Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Crème Brûlée

Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Crème Brûlée

Hi, I’m Rick Steves, back
with more of the best of Europe. This time we’re exploring
the wonders of Paris, magnificent and, thanks
to Monsieur Eiffel, riveting. ♪ To me, Paris is the capital
of Europe. It’s the city I can return to
more than any other, with grand monuments
that need no introduction, and it hides a lifetime
of cultural delights. Everything in this episode
is within easy reach by foot or Métro. We’ll see some icons
of this great city, the Industrial-Age iron
of the Eiffel Tower and the medieval stonework
of Notre-Dame. Then we’ll see stark realism
and dreamy impressionism in the Orsay Gallery. Escargot. We’ll join a friend
dining on French favorites. So you stab it? Yes. After lurking with bones
in the catacombs, we’ll see how
the French Revolution helped create this grand city. The Seine River
splits the city into the Right Bank
and the Left Bank. Its two islands mark the center of the old town. Most of the essential sights lie near the Notre-Dame, between the Eiffel Tower, the Latin Quarter and Montmartre, the city’s highest point. The Eiffel Tower was built
in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary
of the French Revolution and to show off
at a World’s Fair. It was a muscular symbol
of the Industrial Age. To a generation
hooked on technology, it was the marvel of its day, trumpeting progress
and man’s ingenuity. This 900-foot-tall tower
has three observation levels. The higher you go,
the more you pay. For me, the middle level
is plenty high. Thousands of iron bars
and millions of rivets, all assembled
in just over two years. Today, it stands tall,
an exclamation point, symbolizing the proud,
independent spirit of the French. The Trocadero Square,
across the river, is the place
to view the tower and to check out
a colorful scene. Parisians own their city. In fact, twice a week
streets are closed and thousands turn out
to roll through their city in an exuberant celebration
of life. Paris was born
centuries before Christ, right here
on the Ile de la Cité, an island in the middle
of the Seine River. The Romans conquered the local
fishing tribe and set up camp. Today, the Notre-Dame Cathedral
marks the place where a Roman temple
once stood. The city’s first bishop,
St. Denis, holds his head in his hands. When Christianity
began making converts here, the pagan Romans beheaded him. But, according to legend,
Denis just picked up his head and kept on going. Inspired by this miracle,
Christianity flourished and the temple was replaced
by a church. Imagine the faith of the people
who built this, breaking ground in 1163
on a building which wouldn’t be finished
for 200 years. Gothic architects incorporated
the latest technology: flying buttresses to support
the heavy rooftop. Its ghoulish gargoyles
multi-task: they serve as fancy rainspouts and scare away
the evil spirits. The church is dedicated
to “our lady,” or notre dame. Mary cradles the baby Jesus; the rose window provides
a majestic halo. The virgin Mary
was highly revered throughout the Middle Ages. The faithful petitioned her
in times of trouble for both comfort and, through
her intervention, God’s mercy. As worshippers headed for mass, they’d walk under a relief
of Judgment Day. Christ sits on his throne. The trumpet sounds. All are judged: peasants, knights, nobles,
royals, even bishops. An angel weighs
cute little souls while cheating demons
yank on the scales. The saved stand happily
at Christ’s right hand… …the damned, a sorry
chain gang, are on his left. Carvings like that, and like this scene of Eve
tempting Adam with an apple, remind us that this art
was more than decoration. These images reinforced the stories people
learned in church. While the church
is dedicated to Mary, the rest of Paris seems
dedicated to regular Parisians. The old center,
with its two islands in the middle of the Seine,
retains a charming elegance. The Ile de la Cité is laden
with historic sights. But the little Ile St. Louis, connected
by a pedestrian bridge, is laden only with the delights
of good living. Arnaud. Oh, Rick. Ça va. Ça va bien, oui. I’m rendezvousing
with my Parisian friend and fellow tour guide,
Arnaud Servignat. Great island. Yeah, this is
Ile St. Louis, Rick. I love this place. You know, all around in this
really uniform architecture, everything dating
from the 17th century, and the beautiful
apartments — very expensive, the most
expensive in town — and I wish I could have
an apartment here, if I could afford it. This is very trendy
to live here? Oh my God, wonderful. And all along the streets
you’ve got some galleries, quaint little boutiques,
and restaurants, and just down the street
there is a place, Berthillon, where you have the best
sorbets in Paris. Really? Yeah. Yes, the island
is charming, but the whole city
of Paris is charming. In fact, it faces
the River Seine, and the River Seine has
been called by Parisians, “the mirror of the city.” It’s a great
people zone. Yeah, you know,
people strolling… Yeah, it’s a promenade… Wandering around… Festivals here? Yes, indeed. On the Bastille Day
we have a big party here, big dancing organized. Dancing! Dancing all
around the place. And today it’s
just so relaxed. So what is the French word
for these little stalls? Bouquinistes,
we call them. It comes from the name
bouquin, which is old French. Okay, so “old books”
in old French? Old books, yes. And they sell
prints, you know. And it goes back
a long time? Oh, back to the
1600s, yes, indeed. There were, you know,
very wild vendors which were all along the
River Seine like that. And they had to be regulated
in the 19th century because they were so wild. It’s just a classic
Parisian scene. It has, you know, kind
of a bohemian lifestyle. I’m taking Arnaud to lunch. Against his advice, I’m eating all the Parisian
cuisine clichés in one meal. This is a kir, you know, a good
civilized way to start a meal. So it’s an aperitif? Mm-hmm. Tell me about
the aperitif. Aperitif is to
open your appetite. Escargot. Escargot! Oh, Rick, look at that. It looks fabulous. This looks very nice. Merci. Soupe al’oignon. So, this is the
first course? Yes, this is
the entrée. And actually, you guys call
the “entrée” the main course, when the entrée is
the starter in France. That makes sense,
actually. Okay, I have
my escargot. And I just use this? Allors, yes. So you stab it? Yes. Then you twist it out. It comes out eventually. Very chewy, you will see. Oh, that’s good. Good, huh? Garlic, parsley. A lot of tourists don’t want
the escargot, but I love it. What is the history
of the onion soup? Ah, onion soup is something
you eat more in the wintertime because, you know, it was
to warm up the employees of the central market
during the nighttime. I eat onion soup
all year. I know, you guys, Americans,
are eating everything all year round. [ laughter ] Merci, I think. This is actually
the main course, plate principal in French. Plate principal. Plate principal. Okay, the “principal
plate.” Absolutely, yes. Okay, steak tartare. Steak tartare, yes. Very famous. Do you know what
it is of? No. It’s fresh raw beef. This is raw beef? Raw beef. Very fresh. The spice comes from
the Worcestershire sauce, the ketchup, the mustard,
the tabasco, salt, pepper, and the yolk of an egg, and then you just mix it
all together with the beef. Do you like it? Yes, I love it. You’ve introduced me
to something new. This one is so good. I can’t believe it. I’m eating raw beef
and it tastes good. It is good, huh? Wow! Especially with
some red wine. M-hmm. So we are, you know, having
now the cheese course, which is very important. You don’t end a meal
without some cheese. And basically, you know, you
order cheese to finish the wine, and then you order more
wine to finish the cheese. It’s a nice cycle. Oh, it’s a vicious circle. A vicious cycle. Ah, this is dessert
time, Rick. You’re having
crème brûlée, and I have
fondant au chocolat. This is sacred, you
know, for lunchtime, to stop at least
an hour. We don’t work. Look at these people —
they’ve been here forever. Yes, it’s sacred. Enjoy. Okay. So the coffee always comes
after all of the food? After the dessert, always. What if you ask for your
coffee with the meal? They would say,
“Yes, sure,” but it would come
after the meal. They don’t want
to be rude. Okay. What a meal. Excellent, wasn’t it? I’m heading for
the Orsay Gallery. Oh, go ahead. I’m finishing
my cognac. Au revoir. Bye-bye, Rick. Getting around Paris
is easy on the Métro. The original stations
were Art Nouveau. This new one celebrates
the system’s 100th birthday. And the latest generation
shows Europe’s commitment to ever-more-efficient
public transit. The train
is completely automated, allowing passengers to watch
the tunnel coming at them. Faster than a taxi can take us, we hurtle beneath the city
to our next stop. The Orsay Gallery, famous
for its much-loved collection of Impressionist masterpieces,
fills an old train station. The building itself
is magnificent. Train tracks used to go
right down the middle. The art of the Orsay takes you
from 1848 to 1914. This is the time when the old
world meets the modern world. It’s conservative and
revolutionary, side by side. Before the Impressionists, 19th-century artists
painted idealized beauty. This was conservative art, popular throughout the 1800s
because it was… Simply beautiful. Cabanel’s Birth of Venus
is the quintessence of beauty. The love queen
reclines seductively, just born from the foam
of a wave. At the time,
sex was considered dirty and could be exalted only
in a more pure and divine form. But whIle mainstream artists
cranked out these ideal beauties,
a revolutionary new breed of artist was painting
a harsher reality. Cross the tracks and you find
the Realists. In The Painter’s Studio,
Gustave Courbet takes us behind the scene
at the painting of a goddess. The model, not a goddess
but a real woman, takes a break from posing
to watch Courbet at work. Ordinary people mill about. The little boy seems
to admire the artist, already notorious
for his nonconformity. No one would show
Courbet’s work, so he put on his own art show. He built a little shack
in the center of town and hung his paintings,
basically thumbing his nose at the shocked public
and his conservative critics. Edouard Manet rubbed realism
in the public’s face, and they hated it. Manet’s nude doesn’t
gloss over anything. The pose is classic, but the
sharp outlines and harsh colors are new and shocking. Her hand is a clamp; her stare, defiant. Ignoring the flowers
her servant brings from her last customer, this prostitute looks out
as if to say, “next.” It’s around 1880,
and Manet and his rat pack of conservatively dressed
radicals gathered in Paris, pushing the creative envelope. It’s time for the revolution
of Impressionism to begin. Impressionism initiated
the greatest change in art since the Renaissance. Now, artists were free
to delve into the world of colors, light
and fleeting impressions. They featured easygoing,
open-air scenes, candid spontaneity and,
always, the play of light. Impressionists made
their canvases shimmer by an innovative technique. Rather than mixing colors
together on a palate, they applied the colors in dabs
side by side on the canvas and let these mix
as they traveled to your eye. Up close, it doesn’t work; but move back, and voilà! Claude Monet is called
the “father of Impressionism.” For him, the physical subject
was now only the rack upon which to hang
the light, shadows and colors. August Renoir caught Parisians
living and loving in the afternoon sun. Dappled light
was his specialty. In this painting, you can
almost feel the sun’s warmth and smell the powder
on the women’s faces. Even the shadows
are caught up in the mood. Everything’s dancing. Renoir paints a waltzing blur
to capture, not the physical details,
but the intangible charm of a restaurant
on Paris’s Montmartre. Montmartre,
a Parisian hill crowned by the dramatic neo-byzantine
Sacré-Cœur church, was famous for the ambiance
captured by the Impressionists. A block away,
the Place du Tertre is jumbled with artists…and tourists. If you really try,
you can almost imagine Renoir, Van Gogh, and Picasso,
who came here a century ago, poor, carefree
and seeking inspiration. Back then, life
here on Montmartre was a working-class commotion of cafes, bistros,
and dance halls. Painters came here for the low
rent and ruddy joie de vivre. To get away
from all the tourists, simply walk the back streets, where a bit of Montmartre’s
village charm survives. Ah, the steps of Sacré-Cœur. This is a place where
locals and travelers alike congregate to marvel at Paris,
or each other. From here, the “City of Light”
fans out at your feet. Your Parisian experience
is a blend of great museums, fine food and characteristic
neighborhoods. The Latin Quarter is the core
of the Left Bank, as the south side
of the Seine River is known. This has long been the city’s
university district. In fact,
the University of Paris, a leading university
in medieval Europe, was founded here
in the 13th century. Back then,
the vernacular languages, like French and German,
were crude, good enough to handle
your basic needs. But for higher learning,
academics, like this guy, spoke and corresponded
in Latin. Until the 1800s,
from Sicily to Sweden, Latin was the language
of Europe’s educated elite. And Parisians called
this university district “the Latin Quarter” because
that’s the language they heard on the streets. Today, any remnant
of that Latin is buried by a touristy tabouli
of ethnic restaurants. Still, it remains a great place
to get a feel for the tangled city,
before the narrow lanes were replaced by wide, modern
boulevards in the 19th century. The scholarly and artsy people
of this quarter brewed up a new rage:
Paris’s cafe scene. By the time of the Revolution,
the city’s countless cafes were the haunt of politicians
and philosophers, who plotted a better future
as they sipped their coffee. And the cafe society really
took off in the early 1900s as the world’s literary
and artistic avant-garde converged on Paris. In now-famous cafes
along Boulevard St. Germain and Boulevard St. Michel,
free thinkers like Hemmingway, Lenin, and Jean-Paul Sartre
enjoyed the creative freedom these hangouts engendered. With its cafe
and university scene, Paris had long been a launch pad
for bold new ideas. In the 18th century,
ground-breaking political and social thinking
by French philosophers like Voltaire and Rousseau
ushered in the “Age of Enlightenment.” Later, this enlightenment
provided the French Revolution with a philosophical basis, and it gave
the American constitution many of its basic principles. Paris honors its intellectual
and cultural heroes with tombs and memorials
in its Neoclassical Pantheon. It looks like
an ancient temple, but it’s only
about 250 years old, from the time
of the Enlightenment. During the Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution
which followed, everything was subjected
to what was called the “test of reason.” If it wasn’t logical,
it was tossed out. Nothing was sacred. The very notion of royalty
was challenged and churches were turned
into temples of Reason. Even the use of city land
for cemeteries, as you learn at the catacombs of Paris,
was rejected. The sign reads, “Halt!
This is the empire of death.” It kicks off a one-mile hike
you won’t soon forget. The anonymous bones of six
million permanent Parisians line former limestone quarries
deep under the streets. In 1785, Paris decided to make
its congested city more spacious and sanitary
by emptying the cemeteries, which traditionally
surrounded churches, into this labyrinthine ossuary. For decades, priests led
ceremonial processions of black-veiled, bone-laden
carts into the quarries, where the bones were carefully
and artistically stacked as much as 80 feet deep. Each transfer was finished
with a plaque identifying from which church
the bones came and the date they arrived. WhIle there is history in dem
bones, the Carnavalet Museum, filling a lavish
old aristocratic mansion, is the best place to sort
through the story of Paris. Pre-Revolutionary France
had a government by, for and of the wealthy. And as the rich got
richer and richer, people who lived in fabulous
mansions like this became blind to the growing gap
between the haves and have-nots in their country. Louis XIV, a.k.a. “the Sun
King,” was the ultimate king back when people
accepted the notion that a few were born to rule
and be rich while most were born to be
ruled and taken advantage of. Room after room shows the
opulence of the upper classes in the age leading up
to the Revolution. Louis XIV, who enjoyed the
luxury but anticipated trouble, said, “Après moi, le deluge”;
“After me, the flood.” The heart of the museum
features that deluge, which hit when this man,
Louis XVI, was king. The French Revolution
was kicked off with the storming
of the Bastille prison. Supporting the angry masses, the liberal wing
of the government took matters
into its own hands, declaring it wouldn’t quit until the people
had a constitution. It was vive la Nation, liberté, egalité,
and fraternité, until the people literally
beheaded the king and queen. The Place de la Révolution,
or “Revolution Square.” It was here that
the newfangled guillotine, considered a humane form
of execution in its day, was set up. And it was here that Marie
Antoinette, Louis XVI, and over 2,000 others were made
a foot shorter at the top. According to this painting, it took three to run
the guillotine: one to manage the blade, one to catch the blood and one to hold the head — in this case,
of Marie Antoinette — up to the crowd. Today, Paris’s vast
Revolution Square is called Place de la Concorde,
“place of harmony.” The guillotine is long gone and its centerpiece
is an Egyptian obelisk. The king and queen
were beheaded by a stark
and egalitarian government. But the French love of fine
living couldn’t be kept down. The 19th century was
a boom time for Paris. The entire city was beautified with grand new boulevards
and fancy architecture. It was an exuberant
age of money. If you had it, you flaunted it. From the Place de la Concorde,
the Champs-Elysées — once a royal carriageway, now
Europe’s grandest boulevard — leads to the Arc de Triomphe. The arch was dedicated
to the victory of the people and their republic, the triumph
of French Nationalism. A glimpse of the decadence
of Paris’s “beautiful age,” or belle époque, is enjoyed
along the Champs-Elysées. Paris’s old opera house, the grand palace of this gilded
age, was finished in 1875. The real show was
before and after, when the elite of Paris,
out to see and be seen, strutted their elegant stuff
in the extravagant lobbies. Think of the grand marble
stairway as a theater itself, filled with Paris’s
beautiful people. The actual theater is a palace
of plush and ornate seating. Above it all,
a delightful ceiling, painted by Marc Chagall
in the 1960s, frolics around an eight-ton
chandelier. Nearby, the Jacquemart-André
Museum fills a 19th-century mansion
offering the public a rare, aristocratic
open house. Edouard André and his wife,
Nélie Jacquemart, spent their lives and fortune designing, building,
and decorating this incredible mansion. I’m enjoying a tour by one
of the museum’s fine guides, Ciara. Because, you know,
they had no children, they had a lot of money and
they used to travel a lot, and then they’d bring
many souvenirs. So these are souvenirs? Exactly. What’s this? That’s the music room. You can almost imagine
the clatter of jewelry mixing with the chamber music as Edouard and Nélie
threw a party. This is
the Italian room. Exactly, because
they traveled in Italy. They loved Italian art
and they brought paintings of Bellini, Botticelli,
Mantegna, Caravaggio. And Tiepolo, whose fresco
graces the mansion’s lobby. And this is the bedroom. So the monsieur and
madame lived here? Yes, but this was the room
of madame, chambre of madame. So they had two
different bedrooms? Exactly, that’s
Nélie Jacquemart. And this was
Edouard’s bedroom, complete with a deluxe
bathroom. For more of the decadence
of that age, check out the ritzy shops. It’s ritzy in the true sense, since they cluster
around the original Ritz Hotel. Enjoy the luxury
of this neighborhood by window shopping,
or, as the French say, faire du lèche-vitrines,
window looking. Actually, today’s Paris thrives
with ordinary people. The good life
feels accessible to all, and in the spirit
of France’s revolution, the government truly
seems to work for the people. While the stunning
George Pompidou Center holds one of the world’s
top modern art collections, most Parisians are happy
just to hang out in front. And apart from all its
world-class attractions, millions of people
call this city simply “home.” Neighborhoods enjoy
first-class public transit, and if a train line’s
decommissioned, it’s put to good use with its
arches housing colorful shops and the elevated track made
into a long, skinny park. The Promenade Plantée
is popular for jogging or strolling or just a peaceful break
from the city. There’s a time-honored finesse
to Parisian life, a comfortable rhythm
with kisses on the cheek, neighborhood street markets and familiar faces
at the corner cafe. Whether you visit
for its blockbuster monuments, its captivating history or the simple delights
of a cafe, Paris just might
steal your heart. Thanks for joining us. I’m Rick Steves. Until next time,
keep on travelin’. Au revoir. Wow! How do you like
the onion soup? I love it! With layers of
cheese on the top, it’s wonderful! Oh, come on. Tell me the
honest truth. I just don’t
like it. [ laughing ] Hey, wanna buy it? [ laughing ] You wanna buy it? Snort, snort.

100 thoughts on “Highlights of Paris: Eiffel and Monet to Crème Brûlée

  1. When I was 11 yrs of age I loved to watch travel show named Intimate Escapes hosted by a beautiful girl …. Now when I m 30 yrs of age I love watching this show… Sir Rick I really love Ur show… God bless Ur team. Love from Manthan Yagnik, India

  2. Paris je Kralj svih gradova sveta.Njegova lepota je neokrnjena vremenom.Pariz leti
    kroz vreme i neprestano obogacuje svoju lepotu.Pariz je najlepsi grad,zbog svojih Trgova,
    svojih prelepih palata i zbog svojih zena.Francuskinje su simbol zenstvenosti,koja opija
    sve muskarce,koji su imali srecu,da makar jedan espresso,popiju,sa pravom Francuskom

  3. Had to watch this for a French class….did this guy start off with a construction pun? Jesus guess I'm in for a greeeeaaat half hour…

  4. Of course, one must always be aware of one’s surroundings, men and women alike, but I’ve travelled to Europe especially London, Paris as well, many times over the past 20 years. I would never let threats of terror stop me from going where I wanted to go. Within reason, obviously. I’ll be back in London and Paris next month and cannot wait.

  5. I really like Rick Steves' videos. I can travel when I don't have the money to travel! High quality and keeps your interest!

  6. Awesome presentation, like all the others. Thanks Rick! Thoroughly enjoyed. 🙂 Paris has always been my favourite city. Was there only once, so just reliving those moments again through this video and others, made my day!

  7. Notre-Dame a high symbol of alchemy in particular on the Portal of the Last Judgement you briefly describe in this video. Magic Paris !

  8. True story: many years ago my wife and I were eating at one of the Paris restaurants recommended by his guide book. There was an older couple next to us with Rick Steeves guide book in hand. I joked to my wife that the place must make a healthy living from Steeve's customers and that Rick had probably never set foot in the place. literally 2 minutes later in walks Rick and his entourage.

  9. Lol when Arnoud was complaining about wanting but not being able to afford an expensive apartment in Paris’ ritzy district I was like “well you won’t get there by being a cheap tour guide” LOLOL

  10. Lenin was no free thinker.  He was a totalitarian communist who killed Russians by the tens of millions.  Why do we always glorify these monsters?

  11. Can a country that turned in their minorities, knowing the would be murdered, in order to keep their buildings be called charming.

  12. Paris ist bekannt als "Die Stadt der Lichter", aber es sah nicht immer gut aus. Die Römer waren die ersten, die in die Stadt eindrangen (früher bekannt als Lutetia), und die Nazis eroberten die Stadt 1944.
    Jetzt aber herrscht in der Stadt eine gewisse "Lebensfreude". Essen auf der Speisekarte ist reichlich – Steak Tartar und Schnecken mit Butter und Knoblauch, sowie Crème Brûlée werden von Einheimischen und Touristen gleichermaßen geliebt. Lokale Künstler sind Ed Manet und Gustave Corbet,
    die die Öffentlichkeit schockierte, indem sie Nacktbilder malte. Es gibt viele Möglichkeiten, um diese Stadt zu umgehen, aber der billigste Weg ist die METRO. Es gibt auch eine berühmte Hügelgegend namens Montmartre, die bei Künstlern sehr beliebt war. Und vergiss Sacre-Coeur nicht,
    was erfordert, dass Besucher sich angemessen kleiden.

  13. There's a plethora of more 'hip' travel videos out there on Youtube full of 20-something year olds that get more views and likes. But I always come back to Rick Steves. There's a certain quality of humility and wonder that I love about him.

  14. Sadly the reality of going to these sites is you have to deal with dozens of scammers at all of them begging you for money lol

  15. Talking about the growing gap btwn the have and have not…haha… sounds like today in the world…Maybe it's time for another revolution…

  16. I went to paris 10 years ago when I was in 5th grade. I loved it. I'm 21 now. I wish to go back and visit it again

  17. It's a very different Paris now……..
    It turns out my wife and I (plus a 14 month old son and ~ 4yr old daughter) were fortunate to have taken our 10 day trip of a lifetime to Paris when we did (mid May 1999).
    It was perfect! No rain, warm, no mosquitoes and it was the Paris of glory and charm one dreams of. We were so lucky.
    Rick Steves videos were our gift from the gods. We also studied the many guide books.
    We rented an apartment in the 11th Arrondissement, shopped in neighborhood stores, had jambonne and fromage (inexpensive) on the streets, enjoyed cafe's on the avenues and hidden outdoor restaurants and on and on.
    We saw much of what was presented in this video.
    We has one scary experience as we were preparing to get some real French pastry from an local urban patisserie. We were standing in line trying to absorb the culinary nirvana of choices flooding our eyes and brains when….. It was the "Soup Nazi" scene right out of Seinfeld! No asking of questions! State what you want and step to the register!
    Apparently this was a very popular place with a long line of Parisians wanting their goodies. We were lucky to get out of there alive escaping the dreaded "no croissants for you"!
    We loved that Paris!!!

  18. Love to watch Rick’s videos . But this video must be from very long time ago ,because we visited Paris summer of 2018 and the entrance of the catacombs were never this empty lol. People waited for a whole day to get in . I was told that i had to buy and reserve my entrance ticket weeks ahead . I just skipped the catacombs all together,because I couldn’t do that to my husband and my daughter who were not very enthusiastic to see all the skeletons.
    So Rick , how did u do that and why were there no other people than you ? 🧐🧐

  19. Make no mistake, Paris is okay for a couple of weeks, to visit, if you stick to the touristy places and the posh areas. But if you venture away from these places, you will see that not only is Paris not as nice as you think but can also be a very unsafe and dirty city due to the importation of thousands of migrants from under-developped countries. Tourists do not realize that living in Paris is extremely stressful and that Parisians are not particularly congenial. There are also hundreds of scammers and many tourist traps. Suburbs are best avoided altogether as well as most public parks, especially the Bois de Boulogne where prostitution is thriving (very dangerous at night). Try to thoroughly prepare your trip to Paris before buying a plane ticket, do not behave like a tourist once you're there, be inconspicuous, and bear in mind that everything is overpriced in the City of Lights.

  20. Saw the crazy news about the fire at Notre Dame – they have rebuilt before and I'm sure they will again.

  21. I had to watch this after hearing about the horrific fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral. I know Rick Steves would have one of the best, if not the best videos about Notre Dame.

  22. I always took Paris for granted cuz I would always watch Rick Steves growing up, I thought I would get to see the Notre Dame anytime I wanted. Oh boy was I wrong

  23. "We stop for an hour. We don't work"…..and yet, somehow the Parisians are unhappy that their government is ignoring the poor….

  24. I only recently discovered Rick Steves' videos and am enjoying them very much, so I feel a bit churlish in pointing out that it was not Louis XIV who said "apres nous, le deluge;" it was Madame du Pompador, mistress of Louis XV, who made this accurate prediction about the soon to arrive revolution.

  25. If u book thru Air France website from US to another European cities , u Can pick a very long layover, then take the RER / Metro to explore Paris For Few hours 😊

  26. We've just filmed a long walk through Paris and this was really helpful to us in the planning so thanks very much Rick.

  27. Wife and I went to Scotland, Sep 2014, for the Ryder Cup and watch the US get spanded by the Euro team. After 2 weeks there, we flew fro EDI to Paris and stayed at Cote Montmartre for a week. Most marvelous week of my life. We walked for hours, railed to Auvers sur Oise to see Van Gogh's and brother Theo's graves, railed to Rouen to spend day, visited Musee d'Orsay, d'Orangerie, le Louvre, etc. Wonderful!!

  28. Sad……….too late…….
    My wife and I did get to spend seven days in mid-May 1999 focused on Paris and seven days in the Loire river valley. We basically saw ALL major sights and zero rain (we came well researched).
    It was our trip of a lifetime!
    We wallowed in the glory that was to behold.
    That was the classic Paris compared to what has transpired since then. Who knew? We have great memories.
    Our thoughts are with you.

  29. I'm planning a trip there next year, can't wait! This must have been made a long time ago, I don't see any cell phones, people are reading their papers in the cafe's, I love that and hope not much has changed

  30. Please slow down…and spell the attractions… The spellings and pronunciations are confusing for the first time visitors.

  31. "After me the flood" was not the words of Loui the 14th but the 15th , please do so research before making your videos, I almost took your stories for granted.

  32. Great Work by Rick Steves. Europe is full of Majestic Scenery and wonderful History. I love Europe. Especially France.

  33. Just 2 weeks ago we were having a river cruise on the Seine. We had a lovely time although Notre-Dame was still under construction after the fire.

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