The City of Love
Paris, France, is the city to visit this year according to Lonely Planet. Each year they produce a list of the top ten cities to travel to and the winner for 2014 is the French capital. Widely considered to be one of the romantic cities in the world, Paris has always been a popular tourist destination. Home to some of the most memorable and well known landmarks in the world the city has been undergoing something of a rebirth. Recent years has seen a decline of international visitors and the city has acted by reducing the number of cars in one of Europe's most congested cities.
The city's council have replaced many of the worst effected congested streets with car free zones. The former expressway that ran along the Seine's Right Bank now incorporates cycleways and pedestrian walkways. They have created new car-free zones that include pedestrian promenades, botanic gardens and flower markets on barges, which run along the Left Bank of the famous river. This new car free zone runs between the Pont de l'Alma and the famous Musee d'Orsay, the latter has itself recently received a renovation. This museum houses the national collection from the impressionist, postimpressionist and art nouveau eras of the late 19th century and early 20th century.
There are other famous landmarks that also have had a recent facelift. Perhaps Paris's most famous museum the Louvre has added a "flying carpet" that floats over the Louvre's Islamic art collection. The Notre-Dame Cathedral have added nine new bells which replicate the original sound of the medieval chimes that use to ring out of the Cathedral. Finally the Musee Picasso has recently re-opened after a massive renovation and plays host to over 3500 pieces of art from the legendary Pablo Picasso.
The beloved landmarks of the city still play a prominent role in the allure of Paris. The most famous of these landmarks is, of course, The Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889, around 6.9 million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year. The Arc De Triomphe is another famous Parisian landmark. Built as a monument to those who fought and died for France in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, it also hosts the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Arc De Triomphe lies at the western end of another famous part of Paris, the Champs- Elysees. The Avenue des Champs-Elysees is a street with cinemas, cafes, luxury shops and is lined by horse-chestnut trees. The second most visited landmark in Paris is the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur a roman catholic church that is located at the summit of highest point of the city. The view of the city from this point is breath taking. The most visited site in Paris is the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which receives over 13 million visits each year.
Paris is an eclectic city that is steeped in a rich history. Modern changes to improve the city appear to be working, proof of this is the city sitting top of the top places to visit in 2014 by Lonely Planet.