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25 Must-See Paris Landmarks

By Hannah Martin

25 MustSee Paris Landmarks

Just take a 20-minute walk in Paris and you’re likely to glimpse a handful of major landmarks. The Eiffel Tower shoots up from one end. The gilded cap of the Les Invalides gleams just a few blocks away. The Louvre stretches across its waterfront plot, just across the Seine. But in between the staple Paris attractions—or in some cases, a short RER ride away —you’re in close quarters with dozens more significant sites, like the recently renovated Picasso Museum, situated in a 17th-century mansion in the Marais, or Oscar Niemeyer’s slick, undulating design for the Communist Party headquarters, out in the 19th arrondissement. If you can’t keep track, AD has compiled 25 things to do in Paris, both on and off the beaten path.

Located on the Île de la Cité, a thin island in the Seine, Notre Dame de Paris is perhaps the most famous cathedral in the world. Characterized by its classic French Gothic architecture, the structure was one of the first to use a flying buttress.

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In 1806 Napoléon ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe to honor those who fought in the Napoleonic wars. The massive archway, which wasn’t completed until 1836, anchors the Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of the Champs-Élysées. Architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin modeled the monument after the ancient Roman Arch of Constantine, which he doubled in size.

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The Centre Pompidou —designed in the 1970s by Renzo Piano , Richard Rogers, and Gianfranco Franchini—garnered much attention upon completion for its high-tech style. Its color-coded, tubular façade (green pipes are plumbing, blue ducts are climate control, electrical wires are yellow), with an elevator that climbs in diagonals up the front, looks straight out of Super Mario Land.

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The Sacré-Cœur Basilica , designed by Paul Abadie between 1875 and 1914, crowns the summit of Montmartre, the highest point in the city.

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Devised by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 as the entrance to the World’s Fair, the iron lattice Eiffel Tower that was originally viewed as an eyesore has become an emblem of the City of Light. At the top of the tower visitors can now glimpse the petite apartment —complete with paisley wallpaper and oil paintings—that Eiffel kept for himself and his most prominent friends.

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A dramatic contrast to Paris’ majestic palaces and cathedrals, Oscar Niemeyer’s command center for the Communist Party in Paris—completed in 1972 when it was still a major political force—makes quite a statement with its undulating glazed facade. Niemeyer, a staunch Communist himself, built the structure free of charge.

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A central landmark in Paris, the Louvre is a must for anyone visiting France. Originally built to house the royal family in the late 12th century (it officially opened as a museum in 1793), the palace has undergone countless renovations and extensions since, including the installation of I. M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramids—which topped the museum’s new entrance—in 1989.

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Located in Paris’s business district, La Défense, La Grande Arche —the 20th-century counterpart to the Arc de Triomphe—was conceived by Danish architect Johann Otto von Spreckelsen and completed by French architect Paul Andreu. Shaped like a cube with its middle cut out, the structure is made from a concrete frame encased in glass and Carrara marble.

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With its gleaming, gilded dome, Les Invalides is easy to spot from anywhere in the city. Established by Louis XIV in 1670 for old or unwell soldiers, the complex of buildings now houses several museums , a church, and—staying true to its origins—a hospital and home for retired soldiers.

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Frank Gehry’s striking Fondation Louis Vuitton , an art museum located on the outer rim of Paris in the 16th arrondissement, resembles a futuristic ship with its overlapping glass sails. Be sure to explore its verdant grounds, adjacent to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne.

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For Paris’s Panthéon , modeled after the original in Rome, architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot embellished a classical structure with Gothic detailing. Though it originally served as a church, the building now acts as a burial place for notable French citizens.

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After a five-year renovation and expansion that was completed in 2014, the Picasso Museum looks better than ever. Devised by architect Jean-François Bodin, the enhanced space includes more square footage, inserting contemporary white-wall galleries into the Hôtel Salé, a Baroque 17th-century mansion. Keep an eye out for mesmerizing plaster-white lighting and furniture by Diego Giacometti.

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The Cinémathèque Française —the original location of which was the site of mass leftist student protest in 1968—moved into a postmodernist, Frank Gehry–designed building in 1993. The museum and cinema holds one of the largest collections of film documents and paraphernalia in the world.

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The opulent Opéra Garnier was built in the late 19th century by Charles Garnier and famously served as the setting of Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel The Phantom of the Opera .

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The Grand Palais, resembling a giant greenhouse, has hosted a military hospital (during WWI), the World Fencing Championship, and Paris Fashion Week . Most days, though, the Beaux Arts building serves as the venue for one of the city’s many fine-art museums.

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Paris’s City Hall—the Hôtel de Ville—has served as a grand home to the Mayor of Paris since its purchase in the year 1357. These days, the building also moonlights as a magnificent party venue .

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Jean Nouvel merges interior and exterior so seamlessly in his Fondation Cartier , designed in 1994, that, when museumgoers stand inside the contemporary glass-and-steel structure, they remain surrounded by the lush gardens outside.

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Built in 1861, the Jeu de Paume first housed tennis courts, then Nazi plunder in the 1940s. It’s now hung with modern and postmodern photography. The building, located on the north corner of the Tuileries Gardens, was revised by Antoine Stinco in 1989 to create a light-filled exhibition space.

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The Jardin des Plantes , one of the Museum of Natural History’s seven departments, comprises the Galerie de l’Évolution (shown), the Mineralogy Museum, the Paleontology Museum, and the Entomology Museum, in addition to the gardens. The establishment started in 1626 as a medicinal herb garden for Louis XIII.

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Renzo Piano’s new headquarters for the Fondation Jerôme Seydoux-Pathé —once the largest film equipment and production company in the world—is located on the site of an abandoned 19th-century theater on the Left Bank. The heart of the project, hidden behind a historic façade, is a transparent egg-shaped building that houses archives, exhibition spaces, and a screening room.

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Located near Notre Dame on the Île de la Cité, the the Palais de Justice is part of a complex that contains some of the oldest buildings from the former royal palace, such as the Sainte-Chapelle, built in 1240, and the Conciergerie, a prison where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution.

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The Palais de Tokyo was revitalized in 2002 by architecture firm Lacaton & Vassal , which stripped away the building’s monumental interior to reveal a raw backdrop to the modern and contemporary art on display.

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The Philharmonie de Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel and completed just last year, is constructed from cast aluminum and reflective steel, with a shimmering façade made up of 340,000 tiles that depict abstracted birds.

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The Musée d’Orsay , located on Paris’s Left Bank, originated as the Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. Now the popular museum houses works of art from the period 1848 through 1914.

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Originally built in the 17th century for Marie de Médicis, the mother of Louis XIII, the Palais du Luxembourg was transformed after the French Revolution into a legislative building, which has served, since 1958, as the seat of the French Senate.

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A view of the city at night, including the Arc de Triomphe

50 unmissable attractions in Paris

From iconic architecture to artisan food markets, here's everything you need to see in Paris

Paris: the food, the fashion, the fromage, the fantasy. No matter how many times we visit the French capital, its charms never ever grow old. And we’re not alone in thinking that. Paris is a major tourist destination that attracts thousands upon thousands of enthusiastic travellers with heads filled with images of Breton jumpers, tiny dogs and posh chocolates. But how do you enjoy this gorgeous city without just succumbing to the age-old clich é s?

We’ve compiled a list of the 50 best attractions in Paris, from the big-name ‘must-visits’ to something a little bit more bespoke and authentically Parisian. So whether you’re looking for lesser-known museums , late-night live music or the best places for shopping , we’ve got ideas a-plenty - and they’re all as tasty as a Ladur é e macaron.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Paris RECOMMENDED: The best food tours in Paris RECOMMENDED:   The best tours in Paris

This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click  here .

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Best Paris attractions

Eiffel Tower

1.  Eiffel Tower

Well come on, you know what it is. Very probably the single most famous man-made structure in the entire world, the Eiffel Tower was originally erected as a temporary exhibit for the Exposition Universelle of 1889 (it was due to be taken down in 1909). From its summit, you can enjoy heart-stopping views over all of Paris – and conversely, its iconic form is visible from most vantage points in the city. Aside from the new glass floor that was installed in 2014 – which is a real trip if you’re brave enough to walk across it – there’s also a panoramic champagne bar on the third floor, a brasserie and a Michelin-starred restaurant. At night, the Eiffel’s girders sparkle like fairy lights on a Christmas tree (every hour, on the hour).

Don’t miss:  A meal at Alain Ducasse’s Michelin-starred Jules Verne on the second floor. 

Musée d’Orsay

2.  Musée d’Orsay

  • Art and design
  • 7e arrondissement
  • price 2 of 4

Before it became a world-leading art gallery, the Musée d’Orsay was a major train station (the first electrified train station in the world, actually). But despite being a lovely building it couldn’t accommodate the ever-increasing size of trains, leading the French government to the ingenious idea to fill it with art instead. This is where art fans go for a full-on dose of the biggest and best names in Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Lap up all that colour, light and scenic views before also exploring the decorative art collections for Art Nouveau glamour. Lovely.

Don’t miss:   The superb coffee shop/café tucked behind the clock (designed by the Campana brothers). It’s submarine-themed, in homage to Jules Verne’s ‘Nautilus’.

Le Marais

3.  Le Marais

Once upon a time, the Marais was where you found the movers and shakers of the French aristocracy. Then the French Revolution happened and… yeah. Anyway, since then this Parisian district has found a new lease of life as one of the most trendy, go-to parts of the capital. Head here for LGBTQ+ friendly venues, vintage boutiques and the best collection of art galleries in the city.

Don’t miss:  The legendary falafel outlet  L’As du Fallafel , if you want to put a pitta something in your stomach.

Arc de Triomphe

4.  Arc de Triomphe

  • Attractions

Commissioned by Napoleon but not actually finished until 1836, the  Arc de Triomphe is the mother of all war memorials.  Give your legs a workout and climb the 284 steps to the top, where the views sweep in geometric splendour between the arc of La Défense and the Louvre. Although you may be more distracted by observing the remarkable Parisian driving techniques in evidence around the unmarked traffic island below: in fact, hire car drivers have to pay extra on the insurance if they’d like it to cover the roundabout. When you get back down to the ground, do spare a thought for the Unknown Soldier whose grave sits solemnly in the centre of the arch.

Don’t miss:  The bronze plaque that features a transcript of Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1940 radio broadcast from London: his rallying cry was seen as the beginning of the French Resistance against Nazi occupation. 

Les Catacombes

5.  Les Catacombes

  • Things to do
  • Walks and tours
  • Denfert-Rochereau

Until you’ve actually been to them, it’s almost impossible to believe that ‘Les Catacombes' actually exist. This 300km (185-mile) network of tunnels runs under much of the city, and very publically contains the bones of some six million people, including many who perished during the Revolutionary Terror. In these claustrophobic corridors, you’ll find the bones of Marat, Robespierre and their comrades, packed in with wall upon wall of fellow citizens. It’s a remarkable and deeply macabre sight. And get your jackets at the ready – the Catacombes are chilly, both literally and spiritually. 

Don’t miss: The entrance to the ossuary, where there’s a sign which says: ‘Stop! This is the empire of death.’ Eek!

Canal Saint-Martin

6.  Canal Saint-Martin

  • Canal Saint-Martin

The Canal Saint-Martin was built between 1805 and 1825 during Napoleon’s day. It was initially intended to bring drinking water and merchandise to the Imperial capital; from the late nineteenth century it housed factories and industrial warehouses.

It’s all change now: many of those factories have become lofts for Paris’s ever-growing bobo (Bohemian-Bourgeois) population, and dozens of bars, restaurants and shops line its quayside. Its sturdy iron footbridges and picturesque locks are coveted spots for weekend picnics and hikes – especially on Sundays and public holidays when cars are banned and the roads are reserved solely for walkers and cyclists. 

Don’t miss:   The canal stalwarts,   Point Ephémère   and   Chez Prune .

Palais Garnier

7.  Palais Garnier

  • Music venues
  • Chaussée-d'Antin
  • price 3 of 4

Trips to the theatre don’t get more splendid than an evening spent at the Palais Garnier. Located at the Place de l'Opéra, this opulent-and-then-some theatre is luxury writ large. We come here to see the Paris Opera Ballet, but to be honest the building itself is (almost) as much an attraction as the dancers on stage. Check out the insane array of mirrors, marble, velvet and satin, and positively swoon at the Grand Escalier. The Palais Garnier is open to the public most days unless there’s a matinee performance. It’s best to check the schedule ahead of time and reserve tickets online.

Don’t miss:  The Paris Opera Ballet’s regular shows. 

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

8.  Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

  • Parks and gardens
  • Buttes-Chaumont

Centrepiece of the north-eastern Belleville neighbourhood, the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is perhaps a little less formal than other green spaces in Paris. But it’s really worth the uphill stroll to get there, because this nineteenth arrondissement beauty is one of the city’s most magical spots, and often missed out by weekend visitors who don’t get off the usual tourist trail. The park, with its meandering paths, waterfalls, temples and cliffs, was designed by Adolphe Alphand for Haussmann, and was opened as part of the celebrations for the Exposition Universelle in 1867.  This park is where locals head to sunbathe, or find shade during a heat wave.

Don’t miss:  A  drink at either  Rosa Bonheur or Pavillon Puebla , the park’s two buzzing, eternall jam-packed bars. 

Château de Versailles

9.  Château de Versailles

  • Paris et sa banlieue

Once just a modest hunting lodge, the Château de Versailles can surely now lay claim to the title of the most sumptuous pad in France. It’s grown with each resident and now has an astonishing 2,300 rooms that have housed numerous members of the French royalty over the years. The majority of the lavish work was commissioned by Louis XIV in 1678. The Sun King is virtually synonymous with Versailles: he’s responsible for adding the wondrous Hall of Mirrors, as well as the elegant and expansive grounds. It can get busy at peak times, so book a skip-the-line ticket beforehand and arrive early.

Don’t miss:  If you’re visiting during summer, there are magnificent musical fountain shows on select days of the week .

Place des Vosges

10.  Place des Vosges

When it first opened in the early 1600s, Place des Vosges quickly became a place to see and be seen for the city’s burgeoning young, single and bourgeois class (think of them as the original hipsters). It was designed so all the buildings surrounding the park were uniform in style, and the iconic red brick facades haven’t changed in 400 years. The ground floor of the buildings, once storefronts for textile manufacturers, now host small art galleries and cafes. Today, the city’s oldest public park is filled with students on their lunch break and young families picnicking. It’s the perfect spot to eat a sandwich or read a book in the sun.

Don’t miss: A coffee or chocolat chaud at Carette , a chic cafe under the vaulted arcades bordering the park.

Galeries Lafayette

11.  Galeries Lafayette

  • Department stores

Modern malls of the world should look to Galeries Lafayette and shudder in shame. This majestically beautiful department store started life with the modest aim of being a small fashion haberdashery. It then expanded to become one of the world’s most breathtaking shopping destinations. The wrought iron ceiling domes and latticed glasswork are well worth seeing, but this is more than a museum piece. Along with excellent brands to shop from, Galeries Lafayette is also a mouthwatering destination for foodies and oenophiles.

Don’t miss:  The rooftop, which boasts one of the most splendid views of Paris you can imagine, looking out onto the Grand Palais and the Eiffel Tower. 

Jardin des Tuileries

12.  Jardin des Tuileries

  • 1er arrondissement

Every great city has a great city park. And Paris is no different with the Jardin des Tuileries, a manicured stretch of greenery just off the Place de la Concorde. The charm of the park lies in its quintessentially French approach to gardening. Expect perfectly maintained shrubs, walkways and flowers with none of the oh-so-English lackadaisical approach to nature. This urban oasis somehow always feels calm, despite how many people flock here. Added cultural points if you can identify all the artists who made the sculptures without having to google.

Don’t miss: Each summer, a funfair sets up along the Rue de Rivoli side of the gardens,  and every winter a Christmas market and carnival is set up along the park’s north side .

Sacré-Coeur Basilica

13.  Sacré-Coeur Basilica

  • price 1 of 4

Work on this enormous mock Romano-Byzantine edifice began in 1877: it was commissioned in response to defeat in the Franco-Prussian war, the logic being that God must have been cross with the French and needed appeasing, sharp. Paid for from the public purse and completed almost half a century later, in 1914, it was consecrated in 1919, by which time a jumble of architects had succeeded Paul Abadie, winner of the original competition. The results are impressive, especially given its prominent position atop the hill of Montmartre, and the interior is covered in lavish mosaics.

Don’t miss: The views of the city from the lawns outside. Just be very wary of the hawkers trying to sell you bracelets. Make sure they don’t put one on your wrist – because once it’s there, you’re paying for it!

Moulin Rouge

14.  Moulin Rouge

Surely the most famous nightclub on the planet, the Moulin Rouge has seen all manner of showbiz stars, musicians, actors and stately names pass through its doors (which first opened in 1889, interrupted for six years when the original building burned down in 1915). And, tourists aside, this cabaret venue also remains beloved by Parisians, who go more for the club scene at The Machine and rooftop Bar à Bulles that lie within. The birthplace of one of the twentieth century’s best-known dances, on stage 60 can-can dancers cavort with faultless synchronisation for two hours in the ‘Féerie’ show. Costumes are flamboyant, legs kick higher than you’d think possible and the ‘half-time’ acts are funny. Just add champagne and you’ve got the ultimate French night out. 

Don’t miss:   A trip to tapas joint  Le Bar à Bulles , which you’d be forgiven for missing since it’s on the roof.

The view from Montparnasse Tower

15.  The view from Montparnasse Tower

At 209 metres, this steel-and-glass colossus isn’t quite the height of the Eiffel Tower, but it boasts far better views – for starters, they actually include the Eiffel Tower! Built in 1974 on the site of the Metro station with the same name, you ascend to the top of the Tour Montparnasse via a super-fast lift that sends you soaring skyward to the fifty-sixth floor, where you’ll find a display filled with aerial pics of Paris, plus a café and souvenir shop. On a clear day, you can see up to 25 miles away. If you want to go all the way, a second lift will take you up to the building’s roof.

Don’t miss:  T he ice rink that’s installed near the tower in winter.

Musée de l’Orangerie

16.  Musée de l’Orangerie

If the words ‘French art’ immediately conjure up scenes of lily pads, then you’re probably already familiar with the Musée de l’Orangerie. This Monet-centric museum does feature other artists, but its big selling point is surely the eight super-sized paintings the impressionist master completed in his Giverny garden. Brave the queues at least once - we promise they are genuinely worth seeing in the flesh.

Don’t miss:  Okay, it’s not just Monet: don’t forget to seek out works by his French masters Cézanne, Renoir, Rousseau and Derain, as well as Picasso and Modigliani.

Marché des Enfants Rouges

17.  Marché des Enfants Rouges

  • Markets and fairs

For a city with a seriously gastronomic reputation, Paris rarely disappoints. Since 2000, the Marché des Enfants Rouges has been a charming (and delicious) urban food market that brings together a phenomenal array of international cuisines. Think fondly upon the poor orphans in their red coats who gave the market its name as you scoff your way through North African, Asian and European delicacies.

Don’t miss:  T he giant tagines at Le Traiteur Marocain. Simply fantastic.

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

18.  Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

  • Ile de la Cité

If you want to take mass here, you’ve got a bit of a wait: as you’re doubtless aware, an inferno tore through this magnificent Gothic icon in April 2019, and you’ll be waiting until April 2024 for Notre-Dame to reopen (it may or may not be fully restored by then, but the government is determined to have it up and running in time for that summer’s Olympics regardless). Nonetheless, you can’t keep down a cathedral that almost lives in the popular imagination as much as the real world: after Victor Hugo’s 1831 novel ‘The Hunchback of Notre-Dame’ secured its iconic status, Disney’s plucky ’90s movie brought the wonderfully foreboding Gothic architecture of the historic icon to a whole new generation. On your next visit, look up at its timeless façade and imagine its future – just how will they rebuild this sacred beast?

Don’t miss: While the cathedral is being restored, it’s covered in scaffolding and surrounded by construction equipment, making for a bad view up close. The best spot to snap a photo with the facade is from Petit Pont, a bridge connecting Ile de la Cité and the Left Bank.

Musée National Rodin

19.  Musée National Rodin

You’ll find many of the legendary sculptor’s greatest works in this museum  based at the h ôtel particulier where the sculptor spent his final years until his death in 1917. Timeless highlights including ‘The Kiss’, ‘The Cathedral’, ‘The Walking Man’ and many other busts and terracottas. You’ll also find work on display by Camille Claudel, Rodin’s pupil and mistress. As a further bonus there are works by Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir and  Carrière here too. Don’t miss:  The gardens, a gallery space in themselves. Look out for the ‘ Burghers of Calais’, ‘The Gates of Hell’, and ‘The Thinker’.

The Louvre

20.  The Louvre

It would of course be ridiculous to visit Paris without at least dipping into the world’s largest museum. The Louvre’s maze of corridors, galleries and stairways constitute a city within a city – especially when you take into account the sheer numbers that visit (a record 10.2 million people back in 2018). It’s undeniably somewhat intimidating: with 35,000 works on public display, split across eight departments and three wings, there is zero chance you’re going to see it all in a single day. The best bet is to pick the parts you want to see beforehand, be patient and make your way steadily through the crowds. If you want a few starter tips, we recommend a trip to the impressive Islamic arts galleries, which opened in 2012. For the Mona Lisa –yes it’s a cliché, but why wouldn’t you want to see it? – head to the Salle de la Joconde.

Don’t miss:  If the crowds sound like too much to bear, try the Louvre’s extended-hour evenings on Fridays – open until 9.45pm, it’s significantly quieter.

La Coulée Verte

21.  La Coulée Verte

The old train tracks that join Bastille and Vincennes have now been reclaimed as La Coulée Verte: a verdant, picturesque five-kilometre trail of elevated gardens, the Jardin de Reuilly and tree-lined cycle paths. Kick off at the Bastille end and you can nip up one of the staircases on Avenue Daumesnil to get sweeping views of the city. It’s so scenic that doing the whole thing can easily take up a whole day. If you‘re going to do that, pack a picnic and stop in the Jardin de Reuilly, where there’s (we’re not kidding) Paris’s first sparkling water fountain (there are now around ten more). Then you can carry on to the glorious Bois de Vincennes, which has lakes and leafy, shaded parkland.

Don’t miss:   The police station on Rue Rambouillet which has striking art deco architecture.


22.  Sainte-Chapelle

  • Historic buildings and sites

In the 1240s, the fervently religious King Louis IX – who went on to become St Louis – acquired what he’d been led to believe was Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Naturally, he wanted somewhere appropriately magnificent to house it. The result was one heck of a monument: the magnificent, glittering Sainte-Chapelle. Its 15-metre windows are truly jaw-dropping: hundreds of scenes from the Bible are depicted, culminating in the Apocalypse in the rose window.

Don’t miss:  The occasional classical and gospel concerts that take place here. It makes for an eerily poignant venue.

Fondation Louis Vuitton

23.  Fondation Louis Vuitton

  • 16e arrondissement

The Fondation Louis Vuitton’s 11 ultra-sleek galleries opened in the Bois de Boulogne in 2014. Since then, Frank Gehry’s astonishing building has played host to a rotating programme of shows by high-profile modern and contemporary artists: expect to see works by the likes of Jean-Michel Basquiat ,  Gilbert & George  and  Jeff Koons, as well as specially commissioned site-specific works. The museum is owned by Louis Vuitton’s parent company LVMH, but will be taken over by the city after 55 years.

Don’t miss:  The events that run alongside the exhibitions – there are frequent appearances by big-name artists and curators.

Les Passages Couverts

24.  Les Passages Couverts

  • Faubourg Montmartre

Elegant precursors to the modern-day shopping centre, in eighteenth and nineteenth-century Paris there were lots of glass-roofed shopping galleries in areas around the Grands Boulevards. These covered passages allowed you to take shortcuts, escape the elements or ( ooh la la! ) steal a forbidden kiss with your lover in relative privacy. Not that it was all elegant charm: most passages were also given a salon de décrottage : a room where the dog excrement you’d trodden through was scraped off your shoes. Sadly that service is long gone, but these days  passages couverts are perfect little hideaways for an afternoon’s retail therapy. 

Don’t miss:  Galerie Vivienne is the best known, appreciated above all for its ochre-coloured décor and mythology-themed mosaics. We love the tearoom there too.

The Centre Pompidou

25.  The Centre Pompidou

  • 4e arrondissement

The Pompidou’s ‘inside-out’ appearance – with pipes, air ducts and escalators proudly gracing the exterior – has made it one of the best-known sights in Paris. It’s so striking that when it opened in 1977, its success exceeded all expectations… which was kind of a problem, as in essence five times more people turned up than had been expected: in its early years it was a byword for excessive busyness.  

After a two-year revamp, completed in 2000, the building grew, with a larger museum, renewed performance spaces and vista-rich Georges restaurant added. Entrance to the forum is free, as is a ride on the external escalators to the top of the museum. The permanent collection is an eclectic and vibrant display of modern art..

Don’t miss: Even if modern art isn’t your thing, take the free escalator ride to the top for an incredible view of Paris.. Nothing beats the moment you rise above the rooftops.

Le Crazy Horse

26.  Le Crazy Horse

  • Champs-Elysées

Definitely one of the more risqué players on the Parisian cabaret scene, the art du nu  (it’s a nudie revue!) of Le Crazy Horse first opened its doors in 1951 under the steerage of the legendary  Alain Bernardin. Seventy years on, it  still pulls in punters aplenty. It remains dedicated to all things feminine and sexy, within certain parameters: lookalike dancers with curious stage names like Enny Gmatic and Hippy Bang Bang all bear the same bodily dimensions. (Girls are genuinely required to have nipples and hips at the same height). Expect lots of rainbow-hued light and artfully located strips of black tape. Old-school, self-respecting cabaret.

Don’t miss:  ‘Striptease Moi’ , a sensual gender-bending show with a daft ending. 

Musée Picasso

27.  Musée Picasso

The Musée Picasso isn’t quite as famous as Paris’s other major galleries, but it’s so absolutely worth a visit. Bang in the middle of the Marais, this attractive gallery is in a former 17th century mansion. The masterpieces on show here are endless and include ‘La Celestina’, ‘The Supplicant’ and ‘Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter’. It’s the perfect sized gallery to spend a slow morning in before heading out for a leisurely lunch.

Don’t miss:  Head up to the top of the museum and you’ll find Ol’ Pablo’s very own art collection, which includes some gorgeous works by  Cézanne, Renoir, Mirò and his frenemy Matisse.

Shakespeare & Company

28.  Shakespeare & Company

  • Quartier latin

Shakespeare & Company is one of those iconic bookshops that nerdy intellectuals flock to simply to say they’ve been there (and got the tote bag). But this English-language bookshop on the Left Bank remains a genuinely excellent place to browse for literature - it’s beautiful, well-stocked and calming. Roam the corridors while inhaling the spirits of the many writers, artists and bohemians who have dwelt here over the years.

Don’t miss:   The busy events schedule, which includes readings from many high-profile authors.

Street art in Paris

29.  Street art in Paris

Paris has had a pretty serious street art scene from as long ago as the 1960s, and it’s only grown bigger since. There is plenty of wall space in the city’s suburbs, outer arrondissements and centre for local and international artists to get creative with their spray cans and transform whole areas into outdoor art galleries. By definition this stuff tends to be somewhat transient – if you can, take a look at the several dedicated blogs for up-to-date info.

Don’t miss:  We recommend the Rue Dénoyez in Belleville. Even during the day, there are always a couple of  graffeurs  at work.

Grande Mosquée de Paris

30.  Grande Mosquée de Paris

The Grande Mosquée is an active place of worship, but is open to visitors (except on Fridays and Muslim holidays). It opened in 1926 and remained the only mosque in the Paris metro area for a long time. Nearly 100 years later, the mosque’s geometric mosaics, white columns and intricately engraved archways make it a must-see. Walking through the tiled central courtyards and gardens will make you feel like you’re in Marrakesh, not Paris. Women can also enjoy a massage and a steam at the mosque’s on-site hammam, but no men are allowed.

Don’t miss: A cup of tea with baklava on the mosque’s peaceful patio.

Canal de l’Ourcq

31.  Canal de l’Ourcq

Commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte himself, the nineteenth-century Canal de l’Ourcq takes a 108km journey from the river Ourcq in Picardie before ending its journey  in front of the arty MK2 cinemas at   Place de la Bataille-de-Stalingrad’s Bassin de la Villette. Like the Canal Saint-Martin further south, the Canal de l’Ourcq draws a trendy crowd, from students to thirtysomethings with young families, who come to play boules on the sandy stretches, picnic on the water’s edge, and even play ping-pong in the playground areas. 

Don’t miss:  The   péniches  (canal boats) that double up as a bar, a theatre and a bookshop.

Marché d’Aligre

32.  Marché d’Aligre

  • Vintage shops
  • 12e arrondissement

The Marché d’Aligre has been a permanent fixture in an ever-evolving city since 1799. This much-used market sells everything from fresh veg to pre-loved clothes, fish and meat. There’s a lot on offer here, so plan ahead to decide what you are (literally) in the market for. If it’s a nice bit of poisson, go to the covered Beauvau part where you’ll find the better quality butchers and fishmongers.

Don’t miss:  The artisanal stalls in the main yard which sell books, African masks and other trinkets.


33.  Bateaux-Mouches

  • 8e arrondissement

Punctuated by landmarks, spanned by historical bridges and dotted with tree-lined quays, the Seine is bursting with picture-postcard moments: it’s surely one of the prettiest city rivers in the world. One of the best ways to absorb it all is by boat, ie one of Paris’s iconic Bateaux-Mouches. Sure, they are always rammed with tourists (we won’t lie: Parisians tend to avoid them like the plague), but if you don’t mind that, you’ll be in for a treat.  Bateaux-Mouches is the name of the largest and best-known boat operator, but there are smaller companies that provide the same service. Going with a smaller boat will leave you with a bit more peace.

Don’t miss: Stop off at the Île Saint-Louis for lunch at an old-time bistro. 

Musée de la Vie Romantique

34.  Musée de la Vie Romantique

  • Saint-Georges

Back in 1830, the 9th arrondissement teemed with composers, writers and artists. And it was this year that Dutch artist Ary Scheffer built this small villa. Guests at Scheffer’s soirées included Chopin, Liszt and – most important for our purposes – novelist George Sand. The museum is now mainly dedicated to Sand, who was enormously popular in her lifetime, but it also displays Scheffer’s paintings and other mementoes from the Romantic era. Renovated in 2013, the museum’s tree-lined courtyard café and greenhouse make for a perfect summertime retreat.

Don’t miss:  While you’re nearby, you should probably check out the Musée National Gustave Moreau . There’s a surprise waiting for you at the top. 

La Petite Ceinture

35.  La Petite Ceinture

  • 20e arrondissement

What is La Petite Ceinture? Basically, it’s an out-of-use railway that girdles Paris like, well, a little belt – hence the name. The track has been in disrepair since the last freight train went through in the ’80s (the final passenger train went through way back in 1934). Stretches of it have been transformed into an urban park, where flowers are growing over the rails and you take a walk away from the city ambience of honking cars. La Petite Ceinture can be accessed at entry points in the twelfth through twentieth arrondissements .

Don’t miss: A few of the old train stations along the former rails have a new life today as restaurants, brasseries and even one coworking space.

Palais de Tokyo

36.  Palais de Tokyo

When this modern and contemporary art building opened in 2002, many thought the Palais de Tokyo’s determinedly no-frills aesthetic amounted to a deliberate statement. In fact, it was purely for budgetary reasons. Happily, the venue has really flourished since then, especially after an extended 2012 overhaul of its open-plan space. Extended hours and a cool café bring in younger audiences, and the roll-call of artists is impressive (Roberto Braga, Wang Du, Theaster Gates and others). The name harks back to the 1937 Exposition Internationale, but is also a reminder of links with a new generation of artists from the Far East.

Don’t miss:  Everything else here. There’s Le Yoyo club, an excellent fashion and design bookshop, and two new restaurants. Oh, and don’t forget to head out to the terrace. The view of the Eiffel Tower really can’t be beaten. 

Philharmonie de Paris

37.  Philharmonie de Paris

  • La Villette

This grandiose venue in the North-East of Paris aims to make classical music accessible and non-elitist, with a remit to draw in novices as well as seasoned concert-goers. This all naturally hinges on the tickets being affordable: at a time when cultural activities are getting increasingly costly, the Philharmonie hopes to counter the trend much as the Opéra Bastille did for opera. Aesthetically impressive and large, this 2,400-seat concert hall frequently dazzles with season after season of eclectic concerts and events.

Don’t miss:  The  rooftop has spectacular views, open throughout the summer.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

38.  Cimetière du Père-Lachaise

  • Père-Lachaise

Pretty much anyone famous, French and dead is interred in Père-Lachaise. Indeed you don’t even have to be French: creed and nationality have never prevented entry; you just had to have lived or died in Paris or have an allotted space in a family tomb. From Balzac to Chopin to Oscar Wilde (the tomb worn away by kisses from visiting admirers, now with transparent barriers), the opportunities for posthumous talent-spotting are endless.

Don’t miss:   Oscar Wilde’s tomb: much like the man himself, it’s ostentatious and flamboyant. 

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen

39.  Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen

  • 18e arrondissement

The Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is widely held to be the biggest flea market in the entire world. While it seems quite likely that its rivals haven’t in fact been formally measured, with 3,000 traders and more than 5 million visitors a year, nobody is really arguing. Opening in 1885, it started life as a humble rag-and-bone set-up on the city’s edges.

Paris being Paris, it has, perhaps inevitably, turned into a more upscale affair, with lots of boutiques and antique stalls. At the other end of the spectrum, restaurants and takeaways are in danger of displacing the less fancy traders. But whatever sanitisation is sanding the edges of the Puces, it still makes for an exhilarating experience for a tourist.

Don’t miss: T here’s only a single ATM – so make sure you come with a bulging wallet or a willingness to queue.

Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

40.  Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

This museum is nothing like the others on your Parisian vacation itinerary. Musée du Quai Branly conserves 300,000 pieces of non-European art and artifacts. Stroll through the quiet gardens surrounding the museum before heading inside, where you’ll follow the building’s river-like design through cases of works from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. From samurai armor to hand-woven tapestries and intricate line drawings on tree bark, the engaging and beautifully designed museum has something for everyone. 

Don’t miss: A vertical garden forms a living green wall on the exterior of the museum.

Musée Carnavalet

41.  Musée Carnavalet

In the Musée Carnavalet – which recently reopened after a major refurbishment – a whopping 140 rooms tell the story of Paris in chronological order, from pre-Roman Gaul right up until the twentieth century. The building was built in 1548, transformed by Mansart in 1660 and turned into a museum in 1866, when the great city planner Haussmann persuaded the authorities to preserve its gorgeous interiors. Original sixteenth-century rooms contain magnificent Renaissance art collections heaving with portraits, furniture and other artefacts.    The museum is also free to visit.

Don’t miss:  Items belonging to Napoleon himself, a cradle given to Paris by his nephew Napoleon III, and a replica of author Marcel Proust’s cork-lined bedroom.

Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes

42.  Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes

  • Zoos and aquariums
  • 5e arrondissement

An unexpected side-effect of decapitating swathes of your wealthiest citizens? Working out what to do with their many ownerless pets. Proof that the instigators of the Terror were really just big softies, this ménagerie became the solution to the sudden influx of homeless animals in 1794. Nowadays the collection is sourced by less homicidal means: present-day inhabitants include vultures, monkeys, orang-utans, ostriches, flamingos, a century-old turtle, plus another one rescued from the sewers, a gorgeous red panda and lots of satisfyingly scary spiders and snakes. There’s also a petting zoo with farm animals for small kids, and older ones can zoom in on microscopic species in the Microzoo.

Don’t miss: A game of ‘who can spot the oldest tree?’ in the botanical gardens next door. The black acacia planted in 1636 is particularly striking. 

Shopping on the Champs-Élysées

43.  Shopping on the Champs-Élysées

Time has not withered the Champs-Élysées: despite having probably the stiffest local competition in the world, it remains  the   premiere   shopping destination in Paris. It’s no drab high street; rather it’s a world-famous boulevard of sublime consumer chic. The brands are high-end and the stores are filled with art installations, DJs and other things keeping the whole retail therapy thing as fresh and fun as possible. And the avenue itself is a wonder: deafening, overwhelming, but inimitably Parisian.

Don’t miss:  Come Christmas, the market and fairground at the foot of the Champs give it a truly magical feel.

Aquarium de Paris / Cinéaqua

44.  Aquarium de Paris / Cinéaqua

Trocadéro isn’t historically the most thrilling area of Paris, but it’s really been jolted into life by this  fantastic attraction, which combines an aquarium and two-screen cinema. Kids will go berserk for the shark tunnel and the petting pool, where you can fulfil the lifelong dream you never knew you had and stroke the friendly sturgeon who stick their long snouts above the surface. There’s also a section showing the various heroic species of fish that somehow manage to survive in the Seine despite the pollution. Some visitors might find the admission fee trop cher,  but it really is a brilliant way to spend a long afternoon.

Don’t miss: Special kids’ shows take place every day. Check the aquarium’s online schedule for times.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

45.  Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Inside this grand old 1930s building you’ll find key works from the Cubists and Fauves, and artists like Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Georges Rouault, Chaim Soutine and Kees van Dongen. It’s a fine museum, albeit with such stiff local competition not as famous as some of Paris’ premium venues, which is why it’s unfortunate that the museum made international headlines back in May 2010 when five paintings, including a Picasso, were stolen.

Don’t miss:  Visiting even if you’re skint – this is one of the scant number of museums in Paris where it’s free to enter.

La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

46.  La Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

  • Exhibitions

Europe’s biggest science museum pulls in five million visitors a year, and deservedly so. Its permanent exhibition  Explora occupies the top two floors, whisking visitors through 30,000-square-metre that looks at life, the universe and everything in all its complexity: highlights include scale models of satellites including the Ariane space shuttle, planes and robots, plus the chance to experience weightlessness. The hothouse garden investigates developments in agriculture and bio-technology. Don’t miss:  The Espace Images, where you can play around with a delayed camera, draw 3D images on a computer and even lend your voice to the Mona Lisa. 

Musée Grévin

47.  Musée Grévin

  • Grands Boulevards

Like a kitschier version of Madame Tussauds – yes, such a thing is possible – the Musée Grévin is a guaranteed winner with kids that need entertaining. It’s pretty much the same deal as  Tussauds only without the edgier bits: have your photo  taken alongside waxworks of showbiz stars and personalities like Brad Pitt, George Clooney, the Queen and Barack Obama. The ‘snapshots of the twentieth-century’ area also recreates great historical moments, such as Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. A small gallery at the top of a spiral staircase near the end shows how waxworks are made. 

Don’t miss:   The trippy hall of mirrors designed by American artist Krysle Lip.

Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle

48.  Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle

You know what you‘re getting with any major Natural History Museum, and you’ll rarely regret it. Inevitably they’re family-friendly places with admirable collections. Well Paris is no exception. At the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle’s Grande Galerie de l’Evolution, stuffed creatures parade majestically through their various habitats. Animals of all kinds teach children about the diversity of nature. In the endangered and vanished section – where a dodo takes pride of place – they inform you about the importance of protecting them. The museum contains the bony remains of fish, birds, monkeys, dinosaurs and humans. You won’t know where to look first.

Don’t miss:   Venturing into the Jardin des Plantes complex to find the small Ménagerie zoo, plus separate pavilions containing hunks of meteorites and crystals in the Galerie de Minéralogie et de Géologie. 

Parc de la Villette

49.  Parc de la Villette

Home to numerous theatres, concert halls and museums (including the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie), the Parc de la Villette is also no slouch as an actual park. With its giant climbing frames, burger bar and children’s art centre, the ’80s-built Parc de la Villette is a hub of outdoor fun. Kids shoot down a Chinese dragon slide, and an undulating suspended path follows the Canal de l’Ourcq. There are ten themed gardens bearing evocative names such as the Garden of Mirrors, of Mists, of Acrobatics and of Childhood Frights. 

Don’t miss:   The open-air film festival that takes place on the lawns every summer. 

Disneyland Paris

50.  Disneyland Paris

  • Theme parks

There are actually two parks to explore here: one is Parc Disneyland – aka the erstwhile EuroDisney – which has the big pink castle in it; and then there’s the SFX-oriented Parc Walt Disney Studios, which is more themed around Disney’s films. And then there’s Disney Entertainment Village, which is filled with places to eat, drink and party. Europe’s premiere themepark can seem rather vast and intimidating. But remember it’s all meant to be good fun, and it’s broken down into easy to digest zones: Fantasyland, Discoveryland, Small World, Pirates of the Caribbean, et al. There’s absolutely no way you’re going to run out of stuff to keep you and the nippers occupied.

Don’t miss: Disney Premier Access. Sure, you’re paying more, but it gets you right past the queues for the most sought-after attractions.

Looking for somewhere amazing to stay?

The 87 best hotels in Paris

The 87 best hotels in Paris

Whether you want to splash the cash or save your pennies, you’ll find all your needs catered to with this wonderful selection of Paris stays. From boutique gems to palatial oases to trendy hostels, you’re sure to find the right fit for your dream Paris holiday.  

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  • Architecture City Guide

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 1 of 25

  • Written by Virginia Duran
  • Published on August 22, 2021

Paris , the city that was born on the banks of the Seine, grew from a small island – Île de la Cité – to the vast metropolis that nowadays extends beyond Ménilmontant, the vingtième arrondissement.

The French capital has so much to offer. Centuries of history have left behind meaningful structures which also have been the background of love stories, wars and revolutions. Whether you are seeking to admire hidden spots, the well-known landmarks and jewels soon to be opened, or filling your personal story with them, you'll find everything you want in this city.

This list, in no particular order, aims to provide some guidance and inspiration for your next trip to Paris . If you love architecture, dear friend, look no further.

Want to discover Paris' architecture ? Continue reading!

1. Centre Georges Pompidou

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 2 of 25

Architect: Renzo Piano

Location:19 Rue Beaubourg ( Google )

Description: This is one of the most iconic buildings in Paris and houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe. Its exposed skeleton of brightly coloured tubes for mechanical systems was the beginning of a new era of architecture and it's a must visit. Oh and don't miss the views from the top floor, which has free admission the first Sunday of each month. Read more here .

2. Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 24 of 25

Architect: Frank Gehry

Location:8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi ( Google )

Description: Louis Vuitton, the luxury French fashion house founded in 1854, has recently been opening stunning stores around the world: Louis Vuitton Matsuya Ginza (Jun Aoki, 2013), Louis Vuitton in Singapore (FTL Design Engineering Studio, 2012) and The Shops at Crystals (Daniel Libeskind, 2009) are some of the most stunning. This art museum is even more exciting as there is a cultural aspect to it in the design – not just a formal approach. Built on the edge of a water garden created especially for the project, it comprises an assemblage of white blocks (known as “the icebergs”) clad in panels of fiber-reinforced concrete, surrounded by twelve immense glass “sails” supported by wooden beams. Read more here.

3. Palais de Tokyo Expansion

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 8 of 25

Architect: Lacaton & Vassal

Location:13 Avenue du Président Wilson ( Google )

Description: The original Palais de Tokyo – built in 1937 for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology of 1937 – attracted over 30 million people. It was known as Palais des Musées d'art moderne. However, after the event was over, the structure became neglected and eventually deteriorated. In 2001, Lacaton & Vassal breathed new life into it, the new expansion injected extra space and it went from 7000 to 22,000 square meters. Palais de Tokyo is now a brand new building dedicated to modern and contemporary art. The new Café, located on top of the Palais, has one of the best skyline views of Paris . Read more here .

4. Palais-Royal

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 18 of 25

Architect: Jules Hardouin-Mansart

Location:8 Rue de Montpensier ( Google )

Description: The Palais-Royal, originally the fancy home of Cardinal Richelieu, ended up in the King's hands after his death in 1642 – Henry VIII had a similar episode with York Place and Cardinal Wolseley in 1530. Since then, this palace became the home of kings and queens to follow until the late 18th century. Today, the Palais-Royal serves as the seat of the Ministry of Culture (closed to the public) but it's the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with sculptor Daniel Buren's 260 black-and-white striped columns, that has become the garden's signature feature since 1986. Read more here .

5. Bibliothèque Nationale de France

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 25 of 25

Architect: Dominique Perrault

Location: Quai François Mauria ( Google )

Description: Designed as four open books, all facing one another, this public library is part of an ambitious long-term project: The Grands Projets. President François Mitterand aimed to create a new set of modern monuments for a city long defined by its architecture. Some of the constructions in this plan include the Arab World Institute, the Parc de la Villette and Pyramide at the Louvre. The library buildings define a symbolic and mythical place that reinforce the cultural importance in the urban fabric. Don't miss the other Bibliothèque Nationale by Henri Labrouste (1875). Read more here .

6. Notre Dame Cathedral 

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Architect: Manuelle Gautrand

Location: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II ( Google )

Description: While its interior is closed off to visitors following the devastating fire of April 2019, this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture remains a must visit place in Paris . Over its long construction period numerous architects worked on the site, as is evidenced by the differing styles at different heights of the west front and towers. The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation is just behind it, don’t miss it either. Read more here.

7. Eiffel Tower 

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Architect: Gustave Eiffel

Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France ( Google )

Description: Time for a big classic. Despite being such a cliché, this spot is one of my favourites of the list as an architect. It was built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, which was located in the nearby Trocadéro area. It is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall and, at the time of its completion, the tallest man-made structure in the world – a title it held for 41 years. This monument represents the aspirations of a country and the technical skills of its creators, which I find inspiring. In addition, the atmosphere around the Eiffel Tower is magical. Read more here.

8. Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 17 of 25

Architect: Paul Abadie

Location: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre ( Google )

Description: You may think this Romano-Byzantine church is older than it looks, but it was actually built after the Eiffel Tower (1889). The appearance of Sacré Cœur's design is a result of the conservative Catholic old guard and the secular, republican radicals. The apse mosaic Christ in Majesty, created by Luc-Olivier Merson, is among the largest in the world. Don't miss the amazing skyline views from the dome (accessible through the exterior left side of the basilica). Read more here.

9. Le Grand Louvre

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Architect: I.M. Pei

Location: Place du Carrousel ( Google )

Description: As mentioned in #5, in 1981, the newly elected French president, Francois Mitterrand, launched a campaign to renovate cultural institutions throughout France and one of the most advantageous of those projects was the renovation and reorganization of the Louvre. President Mitterrand commissioned the Chinese American architect I.M. Pei the task being the first time that a foreign architect was enlisted to work on the Louvre museum. The new structure – built in the same proportions of the famous Pyramid of Giza – alleviated the congestion from the thousands of daily visitors. Sunset is the best time to visit. Read more here .

10. Musée d'Orsay

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Architect: Victor Laloux, Lucien Magne and Émile Bénard

Location:1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur ( Google )

Description: This imposing museum was originally built in 1900 as the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station. And although its function was transformed, it does look like a railway station. It houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin and Van Gogh. This and Marmottan Monet Museum are my favorites in Paris . Don’t miss the amazing skyline views from the clock tower. Read more here.

11. Fondation Le Corbusier

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 7 of 25

+Maison-Atelier Ozenfant, Immeuble Porte Molitor and Villa Stein-de-Monzie

Architect: Le Corbusier

Location: (Fondation Le Corbusier) 8-10 Square du Docteur Blanche ( Google )

Description: Of the countless buildings Le Corbusier designed in France, most of his housing examples are located in Paris . It would be unfair to just list one of them and that’s why I included some of his most representative works. Where to start? Definitely at Maison La Roche and Maison Jeanneret (1923–24), a pair of semi-detached houses that were Le Corbusier’s third commission in Paris. Fondation Le Corbusier is now used as a museum containing about 8,000 original drawings, studies and plans by Le Corbusier. His Paris home, where he lived until 1965, is located at Immeuble Porte Molitor (Public tours only by appointment). Read more here.

12. Pigalle Basketball

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Architect: Ill-Studio

Location:17 Rue Duperré ( Google )

Description: This exciting urban intervention explores the relationship between sport, art and culture by changing the original primary colours with gradients of blue, pink, purple and orange. Blocks of red, yellow, blue and white from the last iteration have been painted over with brighter hues. The rubber court surface blends from blue at the ends to pink in the centre, while gradients have also been applied to the surrounding walls. The result? A fun place to play, watch and socialise. Read more here.

13. Musée du Quai Branly

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 12 of 25

Architect: Jean Nouvel

Location: ( Google )

Description: Many people (tourists) reach this spot by accident when trying to find the Eiffel Tower. However, this museum is quite important itself. Hybrid, composite, coloured, mysterious and joyous, Jean Nouvel’s building has in effect repeated the success from his victorious Institut du Monde Arabe (1988). The “green wall” on the exterior was designed and planted by Gilles Clément and Patrick Blanc and it’s worth a visit too. Read more here.

14. Docks de Paris

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 9 of 25

Architect: Jakob + MacFarlane

Location: 34 Quai d’Austerlitz ( Google )

Description: The wonderful job of Jakob + MacFarlane transformed a concrete shipping depot originally built in 1907 into a shinny museum of fashion and design. The architects are calling their design a "plug-over" as the new structure is a new external skin that enveloped the existing site on the sides and on top. The roof has also been developed using wooden decks and grassed areas. Read more here.

15. Philharmonie de Paris

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 23 of 25

Location: 221 Avenue Jean Jaurès ( Google )

Description: This highly controversial project, Paris' newest symphonic concert hall, is the home of Orchestre de Paris . It took a lot longer to build, at almost three times its original budget and, worst of all, on the day of the opening Jean Nouvel wasn't present as he angrily claimed it was "not finished". Though the exterior has received much criticism – aluminium panels in a basketweave design swirl tightly around the structure – the interior has been highly praised. Judge for yourself. Read more here.

16. La Seine Musical

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 11 of 25

Architect: Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines

Location: Île Seguin, 92100 Boulogne-Billancourt ( Google )

Description: Another structure dedicated to musical affairs – La Seine Musicale – which has received a wildly positive welcome by the general public. The facilities include an elevated egg-shaped auditorium for classical music, a larger modular concert hall, rehearsal rooms and an extensive roof garden. Much of the site's daytime energy needs are supplied by a large mobile curved solar panel array that covers the smaller auditorium. Read more here.

17. Bourse de Commerce / Collection Pinault

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 22 of 25

Architect: Tadao Ando

Location:2 Rue de Viarmes ( Google )

Year: Opening predicted for spring 2020

Description: François Pinault, who previously teamed up with Tadao Ando to open Venice's Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, commissioned this exciting project which will soon open. Located at the Bourse de Commerce, an 18th-century rotunda that once held the city's grain market and stock exchange, Collection Pinault Paris will host exhibitions from painting, sculpture, photography and video to installations. Ando designed the ambitious interior, where a cylindrical gallery will form the main exhibition space which will be set into the centre of the plan below the building's domed ceiling. Read more here.

18. Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 14 of 25

Architect: Georges Chedanne and Ferdinand Chanut

Location:40 Boulevard Haussmann ( Google )

Description: The first Galeries Lafayette (the Harrods of France), opened here in 1912. Théophile Bader and his cousin Alphonse Kahn commissioned the architect Georges Chedanne and his pupil Ferdinand Chanut a lavish fashion store with a glass and steel dome and stunning Art Nouveau staircases. More than a century later, the building is still used for the same purpose and its oozing with greatness. Don't miss the amazing views from its rooftop. If you liked this one, you might also want to visit the recently refurbished Galeries Lafayette Champs-Élysées by BIG (2019). Read more here.

19. Hôtel Guimard

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 13 of 25

Architect: Hector Guimard

Location: 122 Avenue Mozart ( Google )

Description: This little building is a hidden jewel of the city. It was built as an Art Nouveau house Hector Guimard designed for himself and his wife after visiting the Hôtel Tassel in Brussels, designed by the über famous Victor Horta. Guimard later became known for designing the famous subway entrances (Pasteur, Porte Dauphine…) and also the Castel Béranger door at Rue Jean de la Fontaine which is worth a visit too. Unfortunately, the interiors can't be visited but the original dining room suite can today be seen at the Petit Palais; the bedroom at the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon; and the study at the Musée de l'École de Nancy. Read more here.

20. Les Orgues de Flandre

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 6 of 25

Architect: Martin van Trek

Location:24 Rue Archereau ( Google )

Description: Paris is full of Brutalist masterpieces but this is, in my opinion, one of the best. The Orgues de Flandre, which can be translated as the "Organs of Flanders", are a group of residential buildings built from 1974 to 1980. What is really outstanding about this complex – and different to other residential houses of this kind around the world – is that Martin van Trek granted the private spaces (the apartments) a monumental status whilst leaving the public spaces in a secondary and more ordinary level. Controversial. Read more here.

21. Les Choux de Créteil

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 19 of 25

Architect: Gérard Grandval

Location:2 Boulevard Pablo Picasso ( Google )

Description: Another housing project in the suburbs of Paris that is worth a visit: Les Choux de Créteil. This group of ten cylindrical buildings each 15 stories in height is called Les Choux (the cabbages). The project was initiated in 1966, in an area which had been used for a century to produce much of the vegetables for Parisian tables although the name makes reference to the unusual shape of their balconies. The buildings' unique shape is intended to be functional: the apartments' living spaces are closer to the windows and the 2-meter-tall balconies provide outdoor access and privacy at the same time. Read more here.

22. Palace of Versailles

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 15 of 25

Architect: Louis Le Vau, Andre Le Notre and Charles Lebrun

Location:Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles ( Google )

Description: The site began as Louis XIII’s hunting lodge before his son Louis XIV transformed and expanded it, moving the court and government of France to Versailles in 1682. Each of the three French kings who lived there until the French Revolution added improvements to make it more beautiful. Indeed it's one of the most stunning European palaces. This is a classic that everyone should visit once in a lifetime. Read more here.

23. Villa Savoye

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 4 of 25

Location: 82 Rue de Villiers (Poissy) ( Google )

Description: This may be the one house that every architect knows in the world and with no doubt it is one of the most significant contributions to modern architecture in the 20th century. The house single handedly transformed Le Corbusier’s career as well as the principles of the International Style, becoming one of the most important architectural precedents in history. Originally built as a country retreat on behest of the Savoye family but it now belongs to the French state and therefore it can be visited. In fact, it's free to visit on the 1st Sunday of every month. Read more here.

[BONUS]- Villa Dall'Ava

Paris City Guide: 23 Places Every Architect Must Visit - Image 3 of 25

Architect: Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA)

Location:Avenue Clodoald, 92210 Saint-Cloud ( Google )

Description: Although it can't be visited by any means, I felt this house had to be on the list. It was built in 1991 as a modern-expressionist house with two distinct apartments: One for the house owners and another for their daughter. There was an extra request: a swimming pool on the roof with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The strip windows and thin, repeated columns recall Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye. Read more here.

Check these and other amazing buildings of Paris on the map below or download The Free Architecture Guide of Paris .

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 14, 2019.

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The Oldest & Most Beautiful Buildings in Paris

View of Les Invalides from Montparnasse Tower

Known for its fashion, food and culture, Paris remains a fascinating capital to explore , in one of the most visited countries in the world. The city never fails to enthral and its offerings can be overwhelming , but let us guide you through nine of the oldest buildings worth visiting.

View all trips, notre dame de paris.

Construction on this beautiful Gothic cathedral started in 1163 and took over 100 years to complete; in a collaborative process where the Catholic Church and the entire population of Paris participated—with money, work craft or knowledge. Maurice de Sully was the Bishop of Paris in 1160 and he is central to the origin of the Notre Dame. He wanted to honor Mary, hence the name Notre Dame de Paris , which translates as Our Lady of Paris.

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Notre-Dame and the Île de la Cité │

La Sainte-Chapelle

It is not known when construction began on this beautiful church, however historians believe it was completed in 1248. The edifice is separated into two floors; downstairs, where the chapel stands, and upstairs, where the royal relics are kept.

paris tourist buildings

Two fires, one flood and a revolution have contributed to its history. During the latter, the church’s external decorations were destroyed, along with anything inside that represented affluence and royalty. Today, this monument is famous for its outstanding stained glass .

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La Sainte Chapelle

La Sorbonne

Founded by Robert de Sorbon in 1257, La Sorbonne is one of the oldest and most esteemed universities in Europe. When it first opened, the university was exclusively dedicated to theology; in the medieval era, schools were dedicated solely to monks, scribes and other people associated with the Catholic Church. You’ll find it in the Latin Quarter of the 5th arrondissement, sometimes also called the student district.

La Sorbonne, Paris

N°51 rue de Montmorency

Built in 1407, this is the oldest house in Paris, but it hasn’t always had the same address—the street’s current name comes from the influential Montmorency family, and came about in 1768. They were a historically significant family: Anne Montmorency was a well known soldier, Duke Francois de Montmorency was locked away for a year in the fortress of La Bastille after being accused of political corruption, and Henry de Montmorency lost his life on the guillotine.

During the French Revolution, the street lost its name, but thanks to Napoleon it was restored in 1806 . Today, this road is famous mainly for the house, which has been turned into a restaurant. However, it is still possible to see some inscriptions on the walls referencing its original function—to welcome poor workers.

N°51 rue de Montmorency

La Conciergerie

Located on the western portion of Île de la Cité , an island in the River Seine, this wonderfully imposing gothic behemoth was built in the 14th century. It was initially meant to be part of the royal palace, but was turned into a prison during the revolution. La Conciergerie housed the Revolutionary Tribunal, as well as convicts headed for the guillotine.

According to some records, over two thousand prisoners were sent to their deaths from this prison, including some famous personalities— Marie Antoinette , Robespierre (the Tribunal’s first head) and Napoleon III were imprisoned here before being beheaded.

La Conciergerie, Quai de l’Horloge

Palais du Luxembourg

Commissioned by Marie de Médicis, construction on the palace began in 1615 and finished 16 years later, in 1631. The tally of residents is as impressive as you’d expect; first Marie de Médicis herself, until her son Louis XIII forced her out, then Gaston d’Orléans with his wife and daughters. The Sun King, Louis XIV, was also a former resident.

The palace has been repurposed a few times since then—during the French Revolution , it was a prison and in 1799 it was converted to house the Senate, which it still does today.

Palais du Luxembourg, Paris

N°3 rue Volta

Until the late 1970s, this house was considered to be the oldest in Paris. It was assumed to have been built in the 14th century, until archaeologists discovered ancient documents dating it to 1644. It is now accepted to be a replica of a medieval design, constructed for a rich member of the bourgeoisie. Nevertheless, it is still an important historic building and is warmly admired by the French.

The building was saved in 1914 when the war started and today, it houses a Chinese restaurant at street level, with residential flats above it.

N°3 rue Volta

Les Invalides

Now a war museum, Les Invalides—also known as L’hopital des Invalides—is divided into three major parts: the hospital, the church and the dome. As the name suggests, this monument was built as a hospital for wounded soldiers, by Louis XIV. The church and dome were considered a ‘hotel’ for recuperating servicemen who wished to live a peaceful life. It opened in 1675 and provided care and shelter to 4,000 wounded residents over the course of that first century.

Inside Les Invalides, Paris

Arc de Triomphe

L’Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular monuments in Paris after the Eiffel Tower. It was commissioned by Napoleon , and built between 1806 and 1836, however due to political changes, the original plans were continually modified.

The impressive end result represents power and unification, and strives to honor those who fought for France, especially during the Napoleonic wars, hence the name “The Arch of Triumph.” The inside and top of the arch are engraved with the names of generals and soldiers who fought for Bonaparte.

This patriotic function isn’t limited to the 19th century, and underneath the vault of the arch is the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” containing the remains of an unidentified soldier who fought during World War I.

Vault of the Arc de Triomphe │

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The Famous Buildings in Paris | Most Visited Landmarks in Paris

Paris, the City of Light is the world’s most visited capital. The city is proud due to its many monuments from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the lofty Notre-Dame cathedral and the majestic Arc de Triomphe. No doubt this is Europe’s most enchanting capital. Here is our list of the most famous monuments of Paris . Paris, also known as the City of Light, and undoubtedly one of the most delightful cities on the planet. Famous among all over the world for its culture, fashion and food, Paris stays incredible city to investigate, this is why it is one of the most visited cities on the planet. The city never let you bored for a moment as it is full of attraction to admire.

I hope the recommended list of the most famous buildings and landmarks of Paris will help you to discover the French capital, Paris.

List of Famous Landmarks in Paris

1. eiffel tower.

 Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris

Among the famous monuments of Paris,  Eiffel Tower is certainly the most popular one. The “iron lady” is known everywhere in the world. But did you know that the world-famous metallic tower and was built for the Paris International Exhibition in 1889 for the centenary of the French Revolution?

At the time of its inauguration, it was the world’s tallest monument which was meant to be demolished after 20 years. But Gustave Eiffel didn’t allow to destroy it and used it as a radio antenna to send and receive messages to the French military.

It is said that  Erika got married to the Eiffel Tower and changed her name to Erika Eiffel by declaring herself as having the disorder of “Objectum Sexuality”.

It welcomes around 7 Million visitors every year and it is assumed that more than 250 Million people have visited the tower since its completion. Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world.

Address:   Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France

Also Read:   How to Spend 24 Hours in Paris

2.  Arc de Triomphe

Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris

It is a monumental triumphal arch, it was built in honor of the French Imperial army of Napoleon. The names of people are written at the surface of the Arc de Triomphe who were involved in the revolution, At the top of the monument, the visitors can enjoy the nice view of Paris.  This well-known patriotic function isn’t restricted to the nineteenth century, and underneath the vault of the curve is the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” containing the remaining parts of an unidentified fighter who battled during World War I.

3. Conciergerie

Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris

It is a building in Paris, early it was the prison but presently used mostly for law courts. It was part of the former royal palace. It was built during the 14th century which is an example of early Gothic architecture. The structure  of Conciergerie was constructed by the order of Louis IX and Philip IV. Situated on the western part of Île de la Cité, an island in the beautiful River the Seine, this brilliantly forcing gothic behemoth was worked in the fourteenth century. It was at first intended to be a piece of the regal castle, however, was transformed into jail at the time of the revolution. La Conciergerie housed the Revolutionary Tribunal, just as convicts set out toward the guillotine.

Address: 2 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France

4. Notre-Dame

 Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris, The Most visted Landmarks in Paris

It means “Our Lady of Paris”, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral. Known as one of the city’s most loved tourist spots to visit, Notre Dame de Paris, was worked more than 850 years back. Its construction was begun in 1160 and completed by 1260. The two towers are sixty-nine meters high and were the tallest structures in Paris until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889.

If you climb up the 380 stairs to the South Tower, you’ll meet the many illusion that watches over the city of Paris day and night.

5. The  Wall of Love

Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris

Wall of Love is a love-themed wall of 40 square meters which is situated in the garden square in Montmartre, Paris. One day Frederic Baron asked his brother and neighbors to explain the word LOVE in their different languages.

In this way, he collected the 300 different words for “I Love You” and created this themed wall by writing those 300 different words over it. There are red splashes on the wall which indicate the parts of a broken heart and can be gathered to form a full heart .

Address: Square Jehan Rictus, Place des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France

Get:  Interesting Facts about Paris

6. Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur

 Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris

This building has one of the most amazing views of Paris. It was built in 1873 after a decision of the French National Assembly to build a place to memorize the victims of the war of 1871 between France and Prussia.  It contains a bell which is the biggest bell in France. 

Structured in Romanesque-Byzantine style by draftsman Paul Abadie, the Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a noteworthy landmark to visit in Paris.

This famous basilica was developed of stone from Château-Landon, which contains high measures of calcite. This mineral will pervade out of the stone in sodden climate, causing the structure to seem pasty white.

Most Visited Monument in Paris, Famous Landmarks in Paris, Famous Buildings in Paris, Most visited buildings in Paris, The Most visted Landmarks in Paris

Louvre is one of the most famous museums in the world. Once it was the palace of the kings of France but now converted to a museum and it allows you today to discover through its numerous collections, art from Middle Ages to 1848, as well as antique civilizations.

Here you will see the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, better known as Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci. La Gioconda is the representative of the museum which is a painting full of mysteries, just like the Louvre which is one of the Famous Landmarks in Paris .

Address: 99, rue de Rivoli, 1st district  

Find:   Romantic Spots in Paris

8. Palais Garnier

Find The Most visited Monument, buildings and landmarks in Paris

Definitely, it must be seen by the one who has the interest to discover Paris. Its architecture and design were imagined under the impulse of Napoleon III which was constructed in the 19th Century.

9. Les Invalides

famous monuments of Paris

Les Invalides

Presently a war gallery, Les Invalides—otherwise called L’hopital des Invalides—is isolated into three noteworthy parts: the emergency clinic, the congregation and the arch. As the name proposes, this landmark was worked as an emergency clinic for injured troopers, by Louis XIV. The congregation and arch were viewed as an ‘inn’ for recovering servicemen who wished to carry on with a tranquil life. It opened in the year of 1675 and gave care and haven to 4,000 injured occupants throughout that first century.

10. N°3 rue Volta

Until the late 1970s, this famous house was viewed as the most seasoned in Paris. It was expected to have been worked in the fourteenth century until archeologists found old reports dating it to the year 1644. It is presently acknowledged to be an imitation of a medieval plan, built for a rich individual from the bourgeoisie. All things considered, it is as yet a significant notable structure and is heartily appreciated by the French.

11. Immeuble la pointe Trigano

famous monuments of Paris

Immeuble la pointe Trigano

Presently this one is possibly more irregular than different buildings we have been talking about, however, it is unquestionably one of our famous buildings to visit in Paris. Located at the junction of rue de Clér and rue de Beauregard, this famous building is one of the narrowest building in all over this city.

12. Palais du Luxembourg

famous monuments of Paris

Palais du Luxembourg

Charged by Marie de Médicis, development on the castle started in the year 1615 and completed 16 years after that, in the year 1631. The count of inhabitants is as amazing as you’d expect; first Marie de Médicis herself, until her child Louis XIII constrained her out, at that point Gaston d’Orléans with his significant other and little girls. The Sun King, Louis XIV, was additionally a previous occupant.

The royal residence has been repurposed a couple of times from that point forward—during the French Revolution, it was a jail and in the year 1799 it was changed over to house the Senate, which regardless it does today.

13. Fondation Louis Vuitton

famous monuments of Paris

Louis Vuitton

Trust me this one is a mind-blowing and our top choice! Propelled in the year 2006 as the craftsmanship establishment of scandalous LVMH gathering, the Fondation Louis Vuitton goes about as a presentation space that ministers each year a few star-shows that have Parisians line up.

Structured by famous designer Frank Gehri, the noteworthy structure is known for its humongous development costs: at first, intended to cost 100 billion €, the structure wound up duplicating its underlying expense by 8. Louis Vuitton is one of the  historic buildings in Paris.

14. N°51 rue de Montmorency

Worked in the year 1407, this is the most seasoned house in Paris, yet it hasn’t generally had a similar location—the road’s ebb and flow name originates from the persuasive Montmorency family and came to fruition in 1768. They were a truly noteworthy family: Anne Montmorency was an outstanding warrior, Duke Francois de Montmorency was bolted away for a year in the stronghold of La Bastille subsequent to being blamed for political defilement, and Henry de Montmorency lost his life on the guillotine.

At the time of the French Revolution, the road lost its name, however, because of Napoleon, it was reestablished in 1806. Today, this street is celebrated mostly for the house, which has been transformed into a café. In any case, it is as yet conceivable to see a few engravings on the dividers referencing its unique capacity—to invite poor laborers.

15. La Sorbonne

famous monuments of Paris

La Sorbonne

Established by Robert de Sorbon in 1257, La Sorbonne is one of the most established and most regarded colleges in Europe. When it previously opened, the college was only committed to religious philosophy; in the medieval time, schools were devoted exclusively to priests, recorders and other individuals related with the Catholic Church. You’ll see it in the Latin Quarter of the fifth arrondissement, once in a while additionally called the understudy locale. It is one of the  oldest buildings in Paris .

16. La Sainte-Chapelle

famous monuments of Paris

La Sainte-Chapelle

It isn’t known when development started on this delightful church, anyway students of history trust it was finished in 1248. The structure is isolated into two stories; first floor, where the house of prayer stands, and upstairs, where the regal relics are kept.

Two flames, one flood and an insurgency have added to its history. During the last mentioned, the congregation’s outer beautifications were wrecked, alongside anything inside that spoke to opulence and sovereignty. Today, this landmark is popular for its remarkable recolored glass. It is one of the  old buildings in Paris to visit.

Address: 8, rue Scribe – 9th district

Don’t Miss:   Free Things to Do in Paris

Here we have provided the detailed knowledge regarding the Famous Buildings in Paris , if you are planning your trip and wanted to visit Paris then please go through our other blogs as well,  there we have provided all the information required during a trip to Paris like the best hotel, restaurants, and places to visit. If you liked our post please like it and comment in the below comment section.

The post The Famous Buildings in Paris | Most Visited Landmarks in Paris appeared first on World Tour & Travel Guide, Get Travel Tips, Information, Discover Travel Destination | Adequate Travel .

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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Paris

Last updated on October 3, 2023 by Kay Pierce - 11 Comments

As the capital city of France, Paris has endured as an important city for more than 2,000 years. Often called by nicknames like the “city of love” and “city of lights,” Paris is today one of the world’s leading centers for business, fashion, entertainment, art and culture. Just the mere mention of Paris conjures up images of the city’s world famous landmarks, museums and cathedrals.

Also called the Capital of Fashion, Paris is home to some of the world’s finest designer names including Yves Saint-Laurent, Lancôme, L’Oréal and Christian Dior. The city’s shopping scene ranges from shopping centers to open-air markets, boutiques and flea markets. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Paris :

In this post, we'll cover:

25. Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges, formerly called Place Royale, was the prototype for all residential squares in Europe. All houses were built using the same design: red brick with steep pitched blue slate roofs.

Not only is it shaped like a true square, it is the first city square that was planned by a monarch (Henry IV in the early 17th century). Third, it turned the Marais into a fashionable spot for French nobility in the decades before the French Revolution.

24. Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

The year 1889 is known as the year when France’s most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, was constructed. It’s also the year the Moulin Rouge opened its doors as an entertainment venue. When it opened, it catered to the rich who wanted to “slum” it.

Courtesans worked there and were responsible for inventing the can-can, a dance considered racy for the era. The Moulin Rouge is still considered Paris’s premier entertainment venue and has been the subject of numerous films.

23. Conciergerie


The Conciergerie was built in the 10th century to be the main palace for French kings who, over the centuries, enlarged it. Its Great Hall was one of the largest in Europe; another hall was where the palace’s 2,000 workers ate. Some buildings were converted into a prison in the 14th century.

The palace later became a revolutionary tribunal and prison during the Reign of Terror, with famous prisoners including Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry. Today the Conciergerie is a popular tourist attraction in Paris but also still serves as courts.

22. Pantheon


The Pantheon is where famous French citizens are buried. Modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, it was originally a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, and her relics.

The church was rebuilt in the neoclassical style by King Louis XV to thank God for his recovery from serious illness. It was changed to a mausoleum during the French Revolution to honor revolutionary martyrs. Famous people buried here include Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Marie Curie.

21. Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

The world’s most visited cemetery, Pere Lachaise became a municipal cemetery in 1804 under Napoleon. It is the final resting place for many famous people, including the Doors’ Jim Morrison, author Oscar Wilde and chanteuse Edith Piaf.

The cemetery contains many sculptures, as each family of the deceased tried to out-do the monuments placed by the other wealthy families. The result is many spectacular works of art that are equally as interesting as the various gravesites of famous individuals.

20. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

When Europeans can’t get to Los Angeles to see the original Disneyland, they head to Disneyland Paris, the most visited theme park in Europe. Just like its namesake, Disneyland Paris is more than just a theme park with spectacular rides.

It’s a resort with hotels, shopping and golf among its varied activities. In 1992, it became the second Disney park to open outside of the United States. It’s located about 30 km (20 miles) from central Paris. A companion park, Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002.

19. Musee de l’Orangerie

Musee de l'Orangerie

Travelers who appreciate impressionist and post-impressionist art need to check out the Musee de l’Orangerie. The museum, located in a corner of the Tuilries Garden, is home to eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet; these murals are considered the museum’s centerpiece.

It also contains works by other impressionist artists, including Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and Modigliani. The orangerie was originally built in 1852 to protect the Tuileries Palace’s orange trees.

18. Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier

Architect Charles Garnier spared no ornate detail when he designed the Palais Garnier in the 19th century. Perhaps this is why the building was the most expensive of its era. Seating nearly 2,000 people, the Palais Garnier is home to the National Opera of Paris.

It is the star of the novel and subsequent films, Phantom of the Opera. The Palais Garnier is still in use today though mainly for ballet and also is home to the opera library museum.

17. Les Invalides

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings that honors the French military. It was built in 1670 as a hospital and retirement home for vets. It still serves that function today as well as many more.

Les Invalides is home to military museums and a church that is the burial site of its war heroes, including Napoleon Bonaparte. Les Invalides is where rioters obtained the cannons and muskets they used later that day to storm the Bastille, thus kicking off the French Revolution.

16. Seine Cruise

Seine Cruise

The River Seine runs nearly 800 km (500 miles) through France on its way to the English Channel. Cruising the river as it winds through Paris is one of the most romantic things visitors can do.

Seine cruises pass under numerous bridges in Paris, going by such sights as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower. A Seine cruise lasts about an hour, but what a magic hour it is! A Seine cruise also is a good way to experience Paris at night.

15. Musee Rodin

Musee Rodin

Travelers who’ve seen copies of the famous sculpture The Thinker can visit the real thing when they’re in Paris. The statue was sculpted by Auguste Rodin, a famous early 20th century French artist.

The Thinker as well as 6,600 other sculptures can be found at the Musee Rodin, established in 1919 in his former studio, the Hotel Biron in central Paris. Many of his famous sculptures can be found in gardens that surround the museum.

14. Les Catacombes

Les Catacombes

In contrast with the City of Lights, Les Catacombes represents the dark side of Paris. Just under a mile long beneath the streets of Paris, this tourist attraction presents a gruesome side: the remains of millions of Parisians who were

Bones are arranged artistically; poems and other passages can be found throughout. Some bodies, such as those killed in the French Revolution, came directly here, bypassing the cemeteries.

13. Champs-Elysees


The tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Elysees is Paris’s most famous street and has even been described as the most beautiful avenue in the world. Just over a mile long, the boulevard connects the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. Life in Paris centers around the Champs-Elysees.

It’s an avenue lined with restaurants, upscale boutiques, museums and night clubs. It’s home to the Bastille Day military parade and the end of the Tour de France.

12. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

In a city where romance reigns, what could be more romantic than the Pont Alexandre III, a bridge that is deemed to be the most extravagant and ornate in Paris. Named for the Russian tsar, this steel single arch bridge spans the Seine, connecting the districts of Champs-Elysees, Les Invalides and Eiffel Tower.

Seeing the bridge is almost like going to an art gallery, since numerous French sculptors made the statues, including winged horses, nymphs and cherubs that adorn the top.

11. Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles started out life as a royal hunting lodge, but later became a palace housing the king’s court. The mammoth structure is ornate, opulent and over the top in its richness.

It is one of Paris’s most visited landmarks, with visitors coming to see its magnificent gardens and the Hall of Mirrors with its 357 mirrors decorating 17 arches. The Palace of Versailles ceased being a royal residence during the French Revolution and today houses a museum of French history.

10. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

At the east end of the Champs-Elysées is Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris with fantastic vistas in every direction. It was in this square that the French King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and many others were guillotined during the French revolution.

The large 3200 years old Egyptian obelisk in the center of the Place de la Concorde was brought from the Temple of Luxor in the 19th century.

9. Sainte-Chapelle


Begun sometime after 1239, the Sainte-Chapelle is considered among the highest achievements of Gothic architecture. Its construction was commissioned by King Louis IX of France to house his collection of Passion Relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns, one of the most important relics in medieval Christendom.

Although damaged during the French revolution, and restored in the 19th century, it retains one of the most extensive in-situ collections of 13th-century stained glass anywhere in the world.

8. Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou

Designed in the style of high-tech architecture, Centre Pompidou is a cultural institution in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement. It houses a vast public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest museum for modern art in Europe, a bookshop, a movie theater and a panoramic terrace. The library occupies the first three floors of the building, while the museum’s permanent collection is located on floors 4 and 5.

The first and top floor are used for large expositions. The Centre is named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France from 1969 to 1974 who commissioned the building.

7. Musee d’Orsay

Musee d'Orsay

A must-do for art lovers, the Musee d’Orsay is known for housing the world’s premier collection of impressionist paintings. Located in a former railway station, this grand museum showcases thousands of art works and objects that cover a period between the mid-1800s and the early 1900s.

Visitors can walk through several rooms to view amazing art works by many famous artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Cezane, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir and Jean-Francois Millet.

6. Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

Known in English as the Luxembourg Gardens, this public park is the second largest in Paris. Visitors here can picnic or stroll leisurely among beautiful lawns, formal gardens and fruit orchards that feature many artistic statues and fountains.

For fun and sport, there are jogging paths, tennis courts and fitness equipment. Children can play in the huge playground, ride ponies, watch a puppet show and sail model boats in a pond.

5. Sacre-Coeur


One of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris is the striking white-domed basilica of the Sacre-Coeur. Situated at the city’s highest point on Montmartre hill, this stunning basilica draws many tourists every year to see its marble architecture and gorgeous interior.

A tour awards visitors with views of gold mosaics, stained-glass windows and one of the world’s largest clocks.

4. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

No trip to Paris could be complete without a visit to the world famous Notre Dame cathedral. Standing more than 400 feet (120 meters) high with two lofty towers and a spire, this marvelous church is considered a supreme example of French Gothic architecture.

A tour of this 13th century masterpiece allows visitors to admire the awe-inspiring rose windows, Gothic carvings, beautiful sculptures and a collection of relics.

3. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe was constructed in 1806 to memorialize the triumphal battles of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Standing 164 feet high and 148 feet (50 by 45 meters) wide, the arch features intricate reliefs depicting victorious battles and engraved names of many who died fighting for the emperor. Beneath the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the first world war.


Topping the list of the world’s most visited museums, the Louvre Museum is located in the Louvre Palace with its signature glass pyramid marking its entrance. Housing a collection of more than 1 million objects, the Louvre boasts some of the world’s most famous art works such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave” and the Greek statue, “Venus of Milo.”

Other popular exhibits include the extravagant apartments of Napoleon III, the ancient Code of Hammurabi, Egyptian antiquities and paintings by masters like Rembrandt and Rubens.

1. Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Visiting the iconic symbol of Paris usually ranks as the number one thing to do for most tourists. Towering more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) high in the Champ de Mars park, this iron structure was constructed for the 1889 World Exposition.

One of the world’s most photographed tourist attractions, the Eiffel Tower presents an excellent photography opportunity for both day and night times. Visitors can ride the elevator to see incredible views of the city or dine in one of the two fine restaurants that are situated within the tower.

Map of Tourist Attractions in Paris

Map of Tourist Attractions in Paris

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Reader interactions.

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September 10, 2020 at 9:11 am

Paris is my favorite place to travel. I’ve been there 3x , but still eager to go back someday. You can’t be bored with the place, it is amazing! If you love history and arts, this is where you belong.

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September 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm

I wait for 45m to go up Eiffel tower , not bad. Need at least 10 days in Paris otherwise you don’t have enough time. Disney Land Paris is cool, especially if you have children. I like Arc de Triomphe , but it depends on every one’s taste

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August 28, 2018 at 4:02 am

The best view of Eiffel i think is at night with the wonderful lights, seen from trocadero park. It was magnificent.

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November 1, 2016 at 11:34 am

I was in love when I went to paris it is so amazing!!!

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September 20, 2016 at 10:44 am

I visited Paris and it was lovely …the wait for the Eiffel Tower tour was not long but we had a fast pass…we waited maybe 15 minutes. It was worth the wait though..

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August 21, 2016 at 2:27 pm

Wow….paris is really amazing…. its so wonderful i wish i could visit the place someday

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September 27, 2015 at 3:14 am

Wow…. Paris is really amazing….. Its so wonderful, I wish i could visit this place someday.

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August 29, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I loved how you had the pictures of all the tourist attractions so we veiwers had an Idea of what they looked like

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March 27, 2013 at 1:49 am

List is full but missing for me is…underground city under Paris downtown!!! A lots of tunels and secret gates/rooms etc – mysterous and very very old The Catacombs of Paris are welcome!

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February 26, 2013 at 11:34 am

I’ve always wanted to go to the Eiffel tower but I hear the wait times, to go up it, are really long. Anyone experience short wait times and are there any good times to go, where one doesn’t have to wait too long?

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February 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Paris is truly magnificent and a dream place for travelers. Your photos really captured the loveliness of Paris especially the Louvre and the Eiffel tower. Excellent!

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Home > Famous Buildings in Paris

Famous Buildings in Paris

Beautiful architecture in paris.

If it is your first trip to the French capital , you will surely want to see the most famous buildings in Paris. These architectural wonders offer locals and visitors a glimpse into both the modern and historical side of the capital.

From the historical buildings that have been around for thousands of years to contemporary wonders, we’ve compiled a list of the most iconic architecture in Paris that you absolutely must check out when visiting the city.

Paris Skyline from Galeries Lafayettes

Iconic Buildings in Paris

Visiting the most iconic buildings in Paris is one of the best things to do in Paris , so be sure to add all these Paris buildings to your Paris checklist .

Arènes de Lutèce 

Arenes de Lutece - Paris

The Arènes de Lutèce is the oldest building in Paris (1st century AD), and it’s located in the Latin Quarter . It dates back to Lutetia-Roman Paris and was originally a theater used to host big events like gladiatorial competitions.

The site features an oval arena surrounded by a terraced seating area, where people used to sit and watch the games. The arena is much quieter today, and it is used as a public park where people can enjoy a picnic or play the pétanque.

The Arènes de Lutèce is open from 8 am to 8.30 pm, depending on the season, and it is free to visit.

Notre Dame of Paris

paris tourist buildings

Notre Dame de Paris  (Our Lady of Paris) is Paris’ beating heart. The construction of this jewel of Gothic Architecture began in the 12th century and was finally completed in the 14th century, with later additions during the following centuries.

As you would no doubt be aware, Notre Dame was severely damaged during a fire in April 2019 and is currently closed to the public. During the fire, parts of the roof and the spire was destroyed forever; however, the main façade and its twin towers were saved, as were the Cathedral’s treasures.

Despite Notre Dame currently being closed, you can still admire its elegant main façade. The huge rose window is dedicated to Our Lady of Paris, who continues to watch over the city. The 28 sculptures below represent the kings of Judah and Israel, the ancestors of Christ. These sculptures lost their heads during the French Revolution and what you see today are replicas.

Sorbonne University

Sorbonne University - Paris

Located in the 5th Arrondissement, Sorbonne University is one of the oldest in the Western World. It was originally built back in 1257 at the direction of Robert de Sorbon, a chaplain who wanted poor children to have access to education. The current building was actually constructed in 1901 and was designed by architect Henri-Paul Nénot.

Sorbonne University is one of the best Paris buildings if you’re interested in seeing a mix of architectural styles. It has neo-Renaissance facades, a classical-style courtyard, antique peristyles, and other eclectic architectural features. And some parts of the building, including the amphitheater, vestibule, and the giant staircase, are classified as historic monuments.

The Sorbonne proposes guided tours open to all – Click here for more information, times, and prices

Louvre Palace

paris tourist buildings

The Louvre Palace is one of the most famous buildings in Paris, and it is home to the Louvre Museum . Located on the Right Bank of the Seine River, in the 1st Arrondissement, the building was constructed in 1190 as a royal fortress for the Kings of France.

The Louvre Palace was built over centuries, so it’s a surprising mix of styles from throughout the years. The current buildings were constructed between the 17th and the 19th century, but there are older parts in the Gothic style, and the Louvre Pyramid , in the main courtyard, is contemporary.

To get the most from your visit, make sure that you check out this Louvre Guide . You should also prepare ahead of time if you want to experience the beauty of the Louvre without the lines – Click here to buy your tickets to the Louvre Museum

Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville

Hotel de Ville (City Hall) is one of the Paris iconic buildings on the Seine’s Right Bank. It is located in the 4th Arrondissement of Paris, just across from the eastern end of the Île de la Cité .

The south wing of the building was constructed between 1535 and 1551 by King François I, and the north wing was built between 1605 and 1628 by King Henry IV and King Louis XIII.

Unfortunately, Hotel de Ville was burned by the Paris Commune and had to be rebuilt between 1874 and 1882. During the rebuild, the outside was enlarged (but is mostly the same as the older version), while the inside was made quite differently.

Hotel de Ville has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357 and is a venue for large events. It’s a great example of Renaissance architecture in Paris, with beautiful sculptures and beautiful ceremonial rooms. The square right out the front is used for cultural events all year round. In December, it hosts one of the best Christmas markets in Paris .

Elysée Palace

paris tourist buildings

The Elysée Palace is located on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré near the Champs-Élysées in the 8th Arrondissement of Paris. It was designed by architect Armand-Claude Molet, who later became King Louis XV’s architect. The building was completed in 1722 and was originally built for army officer Louis Henri de La Tour d’Auvergne, the Governor of Île-de-France.

Today, it’s the residence of the President of the French Republic but throughout the years, it has played host to many famous residents like Madame de Pompadour, Bathilde d’Orléans, and Charles Ferdinand the Duke of Berry.

The Elysée Palace is an imposing building designed in the French classical style and has majestic courtyards and an overall sense of elegance and grandeur. It also has a beautiful French-style garden with lovely flower beds and green areas. It is possible to visit on special occasions like the Journées du Patrimoine (World Heritage Days) in September (free entrance).

Opéra Garnier

paris tourist buildings

The  Palais Garnier Opera House  is one of the most stunning buildings in Paris. It is located on the Right Bank of Paris, not far from the Grands Boulevards or Place Vendôme.

The glamorous Palais Garnier was built in the 19th century, and it is the largest Opera Hall in Europe. It was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon III as part of his project of reconstruction of Paris. To build the new Opera House in Paris, a competition for the best design was conducted in 1860. The winner of the project was a young Charles Garnier.

The project borrows elements from many historical sources. The façade and the interior have no space without decoration and symbolize the opulence of the Second Empire. The Auditorium is the heart of the building, where the performances take place. It has a horseshoe shape, so-called for how the seats are arranged to see and be seen. The Grand Foyer (18 meters high, 154 meters long, and 13 meters wide) was inspired by the Hall of Mirrors  inside the Palace of Versailles , with lots of natural light, gold, and mirrors.

It is possible to visit the Opera on a self-guided tour, with or without an audio guide – Click here to buy your tickets to the Opéra Garnier

Musée d’Orsay (Former Orsay Train Station)

paris tourist buildings

The Musée d’Orsay is located on a picturesque spot by the Seine River on the Left Bank of Paris. One of the most iconic buildings in Paris, this was once a working train station.

The Orsay Train Station was designed by Victor Laloux, Émile Bénard, and Lucien Magne. The station was constructed in 1900 in Beaux-Arts style and opened in time for the 1900 Paris World Fair.

Orsay served as a terminus of the railway line Orléans-Paris and the western and southern sides of the building included the 370-room Hotel Palais d’Orsay. After its closure as a station, it opened as an art museum in 1986 to host an array of impressionist and post-impressionist artworks. The building still keeps its general layout, original clock, and stunning ceiling – Click here to buy your tickets to the Orsay Museum

Sacré-Coeur Basilica

Sacré Coeur - Montmartre

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica  is one of the main landmarks in Paris . It is located on the top of the hill of Montmartre , in the 18th Arrondissement. The Basilica is dedicated to Christ’s Sacred Heart and it welcomes more than 10 million visitors per year, making it the second most visited religious building in France, only after Notre Dame.

The Sacré-Coeur was built between 1873 and 1924 in Romano-Byzantine style, with a design inspired by models such as Saint Sophia in Constantinople and San Marco in Venice. The architecture is in the shape of a Greek cross with four domes, and it measures 85 meters long and 35 meters in width.

You will love the light and the details of this majestic place! The panorama from the dome, accessible to visitors, is one of the  best views of Paris .

The Basilica is free to visit, but there’s an entrance fee for the dome. The entrance to the dome is on the left side of the Sacré-Coeur, outside. It’s an authentic experience that comes after climbing 300 steps!

Centre Georges Pompidou

paris tourist buildings

The Centre Georges Pompidou is one of the most original Paris buildings. It is located in the Beaubourg area of the 4th Arrondissement and is one of the most iconic buildings in Paris. It is close to hot spots like Les Halles and the Marais and houses the Public Information Library, a center for music and acoustic research known as IRCAM, and the Musée National d’Art Moderne, the largest modern art museum in Europe.

The Centre Georges Pompidou was commissioned by André Malraux, France’s first Minister of Cultural Affairs, in an attempt to decentralize art and culture. It was formally opened in 1977, and the architects were Renzo Piano from Italy and Richard Rogers from Britain.

The building is uncompromisingly modern, with an industrial exterior and high-tech architectural features. It hosts many cultural and artistic events, and the temporary exhibitions are always interesting – Click here to buy your tickets to the Centre Pompidou

Musée du Quai Branly

paris tourist buildings

A visit to the Musée du Quai Branly is one of the top things to do near the Eiffel Tower , on the Left Bank of the Seine. One of the most eye-catching buildings by the Seine River, the museum was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel and opened in 2006.

This is one of the newest and most popular museums in Paris. It was built to feature the indigenous art and cultures of Asia, Oceania, Africa, and the Americas and contains an amazingly eclectic collection of works of art. The permanent collection is amazing, and it is always completed by interesting temporary exhibitions.

The museum has four buildings and is surrounded by a lovely garden. It also has the largest roof terrace in Paris, which looks like an enormous bridge suspended over the garden.

The Musée du Quai Branly is a surprising example of contemporary architecture in Paris, with huge windows, pillars that look like trees, and open spaces with lots of light. Its green wall, facing the Seine River, was for a long time without equivalent. It remains today one of the largest in the world, both in terms of its area and the number of plants that make it up – Click here to buy your tickets to the Musée du Quai Branly

Foundation Louis Vuitton

paris tourist buildings

Located on Avenue Mahatma Gandhi, in Paris 16, the Foundation Louis Vuitton is an art museum and cultural center. The building was designed by architect Frank Gehry and was inaugurated in 2014.

The museum is a two-story structure with postmodern Deconstructivist design elements. This unique style makes it one of the most iconic buildings in Paris. There are also absolutely beautiful gardens around the building. And the inside of the museum is just as good as the outside, with artwork by famous artists like Sarah Morris, Jess Koons, Gilbert and George, and Janet Cardiff – Click here to buy your tickets to the Fondation Louis Vuitton

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Quirky parisian explorers with a preference for lesser-known sights, we are continuously looking for new ideas and tips to bring you the best of the city of light read more about us ., we’re elisa, norbert, valérie, and cédric, four travel bloggers and friends living in paris. quirky explorers with a preference for the local side of our city and its lesser-known sights, we are continuously looking for new ideas to enjoy the best of paris & around . do you want to go beyond the louvre museum or the eiffel tower keep clicking for first-hand information & our best tips learn more about us.

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Paris Tourist Map: your downloadable PDF map

Are you planning an upcoming visit to the City of Lights and need a PDF tourist map you can easily access on your smartphone or tablet, even without an internet connection? Paris City Vision offers you a Paris tourist map you can download completely free of charge.  This map lists museums, monuments, and must-see destinations and is a useful tool, whether you are spending a few hours or several days in France’s most beautiful city.  

Click below to download the plan 

paris tourist buildings

Much more than simply a downloadable map of Paris

We are offering you much more than simply a downloadable Paris tourist map.  On just one map, you will find everything you need to make your visit to Paris an unforgettable experience. 

Among all the must-see tourist destinations, locate the most beautiful and most popular Paris monuments within a few seconds. On the same map, you can find the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Garnier Opera House, and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. 

The great museums of the city are also indicated: on your map, pinpoint the location of the Louvre or the Orsay museums on the banks of the Seine, find the Centre Pompidou in the heart of the Marais district, and easily locate the most beautiful cultural buildings of Paris.   

A tourist map which offers another view of Paris

Do you want to see a different side of Paris and visit hidden places, away from the major tourist sightseeing tours?  Veritable gems await visitors who want to explore the authentic districts of the City of Lights: covered passages around the Palais Royal, narrow streets and squares in the district of Montmartre .  On our map, next to the most popular must-see destinations, we identify other amazing tourist sites that will provide you with a unique travel experience. 

Our practical PDF map is always accessible . Are you looking for a Paris tourist map that you can print and slip into your pocket? Do you want to download a map to take with you and use, even when there is no internet connection? We will provide you with access to the best tourist sites in Paris, free of charge, and all in one document! 

Main Paris tourist destinations on one map

Our Paris tourist map identifies the must-see destinations and tourist attractions :

Other downloadable tourist maps

Plan your trip in advance and download our different PDF maps on your smartphone or tablet: 

  • Map of Paris monuments
  • Map of Paris museums 
  • Map of Paris districts
  • Map of Montmartre 

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29 Beautiful Places in Paris Everyone Should Visit (at Least) Once

By Caitlin Morton

The 29 Most Beautiful Places in Paris

Compiling a list of the most beautiful places in Paris is no easy task. The city has a nearly endless supply of charming shops, artsy museums, boutique hotels, and world-famous landmarks—so choosing just a few dozen of those sites takes a good deal of restraint.

Still, we were able to put together a collection of Parisian wonders that we feel encapsulate this great city best—from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the romantic banks of the Seine River, with plenty of bookstores and cathedrals in between.

If you’re planning a trip to the City of Light, be sure to add these must-visit places to your itinerary. And even if you’ve already experienced most of these attractions, the wonderful thing about Paris is that every repeat visit unveils something new about the city. Whether it’s your first or fifth time walking along the cobblestoned streets of Saint-Germain or hearing the bells toll from Notre-Dame, you’ll find that the charm of Paris transcends cliche.

With gilded history reflected across so many arrondissements, here are 29 of the most beautiful places in Paris.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

This image may contain Plant Grass Green Tree Vegetation Lawn Garden Arbour and Outdoors

Jardin du Luxembourg

One of the most famous green spaces in Paris (and even greener during the spring), Jardin du Luxembourg is a favorite spot for locals to stroll and relax. While the overall vibe here is quite grand and regal, there are still intimate corners to be found.

Hôtel de Crillon A Rosewood Hotel Paris

Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel

Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel has long been one of Paris’s most fabulous grande dames, but the property became even more luxurious after unveiling its four-year renovation in 2017. The current iteration features Karl Lagerfeld–designed suites, dreamy terraces for afternoon tea, and a world-class spa with a glittering indoor pool.

NotreDame Paris

Cathédrale Notre-Dame

When you think of French Gothic architecture, chances are you think of Notre-Dame . Although the cathedral’s spires were destroyed in a devastating fire in 2019, the iconic facade and rose windows still draw massive crowds—and serve as a testament to the enduring beauty of Paris.

Muse JacquemartAndr Paris

Musée Jacquemart-André

Once the home of a refined, art-collecting couple, Musée Jacquemart-André now serves as a museum with works from Rembrandt, Bellini, Botticelli, and more. The 19th-century mansion is just as much of a draw, with grand marble staircases and gallery walls that redefine #apartmentenvy.

Shakespeare and Company Paris

Shakespeare and Company

A former haunt of Ernest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein, Shakespeare and Company is as historical as it is charming. Bibliophiles could spend hours perusing the bargain racks on the sidewalk (especially on a sunny afternoon), ideally followed by a slice of lemon pie at the on-site café.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Open since 2014, this spectacular museum is home to some of the city’s best contemporary art. But we think the sailboat-shaped building—designed by Frank Gehry—is a masterpiece in and of itself.

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Eiffel Tower

You had to be expecting this one, right? There is no city-landmark pairing as iconic as Paris and the Eiffel Tower, which has defined the skyline since 1887. For some of the best photo ops, head to Place du Trocadéro , an elevated, open space with a stellar view of the tower.

Panthéon Paris

Who needs a reason to visit the Panthéon ? Its gorgeous neoclassical architecture is lure enough. Don't forget to look up.

La Maison Rose Montmartre Paris

La Maison Rose

Since the 19th century, Montmartre has served as the bohemian hub of Paris’s creative and nightlife communities. The neighborhood has an endless string of postcard-perfect shops, but few are quite as recognizable as La Maison Rose—a rosy pink restaurant sitting pretty on a street corner.

Musée de l'Orangerie Paris

Musée de l’Orangerie

Musée de l'Orangerie —located at the far end of the Tuileries Gardens—strengthens the case that Paris’s smaller museums are just as important as, say, the Louvre. Plus, it’s the only place you can stand in awe of Monet’s famous Nymphéas (Water Lily) murals.

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe

As if the views of the Arc de Triomphe aren’t stunning enough, the views from the Arc de Triomphe are even more incredible. It's a pretty claustrophobic climb to the top, but the fresh air and 360-degree views of Paris are well worth it.

Musée d'Orsay Paris

Musée d'Orsay

A vast collection of Impressionist artworks is the focus at the Musée d’Orsay , Paris’s second most-visited museum. But don’t forget to look past the artwork for a moment to admire the arched ceiling, a reminder of the building’s past as a train station.

Rue Crémieux Paris

Rue Crémieux

This little throughway in the 12th arrondissement might just be the most charming street in all of Paris. Just beware of the fashion influencers and Instagram celebs trying to take advantage of those pastel-colored backdrops.


Palace of Versailles

Though it technically lies just outside of Paris, the Palace of Versailles is an essential stop on any City of Light itinerary. The former residence of King Louis XIV is a study in opulence, with the Hall of Mirrors and manicured gardens drawing some 15 million visitors each year.

PalaisRoyal Paris


The Palais-Royal complex is in some ways Paris in a nutshell: shops, cafés, art, history, architecture, and spectacular gardens, all across the street from the Louvre. Keep an eye out for Instagram photoshoots around the Colonnes de Buren , an art installation consisting of black-and-white-striped columns of varying heights.

Muse Rodin Paris Museum Exterior

Musée Rodin

We make this a stop on every trip to Paris, and sometimes, we don't even go inside. Musée Rodin is a light-filled estate with a serene garden filled with sculptures like The Thinker and The Gates of Hell . It's as intimate and personal (and relatively uncrowded) a museum-going experience as you'll get in the city.

Place de la Concorde Paris

Place de la Concorde

Despite its macabre history (it was the site of guillotine executions during the French Revolution), this public square is now one of the most beautiful places in Paris. Landmarks like the Luxor Obelisk and mermaid-filled fountain only add to the glamour.

Glasswalk hanging over the atrium of the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store in Paris France Europe

Galeries Lafayette

On the famed Boulevard Haussmann, Galeries Lafayette is a department store known for its upscale French products and stunning neo-Byzantine stained-glass cupola. If you can swing it, visit during December to see one of the world’s grandest Christmas displays .

Pont Alexandre III Paris

Pont Alexandre III

This ornate, Beaux-Arts–style bridge connects the Left and Right Banks of Paris, and is one of the biggest tourist photo-ops in the city. We get it: With all those gilded statues and river views, the selfie urge is real.

Palais Garnier Paris

Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier is one of the most opulent Beaux-Arts buildings in Paris. Prepare to be dazzled by the grand marble staircase, gilded chandeliers, and frescoed ceilings.

SainteChapelle Paris


Photos of Sainte-Chapelle are apt to take your breath away, but they hardly do justice to this Gothic chapel on Ile de la Cité. After struggling your way up the narrow spiral staircases to the upper chapel, that first glimpse of the 50-foot stained glass windows is an experience you’ll never forget.

SaintGermain Paris


Not only is this 6th arrondissement neighborhood the cocoa capital of Paris , but it also happens to be extremely picturesque, with cobbled streets and pretty French balconies everywhere you look.

Père Lachaise Cemetery Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Pretty much everything in Paris is next-level beautiful—even its cemeteries skew more divine than dismal. Spend an overcast afternoon walking across Père Lachaise’s 108 acres, then pay your respects at the graves of Gertrude Stein and Oscar Wilde.

Sacré Coeur Paris


Second in height only to the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur is a towering Romano-Byzantine basilica one very steep climb up into Montmarte. Everything about it—its architecture, its views from the hilltop—inspires awe.

Parc des Buttes Chaumont Paris

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Featuring cliffs, lakes, and waterfalls, the 62-acre Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is an au naturel alternative to Paris’s more groomed, rigidly formal parks. Hike up rocky elevations to catch amazing views of the city, including the aforementioned Sacré-Coeur.

most beautiful places in paris Jardin des Tuileries Paris

Jardin des Tuileries

This perfectly manicured park also has the advantage of a perfect location—turn one direction and you'll find the Louvre, turn the other, Place de la Concorde. Walk the entire length to really admire the formal French garden design of the 17th century.

Musée du Louvre Paris

Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is famously crowded—it is the most-visited museum in the world, after all. But even if you aren’t willing to fight a hundred camera-wielding tourists to see the Mona Lisa, at least stroll past the museum to see I.M. Pei’s famous glass pyramid.

Image may contain Furniture Chair Restaurant Cafe Table Vegetation and Plant

Hôtel Plaza Athénée

Open for more than a century, Hôtel Plaza Athénée is one of the most elegant, fashionable, and surprisingly playful hotels in all of Paris. Its signature red awnings are best enjoyed with a side of Michelin stars, at restaurant La Cour Jardin's ivy-covered terrace.

River Seine Paris

River Seine

The River Seine is essentially the beating heart of Paris, bordering half of the French capital's arrondissements. We’re partial to views of the river at dusk, but thanks to a few recent additions—a floating hotel and pedestrian-only walkway , for starters—the watery pathway is pretty damn gorgeous around the clock.


Fauchon l'Hôtel Paris

Fauchon l'Hôtel Paris

Hôtel Dame des Arts

Hôtel Dame des Arts

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1 Eiffel Tower

paris tourist buildings

2 Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

paris tourist buildings

3 Arc de Triomphe

4 louvre museum, 5 musée d'orsay, 6 the centre pompidou, 7 sainte-chapelle, 8 palais garnier, 9 the basilica of sacré-cœur de montmartre, 10 panthéon, 11 hôtel des invalides, 12 place de la concorde, 13 pont alexandre iii, 14 moulin rouge, 15 montparnasse tower, 16 catacombs of paris, 17 the basilica of sacré-cœur de montmartre, 18 av. des champs-élysées, 19 conciergerie, 20 père lachaise cemetery, 21 tuileries garden, 22 place des vosges, 23 place de la bastille, 24 louis vuitton foundation, 25 luxembourg palace, 26 palais de tokyo, 27 musée de l'orangerie, 28 tour saint-jacques, 29 domaine national du palais-royal, 30 arc de triomphe du carrousel, 31 galeries lafayette haussmann, 32 rodin museum, 33 pont neuf, 34 paris philharmonic, 35 musée du quai branly - jacques chirac, 36 grand palais, 37 champs elysees, 38 the originals boutique, hôtel maison montmartre, paris, 39 chateau de versailles, 40 the army museum, 41 opéra bastille, 42 the basilica of the sacred heart of paris, 43 grande arche de la defense, 44 musée national picasso-paris, 45 petit palais, 46 louvre pyramid, 47 parc des buttes-chaumont, 48 bd saint-germain, 49 luxor obelisk, 50 fontaine saint-sulpice, top searches in paris, popular road trips from paris, what's the weather like in paris .

It depends on when you visit! We've compiled data from NASA on what the weather is like in Paris for each month of the year: see the links below for more information.

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Art Facts

60 Most Famous Buildings In Paris

By: Author Kevin Fisher

Posted on Published: February 1, 2022

Paris is one of those cities that make you feel as if you’re walking into history lane . Every building appears to be telling you a story.

The original settlement that would become this fascinating city was first mentioned by Julius Caesar who referred to it as “ Luteciam Parisiorum ” or “ Lutetia of the Parisii ,” with Parisii referring to the Gallic tribe that lived here.

The city was known as Lutetia in the Roman Empire and eventually grew to become one of the most important cities in Europe, mainly because of its strategic location and the River Seine that flows through it.

Paris is known as “ La Ville Lumière ” or the “ City of Light .” This is a reference to both its importance during the Age of Enlightenment and the fact that it was one of the first cities in Europe to be illuminated by gas lamps at night.

Today, the city is home to over 2.1 million inhabitants within the city proper and an estimated 12.17 million inhabitants within its metropolitan area. It’s also one of the most-visited cities in the world due to its extremely high concentration of historic buildings and landmarks.

With so many things to do in Paris , we have created a list of the 60 most famous buildings in Paris , architectural wonders that you absolutely must see when you visit France’s capital.

1. Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower isn’t just a symbol of Paris and France , it’s one of the best-recognizable towers in the entire world. It’s located on the “ Champ de Mars ” in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

The tower was named after its designer, Gustave Eiffel , and stands about 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall.

This is the equivalent of an 81-story skyscraper . Upon completion in 1889, the tower was the tallest building in the world and held this record for 41 years, until 1930 when it was surpassed by the Chrysler Building .

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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular tourist attractions and historical sites in all of Paris and allows visitors to access the tower on 3 levels .

The third level is located at a height of 276 meters (906 feet) above the ground and provides astounding views of the city of Paris.

Official website : Tour Eiffel

Famous Buildings in Paris Eiffel Tower

2. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is the most famous triumphal arch in the world.

It’s located at the center of the “Place Charles de Gaulle” which was formerly known as the “Place de l’Étoile.” Therefore, the full name of the arch is “ Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile .”

There are 12 large avenues in Paris coming together at its location and it’s located at the center of the “ Axe Historique ” of Paris.

This is the central axis containing numerous historical buildings and monuments in the city and the best place to start your journey in the city.

The Arc de Triomphe commemorates those who fought during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars in the late 18th and early 19th centuries .

The arch was inspired by the Arch of Titus , a famous monument and attraction in Rome. It stands 50 meters (164 feet) tall , is 45 meters (148 feet) wide and has a depth of 22 meters (72 feet).

Official website : Arc de Triomphe

Arc de triomphe facts

3. Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world , located in a historic building called the “ Louvre Palace ,” which used to serve as the royal residence for the kings of France.

After you enter the museum through the iconic Louvre Pyramid , there are about 38,000 artworks on display for you in a total area of 72,735 square meters (782,910 square feet) .

This makes it virtually impossible to see everything in just one day.

The museum opened its doors on August 10, 1793 , and had just 537 paintings on display at the time.

The collection was seriously increased during the reign of Napoleon Bonaparte and his successors and was briefly called the “Musée Napoleon.”

It houses the most famous painting in the world, The Mona Lisa , the top painting in Leonardo da Vinci’s oeuvre .

Official website : The Louvre

Louvre facts

4. Sacré-Coeur

The Sacré-Coeur Basilica , also known as the “ Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris ,” is a Roman Catholic church and one of the most iconic churches in all of Paris.

This must-visit attraction in Paris is located on top of a hill which is the highest point in the city .

Because the construction of the church was supported by donations, it took 39 years to complete, starting in 1875 and finishing in 1919 , which is the year that the church was consecrated.

Apart from being a religious building , it also serves as a cultural icon and was constructed with a dual purpose .

This includes the defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and the lack of morality during the Paris Commune of 1871.

It is now the second most-visited monument in Paris .

Official website : Sacré-Coeur

Famous churches in Paris sacre coeur

5. Montmartre

Montmartre is a large hill in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and is most famously known for its art district .

The hill itself is about 130 meters (430 feet) high and is the location of the Sacré-Coeur .

The district surrounding Montmartre hill has been classified as a “ Historic District of the City of Paris ,” and breathes the typical Paris atmosphere .

In this district, numerous famous artists lived and worked here , including Claude Monet , Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso , Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh .

Right now, artists are still painting tourists , so this is the spot to go if want to have an amazing portrait created.


6. Les Invalides

Les Invalides was formerly known as the “ Hôtel national des Invalides ,” and was originally built as a retirement home for war veterans between 1671 and 1683 .

It’s located just near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, which means it’s the perfect chance to combine these two famous attractions.

Les Invalides consists of a complex of multiple buildings and currently house the Musée de l’Armée, the military museum of the Army of France, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine.

It also has a large church called the “ Dôme des Invalides ” and is the tallest in Paris, standing 107 meters (351 feet) tall .

Inside the church, you can find the tombs of some of the most notable people in the military history of France , including the most famous man of all, the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte .

Official website : Musée de l’Armée

Les Invalides mausoleum

7. Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is a large complex located in the Beaubourg area in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

It’s one of the most peculiar buildings in the world which was designed in the high-tech architectural style .

The building was constructed between 1971 and 1977 and was named after Georges Pompidou, the President of France who had commissioned the building, between 1969 and 1974 , which was the year he died.

The building houses “ IRCAM ,” a center for music and acoustic research, the “ Bibliothèque Publique d’Information ,” a large public library, and most famously, the “ Musée National d’Art Moderne .”

This is the largest museum of modern art in Europe which welcomes nearly 4 million visitors every year , definitely worth visiting while you’re in Paris.

Official website : Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou facts

8. Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is another famous art museum in Paris, located right in the historical center of the city on the left bank of the Seine River.

The building used to be a railway station called the “ Gare d’Orsay ,” but was transformed into a museum in the 1980s .

It’s one of the most popular museums in Europe, welcoming over 3.5 million visitors every year .

The museum houses a remarkable collection of Paintings , mostly French impressionist and post-impressionist art , created between 1848 and 1914.

The pieces of art include paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography from artists such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh.

Official website : Musée d’Orsay

famous bridges in paris

9. Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is located just outside of Paris, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) to the southwest of the city center.

It used to be the royal residence of France from 1682 until 1789 , which is the year that the French Revolution started .

The incredible palace is one of the most luxurious and overwhelming structures ever created and exemplifies why the French Revolution happened.

Everything was built to impress and the sheer size of the building and gardens is unfathomable until you have seen it with your own eyes.

The palace is one of the most-visited tourist sites in all of France , welcoming well over 7 million visitors every year .

It’s also a historical monument and UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the must-visit tourist attractions when you’re in the city.

Official website : Palace of Versailles

Famous Palaces in France versailles

10. Champs-Élysées

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is one of the main avenues and the most famous street in Paris .

It’s located 8th arrondissement of the city and runs between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle , ending at the Arc de Triomphe.

The name of the avenue translates to the “ Elysian Fields ” which is derived from Greek Mythology and means a “ paradise for dead heroes .”

The street is 1.9 kilometers (1.2 miles) long, 70 meters (230 feet) wide , and has huge sidewalks for you to enjoy a stroll in the heart of Paris.

It’s is widely considered to be one of the most famous avenues in the world and is known for its cafés, restaurants, and luxury shops .

CHamps elysees paris

11. Tuileries Garden

The Tuileries Garden is one of the most popular public gardens in Paris and is located right in the city center between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde in the 1st arrondissement of the city.

The garden dates back to the 16th century , when Queen Consort of France, Italian noblewoman Catherine de’ Medici created it as the garden of the Tuileries Palace in 1564 .

The Tuileries Garden was opened to the public back in 1667 , and the now-demolished Tuileries Palace played an important role during the French Revolution.

It was briefly called the “ Jardin National ” after the king was removed from power and remained one of the most popular spots to gather and roam around for Parisians , up until today!

Official website : Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden flowers

12. Notre-Dame Cathedral

The Notre-Dame Cathedral , which means “ Our Lady of Paris ,” is commonly known as just the “ Notre-Dame .”

It’s one of the most famous Roman Catholic churches in the world and is located on a small river island on the Seine River called “ Île de la Cité ” in the 4th arrondissement of Paris

Construction of the church started way back in medieval times in 1163 and was completed in 1345 .

It’s one of the finest examples of French Gothic Architecture and is abundantly decorated with sculptures.

A lof the religious works of art were damaged during the French Revolution and the church has been the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of multiple French Presidents .

The roof of Notre Dame caught fire on April 15, 2019 , and left the cathedral severely damaged.

The good news is that r econstruction started in 2021 and is estimated to be completed in 2024 .

Official website : Notre Dame de Paris

Fun notre dame cathedral facts

13. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III is arguably one of the most beautiful bridges in the world and definitely in the city of Paris .

It’s famous for its amazing decorations such as sculptures and Arts-Nouveaux lamps and has been constructed in the same Beaux-Arts design as the nearby Grand Palais .

The bridge was originally constructed between 1896 and 1900 and was built to commemorate the Franco-Russian alliance that was signed in 1892 .

It was named after the Russian Tsar at the time, Tsar Alexandre III . The Tsar had passed away in 1894 so it was his son, Tsar Nicholas II , who was allowed to lay the first stone.

This amazing bridge was completed just before the World Fair of 1900 which was held in Paris that year.

Official website : Pont Alexandre III

Pont alexandre III most famous bridges in Paris

14. Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle is arguably one of the most beautiful chapels in the world and is world-famous because of its large collection of 13th-century stained glass windows .

What’s remarkable about these is that about 2/3 of the windows are still original , an attraction you simply have to see while you’re in Paris.

The chapel is located inside the courtyard of the Palais de la Cité , the royal residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century .

It was built by King Louis IX to hold his holy relics which he had purchased just before.

The chapel was consecrated in the year 1248 and became one of the most important religious buildings at the time

That’s because it holds some of the holiest relics in all of Christendom until they were moved to the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Official website : Sainte Chapelle

Sainte Chapelle Paris

15. Grande Arche

The Grande Arche is one of the most remarkable modern landmarks in the city of Paris .

It was commissioned by French President François Mitterrand in the year 1982 and designed by a Danish architect who had won a design competition.

It was constructed between 1985 and 1989 and was ready just in time for the bicentennial of the French Revolution in July of that year.

This fantastic monument has become a popular tourist attraction and was inaugurated with a massive military parade to commemorate this event.

It stands 110 meters (365 feet) tall and is located right in the heart of the biggest business district in France called “ La Défense .”

It’s located right at the end of the famous line of monuments in Paris called the “ Axe Historique ,” and was designed as a modern version of the famous Arc de Triomphe which it directly faces.

Official website : La Grande Arche

La Grande Arche

16. Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse is without a doubt one of the most peculiar buildings in Paris, yet a popular attraction to visit.

This famous skyscraper instantly received heaps of criticism because of its simplistic design and huge size in an area that doesn’t have any tall buildings at all.

The building was constructed between 1969 and 1973 and 2 years after it was completed, and after a lot of protests, a new law was passed

This new law banned the construction of buildings taller than 7 stories in the entire center of Paris.

It’s fair to conclude that Parisians weren’t too fond of what was the tallest skyscraper in the country back then with a height of 210 meters (690 feet) .

One of the most amazing things about the tower, though, is that it has an observation deck on its roof which offers a 360-degree view over the city of Paris .

Because of its central and unique location, you can catch some of the city’s most amazing views and its surroundings from the observation deck at Tour Montparnasse!

Official website : Tour Montparnasse

Tour montparnasse lonely view

17. Tour Saint-Jacques

The Tour Saint-Jacques is a free-standing tower located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris , right within the historical heart of the city.

It stands in a square that forms an intersection between the famous Rue Rivoli, a famous shopping street, and the Rue Nicolas Flannel .

It stands 52 meters (171 feet) tall and used to be part of a church . This church, the Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, and named after the butcher’s area in medieval times

It has a remarkable history as it was destroyed during the French Revolution and its materials were sold to the highest bidder.

However, the tower was bought back by the City of Paris in the year 1836 and declared a “ Monument Historique” in the year 1862 .

The area surrounding the tower was transformed into a public park and has become one of the most popular areas to hang out in Paris!

Official website : Tour Saint-Jacques

Tour Saint-Jacques facts

18. Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde is arguably the most famous square in Paris. It’s squeezed in between the Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries Garden , right in the middle of the Axe Historique of Paris .

This historic public space borders the Seine to the south as well and is connected to the Rue Rivoli, another famous avenue in the city.

The square was commissioned by King Louis XV and was originally called the Place Louis XV in his honor as well.

It was constructed between 1755 and 1772 and contains two famous hotels on its north side which were constructed in the typical Style Louis XV by his main architect.

The square is most infamously known for being the location of over 1,200 execution by guillotine during the French Revolution in just 3 years.

These executions included King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette and numerous members of the royal family.

A huge 3,300-year-old obelisk is located in its center and the square is decorated with fountains as well, making it one of the best-recognized historical sites in Paris!

Official website : Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde obelisk

19. Stade de France

The Stade de France is the national football stadium of France , and while it’s not located in the center of the city but rather a commune just north of Paris

This place is called Saint-Denis and is located within the city’s metropolitan area and just behind Montmartre Hill in the north of the city .

The stadium has a seating capacity of 80,698 which makes it one of the largest football stadiums in the world .

It was built especially for the FIFA World Cup of 1998 with construction lasting from 1995 until 1998 .

We included it in our list of most famous historical sites in Paris because France wrote history during this tournament as they won the World Cup in their own country and their brand new stadium by beating Brazil 3-0 .

The stadium can be used for athletics competitions as well and is frequently used for concerts .

Some of the most famous artists in the world have performed here. It’s one of two stadiums in the world which has been the venue of both a world cup of association football and rugby.

Official website : Stade de France

Stade de france sacre coeur from tour montparnasse

20. Luxembourg Palace

The Luxembourg Palace is located just south of the historic center of the city and is surrounded by one of the most amazing gardens in Paris referred to as the “ Jardin de Luxembourg ” or “Luxembourg Garden.”

It was commissioned by Marie de Medici after her husband, King Henry IV , had died in 1610 .

The construction of the palace started in 1615 and the design was based on the Renaissance-style Pitti Palace in Florence , the capital of the Tuscany region in Italy .

This was the building that Marie de Medici, the Queen of France, was born in.

The massive palace was finally completed after a construction period of 30 years in the year 1630 , even though the royal family had moved in it since 1625 .

The palace was expanded several times and eventually became the property of the government after the French Revolution, after which it was turned into a legislative building .

Ever since 1958, it has been the home of the Senate of the Republic of France which makes it one of the most important structures in the country and a must-visit attraction in Paris.

Official website : Luxembourg Palace

Palais du Luxembourg Paris

21. Grand Palais

The Grand Palais is an enormous exhibition hall located right next to the Champs-Élysées on the north bank of the River Seine.

It’s situated just to the west of the Place de la Concorde near the end of the most famous avenue in the city. The building is adjoined by the Petit Palais which means the “Small Palace.”

Both structures were built for the Universal Exposition of 1900 that was held in Paris that year.

It focused on technological advancements at the turn of the century and attracted nearly 50 million visitors to the city.

The building replaced an original similar structure called the “ Palais de l’Industrie ” which was built for the World Fair of 1855.

Today, the Grand Palais is still used for multiple exhibition events and sometimes serves as the venue for various sporting events as well.

It’s one of the biggest and most famous buildings in Paris because of its size and unique architectural design which mixes Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau architecture .

Official website : Grand Palais

grand palais facts

22. Check out the Louvre Pyramid

The Louvre Pyramid is the iconic entrance of the Louvre Museum , one of the most famous and biggest museums in the world.

It was constructed of steel and glass and brings visitors to the lower levels of the lobby of this magnificent art museum.

The pyramid is located in the main courtyard of the former Louvre Palace referred to as the “ Cour Napoléon .”

This remarkable structure was commissioned in the year 1984 by then French President François Mitterrand, designed by American-Chinese architect I. M. Pei , and completed 5 years later in the year 1989 .

The main pyramid is surrounded by 3 smaller pyramids and has become an icon of not only the Louvre Museum but of the city as well, becoming one of the best-recognized landmarks in Paris !

Louvre pyramid aerial view

23. Palais Garnier

The Palais Garnier is the home of the Paris Opéra and is located on the “ Place de l’Opéra ” at the end of the “ Avenue de l’Opéra .”

This surely means that it’s the city’s main opera house and has been ever since the building was completed in the year 1875 .

This magnificent opera house was named after the man who designed it, Charles Garnier , on a commissioned of Emperor Napoleon III during the Second Empire of France in the 19th century.

It was the most extravagant and expensive building constructed during this period.

The building was constructed in what Garnier referred to as the “ Napoleon III architectural style ,” a reference to the Emperor himself because it uses a wide variety of elements of other architectural styles

These include Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance styles. The building is heavily ornamented , both outside and inside, making it a must-visit location if you enjoy remarkable architectural features or enjoy opera.

Official website : Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier Paris france

24. La Madeleine church

La Madeleine is also known as “L’église de la Madeleine” or “L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine” (Madeleine Church) is one of the most fascinating landmarks in Paris.

This remarkable church was built in the form of an ancient temple meaning it was built in the Neo-Classical style .

The main inspiration of the church was the much smaller Maison Carrée in Nîmes , a remarkably well-preserved ancient Roman temple in the center of the city in southern France.

The building in Paris is located just to the north of the Place de la Concorde in the 8th arrondissement of the city.

This magnificent building was built between 1807 and 1828 and was originally commissioned by Napoléon Bonaparte in honor of the French Army.

So his words the building was to become a “ Temple to the Glory of the Great Army .” Only after the fall of Napoléon, it was decided to use the building as a church

It still serves this purpose today and is one of the most intriguing buildings in Paris .

Official website : La Madeleine

La Madeleine facts

25. Panthéon

The Panthéon in Paris is not to be confused with the building equally referred to as the Pantheon in Rome .

The building in Paris is an enormous monument that was originally commissioned by King Louis XV to serve as a church.

This building is located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris was constructed between 1758 and 1790 which means it was completed around the time of the French Revolution.

After this historic event, the purpose of the building was changed and it was turned into a mausoleum to bury important French citizens.

The building was one of the earliest Neo-Classical buildings in the city and featured a marvelous dome that was inspired by a little temple in Rome called the “ Tempietto ,” a fascinating and influential little structure designed by Donate Bramante .

Official website : Panthéon in Paris

Pantheon in Paris Mausoleum

26. Catacombs of Paris

We already discussed a remarkable ossuary in our list of buildings in Milan , but the one you’ll come across in Paris is quite something else.

The Catacombs of Paris are a huge collection of underground ossuaries that house the remains of over 6 million people .

These catacombs were built along the tunnels of the old stone quarries of Paris and start near the “Barrière d’Enfer” or “Gate of Hell,” one of the city gates.

Building this remarkable underground burial ground was kind of necessary because the cemeteries in and around Paris were overflowing in the 18th century .

Most of the network was completed in the late 18th century and the remains of millions of dead people were transported here.

Today, the catacombs are one of the 14 Paris City Museums and most definitely one of the most peculiar tourist attractions in the city.

Official website : Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of paris mining shaft

27. Rodin Museum

The Musée Rodin is a museum dedicated to the amazing sculptures of arguably the most famous French sculptor in history, Auguste Rodin (1840-1917).

He is the creator of one of the most replicated sculptures in history called “ The Thinker ” and is considered to be the founding father of modern sculpture.

The museum is located in two different locations. The main venue is the “ Hôtel Biron ,” a huge mansion in the center of Paris.

The other venue is located at Rodin’s final residence called the “ Villa des Brilliants ,” a place located in Meudon, a suburb in the southwestern part of Paris.

The museum opened its doors in 1919 , two years after the artist passed away. Many of the sculptures can be found in the garden of the Hôtel Biron as well, making it an enjoyable museum to visit.

Official website : Musée Rodin

Musee rodin

28. Moulin Rouge

One of the most popular entertainment venues in the world is located near the foot of Montmartre in the Pigalle district of Paris.

The Moulin Rouge is known for being the birthplace of the can-can dance, at least the modern version of it. This form of entertainment eventually spread all across Europe and other parts of the world.

The original venue was founded in the year 1889 but burned down in 1915. It features an iconic red windmill on its roof, making it one of the best-recognizable structures in the city.

Today, the place offers shows in a typically French, fine-de-siècle (end of the century) setting, which can be considered to be pretty romantic.

The place has been featured in numerous movies and television programs and is worth a visit if you want to enjoy a nice show.

Official website : Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge buildings in Paris

29. Père Lachaise Cemetery

Even though the Catacombs of Paris house the remains of over 6 million people, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any large cemeteries.

The largest cemetery in the city, known as “ Père Lachaise Cemetery ,” covers an area of 44 hectares (110 acres).

It’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris as it’s visited by over 3.5 million visitors every year, making it the most-visited necropolis in the world.

The cemetery is located in the eastern part of the city and over 1 million people are buried here. 3 World War I memorials are part of the complex as well.

The cemetery was founded in the year 1804 and was named after Père François de la Chaise (1624–1709). He was the Jesuit priest to who Louis XIV confessed all of the horrible sins he committed.

That’s mainly because the man lived in a house nearby which was built in the late 17th century .

Today, the cemetery is still operational as the deceased are still buried here. It’s also the final resting place of numerous famous people , including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Frédéric Chopin, to name just a few.

Pere lachaise cemetery

30. Check out the arcade of the Palais-Royal

As the name of the structure suggests, the Palais-Royale served formerly as a royal palace . It’s located right in the heart of the city in the 1st arrondissement .

The enormous structure was originally built between 1633 and 1639 and named the “ Palais-Cardinal .” That’s because it was originally built for Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642), a bishop who also became a successful politician and French statesman.

He eventually bequeathed the palace to King Louis XIII , followed by King Louis XIV . he was too busy with his other palaces, especially at Versailles, that he left it to the Dukes of Orléans .

Countless changes were made to the original structure in the following centuries, resulting in a huge palace that was completely transformed from its original 17th-century design.

Today, the palace serves multiple purposes , including the seat of the Ministry of Culture, the Conseil d’État, and the Constitutional Council.

The palace is astounding, both the exterior and interior and features a fascinating Court of Honor with multiple rows of colonnades as well, quite an amazing place to visit in the heart of the city.

Official website : Palais-Royale

Palais Royal Paris

31. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont covers an area of 24.7 hectares (61 acres) which makes it the 5th-largest public park in the city.

The park was established on the orders of Emperor Napoleon III and only opened in the year 1867 . To give some reference, this is around the time that the opulent Palais Garnier was constructed as well.

The park was built on a former quarry and the reason becomes quite clear when you walk around here as it features multiple cliffs .

One of these huge rocks features a temple called the Temple de la Sibylle which was inspired by an ancient Roman temple of Vesta in Tivoli , just outside of Rome.

With 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) of roads and 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) of footpaths, this is one of the best places in the city to go for a walk as well.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

32. Picasso Museum

We probably don’t need to introduce Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) to you because he’s one of the most famous artists in history.

He has a museum dedicated to his artworks in Barcelona and one in Paris as well called the “ Musée Picasso .”

Similar to the Musée Rodin, this art gallery is located in a huge 1659 mansion called the “ Hôtel Salé ” in the historic and former aristocratic Marais district of the city.

The museum features over 5,000 works of art of the Spanish artist , including paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, and engravings.

It also houses a large collection of personal notes, correspondence, and photographic material of Picasso.

One of the most famous works in the collection is called “ Massacre in Korea ,” an anti-war painting in line with his famous “ Guernica ” (1937). It depicts women and children being massacred during the Korean War in the 1950s.

Official website : Musée Picasso

Picasso Museum Paris

33. Jardin des Plantes

The Jardin des Plantes is also sometimes referred to as the “Jardin des Plantes de Paris” because this is the common name of botanical gardens in France.

This is the main botanical garden in the country and was originally established in 1635 as a royal garden to grow medicinal plants.

It’s located in the 5th arrondissement of the city and covers an area of 28 hectares (69 acres) .

This amazing green area is also home to the main gallery of the National Museum of Natural History. This enormous museum has a collection of over 62 million specimens.

Other features of this remarkable place are a zoo, archives, a library, and multiple greenhouses.

Even though the garden itself is a great place to relax and walk around in nature, the “ Great Gallery of Evolution ” inside the National History Museum is quite spectacular to visit as well.

Official website : Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes Paris

34. Petit Palais

The Grand Palais is the huge exhibition space that was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. This enormous structure is adjoined by another fascinating building referred to as the “ Petit Palais ” or “ Small Palace .”

It’s located on the Avenue Winston Churchill and its façades face both the Seine and the Champs-Élysées.

The name is deceiving as well because this is a huge structure built in the remarkable Beaux-Arts architectural style typical of the late 19th century.

The building houses a museum that is part of the 14 Museums of the City of Paris and has a very diverse collection of fine art on display.

The most prominent collection of 19th-century paintings and sculptures, including works by Ingres, Géricault, Delacroix , Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, Cézanne, and Modigliani, to name just a few of the artists on display.

Official website : Petit Palais

Petit Palais Paris

35. Hôtel de Ville

The Hôtel de Ville has been one of the most important buildings in Paris since the year 1357 . That’s the year that the original structure on this location became the seat of the city’s local administration .

The south wing of the building was built between 1535 and 1551 and the north wing between 1605 and 1628 .

Unfortunately, the unhappy campers during the Paris Commune in 1871 burned the original structure to the ground.

It was, however, rebuilt with the same design between 1874 and 1882 , and quite significantly enlarged as well.

Apart from serving as the seat of the local administration, it’s also home to the Mayor of Paris , the cabinet, and the venue of important receptions in the city.

All you can do is stand in awe of the amazing architecture of this building.

Hotel de Ville Paris

36. Pont Neuf

Even though Pont Neuf translates to “New Bridge,” this is the oldest standing bridge in the city today.

The name refers to the fact that it was once a new bridge among multiple medieval bridges crossing the River Seine in Paris.

The bridge consists of two sections on both ends of the Île de la Cité, the historical heart of the city, and it was completed between 1578 and 1607.

The bridge has a total length of 232 meters (761 feet) a width of 22 meters (72 feet) and the two sections feature 7 and 5 arches.

Walking across this 4-century old bridge is quite a remarkable experience, especially considering the events that have happened during this period in Paris.

Pont Neuf Paris

37. Parc Monceau

Just northeast of the Arc de Triomphe , in the 8th arrondissement of the city, you can find a remarkable public park with a fascinating history.

The Parc Monceau was originally the idea of the rich and influential Phillippe d’Orléans , Duke of Chartres (1747-1793).

He was a cousin of King Louis XVI and both cousins would end up being guillotined at the Place de la Concorde, not too far from this public park, during the French Revolution.

The park was established in 1778 and covers an area of 8.2 hectares (20.3 acres) . The duke’s idea was to build a traditional English garden with multiple architectural features.

The result is a park that features a Rotunda at the main entrance, an ancient row of colonnades , and a miniature ancient Egyptian pyramid.

Today, the park features multiple play areas for children and is one of the most popular locations in the area for locals to hang out.

Parc Monceau Collonade

38. Paris Museum of Modern Art

The Paris Museum of Modern Art , officially known as the “Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris,” is one of the 14 City of Paris’ Museums dedicated solely to the art of the 20th and 21st centuries.

The museum is housed in the magnificent Palais de Tokyo which was originally built for the International Exhibition of Arts and Technology of 1937.

The museum was established in 1961 and the venue has undergone a serious renovation worth €10 million which was completed in 2019.

Some of the highlights of the museum are works by Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, Raoul Dufy, and Jean Metzinger, to name just a few famous artists.

The collection size of the museum is over 15,000 works of art, but temporary exhibitions are held here every six weeks as well.

Official website : Paris Museum of Modern Art

Palais de Tokyo Paris Museum of Modern Art

39. Check out Napoleon’s monument at the Place Vendôme

One of the most amazing squares in the city is located just north of the Tuileries Garden and not too far northeast of its equally famous counterpart, the Place de la Concorde .

The Place Vendôme was originally known as the Place des Conquêtes before being renamed Place Louis-le-Grand by King Louis XIV in the late 17th century.

Following the French Revolution, Napoleon I erected a huge column here to commemorate the Battle of Austerlitz (1805), one of the most important battles of the Napoleonic Wars.

This column was briefly torn down during the Paris Commune in 1871 but quickly re-erected. It remains the most prominent landmark on this remarkable square today.

The square is lined with some of the most amazing hotels in the city as well, quite a fascinating place to walk around.

Place Vendome Paris Architecture

40. Église Saint-Sulpice

Even though Notre Dame Cathedral is the largest church in Paris , this surprising church called Église Saint-Sulpice can hold a candle to it.

The church is located in the Latin Quarter in the 6th arrondissement of the city and was dedicated to Sulpitius the Pious , a 7th-century bishop.

Even though the construction of this church was started in 1646 , it was only completed in the year 1870 .

The two most prominent features of the exterior of the church are the North and South towers which stand 73 meters (240 feet) and 68 meters (223 feet) tall respectively.

The sheer size of this structure makes entering it a remarkable experience while you’re in the neighborhood.

Saint Sulpice Church paris

41. Take iconic pictures at the Palais de Chaillot and Trocadéro Gardens

If there’s one iconic and easily recognizable image from Paris, then it’s surely the famous shot from a vast space featuring a garden and fountains with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

This space is referred to as the “ Jardins du Trocadéro ” and is located in the 16th arrondissement. It’s squeezed in between the Pont d’Iéna which crosses the Seine River in a straight line to the famous tower, and the immense Palais de Chaillot .

The northwest wings of this palace face the Trocadéro Gardens and were a replacement of the old Trocadéro Palace built for the World Expo of 1937 .

The most prominent feature inside the garden is the so-called “ Fountain of Warsaw ,” a basin featuring several fountains that make the scenery even more picturesque.

The Palais de Chaillot was built on top of a hill with the same name and offers a perfect portion to capture the Eiffel Tower, while the space itself offers astounding views from the tower itself.

Trocadero Gardens

42. Château of Vincennes

While you’re in the area, you might as well take a visit to the Château of Vincennes , right?

This immense castle originated as a hunting lodge that was established here by King Louis VII around 1150 . This was a great location because the huge forested area of Vincennes was a popular hunting location.

The castle we see today was built between 1340 and 1410 on an enormous scale. Its perimeter has dimensions of 330 by 175 meters (1,082 by 574 feet) which means it’s over a kilometer long.

The main feature of the castle is its enormous keep located on the western end of the castle. It stands 52 meters (170 feet) tall, an incredible structure at the time it was completed.

Other features of the castle are the huge moat and several defensive towers . Daily tours inside the castle are available making this a great tourist attraction just east of Paris.

Official website : Château de Vincennes

Chateau de Vincennes

43. Galeries Lafayette

Even though Galeries Lafayette is the name to describe a chain of department stores located all around France, its main store is located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of the city.

It’s located near the magnificent Palais Garnier and is one of the most remarkable shopping malls you’ll ever come across.

The store was inaugurated in 1912 and the most prominent feature inside the main store is a Neo-Byzantine dome that reaches a height of 43 meters (141 feet) .

The store covers a total area of 70,000 square meters (750,000 square feet) and features most of the popular brands.

Official website : Galeries Lafayette (in French)


44. Saint-Étienne-du-Mont

A church that is known as Saint-Étienne-du-Mont is located right next to the Panthéon on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève .

It was built between 1494 and 1624 and is home to the shrine of the patron saint of Paris, Sainte-Geneviève (419-512).

Apart from the tomb of the famous patron saint of the city, it also features the tombs of some other famous people including the tombs of Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine.

Unfortunately, the relics of Sainte-Geneviève that were held here were thrown in the Paris sewer during the French Revolution in 1793.


45. Île Saint-Louis architecture

While there’s only one river island located within the boundaries of the city of Rome, Tiber Island, Paris is blessed with two natural islands.

The most famous one is the Île de la Cité , the historical heart of the city which features Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle among many other fantastic landmarks.

Both the Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis are located just next to each other and are even connected through the “ Pont Saint-Louis .”

The island was named after Louis IX (1214-1270) who was made a saint, but this didn’t happen until the year 1725 .

Shortly after the name of the island was determined, the only church on the island, Saint-Louis-en-l’Île , was completed as well.

Today, the island is an enjoyable place to walk around as it features numerous bars, restaurants, and a famous ice cream shop known as “ Berthillon ,” which is located right in the middle of the island.

Ile Saint Louis

46. Conciergerie

If there’s one structure in the city that looks like the entrance of a medieval dungeon then it’s definitely the Conciergerie .

This Gothic complex is located on the northwestern side of the Île de la Cité and was originally used as a royal palace during the Merovingian period between the 10th and 14th centuries .

The 3 remarkable towers are remnants of this medieval palace and are remarkably well-preserved as well.

For centuries, the building was transformed into a prison and played a crucial role during the French Revolution.

It’s here that prisoners were held before they were transported to the execution grounds in various places in Paris to be beheaded by the guillotine. This includes several members of the royal family, including Marie Antoinette .

Today, the building is still used as a court of law and is open for tours as well. If you want to discover the cells in which people were held during the late 18th century and the horrible conditions of the medieval prison, then this is a great place to visit.

Official website : Paris Conciergerie


47. La Défense (modern architecture)

La Défense is the name to describe the business district of the city. This area of the city is located at the utmost northwestern end of the so-called “ Axe Historique ” and features numerous modern structures.

This place is huge as it covers an area of 560 hectares (1,400 acres) . This makes it the largest business district in Europe.

In the heart of the business district, you can find the “ Esplanade ,” known locally as the “Parvis de la Défense.” This is an enormous square with a length of 300 meters (980 feet) and a width of 120 meters (390 feet) .

It’s quite a remarkable place to walk around in because the center of the city is mostly filled with historic buildings.

Other features of La Défense are a huge shopping mall called “ Les Quatre Temps ,” La Grande Arche, and an open-air museum.


48. Place des Vosges

Relaxing at the Place des Vosges is quite an experience, especially if you know that this is the oldest planned square in the city.

It’s located just north of Île Saint-Louis in the historically upscale Marais district . This was one of the most expensive places to live in pairs during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The square was built by King Henry IV between 1605 and 1612 and was originally referred to as the “ Place Royale ,” or “ Royal Square .”

The square has exactly this shape and has a length and width of exactly 140 meters (460 feet). Over 4 centuries ago, this was still possible in this part of the city.

The chick nature of the square also resulted in it being lined with aristocratic houses . These are amazing sights from the middle of the perfectly maintained lawn which is lined with mature linden trees.


49. Musée de l’Orangerie

The Tuileries Palace was located on the right bank of the River Seine right next to the Place de la Concorde. It was, however, burned to the ground by the Paris Commune in 1871.

One structure that was part of the palace still stands in the southeastern corner of the infamous square, the old Orangerie .

This building was repurposed and turned into a museum, known today as the “ Musée de l’Orangerie ,” and features some remarkable works of art.

The art gallery is home to a large collection of works by Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings , including the likes of Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henri Rousseau, Alfred Sisley, and Claude Monet.

The most famous artworks are a collection of 8 murals painted by Monet called “ Water Lillies .” These were donated to the museum in 1922 and are a permanent feature of this remarkable museum.

Official website : Musée de l’Orangerie


50. Louis Vuitton Foundation building

Inside the huge Bois de Boulogne , the second-largest public park in the city located west of the Eiffel Tower, you can find an incredible building.

The Louis Vuitton Foundation building was constructed between 2006 and 2014 and features an art gallery with contemporary art and a cultural center.

Initially projected to cost €100 million , the ultimate price tag of the building was nearly 8 times that amount upon completion, costing an astounding €790 million .

The glass construction was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, best known as the designer of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles, and was inspired by the Grand Palais in central Paris.

The building’s design and the amazing collection of contemporary art make this attraction worth a visit.

Official website : Louis Vuitton Foundation


51. Bibliothèque Nationale de France

The “Bibliothèque Nationale de France” or “ National Library of France ” has a history that dates back to the year 1386 . This was the year when King Charles V of France established a library with manuscripts at the Louvre Palace.

The official establishment of the National Library of France happened in the year 1461 and grew to over 300,000 items by the time the French Revolution started in the late 18th century.

Today, the collection of this library consists of over 40.9 million items including 15.7 million books and 900,000 maps, incredible numbers indeed.

These items are held in 4 different locations in Paris, including the “Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand,” established by the old French president in the late 1980s.

Especially the Richelieu Site , located just north of the Louvre Museum, with its magnificent reading room, is an enjoyable spot to read a book in Paris.

Official website : François-Mitterand Library


52. Pont des Arts

You won’t see any cars drive across this bridge in the heart of Paris because the Pont des Arts is a pedestrian-only bridge.

The original bridge on this location was constructed on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte during the First French Empire . It connects the Institut de France in the south to the central square of the Louvre Palace in the north.

It was the first steel bridge in Paris and was completed between 1802 and 1804 . The name of the bridge refers to the “ Palais des Arts ,” the name that was given to the Louvre Palace during this period in history.

This original bridge had suffered severely during both World Wars and was rendered useless after a boat rammed into it in 1979 .

The current bridge a constructed between 1981 and 1984 and is world-famous because of tourists attaching “ lovelocks ” to it, a practice that isn’t exactly appreciated by the local government due to the enormous strain it causes to the bridge.

Let’s just take a selfie to capture the moment that you walked across this bridge in central Paris. It’s quite a place to do so, don’t you think?


53. La Villette

The third-largest park in Paris covers an area of 55.5 hectares (137 acres) and is called the “ Parc de la Villette .”

It’s situated in the northeastern section of the city, just east of Montmartre Hill and the Sacré-Coeur, in the 19th arrondissement of the city.

This isn’t just a park to enjoy a nice stroll because it features numerous important cultural venues and the largest science museum in Europe called the “Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie” or the “City of Science and Industry.”

Apart from the 3 major concert venues within the park’s boundaries (the Cité de la Musique, the Philharmonie de Paris, and Le Zénith), it’s also home to the “ Conservatoire de Paris ,” a college of art and music originally founded in 1795.

The most prominent landmark in the park is a huge geodesic dome that has a diameter of 36 meters (118 feet) .

This remarkable structure features 6,433 polished stainless steel triangles . Even though it merely looks like a piece of art to decorate the area, it features a movie theater with a screen of 1,000 square meters (11,000 square feet) inside.

Official website : La Villette


54. Cluny Museum

The Middle Ages , those were the days, weren’t they?

Well, not really, even though a lot of fascinating art was created during this period in history. The “Musée de Cluny” or “ Cluny Museum ” is a museum dedicated to medieval art.

The building in which the museum is housed is located in the Latin Quarter of the city and partially uses an ancient Roman bathing complex referred to as the “ Thermes de Cluny .”

Yes, that’s right, some items are displayed in the Frigidarium (cold room) of an entertainment venue built when the Roman Empire was still doing great.

This in combination with a large collection of items dating back to medieval times in Europe makes this an amazing museum to visit.

Official website : Musée de Cluny


55. Learn about Paris’ history at the Musée Carnavalet

The Musée Carnavalet is located in two historic buildings that were joined together called the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel Le Peletier de Saint Fargeau.

The museum first opened its doors in the year 1880 and features a painting collection that ranges from the Renaissance to the modern days.

The main exhibits inside the museum allow you to see the complete history of the city . This starts from a village called Lutèce that was inhabited by the Parisii tribes to the sprawling metropolis it is today.

The collection size is enormous as it features over 580,000 items, including 2,600 paintings, 20,000 drawings, and 300,000 engravings.

This is the place to go if you are interested in the history of Paris .

Official website : Musée Carnavalet


56. Coulée Verte René-Dumont

If you want to enjoy a nice hike just east of the historical heart of the city, then you’ll hardly find a better place than the Coulée Verte René-Dumont.

This “ Promenade plantée ,” a walkway lined with trees, was built on top of the old Vincennes railway which became obsolete.

The result is a linear park with a length of 4.7 kilometers (2.9 miles) that travels continuously through the city.

Some areas of the path are elevated and provide great views of the city. This makes it an amazing place to enjoy a relaxing stroll while you’re in Paris.


57. Musée Marmottan Monet

If you’re a fan of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art , then there’s a heavenly place for you in Paris.

The Musée Marmottan Monet features over 300 paintings of these art movements. The most famous painting of the collection is called “ Impression, Sunrise ” (1872), a painting from which the names of both movements were derived.

The layout of the museum looks very similar to that of the Musée the l’Orangerie . The museum was established in 1934 and features works of Monet, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, Paul Gauguin, Paul Signac, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The museum is located just east of the Bois de Boulogne and just west of the Eiffel Tower in the 16th arrondissement of the city.

Official website : Marmottan Monet


58. Bois de Boulogne

While the biggest park in Paris is located in Vincennes in the eastern outskirts of the city, the second-biggest isn’t that much smaller.

The Bois de Boulogne is located in the western part of Paris and covers an area of 845 hectares (2088 acres) . That’s the equivalent of 2 and a half the size of Central Park in New York City, to give you an idea about the size of this green area.

his historic park was yet again established by Emperor Napoleon III in the 19th century and was officially turned into a public space in 1852 .

It features an English-style garden with multiple lakes, the small Château de Bagatelle , and a children’s amusement park called the Jardin d’Acclimatation .

In the southeastern corner of the park, there’s also a huge horse racing track called the Hippodrome de Longchamp. The greenhouses of Auteuil are located in a botanical garden that features over 100,000 plants.

Just south of the park you can find the tennis complex in which the annual French Open tennis championships are held. This tournament is known as “ Rolland Garros .”

This means that there’s more than enough to do within the boundaries of this huge park to spend an enjoyable afternoon in Paris away from the busy streets.


59. Rue Crémieux

Just one block south of the Coulée Verte René-Dumont you can find one of the most picturesque streets in the city, and that’s quite a statement to make.

The Rue Crémieux is located in the 12th arrondissement and was created in the year 1857. It features extremely colorful houses and the street is paved in cobblestones .

The street was known as the “ Rue Millaud ” between 1865 and 1898 but was renamed in honor of French politician and Minister of Justice Adolphe Crémieux (1796-1880).

Even though it looks like an amazing place to take pictures, the residents of the street don’t appreciate the hoards of tourists taking selfies. Walking down this colorful street should be on your list, though, while you’re in the city.


60. Rue de Rivoli

Even though the Champs-Élysées is without a doubt the most famous avenue in the city, there are plenty more amazing streets in this fascinating city.

One of these is the Rue de Rivoli , a street established by Napoleon Bonaparte that he named in honor of his first major victory at the Battle of Rivoli .

During this battle on January 14 and 15 of the year 1797 , he defeated the Austrian army in a small town called Rivoli in what was then the Republic of Venice in modern-day Italy.

The street runs all across the north wing of the Louvre Museum and starts on the northern side of the Tuileries Garden, piercing the historic heart of Paris.

It also crosses the Marais district which features numerous aristocratic mansions. This means that this street is full of amazing buildings featuring stylish architecture.

The Places des Pyramids is located right in the middle of the street and features a gilded statue of historic figure Jeanne d’Arc which was inaugurated in 1874 .


Guía turística de Paris

Paris, capital of France , is one of the most important and influential cities in the world. In terms of tourism, Paris is the second most visited city in Europe after London. In this travel guide, you’ll find out about the city’s top attractions , as well as useful travel advice on how to get to Paris and how to save money whilst traveling .

Paris Travel Guide

  • General Information
  • Top Attractions
  • Getting to Paris
  • Money-saving tips
  • Where to Eat
  • Where to stay in Paris
  • 2-Day Paris Itinerary

Why Visit Paris?

The capital of France seems to have been designed specifically for the enjoyment of its visitors . Its streets, squares , buildings, gardens , and monuments  beckon tourists to return, and indeed, many do.

Some of the most memorable things to do in Paris include visiting the Eiffel Tower , the Arc de Triomphe , and Notre Dame Cathedral . During the evening, experiencing one of the legendary Moulin Rouge cabaret shows,   strolling through some of the most picturesque neighborhoods , like Montmartre , or climbing the  Montparnasse Tower is a must.

It's always a good time to visit Paris. Depending on where you fly from, you can either make the most of the low-cost airlines flying into the city from other European cities or take one of its direct flights from further away destinations. If you have children, why not surprise them with a trip to Disneyland ?

How to Organize Your Trip?

Before traveling to this unique city, we suggest reading a little about its history and discovering useful information  about Paris, which will certainly help you organise your stay. 

Once you find out about the top attractions in Paris , the must-see museums , the best areas to stay,  and the typical French cuisine , all you’ll have to do is pack your suitcase and prepare to discover one of the most romantic cities in the world.

Need Accommodation?

If you still don't have accommodation booked, we recommend you visit our search engine , where you’ll find all types of hotels, hostels, and apartments with the best rates guaranteed (with up to 75% discount). Besides, in most cases, you'll only have to pay once you get to your destination. 

  • Hotels in Paris - Find the best deals online

top activities

Seine River Cruise Drifting down the Seine River on a panoramic river boat during the day or at night-time is an unforgettable experience and offers unparalleled views of Paris.

Paris Hop On Hop Off Bus, Big Bus A Paris Big Bus tour is one of the most comfortable & enjoyable ways to explore the city. Discover the city hopping off & back on at any of its stops .

Ticket to the Museum of Orsay Manet, Renoir, Monet... Buying a ticket to the Museum of Orsay will give you the chance to see some of the most famous impressionist paintings in the world.

Free Walking Tour of Paris Immerse yourself in "The City of Lights" with  a guided tour around the French Capital , discovering the Louvre, the Siene and Notre Dame. What's more, it's free!

Paris Helicopter Tour Flying over Paris is a unique way to discover the French capital. Unforgettable views of Versailles, the Bois de Boulogne and the Eiffel Tower from a helicopter

Tour of the Palace of Versailles Discover Versailles, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s most famous palace on this half-day trip from Paris.

Opera Garnier Ticket By booking a ticket to the Opera Garnier in Paris , visitors will explore the interior of this beautiful Neo-Baroque building at their leisure– a must-see!

Arc de Triomphe Ticket Visit one of the most emblematic monuments in Paris with the official-price ticket to the Arc de Triomphe . You'll have access to the viewpoint and exhibition !

Montmartre Free Walking Tour Take a free tour through the narrow streets of the most cultural and artistic of Paris' districts , where Picasso and Van Gogh sought out inspiration.

Paris Catacombs Ticket Discover the underground galleries around one of the most disturbing cemeteries in the French capital with this Paris Catacombs Tour.

Paris Archaeological Crypt Ticket Learn about Notre Dame and venture underneath the church to explore the remains of the Île de la Cité with this Paris Archaeological Crypt Ticket !

Paris City Tour, Seine Cruise & Eiffel Tower Admire Paris’ most famous landmarks during a panoramic city bus tour, a one-hour scenic cruise along the Seine and skip the line access to the Eiffel Tower.

Ticket for the Ballon de Paris Generali With your  ticket to the Ballon de Paris Generali , you'll enjoy the best views of the French capital from a tethered balloon anchored in the André Citroën Park

Moulin Rouge Tickets Attending a show at the Moulin Rouge is an experience that everyone must have at least once in their lifetime. Don't miss out!

Paris Vintage Sidecar Tour Explore Paris' top attractions in a fun retro motorcycle & sidecar tour , experiencing the City of Light in a truly captivating way.

Eiffel Tower Climb There's a reason the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited monuments in the world : climb up more than 700 stairs to enjoy unforgettable views of Paris!

Normandy D-Day Beaches Day Trip Immerse yourself in the history of the Second World War, visiting key battle locations and memorials on this day trip to the D-Day Beaches of Normandy .

Day Trip to Bruges Bruges is the most visited city in Belgium and one of the most fascinating medieval cities in Europe . Discover the city on a walking tour and on a canal cruise.

Palace of Versailles Day Trip + Train Tour the halls of France's most famous palace with this Palace of Versailles Day Trip + Train. The guide will also show you around the impressive gardens.

Disneyland Day Trip Discover the magical world of Disneyland Paris on this day trip from Paris! The tour includes return transportation and entry to 1 or 2 of the parks.

Montparnasse Tower Ticket Want an incredible 360º view of Paris?  View the French capital from the top of Montparnasse Tower, 200 metres from the ground and right in the city centre.

Sainte-Chapelle Ticket Book your ticket to the Sainte Chapelle and discover an incredible piece of Gothic architecture with incredible stained glass windows.

Mont Saint Michel Day Trip Visit Mont Saint Michel : a UNESCO World Heritage site, place of pilgrimage and one of France’s most popular and emblematic landmarks.

Paris Layover Tour Take advantage of your airport wait to explore the City of Love with this Paris Layover Tour. Discover the most famous locations around the French capital.

Louvre & Eiffel Tower Tour This full tour of Paris includes a cruise on the Seine , a skip-the-line entry to the Louvre Museum and a climb to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower Tickets and Seine Cruise With priority access , climb directly to the Eiffel Tower’s observation decks and admire breath-taking views over Paris and then enjoy a relaxing cruise.

Paris Bike Tour Spend a fun-filled day cycling through the French capital and discover the City of Lights’ most emblematic landmarks on this bike tour of Paris .

Paris Mysteries & Legends Free Tour On this Paris Mysteries & Legends Free Tour , you'll learn about the city's countless squares and alleyways that have witnessed murder, plagues and war!

UNESCO Headquarters Guided Tour Discover the history of the United Nations agency with this UNESCO Headquarters Guided Tour. Explore its conference rooms, courtyards, gardens and corridors.

Paris Pantheon Ticket Discover the fascinating Paris Pantheon, the final resting place of Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas and other distinguished French citizens.

Stade de France Tour This Stade de France tour takes you to Saint-Denis, where you can find this icon of sport which has played host to World Cup finals in both Football and Rugby.

Paris Hop-On-Hop-Off Boat Sail along the Seine River on board a Batobus , Paris’ hop-on hop-off boat, and disembark and embark as many times as you wish for 24 or 48 hours .

Saint German des Prés Classical Music Concert Enjoy the best classical music with a concert in the church of Saint Germain des Prés , located in the heart of the historic centre of Paris.

Go City Paris All-Inclusive Pass The Go City Paris Pass includes entry for 2, 3, 4, or 6 days to over 35 top attractions in Paris , including the Eiffel Tower and a sightseeing river cruise.

Access  the Eiffel Tower and admire breathtaking views over Paris . You'll be able to go up to the 2nd floor and take in the immense beauty of this city!

Skip the Line Louvre Museum Guided Tour Explore the most-visited museum in the world with fast track entry and find out about its greatest artworks with a professional English-speaking guide.

Dinner Cruise on the Seine Admire the remarkable monuments of Paris lit up while you savor a gourmet dinner on a panoramic Seine cruise  – an unforgettable experience!

Paris Open-Top Big Bus Night Tour On this open-top Big Bus night tour of Paris , you'll have a spectacular view of the City of Light. You'll see the city's most iconic monuments lit up!

Eiffel Tower 3rd Floor Entrance This entrance to the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower gives you access to one of the best viewpoints in Paris. You'll get spectacular views of the City of Light .

Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie Ticket Visit two of the most beautiful monuments in Paris on the same day and  save money with this ticket to the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie .

Seine River Cruise from the Eiffel Tower + Lunch Get ready for a Seine River cruise that starts right at the Eiffel Tower , enjoy delicious French cuisine, and see Paris from an unbeatable vantage point.

Private Tour of Paris By booking our private walking tour of Paris, a professional guide will be exclusively at the service of you and your friends or family.

Notre Dame Guided Tour Discover what happened in the Notre Dame fire, explore the interior of its "little sister" and tour the Ile de la Cité, the oldest part of Paris.

Lunch Cruise on the Seine Enjoy a delectable 3-course meal and admire the panoramic views of Paris from the Seine. The perfect way to discover this romantic city.

Paris Duck Boat Tour Explore Paris in a unique way on our duck boat/bus tour ! You'll discover  Paris's iconic landmarks both on land and in the water . An absolute must!

Centre Pompidou Tickets These Centre Pompidou Tickets mean you'll see one of the best collections of modern and contemporary art in the world .

L'Orangerie Museum Ticket With this ticket to the L'Orangerie Museum you'll admire an impressive collection of impressionist paintings, including some of Monet's best-known works .

Conciergerie Ticket A royal medieval palace turned into a prison during the French Revolution : discover the history of the Conciergerie during your visit!

Claude Monet's House & Gardens in Giverny Tour Giverny is a picturesque village located one hour away from Paris. Visit Claude Monet’s house and beautiful garden and dive into the Impressionism movement.

Roland Garros Stadium Tour On this guided tour of the Roland Garros stadium, you'll be able to take look inside this iconic site where so many tennis champions have made history .

Loire Valley Castles Day Trip Visit three of the Loire Valley’s most-famous castles: Château de Chambord, Château de Cheverny, Château de Chambord and experience life during the Renaissance.

Christmas Bus Tour in Paris On our Christmas Bus Tour in Paris , you'll discover how the City of Light decks the halls for the most magical time of the year.

Sacred Heart Basilica Guided Tour Discover one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris , located in Montmartre, with this Sacred-Heart Basilica Guided Tour. An architectural work of art awaits!

Night Bike Tour Spend an unforgettable evening contemplating the beautifully lit landmarks of Paris on this 4.5-hour bike tour , including a boat cruise along the River Seine.

Grevin Museum Paris Ticket At the Grevin Museum in Paris, you will find wax figures of Kylian Mbappe, Emmanuel Macron, Jean-Paul Gaultier and other famous celebrities.

Hard Rock Cafe Paris Lunch or Dinner Enjoy a delicious experience at one of the most popular places in the French capital with this Hard Rock Cafe Paris Lunch or Dinner, near the Opera Garnier.

In this perfume workshop in Paris , we'll teach you how to make your own Eau de Toilette following the techniques of Fragonard experts.

Enjoy a night on the town in the city of lights , allowing yourself to be carried along by the rhythm of the music, and the shots, of course!

Vincent Van Gogh Walking Tour On this guided tour you'll walk in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh . We'll visit Auvers-Sur-Oise to discover the place where the painter spent his final year . 

Chapelle Expiatoire Ticket Dedicated to Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, the  Chapelle Expiatoire is an incredible place to visit when in Paris.

Paris Gourmet Bus Tour Sample the local cuisine and visit the must-see sights of the city of lights with this Paris Gourmet Bus Tour. Explore the French capital on a luxurious bus.

Chateau de Vincennes Ticket Discover the fascinating history of  Château de Vincennes , one of France's magnificent medieval treasures , when you buy this ticket.

Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour Find about the Parisian art of living with this Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour. You'll enter a traditional wine cellar to learn how to taste the best French wines.

Paris Tour for Families Our family tour of Paris is the perfect way to explore the essential landmarks of French capital if you have young children.

Basilica of Saint-Denis Ticket Discover the first example of Gothic architecture in the world: explore the magnificent Medieval Basilica of Saint Denis  located just outside of Paris.

Père Lachaise Cemetery Tour Take our fantastic tour of Pere Lachaise Cemetary, the resting place for many notable figures from the past, such as Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.

Versailles Bike Day Tour Explore the magnificent Palace of Versailles , the main residence of the French Royal Family from 1682 until 1789, on a full day-tour by bike!

Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac Ticket With this ticket to the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac , you'll visit one of the most outstanding anthropological collections in Paris!

Dinner at Madame Brasserie, the Eiffel Tower's Restaurant This dinner at Madame Brasserie provides for an unforgettable evening  as you see  Paris illuminated from the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower .

Montmartre: Lost Lovers Puzzle Hunt On this Lost Lovers Puzzle Hunt in Montmartre , you'll solve puzzles on an app that'll take you on a walking tour through the bohemian district of Paris!

Fontainebleau Forest Hiking Tour Venture into the heart of the Fontainebleau Forest on this 8-mile hike . You'll discover the unique biodiversity of one of the largest forests in France!

Traditional French Bakery Tour Do you know the boulangeries of Paris ? In this visit to a typical French bakery , we'll discover one of these places that characterise the capital.

Paris Crazy Horse Cabaret Ticket Be enthralled by an unforgettable show and book your Paris Crazy Horse Cabaret Ticket. You'll experience Paris' most famous and glamorous cabarets.

Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Tour Discover one of the hidden jewels of Paris with this Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Tour. Learn about the history of the

Paradis Latin Dinner and Cabaret Let the glamour of the  French CanCan  seduce you as you enjoy  Paradis Latin , a   grand cabaret  in the heart of the Latin Quarter of Paris .

Classical Music Concert in Paris: La Madeleine Enjoy a classical music concert in one of the most famous churches in Paris : La Madeleine! Choose between any of the concerts on our programme list.

Paris Segway Tour Ever been on a Segway? Spend a fun-filled two hours discovering the City of Lights on a two-wheeled electric vehicle with a guide.

Lunch at Madame Brasserie, The Eiffel Tower's Restaurant At this  lunch at Madame Brasserie you'll enjoy an exquisite menu in the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower , with Paris at your feet!  

Hôtel de la Marine Ticket With this ticket to the Hôtel de la Marine , you'll visit a spectacular  18th-century palace located in the central Place de la Concorde in Paris

Tootbus Sustainable Bus Tour During this sightseeing tour of Paris , you can enjoy the city's iconic landmarks on board the eco-friendly Tootbus . Hop on or off whenever you want!

Galeries Lafayette Guided Tour On this guided tour, you'll visit  Paris' most famous department store ,  Galeries Lafayette , outside of its opening hours. It dates back to 1912!

Macaron Workshop at Galeries Lafayette Do you love baking? Join this macaron-making workshop at Galeries Lafayette and learn how to make these sweets in Paris' most famous department store!

​ Come and discover the Yves Saint Laurent Paris Museum before it opens to the public , for an exclusive guided 1 hour and 15 minutes tour.

2 Day Trip to Normandy, Saint Malo & Mont Saint Michel Set off on a 2-day tour and discover the magnificent landscapes of Normandy  including the region's must-sees like Saint-Malo and the iconic  Mont Saint Michel .

Paris Christmas Bike Tour Merry Christmas! Or as the French would say, Joyeux Noël! Explore the city of light during the most special time of year with this Paris Christmas bike tour .

Classical Music Concert at Saint-Sulpice Don't miss this classical music concert at the Church of Saint-Sulpice . Listen to an incredible repertoire in one of the most outstanding temples in Paris!

3 Day Trip to Normandy, Mont Saint Michel & Loire Valley Discover the highlights of Normandy like Mont Saint Michel and the Loire Valley including its famous Châteaux on a three-day trip from Paris.

2 Day Trip to Mont Saint Michel & the Loire Valley Castles Travel back in time to the Middle Ages and Renaissance period on a 2-day trip to Mont Saint Michel and visit the impressive Loire Valley Castles .

The most complete guide of Paris

This guide gives you an overview of what to see and do in Paris during your stay . It also provides historical background, and other useful information, as well as  our opinion, advice, and suggestions on how to make the most of your holidays in Paris .

The information provided in this guide was updated in  October 2022 . If you find a mistake or would like to make a suggestion, please do not hesitate to  contact us .

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paris tourist buildings

Tourists in Paris lament construction works

Paris (AFP) – Tourists can finally flock to Paris after two years of the Covid-19 pandemic but many are frustrated by the construction works spoiling views of famous sights such as the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame Cathedral.

Issued on: 16/06/2022 - 16:16 Modified: 16/06/2022 - 16:14

Monuments including the Louvre museum and Grand Palais are covered with scaffolding, wooden fencing or billboards as the City of Light gears up to host the Olympics in 2024, sparking disappointment in tourists looking for the perfect snap.

"It's a shame this area is under construction because it's also the most emblematic part of Paris," said Spanish tourist Eva Caro, as she wandered around the Trocadero esplanade overlooking the Seine river.

Every year millions of tourists head to Trocadero as it offers a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower -- used as a backdrop countless times by celebrities and fashion models.

But the lengthy renovation works on the esplanade, which are nearing their end, pepper the horizon with fences and make the hunt for the ideal photo for social media more challenging.

"Finally after Covid, we get to come here ... I don't know if this is a temporary construction or whatever but it's bugging me," said Tami Agmon, a doctor on holiday from Israel.

As the sun beats down on the dozens of tourists massed on the square, some climb a barricade to try and capture the iconic monument built by Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exposition in 1889.

"I think it's dangerous to have to go up (on the wall) because we could fall and it would ruin the trip," said Caro, who climbed up to get a snap with her hands making a heart around the Iron Lady.

-'Very disappointing'-

French tourist Francine Cabrier, who has come from the Alps where she works as a city hall employee, is even more annoyed.

"Frankly, it's very, very disappointing. It's a shame! To take a photo you need to be much farther away. It's a waste!" she told AFP.

Across the Seine at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, scaffolding around the monument in the midst of a makeover forced tourists Maria Paz Lindeman and Ernesto Silva to lean down for a low angle shot.

"We were just wondering which was the best side to not see so much scaffolding... There's no place where you can take the perfect picture," said Lindeman, a Peruvian schoolteacher.

It's a similar story in front of Notre Dame Cathedral, which is undergoing extensive renovation works after the 2019 fire that almost burned the Gothic monument to the ground.

"We were at the Eiffel Tower and our pictures were ruined a little bit because of the construction going on there but nothing as much as over here!" said American tourist Steven Engelberg.

-'Paris is Paris'-

Parisian monuments have opted for different techniques to ease the eyesore -- the Madeleine Church is covered with a billboard featuring Mont Saint Michel, while the National Assembly -- parliament -- opted to reproduce its own facade.

At the foot of the obelisk on the Place de la Concorde, tour guide Thierry Collegia told AFP he faces questions about the extensive construction works.

"I mainly tell them that it's because of the 2024 Olympics," said Collegia, adding that mostly tourists were delighted to be back in Paris.

"And there are so many monuments in Paris to admire that if some are undergoing building work, it's not such a big deal," he added.

Paris is clocking up visitor numbers that resemble those before the Covid-19 pandemic brought trips to a stop.

Some 12.1 million people visited the capital between January and May 2022, only three million fewer than during the same period in 2019, according to City Hall.

Colombian lawyer Gloria Ramirez, 56, said she did not regret crossing the Atlantic.

"We would have come anyway even if we had known about the construction works. It's not a problem -- Paris is Paris," she said.

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Culture , Paris , Travel

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paris tourist buildings

Fondation Louis Vuitton – by Romainbehar – Wikimedia Commons

4. The Louvre Pyramid in Paris

paris tourist buildings

The Louvre – by Christer Gundersen – Wikimedia Commons

5. Palais-Royal in Paris

paris tourist buildings

Palais-Royale – by Guilhem Vellut – Wikimedia Commons

6. Palais de Tokyo in Paris

paris tourist buildings

Palais de Tokyo – by Guilhem Vellut – Wikimedia Commons

7. Château de Versailles near Paris

paris tourist buildings

Château de Versailles – by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga) – Wikimedia Commons

8. Eiffel Tower in Paris

paris tourist buildings

Eiffel Tower – by Dietmar Rabich – Wikimedia Commons

9. Palais du Luxembourg in Paris

paris tourist buildings

Palais du Luxembourg – by Moonik – Wikimedia Commons

10. Villa Savoye in Paris

paris tourist buildings

Villa Savoye in Paris – by Rory Hyde – Wikimedia Commons

Natalie is a film photographer and is fascinated by both humans and astrology. She enjoys roaming the streets of Paris by foot, and is inspired by the city’s timeless, Bohemian flair and the soul in districts such as Le Marais and Menilmontant.

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The 22 Best Landmarks of Paris You Absolutely Must See

In Paris, there are many monuments that ha ve witnessed the extraordinary history of the city, and many constructions testify of this long-gone past. Some are famous and others are not; in many different districts, some are massive and others are humble, but they are all part of Paris’s and France’s history. We have selected the best landmarks to visit in the City of Lights.

Must-see Places in Paris

1) arc de triomphe.

Avenue Charles de Gaulle – 8th District

The arc of triumph

It is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. Built on the Place de l’Etoile, at one end of the Champs-Elysée, the Arc de Triomphe is one the biggest arches in the world.

It was built in 1806 to celebrate Napoleon Bonaparte’s victory in Austerlitz and was inspired by the Roman triumphal arch. However, it was designed on a much bigger scale than its model: it is 50 meters high, 45 meters long, and 22 meters wide. It stands as one of the most famous monuments in Paris.

Beneath the vault is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Under a continual watch, an Eternal Flame is turned on each night at 6:30 p.m. If you choose to visit this glorious monument, you can climb to the summit, from which you have a panoramic view of Paris, be it day or be it night. Inside, a museum explaining the Arc de Triomphe’s history will complete your visit.

Rate : Full rate: 13€ Reduced rate*: 9€

Free for EU citizens under 26, disabled people and their attendants and the unemployed

*For tourism professionals, young people (18-25 y-o) from non-UE country and foreign teachers

Access : Metro lines 1, 2, and 6, RER A in Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile Station

Book a visit of the Arc de Triomphe (skip the line tickets)

Buy the Paris PASS – Museums, Attractions and Transport within Paris

  • Unlimited use of the Parisian public transport network (metro zones 1-3, RER, bus, tram)
  • Admission to more than 60 museums and attractions
  • Skip-the-line entry for numerous activities

From €124 for 2 or 4 or 6 days →

2) Eiffel Tower

Champ de Mars, 5, avenue Anatole France – 7th district

Eiffel Tower

Of course, the Eiffel Tower is THE monument you have to see when you visit Paris. It has become the symbol of Paris. Initially built for Paris’ 1889’s World’s Fair, it became the icon of the city.

Looming over the city from its 312-meter height, the Eiffel Tower is visible from afar. After visiting the Tower itself, you can spend some time to admire the Champ de Mars and its garden at its feet.

The Eiffel Tower, quite obviously, attracts many visitors each day, and packs of swarming tourists are in a rush to admire it and have to queue up before getting in.

Fortunately, you can buy your tickets and cut the line instead of queuing up for hours.

When you go to the Eiffel Tower, you can climb up in two different ways: the bravest can use the stairs, and the others the elevator (which is also the only way to the third floor).

On the first floor, you will find shops; the Jules Verne is a beautiful high-class restaurant on the second floor; finally, the third floor offers one of the best views of Paris, and anywhere you look you will see the beauty of the French capital.

Rates : Lift entrance ticket (valid to 2nd floor): full rate 17,10€, 12-24 years 8,60€, reduced rate* 4,30€ Lift entrance ticket to top: full rate 26,80€, 12-24 years 13,40€, reduced rate* 6,70€ Stairs entrance ticket (valid to 2nd floor): full rate 10,70€, 12-24 years 5,40€, reduced rate* 2,70€

*For those between 4 and 11, the disabled and their helpers and the job seekers

Free for kids below 4 y-o

Access : Metro line 9 (Trocadéro station) and line 6 (Bir-Hakeim station)

Book a visit to the Eiffel Tower (skip the line ticket with a guide)

3) Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur

35, rue du Chevalier de la Barre – 18th district

The Sacré Coeur

Atop the hill of Montmartre, the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur is one of Paris’ emblematic monuments.

This building has one of the most astonishing views of Paris.

Nested upon its 130-meter high hill, the basilica, built in a Romano-Byzantine style, is an architectural masterpiece.

It is composed of four minor domes and a central dome culminating at 83 meters.

The most impressive part of this monument is its giant bell, one the biggest in the world.

The Sacré-Coeur was built in 1873 after a decision of the French National Assembly to build a place to commemorate the victims of the 1871 war opposing France and Prussia.

Apart from the view, the building holds much charm as well, and when you enter you will be struck by the beauty of the 480m² mosaic on the floor. You can also visit the crypt.

Finally, if climbing the stairs of Montmartre was not enough, you can choose to go even higher to the dome of the Basilica and admire the best view of Paris from its summit.

Rates : The entrance to the Basilica is free Dome & Crypt ticket: 8€; from 4 to 16 y-o: 5€ Dome: 6€; from 4 to 16 y-o: 4€ Crypt: 3€; from 4 to 16 y-o: 2€

Free for those below 4y-o

Access : Line 2, Anvers station; line 12, Abbesses station

For further information about the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, click here.

4) Army Museum – Les Invalides

129, rue de Grenelle – 7th district

Cannon in the Invalides

It was first created under Louis XIV to shelter the disabled soldiers of his army, but Les Invalides as we know it today was born in 1905.

It became the Army Museum and exhibits over 500,000 items over 8,000m².

This gigantic collection makes this museum the most important place of military history in France as well as one of the greatest in the world.

During your visit, you can admire the permanent collections of the museum, exposed in chronological order from Antiquity to World War II.

You will also find the Dome des Invalides (a church) and, inside, the heart of the Marquis of Vauban.

But what you came for must be the famous tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte the First, resting here beside his son Napoleon II, King of Rome.

Rates : Full rate: 14€ Reduced rate*: 11€

*For veterans, reservists, large families; for everyone after 5pm

Free for EU citizens under 26 y-o

Access : Metro lines 8 and 12, Invalides station; RER C, Invalides station

For further information about Les Invalides and the Army Museum, click here

Book your tickets to the Invalides

5) Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral

6, place du Parvis Notre Dame – 4th district

View on Notre-Dame

Located in the historic center of Paris, on the end of the Ile de la Cité, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most visited monument of the city.

Indeed, this architectural masterpiece shines over the entire district.

With its high towers which inspired Victor Hugo one of his novels, Notre Dame bears witness the history of Paris.

Its construction began in 1163 and it took nearly two centuries to finish it.

It is a must-see in Paris. The sound of the bells will guide you to it, with their such charm that “it’s said to be the soul of Paris setting ablaze when they ring.”  Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Through the centuries, Notre-Dame often was at the heart of major historical events.

Including the wedding of Henry IV of France and Marguerite de Valois in 1572 and the funerals of the greatest of men or the coronation of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1804, many important marks in French history took place at Notre-Dame.

When you visit the Cathedral, you will learn of these historical nuggets, and will probably fall in love with the 13th-century stained-glass and rose windows.

The indoor decoration and the 43-meter-high ceiling are gorgeous as well.

You can also see Notre-Dame’s treasures and climb up the stairs to enjoy the wonderful view from one the towers, at no less than 69 meters in height.

Update August 17, 2022 : Due to it being rebuilt, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is currently closed to the public. The end of the construction is planned for 2024. You can still walk up to -and around- it in order to enjoy its beautiful architecture which still qualifies it as one of Paris’ iconic monuments.

Rates : The entrance is free Climbing up to the towers costs 10€

Visiting the tower is free for citizens of the EU under 26 y-o, disabled people and their attendants, job seekers and those receiving minimum social benefits

Metro line 4, Cité station or Saint-Michel station

RER B and C, Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame station

For further information about Notre-Dame de Paris, click here

6) Centre Pompidou

Place Georges Pompidou – 4th district

Pompidou center

The Centre Pompidou is an architectural wonder designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers.

It is a 20th century building with a futuristic design that is now part of the 4th district’s identity.

The museum hosts various temporary art exhibits such as Dali’s pieces, for example.

The outdoor escalators and the big colorful pipes make it an unmistakably unique building in Paris.

The Centre includes the National Museum of Modern Art, a worldwide reference for its collections of the 20th and 21st century pieces.

There are different tributes to different arts, such as music, design, or cinema in the Centre.

Georges Pompidou was President of France from 1969 to 1974 and wished to give French art a new place on the international stage and open it to the masses. Mission accomplished.

Rates : Museum and exhibits: 14€ (museum, exhibits, and view of Paris) Reduced rate: 11€

Free for EU citizens under 26 y-o, disabled people and their attendants, journalists…

Access : Metro lines 1, 4, 7, 11 and 14, Chatelêt les Halles station; RER A, B and D, Chatelet les Halles station.

Book a visit to the Centre Pompidou (skip the line tickets)

99, rue de Rivoli, 1st district

The Louvre museum

The Louvre is probably  the most famous museum in the world.

It was the palace of the kings of France and, through its numerous collections, it allows you today to discover occidental art from Middle Ages to 1848, as well as antique civilizations.

There are major sculptural masterpieces, such as the Winged Victory of Samothrace or the Venus de Milo, or paintings like The Raft of the Medusa of Géricault.

We advise you to prepare your visit by checking the Museum’s website: the Louvre is so big you can easily get lost, both figuratively and literally.

And of course, you can admire the portrait of Lisa Gherardini, better known as the Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci.

La Gioconda is representative of the museum; it is a painting full of mysteries, just like the Louvre itself.

Rates : Free for children under 18 and for EU citizens under 26 Full rate: 15€

Access : Metro line 1, Palais Royal/Musée du Louvre station

Book a visit to the Louvre Museum

  • Unlimited use of Parisian public transport network (metro zones 1-3, RER, bus, tram)
  • Skip-the-line entry for many activities

8) Musée d’Orsay

1, rue de la Légion d’Honneur – 7th district

Clock of the Orsay Museum

On the left bank, just in front of the Tuileries, stands the Musée d’Orsay .

The museum occupies an old railway station built for the 1900 Paris World’s Fair of 1900, which makes it an exceptional place for exhibits.

You can enjoy occidental art ranging from 1848 to 1914. While not as famous as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay also has a very impressive art collection.

It hosts the most important Impressionist and post-Impressionist art collection in the world with more than 900 paintings.

Occasional temporary exhibits show off a particular artist’s work or artistic trend.

The Musée d’Orsay is a must-see, and even while hidden in the shadows of the Louvre, it is an essential display of art in France.

Rates : Free for children under 18 and for EU citizens under 26 Reduced rate for people under 26: 13€ Full rate: 16€

RER C, Musée d’Orsay station

Metro line 12, Assemblée Nationale station

Book a visit to the Orsay Museum

9) Palais Garnier

8, rue Scribe – 9th district

Palais Garnier opera house

Looming over the Place de l’Opéra, the Palais Garnier , also called Opéra Garnier, is definitely a must-see for anyone visiting Paris.

Its architecture and design were elaborated during Napoleon III’s reign, hence the typical 19th Century style of the building.

Inside, the statues of two women holding torches welcome the visitors.

You can then admire the Bassin de la Pythie and the Grand Escalier leading to the famous vault of the Palais Garnier.

The vault is over 30 meters high and is both colorful and bright due to the various types of marble it’s made of.

You can also discover the history of this sanctuary of Parisian art.

The Palais also organizes events about opera and fashion.

Finally, the Palais Garnier’s auditorium is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Rates : Full rate: 12€ Under 26 years old: 9,50€ Free for job seekers and those under 12 years old

Metro lines 3, 7, and 8, Opera station

RER A, Auber station

Book a visit of the Opéra Garnier

10) Place Vendôme

356, rue Saint-Honoré – 1st district

The Vendome Column

This square is very typical of classical French urbanism, with the famous Vendôme Column erected in its center in 1810.

It is also called the Austerlitz column, and it stands in the 1st district panorama, with a statue of Napoleon dressed as Caesar on the summit.

It is considered to be one of the most luxurious squares in Paris.

Designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, it shines upon the whole world.

As a center of French jewelry craft, and with the Rue de la Paix and its many couturiers it symbolizes French refinement.

Rate : Free

Access : Metro lines 7 and 4, Pyramides station

11) Panthéon

28, Place du Panthéon – 5th district

The Parisian Pantheon

The Panthéon stands proudly in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Atop the hill of Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, it looks down upon the 5th district.

More or less inspired by the Pantheon of Rome, the Parisian Pantheon was built as a memorial.

Indeed, the crypts are home to the graves of the greatest French celebrities which marked the country throughout history.

You will find such people as Rousseau, Voltaire, or Alexandre Dumas.

A short text sums up the life and work of those who rest here.

When you come inside, you can also discover the Foucault pendulum, invented by Léon Foucault in 1851, which has once proven that the Earth does, indeed, rotate.

Rates : Full rate: 9€ Reduced rate: 7€

Free for citizens of the EU under 26 y-o, disabled people and their attendants, job seekers and those receiving minimum social benefits

Access : Metro line 10, Cardinal Lemoine station

For more information about the Panthéon, click here

Book a visit to the Pantheon

12) Grand Palais

Avenue Winston Churchill – 8th district

Wide view of the Grand Palais

Next to the Champs-Elysées, the Grand Palais has fascinating dimensions: more than 77000m² are dedicated to various exhibits, which is equal to more than seven soccer fields.

It was built for the 1900 World’s Fair and is now one of the main exhibition centers in France.

The symbol of the Grand Palais is its gigantic 45-meter-high glass roof, in the same spirit as the rest of the building.

The architecture is typical of the eclectic nature of the “Beaux-arts- style,” and this building alone sums up the tastes of the Belle Epoque.

Besides its exhibits, the Grand Palais hides many other nuggets, such as the beehives on the roof placed there to increase awareness about how much such insects are essential to life on Earth.

Rates : Depend on the exhibit

Access : Metro lines 1 and 13, Champs-Elysées Clémenceau station

For further information about the Grand Palais, click here

Less-known and less-looked-for monuments of Paris

13) saint-jacques tower.

Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques – 1st district

Saint-Jacques Tower

At the heart of the 1st district stands a prestigious building you can see from afar: Saint Jacques Tower.

While not very well-known in Paris, the tower truly is magnificent.

Built in a gothic style, it is the only remnant of the Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie church.

From its 62 meters, the tower has been an important site of the right bank since the 16th century.

The guided tour lasts about 50 minutes, during which you will climb the steps of this monument.

The visit of the tower begins with its history, its origin, and difficult construction.

After several stops during the climb, to learn of the secrets of the tower, partly destroyed during the French Revolution, you can enjoy the astonishing view from the top of the tower.

Rates : Full rate: 12€ Reduced rate*: 10€

*Free for those under 18 y-o, students and job seekers

Access : Metro lines 1, 4, 7, 11, and 14, Chatelet station

14) La Conciergerie

2, boulevard du Palais – 1st district

View on the Conciergerie

This building in the heart of Paris and the 1st district has certainly witnessed history.

It is a beautiful palace built in the way of Gothic architecture, a remnant from past times.

This monument was rebuilt under Philip IV the Fair’s reign at the beginning of the 14th century.

From this original building remains only the Salle des Gardes (Guards Room), the Salle des gens d’Armes (Hall of the Soldier), and the kitchens, all of which are a valuable sample of 14th-century architecture.

Along the visit, you will learn the full history of this building which is one of the oldest in Paris. It was first a king’s palace then a jail, most notably during the French Revolution when Marie-Antoinette was locked up here.

A little-known place well worth a visit.

Rates : Full rate: 9€

Access : Metro line 4, Cité station

For further information about La Conciergerie, click here .

Book a visit to the Conciergerie

15) The Expiatory Chapel (Chapelle expiatoire)

29, rue Pasquier – 8th district

Courtyard of the Expiatory Chapel

The Expiatory Chapel is an old monument of Paris, but it is often neglected by the tourists, lucky you!

It is located in the 8th district, between Saint-Lazare train station and the Madeleine.

It is a memorial built upon the tombs of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, where they now rest after being guillotined in 1793.

Inside the Chapel, you will find statues of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

In front of the statue of Louis XVI they carved his will, written before his execution; and in front of Marie Antoinette’s statue, they carved the last letter she wrote to Madame Elisabeth, the king’s sister

The crypt is the best part of the monument: the altar from which Louis XVI was exhumed.

An unknown yet impressive place which Chateaubriand qualified as maybe being “the most remarkable edifice in Paris.”

Rates : Full rate: 6€ Reduced rate: 5€

Access : Metro lines 3 and 13, Saint Augustin station; Metro lines 8, 12, and 14, Madeleine station

For further information about the Expiatory Chapel, click here

16) Alpine Garden

Jardin des plantes, 57 rue Cuvier – 5th district

The Alpin Garden

Once called the “mountain plants garden,” the Alpine Garden is part of the magnificent Jardin des Plantes.

You may have to look for it, but it is an opportunity to wander a bit in a natural and original place.

Stretching over 4000m², the garden is a place of discoveries and preservation absolutely unique in Paris.

It includes plants from all around the world and stands out in front of the Parisian not quite so green background.

Rates : Free visit

Access : Metro lines 5 and 10, Gare d’Austerlitz station; RER C, Gare d’Austerlitz station

17) Japanese garden of the Buddhist Pantheon

19, avenue d’Iéna – 16th district

Jardin Japonais Paris Guimet

Hidden from the streets and the crowds in a small backyard of the 16th district, a Japanese garden awaits your visit.

Just behind the Guimet Museum and its important collection of Asiatic art, you can visit this unique place of Paris.

It is part of the Buddhist Pantheon (a part of the Guimet Museum), and this garden will amaze you.

It is free to enter, with a surface of 450m². It was built during the renovation of the building in 1991.

You will see giant bamboos, stone pavements, and a wooden bridge over a little stream.

Everything you need to relax is right there.

On the heights of the garden, you can admire the lodge designed by Japanese craftsmen and you may even try out a Tea Ceremony.

Access : Metro line 9, Iéna station

18) Catacombs

1, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy – 14th district

Skulls and bones in the catacombs

The Catacombs are huge Parisian ossuaries, stretching underground over 11 000m², inspired from the Catacombs of Rome.

The entry is Place Denfert-Rochereau.

Six million bones from different Parisian graveyards rest in this maze of 1.7km.

The vault is 1.80m high and the temperature about 14°C (57°F).

The tour is unsuitable for people with heart or respiratory problems, those of nervous disposition, and young children.

An original and fascinating tour for sure!

Please note that the exit is 36, rue Rémy Dumoncel.

Paris Catacombs are the most important necropolis in the world.

The remains of 6 million Parisians are stored here.

You will discover the Cemetery of the Innocents, with all their carefully organized bones.

Dozens of other rooms follow, paying a tribute to the dead, like the room dedicated to the victims of September 1792 or another only for those guillotined on the Place de la Concorde, such as Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette.

Rates : Full rate: 15€ Reduced rate*: 13€

*For large families, teachers, young people (18 – 26 y-o)…

Free for those under 18, art students, disabled people and their attendants, job seekers and those receiving minimum social benefits

Access : Metro lines 4 and 6, Denfert-Rochereau station; RER B, Denfert Rochereau station

Book a skip-the-line ticket to the Catacombs with audioguide included

19) The Wall of Love

place des Abbesses – 18 district

The wall of Love

The Wall of Love (in French, Le Mur des Je t’aime) was designed by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito, on a square Place des Abbesses.

This place is a must-see for every couple in Paris.

Just like the Pont des Arts and its padlocks (which have been taken off on June 1st 2016), the Wall of Love in itself is a symbol of Love.

Indeed, with its 40m² and 612 tiles,  311 “I love you”s are written in 250 languages.

It is a real tribute to love on Montmartre; according to the artists, the speckled with red tiles symbolize the broken heart of humanity that the wall tries to repair.

An original site, away from the usual agitation of Paris.

Rates : Free

Access : Metro line 12, Abbesses station

20) Statue of Liberty

L’Île aux Cygnes – 15th district

The Parisian Statue of Liberty

No, you’re not dreaming, this is indeed the Statue of Liberty in Paris … or rather, a smaller reproduction.

Much smaller than the original, this Parisian Statue of Liberty stands on the Île aux Cygnes, near the Pont de Grenelle (others exist in Paris: will you find them?).

Only three years after its big sister, this one was built in 1889.

Its back used to be facing the United States, which did not please Auguste Bartholdi. It was then rotated westward, looking at New Yorits in 1937, for the World’s Fair, 33 years after the artist passed away.

Rates : Free tour

Access : Metro line 6, Bir-Hakeim station RER C, Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel station

21) Arènes de Lutèce

49, rue Monge – 5th district

The arènes de Lutece amphitheater

This monument is one of the oldest in Paris; it was built during the 1st century.

The Arènes are now free to access for everyone, every day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Winter, and until 9 p.m. in Summer.

This old amphitheater in the Latin Quarter could host up to 15,000 spectators.

Current visitors can still see where the stage used to be.

This is, with the Thermes de Cluny, one of the only remnants of the Gallo-roman era in Paris.

Today, the Arènes are a famous place to visit and spend time on a sunny day, playing boules, soccer, or taking a nap in the grass.

You can also admire a birdhouse, which allows children to discover unknown birds.

Access : Metro line 10, Cardinal Lemoine, or metro line 7, Place Monge

22) Open Air Sculpture Museum

Quai Saint-Bernard – Square Tino Rossi – 5th District

scultpure in an outdoor museum

Located on the Quai Saint-Bernard, near the Jardin des Plantes, the open-air sculpture museum is an opportunity to stroll along the Seine.

This open-air museum is both amazing and intriguing.

It is solely dedicated to sculpture, but the works have no fences, so you can approach them, study them from every angle and even touch them …

Important sculptors decided to create a work for the museum, like César-Bru, Brancusi, and Nicola Schöffer. Besides, the museum offers a particularly great view over Notre Dame Cathedral and its island.

It’s open day and night.


I aim to share my tips and recommendations for the beautiful country of France. My goal is to help you plan your next adventure, whether it’s a weekend getaway or a once-in-a-lifetime trip. From finding the best hotels and restaurants, to discovering unique activities and sights, I’ve got you covered!

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Designed and constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (the World's Fair), the Eiffel Tower was always meant to be a temporary structure, but it has skirted demolition twice. The first time, in 1909, the tower was kept around because of its potential as a transmission tower (an antenna was installed atop the tower). Gustav Eiffel, chief architect of the Eiffel Tower, had a variety of scientific experiments tested on the tower with the hope that any discoveries would help prolong its lifespan. One of these included a wireless transmissions test, which the tower passed with flying colors. During World War I, the Eiffel Tower's transmission capabilities enabled it to intercept communications from enemies as well as relay intel to troops on the ground. The second time the Eiffel Tower was almost destroyed was during the German occupation of France during World War II. Hitler planned to get rid of the tower, but never ended up going through with his plan.

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U.S. News Insider Tip:  The Louvre is free for all visitors on the first Friday of the month after 6 p.m. (except in July and August), and all day on Bastille Day (July 14). – Laura French  

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Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) free

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. The cathedral remains closed to the public until further notice. It is set to reopen in December 2024. In the meantime, visitors can peruse a new exhibit that debuted in March 2023 called, "Notre-Dame de Paris: at the heart of the construction site." Located in an underground facility in front of the cathedral, the free exhibit highlights the ongoing construction work at the site, including the expertise of the workers, as well as some remains from the fire and works of art from the cathedral.

Like the Eiffel Tower , the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located along the picturesque River Seine , the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 12th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. Once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

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Popular Tours

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Champs-Élysées Champs-Élysées free

Musician Joe Dassin once sang "Il y a tout ce que vous voulez aux Champs-Élysées," which translates to "There's everything you could want along the Champs-Élysées." And he's right. Paris' most famous boulevard – stretching more than a mile from the glittering obelisk at Place de la Concorde to the foot of the Arc de Triomphe – is a shopper's mecca. Along its wide, tree-lined sidewalks, you'll find such luxury stores as Louis Vuitton and Chanel rubbing elbows with less-pricey establishments like Adidas and Zara.

While the Champs-Élysées is no doubt a shopping paradise, recent travelers noticed the price tags at most stores can be pretty high. And the more affordable options are constantly swamped with people. The Champs-Élysées itself is no different. Because this is such a famous street in Paris, expect there to be crowds galore, both during the day and the nighttime. Still, many travelers enjoyed taking in the Champs-Élysées' bustling atmosphere and observing both locals and tourists come and go. Some recent visitors said a trip to the Champs-Élysées is not complete without a stop at Ladurée, the city's famous macaron shop.

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Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe

Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées , the towering Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoléon to honor the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The arch, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is adorned with several impressive, intricately carved sculptures. Underneath the arch, travelers will find the names of the battles fought during the first French Republic and Napolean's Empire, as well as generals who fought in them. Travelers will also find the famous tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The unknown soldier currently buried there is meant to represent all the unidentified or unaccounted for soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. The flame that was lit when the soldier was laid to rest has not extinguished since it was initially lit in the 1920s, and is rekindled every night at 6:30 p.m. by a member of the armed services.

Aside from admiring the arch, visitors can climb to the top and take in the Parisian panorama. Most visitors are wowed by the immense size of the structure and recommend ascending to the top for the spectacular Paris views. Visitors caution that you'll have to wait in line to get to the top and the climb, which is made up of hundreds of stairs, can be a serious workout. Others strongly cautioned against trying to cross the roundabout to get to the Arc. Instead, take the underground tunnel near the metro that leads directly to the base of the structure.

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Latin Quarter Latin Quarter free

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're in the area, check out the Grand Mosquée de Paris, next to the Jardin des Plantes. It's a beautiful mosque with a hidden-away courtyard, and there's an atmospheric tearoom attached that serves Middle Eastern sweet treats. – Laura French

Architecture lovers should not miss the Latin Quarter. Also known as the 5th arrondissement, the Latin Quarter is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Paris. Its narrow cobblestone streets, winding whimsically through the larger city grid, recall its medieval history. Why does this densely packed neighborhood of attractions, shops and restaurants retain this unique character? It escaped Baron Haussmann's planning reform of the city, thus retaining a more ancient ambience.

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Best Paris Tours

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Paris Tours

18 Best Paris Tours of 2023: Food, Biking & More

April 10, 2023

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Seine River Seine River free

You won’t have much trouble finding the Seine, as it flows directly through the heart of Paris. The river is perhaps one of the most famous waterways in the world and an attraction in itself. It's also useful for more practical reasons: It flows from east to west, dividing the city into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Knowing where you are in relation to the Seine can help you find your way around during your trip.

For tourists, the waterway mostly serves as a photo backdrop, but it is a lifeline for locals. It's a reliable water supply, a major transportation route and vital for many kinds of commerce. It has also served as a source of sustenance for many fishermen dating back to the third century. In 1991, the Seine River was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural significance in both the past and the present.

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Musée d'Orsay Musée d'Orsay

U.S. News Insider Tip: Visit on the first Sunday of the month for free entry (when it’s also free to enter the Centre Pompidou, Musée de l'Orangerie, Musée du Rodin, Musée Picasso and several other attractions). – Laura French

Although the extensive Louvre may appear to get most of the Parisian limelight, recent travelers seem to enjoy the Musée d'Orsay more. Travelers say the museum is much more manageable than the often-overwhelming Louvre and note that there are also significantly fewer crowds here. Many visitors confidently report that you can easily get through this museum in a few hours. As for the art, travelers loved the museum's colorful collection of paintings as well as the building itself, with many calling the Belle Epoque architecture of the d'Orsay a work of art on its own.

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Classes & Workshops

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Paris French Bakery Behind the Scenes Experience

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Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) Luxembourg Gardens (Jardin du Luxembourg) free

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Pick up picnic provisions at a nearby farmer's market, such as Marché Raspail, to enjoy in the gardens. –  Ann Henson, Assistant Managing Editor

A warm-weather oasis that offers the simplest of pleasures, the Luxembourg Gardens provide ample green space (60 acres) for sun-soaking and people-watching, plus there are plenty of activities to keep kids entertained. When the city bustle becomes too overwhelming, meander around the paths and formal gardens, or just relax with a picnic. Kids can float sailboats at the Grand Basin, ride ponies, take a spin on the merry-go-round, or catch a puppet show at the on-site Theatre des Marionnettes. Adults might delight in the on-site Musée du Luxembourg, the first French museum that was opened to the public. Though with 106 sculptures to its name, including a replica of the Statue of Liberty, the Luxembourg Gardens could easily be considered an open-air museum itself.

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Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) free

Rising high above Paris, the Sacré-Coeur (meaning "Sacred Heart") looks more like a white castle than a basilica. Towering over the eclectic neighborhood of Montmartre (once a hangout for Paris' bohemian crowd), this Roman-Byzantine, 19th-century masterpiece is easily recognized by its ornate ivory domes. As blanched as it may appear on the outside, the basilica's interior is a sight worth beholding: The ceilings glitter with France's largest mosaic, which depicts Jesus rising alongside the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc.

You'll also likely be left in awe with the panoramic views found from atop the Sacré-Coeur's outdoor staircase. But for an even better photo-op, climb all 300 steps to the top of the dome. The dome is accessible to visitors every day from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Mass is held multiple times a day every day.

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Centre Pompidou Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited cultural sites in Paris. But keep this in mind – and recent travelers attest to this – if you're not a fan of modern art, you probably won't enjoy this museum. The Pompidou is all modern and contemporary art (think cubist, surrealist and pop art, among others). Even its exterior is a little "out there," with its insides (piping, plumbing, elevators, escalators, etc.) exposed on the outside.

Inside the inside-out museum, you'll find one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world (more than 120,000 pieces of art are in its complete collection). The most notable attraction within is France's National Museum of Modern Art, which features works from 20th and 21st-century artists. Here, you can find big names such as Matisse, Picasso and even Andy Warhol. Also within the Centre Pompidou is additional exhibition and entertainment spaces as well as a library, rooftop restaurant and cinemas.

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Jardin des Tuileries Jardin des Tuileries free

U.S. News Insider Tip: While you’re here, don’t miss Angelina, just across the street on Rue de Rivoli. This historic, belle epoque-style salon de thé opened in 1903 and serves excellent French delicacies and pastries alongside its famous, indulgently rich hot chocolate. – Laura French

Centrally located between the Louvre and the Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries is a free public garden that spans approximately 55 acres. Though it was initially designed solely for the use of the royal family and court, the park was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1991 (as part of the Banks of the Seine) and has been open to the public since the 17th century.

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Sainte-Chapelle Sainte-Chapelle

Nowhere in Paris does stained-glass windows quite as well as Sainte-Chapelle. The panes – dating back to the chapel's construction in the 13th century – depict 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments of the Bible in vivid color. Sainte-Chapelle, which took just seven years to build, is a treasured example of French Gothic architecture and originally held Christian artifacts acquired by Louis IX. The building underwent a rigorous restoration between 2008 and 2014 and now welcomes visitors every day of the year except Christmas Day, New Year's Day and May 1 (France's Labor Day). Admission costs 11.50 euros (about $12) per person ages 18 and older. Audio guides are available in English (among other languages) for an additional 3 euros (about $3.50). 

Recent travelers say the chapel is a true masterpiece and not to be missed, though some visitors did note it was smaller than they anticipated. Still, they say it's worth taking your time to have a closer look at each of the stained-glass windows, as they all tell a different story. Some travelers also recommended touring the Conciergerie next door, a palace turned prison that was erected in the 14th century. If you plan to tour both sites, consider purchasing a joint ticket for 18.50 euros (about $18.50).   

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Water Tours

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Pantheon Pantheon

Situated in the Latin Quarter – or the 5th arrondissement – of Paris, the Panthéon is a large church and burial ground with a storied history. The structure was completed in 1790 at the start of the French Revolution, and it served as a mausoleum, a church and an art gallery throughout its early years. In 1851, scientist Leon Foucault installed the Foucault pendulum within the building to demonstrate the rotation of the Earth. The pendulum was removed and replaced a number of times, and a replica was installed in 1995 and is still in operation today. The Panthéon also contains a crypt where a number of important historians, philosophers, scientists and writers are buried, including Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Marie Curie.

Most recent travelers loved seeing the museum's noteworthy gravesites and Foucault's pendulum. They also recommended taking a dome tour for exceptional views of Paris; you’ll see the Eiffel Tower from the top, as well as many other well-known landmarks. Still, some visitors said the admission fee is too high.

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Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris

A masterpiece of architectural opulence, the Opéra Garnier – also known as the Palais Garnier – still exudes the opulence it radiated in the late 1800s. This palpable sense of intrigue and mystery that permeates the opera is due in part to its awe-inspiring Old-World interiors as well as Gaston Leroux, the author of "Phantom of the Opera," for which the Garnier served as his inspiration. Leroux claimed the phantom was indeed real, successfully incorporating real life opera occurrences (such as the chandelier falling and killing a bystander) into his fiction. The Garnier's lack of a robust historical record, as well as Leroux's writing talents, have left many wondering if there really was a dweller that lurked beneath the opera. Staff have claimed otherwise, but say with the opera's very real underground "lake" (water tank), it's easy to see how the story could be so convincing. Without Napoleon III, who was responsible for commissioning the opera, Leroux's tale may never have never come to fruition.

The best way to fully experience the Palais Garnier is by purchasing a ballet or opera ticket. Remember to book your tickets several months in advance, as performances are highly coveted. If you won't be in town for a performance or aren't up for forking over the oftentimes high price of a performance, you can explore the building's magnificent interiors on your own.

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Le Marais Le Marais free

U.S. News Insider Tip: On Place des Vosges, Paris’s oldest square, you’ll find the former house of Victor Hugo, which is now a museum that’s free to enter. – Laura French

Straddling the 3rd and 4th arrondissements (districts), Le Marais is one of Paris' oldest and coolest districts – so cool, in fact, that French writer Victor Hugo (author of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "Les Misérables") called it home. With all of its cobblestone streets, stately stone architecture and tucked away courtyards, it's easy to feel as if you're strolling through medieval Paris. Back in the day, Le Marais housed some notable French royalty. King Henry IV was the one responsible for the construction of the Place des Vosges, Paris' oldest square. And Louis XIV called this neighborhood home for a while until he decided to move his family and court to Versailles . Much of Le Marais also survived the destruction of the French Revolution.

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Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles) Versailles Palace (Chateau de Versailles)

U.S. News Insider Tip: In summer, the palace hosts weekend fountain shows in the gardens, featuring music and special effects; come on a Saturday night to see the best, with grounds lit up to magical effect and a firework display at the end. – Laura French

The Château de Versailles, the sprawling palace and former seat of power, is located 10 miles southwest of Paris in Versailles. Every year, nearly 10 million travelers make the trek from Paris to bear witness to the chateau's world-famous grandeur in person. But between all of the gold figurines, dramatic frescoes and cascading crystal chandeliers you'll no doubt find in bulk throughout the chateau, you might be surprised to learn that King Louis XIV's extravagant former residence had pretty humble-ish beginnings.

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Musée Rodin Musée Rodin

A hidden jewel in the city, the Musée Rodin is actually the former residence of famed 19th-century sculptor Auguste Rodin. But in the place of furniture and kitschy lawn ornaments are Rodin's emotive sculptures, including The Walking Man, The Kiss and The Thinker, among many more. In addition to the sculptures, the museum houses 8,000 of the artist's drawings in its collection – a fraction of those are on display –  as well as an area dedicated to the work of his muse and mistress, artist Camille Claudel. Visitors will also get to view pieces from the Rodin's personal art collection, including paintings by Van Gogh.

Recent travelers found Rodin's sculptures to be nothing short of stunning, and highly recommend a visit even if you don't consider yourself an art buff. Another big favorite, and for some visitors as much of a highlight as the art, were the beautiful on-site gardens. To travelers, the gardens, in combination with the museum's manageable size, created a serene and peaceful atmosphere not easily found at other top Parisian museums.

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Art & Culture

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Saint-Germain-des-Prés Saint-Germain-des-Prés free

The arts abound in Paris. Although visual art gets the most attention here, the city is also a historic literary center. Saint-Germain, in the 6th arrondissement, is known as a 19th- and 20th-century intellectual hub. Here, great writers, thinkers and artists mixed and mingled in their homes and nearby establishments. Anyone battling writer's block will want to spend an afternoon wandering its picturesque streets, stopping by famous literary cafes or enjoying one of the museums located in the neighborhood's borders.

After filling your mind at the Musée Delacroix, Musée du Luxembourg or Musée de Mineralogie, unwind at Les Deux Magots or Café de Flore. The former was visited by everyone from Ernest Hemingway, Simone de Beauvoir, James Joyce, Jean-Paul Sartre, and more recently, Julia Child. Nearby Café de Flore opened in the 1800s as well, and claims visitors from Leon Trotsky to Albert Camus to Picasso. Sartre worked from here – using the space as a historical Starbucks – while New Wave celebrities like Bridget Bardot or fashionista Karl Lagerfeld graced its seats later on, in the 1960s. There are plenty of mouthwatering pastry shops and bridge views, too. Recent visitors noted that this is a perfect neighborhood for strolling, shopping or staying – there are plenty of upscale hotels . Many of the best Paris tours also include guided walks through the neighborhood.

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Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann free

Whether or not you plan to shop, the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann department store is a sight to be seen. What started as a small novelty shop in 1893 has since grown into an approximately 750,000-square-foot megastore containing hundreds of brands, from budget-friendly options like Levi's and Carhartt to high-end labels like Prada and Cartier. And while you might be dazzled by the unending collection of fashionable goods, don’t forget to look up. The pièce de résistance of the luxury bazaar is the stunning neo-Byzantine glass dome 141 feet above the ground. There's also a glass walkway on the top floor of the building that allows the bravest of visitors to stand above all the action below. 

Several recent visitors called Galeries Lafayette the most beautiful shopping center in the world, pointing out that even if you aren't there to buy luxury products, the stunning building is a destination in itself. They also recommend going up to the roof of the complex (accessible from the eighth floor), which is open to visitors free of charge, to take in breathtaking views of the city below. From the roof, you'll be able to spot the Eiffel Tower , Sacré Cœur and Notre Dame .

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Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris) Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes de Paris)

Not every inch of Paris is as romantic as you think – in fact, the Catacombs are downright chilling. Prior to the creation of the Catacombs in the late 18th century, Parisians buried their dead in cemeteries. But as the city continued to grow, burial grounds ran out of space, graves started to become exposed and stunk up surrounding neighborhoods. The limestone quarries located 65 feet beneath Paris eventually became the solution, providing ample and safe space for the city's deceased loved ones. It took years to move millions of bodies from all the Parisian graves.

Today, the solemn, skull-and-boned lined tunnels weave beneath the heart of the City of Love, beckoning to visitors with an interest in the departed. The catacombs stretch for miles all over the city, but visitors are only allowed to access about a mile's worth for 45 minutes at the Denfert-Rochereau (lines 4,6 and RER B) metro station. Trying to access the catacombs at any other entrance throughout the city is illegal. You'll want to wear sturdy footwear as the paths inside are full of gravel, uneven and even slippery in some sections. What's more, you'll have to descend 131 steps and climb 112 steps back up. As such, the catacombs are not wheelchair-accessible. And because of the attraction's unique nature and popularity, expect a queue.

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Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) Pere-Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetiere du Pere-Lachaise) free

A cemetery as a tourist attraction? If any city can pull it off, it's Paris. Covering nearly 110 acres of the 20th arrondissement (district), the Père-Lachaise Cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. It's also Paris' largest green space. Père-Lachaise is a maze of cobblestone pathways lined with leafy, cascading trees which perfectly shade the striking 19th-century burial chambers that permeate the grounds. Aesthetics aside, Père-Lachaise is one of the world's most famous burial grounds: Everyone from Oscar Wilde and Jim Morrison to Edith Piaf and Gertrude Stein can be found here. Make sure to pick up a map before you venture in, there are more than 100,000 burial plots here (exact estimates vary dramatically).

Travelers admitted the main reason they made the trek to Père-Lachaise was to visit the famous faces buried here, though after discovering the enchanting grounds, they were happy to stay and wander. Visitors found the architecture of the individual tombstones and burial chambers to be stunning, especially with the many dramatic statues included with the plots. Others particularly appreciate the overall peaceful atmosphere of Père-Lachaise. Because the cemetery is so big, visitors say it's unlikely you'll be sharing lots of space with fellow visitors or tourists at any given time.

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Bateaux Mouches Bateaux Mouches

For those who want to cruise down the Seine River , hopping on one of the six Bateaux-Mouches boats is a go-to option. Just about any meal you can think of is offered as you glide along the river – or as the company puts it, Paris's "most beautiful avenue." There are also hourlong cruise-only trips, for those who want to efficiently view some of the city's most iconic sights, including Notre Dame and the Musée d'Orsay . These cruises are among the best Paris tours . Combo tickets that include a bus tour or a cabaret show are also available.

Travelers who recently took a cruise loved the views from the boat and the informational nature of the tour. Many people took a night cruise, which was frequently lauded for its romantic atmosphere. However, a few visitors expressed disappointment with meal portions and the check-in process.

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Versailles Palace Priority Access Guided Tour

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Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting

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Musee de l'Orangerie Musee de l'Orangerie

An extension of Musée d'Orsay , Musée de l'Orangerie features a wide selection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. It is best known for its enlarged "Water Lilies" paintings by Claude Monet. The eight massive paintings are divided across two oval rooms that are filled with natural light from a glass roof. Monet increased the size of these paintings with the intention of fully immersing viewers in their beauty, especially after the hardships of World War I. Beyond the "Water Lilies" series, Musée de l'Orangerie houses the Jean Walter-Paul Guillaume collection, which features works by artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, Matisse and more.  

Museum visitors – especially Monet fans – said this gallery is a must-see. They were pleased to discover it was a relatively small building, meaning it can be seen fairly quickly if you short on time. The smaller space also translates to less crowds, which many museumgoers appreciated.

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Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck

U.S. News Insider Tip: Walk about 10 minutes around the corner and you’ll find the Montparnasse Cemetery – a fascinating alternative to Père Lachaise , home to the burial places of artists and intellectuals, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Samuel Beckett, Guy de Maupassant and Charles Baudelaire. – Laura French

The Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck claims to have the best views in Paris – and once you reach the top, it's easy to see why. The lower deck stands more than 650 feet high and overlooks major attractions, like the Eiffel Tower , through floor-to-ceiling windows. Travel another 32 feet upward to the rooftop terrace, and you'll find panoramic vistas of the City of Lights 365 days a year. On a clear day, you can see as far as 25 miles in every direction.

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Moulin Rouge Moulin Rouge

If you're looking for the famed Parisian nightlife experience, Moulin Rouge will likely fit the bill. The legendary cabaret club opened in 1889, wowing crowds with dazzling dancers, free-flowing Champagne and outrageous elements like a gigantic model elephant in the garden. With its rich history and extravagant performances, Moulin Rouge has become an important staple in the City of Lights.

On a night at the Moulin Rouge, visitors can be wined and dined while watching talented burlesque dancers adorned in feathers, rhinestones and sequins. (The costumes are known to be a bit risqué, so travelers should note that the venue may not be the most suitable for children.) While many recent travelers felt that the show was a spectacular must-see while vacationing in Paris, others felt it was overhyped and overcrowded. However, those who opted for the dinner show said the food was fantastic with top-notch service to match.

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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Parc des Buttes-Chaumont free

Paris is home to many beautiful public parks, where visitors and locals alike relax in grassy squares during periods of pleasant weather. Parc de Buttes-Chaumont's 61 acres boasts this – plus a lake, a suspension bridge and walking paths – and a dark history. Its name comes from the bare hill once occupying the site. Stone was mined here, sewage dumped and even horse carcasses discarded. When Napoleon III renovated Paris in the 19th century, it was selected as a large park site, and the artificial lake created. That transformation also washed away its medieval reputation as a gallows. Known as Gibbet of Montfaucon at that time, the bodies of people executed in the city were sometimes displayed here for months on end.

If you can put that history behind you, cross the Gustave Eiffel-designed suspension bridge, or ascend the hill with the Temple de la Sybille for beautiful views of Montmartre. Inside the hillside, quarrying created a cavern. Napoleon's park builders took the opportunity to add a human-made waterfall to the 65-foot-tall space. Summer visitors will especially enjoy the misty reprieve from Paris's heat and humidity.

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Conciergerie Conciergerie

Located next to Sainte-Chapelle , the Conciergerie was once a royal residence for various French leaders. At the end of the 14th century, King Charles V and the rest of the palace's inhabitants moved to new residences at the Louvre . The abandoned building was then turned into a new parliament and office space for the kingdom. However, during the French Revolution (and for many decades thereafter), the Conciergerie served as a prison compound to hold both political and common criminals. Most famously, it held Marie Antoinette, the fallen queen of France, in the weeks before she was executed by guillotine in October 1793. In the 19th century, Antoinette's cell was transformed into a chapel, and in 1914 the entire building was deemed a historic monument and opened to the public.

Recent travelers said the site is a delight for history buffs. Still, others noted that if you aren’t particularly interested in the French Revolution or Marie Antoinette, you may find the empty jail cells and barren halls a bit dull. All visitors are given a "HistoPad" (available in six languages) to help enhance their experience. The iPad allows visitors to see what the rooms would've looked like centuries ago with the help of augmented reality, 3D reconstructions and interactive functionalities.What everyone seemed to agree on was the medieval architecture, which is said to be stunning both inside and out.

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Food & Drink

Paris Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne Only or Dinner

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Rue de Rivoli Rue de Rivoli free

One of the most famous shopping streets in Paris, the elegant Rue de Rivoli is lined with neoclassical buildings housing designer boutiques, galleries, cafes and restaurants built into historic arcades. Named after Napoleon's victory at the Battle of Rivoli and stretching from Place de la Bastille in the east to Place de la Concorde, it's where you'll find the Louvre , the Jardin des Tuileries , Hôtel de Ville (Paris's elaborate city hall) and other attractions. It's also home to the Musée des Arts Décoratifs and the Bazar de l'Hôtel de Ville – an elaborate department store founded in 1856. Other shops range from affordable brands like Sephora, L'Occitane and Mango to high-end designer stores and local French boutiques.

Recent travelers highly recommended strolling along the street to browse its historic arcades and shops, and many were impressed by the elaborate architecture. They also enjoyed the quiet atmosphere; the street went car-free in 2020, with only pedestrians, cyclists, buses and taxis now allowed here (its former lanes have been turned into a wide bike path, so it provides a welcome respite from the city's at-times hectic traffic). Others said it was a great spot for people-watching, although some said the shops can feel a little commercial.

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Bois de Vincennes Bois de Vincennes free

U.S. News Insider Tip: Come in the summer to catch the Paris Jazz Festival, when the Parc Floral hosts performers from Paris and beyond. – Laura French

Used as a royal hunting ground from the 12th century, this scenic, easterly refuge is Paris's biggest park, sprawling nearly 2,500 acres (making it nearly three times larger than New York's Central Park , and slightly bigger than its westerly sister, the Bois de Boulogne). It's home to verdant woodland as well as the Parc Floral, a botanical garden with its own mini golf course and various other family-friendly attractions. You'll also find four artificial lakes in the park – boats are available to rent on the Lac Daumesnil – alongside the Parc Zoologique de Paris, several cafes and restaurants and the Château de Vincennes, a lavish former royal residence built in the medieval era.

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Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen free

Set on the northern edge of Paris and home to the highest concentration of antiques dealers in the world, this famous flea market is a must for anyone looking to browse and buy vintage treasures. Spread across twelve covered markets and five streets, the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen houses everything from 17th-century furnishings to vintage jewelry, designer clothes, art, books and beyond. When your feet need a break, there are also a handful of restaurants.

At its heart is the Marché Vernaison, an eclectic mishmash of nearly a million objects, spread across nearly 100,000 square feet and selling pretty much anything you can think of. Equally unmissable is the Marché Dauphine, which sells books, vintage records, clothes and more in a huge pavilion, and the Marché Paul Bert Serpette, an upmarket spot specializing in avant-garde interior design that's seen everyone from Julia Roberts to Mick Jagger grace its floors.

paris tourist buildings

Louis Vuitton Foundation Louis Vuitton Foundation

Open to the public since October 2014, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is the brainchild of the LVMH Group (which owns luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton) and famed American architect Frank Gehry. In addition to the art gallery, Gehry also designed the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles , among other renowned museums, university buildings and residences. Outfitted with curved panels of glass and smooth concrete, the foundation's daring and modern design stands out among Paris' abundance of centuries-old buildings. Inside, you'll find collections of modern and contemporary art housed in both permanent and temporary exhibits. The museum's goal is to promote art and culture on the outskirts of Paris, and it succeeds by attracting more than 1 million visitors each year. 

Though the museum is a bit off the beaten path in the Bois de Boulogne in the 16th arrondissement, visitors loved taking in the architectural wonder and its surrounding gardens, as well as the unique exhibits inside. One common criticism was that the building was a bit far from the nearest metro station (about a 15-minute walk), so keep that in mind when planning your visit.

paris tourist buildings

Musée Jacquemart-André Musée Jacquemart-André

Note that the museum is currently closed for renovations until September 2024.

There are seemingly endless opportunities to view art in Paris. With so many options, visitors can select their favorite type of art, architecture or neighborhood to explore. The Jacquemart-André Museum on Boulevard Haussmann – located less than a mile east of the Arc de Triomphe – offers the best experience to those who love opulent Second Empire-style architecture or Italian Renaissance art, Flemish masterworks, and 18th-century French art. Built toward the end of the 19th-century by Edouard André and his wife Nélie Jacquemart, the mansion bills itself as the finest private art collection in the city, displaying works in richly decorated period rooms.

paris tourist buildings

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Top 15 Monuments and Historic Sites in Paris

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kiszon pascal/Getty Images 

Paris is a city with a rich history that stretches back to the third century B.C. It is no surprise, then, that important Paris monuments and attractions are so numerous, breathtaking, and varied in terms of period and architectural style. From Roman-era ruins to post-World War II memorials, these famous sites and monuments in the City of Light are essential keys to understanding the city's elaborate and complicated past.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre

Dating to the 12th century, the  Notre-Dame Cathedral has long towered dramatically alongside the banks of the ​ Seine River , beckoning all to come to visit. With its intricate Gothic architectural details that took workers more than a century to complete, this landmark has become synonymous with Parisian religion and architecture .

Unfortunately, a fire that broke out on April 15, 2019, destroyed a large portion of the cathedral, including the iconic spire known as "la fléche" ("arrow") and the roof made of 800-year-old lumber known as "The Forest." The 13th-century South Rose Window—which was created and offered to the church by King St. Louis in 1260—the archaeological crypt at Notre Dame , and the 8,000-pipe La Grand Orgue (The Great Organ) survived the flame.

Visitors are not allowed near Notre Dame while it undergoes extensive reconstruction. While French President Emmanuel Macron believes the restorations could be completed by the 2024 Olympics Paris is set to host, architects estimate it may take between 10 to 15 years, realistically, to fully restore the building.

Eiffel Tower

Although many decried it as an eyesore on the city's horizon when it was presented as part of the 1889 World Exposition in Paris, the Eiffel Tower has become the city's most famous landmark as well as a beloved and enduring icon of the City of Light.

Located on the  Champ de Mars  in the  7th arrondissement  of midwest Paris, the Eiffel Tower is easily accessible on Line 6 or Line 8 of the Paris Metro via Bir Hakeim, Trocadero, or Ecole Militaire stations. If you can, avoid visiting at peak hours and on weekends, so you can make the most of your visit and really enjoy the ​ views from the top . The best times are just after it first opens and in the evenings.

The Louvre Palace and Museum

Housed inside the Palais du Louvre, which serves as a testament to its rich history spanning from the medieval period to the present, the Louvre Museum is one of the most famous art museums in the world, known for the iconic glass pyramid at its entrance.

Located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, the Louvre is centrally located and easily accessible on Line 1 from the Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre station or any number of buses that stop in front of the glass pyramid. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays as well as January 1, May 1, and December 25 each year.

Visiting Louvre's medieval foundation is fascinating. The adjacent Jardin des Tuileries  are perfect for a stroll before or after your visit to the museum. There is so much to see  at the Louvre, don't try to pack it into just one day .

Arc de Triomphe

TripSavvy / Taylor McIntyre 

The Arc de Triomphe is an icon of imperial France under Napoleon I and is a testament to a time when European leaders felt the need to celebrate wealth and power with monumental structures. Looming 164 feet above the bustling traffic circle at the head of the Avenue des ​ Champs-Elysées , the  Arc de Triomphe  seems to exemplify pomp and circumstance.

Located in the 8th arrondissement of Paris at the west end of the  Avenue des Champs-Elysées on the Place Charles de Gaulles, the Arc de Triomphe is accessible by Lines 1, 2, or 6 to Charles de Gaulle Etoile station. Guests of the arch can additionally purchase tickets for a tour to the top to witness views of the avenue, which stretches all the way to the Place de la Concorde, through the Jardin des Tuileries , and on to the Louvre.

The Sorbonne and Latin Quarter

One of Europe's oldest and most esteemed universities, the Sorbonne was founded in 1257 for scribes, monks, or other figures attached to the Catholic Church to pursue theological studies. In later centuries, the Sorbonne would go on to help produce some of Europe's most famous literary and creative minds, before becoming a site of revolt during the 1968 student movements.

Unfortunately, access to the Sorbonne is limited to students and faculty of the school, so you won't be able to get a tour unless you're planning to attend. However, since it's centered around a public square in the Saint-Michel neighborhood of the Latin Quarter of Paris, you'll be able to see it from the outside.

The Pantheon

Not to be confused with the Pantheon in Rome , Paris' Pantheon was built between 1758 and 1790. Located in the Latin Quarter, the Pantheon in Paris is a neoclassical-style mausoleum where many of France's great minds such as Voltaire, Rousseau, and Victor Hugo are buried.

The Pantheon is perched on top of the quarter's historic Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, and the colonnade of the dome is open to the public from April to October each year. Independent and group tours are available throughout the year for a small fee, and the Pantheon offers free admission on the first Sunday of the month from November 1 through March 31.

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

TripSavvy / Leopoldine Bauer

There are many beautiful cemeteries in Paris, but Père-Lachaise is one of the most popular and beautiful. In addition to hosting the graves of famous people like Oscar Wilde, playwright Molière, and Jim Morrison of the Doors, the cemetery is simply a gorgeous place to stroll and meditate. There are also important war memorials on the site that pay tribute to the many who perished in conflicts and wars.

The Père-Lachaise Cemetery is located in the 20th arrondissement near Belleville and Oberkampf, and entrances to the park are accessible from Metro Philippe Auguste, Père-Lachaise, and Gambetta on Lines 2 and 3. Guided tours and maps are available, which explain where to find the most famous gravesites.

La Sainte-Chapelle

Not far from Notre Dame on the Ile de la Cité looms another pinnacle of gothic architecture. Sainte-Chapelle was erected in the mid-13th century by King Louis IX. The cathedral features some of the period's best-conceived stained glass, housing a total of 15 glass panels and a prominent large window, whose colors remain surprisingly vibrant. Wall paintings and elaborate carvings place more emphasis on the stunning Medieval beauty of Sainte Chapelle.

To extend your visit, you can tour the adjoining Conciergerie, which was part of the former Medieval royal palace. It was used as a prison during the Revolutionary "Terror." Queen Marie Antoinette spent her last days there before being executed.

Opera Garnier

Seating close to 2,000 people, the imposing  Opera Garnier in Paris—also known as the Palais Garnier or simply the Paris Opera—is an architectural treasure and essential spot for the city's ballet and classical music scene .

Designed by Charles Garnier and inaugurated in 1875 as the Academie Nationale de Musique Theatre de l'Opera (National Academy of Music Opera Theater), the neo-baroque-style building is the home of the Paris ballet. The city's official opera company relocated to the starkly contemporary Opera Bastille in 1989.

Located in the 9th arrondissement, the Opera Garnier is open for tours on weekdays throughout the year (with varying hours). Tickets must be purchased in advance for most ballet and other performances.

Hôtel de Cluny and Roman Baths

The Hôtel de Cluny is a Medieval residence that now houses the  National Medieval Art Museum , Musée Cluny. The famous tapestry, "The Lady and the Unicorn," is displayed here. Situated in the historic Latin Quarter, not far from the Sorbonne, the Hôtel de Cluny boasts a Medieval-style aromatic garden that provides a pleasant spot for a stroll or for reading on a bench in the spring or summer.

The ruins of Roman Empire thermal baths can also be seen on-site. One of the museum's rooms, the tepidarium, was originally the "warm room" from the baths. Located in the very center of the Latin Quarter in Paris' 5th arrondissement, the Cluny Museum is within walking distance of several other sites including Sorbonne University, Sainte-Chapelle, and Jardin du Luxembourg.

Palais Royal Gardens

Situated between the Louvre and the Opera Garnier, Palais Royal is a Renaissance-style palace that was once the residence of the Cardinal Richelieu. Today, Palais Royal is occupied by luxury boutiques and restaurants as well as several government offices whose decor mix old-world charm with modern sentiments.

Located centrally in the 1st arrondissement, the stately Palais is a pleasant place to get a meal, do some shopping, or simply take a stroll in the accompanying gardens. While there, be sure to stop by the inner courtyard, known as Cour d'Honneur, to take in the quirky modern sculptures of Daniel Buren's "Les Deux Plateaux."

Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)

Sitting proudly in the center of the 4th arrondissement, Hôtel de Ville is the City Hall of Paris. Constructed on the vast plaza that was once called "Place de Greve," a site ​notorious for gory public executions during the Medieval period, this centerpiece of Parisian culture is a great addition to any trip.

The facade that covers Hôtel de Ville was built in 1873; however, some parts of the building are even older. The neo-Rennaissance Hôtel de Ville now hosts events throughout the year such as free exhibits, summer concerts, and ice-skating during the winter months.

Hôtel National des Invalides

Hôtel National des Invalides is a vast complex that was originally constructed in 1670 under the reign of Louis XIV as a hospital and convalescent home for injured soldiers. Part of des Invalides maintains this role today, but it is most famous for housing the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Additionally, the on-site Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) boasts a vast collection of military artifacts and an elaborate armory. Both des Invalides and the museum are open daily year-round—with the exception of several holidays and special closures—and entry is free for guests under 26 years old.

Saint-Denis Basilica

Just north of Paris in the working-class suburb of Saint-Denis, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint-Denis is one of the oldest sites of Christian worship in France. It's famous for its abbey, which serves as the burial place for 43 kinds and 32 queens who died as early as the fifth century. With its sculpted tombs and flamboyant Gothic details, this often-overlooked gem is worth a trip outside the city limits .

Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation

The Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation (Deportation Memorial) pays tribute to the 200,000 people who were deported to Nazi death camps from France during World War II. Erected in 1962 on the banks of the Seine across from Notre Dame on the site of a former morgue, the Deportation Memorial was designed by architect G.H. Pingusson to evoke a sense of claustrophobia and despair.

One part of the memorial features an "eternal flame of hope" and an inscription that states the following: "Dedicated to the living memory of the 200,000 French deportees sleeping in the night and the fog, exterminated in the Nazi concentration camps." Nearby, you can also visit the Museum of Jewish Art and History .

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