The must-Know tips for traveling to Paris for the first time -Tips to Travel to Paris
We recently went for Trip to Europe (France and Italy) from Australia . It was our 1st trip to France and Italy, even though we lived in the UK for years and did visit other European countries like Spain. Netherlands and Czech republic and Austria.
Are you thinking of visiting Paris and its your first time? you are in the right place.
After visiting Paris recently we’ve compiled all of our greatest Paris travel recommendations – including how to save money, where to stay, what to bring and more!
My first vacation to Paris with my family, which occurred just a few days ago( March 2022- just the start of Spring for Parisians), will remain etched in my memory forever.
I was expecting a lot from my first trip to Paris, and I was not disappointed.
There were magnificent structures, beautifully landscaped gardens and parks, centuries-old churches, and imposing monuments to see.
The ARCHITECTURE OF THE NOTRE-DAME CATHEDRAL, the beauty of the Eiffel Tower, and the artwork contained within the Louvre all captured my attention.
1.After you Arrive at CDG Airport
What to Expect on Your First Trip to Paris- A First Time Visitor’s Guide
You’re visiting Paris for the first time, aren’t you?
Here’s a comprehensive guide to visiting Paris for the first time, including everything you need to know about getting around.
Finally, the choice has been made, and you will be travelling to Paris!YAY How Exciting!
First and foremost, congrats! I can assure you that you will have a fantastic time! Paris is a lovely city with a plethora of things to see and do.
However, in order to get the most of the cash without getting a headache, meticulous planning is required.
Consequently, in this piece, I hope to assist you in better comprehending the city of love Paris and provide you with all of the credible and up-to-date information you require to prepare for your amazing stay in Paris, particularly if you are coming there for the first time.
I am sure you’ll have most of the below Questions in your mind, i had them too
Questions such as
- What do I need to know before I go to Paris,”
- “How many days should I spend in Paris for the first time,”
- “Where should I stay in Paris for the first time,”
- “When is the best time to visit Paris,” or
- “What should I do on my first trip to Paris,”
Writing this guide on what to expect on your first trip to Paris was no easy feat, as there’s so much to do and see in this beautiful city!
But we managed to narrow it down by taking into account the top things every first time visitor should experience during their stay in Paris.
From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, from river cruises down the Seine river to wine tours around Burgundy, here’s what you need to know before you take off for the City of Lights and city of love!
Paris has 3 airports
The two main airports are CDG to the north-east and Orly to the south are well connected to the city center while Paris .
However, Beauvais airport is located quite far up north and used by budget airlines.
Where to stay in Paris
Paris is one of those cities that you can never seem to get enough of.
There are endless cafes, restaurants, art galleries and museums—it’s all so exciting! With such a packed itinerary, it might be easy to overlook some Paris travel basics like where you should stay in Paris.
To help, here are Four suggestions for accommodations in Paris for your next trip.
1) The Eiffel Tower area( Quite near to Eiffel Tower): Stay at Hôtel de La Paix The Eiffel Tower is almost always number one on every visitor’s list when traveling to Paris.
2.Paris City Centre : Novotel Paris Centre Tour Eiffel,Holiday Inn Paris – Gare de L’Estates, an IHG Hotel or the Warwick Paris
3. If you are looking at Hotels near to CDG Airport consider La blanc Mesnil – Stay in Campanile Hotel or Hôtel Kyriad Le Blanc Mesnil
4. Disney world Accomodation; If you are spending more time in DisneyLand,Paris consider living in Campanile Val de FranceDisneyland Hotel( 5 Star Tourist Hotel),Dream Castle Paris.
Check out the below deals for your next Disney Paris Journey with your family…
Also Read: 7 Things to know before going to Paris
So, why is Paris called City of Love
Paris is called the city of love because millions of people come here to spend some romantic time, find the perfect setting for that, then go home delighted and spread the word. Paris is a strong brand because it keeps delivering its love promise.
Its beauty strikes you at every corner, with its elegant yet impressive architecture, the legends that stick to its iconic monuments, and the subtle combination of art, history and nature: just walk across the Pont du Carrousel and have a glance towards Île de la Cité.
The true magic arrives late at night (about 2am) when you are alone in these wonderful surroundings. Enjoy it with your partner and discover why Paris is known as the city of love…
Finally, from 1830, Paris was the European hub of Romanticism, which restored emotions above logic, with artists like Victor Hugo or Stendhal. This helped create the Paris brand and attract admirers from all over the globe.
A Quick Guide
Essentials to bring to Paris
Prepare for lower temperatures in the city if you want to visit Paris in the spring or fall and escape the summer throng.
Be careful you carry the following essentials in addition to your standard Europe packing list:
- The city might be a noisy place, so be prepared with your earplugs and Good quality Head Phones
- Don’t be scared to pack a few excellent outfits for your trip to Paris. Paris is indeed a Fashion city.
- Jeans and a lovely pair of boots would go nicely for the girls & ladies. If are not so fond of wearing Jeans, get in to cute little black dresses or the summer dresses.
- Regardless of the season, never leave home without your travel umbrella and a layer. Paris is colder even in Spring time
- Get used to walking.. a Lot of walking.Walk .. walk … walk..
Be wary of souvenirs that have been mass-produced.
Some mass-produced commodities pose a risk to your health in addition to unfair competition and duplication.
In the case of low-cost masks, for example, the EU law governing colours and chemicals for wearable items has not been complied with, making skin contact potentially harmful.
We’ve compiled a list of things to watch out for when visiting Venice, so you don’t have to.
Sightseeing in Paris
Paris is a huge city and unless you spend several days in Paris, it will be nearly impossible to see all of its tourist attractions.
For those with a limited amount of time, sightseeing in Paris is best broken down into manageable pieces.
Wherever possible, travel by foot or bike as these modes of transportation are easy and convenient for exploring Paris.
While exploring central Paris, you should plan your route so that you can visit each major site during your first day in town rather than arriving late at night and trying to do everything at once or skipping something because there isn’t enough time.
Day Trips from Paris
Paris is a fairly large city, but it makes up for its size by being incredibly walkable.
In fact, as a first time visitor I was surprised at how easy it was to get around Paris without a car.
That said, there are some fantastic day trips you can take from Paris that will allow you to see even more of France.
It’s always smart to plan these excursions in advance, so be sure to check out great travel deals with Travelocity or other travel sites beforehand!
Here are a few great day trips from Paris
Outdoor Activities in Paris- Top 5 must see
There are plenty of outdoor activities in Paris if you have time, such as boating and hiking, that can be done right in or near major cities.
If you want to get away from it all, however, consider a drive into wine country.
The French countryside is filled with beautiful vineyards, chateaus and quaint villages.
Once you arrive at your destination, you can stop for a picnic or enjoy meals at charming restaurants and cafes.
But these are the top 5 must do activities in Paris.
Best Tours in Paris( Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours in Paris City centre)
If you’ve never been to Paris before, visiting for only a few days might not be enough time to see everything you want.
You might find yourself wishing you had one or two more days.
But, if your schedule only allows for a couple of days in Paris, we suggest seeing at least some of these popular sites.
Make sure that you don’t miss out on anything because these are things everyone should do during their first trip to Paris
Disney land, Paris
Disneyland Park is the renamed version of Euro Disneyland Park.Its the Heaven for the kids and Adults too. I loved Every moment of being there.
Located just across from the Marne-la-Vallée railway station in France, this Disneyland park is really two parks in one: Disneyland Paris Park and Walt Disney Studios Park.
Disneyland Paris Park Tickets
When buying tickets for Disneyland Paris, it’s essential to grasp the park’s ticketing system.
- A MINI TICKET is a ticket valid just on weekdays (and the cheapest option)
- MAGIC TICKET is only available on weekends.
- SUPERMAGIC TICKET is only available on important holidays (the most expensive option).
If you want to obtain the greatest deal on Disneyland Paris park tickets, DO NOT WAIT to purchase them at the park gate.
Eiffel Tower, Paris
As one of the world’s most iconic structures, a visit to the Eiffel Tower should be on the itinerary of any visitor visiting Paris.
Long it’s likely to be really crowded and you’ll have to wait in line for a while to climb, there’s a reason this famous building is so popular.
The Eiffel Tower, or La Tour Eiffel in French, was erected for the 1889 World’s Fair in commemoration of the French Revolution’s 100th anniversary.
The tower, named for its creator and engineer, Gustave Eiffel, was completed in a record two years, two months, and five days!
Although it drew harsh criticism during its construction and completion from some of France’s best artists, the wrought-iron tower has since become a symbol of
France and one of the world’s most visited landmarks, with almost 7 million people every year. It is both an intriguing piece of architecture and a massive work of art that the whole globe can marvel at.
If you’re planning a trip to Paris, I strongly advise you to spend a lot of time at the Eiffel Tower Both during day and Night ( to see the Lights). the Light are On after 8Pm and the sparkle lights every Hr for 5 mins . like 8Pm-8:05 pm , 9Pm-9:05 Pm and son on .. Until Midnight!
Explore the Louvre Museum in Paris
The Louvre Museum in Paris need no introduction. Being one of the world’s greatest museums, it houses the world’s finest collection of artworks including MONALISA.
Whoever visits Paris, the Louvre is a must-see. However, is it feasible to see the Louvre Museum in Paris in a single day?
What if you are an art enthusiast or want to see it but only have a limited amount of time available?
What would you do in the case?
To be honest, when I originally considered seeing the Louvre in a day, I was reminded by Robert Langdon’s comment in Da-Vinci-Code that it would take at least a week to explore the whole Louvre Museum Paris if one were to just gaze at every single piece of art.
THE FONDATION LOUIS VUITTON: AN ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
Designed by the world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the Fondation Louis Vuitton, with its shapes that include dazzling clouds, futuristic sailing ships, and even frozen icebergs, represents the best of contemporary art and culture in the twenty-first century.
Located in the middle of a sea of concrete buildings from the nineteenth century, this complex is a breath of fresh air – quite literally, as it reflects the colour of the surrounding environment, whether it is dark and overcast or brilliant and blue.
What ever the weather conditions are outside or inside, the structure is stunning.
What to Pack for Paris, France |
Top 3 Essentials for Paris
Traveling to the city of love soon and wondering what to pack for Paris in Or spring or summer?
You’re in the right place as I will show you everything you need to add to your Paris packing list.
Summer is one of the best seasons to visit Paris!
The sun is out, the days are long, the entire vibe is chill and the famous Parisian landmarks are more than ready to receive visitors.
The thought of finally climbing the Eiffel Tower and get impressive views of Paris already excites you as just walking down the Seine!
But with all that excitement, it’s possible to forget to pack all the Paris essentials.
And that’s where this post comes in – to show you exactly what to pack for Paris fall-Spring-summer for a fun-filled trip.
What to pack if you are Visiting Paris in Spring-summer
Clothing that may be mixed and matched: Although Paris is famed for its fashion, this does not imply that everyone is dressed in expensive gowns.
The clothing you have in your closet will be sufficient. You may (and should) treat yourself to a few new things for your vacation if you want to (and you should).
The finest piece of dress advice for a summer vacation to Paris is to be as versatile as possible.
Clothing that can be mixed and matched is ideal, and this is easy to do if you keep to a single colour family as a guide.
A fancy black tank top with jeans or a white-stripped shirt with a pair of black shorts are both excellent examples of how to dress up an outfit.
Avoid leaving the house without at least one or two flirty sundresses in your wardrobe, sunscreen, hat , sunnies and chapstick.
You’re looking for something lightweight and comfy to wear during summer
Take care to ensure that the sweater light coat you bring complements the dress you will be wearing.
Funky Jewellery and Hat:
Because your clothing is so adaptable, it’s likely that it’s a touch on the plain side.
Ladies could pack a few unique items of jewellery as well as a nice folding sunhat to spice it up a little.
Parisians are known for their attention-grabbing accoutrements, so you’ll be completely at home. Hats are usually a good choice for the men in your life.
A little umbrella will come in handy at some time during your journey :
since you will almost certainly encounter rain. Pick up a little umbrella that will fit in your handbag to keep you protected.
For the ladies, a pair of flat sandals will be a must-have in your carry-on luggage.
With its cobblestone streets and historic buildings, Paris is not a great place to walk in high heels.
In addition, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, and flats are generally more comfortable.
Wearing heels on a special night out is optional for those who are committed to the trend. A pair of loafers will enough for the men in your life.
The use of a hands-free purse or bag is essential when travelling.
Totes that you can sling over your shoulder or a cross-body purse are both attractive and utilitarian solutions for your bag collection.
It’s a good idea to have a bag with a secure top closure – such as a zipper or flap – to keep your valuables safe from pickpockets when travelling.
For guys, a small, lightweight backpack will suffice.
So, What’s The Best Time To Go To Paris?
Unfortunately, there isn’t one ideal time to visit Paris. The city is vibrant year round and no matter when you go, you can expect a bit of rain.
However, if you want a true taste of what Parisian life has to offer, try visiting in Spring or Fall. March-May or Sept-Dec. Avoid during July-August ,a s Paris will be filled with too many tourists and Locals mostly close their shops and go on vacations.
You’ll beat out most of the crowds and likely avoid most of your seasonal allergies.
Plus, there are less tourists clogging up public spaces so things will feel more like a local experience. If you don’t mind soaring heat and humidity, summer is a great time for travellers as well!
Parisians head to their country homes during July and August, leaving many shops and restaurants open but with fewer customers.
Paris is also known for its world class cuisine, but it’s not cheap. Save some money by dining at lunchtime (12:00 p.m.-2:30 p.m.) instead of dinner (7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.).
Most restaurants have lunch menus that cost half as much as their dinner offerings—but be sure to arrive early because they often run out of food before closing time!
Avoid wearing those expensive and uncomfortable High heels on the streets of paris if you want to have the finest experience in Paris.
High heels should be avoided. Period. High heels, we assure you, are not recommended in Paris .
Paris is a historic pedestrian city with uneven streets that will force you to walk, walk, and more walk in order to see everything.
However, even if you want to use a water bus, you will have a significant amount of walking ahead of you as you cross the uneven stone pavement, bridges, and crowds to reach the water bus stops.
While staying in your hotel or being picked up by a taxi to go to a private party, high heels may be a reasonable option for you to consider.
In any other circumstance, believe us when we say that you absolutely do not want to do it.
Your feet will be grateful to us
How Much Time Should You Spend In Paris?
What is there to see in Paris? The short answer: a lot.. Trust me a. lot. We stayed for 7 days in Paris, and we still think we have missed few attractions .
Depending on your interests, needs ,available time etc you could spend min three days in Paris to just accomodate few famous attractions.
And that doesn’t include what’s outside of Paris – like Versaille or Marly-le-Roi or Giverny or pretty much any of the world class wine regions within an hour of Paris by train.
What should you do? We’ll give you our opinion and you can decide.
We spent around 6 days when we visited Paris this Spring and we could utilize and see almost the major Tourist attractions in Paris.
But if we had three days, here’s how we’d do it
- Day 1 – Eiffel Tower in the afternoon( Climbing) and night lights of Eiffel tower( dazzling Lights)
- Day 2 -City Tour on the Hop in Hop off Bus
- DisneyLand paris
How To Get Around In Paris
Transportation in Paris is notoriously complicated and fast moving.
There are different options for getting around in Paris, from buses and taxis to trains and ferries.
If you are new to Paris it can be hard to keep track of which transit authority you should use, so here is a quick guide: public transportation in Paris can be divided into five main categories;
The metropolitan area of Paris is split into five zones.
Paris is generally shaped like a circle, and the zones simply radiate out from the city in layers,, in a circular pattern.
For example, as you may have guessed, Paris is designated zone 1, with everything else falling into zones 2-5.
Understanding the zones is vital since going across each of these distinct zones necessitates the usage of different kinds of tickets.
The two airports (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), the Château de Versailles, and Disneyland Paris are the most frequently visited locations outside of zone 1 in France.
In Paris, there are several modes of transportation.
RATP is the acronym for Paris’ extensive transportation network, which includes a subway system (Metro), buses, and regional trains (RER).
Using public transit in Paris has the advantage of being close to one another, with free transfers between RER and Metro stations.
This makes getting about the city a breeze (within Paris).
Walking & Uber was our preferred mode of transportation in Paris, although we often used the metro and regional trains to cover vast distances when necessary (or when we got tired).
As an added bonus, You can use of Paris’ self-service bike system (Vélib’).We dint as we have a little daughter and it’s hard to Bike with her in tow.
Uber of course is your best Friend in Paris. Uber worked like gel-smooth for us. We took Uber in many places where we may have to wait longer for the Bus or the Train to arrive.
How To Be A Good Tourist (And A Good Parisian!): The User Manual For A Paris First-Time Visitor.
It’s no secret that Parisians love a good tourist. They know when tourists are lost, confused or need help.
Being touristy is actually a key part of what makes Paris one of the world’s most interesting and enjoyable cities for visitors.
That said, there are some things you can do to make sure your first trip to Paris is less about figuring out how things work and more about enjoying yourself…
When compared to hotel rooms in North America or in Australia
Parisian accommodations are significantly smaller. Even though we were only three people( My Hubby, I and our 11 yo daughter), our mid-range hotel room in the Le blanc Menil area was quite bigger all other people have experienced.
Whether you’re travelling with a family or simply want extra room, renting an apartment may be the best option.
Accommodations in Paris are significantly more costly than those in other parts of France.
The price also depends on the season. During summer ( June-Aug ) rates will be higher. plan your visit accordingly.
Although most hotels do not include breakfast in their rates, you may be able to discover those that do.
An additional government tourist tax will be added to your lodging bill for each night and for each individual you are renting a room from.
The cost of lodging is determined by the kind of accommodation.
Paris is a popular tourist destination all year long, so it’s advisable to book your lodgings in advance.
Please use the below search option to get a Good deal for Paris accomodation
Pickpocketing was our primary fear for us in Paris, as visitors are a common target for this sort of criminal activity.
Quick Tips to avoid Pickpocketing in Paris:
Wear a money belt to keep your money safe. Essentially, a money belt is a tiny zipped cloth bag with an elastic strap that fastens around the waist of your pants or skirt and is hidden underneath your pants or skirt. When travelling, I never leave home without one – it’s the place where I store things I really, truly don’t want to lose.
You must try to leave your valuables in your hotel room. Important gadgets, such as your laptop, is considerably safer in your room than it is in your day bag on the streets.
While hotels frequently have safes in the room or at the front desk. Some travellers choose to leave their passports in the hotel safe while out for the day, which is OK.
When you’re out and about, make sure your backpack, devices, and other valuables are safe. Thieves are motivated by the desire to separate you from your assets as soon as possible; therefore, even a tiny hurdle may be an effective deterrent. In order to sit comfortably while eating or resting, wrap your daypack strap around your arm, leg, or chair leg.
Language- Learn a Bit of French words !Trust me it will be helpful
There’s no denying that French is the most widely spoken language in the city of Paris.
It is appreciated when people make an attempt to communicate in French, even if it is only a few simple phrases or courteous pleasantries.
In our research, we discovered that many individuals in the service and tourist industries could communicate in some English but would switch to another language when it became clear that we understood very little about their culture.
We would obtain better service if we used French first, especially when entering a café or shop, and didn’t assume that everyone understood English. “Bonjour, Madame” and “Bonjour, Monsieur” were particularly effective greetings and “mercy” for saying Thank you!
Use English in just words not in a long sentence. they get it! Like for Instance If you want to say “the airlines we are travelling dint give us the seat number yet, they may be emailing us soon”, Just say “No Give number “. ” they email”.
This worked for us many times with the Uber drivers and taxi guys.
Do not use long and complex English sentence, It’s hard for French to understand, Instead break down the sentence into few simple words.
Restaurants and other places to eat
There is certainly no shortage of highly regarded and pricey restaurants in Paris, but there are also a plethora of alternatives that are suitable for anyone on a tighter budget.
For night, we had no issue locating restaurants where we could have a meal for roughly €20 per person, which was a great deal.
For breakfast and lunch, we ate small meals at cafés and boulangeries, which we found to be quite convenient (bakeries).
Spend €35 or more on a fancier, multi-course lunch if you want something special.
Menus are shown outdoors, and the prices listed include all taxes and service charges, as well. There are fixed meals (which are frequently served for lunch) as well as à la carte options.
There are many Kabab Eateries that can be really Yummy food out there!
Eating out in Paris is a leisurely event that should not be hurried.
Make no mistake folks!: the service will be slower than you are accustomed to at home, and there will be a little period of time between courses.
In addition, when you’re ready to depart, you’ll most likely need to request that your bill be delivered to the table with you.
Restaurant waiters in Europe are more formal and less cheerful than their counterparts in North America or Australia, and I believe that this is misconstrued as being unpleasant or nasty by customers.
Their role is to take your order and deliver your meal; after that, they’ll step back and let you to have your privacy.
Because the expectations for good service in Paris are different than in other parts of the world, don’t anticipate outgoing small conversation or continual attention from waiters.
Because the tap water in Paris is safe to drink, there is no need to purchase bottled water unless you want sparkling water.
Inquire with the waiter for a carafe d’eau (a pitcher of water) or eau du robinet (a glass of water) (tap water). Restaurants in France are obligated by law to provide complimentary tap water to their customers.
Between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m., lunch is often Served.
Dining establishments typically lock their doors at 10:30 pm after supper, while some in popular areas may remain open into the wee hours of the morning.
Parisians don’t eat till until 8:30 p.m. at the earliest.
Traveling to Paris? Here Are Some Tips and Tricks for Getting There.
Make a Reservation for Your Flight
To locate a low-cost flight, use Skyscanner or Momondo as search engines. Both of these search engines are among my favourites since they scan websites and airlines all over the world, so you can be assured that no stone will be left unturned. First and foremost, start with Skyscanner, because they have the most reach!
Make a Reservation for Your Accommodation
Booking.com is the best place to book your accommodation since they offer the largest inventory and the greatest discounts. Booking.com offers Genius Discounts.
Booking.com is the best place to go because they constantly provide the most affordable rates for Hotels, apartments and budget hotels.
Here are my fave Hotels in Paris. We have not stayed in these Hotels yet, But my research and talking to some of other travellers around helped me make this list!
5. PAX HOTEL
Don’t Forget to Take Out Travel Insurance.This is a must, of you are travelling from Australia. As Aus and France do not have the reciprocal medical agreements between them.
Check your country has any such agreements with France.
Countries Australia have a Reciprocal medical agreement with
- the Netherlands
- New Zealand
- the Republic of Ireland
- the United Kingdom.
You can get help with costs for medically necessary care when you visit any of those countries.
- Emergency care
- Care for an illness or injury that can’t wait till you get home.
You still need to get your own travel health insurance.
Travel insurance will protect you against a variety of risks, including illness, accident, theft, and cancellations of plans. It provides full protection in the event that something goes wrong. Given that I’ve had to use it on several occasions in the past, I never travel without it.
I did my family travel Insurance with Allianz , make sure that it is comprehensive and also check if they have covid cancellation cover as well.
We didn’t have the impression that Paris was more unsafe or less safe than any other major metropolis. Pickpocketing was our primary fear, as visitors are a common target for this sort of criminal activity.
We observed a couple scams in which a person approached with a “survey,” a “petition,” or something else to read as a diversion while their associates removed money from your pocket or wallet.
Taxis are sometimes dodgy, they take up the ride and when you are inside the taxi they ask for more money ( far more than the meter would be). The meter reading starts from Euro 2.60 ( Mostly).
Insiders Scoop: Taxis from busy areas like Eiffel tower has fixed rates like for instance Eiffel tower to St Mitchel station will be Euro 30 fixed, But with meter running it would cost only Euro 12.00. However, just go a Bit further from the tower and Voila you get the taxi for the Normal rates.
A precautionary measure was taken by placing our money in our front pockets, rather than in a wallet, or in an internal pocket of my camera bag, which has its zippered entrance against my back rather than facing outwards.
The folks who tried to sell us worthless items outside of tourist places (I don’t need a laser pointer!) were another source of irritation.
In addition, here are some suggestions for your first trip to Paris.
Even though Paris might be romantic, don’t be shocked if it’s dirtier, stenchier, and louder than you had imagined before you arrived.
We even came across a few of rats near Notre-Dame Cathedral! wow!
Hop on and Hop off bus tour is a wonderful opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of the city and see the city in full.
It’s also Important to roam around in small allies to discover many good eateries and bakeries.
All six of Paris’ main-line railway stations are served by the metro system, making it simple to go outside of the city for a day excursion or to continue on to other European locations.
Forget about the stereotype of Parisians as being obnoxious , formal or rude..
You will come across impolite individuals, as you will in any other part of the world, as well as kind folks.
Paris news! On April 15, 2019, the Notre Dame cathedral caught fire, with horrified Parisians watching as its iconic spire burned and fell to the ground. Three years later, the beloved French landmark is still scarred, and renovation work was slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic