Emily: I love to travel, and my mom does, too!
When I was growing up in Ohio, we could only afford road trips to local amusement parks. But collecting miles and points has opened a world of travel neither of us thought possible!
She and I decided to go to London and Paris for a mother-daughter getaway. We flew Business Class and stayed in 5-star hotels. I paid for this trip for a fraction of the retail cost by using airline miles and hotel points.
I’ve never traveled so long with my mom before, and at the end of the trip, I felt like I had a new best friend! Without the miles & points hobby, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to experience the joy of traveling with my mom.
Let’s take a look at some of the top sites we visited in Paris!
Making Mom’s Paris Dreams Come True Index:
- Part 1 – Introduction and Planning
- Part 2 – She Felt Like Royalty on This Flight
- Part 3 – How We Saved Up to 90% at the Hyatt Hotel du Louvre with Hyatt Points
- Part 4 – Our Hunt for Chocolate Eclairs, Raw Beef, and French Crepes
- Part 5 – The Secret to Avoiding Long Lines at Museums
- Part 6 – Sights to See in Paris
- Part 7 – Why Paris is the Best Shopping Destination in the World
Explore the City’s History and Culture
There is so much to see and do in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Chateaus in and around the city also make great half and day trips. The gardens at Versailles are gorgeous. A few years back I rented a bike, cycled around, and enjoyed a lunchtime picnic! The French were known for opulence, and the chateaus tell a story of lavish bygone times. Although Versailles is the most famous, you should check out other less touristy palaces. The Chateau of Vincennes is a 14th century castle just a 25-minute metro ride from the Paris city center!
The Palace of Fontainebleau has extravagant interiors with detailed woodwork, expressive paintings, and other art from the best French and Italian artists from the period. Here’s a link to 11 Must-See Chateaux Outside Paris.
In this post, I’ll go over my mom’s favorite sights in Paris! We wished we had more time to explore all Paris has to offer!
1. Notre Dame Cathedral
Connie: The Notre Dame Cathedral was bigger and more elaborate with the many statues and carvings than I ever imagined. Standing inside the church that took 200 years to build was beyond words. To see the ancient and historical church was another highlight on my European trip. I have aIways been intrigued by the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” but actually the movie set took place in Arizona!
Inside, there are old murals and intricate stained glass windows.
And the buttresses are a work of art themselves!
Outside, there are beautiful gardens with benches and paths behind the church.
The architecture is incredible! It’s hard to believe something so old can stand the test of time so beautifully.
Seeing beautiful, historical buildings is one of my favorite parts of traveling. From tombs and forts in India, to chateaus in France!
2. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was my mom’s favorite sight to see in Paris.
Here’s a short video on the history of the tower:
In an effort to reduce the lines, you have to reserve a time and date to ride up the tower.
The views are fantastic! We really enjoyed looking at Paris below from all sides.
If you’re able to visit at night, there’s a light show every hour. The tower sparkles! And in the winter, there is a skating rink on the first floor.
Connie: There are so many attractions to see in Paris, and I had the wonderful privilege of seeing the Eiffel Tower. You can take an elevator to the different levels to overlook the beautiful city of Paris. I could not get over how high it really is. The lights came on the tower at 5:00 pm and it was beyond dazzling!
3. Palais Garnier – The Paris Opera House
The Paris Opera House is one of my favorite buildings in Paris. I love that the entire place was built to honor art – and the building is a work of art itself.
You can take a guided tour for ~$16. And get a tour of the theatre including a presentation of its history, architecture, and activities.
The auditorium is open to the public when not closed for technical or artistic reasons.
I loved learning more about the history and architecture of the building. One hall reminded me of the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles.
Also, several ballet outfits were on a special display. I loved seeing the intricate details of each ensemble.
If you want to go see a performance at the Palais Garnier, make sure you book ahead. Many events, especially in the summer, can be sold out months in advance.
A few years ago, Daraius and I went to see a ballet here, and it was a magical, unforgettable experience. It was so fun dressing up and experiencing a live performance in one of the most famous opera houses in the world!
The Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and the Palais Garnier are all iconic Parisian monuments. They’re absolutely worth visiting and filled with fascinating beauty and history. Consider visiting a French chateau to see how the royals lived.
And don’t forget, if you plan to visit a number of popular spots in Paris, consider getting a Museum Pass, that includes entrance to Notre Dame. It can save you time and money!