The Eiffel Tower is probably the most iconic monument in the world. I remember the first time I went, as a high-school student with my French class. I was blown away by the Tower, mostly because this monument I held in reverence felt more like a carnival. Vendors selling food, trinkets and surprise key chains out of their jackets roamed about, weaving in and out of the crowd like the wind. The platforms of the tower were crowded and the wind at the top was so strong it felt as though we may lift off.
The Eiffel Tower may be one of the best known symbols of Paris, but fortunately there is a side of Paris beyond the famous symbols and monuments. The Paris I fell in love with was in the neighborhoods, the cafes, the bustle of the metro, the shops and the streets. That is the lifeblood of Paris.
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IF YOU GO: Someone once told us Paris is the most visited city in the world. Who knows if that’s true, but there certainly is enough to keep you busy and happy for weeks on end. The best part of Paris though, is not the museums of monuments, its living like a local- visiting Paris apartments, cafes, restaurants and parks.