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First-time Europe Traveler - Paris, Early May

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I will be travelling to Europe for the first time ever in early May, and I really need help understanding what would be realistic and enjoyable given my time frame and the time of year. First, some details: I am flying in and out of Paris (I already booked this roundtrip flight) from Toronto. I'm scheduled to arrive in Paris on May 4 (early morning), and depart May 16 (afternoon). That gives me about 12.5 days in Europe.

Outside of knowing that I will arrive in Paris and depart from Paris, this trip is wide open. So that's really what I'm asking for here: with Paris as my hub, what are some potential European cities I can visit to enrich this trip? I will tell you my basic interests and also some cities I'm interested in seeing, but please feel free to suggest anything (based on those interests as well as your travel knowledge). Again, I'm a complete novice.

Interests, ranked according to priority:

1.) Aesthetic beauty; beautiful architecture and geography. A place I would enjoy simply walking around, taking in that beauty (my favorite thing "to do"). My hope is that this beauty would have a distinct charm that I, as an American who has never traveled, would have never seen before in person.

2.) Culture. A sense of being immersed in a unique and rich culture.

3.) History. Preferably the kind that can be taken in for free, just by wandering. Not a huge museum guy (outside of the Louvre, which I can't wait to visit).

4.) Now that I've established my reputation as a wandering romantic, I wouldn't mind going out a few times and enjoying beach and/or nightlife.

Cities I'm interested in: Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Prague... although you all know more than I do: feel free to suggest based on criteria above as well as logistical feasibility.

Any feedback tremendously appreciated. Thanks!!!

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