top of the tower are required but one should at least get close to appreciate such iconic locations. Not all of the classics are required. Many line up to fight the crowds for a quick peek at the Mona Lisa but that can be disappointing, especially if classic art just isn’t your thing. A sampler plate of sites rather than a high speed punch list will make the visit enjoyable.

The history doesn’t just live in the architecture and art treasures. The cultural history is on display and worth finding for any visit. Checking in on the once racy dancing girls that earned Paris a reputation for being on the cultural edge will make for a great evening out. Finding tickets for Moulin Rouge Paris show before arriving will ensure there is no disappointment.

Just as hitting the highlights is necessary, the quintessential bistro to enjoy a comfortable glass of vin rouge and escargot should be less of a journey. The bistro is likely to just around the corner and down the street. Wood panelling and a waiter uniformed with a crisp white apron may sound cliche but just like seeing the tower, it is something that needs to be done. For simpler tastes, passing on the escargot for a divine baguette and cheese could do instead.