One of the world’s most beautiful cities, Paris mixes historic grandeur, superb food and wine, and artistic genius into one passionate and intoxicating visit. Impressionist paintings! Michelin-starred chefs! Architectural landmarks! And let's not forget the fashion. Even if you’ve been to Paris several times before, the City of Light always leaves you wanting more. River cruise ships dock right on the Seine, unlike ocean-going vessels that use Le Havre in Normandy as a gateway.
What We Love
The Can’t-Miss Museums: See the Louvre because it’s The Louvre — home to 70,000 pieces of art; Musée de l’Orangerie because the only true way to appreciate Monet’s “Water Lilies” is to see them in person; the Musée d’Orsay for a setting in a former railway station that’s as impressive as the artwork; the Rodin Museum for sculptural beauty both indoors and out; and the Picasso Museum for insight into the Spanish master’s talent and torment.
The Parks, Gardens, and Boulevards: Paris does not lack for wide-open spaces, and on a sunny day there’s nothing better than meandering through the Tuilleries, picnicking in the Luxembourg Gardens, or strolling from Place de la Concorde up the boulevard to end all boulevards, the Champs-Élysées.
Shopping: Macarons at Ladurée, designer clothing along posh Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, vintage finds at the Porte de Clignancourt flea market — Paris has a way of coaxing euros out of your wallet.
Best Known For
The Eiffel Tower: This symbol of the city, designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Exhibition, is a sight to behold. Snap a selfie, ascend, and even enjoy a gourmet lunch or dinner midway up.
Notre Dame Cathedral: Paris’ other best-loved landmark, located on Île de la Cité, dates to 1163. Don’t miss the Gothic gargoyles and flying buttresses, the 33-foot-wide stained glass rose windows, and the 13-ton Emmanuel bell in the south tower.
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Who It's Best For
Lovers: Two is the magic number in Paris, a city made for couples, be they young or old, newly attached or married for decades.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Navigating the City by Foot Can Be Exhausting: Walking is the best way to appreciate the city’s ambiance and architecture — but things are often farther than they look on a map. Wear comfy shoes and take the Metro when you tire; it’s fast, efficient, and easy to navigate.
Donna Heiderstadt is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Coastal Living and Islands.