Last month I visited Paris for the first time in seven years. What I found was a city as picture-perfect as it always was. I don’t think there’s ever been a city so picturesque! But besides the obviously iconic images of Paris (looking at you Eiffel Tower), the city has plenty of hidden gems which provide equally beautiful backdrops. Visiting my sister in Paris, some of my favorite places for Instagramming were the following:
- Latin Quarter – Lively at night, near Notre Dame Cathedral and books for sale EVERYWHERE. Along the river, booksellers have small wooden boxes that sit along the railing which are full of used books. I’m not sure if there are any studies on this or not, but Paris must be one of the world’s most literary cities.
- Luxembourg Gardens – Created in the 1600s, the palace and gardens were full of picture-perfect picnickers (see what I did there?). During the summer, tourists (and locals, too) rent small sailboats to put into the pond in front of the palace. Boats come with different country’s flags so it was fun to watch kids racing them.
- Père Lachaise Cemetery – I don’t visiting cemeteries while traveling sounds a bit morbid, but if you haven’t already heard of this one, then you need to make it a priority for the next visit. Everyone who was anyone seems to be buried here—from Oscar Wilde to Edith Piaf, and even Jim Morrison. The cemetery is a bit of a maze and you can buy a map at the entrance, but if you’ve got a few hours to spare you can also just wander freely to see who you can discover. Or just follow the crowds. Either way – it’s a very picturesque place. (Though it’s a shame you can no longer get up to Oscar Wilde’s grave to leave a kiss…!)
- Pompidou Center – It’s one of my favorite museums in Paris, but besides having amazing contemporary art, the museum is also home to one of the best viewpoints in Paris. The museum is open late so you can plan your visit to make sure you’re there for sunset!
Obviously there are many other beautiful areas of Paris. The area around Sacré Cœur is interesting and photogenic (even if crowded with tourists and touts). I also really enjoyed going around the more modern areas of Paris, especially at the Grand Arch (La Grande Arche de la Défense). The architecture there isn’t maybe as iconic as the other buildings of Paris, but I think the contrast between old and new really makes it a special place. Let me know what other places in Paris are great for photographing!