It would be possible to spend a week just at the Louvre
—literally. With 38,000 items on display, at 10 seconds per object, you’d need to spend eight days at the museum, the world’s largest, to see all of them. You, however, are going to scratch this one off your list in one morning. Some research in advance will allow you to concentrate on the galleries that interest you the most. If you just want to hit the most famous highlights, make a beeline for the Mona Lisa
, the Venus de Milo
, Michelangelo’s Dying Slave
, and Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People
Break for lunch at a restaurant that is also a work of art, Le 1728
. The house where the Marquis de Lafayette spent the final years of his life has been meticulously restored—the parquet floors now look like new and some 3,000 works of art hang from the walls of the various salons, including a Caravaggio.
After admiring art, head to Montmartre
, where many famous artists have lived, including Picasso, Modigliani, Toulouse-Lautrec, Van Gogh, and Zola. The major site in the neighborhood is the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur, the white neo-Romanesque church that stands out on the Paris skyline. From the platform at the base of the building, you can take in sweeping views of the city.
Much of the bohemian air of Montmartre is a memory, as artists have moved on to other, cheaper, neighborhoods. Some institutions, however, remain. At the famous—or maybe infamous—Moulin Rouge
, where the can-can was invented, nightly dance and music spectacles have entertained Parisians and visitors since 1889.