And so you've made it, the obligatory stop to "The City of Light," perhaps the most well known metropolis on Earth. Now what? Are there incredible landmarks to explore and photograph? Of course. The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Notre Dame, Montmartre, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Arc de Triomphe - all spectacular to behold and all worthy of your diligent time and attention. Then there are the neighborhoods themselves: 20 arrondissements, spiraling out from the center of Paris like a snail, each with its own unique feel; some chic, some exciting, some domestic, most historic and all distinctly Parisian. But once the sense of awe wears off, and the must sees have been checked off the bucket list, what you're left with is a city rich in culture, history, and a plethora of interesting, often overlooked corners to investigate. Oh yeah, and thousands of other tourists.
Why not start by skipping the absurdly expensive Michelin Star restaurants and ducking instead into any of the myriad cafes on Rue de Buci (6th arrondissement), where quality food meets quality people watching at a price tag that doesn't rival your plane ticket's. Not up for the immobility of the Louvre? You could always try using the Port des Lions entrance (hint hint), or opt instead for something a little more out of the way; say, the contemporary works inside the Palais de Tokyo. Should you feel like checking out the tomb of Edith Piaf and Frédéric Chopin, or walking through a labyrinthine tunnel made of human skulls, you can do that too. With practically inexhaustible options, one could spend a year here and never visit the same place twice.
For the outdoor enthusiast among you, however, the picture isn't quite so rosy. With the exception of a couple surrounding forests (Fontainebleau, Compiegne) and a chilly coastline that's 2 hours to the north, adventurously getting out into nature isn't exactly high on Paris' resume. But before all hope is lost, bear in mind that an urban jungle of this size isn't without its creative outlets, provided you don't mind trading hiking and climbing for Friday night rollerblading and indoor rock walls. Hey, it's better than nothing, and at the end of the day you're still in one of the most historic and influential cities on Earth. That has to be worth something.