Paris basically is the Eiffel Tower for a lot of tourists. A visit to Paris would be astonishingly incomplete without a visit to that proud mass of metal shooting up into the sky. I remember the first few times I went to France and didn’t visit Paris. The first thing people asked me when I mentioned France was: Did you go to Paris? (I disappointed them by saying no). I imagine you’d be committing the same travel sin if you went to France and get anywhere near the symbol of Paris.
Picnic at the Eiffel Tower
One of the greatest things about visiting this important landmark as a backpacker or traveller on a budget, is that it can be a free outing! Unless you’re going up the tower, there’s no need to queue or get out your wallet. The field around the tower, Champ de Mars, is really spacious and carefully aligned in reverence of the towering Eiffel.
Champ de Mars was once used for gardening for market produce, army drills and as a marching ground, Bastille Day celebrations and a Revolution massacre. So not only will you be taking in the view of the tower from Champ de Mars, free of queues and crowds whilst not spending a dime, you’ll also be seated in a very historical spot.
While admiring the surrounding views, you could also be tucking into your own gourmet French pique-nique. I recommend making a little salad with fresh produce and jambon de Bayonne, taking along a fresh baguette and a soft mouldy cheese. Some beautiful sparkling water would be an excellent addition. The view and Parisian atmosphere will no doubt add to the romantic savour of your dinner.
See Sights on the Right Bank
From this central point, you could walk east and see many more Parisian landmarks. Cross the river to see L’Arc de Triopmphe and then head in the direction of Le Louvre on the Rive Droite, through Champs Elysée, La Place de la Concorde and Les Jardins de Tuileries. If you get hungry along the way, stop over at your nearest Paul’s for a massive macaron or a slice of flan.
10km Attractions Tour
I’ve put together a walking tour for you that will make sure that you get to see a lot of really good attractions in one day. Get the map over here. This 10km or 6 mile walk takes you through the following sites:
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Pont Alexandre III
- Place de la Concorde
- Tuileries Garden
- Louvre Museum