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Paris Tourism: Best of Paris
Paris has a reputation for being the ultimate romantic getaway. But what visitors really swoon over is the city itself. Those grand stone and wrought-iron buildings, the sidewalks brimming with cozy cafés, and the Seine’s curving riverbanks are downright cinematic. But the city’s charms go beyond looks. The culinary scene creates an endless list of must-eat French dishes—rich and hearty coq au vin, golden buttery croissants. It’s also worth trying modern fusion and inventive international food here. (Trust us, the city’s falafel is outstanding.) And the spirit of Paris invites ducking down side streets, lingering in museums, and exploring mazes of shops. At the end of the day, head to the Champ-de-Mars to get uninterrupted views of the Eiffel Tower as it glitters into the night.
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Look beyond the Louvre! Under-the-radar museums
Paris is a city of delights, one of which is the proliferation of fascinating museums that fly under most tourists' radars. Here are a handful of gems - some big, some small, but all interesting and off the beaten path.
Neil N, New York City, NY
- Musee de la Chasse et de la Nature356A celebration of the hunt. Taxidermy, antique firearms, and more juxtaposed with rotating modern art exhibits. One of my favorite museums on Earth.
- Maison de Victor Hugo682Step into the home of a literary giant, and enjoy the picturesque square on which it sits.
- Musee De Cluny2,918Come for the Lady and the Unicorn. But take a minute to soak in the fact that in this museum you're literally walking through time. The amazing collection of Medieval artifacts sits atop Roman ruins. A very visceral sense of how deep Paris's history runs.
- National Museum of Natural History1,326The museum is great fun, and is situated adjacent to the zoo and a sprawling botanical park. Pro tip: Get lunch at La Mosquee de Paris - Aux Portes de l'Orient, across the street from the museum and adjacent to the mosque. Excellent Moroccan food, enchanting atmosphere.
- Musee de la Poupee89A treat for serious doll enthusiasts, sure - but also a genuinely interesting stop for those who are inspired by others' offbeat passions.
- Musée des Egouts37A museum about all things Parisian sewers. Pro tip? Prep for your visit by reading Hugo's Les Miserables, in which the sewers of Paris feature prominently!
- Musee des Arts et Metiers1,159The French have a long, proud heritage of engineering and scientific accomplishment. This museum is a delightful celebration of that legacy.
- Palais de Tokyo626Contemporary art that pushes boundaries ... if you're looking to be challenged and think differently, check it out.
- Albert Kahn Musee et Jardins609The gardens here highlight different garden styles -- French, English, Japanese, with many travelers remarking the Japanese feels like stepping into Tokyo. Viva Japonisme!