I believe that we are bearing witness to a huge paradigm shift in travel planning and preparation. As social networks continue to grow and mature, they will replace many traditional information sources. In the spirit of this revolution, I want to introduce a new series on LandLopers – the Interactive Travel Guide. Every week I will pick one destination and highlight one activity, restaurant or experience in that travel spot. This is where you come in. I want you all to add your own favorite travel experience in the highlighted city so that hopefully we will have created a virtual travel guide based on the best recommendations from the web.
To kick off this social experiment, I want to start with my favorite city in the world, Paris.
There are many things I love to see and do in Paris, but my favorite is strolling around Montmartre.
Montmartre is a top tourist spot not only for its amazing and free (I’m looking at you Eiffel Tower) views of the city, but also for the spectacular Sacré-Coeur Basilica. To get up to the top of this neighborhood you can elect to walk the seemingly endless set of stairs or take the funicular. The funicular is actually part of the metro system, so if you have a day pass you can ride for free.
Once at the top, head immediately for Sacré-Coeur, the alabaster white basilica atop this mighty hill. Directly in front of the church there are many great spots from which to gaze out on the city. After taking in the City of Lights in all its glory, head inside to tour the basilica.
There are a wide variety of food and snack options around Montmartre, but avoid the super touristy ones if you can. Instead, seek out a quiet café tucked down a side street as a place to enjoy a café and pastry. Montmartre is an eclectic place and has a long history of supporting artists and the somewhat less-than-savory elements of society. You can still find a vast array of promising artists displaying their wares in the neighborhood square, adjacent to many of the bars and cabarets that have called Montmartre home for much of its history.
Montmartre is a great place to spend an hour or two, or while away an entire afternoon. No matter how much time I have in Paris, I always visit this favorite neighborhood at least once.
NOW it’s your turn. Please comment and tell us your favorite thing to do, see or eat in Paris. If you haven’t been yet, please let us know what you would most like to do.