My Photographic Journey in Paris
Bonjour People !
This land surely doesn’t need any separate introduction. Its everyones dream to visit this place once in a lifetime. City of lights, city of museums & monuments, city of love & romance are only few of its names. Yes I am talking about Paris ! Say me lucky or say me wild dreamer, but I have witness this land & cherry on the cake was, with my better half - My Camera !
Along the journey of my photographic expeditions, I was always watching stunning panoramic images of this land & always wished to visit it. I am strong believer of dreaming till it becomes reality & it turns out to be true on this instance as well. I might fall short to describe about this place in words, so I hope my images will compensate for it. Do share your views in comments below.
Little about Paris
Its famous “Paris” (par EE in French) name is derived from its early inhabitants, the Celtic “Parissi” tribe. Paris has contributed enough during the Age of Enlightenment & due to its extensive use of gas street lights back then, its been called famously as City of Lights. No wonder this place is glowing so much at night these days. If you are really interested about further history of this land, you can read about it on wikipedia here & internet all over. However this blog is all about the photographic journey to some iconic places around Paris with my personal experiences.
If you think Paris is famous only because of Eiffel Tower, you are completely wrong. This capital of France is filled with almost 1803 monuments & 173 museums along side of Seine river. No wonder just couple of days visit is not going to help you. This place is historic & Eiffel tower is just one of its part which took birth in 1887-89. The city offers architecture from Middle Ages to 21st century all-together. It’s a perfect blend of cultures along many centuries. Thus no one goes empty handed from this land. 23 million visitors in a year is proof of richness at this place indeed !
If you are short on time & looking to explore this land in 2-3 days, you are at right place to read about. I did explored this place in the same time span & it does ask for little bit of ahead of the game planning. Traveling inside Paris is never an issue however where to go is the biggest question.
What are must visit places in Paris when on short tour ?
I personally would recommend to give enough leisure time while traveling to Paris. However even for short trip I would recommend 2-3 days to explore key places & have little bit of own time. Summer time in Europe is pretty busy & you are bound to experience crowd at every place. Being city destination, Paris is favoured by many in summer & you should invest enough for such lifetime tours. You should not miss following places to visit while in Paris though :
Ohh my my !!! This place is absolute beauty and my favourite place to visit in Paris. Given a chance, I would love to shoot this place again. This place is freaking royal & makes you feel so as soon as you enter it. The architecture is built very meticulously & preserved likewise. Opera house was constructed between 1861-1875 for Napoleon III, however he never got chance to visit it ironically. Its Grand staircase, Grand Foyer hallway & the beautiful central theatre of opera are major attractions. You should visit this place with guided tours to know every little thing of this place. Plus on top, It gives you opportunity to enter central theatre & watch the stage closely. If I would have been in theatre arts, I would have definitely dreamt of performing at Paris opera once for sure !
Arc de Triomphe
This monument was also built during Napoleon III era in the honour of men who fought & lost their lives during French revolutionary & Napoleonic wars. Inside wall of this arc has 660 names written on it of those warriors. The detailed carving of inside wall keeps your head up all the time. While if you travel on the top of the arc, it offers beautiful 360 degree panoramic view of the city.
The image below is shot from top of arc. The view from here is extremely mesmerising & you can see avenues extending their arms from Arc all around the city of Paris. I was blessed with some moody clouds during my visit to create this blissful scene towards Eiffel tower.
You really should not miss this place while in Paris. I am sure you would have seen this place in many movies. Do you know that Louvre Museum is world’s biggest museum? It offers boundless opportunities to art explorer just like free child roaming around in chocolate factory. The stunning museum has 3,80,000 pieces of art & only 35,000 are on display for visitors. But trust me, you will not be able to explore this place in a single day for sure. There is so much to explore here. The famous Mona Lisa painting by Leonardo da Vinci is placed right amongst one of its walls. You will be certainly surprised to see the size of this painting however it indeed got the biggest credibility in the world out there. Mona Lisa is being one reason, I would highly encourage to explore this place for other stunning art works which are really jaw dropping pieces. So to allow yourself enough time, please check out visiting hours of Louvre Museum before you plan your visit.
Notre dame cathedral
Do you know that this famous cathedral gets more number of visitors than Eiffel Tower every year ? It’s true ! Its famous gothic architecture inspires visitors from all over the world to visit this place. Sadly in 2019, this cathedral got caught up in fire & got heavy damage to its wooden roof. I was lucky to view this place from inside during my visit & witnessed this historic monument which was created back in 1160-1260. However it’s not over yet. Following to the fire, help is coming from all across the world & government is going to rebuild the cathedral in its original design. However, we surely lost the piece of history & watching this place burn was painful feeling for me. After all it was creation of some artist. Who would like to get his/her own creation burnt & vanished from this world !
Well, I don’t need to tell you much about this. But there are many things that travellers doesn’t know about Eiffel. Did you know that Eiffel was heavily criticised during its initial period for its architecture & dominance over Paris Landscape ? Did you know that Eiffel was supposed to be standing only for 20 years ? Strange isn’t it ? Can we imagine Paris without Eiffel ever ? It’s amazing to see how all glorious lives have to go through grinding critiques in its initial period. Never the less, this structure is symbol of romance & love now. Every couple wish to spend night under lights of Eiffel. While being close to Eiffel is a treat, there are some amazing places across Paris which offers panoramic view of this tower & you should not miss to visit these places too.
And yes, don’t forget to visit top of Eiffel. It required tickets & you can book it from its official website. Avoid any pointed metal objects in your pockets while entering Eiffel, even spoon ! Thank me later. Check official website before planning your actual visit for more information on these.
Apart from these iconic places, there are many opportunities to explore the unexplored. View from Trocadero & lifestyle around it, la Madeleine church & its huge entrance, beautiful la Sainte Chapelle famous for its gothic architecture & beauty, romantic cruise ride in Seine river with your partner, a walk around Montparnasse & view from Montparnasse tower, journey around Seine river watching beautiful Paris bridges, Galerie de Lafayette for its royal look & plenty of shopping opportunities to empty your pockets & if you are foodie, many restaurants & cafes around Paris to feed your hunger ! The city is truly perfect for everyone to travel & you should not miss opportunity to explore the land in your own way. All you need to do is to put on your shoes & walk around in the city. I bet you will come with some amazing stories from Paris.
How to Travel inside Paris ?
All this information is great Prathamesh, but its another country, unknown city, unknown people. So we really love joining planned tours & plus it’s hassle free without any planning required from our side. Don’t you think its the best way to explore the place ? How did you plan your travel inside Paris ?
Look guys, I understand you like planned tours. Even I like them at times. But don’t you think exploring the unexplored by all yourself is the real fun of traveling at least in city destinations ? And to be frank its really not that difficult to plan your own journey. May be I will write about it in depth some other day in my blogs.
Talking about Paris, take into consideration following points while planning your tour & you will cherish every moment of it.
Get your hotels booked around centre of city. It’s the heart of Paris & It will save ton of your time on short tour & will have easy commutes available to every part of the city.
On the first day, get inside any official tourist centre to grab information on your destinations. Official centres helps in best possible way, guides you to targeted destinations & provide some free travel guides which are always useful.
Collect Paris pass & travel cards as soon as you can. These are like prepaid entry tickets for your targeted attractions & public transport. So once you have these, you are good to roam around the city at your own pace without worrying about any queue tickets. You can get these easily on internet or at welcome centres in across the city.
I will suggest to travel distant attractions first & places around your stay at later in your expedition. This helps to avoid chances of missing any visits & creates refreshing travel experience.
Create a list of must do things in Paris, sunset sunrise locations in Paris , romantic gateways in Paris etc & plan your days accordingly. This way you can prioritise & maximise the experience more.
Do not carry much valuables & heavy luggage while roaming around the city. Though the city of Paris is safe, it’s amazing feeling to travel around without any worry. Its time to breath the city all in with your both hands free in the air.
If you are really looking to travel with photographers mindset for productive travel, check out my blog “HOW TO PLAN YOUR NEXT PHOTOGRAPHIC DESTINATION EFFECTIVELY“. It has some great secrets of my journey to any location & how I plan my travels for effective outcomes.
What is best time to visit Paris ?
Paris is such a lovable place that its a year around destination. However it’s at peak during summer time. The daylight is pretty long & you can maximise your travel experience during summer. However it gets flooded with tourist from all around the world. So plan wisely. During winter, city offers different look all together. If you are planning winter visit, I would encourage to travel for New Years eve. The firework show at Eiffel is must do & should not be missed. City is at its absolute best in its Parisian vibe for sure. Again, city for tourist will be costly during this time & its better to plan your visit well in advance.
Any suggestions for Photographers ?
City like Paris, offers plenty of opportunities to explore & shoot. Its highly important to prioritise your locations & plan effectively. I will encourage you to research well in advance. Some locations do not allow usage of tripods so its always better to research about them. Also it’s really important to know that Eiffel Tower images in day time are under public domain however Eiffel Tower images shot at night are not under public domain. They are copyright protected by SETE since 1985. Hence if you are planning for commercial work with your Paris images, get it cleared from SETE for your night shots with Eiffel Tower lights on.
How was your overall experience in Paris ?
Needless to say that I have cherished every moment in Paris. In fact, given a chance, I would shoot this city with different perspective next time & still will not be satisfied with my exploration. There is so much to explore in Paris & I will visit this land again & again. This place doesn’t send visitors empty handed for sure. The Paris city is perfect blend of history & culture of centuries. People around the town are warming & helping hands are available all around. The city offers exploration of countless historic architectures, arts, fashion & lifestyle to its absolute best. All you are required to do is to travel with open mindset & invest your valuable time. This is exactly what I have done & I returned with some lifetime images ! Prints of few of these images are available for sale & licensing. Contact me here for further details on these.
If you have been to Paris & had some amazing experiences, why don’t you comment down below & let me know. I would like to know your stories too.
Adios Amigos !
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