Exploring Paris in 8 Hours


With only 8 hours to explore as much of Paris as possible before seeing Jimmy Buffett preform at La Cigale, we begin with a 60 minute Vedettes de Paris Sightseeing Cruise on the Seine River. For 15€ per person, we enjoy a glass of champagne while seeing the highlights of Paris with an English speaking guide.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

  • We sip champagne as we float by Notre Dame, the most famous Gothic cathedral of the Middle Ages, constructed from the ruins of 2 churches. Rising from a stone foundation, this architectural landmark with stained glass windows, gargoyles, and ornate steeples took 2 centuries to complete. Visitors can climb the North tower of the Notre Dame Cathedral for a panoramic view of Paris.

Point Alexandre III

Point Alexandre III Bridge Paris

  • Point Alexandre III, the most extravagant bridge in Paris, connects the Champs-Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge is adorned with lampposts and sculptures of cherubs, lions, cupids, maidens, water spirits, fish, sea monsters, and nymphs, each created by a different artist.

Point Alexandre III Bridge

  • The bridge symbolizes the new relationship between France and Russia owed to Tsar Alexandre III. Each of the pillars is topped with a statue representing a different era in France: King Charlemagne, the Renaissance, King Louis XIV, and the modern era.

Musee d’Orsay

the louvre paris

  • Originally a train station, the Musee d’Orsay is one of the world’s most visited museums. Here, the largest collection of paintings, sculptures, designs, and photography of the modern era can be viewed among the 3 floors.

The Louvre

  • The Louvre is one of the world’s most popular and largest art museums. Reaching almost 2 miles in length, over 30,000 works of art are on display and over 400 more are in storage. The Louvre was originally build as a fortress, later transformed into a royal castle, and finally developed into the famous art museum it is today.

Institut de France

  • Formerly the College des Quatre-Nations, the Institut de France holds the largest public library in France. There is a sundial located on the chapel wall.

The Conciergerie

The Conciergerie Paris

  • The Conciergerie, originally one of the grandest castles, was transformed into an administrative building when its resident relocated to the Louvre. In the late 1300’s, the castle was converted into a prison. During the French Revolution, the building became known as the last stop for prisoners before execution. No longer operating as a prison, the Conciergerie became a national monument open to the public in the early 1900’s. Visitors can peek into the prisoners’ cells including the final holding place of Marie Antoinette.

Assemblée Nationale

Assemblée Nationale Paris

  • The National Assembly Building, also known as Palais Bourbon, houses the French parliament 3 days a week.

Eiffel Tower

Eiffel tower in paris

  • Attracting over 7,000,000 visitors every year, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. Constructed for the World’s Fair in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was the world’s tallest building for 41 years.
  • Once, visitors could climb the 1,665 stairs to the top of the tower. Now, an elevator takes passengers to a champagne bar on the top floor. Every 7 years the tower is repainted.

eiffle tower at night

  • 5,000,000,000 bulbs light up the Eiffel Tower at night. From sunset until 1:00am, the lights sparkle for 5 minutes every hour. Taking photos of the Eiffel Tower at night is actually illegal, violating the artist’s copyright. However, taking photos during the day or from the top of the tower at night is legal.

Arc de Triomphe

After the cruise, we walk down the world’s most famous shopping avenue, Champs Elyseés, meaning Elysian fields. The avenue runs directly from the Louvre into the Arc de Triomphe on Avenue del la Grande Armee. 

Arc de Triomphe Paris

  • At the beginning of the Champs-Elysees, is the Arche de Triomphe. The arch was built in the early 1800’s as a monument for those who fought for France in the Grande Army. At the base lies the tomb of the unknown soldier.

Place de la Concorde

  • At the end of Champs-Elysees is Place de la Concorde. Formerly known as an execution site, the square is now famous for the gift from the Egyptians. The pink granite Luxor Obelisk was built in the early 1800’s. Framing the pillar are 2 identical fountains created from bronze and cast iron, Fontaine des Mers and Fountaine des Fleuves.

Jimmy Buffett at La Cigale

jimmy buffet in paris

  • Originally a concert hall and café, La Cigale opened in 1887. Closing twice for renovations, the concert venue has remained open since the 1980’s expanding its performances to comedy and fashion shows.

Au revoir, Paris!

September 2015

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

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