Category Archives: France

What to Expect on Your First Trip to Paris- A First Time Visitor’s Guide

I’ll always remember my first trip to Paris. I was in the eleventh grade, on a school trip to experience the French culture I’d been learning about and romanticizing in my mind for so long. In many ways, my first trip to Paris was exactly what I expected. There were grand buildings, manicured gardens and…

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Where to Stay in Paris- A Guide to the Best Paris Neighbourhoods for Travellers

A common question I get from my readers is “Where Should I Stay in Paris?” There are so many wonderful neighbourhoods in Paris, each with a distinctive atmosphere, that deciding where to stay in Paris can be a dilemma. While budget is often a deciding factor, I try not to let that limit me too…

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Photo of the Week: Strasbourg’s Astronomical Clock

The astronomical clock in Strasbourg Cathedral is a fine example of what can be achieved when art and science come together. Statuettes and paintings embellish a case housing clock dials and mechanisms, working together to measure time and astronomical indications. When Strasbourg’s astronomical clock was completed in 1574, it was considered to be one of…

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Photo of the Week: Dôme des Invalides

An unmissable monument in Paris’ cityscape is the glittering gold dome of the royal chapel at Les Invalides. Dôme des Invalides was first inspired by the dome at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Designed by Jules Hardouin Mansart, the dome is considered one of the finest examples of French Baroque architecture. The dome was finished…

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  • Frank - Beautiful photo Rhonda. I didn’t know Napoleon’s tomb is buried here. We just came back from Croatia and we were surprised to hear that he made it to those parts as well. Fascinating history, that’s why we love Europe.
    Frank (bbqboy)July 21, 2015 – 7:22 amReplyCancel

How to Spend 4 Days in Paris- Our Itinerary

Paris is one of my favourite cities, the one that made me fall in love with travelling. Paris is romantic, cultured and sophisticated, with so much to see and do. It’s hard to experience everything that’s great about Paris in four days. I’ve visited twice now and there are still entire sections of the city…

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  • Phoebe - What a fabulous itinerary and what lovely photos. You sure did get lucky with the weather in this visit. Having lived in Paris for 10 years I think one area I’d add that you didn’t mention is the Marais and Place des Vosges, but like you said, everyone’s interests are different and there’s so much to see that in 4 days you’ll never see it all! I think your advice of seeing things AND taking time just to watch the world go by from a café terrace is good advice. It’s a very Parisian thing to do after all. Thank you for joining in with #AllAboutFrance Rhonda.March 5, 2015 – 10:54 amReplyCancel

  • Valerie McDonald - I’m going to France in April. My friend and I are taking a Viking river cruise down the Rhone. We’ll then take the train back up to Paris for 5 days. We are staying in the Latin Quarter. Your post is a big help. We are “art people” and are planning to go to Giverny as well. Thank you.March 5, 2015 – 2:05 pmReplyCancel

  • Cathy Sweeney - Ah, Paris! I’ve been three times, each for just a few days and in December, and I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. So much more (including some of the things you mention) that I need to see and do and I’d love to see Paris is season other than winter. :) Your photos are fantastic.March 5, 2015 – 5:32 pmReplyCancel

  • Esme - Ahh-so you were in Europe in the summer-that explains the colour and light in your photos. I have never seen a rat in Paris-thank goodness. It is a city I never tire off-that said it has been over a year since I was last there. Your honeymoon sounds delightful.

    PS I am originally from Canada. My mum was a teacher-I really should have considered it.

    thank you for stopping by.March 5, 2015 – 9:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Sara - Great itinerary! It is so hard to narrow down what to do in 4 days in Paris. There is so much to do, and I think you hit it right – you have to accept that you can’t do everything and allow time too to just wander around and enjoy the city without running from one thing to the next. I love that you included Saint-Étienne-du-Mont! That’s one of my favorite churches in Paris – I just love the interior!March 6, 2015 – 2:31 amReplyCancel

  • thebeesleybuzz - there are some great tips there – would totally agree about steps on eiffel tower – we got so fed up of the queues and it was a cold and windy night when we went. x #allaboutfranceMarch 9, 2015 – 4:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - I heard that there’s a bar that you can visit that has a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower. They said that it’s even better than visiting the tower itself.March 25, 2015 – 11:38 pmReplyCancel

  • Marc - Great info and love the pictures. I think its easily can be done. Lived in Paris over 35 years and done all those places but I didn’t know if I could do in 4 days obviously it can be done. great!June 12, 2015 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Elsa Myburgh - VERY HELPFUL THANKSOctober 27, 2015 – 8:42 amReplyCancel

  • Jeevan Gaikwad - I checked a few sites before bumping into this one and this has been the most helpful thus far! Thank you.October 29, 2015 – 9:49 amReplyCancel

  • Pauline Macapagal - Thanks for this! Out of all 4 day itinerary suggestions I’ve read, this is the most realistic for me and 2 of my friends so far! However, I do see the Orsay Museum is missing in here – where do you suggest we insert this (I am also not much of a museum person)? And we also plan on inserting in a french wine tasting.May 13, 2016 – 2:06 amReplyCancel

  • Leanne - Great info and pictures. I have visited Paris twice for 4 days each time and there is so much to see. I’ve tried doing The Louvre twice and seem to just see the same two galleries before I leave exhausted.
    I did enjoy the Military Museum and Napoleon’s Tomb at Les Invalides. The Musee d’Orsay is much more manageable than the Louvre if you must fit in a museum, but my favourite was the Rodin Museum which is quite close to the Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides – it includes a garden of his sculptures including “The Thinker” and a wonderful collection of his early drawings.
    Climb to the top of Sacre Coeur Bascilica – the view is amazing.May 13, 2016 – 6:41 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - You are absolutely right- there is so much to experience in Paris! My two visits weren’t near enough either. I wanted to see “The Thinker”, but didn’t have a chance. Maybe next time!May 18, 2016 – 5:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Catte Lopez - I’m going in October for the first time for 5 days. I’ve been overwhelmed with the options of what to see, and do, and eat! Your itinerary helped me narrow down some ideas! Thanks!!June 28, 2016 – 3:34 amReplyCancel

Palais Garnier- One of Paris’ Most Elegant Buildings

There are numerous reasons to love Paris- one being its exquisite architecture. Even with so many beautiful buildings in Paris, inside and out, there is one that rises to the top in my mind. The Palais Garnier is a dazzling building, frequently called an architectural masterpiece. The gilded, extravagant interior will make you feel as…

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  • I'm Taking Off - There images, especially of the grand foyer, are absolutely stunning! I didn’t get a chance to visit the Palais Garnier when I was in Paris but it be at the top of my list the next time I return.September 18, 2015 – 4:36 amReplyCancel

  • Helen Botha - One of the highlights of our visit to Paris. Your photos are amazing – you must have a very good camera!!October 25, 2015 – 6:28 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Tomb of Sainte-Geneviève

In Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, a church in Paris near the Pantheon, you’ll find a beautiful shrine dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève, the patroness of Paris. The remarkable golden reliquary you see here was used to hold the remains of Sainte-Geneviève, along with many important relics. The citizens of Paris would parade the relics from the church to Notre-Dame and…

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  • Thomas Dowson - I learn something new every day! Can not believe that I have missed this, I feel like rushing off to Paris now. And, as always, a stunning photograph.September 22, 2014 – 11:46 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Thomas! We had a local guide/photographer that took us here, otherwise we would have missed it too.September 22, 2014 – 12:09 pmReplyCancel

The Paris Museum Pass- What Is It and Should You Buy It?

Many cities these days offer tourist cards that visitors can buy to get free or discounted entrance tickets to popular attractions. We’ve bought these cards in a few cities and found that some are definitely better than others in terms of value for your dollar. In Paris, we decided to purchase the Paris Museum Pass,…

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  • Ken Peck - Great review of the Museum pass! I’ll add that the pass will often not include the special showing and/or events that might be at a museum. Be prepared to pay extra if there is a limited-time exhibition once you get in with the pass.June 18, 2014 – 10:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Lizzie - Great idea for a post! Whether to buy a city pass is always an internal struggle. I decided not to buy the museum pass when I was in Paris, simply because I didn’t want to feel like I HAD to go to enough museums to make it worth it. I enjoy finding obscure museums and galleries whilst wandering and just heading in, instead of planning where and when I will go (although this is absolutely necessary in some circumstances). Thanks for the insight!June 19, 2014 – 3:38 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - It’s always a tough decision whether to buy those passes or not for me too. I also sometimes feel like I “have” to go visit certain places once I have the pass. In Vienna we went to a few places/restaurants we weren’t necessarily interested in visiting just because we were trying to make back the money we spent on the Vienna Card. 19, 2014 – 9:19 amReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - I know that parts of Europe are popular because of its museums. It has such a rich history and it can easily be accessed by people who plan to visit. I think an all-day pass is definitely worth it.March 25, 2015 – 11:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Halida A. - Thanks for the tips! Visiting museums is an important part in a trip around Paris. Some of the museums are very costly, so it’s a good idea to purchase this pass.August 26, 2015 – 4:24 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: The Orangerie, Palace of Versailles

One of my favourite views at the Palace of Versailles, is the one overlooking the Orangerie and Pond of the Swiss. The Orangerie was built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart from 1684 and 1686. The garden is flanked with a grand 100-step staircase and contains over 1,000 trees, some over 200 years old! There are orange trees from…

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Photo of the Week: La Madeleine, Paris

Just north of Place de la Concorde in Paris is L’église de St-Marie-Madeleine, or St. Mary Magdalene Church. When we first came across La Madeleine, as it is commonly called, we didn’t know it was a church because the building resembles a large Roman temple. There are 52 Corinthian columns that surround the temple, topped…

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  • Carmel Montgomery - Lovely! We’re heading to Paris in a couple of weeks…I can’t wait!March 22, 2014 – 12:57 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Strasbourg Cathedral, France

The Strasbourg Cathedral dominates the square at the end of Rue Mercière, standing tall over the heart of the city. Notre-Dame de Strasbourg was built between 1190 and 1439, a Gothic masterpiece that would be the tallest construction in the world for over 200 years. At 142 metres tall, its single steeple makes the cathedral…

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  • Frank - Wow! That’s a great shot.
    Frank (bbqboy)May 29, 2014 – 12:51 pmReplyCancel

Palace of Versailles: Part Three- The Queen’s Hamlet

This is the final post in our series about Versailles. In Part One, we toured the Palace of Versailles and in Part Two we visited the Trianon Palaces. Hands down, our favourite part of Versailles was the Queen’s Hamlet, a rustic retreat built for Marie-Antoinette. The Queen is famed for her desire to escape the…

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  • Alouise - Love these photos. This looks like something from out of a fairytale.March 10, 2014 – 10:07 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - In December each year, there is a light and fireworks show at the Queen’s Hamlet. It was fantastic! I’ll also always remember our visit because Paris had just had an unusual snow. It was so wet and muddy that the mud ate the heel of my boot. And back in Paris the next day I had an excuse to shop. :)April 2, 2014 – 3:46 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I love firework shows! And what a beautiful setting to get to watch one! Thanks for the tip.April 10, 2014 – 7:09 amReplyCancel

  • Phoebe - I’ve been to Versailles a few times and I honestly didn’t know about this lovely place! I fell quite embarrassed! How could I have missed such loveliness? Next time I’m making a bee-line straight here. Thank you for linking this to #AllAboutFranceMarch 6, 2015 – 6:17 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - My first time at Versailles I didn’t know about the hamlet. On my second trip, I made sure to visit it. It’s so adorable! We almost missed the last train back to Paris because we didn’t want to leave!March 6, 2015 – 8:59 pmReplyCancel

  • Eco-Gites of Lénault - It is lovely but you can see why the peasants got upset if this is how Marie Antoinette thought they lived ;) #AllAboutFranceMarch 16, 2015 – 12:51 pmReplyCancel

  • MagdalenaJones - I had the same problem. The time we went, we didn’t know about the hamlet and missed it :( I want to go back and see it as your photos have presented it beautifully. Thank you for sharing.May 4, 2015 – 2:58 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you for your kind comment. Hopefully one day you’ll make a return trip to see the Hamlet. It’s such a charming place! I’d go back to Versailles a third time, but I’d skip the main palace and spend my day roaming the gardens and Queen’s Estate.May 4, 2015 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

Palace of Versailles: Part Two- The Trianon Palaces

This is Part Two of a three part series about Versailles. In Part One, we toured the Palace of Versailles and in Part Three we will visit the Queen’s Hamlet. On my first trip to the Palace of Versailles 15 years ago, I didn’t get a chance to explore the property as much as I…

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  • Jennifer - We visited Versailles in winter, so it was still pleasant to see the gardens. But I’d love to go back and see the gardens in bloom and the fountains with water in them. Plus, there was a hot potato cart in the gardens that seriously had the best baked potato I’ve ever had in my life! It’d totally be worth visiting again for that alone.April 2, 2014 – 2:40 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - The gardens are really nice, but we were disappointed that the fountains weren’t turned on when we were there. I’ve heard they only turn them on certain days. Unfortunately, the fountains are not that pretty to look at without water flowing through them.April 10, 2014 – 7:07 amReplyCancel

Palace of Versailles: Part One- Tour of the Palace

The first time I visited the Palace of Versailles, I was in the eleventh grade on my first trip to Europe. I still vividly recall how amazed I was by the decadent furnishings, the sparkling hall of mirrors, the grand fountains, and the symmetry and preciseness of the colourful gardens. After that trip, Versailles was…

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  • Andi - Your pictures are absolutely gorgeous!March 7, 2014 – 7:03 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - You mentioned the Paris Pass – did you use it to visit Versailles? Another great benefit of the Paris Pass is that it allows you to skip the lines.March 24, 2014 – 9:25 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Yes, we used the Paris Pass at Versailles. Unfortunately, it doesn’t allow you to skip the security line here (and at a few other sites). At least we didn’t have to wait in a second line for tickets.March 24, 2014 – 11:54 amReplyCancel

  • Francesca One Girl: One World - I love this post! It’s really useful and the pictures are gorgeous! Really!May 30, 2014 – 12:14 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you so much for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed my post! The Palace of Versailles is quite beautiful, but for me the gardens and Queen’s Hamlet were just as gorgeous, if not more. Plus, they were more relaxing and enjoyable to visit.May 30, 2014 – 4:50 pmReplyCancel

Strasbourg- Charm, Romance and One Incredibly Tall Cathedral

I had never heard of Strasbourg until I got an email from my mom. Attached was a slideshow of beautiful pictures from medieval towns in Europe. My eyes lit up as I clicked through pages of half-timbered houses, window boxes overflowing with red flowers, gentle flowing canals and narrow, winding streets. I knew instantly that…

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  • Frank - Great photos as always! Any way to go up that steeple? Love viewpoints…
    Frank (bbqboy)March 8, 2014 – 12:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - I read you can go up the Cathedral’s tower, but it was closed when we were there.March 9, 2014 – 5:00 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly - Your photos are incredible! Strasbourg is now getting added to my travel wish list. xMarch 12, 2014 – 6:22 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you! I hope you get to visit one day. Strasbourg is a lovely city!March 12, 2014 – 6:53 amReplyCancel

  • Abby - Gorgeous! Like out of a movie…March 15, 2014 – 10:49 amReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I especially love the photos from your sunset cruise. Blue hour is a great time to photograph. The town looks straight out of a fairytale.March 24, 2014 – 7:27 amReplyCancel

  • Hannah Armstrong - I’m going to Strasbourg in September to study for the year in the university there, thanks for some of your insight!! was there any bars or restaurants which you loved in particular and where did you stay? thanks so much June 23, 2014 – 5:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Aggy - Wow Strasbourg definitely is a gorgeous town, that cathedral is amazing! Will definitely visit this place next time I’m in France!June 25, 2014 – 2:45 amReplyCancel

  • Dani - Hi!!!
    Your pictures are just amazing!!! You are making people dream of traveling to all these beautiful places!!

    Luckily, for me, I will be in Paris and Strasbourg in one week. By any chance do you remember the name o where was the icecream place (of the best ever)???

    Thanks!!!September 18, 2015 – 12:27 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Hi Dani. Glad you like my pictures! I actually don’t remember the name of the ice cream place. One of the cafes on the busy lane that leads from the cathedral towards the canal had a cart out front selling homemade ice cream. It was sooo good- I wish I had paid attention to the name!September 21, 2015 – 9:24 amReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Sacre Coeur Basilica

Crowning the top of Montmartre Hill, Paris’ highest point, is Sacré Coeur Basilica. This prominent location makes Sacré Coeur Basilica one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris, easily visible from the top of the Eiffel Tower. This imposing basilica will surely make you gasp when it first hovers into view. The beaming white stones have…

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Paris in Black and White- Photo Series

Paris is a photographer’s dream! Everywhere you look there are famous landmarks, beautiful parks and exquisite architecture just begging to be photographed. I could not put my camera down and came home with a ridiculous amount of photos from my 4 days in Paris! When I got to editing my pictures, I started to play…

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  • Hayley - Absolutely stunning pictures! My favourite is the love locks…beautiful :)January 2, 2014 – 12:56 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you Hayley!January 2, 2014 – 1:36 pmReplyCancel

  • Fernanda Burger Queen - Beautiful! :3January 8, 2014 – 7:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Jeff Titelius - These are magnificent my friends!! Great job in capturing in the Visual Romance of Paris. March 12, 2014 – 5:35 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks so much! I want to back so I can take more photos. The 1,500 I have doesn’t feel like near enough!March 12, 2014 – 6:05 pmReplyCancel

  • cris - Beautiful pictures! I also have seen other pictures from your other post, i loved them all.. =) could you share with me which camera do you use when you are travelling? thanks!August 14, 2014 – 11:57 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thank you! I use the Canon 6D and love it! I have an Amazon widget on the sidebar of our site where I’ve listed most of the camera gear I use, if you’re interested in knowing more :)August 14, 2014 – 12:11 pmReplyCancel

  • - Fabulous images! I particularly love the gargoyle looking out over the city!October 8, 2014 – 8:30 amReplyCancel

  • Alexandra Consolver - This is so beautiful! I think that I would love the atmosphere of Paris. Someday. :) I love this black and white series! I have been wanting to do one of black and white images and another of light graffiti images. Beautiful photos, thanks for the inspiration! -Alexandra

    http://simplyalexandramyfavoritethings.blogspot.comOctober 24, 2014 – 1:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenneth Greene - Very nice work.October 26, 2014 – 10:35 amReplyCancel

  • Sanjana - Beautiful pictures! Paris is one of my favorite cities. Thanks for sharing!May 11, 2015 – 8:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Annette Charlton - Classic locations beautifully captured!January 22, 2016 – 10:00 amReplyCancel

  • Birgit | Groove is in the Heart - Great pics! I love Paris :-)April 26, 2016 – 12:39 pmReplyCancel

Photo of the Week: Grand Foyer of Palais Garnier, Paris

The Palais Garnier, home to the Paris Opera, was the most stunning building we visited during our four day trip to Paris! The Grand Foyer was designed to resemble the gallery of a classical chateau- adorned with gold and accented with mirrors and windows. The ceiling paintings are exquisite and portray themes from the history of music….

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Photo of the Week: Wall for Peace, Paris

At the end of Parc du Champ de Mars, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, stands the Wall for Peace. Made from steel and glass, the monument features the word “Peace” etched in forty-nine languages and eighteen different alphabets. The Wall for Peace was designed by artist Clara Halter and architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, who…

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The Eiffel Tower- Fun Facts, Photos and Tips for Visiting

The Eiffel Tower has long been an icon of Paris and one of the first things that come to mind when people think of the city (even France). I can’t imagine making a trip to Paris and not seeing the Eiffel Tower! You might think that the Eiffel Tower’s popularity makes it a “touristy” attraction,…

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  • Ellen Christian - Absolutely gorgeous photos!December 7, 2013 – 6:26 pmReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Ellen!December 7, 2013 – 6:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - I’ve been to Paris twice and I’ve been up the Eiffel Tower twice. And you know what? When I go back to Paris, I’ll go up the Eiffel Tower again! Great photos!January 7, 2014 – 5:36 amReplyCancel


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