Touring Paris, France - Crowded but Nice, Away from Tourist Trails
We toured Paris to see the art, museums, the city itself, and to experience the lifestyle and people. At the outset we knew there would be huge crowds and long delays and so we decided not to attempt the major attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the major palaces. These sites can be viewed from afar in the hop-on hop-off buses.
Visiting Rome had taught us how to handle the crowds in Paris - be early, very early and line up well before opening even if you have a ticket.
Avoiding the crowds in Paris is an art form in itself. We were determined to see the real Paris away from the major tourist areas and so we adopted a very flexible strategy of playing our hunches and whims, being very flexible and not overdoing the planning.
The hop-on hop-off buses are a good way to get an overall picture relatively quickly, and on the next circuit you can hop off when you see and area or sight that appeals to you.
Our main focus for the attractions was the art and museums.
The images below highlight some of the delightful arcades, cafes and restaurants you can find when you venture into the heart of Paris away from the tourists.
Below are some more images of scenes around Paris including the 'love-locks' burdening the bridges, images of Notre Dame.
We did not try to get inside because the queues were far too long and it would have required a two hour wait and the visit would have been spoilt by the crowds.
Far better to visit some of the less popular attractions and to head out into the heart of Paris to absorb the real atmosphere of uncrowded Paris.
More Original Paris ImagesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Decorative Arts Museum, Paris
The Decorative Arts Museum is in the Western Wing of the Louvre complex, but was relatively empty - far from the maddening crowd. There were fabulous Art Nouveau and Art Deco displays, and also exhibitions of textiles, and modern clothing and Chinese art.
Art NouveauClick thumbnail to view full-size
Snap-Shot of Paris Art
Below is a snap-shot of the best art in various Paris Galleries and Museums. It is biased by my personal preferences. However, it provides a taste of what you can see when you visit Paris. It includes a photo of the Mona Lisa from about 15 m away as this was as close as you could get. Despite being early it took a lot of pushing and shoving to get in the front row to take the image. It was a battle to avoid all the 'selfie' camera mounts and arm from intruding into the image. The painting is tiny an quite uninspiring. Despite the battle there is nothing like seeing original paintings from the masters such as van Gogh in Amsterdam. The original paintings are so much more vibrant and dynamic than any print. Well worth the effort.
It would be nice to spend more time in Paris. Three days is hardly sufficient.
Paris ArtClick thumbnail to view full-size
© 2014 Dr. John Anderson
More by this Author
A guide to the many attractions in Nice, France, including the mountain villages and beaches
How to beat the crowds when visiting Paris in Summer, lessons from personal experience
Detailed, ranked lists of foods of various types with combined high calories and low fat. Lists for Fruit, Vegetables, Grains, Meals, and many more