Paris Through the Back Door

Some cool things to see in Paris if you’ve already been there

Paris has something for everyone!

I first visited Paris as a college student and will never forget my initial glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, walking along the Champs Elysées or seeing the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. Since then I have chaperoned 6 ECI groups in France. Although ECI’s Paris itinerary is a great snapshot of the City of Light’s highlights, I really enjoy helping students who have already visited Paris discover new treasures and see some famous destinations from a new perspective.

I visited the Louvre with my parents, do I have to go again?

Yes, is the answer I tell my students. Even if you’ve already “been there, done that,” this museum has much to offer besides its well-known masterpieces. There are over 35,000 works of art in the Louvre so even if you’ve been I can guarantee there will be something new to see.

But it’s so crowded near the Mona Lisa where else should I go?

Most don’t know that the Louvre is the former royal palace of the French monarchy before Versailles was built in the 17th century.

  • Go underground at the Louvre and see its original 12th century fortress walls. Get a glimpse of life in the Middle Ages.
  • Go back even further in time to 1750 BC when the Code of Hammurabi was carved into stone in Babylonia (present day Iraq). The Code is known as the first written record of many laws still enforced today such as do not steal or use violence against your neighbor.
  • Jump back more centuries to 4000 BC and admire numerous Roman and Greek Antiquities.

Rest assured, there is plenty to see and discover at the Louvre besides our pal Mona Lisa.

I’ve seen all of the Paris excursions on the itinerary, can I just spend the day shopping?

Don’t worry, there will be plenty of time for shopping while in Paris. Our groups have time to explore the Latin Quarter where there are many shops to pick up some souvenirs or even a scarf. Around Sacre Coeur you will have the opportunity to visit La Place du Tertre where you can even have someone sketch your portrait. And of course, we can spend time on the Champs Elysées where you’ll recognize some popular American stores as well as major French chains.

What’s the name of that famous cemetery in Paris?

Bonne question, it’s called Père Lachaise and it’s Paris’ oldest cemetery. Probably the most famous American buried here is Jim Morrison, former lead singer of the Doors. I’ve taken students here before who really wanted to see his grave. Once we find his grave site, we also visit the final resting place for some famous French, such as Marcel Proust (author), Eugene Delacroix (painter), Édith Piaf (singer) to name a few. It’s also interesting to visit any cemetery while in France since their graves are usually above ground, making for some beautiful and unique architecture to honor their loved ones.