When one is visiting Paris for the first time it is quite overwhelming. There is so much to see and many people go for only a short period of time. So how can one see as much as possible with the time they have?
My suggestion has always been start big then go small. What I mean is that start with a large city view and then find out the spots you want to visit the most and go to them. Nearly all major cities offer a hop-on/hop-off bus city tour that offers a great overview of the city your visiting. I’ll sign up for the first morning I am there and ride the whole route. I then return to the attractions that I’m most interested from there.
In this trip being able to get a wide sweeping view of Paris was a wonderful way to begin to grasp the majesty of this city. And there is nowhere better than in the Eiffel Tower.
It’s been over 20 years since I’ve been on the tower and I was excited about being ‘on top of the world.’ The lines at the main tourist attractions are notorious and add the new security measures at these venues a lot of time can be lost visiting them. The Secrets of Paris website gives some great tips on how to skip the lines at the Eiffel Tower. These are certainly more affordable than many of the tours that operators offer in the area.
We opted with pre-purchasing the ParisLib pass that included a one-hour Seine boat cruise, a one day pass for the L’Open Tour city bus, five days Museum pass (good for Versailles), and tickets for the bus and metro. With the Paris Lib Pass, for an additional 15 Euro we received a “Skip the line” one hour tour of the Eiffel Tower.
Through security we went and up the elevators we go to the second floor. The views were truly spectacular. Sweeping city scenes, monuments and churches standing tall above the landscape. Rooftops and gardens, we could see it all.
Ideally I should have been there closer to sunset which is…eeeh gads…10:00 p.m. so I had to work with what I had. As we had just arrived that day, I wanted to travel light on this outing and brought with me my new Olympus OMD E-M1 Mark II with 12-100mm Pro lens. Nice and hefty with the Micro four-thirds system I was able to get some nice close shots with some of the street scenes.