I have been a longtime fan of the Spectacle and Sensational books from Jodie Lynn Zdrok. They deliver a high stakes mystery and Paris setting which absolutely captivated me. Keep reading to see Jodie’s post about favorite places in Paris!
The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months…so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition’s most popular exhibits.
Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she’s suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.
My Favorite Places to See in Paris
Ok, this is going to read like a fangirl’s travel guide. I swear that Paris isn’t paying me to say these things. 😊
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Paris three times, and in alphabetical order, here are some of my favorite spots (since “All of Paris” wouldn’t make for a very good blog post!).
The Catacombs: I didn’t get a chance to visit the Catacombs until my third trip—in fact, because I hadn’t seen them previously, they were Tourist Priority #1 on my third trip. (I’d been to the ones in Rome years ago.) The Catacombs are as eerie and chilling as you’d expect. And somehow, when you’re several chambers in, you get used to seeing bones. Highly recommend.
Chez Papa Jazz Club: This is a nice night out in Saint-Germain that makes you feel like a local—I don’t think there were any tourists at this little gem of a place that’s made to look like an intimate “old” NY jazz club.
Eiffel Tower: On my first trip to Paris, I knew we’d see the Eiffel Tower, but I wasn’t super super excited about it. It’s a structure, the signature image of the city, what’s there to see? Readers, I was wrong. Seeing it on a postcard is one thing. Seeing it in person is like seeing the Grand Canyon or the ocean in person: You have to be there to appreciate it. It’s a phenomenal site and always a highlight. It’s great to go during the day but even better at night.
Galeries Lafayette and the Palais Garnier: They’re right around the block from each other. Galeries Lafayette is an unbelievable shopping experience spread across several buildings, and if nothing else, I recommend seeing the beautiful dome in the main building and having lunch at the AMAZING food emporium across the street. Palais Garnier is an absolutely beautiful opera house Phantom of the Opera fans might recognize.
Musée du Louvre and Musee d’Orsay: GO TO BOTH. You could spend days in the Louvre, the world’s largest art museum. It spans cultures, eras, and art forms, and it’s an incredible must-see. The Orsay is housed in an old train station (gorgeous) and houses mainly 19th- and 20th-century French art.
Notre-Dame Cathedral: This was one of my favorite places in Paris, and I’m heartbroken by the damage the 2019 fire and the uncertainty about the cathedral’s future. You can’t get anywhere near it–not even the square. It’s quite something to see it in both ruins and repair if you’re in the area.
The Palace of Versailles and Fontainebleau (day trips): On your first trip, go to the Palace of Versailles (stunning palace, stunning grounds). On your second, go where the crowds don’t: to the Château at Fontainebleau (decadent and sprawling, and sections of the palace are in darkness, a measure they take to prevent fading and the like). Both towns are cute and charming in their own right. If you go to Fontainebleau, you MUST go to the Frédéric Cassel Pâtisserie for the best sweets you’ve ever had.
Père Lachaise Cemetery: I loved this so much—it’s unlike any cemetery I’ve ever explored. Sloped, twisty, and such a MOOD. (I mean, there were crows there when I went on an early fall morning. Can you even?)
May you all have the opportunity to go some day. If you do, send me a postcard. Or at least think of me when you walk through the Catacombs and discover that they really are as spooky as you thought they might be.
About the Author
Jodie Lynn Zdrok holds two MAs in European History and an MBA. She enjoys rooting for Boston sports teams, traveling, doing races (to offset being a foodie), and posting cat photos to Instagram. She works in technology and lives in North Carolina by way of Massachusetts.