Paris Eiffel Tower

       What would Paris be without its symbolic Eiffel Tower? Built by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, it is presented at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. 324 meters high, it is one of the most visited monuments in the world with nearly 7 million visitors a year.

The ascent of the Eiffel Tower is a must to enjoy the magnificent view of Paris. Tickets booths are located at the foot of the tower, you can go up via one of the two elevators, but after standing in line several hours, especially in summer. For the more adventurous one, it is possible to use the stairs and climb the steps (1,665 to the summit).

The first floor houses the Eiffel Tower 58 which extends over two levels, 58 meters above the ground as its name suggests. On the second floor, the view is the best at 115 meters because you have a diving view on the ground below. Finally on the 3rd floor at 275 meters, you can see what the office of Gustave Eiffel was.

For an adult, it is about 8.50 € to access the second floor, 14 € for the summit.

Louvre Museum

The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. Located in the heart of Paris, this historic building is a former royal palace, with an area of 210,000 square meters including 60,600 for the exhibitions.

The museum is housed in the Louvre, originally a fortress built in the late 12th century under Philip II. The remains of the fortress are visible in the basement of the museum.

Since 2008, the collection is divided into eight departments:

  • Egyptian antiquities
  • Oriental antiquities
  • Greek, Etruscan and Roman
  • Islamic Art
  • Sculptures of the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Modern Times
  • Objects of art
  • Paintings
  • Graphic arts.

Practical Information: The Louvre museum is open daily from 9am to 18pm, except onTuesdays. Open until 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday.

Arch of Triumph

Under the spell of ancient Roman architecture, Napoleon commissioned Jean Chalgrin the design of a triumphal arch dedicated to the glory of imperial armies. Built in the 19th century, it is the largest monument of its kind in the world. Impressive sculptures adorn its pillars. In addition, the names of 558 generals and the great victories are engraved on the top of the arc. Under the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of France.

The panoramic terrace above the door offers a beautiful view of Paris. 50 meters high, 45 meters wide and 22 meters deep, the Arc de Triomphe is located on the Place de l’ Etoile which leads to the Champs Elysees.

The Champs Elysees is nicknamed “the most beautiful avenue in the world.” It stands on 1.9 km between Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe. There are many luxury boutiques (Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Guerlain, Montblanc …), places of entertainment (Lido, cinemas), famous cafes and restaurants (Fouquet’s).

Switzerland Interlaken

        Interlaken used to be known as a watch making center, but today it’s more popular as a tourist resort. Tourists started coming to Interlaken in the early 1800s to breathe in the mountain air and partake of spa treatments. Its popularity only grew from there. Offering spectacular views of three famous Swiss mountains, the Eiger, the Jungfrau and the Monch, the city is also a popular base camp for outdoor acitivites in the surrounding Bernese Oberland Alps. Travellers looking for something different to do might want to sign up for a class or two at a woodcarving school. Hungry tourists may want to try raclette, a classic Swiss dish made from cheese.

Zurich

Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, will appeal to travellers with an interest in culture since it boasts more than 50 museums and over 100 art galleries. When visitors get tired of shopping for internationally famous Swiss brand-name goods, they can take a boat ride on Lake Zurich or go hiking in the nearby mountains. The city also boasts an impressive number of clubs for travellers who enjoy going out at night. Not to be missed is the Swiss National Museum, located in a fairytale castle, it is dedicated to Switzerland’s cultural history.

Zermatt

Zermatt is a small town that is famous for skiing and mountaineering due to its proximity to the Matterhorn, one of Switzerland’s highest mountains. Cable cars whisk skiers up surrounding mountains in the winter and hikers in the summer. Zermatt is a good town for walking to various sites, since gasoline-driven vehicles are not permitted; any vehicles within the city limits must be battery-operated. Fortunately, for visitors, it takes 30 minutes or less to walk between sites. The town is accessible via scenic train routes that connect it with the outside world.

Lake Geneva

One of the largest lakes in Europe, Lake Geneva lies on the course of the Rhone river on the frontier between France and Switzerland. Aside from the city Geneva most destinations in the Lake Geneva region are in either the Swiss canton of Vaud or the French department of Haute Savoie. The geography is varied, with the Jura mountains in the north, a hilly plain in the center and in the southwest the Alps. The main attractions here are the elegant cities and towns surrounding the lake, the opportunities for skiing and hiking in both mountain ranges, and of course the lake itself.

Greece Greek Island

The beautiful and exotic Greek islands lure droves of tourists every year, making them one of the world’s top travel destinations. With more than 2,000 islands to choose from they may initially be bewildered by their number and variety. From gorgeous beaches, ancient ruins, colorful harbours and active volcanoes the Greek islands have it all.

Part of the Cyclades group, Santorini is among the most picturesque islands and definitely one of the best places to visit in Greece. Also part of the Cyclades, Mykonos features a modern, cosmopolitan society blended with traditional whitewashed houses and maze-like streets. Located in the Aegean Sea near the coast of Turkey, Rhodes is the capital and largest island of the Dodecanese archipelago, popular for its great beaches and historical significance. The northernmost of Greece’s Ionian Islands, Corfu was controlled by many foreign powers, notably the Venetians and British, which is reflected in its culture and the architecture on the island.

Athens

Inhabited for more than 3,000 years, Athens is widely known as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. The city presents a confusing blend of historical and modern features. Athens is famous for its archaeological ruins and monuments such as the famous Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Ancient Agora and the Theatre of Dionysos just to name a few. However, Athens is not just about ancient ruins. This bustling city is also an important center for business, culture and nightlife.

Crete

The largest of the Greek islands, Crete is a spacious land of pleasing contrasts where landscapes range from stunning coastline to rugged mountains and rolling countryside dotted with olive trees. Bustling metropolitan cities spread beyond to quiet villages centered around outdoor coffee shops. Steeped in history, Crete still bears archaeological traces of the many civilizations that inhabited it down through the centuries.

Meteora

The Greek word meteora means “suspended in the air,” and this phrase aptly describes the spectacular cliffs that rise more than 1,200 feet (366 meters) into the air overlooking the villages of Kalambaka and Kastraki in the north central mainland of Greece. What makes these cliffs even more inspiring are the historic monasteries perched along the summits. Dating back to the 14th and 16th centuries, the monasteries at Meteora were built by monks seeking spiritual isolation and freedom from religious persecution.

Halkidiki

Halkidiki is a trident-like peninsula near the city of Thessaloniki, sporting excellent beaches. The three separate peninsulas can be roughly summarized as follows: Kassandra has thenightlife, Sithonia has the beaches and Athos has the monks. Being closest to Thessaloniki, Kassandra is more built-up, while the more quiet Sithonia has campgrounds, hidden coves and clear waters. Both are popular with Greek and Eastern European tourists. Much of the easternmost peninsula belongs to the Mount Athos monastic community. It’s accessible by boat and open to male pilgrims only.