Heading to Paris and potentially Belgium. My fiance is a first timer to Paris - any must sees? I haven't been in 5 years!
Any tips for Belgium as well?
- Champs ElyseesChamps Elysees, Paris, Francerecommended Champs ElyseesGo to the Eiffel Tower at night, it is lit up and nicer. Then take a nice walk along the Seine as far as you wish, if you cross the bridge at Pont de l'Alma you can go straight ahead and end up at the ... read moreChamps Elysées, and the Arc de Triomphe is in front of you.
- Sainte Chapelle4 Boulevard du Palais, Paris 75001, Francerecommended Sainte ChapelleThis is a magnificent chapel on the Ile de la Cité in Paris. What impressed me: the walls are mostly covered by stained glass windows. It is almost magic that the building can stand.recommended Sainte ChapelleIf you only visit one church in Paris, choose this one. The stained glass is unbelievably gorgeous, especially with the recent restoration work. Go early to avoid the line, which can get long.Lauren Baker
Although it isn't one of the more famous sights in Paris, it is a must-see!
- Ile Saint Louis67 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Île, 75004 Paris, France
- Jardin des Tuileriesrue de Rivoli, Paris 75001 Francerecommended Jardin des TuileriesBeautiful place It depends what kind of tourist you are, what kind of thing you like
- Oud Begijnhof Sint-Elisabeth (Old St. Elizabeth Beguinage)Begijnhofdries, 9000 Ghentrecommended Oud Begijnhof Sint-Elisabeth (Old St. Elizabeth Beguinage)In a quiet corner of the center of Ghent, you will find this beguinage. Although a lot of houses are already restored in their former glory and inhabited, some still need restoration.
recommended St. Baafs Kathedraal GhentGreat cathedral in a wonderful location. Another Gothic monument in Ghent, but with some Baroque and Rococo elements inside. Also famous for the wonderful painting "Het Lam God's" (the Adoration of ... read morethe Mystic Lamb) by Hubert and Jan Van Eyck. I can look at this painting for hours, even if that is unpractical due to the crowded situation in the small room where it is displayed
- Free mapped walking tourold city centerrecommended Free mapped walking tourYou can get a brochure of a free (non-guided) walking tour of the most important sights in the old center of Ghent.How long you will need depends on how much time you spend everywhere, but count on ... read moreminimum 2 hours and maximum up to a full day. Walking distances are very short. See also photo of the map
recommended GhentOne of the nicest larger cities in Belgium. Great atmosphere, gorgeous old center, a lot of original restaurants with great food, enough shops to spend a day
- GravensteenJan Breydelstraat 35, Gent, Belgiumrecommended GravensteenA real medieval castle still clearly showing its primal defense function. Don't expect a fancy interior. Instead you get a few rooms with armor, torture instruments and history. It is not stuffed with ... read moreitems, on the contrary, but all well explained. The castle itself is a maze of stairways, hidden chambers, without any decoration with thick defensive walls. From the top of the main tower you have a nice view over the city.
- Graslei & KorenleiGent, Belgiumrecommended Graslei & KorenleiTwo streets, one on each side of the water in between. An incredible amount of great looking old houses. This must be one of the most amazing sights of Belgium, and Ghent in particular. Take you time ... read moreto look around, and then do it a second time with binoculars. Or sit down on the terrace of the many bars & restaurants and enjoy the view
- MontmartreMontmartre, Paris, Francerecommended MontmartreThis neighborhood boasts quaint cafes, a vibrant art scene, a historic church, reasonably priced accommodations and some of the best views of the city.
- Château de VersaillesVersailles, Francerecommended Château de VersaillesThe chateau is huge, opulent and historic, but the gardens are the real treat. They are perfectly maintained and seemingly endless! You can easily spend a full day here and still not see everything.recommended Château de VersaillesOne of the high-lights of my Versailles trip was visiting the Gardens and Marie-Antoinette's Estate. It's massive, words can't describe the size and acres of the land. Beautiful marble sculptures, ... read morewell trimmed bushes and trees, and manicured flowers and plants. The Musical Fountains Show is a must, pay a little extra to come on certain days and times, a very entertaining show. The gardens are so huge, it does get tiring walking around. But don't forget to check Marie-Antoinette's Estate, where you'll find typical French style cottages and The Temple of Love.Yen Phan
I highly recommend a day trip (go early) for one of the most beautiful gardens and water fountain shows. There are cafes inside, but bring snacks and water, as you'll be walking a lot. Check the schedule for the Musical Fountains Show, a must!
- Quartier LatinCinquième et Sixième Arrondissement, Paris 75005 Francerecommended Quartier LatinImmediately one of my favorite parts of the city! I love small streets with lots of options for eating. And because there are so many options the competition keeps prices down in this part of the ... read morecity! They have all kinds of food from around the world so no matter what kind of mood you are in something is sure to please.
- Jardin du LuxembourgBoulevard Saint-Michel, Paris 75006 Francerecommended Jardin du LuxembourgWow! Beautiful! I almost missed this amazing attraction in Paris and kind of stumbled upon it by accident. Definitely worth checking out!
- Bateau MouchePont de l'Alma Rive droite, 75008 Paris, Francerecommended Bateau MoucheIt may be a typical tourist thing but none the less I really enjoyed it! They went by all the main tourist attractions and played a track that told you the history of several points along the river. I ... read morewould recommend going towards the evening so that you can see part of the tour in light and part as it gets dark. The tours run every 20 minutes until 9PM. I took the 8:40PM boat which was great because it wasn't too full but started in the light and ended after dark (the tour was just over an hour).
- Rue MontorgueilRue Montorgueil, Paris 75001 Francerecommended Rue MontorgueilThe rue Montorgueil is a trendy pedestrian-only street just next to Les Halles shopping mall in the right bank's 2nd arrondissement. Lots of cute little shops and restaurants here; on the northern end ... read moreis the Sentier neighborhood, where the bulk of Paris's wholesale apparel shops are located.
- Louvre Museum34 Quai du Louvre, Paris 75001 Francerecommended Louvre MuseumOne of the most largest and extensive collections of paintings and sculptures, you can spend days here and not see everything. It gets very crowded, especially at the hall where the tiny Mona Lisa ... read morepainting is located. If there are specific artwork you want to see, map it out before you go to save you time cause it's huge and a lot of walking and dodging of crowds. The center courtyard is nice as well, where the top of the glass pyramid is at. Lots of people sitting and enjoying the sight and atmosphere.Yen Phan
The Louvre offers free admission on the first Sunday of every month. There's a less crowded entrance close to where the Carousel is, not a lot of people know.recommended Louvre MuseumThis is an amazing museum from the statues and IM Pei Glass Pyramid on the inside to the Mona Lisa (no its not huge, but it's incredible, it's level of detail is amazing...and for God's sake no ... read morepictures with flash...seriously use some discretion and common sense here) Greek and Roman statues and unbelievable paintings. I had a field day escorting two friends not overly into Art around explaining stuff to them. They loved it and one blew his Fathers in Laws mind when he recounted in detail all the amazing works he saw...
- SeineQuai Branly, Paris 75007 Francerecommended SeineThe Seine is a great river to take a walk along. Its rich with history, fantastic architecture and statues to to make you snap happy with your camera...or for just a stroll with someone special
- Hotel Ter DuinenLangerei 52, Brugge, Belgiumrecommended Hotel Ter DuinenGreat little hotel right on the canal in the heart of the old city. The location was amazing - a 5 minute walk to the center of the old city. The rooms were simple but clean and nice. The room ... read moreincluded breakfast, which was tasty with lots of fresh baked breads. Very cozy and a great experience overall!
recommended Boat Tour on the CanalsTaking a boat tour of the famed canals in Brugges is an absolute must. Drivers are multi lingual and very knowledgeable - allows you to see the ancient city from the same perspective its early ... read moreinhabitants did.
recommended Belgian WindmillsThere are 4 historic windmills along the canals outside of the old city (there is a nice walking path along the canals). The windmills are up on a hill and date to the 1700s - beautiful and a great ... read moreplace to escape the crowds.
- Angelina226 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, Francerecommended AngelinaTheir L'African hot chocolate is just that: molten chocolate. It's the best I've had in all of my travels. They serve it with unsweetened whipped cream, which you'll appreciate once you realize how ... read moresweet pure chocolate can be.Joseph Coureur
Some of the best hot chocolate I've ever had.
- BruggeBrugge, Belgium
recommended Brugesyou should go there!! it's a really picturesque city!recommended BrugesBruges is beautiful! Have you seen the movie "In Bruges?" It was filmed here. If you get the DVD, be sure to watch the extra features, which includes a lovely tour of Bruges. This is an easy day trip ... read morefrom Brussels...Just a quick train ride. You can travel here in the morning, stay for lunch, and be back in Brussels in time for dinner. Meal suggestion: A bucket of seamed mussels, freites, and Belgian cherry beer (the perfect beverage for people who think they do not like beer). Try to choose a restaurant where you can eat outside, preferably overlooking the canal.Leigh Virkus
Very picturesque - great day trip
- Place de la ConcordeAvenue Gabriel, Paris 75008 Francerecommended Place de la ConcordeRemember the ending scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Anne Hathaway throws her cell phone into the fountain? It was here at Place de la Concorde! It is the central area dividing the Tuileries ... read moreGarden and the start of Champs-Elysees road. The fountains go off frequently. You'll also find one of 2 Luxor Obelisk here. The 2nd one is in Egypt.
- Eiffel Tower5 avenue Anatole France, Paris 75007 Francerecommended Eiffel TowerParis- la ville lumière - “the City of Light”. The Eiffel Tower is such a beautiful and iconic structure. To think that it was once an eyesore to many and the French protested against it. This is a ... read moremust-see when in Paris, going up the tower, dining at the restaurant, seeing it from afar, and the best time is at 9pm and after when the lights are turned on and they have a light show every hour on the hour.Yen Phan
A triip to Paris would not be complete without visiting the beautiful and controversial Eiffel Tower. Go during the day for great photos. You can see it all around the city at a distance. Go at night for the hourly light show. The Eiffel Tower sparkles and shine, radiating it's magical powers to all the lovers and hopeless romantics in the crowd.
- Pont des ArtsQuai du Louvre, Paris 75001, Francerecommended Pont des ArtsOne of the most decorated bridges by people. Walk along here and you'll find hundreds of sweetheart locks hooked onto the bridge. This is where lovers will come to declare their love, hook their locks ... read moreto the fence, and throw away the key. It's a very romantic spot to walk along.Yen Phan
Definitely a spot for lovers and couples to go to. Pictures on the locks of love bridge is a must!
- Basilique du Sacre-CoeurRue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre 35, Paris 75018 Francerecommended Basilique du Sacre-CoeurA beautiful church atop the highest hill in Paris. Sacre-Coeur is free and open to the public. Inside you'll find beautiful mosaics of religious scenes and figures. The city view from the front steps ... read moreof the church is magnificent as well. A great panoramic view of the city. Below the steps, there are musicians and artists hanging out, entertaining visitors for tips.Yen Phan
One of the highest points in the city. Lots of history and culture. But what's also fascinating is the crowds of people outside singing, jamming, and enjoying the beautiful scenery and views.
- Sandeman's New Europe ToursPlace St. Michel, Paris, Francerecommended Sandeman's New Europe ToursOne of the best introductions into Paris is doing this free tour by Sandeman's company. It is a 3-3.5 hr walking tour where you'll see and learn about some of the most famous monuments, streets, and ... read morestories of Paris. The guides are knowledgeable and funny. The tour groups is about 20-30 people of various ages, and visiting from all over the world. I highly recommend taking the tour to get familar with the city, and you're bound to meet some new friends.Yen Phan
A must do! Plus it's free!! You'll get a great introduction tour to Paris and some of the most iconic monuments. The guides can be humorous and give you a nice quick history lesson on France and Paris.
- Père-Lachaise CemeteryRue du Repos 16, Paris 75020 Francerecommended Père-Lachaise CemeteryBe sure to spend at least a couple of hours in this beautiful "city of the dead". You could easily spend an entire day here, roaming this park-like setting with it varied array of elaborate monuments. ... read moreThere is nothing creepy about this place. Along with famous residents such as Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Moliere and countless others, regular Parisians rest here too.Leigh Virkus
Something different for the city of romance and light.
- Grand Place - BrusselsGrand-Place 1000 City of Brussels Belgiumrecommended Grand Place - BrusselsFran V.
This is Brussel's central square. It has shops and restaurants in the surrounding area. Also, you can catch a glimpse of the Manequin Pis statue. Depending on what event is happening in the area, the statue maybe dressed up in some sort of costume.