31 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Paris

Written by Lisa Alexander Updated Mar 21, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Whether sunshine is sparkling on the café terraces of Boulevard Saint-Germain, or melancholy mists of the Seine River are shrouding Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris has a way of romancing visitors. The love affair might begin with a first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, then continue with strolls along the wide tree-lined avenues and in lavish formal gardens.

View over Paris

The city is seductively beautiful. Each neighborhood ( quartier ) reveals its unique personality. The Latin Quarter is a small cluster of pedestrian streets and narrow medieval alleyways where bookshops vie for space with university students' cafés and eateries. The fashionable Champs-Élysées buzzes with energy. Outside the city center, Montmartre still feels like a country village and flaunts its bohemian past.

After seeing the museums and monuments, you will want to seek out the small surprises, like family-run bistros with handwritten menus; cobblestone lanes full of quaint shops; secluded squares adorned with flowing fountains; and elegant tea salons, where dainty jewel-like desserts beckon from glass-covered pastry cases.

In every hidden corner and at all the famous sites, Paris casts a spell of enchantment. One visit may inspire a lifelong passion.

Discover what makes the City of Light so captivating and learn about the best places to explore with our list of the top tourist attractions in Paris.

See also: Where to Stay in Paris

1. Eiffel Tower

2. musée du louvre, 3. avenue des champs-élysées, 4. musée d'orsay, 5. palais garnier, opéra national de paris, 6. cathédrale notre-dame de paris, 7. place de la concorde, 8. arc de triomphe, 9. hôtel de la marine, 10. jardin des tuileries, 11. seine river cruises, 12. musical concerts at sainte-chapelle, 13. bustling boulevards and legendary cafés, 14. jardin du luxembourg, 15. sacré-coeur and quartier montmartre, 16. panthéon, 17. place des vosges, 18. musée rodin, 19. place vendôme, 20. centre pompidou, 21. hôtel national des invalides, 22. domaine national du palais-royal, 23. place de la bastille, 24. place du châtelet and tour saint-jacques, 25. la conciergerie, 26. fondation louis vuitton, 27. parc de la villette, 28. paris plages, 29. cimetière du père lachaise, 30. parc des buttes-chaumont, 31. grande arche de la défense, where to stay in paris for sightseeing, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to paris, best time to visit paris, france.

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower (la Tour Eiffel) ranks high on the list of places to visit in France and is one of the most-visited tourist attractions in the world. So it's hard to believe that the structure was originally dismissed as a monstrosity. The innovative metal structure shocked Victorian-era audiences when it was unveiled by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exhibition of 1889 .

Whether loved or hated, the Eiffel Tower has always impressed. Reaching a height of 324 meters, the tower is comprised of 18,000 sturdy iron sections held together by 2.5 million rivets. Although no longer the world's tallest building, the Eiffel Tower has achieved the status of an icon.

For first-time visitors, seeing the Eiffel Tower is an unforgettable experience. Upon arrival at the esplanade, the sight of the four massive pillars that support this 10,100-ton monument leaves many awestruck.

Author's Tip : Purchase your tickets to the Eiffel Tower in advance online. You first choose a specific date and during the online process, you will reserve a specific time slot for the visit. (You must arrive on time.) Tickets sell out during high season (July and August), so you should purchase your tickets as far in advance as possible.

Base of the Eiffel Tower

When you arrive at the Eiffel Tower, you will first walk through the esplanade gardens. Then you will look for the correct queue (which will be labeled "Visitors with tickets"). The recently renovated gardens feature leafy trees and pedestrian pathways with close-up views of the Iron Lady.

To arrive at the Eiffel Tower's 1st floor (at 57 meters) requires an elevator ride or a walk up the 360 steps. This level has public restrooms, a gift shop, a cafeteria, a brasserie restaurant, and an open-air terrace space for admiring the views.

View of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

The 2nd floor (at 125 meters) of the Eiffel Tower is reached from the 1st floor by a staircase of 344 more steps or an elevator ride. This level has similar amenities as the 1st floor, except the viewing platforms offer a perspective onto more of the Paris monuments (such as the Notre-Dame, the Louvre, and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur).

A highlight of the 2nd floor, the Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne delivers exceptional haute cuisine in a dreamy setting. The restaurant's dining rooms feature expansive windows, which provide a peak of the Eiffel Tower's structural beams and glimpses of Paris cityscapes. You'll also find a buffet-style cafeteria and the Pierre Hermé macaron boutique.

To arrive at the top floor (276 meters in elevation) requires an exhilarating elevator ride from the 2nd floor. The staircases only go up to the 2nd floor, so climbing up to the top is not an option.

Visiting the top floor of the Eiffel Tower is one of the most thrilling things to do in Paris , but it's not for the faint of heart. When you walk out onto the compact viewing platform at this level, you are overwhelmed by the far-reaching views and strong gusts of wind. Up this high, it feels like another world, and you can no longer hear the noise of street traffic below.

View of Eiffel Tower from Jardins du Trocadéro

You definitely will want to spend some time taking photos of the Eiffel Tower. From either the Jardins du Trocadéro (a short walk across the Seine River) or the Parc du Champ de Mars (the lawns in front of the tower), there is just the right distance for picture-perfect photo-ops.

Address: La Tour Eiffel, Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris (Métro: Bir-Hakeim, Trocadéro, Iéna, or Passy station)

Louvre Museum at night

The Louvre is the most prestigious of Paris' museums and the crème de la crème of the city's cultural attractions. Besides its exceptional art collection, the building has a regal past: The Louvre was formerly the residential palace of France's kings.

Today, the Musée du Louvre displays thousands of artworks, many of which are considered masterpieces, from antiquities to European paintings of the 15th to 19th centuries.

It is impossible to see it all in one visit, but you can focus on a particular gallery, such as classical sculpture, Italian Renaissance art, or 17th-century French paintings, or take a self-guided tour to cover the Louvre Museum's highlights.

Of course, you will want to get a look at the Mona Lisa or La Gioconda (or La Joconde in French) painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503-1505. Many tourists breeze through the museum just to glance at this one piece, but there are other must-see works of art to admire even if time is limited.

Other masterpieces of the Louvre include the ancient Vénus de Milo sculpture; the monumental Victoire de Samothrace of the Hellenistic period; the immense Wedding Feast at Cana painting by Veronese (1563); Sandro Botticelli's Venus and the Three Graces fresco; and Liberty Leading the People (1831) by Eugène Delacroix, depicting the Parisian uprising of July 1830.

To get the most out of a visit to the Louvre, join a guided tour. The museum offers tours in multiple languages. These focus on the highlights and provide information on the palace.

The Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Tour is another option that also takes you straight to the museum's most famous artworks, including the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa . On this three-hour tour, a guide (who is an art historian) provides in-depth commentary about the masterpieces.

Author's Tips : Most visitors enter the museum in the courtyard of the palace at the Pyramid du Louvre , the glass pyramid designed by Ieoh Ming Pei in 1917. This entrance almost always has long lines. The wait is especially long without a timed entrance ticket. (See tips below for alternative entrances to the museum.)

Avoid the lines of the Pyramid entrance by going to one of the lesser-known entrances. If you already have a Louvre museum ticket or a Paris Museum Pass, head to the Carrousel entrance (99 Rue de Rivoli) where you likely can walk right in without waiting in line. You may save some time at this entrance if you haven't reserved a specific time slot for admission.

Purchase a museum pass : If you plan to visit multiple museums, you can save money and time by purchasing a Paris Museum Pass . The savings depends on how many museums you visit. The advantage is that you don't have to purchase a ticket at each museum. However, you still need to reserve a specific time slot (free of charge) to visit the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, and Château de Versailles (otherwise you may have to wait in line).

If you have not already purchased a ticket or Paris Museum Pass, you may use the Porte des Lions entrance on the 4 Quai François Mitterrand.

Address: Musée du Louvre, Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris (Métro: Palais-Royal Musée du Louvre or Pyramides station)

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Brimming with fancy boutiques and dining terraces, the Champs-Élysées epitomizes the fashionable panache of Paris.

You'd never guess that the most monumental boulevard in Paris used to be a desolate swamp. The marshland was converted into an avenue by renowned landscape designer André Le Nôtre in the 17th century. Two centuries later, the city planner Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann added the grey stone Mansard-roofed buildings that give the boulevard its classic Parisian look.

The Champs-Élysées is divided into two parts with the Rond-Point des Champs-Élysées as its intersection.

The lower part of the Champs-Élysées, bordering the Place de la Concorde , includes a spacious park, the Jardins des Champs-Élysées , and the Petit Palais fine arts museum. The upper part, extending to the Arc de Triomphe, is lined by luxury shops, hotels, restaurants, cafés, cinemas, and theaters. This bustling area draws many tourists and is a gathering place for Parisians.

The Champs-Élysées is famous for its prestigious establishments, such as Maison Ladurée (75 Avenue des Champs-Élysées), a pâtisserie boutique and tea salon that offers exquisite French pastries (macarons are the house specialty), and upscale designer boutiques like Tiffany & Co. (62 Avenue des Champs-Élysées), Louis-Vuitton (101 Avenue des Champs-Élysées), and Cartier (154 Avenue des Champs-Élysées).

For fine dining , the top choices are the legendary brasserie Fouquet's (99 Avenue des Champs-Élysées) and the swanky gastronomic restaurant L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon Étoile (133 Avenue des Champs-Élysées), which has one Michelin star.

Although the Champs-Élysées has an image of refinement, there are many affordable places that cater to tourists and students on a budget, such as Starbucks, Quick, Burger King, and McDonald's.

Address: Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris (Métro: Champs-Élysées Clemenceau station to visit the Jardins des Champs-Élysées and Petit Palais, Franklin d. Roosevelt station for Ladurée, George V station for the main shopping area).

Musee d'Orsay

You haven't seen the best of French art until you visit the Musée d'Orsay . The Musée du Louvre may hold the most masterpieces of European painting, but the Musée d'Orsay focuses on works by celebrated French artists including Monet, Renoir, and Degas.

If you love Impressionist art , this is the place to go. The Musée d'Orsay displays a splendid collection of 19th- and 20th-century art (created from 1848 to 1914).

Although the museum's inventory begins with 19th-century Realist paintings and landscape paintings, the highlight of the museum is the Impressionism collection. Also on display are Post-Impressionist works by artists such as Pierre Bonnard, Paul Cézanne, and Vincent van Gogh, and bohemian artists like Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

Some of the museum's famous paintings include Claude Monet's The Magpie , Gare Saint-Lazare, Poppy Field , and Luncheon on the Grass ; Vincent van Gogh's self-portrait and Starry Night ; and Renoir's Dance at Moulin de la Galette, which depicts a festive party scene in Montmartre.

You may rent an audioguide to take a self-guided tour. The commentary (available in English and French) covers over 300 works.

The museum also has a bookstore/gift shop, two casual cafés, and a fine-dining restaurant, which is worth the splurge. Formerly the Hôtel d'Orsay (a luxury hotel within the original Gare d'Orsay) and listed as a Monument Historique , the Musée d'Orsay Restaurant features gilded ceilings and sparkling chandeliers.

On the square in front of the museum, there is a kiosk that sells sandwiches and falafel.

Address: Musée d'Orsay, Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing 75007 Paris (Métro: Musée d'Orsay, Assemblée Nationale, or Solférino station)

Palais Garnier Opera House & the Bibliotèchque-Musée de l'Opera

Commissioned by Napoleon III in 1860, the Palais Garnier Opera House was designed by Charles Garnier in an exuberant Baroque style. Garnier worked tirelessly on the project for over a decade, from 1862 to 1875. Today, this show-stopping landmark is a symbol of Napoleon's Imperial regime.

Upon entering the building, you are dazzled by the lavish 11,000-square-meter interior. Much of the building's space is dedicated to the main foyer with its fabulous Grand Escalier , marble entrance staircase, adorned by ornate gilded lamps, and the Salon du Glacier , a sumptuous Belle Époque hall decorated with mirrors, Corinthian columns painted gold, colorful mosaics, and music-themed ceiling paintings.

The horseshoe-shaped auditorium has an intimate feel, although it can accommodate 2,105 people in its plush velvet seats. Gilded balconies, an enormous crystal chandelier, and a Chagall ceiling painting add to the theater's marvelousness, creating the perfect dramatic backdrop for ballet, opera, and music performances.

The Opéra Garnier hosts a prestigious calendar of events in addition to galas. Attending a performance is one of the most exciting things to do in Paris at night. It's a wonderful way to see the building's interior while enjoying a glamorous evening. Another option is to visit (entry ticket required) on a self-guided tour or take a guided tour during the daytime.

Connoisseurs of fine dining will be delighted to discover CoCo, a chic restaurant within the Opera House (entrance is at 1 Place Jacques Rouché) that serves contemporary French cuisine prepared from seasonal ingredients. CoCo offers lunch and dinner daily, as well as weekend brunch (every Saturday and Sunday) featuring musical entertainment. The garden terrace is open Tuesday through Saturday during summertime. Reservations are recommended.

Address: Palais Garnier, Place de l'Opéra, 8 Rue Scribe (at Auber) 75009 Paris (Métro: Opéra, Chaussée d'Antin-La Fayette or Havre-Caumartin station)

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (Photo taken prior to the April 2019 fire)

Despite the damage done by the 2019 fire, it is still worth seeing the Notre-Dame Cathedral. This awe-inspiring medieval monument stands at the heart of Paris on the Île-de-la-Cité, an island in the Seine River. To get here from the Latin Quarter , simply cross the Petit Pont bridge.

The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was founded in 1163 by King Louis IX (Saint Louis) and Bishop Maurice de Sully, and the construction took more than 150 years. The cathedral was first created in the Early Gothic style, while later additions (the west front and the nave) show the transition to High Gothic style.

View of the cathedral's facade during renovations

Note: A large fire in April of 2019 caused considerable damage to the cathedral: The medieval roof and the 19th-century spire collapsed. However, the monument was partly saved thanks to the work of hundreds of firefighters.

A project to repair the structure is underway. The city plans to rebuild the cathedral and restore it to its previous state. Restoration work is ongoing.

Currently, the interior of the cathedral (including the towers) and the space immediately in front of the cathedral (on the Parvis Notre-Dame) are closed to the public. A few steps away from the cathedral's facade, a section of the Parvis Notre-Dame (square) is now used for educational exhibits about the cathedral.

The Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral anticipates reopening in December 2024. A project to redesign the landscaping around the cathedral is scheduled for completion in 2027.

Until the reopening, the Notre-Dame de Paris congregation will celebrate Mass at the Eglise Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois (2 Place du Louvre) in the 1st arrondissement.

Address: Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Place Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris (Métro: Cité or Saint-Michel Notre-Dame station)

Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde stands at the heart of Paris both literally and figuratively. The square was created in 1772 by the architect of King Louis XV. During the French Revolution, the Place de la Concorde was the scene of state-ordered executions , including Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, among other victims of the guillotine. The square was also part of Napoleon's triumphal route.

One of the largest and most central squares in the city, the Place de la Concorde offers a sensational perspective of the city's landmarks. In one direction, you can admire the Arc de Triomphe and in the other, the Louvre, while the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the distance.

Two ornately decorated fountains and an Egyptian obelisk are found in the middle of the square. However, it's a bit of a hassle to get up close because you have to walk through heavy traffic. The Place de la Concorde is one of the busiest intersections in Paris.

Tip for Pedestrians : You will notice cars circulating the square at high speeds. French drivers don't always pay attention to pedestrians. Make sure to get out of the way of oncoming cars!

During summertime , the Place de la Concorde adopts a fairground ambiance, with a Ferris wheel gracing the square from June through August. The neighboring Jardin des Tuileries also has amusement park rides and fairground treats during summertime.

To arrive at the Place de la Concorde, walk from the Louvre through the Jardin des Tuileries or the Rue de Rivoli, or follow the Quai des Tuileries along the Seine River. Alternatively, you may take the Métro to Concorde station.

Arc de Triomphe

Nothing says capital city grandeur quite like a triumphal arch. Paris' Arc de Triomphe is dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the French armies of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. Napoleon I commissioned the building of this mighty structure in 1806 but did not live to see its completion in 1836.

The monument was modeled after the Arch of Titus in Rome. The massive 50-meter-high arch features bas-reliefs with larger-than-life-size figures, which depict the departure, victories, and glorious return of the French armies.

Particularly noteworthy is the bas-relief by François Rude on the Champs-Elysées-facing side: Departure of the Volunteers of 1792 , also known as La Marseillaise , illustrating the troops led by the winged spirit of Liberty. On the inner surface of the arch are the names of more than 660 generals and over a hundred battles.

The Arc de Triomphe stands at the end of the Champs-Élysées, presiding over a circular intersection (the Place de l'Étoile).

From the top of the monument, a viewing terrace affords a panoramic outlook onto the 12 avenues that radiate from the Place de l'Étoile, including the route from the Avenue des Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. It's also possible to see all the way to La Défense, the hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower.

At the foot of the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , dedicated in 1921 as a memorial to an anonymous soldier (symbol of the many other unknown soldiers who valiantly died for their country during World War One without ever receiving recognition).

The Flame of Remembrance was ignited at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on November 11th, 1923, and since that date has not ever been extinguished. Every evening at 6:30pm , a ritual takes place to rekindle the memorial flame at the tomb.

Throughout the year, events to honor national holidays are held at the Arc de Triomphe, including the November 11th (anniversary of the Armistice of 1918) ceremony commemorating those who perished in the war; the May 8th Fête de la Victoire (Victory Day) celebrating the end of WWII, and the liberation from Nazi occupation; as well as festivities for July 14th (Bastille Day).

Admission requires an entrance ticket. You may reserve a ticket in advance online. Free admission is included with the Paris Museum Pass (no reservations required). Guided tours are available.

For visitors with reduced mobility and young children, there is an elevator to reach the viewing terrace. Otherwise, you must take the stairs (284 steps).

Address: Arc de Triomphe, Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris (Métro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile, Kléber or Argentine station)

Intendant's Apartments at Hôtel de la Marine

A fascinating glimpse of ancien régime (old regime) splendor awaits you at the Hôtel de la Marine . During the reign of Louis XV, this Neoclassical palace housed the apartments of the Intendants du Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (the King's Furniture Storage Intendants). The intendant had an important job: procuring and maintaining the furnishings for the king's elaborate palaces.

The Hôtel de la Marine opened to the public in 2021 after several years of painstaking restoration work. This monument is one of the newest tourist attractions in Paris.

You enter the Hôtel de la Marine through a cobblestone courtyard off the Place de la Concorde. Then walk up the massive marble staircase and into the reception rooms, where you feel like you have stepped back in time. The interior decor has been restored to a state of perfect preservation.

Chandeliers in the Salons d'Honneur

Adorned with gilded moldings and crystal chandeliers, the Salons d'Honneur salons resemble the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles . Other rooms in the Intendant's Apartments reveal the refinement of the Age of Enlightenment.

During this period, aristocratic residences were lavishly decorated with exquisite furnishings, wallpaper, curtains, and paintings. You'll also see precious antiques such as a desk created by Jean-Henri Riesener , a renowned 18th-century cabinetmaker.

The dining room of the Intendant's apartments at the Hôtel de la Marine

The dining room of the Intendant's Apartments, with its floral-patterned porcelain dinnerware, appears ready to welcome guests. On the guided tour, you will learn that the host placed servings of sugar (a precious commodity at the time) on the table to show off his wealth, along with bread, oysters, and bowls of fresh apricots, grapes, figs, and apples.

Be sure to step out onto the Hôtel de la Marine's Loggia , a colonnaded balcony that overlooks the Place de la Concorde. From this privileged spot, you can admire views of the Eiffel Tower, the gold-domed Hôtel National des Invalides, and the Jardins des Champs-Élysées.

Historical Notes : The Hôtel de la Marine is found on the Place de la Concorde, the square created in 1748 to display an equestrian statue of Louis XV and originally called Place Louis XV. During the French Revolution, the statue of the king was removed and the Crown jewels were stolen from the Hôtel de la Marine. In 1795, the square was renamed the "Place de la Concorde."

View over Jardin des Tuileries

Treat yourself to some time relaxing and wandering the beautiful Jardin des Tuileries. After visiting the Hôtel de la Marine, the Place de la Concorde, or the Louvre Museum, you should spend some time wandering the nearby Jardin des Tuileries. This French formal garden was designed by celebrated landscape architect André Le Nôtre in the 17th century.

Today the garden offers an escape from the hustle and bustle in central Paris, but the ambiance was not always so idyllic. This garden is the site of the Palais des Tuileries where Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were essentially imprisoned during the French Revolution. The palace was destroyed by a fire in the 19th century; all that remains is the gorgeous garden.

Jardin des Tuileries

The leafy grounds feature perfectly manicured trees, statues, and pathways. You can relax on the wooden park benches or on individual green chairs which may be moved around. Find the spot that appeals to you and lounge there for a bit, while listening to birds chirp. You'll see locals having a picnic lunch or reading a book in the sunshine.

For snacks and quick meals, head to La Terrasse de Pomone , a kiosk where you can order crepes and sandwiches to-go or for dining at the outdoor tables; the Petit Plisson kiosk that sells quiches and sandwiches for dining at shaded tables; or Petit Farmers , a purveyor of artisanal ice cream.

The park's two café-restaurants, Le Pavillon des Tuileries and the Café des Marronniers offer casual meals in a tranquil setting beneath the leafy chestnut trees.

Tips : Check the opening hours of the café-restaurants and food kiosks as the hours change during different seasons. You will only find the Petit Farmers ice cream truck & stand at the Jardin des Tuileries from April through October.

Seine river cruise at sunset

Soak up the scenery of Paris on a Seine River cruise. You'll have a chance to see the sights from a different perspective. The Seine River bridges, the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum look stunning from the viewpoint of a riverboat.

While a daytime cruise allows you to appreciate the glory of the monuments brightened by sunshine, the most romantic experience is an evening cruise. After sunset, the city's landmarks are illuminated, which creates a special effect, and somehow the city seems more magical.

For a cruise that includes dinner, try the Paris Seine River Dinner Cruise with Live Music by Bateaux Mouches. This luxurious riverboat cruise departs at the Pont de l'Alma (a short walk from the Eiffel Tower) and treats you to a romantic four-course meal. If you prefer a more casual boat ride, a good choice is the Seine River Direct Access Guided Cruise by Vedettes de Paris which includes commentary from a knowledgeable guide and breakfast or lunch.

Gourmands will be tempted by the Ducasse sur Seine restaurant boat, which departs from Port Debilly. This dining cruise offers a haute cuisine experience. Options include a lunch (two, three, or four-course meal) or dinner (four or five-course meal). Menus focus on contemporary-style French dishes prepared from seasonal ingredients.


Sainte-Chapelle is considered a rare jewel among medieval houses of worship and is certainly one of the most exquisite churches in Paris . The ravishing 13th-century chapel is tucked away on the Île-de-la-Cité , just a few blocks (about a 10-minute walk) from the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

This masterpiece of Rayonnant Gothic architecture was built from 1242 to 1248 for King Louis IX (Saint Louis) to house the precious relics he had acquired from the Byzantine Emperor. The altar displays a relic of the Crown of Thorns.

An expanse of 13th-century stained-glass windows sets this chapel apart from any other church in the world. The windows' beauty and brilliance are best appreciated on a sunny day and in the morning. If possible, try to schedule your visit accordingly.

The chapel's over 1,000 stained-glass windows (covering 600 square meters) depict scenes from the bible, both Old Testament and New Testament stories. The colors and light symbolize divinity and the Heavenly Jerusalem.

Only used for church services on rare occasions, Sainte-Chapelle is open to the public as a museum (entrance tickets are required). For an additional fee, audioguides (available in French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese) provide one hour of commentary to help visitors appreciate the art, architecture, and history of Sainte-Chapelle.

To truly experience the serene ambiance of Sainte-Chapelle, attend one of the classical music concerts held here. In the iridescent glow of the sanctuary, performances of Baroque chamber music, sacred music, or Vivaldi string quartets have a sublime quality. A regular program of concerts is held at Sainte-Chapelle year-round, with events scheduled several times a week.

Sainte-Chapelle is located in the Palais de la Cité. To find the chapel, enter the iron gate of the Palais de Justice and walk through the inner courtyard.

Another attraction nearby is La Conciergerie (tourists may purchase combined entry tickets), the prison where Marie-Antoinette was detained during the French Revolution.

Address: Sainte-Chapelle, 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris (Métro: Cité, Saint-Michel Notre-Dame or Châtelet station)

Saint Chapelle - Floor plan map

A visit to the City of Light is not complete without spending time on the sidewalk terrace or bustling interior of a famous café. It's the ultimate Parisian people-watching scene and a chance to imagine the historic rendezvous that occurred here.

To discover the legendary Paris cafés, the best place to start is the Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés in the 6th arrondissement. This broad tree-lined boulevard features an enticing array of storefronts: designer fashion boutiques, prestigious cafés, and old-fashioned brasseries.

The most celebrated cafés are the Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés), which was the meeting place of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, and Les Deux Magots (6 Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés), once the haunt of poets, authors, and artists, including Arthur Rimbaud, Paul Verlaine, James Joyce, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway.

Les Deux Magots cafe

Across from Les Deux Magots is the Eglise Saint-Germain-des-Prés , one of the most important churches in Paris .

At both Café de Flore and Les Deux Magots, you will get the classic Parisian café experience, complete with waiters wearing bow ties. Although the waiters have a reputation for their brusque service, their formality adds to the authentic ambiance.

The Saint-Germain-des-Prés area also has excellent pâtisserie boutiques, boulangeries, and chocolate shops such as the Ladurée tea salon (21 Rue Bonaparte), the Maison Le Roux Chocolatier & Caramélier (1 Rue de Bourbon le Château), and Debauve & Gallais (30 Rue des Saints-Pères), a boutique founded in 1779 that supplied Marie-Antoinette with chocolates.

Join the Paris Sweet Tooth Stroll small-group tour to sample the neighborhood's finest sweet treats.

The brasseries of Boulevard du Montparnasse were also frequented by artists and writers during the early 20th century. Le Dôme in Montparnasse is a Paris institution (108 Boulevard du Montparnasse) that has attracted luminaries including Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Picasso. In its glittering Art Deco dining room, the restaurant serves exceptional seafood.

Another atmospheric French brasserie with a mythical past, La Coupole (102 Boulevard du Montparnasse) has, since the 1920s, been visited by artists such as André Derain, Fernand Léger, Man Ray, Pablo Picasso, and Marc Chagall as well as the novelist Albert Camus and the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre.

La Rotonde Montparnasse (105 Boulevard du Montparnasse) has been a gathering place for painters and writers since 1911 and still attracts cinematographers and artists today.

Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg is the best-known park in Paris after the Tuileries. The 25-hectare park features a formal French garden, similar to the Jardin des Tuileries, as well as an English garden with shady groves of overgrown trees.

On a nice day, it's fun to grab a baguette sandwich at a nearby bakery and then find a chair in front of the garden's duck pond. This is the Paris version of going to the beach when the weather is pleasant. You'll notice many local residents taking a lunch break or simply soaking up some sunshine at the park. It's an especially popular spot among students of the Latin Quarter.

You can also visit a rose garden, apiary, Orangerie (orangery), and greenhouses filled with exotic orchids, as well as an orchard where heirloom varieties of apples flourish.

Palais du Luxembourg

Artistic treasures are found throughout the gardens, such as the picturesque 17th-century Fontaine Médicis , a fountain basin nestled under trees opposite the east front of the Palais du Luxembourg , which today is used by the French state as the seat of the Senate.

Steps away from the Fontaine Médicis is La Terrasse de Madame , a little café-restaurant in a charming setting. You may dine at outdoor tables beneath the leafy chestnut trees. The menu includes coffee and croissants for breakfast and bistro meals for lunch, such as steak, Croque Monsieur (sandwiches), quiche, grilled fish, charcuterie, and salads. Also on the menu are traditional French desserts like profiteroles and crème brûlée .

La Terrasse de Madame

Children love the playground, which features swings, slides, a sandpit, a games area, and pony rides. A favorite activity for the youngest visitors at the Jardin du Luxembourg is steering miniature sailboats around in the octagonal pool (the boats can be hired at a kiosk by the pond).

For French-speaking kids, watching a puppet show at the Théâtre des Marionnettes is not to be missed. The Théâtre des Marionnettes is a modern venue, in the southwest area of the park near the tennis courts, that accommodates an audience of up to 275 children and adults (which makes it the largest puppet theater in France).

Address: Jardin du Luxembourg, Rue de Vaugirard/Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris (Métro: Luxembourg or Odéon station)

Sacré-Coeur and Quartier Montmartre

Sitting at the highest point in Paris like an ornamental decoration, the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre has a special aura. Its alabaster facade blends Romanesque and Byzantine styles, and from far away, it looks like a wedding cake (which is its nickname).

If you walk to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica from the Métro station, you must walk up the Esplanade, a staircase of over 200 steps, to arrive at the Basilica.

Inside the Basilica, the striking mosaic of Christ with a flaming heart gives the sanctuary an emotional and spiritual intensity, fitting for a church that was created as a symbol of hope after the Franco-Prussian War. In keeping with the somber ambiance, the Basilica's sanctuary is quite dark except for a plethora of flickering candles.

The atmosphere outside the church is quite a contrast, with Parisian joie de vivre in full swing. Locals like to hang out on the grass lawns of the Esplanade while listening to street musicians. You'll see tourists taking selfies, couples embracing, and kids playing on the grass. Below the Esplanade is an old-fashioned carousel, adding to the sense of festivity.

You can spend time on the terrace in front of the Basilica admiring the views of Paris or climb (300 steps) up to the Basilica's Dome for an even higher perspective with unobstructed panoramas. Admission to the Dome requires an entrance fee, but you may visit the Basilica free of charge .

After visiting the Sacré-Coeur, be sure to explore the enchanting neighborhood of Montmartre . This medieval country village (once considered outside of the city) has been incorporated into the city of Paris as the 18th arrondissement.

Picturesque street in the Montmartre neighborhood

Montmartre exudes old-fashioned charm along with an avant-garde edge. Winding cobblestone streets and pedestrian staircases lead to small locally owned boutiques and restaurants, art galleries that evoke the quarter's bohemian past, and quiet squares filled with outdoor cafés .

During the Belle Époque, the village of Montmartre began to attract artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Edgar Degas. The bohemian creative spirit of Montmartre is still found here, especially around the Place du Tertre and the Carré Roland Dorgelès .

Montmartre has several excellent art museums, where you can admire the creations of artists who resided here in the late 19th and early 20th century (the Belle Époque). During that era, the quarter was famous for its cabarets and artists' studios.

The Musée de Montmartre (12 Rue Cortot) occupies a historic house where Auguste Renoir, Raoul Dufy, Suzanne Valadon, and other artists once lived and worked. Tucked away within the museum's gardens, you'll find the Café Renoir , which features outdoor seating in the delightful space where Renoir painted several masterpieces.

If you are intrigued by Surrealist art, be sure to visit the Dalí Paris museum (11 Rue Poulbot). This innovative museum displays more than 300 works created by Salvador Dalí. The exhibits are presented in a way that reveals the symbols and motifs used in his artworks.

Address: Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, 35 Rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre, 75018 Paris (Métro: Abbesses)


The Panthéon is the national mausoleum of France's greatest citizens. You get a sense of the important heritage just by glancing at this grand monument. The colonnaded facade and enormous dome were modeled after the ancient Pantheon in Rome.

The architecture of the Panthéon marks a clear break from the fanciful Rococo style of the Louis XV era and instead presents a simpler and more somber Neoclassical style. The inscription on the Panthéon's facade reads " Aux Grands Hommes La Patrie Reconnaissante " (" To the Great Men Recognized by Their Country ").

Dome of the Panthéon

Many famous men (75 in total) are buried here, including philosophers Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and René Descartes; and the writers Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas, Émile Zola, and André Malraux. Although the monument was originally dedicated exclusively to France's male citizens, this has changed recently.

Since 1995, several of France's most esteemed female citizens have been buried in the Panthéon including the physicist Marie Curie, a two-time winner of the Nobel Prize. Five other women are buried at the Panthéon. In November 2021, Josephine Baker (the famous Black American expatriate dancer and singer) became the sixth woman to receive the honor of being inducted into the Panthéon.

La Convention Nationale, Pantheon

When you step inside the Neoclassical sanctuary, you will be awed by the spacious domed interior, the floor-to-ceiling paintings that depict scenes of Christian saints, and the enormous sculpture that celebrates French Revolution deputies ( La Convention Nationale ).

Beneath the monumental rotunda is an unusual centerpiece: a science experiment rather than a work of art. Foucault's pendulum , created by French physicist Léon Foucault, was installed in 1851 to demonstrate his theory that the Earth rotates. The brass pendulum hangs from the dome on a steel wire and constantly oscillates in a circular trajectory.

To find the famous citizen's monuments and tombs, you will need a map (available on-site). The underground crypt is arranged in a geometric fashion, but it is easy to get lost.

Foucault's pendulum

Entrance to the Panthéon requires an admission fee, unless you have a Paris Museum Pass and except for the first Sunday of every month from November through March.

From April through September (for an additional entrance fee), you may ascend to the Panthéon's dome, where a colonnaded balcony provides a sensational view of the city's landmarks. You can see the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in the hilltop neighborhood of Montmartre.

Address: Panthéon, Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris (Métro: Luxembourg station)

Place des Vosges

In the charming Marais district, the Place des Vosges is Paris' oldest public square. With its uniform red-brick architecture, this elegant square provided a model for other squares such as Place Vendôme and Place de la Concorde.

The Place des Vosges was constructed between 1605 and 1612 (called Place Royale at the time) for King Henri IV. The buildings originally housed aristocratic residences.

The Place Royale offered a splendid setting for festive occasions in the 17th century, such as tournaments, state receptions, and court weddings. It was also a favorite spot for duels, in spite of Cardinal Richelieu's ban on dueling. The celebrated courtesan of Louis XIII's reign lived at number 11, and the future Madame de Sévigné was born in 1626 at number 1 on the square.

Victor Hugo rented an apartment at number 6 on the Place Royale between 1832 and 1848. Today this apartment is a museum, the Maison de Victor Hugo (6 Place des Vosges) which is devoted to educating visitors about the life and work of Victor Hugo.

The Place des Vosges is at the heart of Le Marais, a medieval quarter with narrow cobblestone streets, grand Renaissance palaces, and hôtels particuliers (mansions) of the 16th and 17th centuries. Several of these stately old buildings have been converted into museums.

Musée des Archives Nationales in the Hôtel de Soubise

A fascinating glimpse of France's history awaits you at the Musée des Archives Nationales (Museum of the National Archives) in the 17th-century Hôtel de Soubise (60 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois). The museum presents historical exhibits including the Edict of Nantes, French Revolution objects, Marie-Antoinette's last testament, and a letter written to Napoleon.

The most important museum of the quarter is the Musée Carnavalet - Histoire de Paris. This recently renovated museum illustrates the history of Paris from antiquity through the French Revolution and the Belle Époque until the present day.

In the Hôtel Salé (a 17th-century aristocratic mansion), the Musée National Picasso-Paris (5 Rue de Thorigny) wows you with its incredibly extensive collection (over 5,000 pieces) of Picasso's artwork, including some of his most iconic masterpieces.

Cafe in Le Marais

More than just an open-air museum filled with historic monuments, Le Marais has become a trendy quarter full of fashion boutiques, cute cafés, and unique shops. Spend some time wandering the Rue de Sévigné and its cross street, the Rue des Francs Bourgeois . This area brims with youthful energy and is a fun place to visit for a stroll or a coffee break.

Another interesting fact about Le Marais is that it has a significant Jewish community. The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme (71 Rue du Temple) presents the 2,000-year history of France's Jewish communities, along with educational programs about Jewish culture and exhibitions of artwork by Jewish artists such as Chagall and Modigliani.

Nearby, the Jardin Anne Frank offers the tranquility of a secluded garden. This quiet, leafy green space features benches, shady trees, and an orchard. One of the chestnut trees in the garden was grafted from a tree that Anne Frank could see from the window of the annex where she lived in Amsterdam.

For those in search of a refined Parisian experience, the Mariage Frères (30 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg) is the place to go. This tea salon serves its aromatic tea with savory and sweet delicacies in a French colonial-style dining room; its adjoining shop sells a wide selection of scented teas in distinctive tins.

Many tourists wait in line to try the authentic falafel at L'As du Fallafel (34 Rue des Rosiers), considered one of the best Middle Eastern restaurants in Paris. This area has several kosher restaurants and kosher bakeries.

Tip : Keep in mind that L'As du Fallafel and other Jewish-owned shops in the Marais are closed on Shabbat (Friday evening and Saturday during the daytime).

Address: Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris (Métro: Saint-Paul or Bastille station)

Garden at the Rodin Museum (Musee Rodin)

The Musée Rodin is a hidden gem in the posh 7th arrondissement. This peaceful haven of refinement occupies the Hôtel Biron , an 18th-century mansion where sculptor Auguste Rodin lived and worked for many years. The property includes a seven-acre Sculpture Garden that blooms with flowers throughout the year.

In 1908, Auguste Rodin began to rent several rooms on the ground floor of the Hôtel Biron to use as an atelier. Rodin later took over the entire Hôtel Biron, which became his place of residence for the rest of his life. In 1916, Rodin donated his artworks and collection of antiquities to the French state, and the museum was established soon thereafter.

The Musée Rodin displays a remarkable assortment of Rodin's sculptures, as well as the works of Camille Claudel. Rodin masterpieces presented in the Hôtel Biron include Danaïd , an expressive marble sculpture depicting a mythological character (created in 1890); The Age of Bronze (created in 1877); The Cathedral , a stone sculpture of two intertwined hands (created in 1908); and The Kiss , one of Rodin's most sensual works (created around 1882).

Several monumental Rodin sculptures preside over various corners of the Sculpture Garden. The Thinker , Rodin's most iconic work of art , sits on a pedestal overlooking the perfectly manicured formal garden. The expressive Monument to Balzac stands in a shady spot beneath leafy trees, while a bronze statue of Adam is sheltered behind dense shrubbery.

Adding to the romance of the garden are the park benches and the café-restaurant, L'Augustine , where you may relax on an outdoor terrace. The café-restaurant also has a casual indoor dining space. Here you can savor a classic French meal, complete with dessert supplied by the renowned Maison Lenôtre pâtisserie.

Place Vendome

This graceful 17th-century square was designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart , one of the leading architects of Le Grand Siècle (during the reign of Louis XIV). Originally, the square was called Place Louis le Grand and was intended to house royal establishments.

The charm of the Place Vendôme is that it has retained the consistency of the overall design, which combines regal ostentation with civic simplicity. Following careful restoration in the early '90s, it has been restored in all its splendor.

The square is known for its upscale jewelry boutiques including Boucheron, Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels, and Cartier. Another luxury establishment here is the Ritz Hotel , which was frequented by Ernest Hemingway, Scott Fitzgerald, and Gertrude Stein.

Coco Chanel made the Ritz Paris her home for 34 years; she decorated her suite in her signature style with velvet-upholstered sofas, lacquered furniture, and gilded mirrors. The Ritz Paris still has a suite named after Coco Chanel that exemplifies her vision of Parisian chic.

At the center of the Place Vendôme stands a landmark of historic importance, the Colonne de la Grande Armée (replacing a statue of Louis XIV that was removed in 1792). Built between 1806 and 1810, the 42-meter-high column is dedicated to Napoleon and his Grande Armée (army) who fought heroically and victoriously in the Battle of Austerlitz (in December 1805).

The column's facade is crafted from bronze plaques embossed with 108 spiraling bas-relief friezes (similar to Trajan's Column in Rome), which tell the story of the glorious events that took place during Napoleon's campaign of 1805.

Address: Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris (Métro: Tuileries or Opéra station)

Centre Pompidou

In the charming Le Marais quarter, the Centre Pompidou is a cultural center devoted to modern art. The building itself features shocking modern architecture, sometimes described as an "inside out" design because the architectural details of staircases and elevators appear on the exterior.

The main attraction of the Centre Pompidou is the Musée National d'Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art), which displays iconic works of art chosen from an extensive collection of over 100,000 pieces. The collection focuses on contemporary art created from 1905 to the present.

The collection covers all the movements of modern art, beginning with the Post-Impressionist "Fauves" and "Les Nabis" movements (André Derain, Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, and Marc Chagall) and continuing with the famous movement of Cubism (Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and Robert Delaunay).

Each room highlights a specific time period or artistic movements such as Expressionism, Constructivism (Paul Klee and Piet Mondrian), Surrealism (Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, and André Masson), Abstract Expressionism (Mark Rothko, Nicolas de Staël, Hans Hartung, and Serge Poliakoff), Informal Art (Jean Dubuffet), New Realism, and Pop Art (Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg).

Several masterpieces of the collection are not to be missed : Avec l'Arc Noir by Wassily Kandinsky, Manège de Cochons by Robert Delaunay, Portrait de la Journaliste Sylvia von Harden by Otto Dix, The Frame by Frida Kahlo, Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel by Marc Chagall, La Blouse Roumaine by Henri Matisse, New York City by Piet Mondrian, and Les Loisirs-Hommage à Louis David by Fernand Léger.

The center has two bookstores, a casual café, and a boutique that sells gift items inspired by contemporary art.

For a special dining experience, head to the Centre Pompidou's restaurant on the museum's top floor. Restaurant Georges features floor-to-ceiling windows with spectacular panoramic views of the Paris cityscape. Tables on the terrace look out directly onto the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, and Montmartre.

Address: Centre Pompidou, Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris (Métro: Rambuteau, Hôtel de Ville, Châtelet or Rambuteau station)

Hôtel National des Invalides

Louis XIV founded the Hôtel Royal des Invalides in the late 17th century as a home for disabled soldiers. The building was constructed between 1671 and 1676 under the direction of the architect Libéral Bruant and centered on the Eglise Saint-Louis-des-Invalides, which was later redesigned by the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1706.

Today, the Hôtel National des Invalides still has a hospital (Institution Nationale des Invalides) that provides medical care for disabled veterans.

The monument also includes several tourist attractions: three museums and two historic churches. You could easily spend hours here, and luckily the site has excellent amenities: a café-restaurant, the Angelina tearoom (famous for its hot chocolate and pastries) in a tree-shaded courtyard, and a bookstore/gift shop.

Founded in 1794, the Musée de l'Armée (Army Museum) presents a large collection of military equipment and uniforms, weapons, prints, and armor from various historical periods. The museum covers the military history of France from the 13th century (the Crusades) to the 17th century. There are also paintings of Napoleon and well-known generals, as well as maps that depict the French campaigns.

The Musée de l'Ordre de la Libération honors the soldiers who fought for the liberation of France during the Second World War, from 1940 to 1945. This museum also educates visitors about the deportation of Jews from France, the Resistance, and life in France during the war.

The military strategy of the 17th century comes to life at the Musée des Plans-Reliefs (Museum of Relief Maps). The museum displays 97 detailed (1 to 600 scale) relief maps of France's fortified towns (citadels) and fortresses that date from 1668 to 1871. Louis XIV's Minister of War (and later ministers) used the maps for military planning purposes.

Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides

A gold-domed Neoclassical church, the Eglise du Dôme des Invalides was built in 1677 as a royal chapel for Louis XIV but is most famous for being the site of Napoleon's Tomb , installed here in 1861 by the orders of King Louis-Philippe. The imperial tomb stands beneath a magnificent cupola, which was painted by Charles de la Fosse.

Designed for veterans to worship, the Cathédrale Saint-Louis des Invalides (constructed around 1676) connects with the Eglise du Dôme des Invalides. This chapel was built in keeping with the etiquette of the 17th century and has a separate entrance from the Eglise du Dôme. The Eglise Saint-Louis des Invalides still serves as the cathedral for the French army.

Address: Hôtel National des Invalides, Esplanade des Invalides, 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris

The Palais-Royal

Just steps away from the Louvre Museum, you will find a welcome retreat amid the bustle of Paris' 1st arrondissement. Visiting this secluded spot feels like a secret getaway, even though it's right in the center of the city.

The Palais-Royal was created as a residence for Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, during the reign of Louis XIII. Richelieu later bequeathed the palace to the royal family, and it became the childhood home of Louis XIV.

Exemplifying classical French architecture, the Domaine National du Palais-Royal is made up of 60 pavilions surrounding a courtyard and a garden, the Jardin du Palais-Royal . This peaceful enclosed space has the feeling of being its own little village within the city.

After wandering the busy streets of Paris, you will be delighted by the lush tree-shaded grounds. You might be surprised to see that the courtyard features a contemporary sculpture installation, a striking contrast to the historic architecture.

The buildings are connected by a colonnaded pathway and arcaded galleries (verandas) filled with high-end boutiques . There are fancy cafés with pleasant outdoor terraces and two gastronomic restaurants: the haute-cuisine Palais Royal Restaurant (two Michelin stars); and Le Grand Véfour in an 18th-century dining room featuring ornate " art décoratif " design motifs.

The Palais-Royal area has two theaters: the Théâtre du Palais-Royal (38 Rue de Montpensier), which dates back to 1783 and continues to present theater performances in French; and La Comédie-Française (1 Place Colette), a theater known as the " La Maison de Molière " because it has staged so many of the famous playwright's works. The Comédie-Française was inaugurated in 1790 and is still in use during its theater season.

A lovely place for a stroll, the Domaine National du Palais-Royal is open every day, free of charge. The Centre des Monuments Nationaux offers guided group tours.

Address: Domaine National du Palais-Royal, 8 Rue Montpensier, 75001 Paris (Métro: Palais Royal-Musée du Louvre or Pyramides station)

Colonne de Juillet, Place de la Bastille

Now, only the name of this square is a reminder that the notorious state prison known as the Bastille, the much-hated symbol of absolutist power, once stood here. After the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, the prison was completely demolished.

In the center of Place de la Bastille is the 51-meter-high Colonne de Juillet , topped by a graceful gilded figure of Liberty ( Génie de la Liberté ). The monument commemorates the July Revolution of 1830, which overthrew King Charles X and brought Louis-Philippe d'Orléans to power.

Four Gallic cocks and a lion relief on the base of the column symbolize the free people of France. A spiral staircase of 283 steps inside the column leads to a viewing platform.

On the site of the Bastille prison is the new Opera House, the Opéra Bastille , inaugurated by President Mitterrand on July 13, 1989. This immense modern theater has seating for 2,745 people. Both the view of the stage from the auditorium and the acoustics are superb.

The Opéra Bastille presents a calendar of events that includes opera and ballet performances by the Opéra National de Paris and the Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris.

For a memorable evening in Paris, attend one of the performances at the Opéra Bastille and then dine in the Bastille area. This trendy neighborhood is brimming with quirky boutiques, hip clothing shops, stylish restaurants, and happening cafés.

Address: Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris (Métro: Bastille)

Pont au Change leading to the Place du Châtelet

The Place du Châtelet stands at the very center of Paris in the 1st arrondissement, overlooking the Seine River. The Pont au Change (bridge) provides access from the Île de la Cité to the Place du Châtelet.

Tip : It's just a short walk from Sainte-Chapelle and La Conciergerie on the Île-de-la-Cité to the Place du Châtelet, so it would make sense to visit these tourist attractions at the same time.

Two theaters grace the Place du Châtelet. The opulent Second Empire Théâtre du Châtelet (1 Place du Châtelet) presents a wide variety of music concerts, as well as dance and theater performances. A listed Monument Historique where Sarah Bernhardt once directed shows, the Théâtre de la Ville (2 Place du Châtelet) stages a diverse program of dance, music, and theater performances.

Tour Saint-Jacques

The area around Place du Châtelet is also worth exploring. Continue towards the Rue de Rivoli, past the Boulevard de Sébastopol, and wander through the small park to find the Tour Saint-Jacques . The 16th-century Flamboyant Gothic clock tower is all that remains of the Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie (the patron saint of butchers), the town's old parish church.

The Saint-Jacques Tower is also famous as the place where Blaise Pascal conducted one of his barometric experiments, which showed the effect of altitude on the height of a column of mercury.

La Conciergerie

Never mind the inviting name, this imposing medieval fortress was an infamous place of detention and a courthouse (from 1793 to 1795) during the French Revolution. Here, prisoners including Marie-Antoinette and Robespierre were kept in dank cells while awaiting their fate.

The Conciergerie is a remnant of the Palais de la Cité , the royal residence of France's kings in the 13th and 14th centuries until the royal residence was moved to the Louvre. During the Restoration (return of the Bourbon monarchs to the throne), the Conciergerie was no longer used as a prison and Marie-Antoinette's cell was converted into a commemorative chapel.

Today, the Conciergerie is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is open to the public as a museum. It's possible to purchase a combined entry ticket for the Conciergerie and Sainte-Chapelle. Admission to the Conciergerie is included with a Paris Museum Pass.

During your visit, you will have a chance to walk through the Prisoners' Corridor which includes a replica of French Revolution-era prison cells. An evocative exhibit, the Salle des Noms lists the names of more than 4,000 people who were put on trial by the Revolutionary Tribunal and includes their biographies.

Of course, you must visit the expiatory chapel of Marie-Antoinette (the commemorative chapel). Look for the motif of tears painted on the walls.

Other highlights of the visit include the Salle des Gardes which exhibits artifacts from the bloody Reign of Terror, including a guillotine blade, prison regulations, and a copy of Marie-Antoinette's last letter.

The Salle des Gens d'Armes is a 14th-century vaulted Gothic hall of awesome proportions. In this forbidding room, the condemned prisoners were handed over to the executioner.

For an exceptional view of the building's Neo-Gothic facade, stand on the opposite side of the Seine River on the Quai de la Mégisserie. From this distance, with its three round towers and the Tour de l'Horloge (Clock Tower), the fortress resembles a fairy-tale castle rather than a penitentiary.

Address: 2 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris (Métro: Cité or Saint-Michel Notre-Dame station)

Fondation Louis Vuitton

Formerly royal hunting grounds, the Bois de Boulogne is now home to a surprising modern landmark. Opened in 2014, the Fondation Louis Vuitton was commissioned by Bernard Arnault, chairman of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy corporation.

Acclaimed American architect Frank Gehry designed the striking building, using 3,600 glass panels and more steel than the amount in the Eiffel Tower. The museum features 3,500 square meters of exhibition space with 11 different galleries illuminated by natural light.

In keeping with the museum's modern theme, the permanent collection focuses entirely on 20th-century and 21st-century art organized into four different categories: Expressionism, Contemplative Art, Pop Art, and Music & Sound.

The Fondation Louis Vuitton offers a year-round calendar of events and temporary exhibits. Cultural events and music performances are presented in a 1,000-seat auditorium.

Not to be missed are the four outdoor terraces on the rooftop, which afford sweeping views of the Bois de Boulogne, La Défense district, and the Eiffel Tower in the distance. You may also shop at the bookstore and enjoy a snack or meal at Le Frank Restaurant .

A tourist attraction in itself, the 850-hectare Bois de Boulogne has walking paths, gardens, bicycle rentals, picnic areas, and a lake for boating. Three upscale restaurants, including La Grande Cascade , the Auberge du Bonheur , and the three Michelin-starred restaurant Le Pré Catelan , offer traditional French fine dining. At the park's hippodrome used for horse races, La Brasserie Paris Longchamp serves casual sit-down meals.

Within the Bois de Boulogne is the Parc de Bagatelle with picnic tables, a snack bar, and a rose garden. The 18th-century Château de Bagatelle is open on Sundays and for temporary exhibitions. The Orangery of the Parc de Bagatelle hosts a Chopin Festival every year from mid-June until mid-July.

Address: 8 Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi, Bois de Boulogne, 75116 Paris (Métro: Pont de Neuilly or Avenue Foch)

La Géode IMAX theater

Covering 55 hectares, the Parc de La Villette is the largest landscaped green space in Paris. The park is brimming with attractions, including children's playgrounds and the Cité de la Music .

The park is also home to 400-seat La Géode IMAX theater; the Zénith Paris - La Villette concert hall; the Philharmonie de Paris performance venue; and Le Trabendo , which stages rock, rap, and hip-hop music concerts.

During summertime, Parisians (and a few tourists) enjoy attending cultural events at the Parc de La Villette. For several days at the end of May, the Villette Sonique festival draws huge crowds to outdoor music concerts. Other festivals include Jazz à La Villette held from late August through early September and an outdoor film festival ( Cinéma en Plein Air ), which takes place in the park from mid-July to mid-August.

The park features a variety of themed gardens with walking paths, footbridges, and bright red architectural "follies" designed by Bernard Tschumi. The area around the Canal de l'Ourcq is embellished with ponds and fountains.

Address: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris (Métro: Porte de la Villette)

Seine River bank

Planning to visit Paris during summertime? Be sure to pack your swimsuit! Even though the city is far from the sea, you can still find "beaches" for sunbathing.

From early July through late August, the Seine River becomes a beach destination. The riverbanks along the Quai de Seine and Quai de Loire are transformed into little resorts, complete with lounge chairs, sun umbrellas, and palm trees. Recreational opportunities include table football, tai chi, and petanque.

Other summertime recreational opportunities (in July and August) include swimming at the Bassin de La Villette , which has three swimming pools with lifeguards, and sports activities at the Jardins du Trocadéro .

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Outside of central Paris, the Père Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th arrondissement is the city's most famous and most visited cemetery. This 44-hectare space is the final resting place of many famous men and women, including Honoré de Balzac, Frédéric Chopin, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison.

Some of the tombs and graves of the most admired personalities attract a cult following, with flowers and tributes left by visitors on a daily basis.

Address: Cimetière du Père Lachaise, 21 Boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris (Métro: Père Lachaise or Philippe Auguste station)

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Locals escape to this peaceful oasis when they need a break from urban life. Among Parisians, this park is a favorite place to go for picnics and basking in the sunshine on warm days.

The 25-hectare park has the feeling of an untamed pastoral landscape, in contrast to the typical Parisian formal French gardens, with their orderly rows of flowerbeds and pollarded trees.

This romantic English-style garden features caves, waterfalls, and an artificial lake. Large shady trees and spacious grassy areas invite visitors to pull out a blanket and relax. Some areas of the park offer panoramic city views.

The convivial Rosa Bonheur café serves Mediterranean cuisine on an outdoor terrace. Rosa Bonheur is also known for its musical entertainment and evening dances.

For a gourmet lunch or brunch, Le Pavillon du Lac delights you with its lake views and garden patio. Le Pavillon du Lac is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Saturday and for brunch on Sundays.

Address: Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris

Grand Arche of La Défense

The Grande Arche de la Défense is found in a business district at the end of Avenue Charles-de-Gaulle. This area just outside the city limits of Paris is named La Défense, which recalls the bitter resistance by French forces in this area during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-1871.

Designed by Johan Otto von Spreckelsen, the Grande Arche makes a striking impression. This huge 110-meter-high rectangular triumphal arch is faced with glass and granite.

The monument was inaugurated in 1989 on the bicentenary of the French Revolution, and the contemporary structure symbolizes France's national value of fraternity. The arch was originally called " La Grande Arche de la Fraternité ".

Address: La Grande Arche, 1 Parvis de la Défense, 92040 Paris (Métro: La Défense)

Deciding where to stay in Paris depends on your taste in hotels and travel preferences.

An abundance of quaint small hotels are scattered throughout the 5th, 6th, and 7th arrondissements, which is also known as the Rive Gauche (Left Bank). Tourists appreciate this area for its central location, excellent restaurants, and lively sidewalk cafés.

The Marais quarter (4th arrondissement) on the Right Bank rivals the Left Bank for old-world charm and trendy ambiance. This neighborhood is filled with magnificent historic palaces and mansions, while enticing boutiques, cozy restaurants, cafés, and tea salons line the quarter's cobblestone streets.

Many luxury hotels are found on the boulevards near the Louvre and the Champs-Élysées, in an area of the 8th arrondissement known as the Triangle d'Or (Golden Triangle) because of its designer fashion boutiques and upscale gourmet restaurants.

Montmartre is farther from most tourist attractions but has a special atmosphere thanks to its bohemian heritage, excellent art museums, and atmospheric pedestrian alleyways. Some of the hotels in this hilltop neighborhood offer sweeping city views.

Here are some highly-rated hotels in these areas of Paris:

Luxury Hotels:

  • In the fashionable 8th arrondissement near the Jardins des Champs-Élysées is the five-star Le Bristol Paris . This legendary hotel epitomizes Parisian elegance with sumptuous guest rooms featuring Louis XV or Louis XVI furnishings and tailor-made bed linens. Guests enjoy the courtyard garden, spa, rooftop swimming pool, tea time at Café Antonia, and fine dining at the hotel's Michelin-starred gastronomic restaurant or Michelin-starred brasserie.
  • La Réserve Paris - Hotel and Spa is another ultra-luxurious accommodation in the 8th arrondissement near the Champs-Élysées. The five-star hotel occupies a palatial 19th-century mansion decorated in a classical style, yet has the intimate ambiance of a private home. Guests appreciate the top-notch amenities: spa, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, and two gourmet restaurants including a dining room with two Michelin stars.
  • Art Deco interiors create an inviting feel at the Four Seasons Hotel George V in the 8th arrondissement. This opulent five-star hotel occupies a landmark building that dates to 1928 and has been beautifully maintained. Guests are pampered by the hotel's amenities: an upscale spa, swimming pool, and three fine-dining options including a vegetarian restaurant. The hotel's gastronomic restaurant, Le Cinq, boasts three Michelin stars.
  • The Hôtel Plaza Athénée graces the tree-lined Avenue Montaigne, a prestigious boulevard lined with haute couture boutiques. Housed in a stately Haussmann-style building near the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, this five-star hotel features plush guest rooms with Art Deco furnishings. Amenities include the Dior Spa, and three dining options, including a garden courtyard restaurant and La Galerie, a salon that serves afternoon tea.

Mid-Range Hotels:

  • In the Latin Quarter steps away from the Panthéon, the impeccably maintained Hôtel Résidence Henri IV exudes old-fashioned Parisian charm with its traditional interior decor and balconies overlooking the street. The spacious guest rooms have flat-screen televisions and updated bathrooms; the apartments have kitchenettes. This four-star hotel has a hammam and offers spa treatments. The breakfast (available for an additional charge) includes artisanal and organic products.
  • The Relais Christine has a quiet and cozy ambiance, which makes it feel like a family home. This five-star hotel in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés neighborhood is surrounded by cafés, bistros, and restaurants. The tastefully adorned guest rooms feature garden, courtyard, or street views and Nespresso coffee machines. Amenities include an upscale spa, fitness center, breakfast for an additional charge, and room service.
  • Near the legendary Boulevard Saint-Germain cafés and a short walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg, the boutique three-star Hôtel Left Bank Saint Germain des Prés occupies an 18th-century building on an ancient street where Molière had a residence. The hotel's suite has a living room with windows that look out onto Notre-Dame Cathedral. A continental breakfast with croissants, café au lait, and fresh-squeezed orange juice is available.
  • The charming Relais Médicis is tucked away on a quiet street near the Luxembourg Gardens. This four-star hotel is a welcome retreat from the busy streets of the Saint-Germain neighborhood. The guest rooms blend old-fashioned French country decor with modern amenities. Breakfast (available for an additional charge) includes yogurt, cheese, fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, tea, and croissants from a neighborhood bakery.
  • Montmartre is considered Paris' most enchanting neighborhood, although it is a Métro ride to the main tourist attractions. A few steps away from the Métro station in the heart of the quarter's narrow, winding streets is Hôtel Le Relais Montmartre . This four-star hotel has quaint guest rooms with vintage-inspired decor. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet (generous for the price) that includes croissants, yogurt, charcuterie, cheese, and fruit.

Budget Hotels:

  • The Legend Hotel by Elegancia is conveniently located in the Montparnasse district of the 6th arrondissement (Rive Gauche) and about a 10-minute walk to the Luxembourg Gardens. This cozy three-star boutique hotel has chic contemporary-style rooms. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, buffet or continental breakfast (for an additional charge), and concierge services.
  • In the Latin Quarter (Rive Gauche) near the Panthéon, the family-run Hôtel Diana has stylish modern rooms with renovated bathrooms and courtyard or city views. Considering the central location and 24-hour front reception desk, this hotel provides excellent value for the price. A continental-style breakfast buffet is available for a small charge.

Paris Sightseeing Overview:

  • For first-time visitors, the Paris Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour is a good choice. You can decide which monuments you would like to see, such as the Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées, and the Musée d'Orsay. The tour provides commentary while you're on the bus and includes an entrance ticket to the Arc de Triomphe as well as a short Seine River Cruise.

Hop-on Hop-off Seine River Tour:

  • The Hop-on Hop-off Seine River Tour covers the city's highlights by cruising down the Seine River. This self-guided tour allows you to stop at eight different places on the Seine River over a one-day or two-day period. You will have a chance to see the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Musee d'Orsay, the legendary Saint-Germain-des-Prés cafés, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Place de la Concorde, and the Hôtel National des Invalides.

Visit the Normandy Battlefields:

  • History buffs will want to see the famous World War II battlefields, about a three-hour drive from Paris. One recommended day trip is the Normandy D-Day Beaches Tour . Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, tourists will see the Omaha and Juno Beaches, and the American Cemetery. The tour also includes a visit to the Arromanches harbor.

Must-See Sights Outside of Paris :

  • Another popular outing from Paris is the Versailles and Giverny Day Trip . This full-day excursion explores the vibrant gardens of Giverny, which Monet depicted in many paintings, and the Château de Versailles, Louis XIV's extravagant palace. The tour includes a gourmet lunch at the Moulin de Fourges riverside restaurant, which is housed in an 18th-century mill inspired by Marie-Antoinette's hamlet at Versailles.

Many seasoned travelers say the best months to visit Paris are in the spring (April, May, June), the summer (especially June and the first half of July), and early autumn (September and October) . As a general rule, this is also the best time to visit France.

April is in the off-season , and hotel prices are reduced. The drawback is that the weather is capricious and can be quite chilly or rainy . Average low temperatures are mid-40 degrees Fahrenheit. With some luck, the weather could be refreshingly crisp and sunny. Average highs are low-60 degrees. On the upside, April offers the chance to experience the magic of early spring. Trees begin to bud their first leaves in the parks and lining the avenues. Daffodils and tulips bloom in the gardens.

In May , the weather is still fickle , with a mix of sunny days and chilly or rainy days. The temperature averages range from high 60 degrees to low 50 degrees Fahrenheit. By early May, trees, burgeoning vegetation, and colorful flowers enliven the leafy grounds of the Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Champs-Élysées, Jardin des Plantes, Parc Monceau, Bois de Boulogne, and the Buttes-Chaumont. On warm days, café terraces come back to life.

June is a delightful time to visit Paris because of the balmy weather and long days . Daytime temperatures are comfortable, with high temperature averages in the low 70 degrees. Thanks to Paris' northern latitude, the sun sets at almost 10pm in June. It seems that the entire city is out and about to celebrate the beginning of summer. The sidewalk café scene bustles and there is a sense of joie de vivre in the air.

The first two weeks of July are the most exciting time to visit Paris, with Parisians' anticipation of vacation just around the corner. Plus, the weather starts to feel like summer. The entire month of July is a great time to visit because of warm days with average high temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

July and August are the hottest months of the year in Paris. August also has average high temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. However, travelers should keep in mind that many shops and restaurants close in August when Parisians leave for summer holidays after the Fête Nationale (Bastille Day) on July 14th.

September is a marvelous time to visit Paris because the weather is still pleasant , yet it is in the off-season , so hotels are more affordable, and tourist attractions are less crowded. Similar to the springtime, September promises a mix of weather, with some sunny days and some rain. The average high temperatures are low-70 degrees Fahrenheit and average low temperatures are mid-50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Another good time to visit is October which is in the off-season . October weather can be chilly. The daytime high-temperature averages start to dip into the 60s Fahrenheit and the average low temperature is 48 degrees.

Tips for What to Wear : For a Paris vacation in April, May, September, or October, travelers should pack layers and bring sweaters, a jacket, raincoat, boots, and an umbrella. In June and July, the weather is warm enough for summer dresses and short-sleeve shirts. Packing requirements during the late fall and winter months (November through March) include heavy coats, scarves, wool hats, gloves, warm socks, and boots.

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Easy Paris Day Trips: There are many wonderful places to visit within easy reach from Paris . Just outside the Paris metropolitan area is a tranquil rural landscape that is rich in cultural treasures: lovely little villages, historic castles, splendid churches, and interesting medieval towns. A must-see destination is the Château de Versailles , the 17th-century palace of Louis XIV (the "Sun King").

For those who prefer cities to the countryside, several worthwhile destinations are just a one- to two-hour train ride away: the elegant and cultured city of Lille (one hour by TGV train) with its distinct Flemish character, the delightful town of Amiens (about one hour and 30 minutes by train), and Lyon (two hours by TGV train) known as the gastronomic heart of France.

Adored by tourists for its perfectly preserved medieval ambiance, picturesque canals, and enticing chocolate shops, atmospheric Bruges (two hours 30 minutes by train) is simple to visit even though the train crosses the border into Belgium.


Historic Sites in Normandy: The scenic Normandy region wows visitors with its natural beauty and fascinating history. Along its dramatic coastline are the Landing Beaches of World War Two, and nearby are military cemeteries and memorial museums. One of the top attractions of France and Normandy's most visited site is Mont Saint-Michel , a UNESCO-listed medieval pilgrimage site with a sublime 12th-century abbey church. Tourists will also enjoy discovering the historic town of Rouen , with its marvelous cathedral, handsome half-timbered houses, and abundance of Gothic churches.


Gorgeous Castles and Pastoral Landscapes: The fairy-tale Loire Valley landscape is home to the most magnificent Renaissance châteaux in France. With a lush natural environment of woodlands and rivers, this enchanting region is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The naturally beautiful region of Brittany boasts a wild, rugged coastline, with many idyllic fishing villages and an unspoiled countryside with medieval castles. The Burgundy region is dotted with historic towns such as Dijon , quaint villages, ancient abbeys, and Romanesque churches.

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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Paris

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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 :

Map of Paris

Paris Map

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.

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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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Paris   Travel Guide

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tourist locations in paris

32 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

If it's your first visit to Paris, you'll probably want to spend some time at the world-renowned  Eiffel Tower , the Louvre (home of the "Mona Lisa") and the Notre-Dame. Don't miss out on other notable city jewels either, such as the Musée

  • All Things To Do
  • 1-Day Itinerary
  • 2-Day Itinerary
  • 3-Day Itinerary

tourist locations in paris

Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)

U.S. News Insider Tip:  For the best photo opportunities of the Eiffel Tower, head to Place du Trocadéro. (Just expect to contend with some crowds!) – Nicola Wood, Senior Editor

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.

tourist locations in paris

Musée du Louvre Musée du Louvre

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  

If you only had time to visit one museum in Paris, it should undoubtedly be the Musée du Louvre. That's because the Louvre is not only widely considered to be one of the best art museums in Europe, but one of the best in the world. The museum first opened its doors in 1793 and features more than 35,000 works of art on display. Here, you can get up close to a variety of art from different time periods and cultures. The Louvre features everything from Egyptian mummy tombs to ancient Grecian sculptures (including the renowned Winged Victory of Samothrace and curvaceous Venus de Milo). There are also thousands of paintings to peruse as well. Masterpieces such as "Liberty Leading the People" by Eugene Delacroix, "The Raft of the Medusa" by Théodore Géricault and Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa," the museum's biggest star, can be found here.

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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 interior of 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. It's 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. There are also free, volunteer-led informational tours around the outside of the cathedral select days of the week. Consult this online calendar to see when English tours are offered.

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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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 2024: Food, Versailles & More

Jan. 19, 2024

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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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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 13 euros (about $14) 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 20 euros (about $22).   

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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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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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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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tourist locations in paris

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.

tourist locations in paris

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.

tourist locations in paris

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.

tourist locations in paris

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.

tourist locations in paris

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Paris Discovery Guide

Top Paris Attractions

  • See & Do
  • Top Attractions

Top 10 Paris Attractions

Planning your first visit to Paris?   If so, start with these top 10 attractions and legendary sightseeing destinations.  

These are the historical, cultural, and famous places everyone associates with Paris - the top sites to see in Paris for many visitors.

Don't feel you need to see all of them in one visit, especially you are here for just a few days. 

Several of these top Paris attractions, such as the soaring Eiffel Tower, the gorgeous Seine River, the monumental Arc de Triomphe, and even the gleaming white Sacre Coeur set high on a hilltop, are part of the Paris skyline and easy to spot from many places in the city, whether or not you actually visit.

Consider a quick day trip to one of the famous destinations just beyond the city, such as the Palace of Versailles or Disneyland Paris.

But also take time to stroll through an iconic neighborhood such as the Latin Quarter or Montmartre.  Relax in the beautiful Luxembourg Garden.  Take sunset cruise along the Seine.

Spend a few moments admiring Notre Dame Cathedral.   Right now, you can now view only the exterior due to the tragic 2019 fire.  But thanks to the massive restoration underway, part of the magnificent cathedral may be open to the public by 2024. 

And plan a visit to at least one of the most famous Paris museums  and experience their masterpieces in person.  See the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo at the Louvre, Van Gogh's Starry Night at the Orsay, or cutting-edge contemporary art at Pompidou . 

Finally, save some time to see other less famous and even "hidden" attractions in Paris, even if it means skipping some of the places on this page.  You can always visit on your next trip to Paris, and meanwhile, you'll have a variety of wonderful memories.

Because as Ernest Hemingway famously said, " . . . wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast."

Top photo:  Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris's Montmartre neighborhood, (c) Paris Discovery Guide

Paris Discovery Guide is a reader-supported publication.  When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission at no additional cost for you.  Learn more

1.  Eiffel Tower ( Tour Eiffel ) - The Number 1 Attraction in Paris

The Eiffel Tower seen from a Seine River cruise boat

Soaring high above the Paris landscape, the Eiffel Tower symbolizes Paris - and gives you spectacular city views from three levels.  For many visitors, going to the highest level of the Eiffel Tower tops their "essential sites to see in Paris, France" list, and for good reason.

Popular Ways to Visit the Eiffel Tower

  • Eiffel Tower Entry TIcket with Optional Summit Access - Skip the ticket line & use a faster "groups only" security line
  • Eiffel Tower Stairs Tickets - Skip the ticket line
  • Eiffel Tower Guided Tour by Elevator - Enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner while enjoying views of the Paris skyline

Although you view see the famous landmark from many points in the city, nothing beats the thrill of going up to the observation platforms and watching Paris landmarks get smaller and smaller below you.

To capture a lifetime memory of your visit, book a professional photoshoot in front of the iconic monument.

Just want to view this famous Paris attraction?  A Seine River cruise or a guided bike tour of the city gives you the perfect way to see it plus lots of other famous monuments and museums located on the riverside.

More to Enjoy:  Restaurants and a champagne bar, a seasonal ice skating rink during some years, fascinating views through the transparent floor on the 1st level.

Paris Discovery Tip:  Crowds at the Eiffel Tower can be massive and waiting in line to get tickets can take up to 4 hours or more during peak months - get a skip-the-line priority entrance ticket:

More Ways to See the Eiffel Tower

2.  louvre museum ( musée du louvre ) - the most visited museum in the world.

Glass pyramid at the Louvre at night

The enormous Louvre Museum receives over 10 million visitors a year, making it the world's most visited museum and a top Paris attraction.

Much of this popularity stems from the Louvre's three famous masterworks, Leonardo di Vinci's Mona Lisa and two famous Greek statues, Venus de Milo and the Winged Victory of Samot hrace (also known as the Winged Nike - yes, the inspiration for the popular athletic shoe brand!)

Popular Ways to Visit the Louvre

  • Louvre Masterpieces Tour with Reserved Tickets - Most popular choice 
  • Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour - Small group tour
  • Louvre Museum Timed Entry Ticket - Ticket only; no tour

But the Louvre offers you so much more to see, including a magnificent Egyptian collection complete with mummies, gallery after gallery of European paintings from the Middle Ages to the mid-19th century, and dazzling rooms of exquisite furniture, tapestries, and ornamental objects.

Outside, 20th century glass pyramids by I M Pei and a reflecting pool contrast with the ornate Renaissance architecture of the former royal palace.

Book a Louvre Museum guided tour with skip-the-line entrance:

More to Enjoy:  At basement level, you can view excavations of the original 12th century fortress that once stood in the Louvre's Paris location.

  • See popular Louvre guided tours and skip-the-line tickets from Get Your Guide
  • Find out what to expect on a guided tour of the Louvre

3.  Versailles Palace - The Most Visited Royal Palace in France

Versaille Palace's Hall of Mirrors

With more than 700 rooms, Versailles Palace is one of the largest in the world.   Famous for its royal occupants  from King Louis XIV to Marie-Antoinette, the glittering Hall of Mirrors, lavishly decorated rooms, and priceless art, Versailles Palace gives you an unforgettable glimpse of royal life when you visit. 

You can easily spend much or all of a day here.

More to Enjoy:   Magnificent gardens filled with statues, fountains, flowers, tree allées , and walking paths. 

  • Top things to see & do at the Palace of Versailles
  • Best guided walking and bike tours of Versailles from Paris
  • How to get to Versailles from Paris: 6 options
  • Where to stay near Versailles Palace

Paris Discovery Tip:  Versailles attracts huge numbers of visitors - in fact, the enormous chateau is the most-visited palace in France and one of the most famous in Europe.

Slow security check lines before you enter mean a 2-4 hour wait in line during most months of the year.  Although  skip-the-line tickets won't save you from every delay (you still have to go through security, although those lines ususally move quickly), they can certainly speed up your entry. 

But here's our "insiders" tip and strong recommendation:   Choose a guided tour if you want to save time and if your budget allows it.  Why?  Guided tours get to access a separate, much faster security line.

Choose one of these excellent guided tours and avoid the long wait in lines:

  • Versailles Skip-the-Line Half-Day Tour & Hotel Transfer  - Experience the lavish palace and gardens enjoyed by French kings and queens, including Marie Antoinette as an expert guide shows you the famous Hall of Mirrors, State Apartments, King's Bedroom, and more.  Find out more 
  • Versailles by Train Escorted Tour from Paris with Skip the Line Tickets - A guide meets you at a designated spot in Paris, escorts you on the RER train to Versailles, and takes you through the guided tour direct entrance to avoid the lines.   After lunch (on your own, or add on a gourmet 3-course lunch with wine when you book), you'll visit the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's personal domain and her quaint country "village."  After your tour, you'll take the direct train back to Paris. 
  • Full-Day Guided Tour of Versailles with Lunch - You'll travel with a guide in an air-conditioned luxury coach from Paris to Versailles, where you'll quickly pass through the guided tour security.  In addition to giving you a tour of Versailles Palace and its most important rooms, your guide will also take you through the Grand and Petit Trianon, the two smaller castles the French royalty usually prefered to spend their time.  You'll have a wonderful lunch at an onsite restaurant, and will have plenty of time to stroll through the magnificent gardens.

Want to risk Versailles without a skip the line ticket?   For example, if you plan to come after most people have entered - for example, mid-afternoon - lines usually move much faster. 

In that case, you can save money by getting the Versailles Palace & Gardens Full Access Ticket, which comes with an audio guide.  "Full access" means you also get entrance to Marie Antoinette's Petit Trianon palace and her "Hamlet" village, which are worth seeing.  

But if you're really short on time, you can save about 3 dollars with a Palace and Gardens-Only ticket.

Find more spectacular day trips from Paris

4.  Latin Quarter ( Quartier Latin )

Quiet street in the Latin Quarter in Paris

To experience an older Paris, spend some time discovering the charms of the Latin Quarter.

First settled by Romans in the 1st century, this famous Left Bank neighborhood has long attracted bohemians, scholars, and political protest.  Look closely, and you'll see traces of medieval Paris in the narrow, winding streets and older buildings.

Have a drink at the brasseries along Boulevard Saint Germain where Hemingway, Sartre, and Camus hung out during the 1920s, visit the tombs of French heroes and intellectuals at the Pantheon, and gaze at the timeless beauty of Lady and the Unicorn tapestries at the Cluny Museum.

More to Enjoy:  Explore the narrow winding side streets filled with old bookstores, tiny bistros, and quirky boutiques.   Visit the beautiful old churches filled with artistic treasures, including Saint Julien le Pauvre, dating back to the Middle Ages.  Go back even farther in time and visit a 1st century Roman arena, one of the Latin Quarter's "hidden treasures."

Paris Discovery Tip:  Unless you love huge crowds, avoid pedestrian-only Rue de la Huchette.

Find fun ways to explore the Latin Quarter

5.  Seine River - Beaches, Cruises, & More

Seine River and part of the Louvre, Paris

The Seine River flows through central Paris, defining the city's Right Bank to the north and the Left Bank on the south.  Île de la Cité, one of two small islands in the middle, is the historic heart of Paris with world-famous medieval masterpieces, hidden parks, and lovely 17th century enclaves.

You can enjoy the Seine in many different ways.  Walk along the banks and admire the beautiful bridges.  Check out les bouquinistes , the river-side booksellers along both sides of the Seine.  Explore the Parc Rives de Seine, the riverside pedestrian-only promenade from Place de la Bastille to the Eiffel Tower.

Cruise up and down the river on a tour boat to see Paris's most beautiful historic buildings and bridges from a unique perspective.  Dine and dance on a river-side barge.  Cool off in a floating swimming pool.

Visit Les Berges, the recreational area along the river on the Left Bank - it especially comes alive in the summer.

More to Enjoy:   From mid-July to mid-August, Paris Plages transforms the Right Bank plus other parts of the city into a sandy beach.

Paris Discovery Tip:   From the Seine, cruise up through the 15th century Canal Saint-Martin and Canal de l'Ourcq through the newly-trendy northeast part of the city.

Popular Seine River Cruises

Notre dame ( cathédrale notre-dame de paris ).

Notre Dame Cathedral viewed from the Left Bank of Paris before the fire

Built during the Middle Ages at the historic heart of Parison Île de la Cité , Notre Dame Cathedral embodies the splendors of Gothic architecture from its site overlooking the Seine River.

The devastating 2019 fire means you can no longer go inside to admire the hundreds of statues, sculptures, paintings, spectacular stained glass windows or climb up to the roof for closeup views of gorgoyles and sweeping city views. 

However, the ongoing repairs and restoration work is fascinating to see from the outside, plus you can also admire the high towers, flying buttresses, and other features from a safe distance.  

And there is good news:   The famous cathedral is now expected to partially reopen by December, 2024.

Best viewing location:  Left Bank of the Seine River.

6.  Montmartre and Sacré Coeur

Quiet lane in Montmartre, not far from Sacre Coeur Basilica

Once a separate village, Montmartre has been part of Paris since 1860 but its winding lanes, many trees, and picturesque hillsides still make it seem like a place apart.

You can stroll past the neighborhood's many cafes and cabarets, and imagine the artists, musicians, and writers who made it their home 100+ years ago when rents were cheap.

The most famous sight is the gleaming white Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, built in Italian Byzantine style and visible from most points in Paris.

Tourists often pack the areas around Sacré Coeur and the Moulin Rouge theater in Pigalle - but miss the most interesting parts of the neighborhood where you can find small art museums and parks, pedestrian-only lanes, and a couple of old-fashioned windmills.

More to Enjoy:   Go inside Sacré Coeur to see the beautiful mosaics.

Paris Discovery Tip:  If you're visiting in October, come to the harvest festival in Montmartre's still-producing vineyard

Discover the hidden gems of Montmartre

7.  Musée d'Orsay

Statues and golden clock at the Orsay Museum

Occupying a former train station, Musée d'Orsay contains a magnificent collection of world-famous Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.  

Crowds pack the galleries holding the best-known masterpieces, especially those by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin, and Van Gogh, whose Starry Night painting attracts the largest crowds of all.

More to Enjoy:  Sweeping views of Paris from the almost-hidden rooftop terrace.

Paris Discovery Tip:  Unless you are visiting during the slow months of the winter, join a guided tour if you want to get a look at the most famous paintings unobstructed by massive crowds.

What to see & do at the Orsay Museum

8.  Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe, Paris

The massive Arc de Triomphe is one of the most recognizable Paris attractions, commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon to honor his army's victories across Europe, although he was exiled and dead by the time of its completion 30 years later.

The Arc de Triomphe is surrounded by a busy traffic rotary where 12 major streets, including the western end of Champs Élysées, converge.  Although you can easily see it at a distance, you'll get the best views and experience when you're close to it.

Best Time to View:   On the first Sunday (a.k.a. "car-free Sundays) of each month when Champs Élysées bans cars and becomes pedestrian-only.

More to Enjoy:   Get a  ticket and climb the stairs to the observation deck at the top for 360 degree views of Paris.  At the base of the monument, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and eternal flame to honor the unidentified French soldiers killed in World Wars I and II.  You can see its daily re-lighting every evening at 6:30pm.  Elaborate statues and bas relief carvings depicting Napoleon's battles cover large portions of the monument.

Get your skip-the-line Arc de Triomphe rooftop tickets now:

Paris Discovery Tip:   If you are in Paris on Armistice Day (November 11), Bastille Day (July 14), or New Year's Eve (December 31), don't miss the parades and celebrations on Champs Élysées that start at the Arc.  The Paris Marathon in April also starts and ends at the Arc, and the Tour de France also ends there in July.

Find out more about visiting the Arc de Triomphe

9.  Pompidou Center ( Centre Pompidou )

Exhibit in Pompidou Center, Paris

In a city filled with traditional architecture, Pompidou Center's edgy design featuring exterior walls of brightly colored tubes and exposed mechanical systems brought howls of derision when it first opened.  Half a century later, the building's design by architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers still stands out in the cityscape.

But inside (get a skip the line ticket before you go to save time), revolving exhibitions of top-notch contemporary paintings, sculptures, and video and sound installations account for the museum's immense popularity.

More to Enjoy:   A wonderful rooftop deck, reflecting pool, and restaurant overlooking the city

Paris Discovery Tip:  After your visit, walk around to the back of Centre Pompidou's right side to see Stravinsky Fountain, named after the composer and filled with 16 water-spraying moving sculptures that represent his music.  You can also see it if you look straight down from the rooftop deck.

Some bad news:  Centre Pompidou's structure needs critical major repairs that will require closing to the public, and the work is expected to take about 5 years.   Estimated closure currently is expected during summer or fall of 2025. 

So if you want to visit this unique and wonderful contemporary art museum, go now!!! 

Buy your Pompidou skip the line entrance ticket

10.  Luxembourg Garden ( Jardin du Luxembourg )

Statue and spring flowers in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Towering chestnut trees, a tranquil pool where children (and teens and adults) float toy sailboats, and many benches for sitting among lush flowers and beautiful statues make Luxembourg Garden Paris's most popular park. 

And with 448 other city parks and 2 great forests to choose from, that's quite a distinction! 

Despite its number of visitors, Luxembourg Garden seldom seems crowded because its 60 acres are divided into many distinctive areas.  You can even play tennis here.

More to Enjoy:   A drink or lunch at the open-air cafe.

Paris Discovery Tip:   If you are traveling with children, check out the pony rides and puppet theater.  If you're not, snag one of the green metal chairs next to the reflecting pool at the Medici Fountain and enjoy a few tranquil moments of total relaxation.

Where to Stay in Paris near Top Attractions

Wondering which neighborhood to choose as your "home base" for your Paris visit?  See our recommendations based on the attractions you want to visit.

More Top Paris Attractions to See & Explore

Rodin museum (musée rodin).

Rodin's 'The Kiss' in the Musee Rodin - Photo (c) Patrick Tourneboeuf/OPPIC/Tendance Floue

Perhaps the most romantic museum in Paris and a top attraction because of its lush sculpture garden, location in a spectacular 18th century rococo mansion, and, of course, the sensual sculpture of two lovers in "The Kiss, the Rodin Museum gives you the opportunity to view the breadth and depth of French sculptor Auguste Rodin's boundary-breaking path from naturalism to modernism.

Plan to spend more time than you might expect in the beautifully designed garden, where flowers bloom almost year-round, lime trees scent the air with their leaves, and masses of roses burst into a riot of color in May and June, with some continuing to bloom through fall.  

The garden is also where you'll see Rodin's most monumental and evocative creations:  "The Thinker," "Walking Man," "The Gates of Hell," to name only a few. 

More to enjoy:  The onsite cafe/restaurant.

Tickets:   Get your ticket in advance, or use your Paris Museum Pass for admission.

Monet's Garden at Giverny & Other Day Trips from Paris

Monet's house & garden at Giverny

In addition to the Palace of Versailles, Monet's famous water lily ponds and garden at Giverny, the medieval abby at Mont Saint-Michel, Disneyland Paris, Normandy D-Day beaches, special Champagne-tasting tours, and gorgeous castles and chateaux are just a few of the other top attractions you can see on day trips from Paris.

You can even leave Paris in the morning and spend the day enjoying famous sights in  London,  sampling delicious wines and food at a château surrounded by  vineyards  near the city of  Bordeaux , or cruising along the picturesque canals of  Bruges, Belgium  - and still return to Paris in time for a late dinner.

Find out more about the best day trips from Paris.

Paris Food Tours, Wine Tastings, & More Culinary Adventures

Monet's house & garden at Giverny

Want to combine enjoying Paris's food culture - without a doubt, one of the city's most popular attractions - while exploring an iconic neighborhood, cruising down the Seine River, learning how to make macarons, visiting a street market, or sampl ing wine and cheese? 

We highlight 15 of the best tours, cruises, and classes devoted to food and wine (and even one on Paris's thriving craft breweries).  Check them out!

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

Whether you're a huge Disney fan yourself or traveling to Paris with kids who are, a visit to Disneyland Paris can be hard to resist, especially since it's only about a 45-minute train ride from the city and super-easy to reach. 

Especially if you have already visited Disneyland in the U.S., you may be wondering: "Is Disneyland Paris worth going to?"

Of course that's an individual decision, especially if you have a long list of things to do and you have only a few days here, but many people have visited Disneyland Paris would tell you, "Yes!"

The Paris parks are lot of fun and even though the amusement park attractions may seem familiar, there's a certain "je ne sais quoi" that's distinctly Parisian.  Plus, the on-site food is much better.  So think of it as a cultural experience - and go! 

Book your Disneyland Paris tickets:

Almost-Hidden Covered Passages

Skyline view of Notre Dame and its flying buttresses, spire, and towers before the 2019 fire

With spectacular glass roofs, elaborate Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, and even Art Deco decor , and luxury boutiques and cool cafes , Paris's 21 remaining late-18th and 19th-century covered passages give you a unique place to shop for artisan gifts, enjoy a casual meal, and soak up the historical details.

Each passage has its own personality, attractions, and ambiance - perfect for exploring on a rainy afternoon, or for discovering more about this fascinating layer of Paris urban history.

Find out more about the best covered passages remaining in Paris today

The Paris Skyline

Skyline view of Notre Dame and its flying buttresses, spire, and towers before the 2019 fire

Iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, and Notre Dame silhouetted against city rooftops and the sky make the Paris skyline one of the city's most memorable attractions.   But what are the best places to see it?

Some, such as the viewing platforms on the Eiffel Tower itself and the rooftop terrace at the Arc de Triomphe, will not surprise you.   But others fall squarely into the "insider secret" category - out-of-the-way places to view the Paris skyline that you may not discover on your own.

Find the best places to view the Paris skyline

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Cobblestone paths

Père Lachaise Cemetery ( Cimetière du Pere Lachaise ) in eastern Paris may not be quite as famous as the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe but its celebrity graves, haunting statues, and photo-worthy cobblestone lanes make it a top Paris attraction.

Part burial ground and part beautifully landscaped garden, this "City of the Dead" is also similar to an open-air museum, with funerary sculptures of every size and shape imaginable:  plump winged cherubs, macabre skulls flanked by what appear to be bat wings, scantily clad women sprawled across tombstones, disembodied heads of famous men.  

But if you're like most first-time visitors here, you may be most fascinated by the graves of famous people buried here. 

Pin Now, Read Again Later

Eiffel Tower viewed from Trocadero

More Fun Things to Do & See in Paris

Where to stay near top paris attractions.

First, check out our guide to where to stay on your first trip to Paris  to find the best neighborhoods and districts based on your interests and what you want to see and do.  We suggest hotels for each area at different price points:  luxury, mid-range, and budget.

To find even more hotels, use this handy  hotel map from to find available accommodations near top attractions for your travel dates, see lowest rates, and make your reservations:

Check out the newest Paris hotels

Related Articles about Paris Attractions 

  • Sainte Chapelle - See the famous medieval stained glass windows and enjoy candlelight concerts 
  • Easy Day Trips from Paris - How to visit Versailles, Giverny, Mont Saint Michel, D-Day Normandy Beaches, Disneyland, London, Bruges, & more places in just one day
  • Why Visit Paris - Paris is always a good idea - but here are even more reasons to visit
  • Your First Day in Paris - What to Do & See While Jet Lagged
  • Skip the Line Tickets - Where to get them

Top Attractions & Tours

Eiffel Tower in Paris

  • Eiffel Tower - Enjoy sweeping views of Paris
  • Louvre Tour - Soak up art & see the Mona Lisa
  • Palace of Versailles - Best way to see the famous Chateau
  • Paris Museum Pass - Choose 2, 4, or 6 days
  • Paris Disneyland - Get express tickets & transport from Paris

Happening in Paris

January in Paris

January in Paris

  • The famous Paris winter sales, concerts, new museum exhibits

February in Paris

February in Paris

  • Valentine's Day, Chinese New Year Parades

March in Paris

March in Paris

  • Mardi Gras, Fountain Shows at Versailles, French Open

April in Paris

April in Paris

  • Paris Marathon, Easter concerts, spring flowers

May in Paris

May in Paris

  • Mother's Day, jazz festival, concerts

June in Paris

June in Paris

  • Summer sales, Pride week, music fests, air show

July in Paris

July in Paris

  • Bastille Day, Tour de France, beaches

August in Paris

August in Paris

  • Free concerts & movies, Rock En Seine

September in Paris

September in Paris

  • European Heritage Days, Fashion Week

October in Paris

October in Paris

  • Wine festival, Halloween, Motor Show

November in Paris

November in Paris

  • Armistice Day, Salon du Chocolat

December in Paris

December in Paris

  • Christmas, New Year's Eve

Hanukkah in Paris

Hanukkuh in Paris

  • Menorah lightings 

Christmas in Paris

Christmas in Paris

  • Holiday celebrations & decorations

Paris Christmas Markets

Christmas Markets

  • Gifts, holiday food, mulled wine, and Santa

Newest Articles & Latest Updates

The City of Paris Loves Visitors sign in Paris, France

  • Best Places to See Cherry Blossoms in Paris
  • How to Get from Paris to Giverny
  • Where to Find Paris's Best Covered Passages
  • Best Paris Food Tours
  • Best Hotels with Free Shuttles to Disneyland Paris
  • Happening Now in Paris - Find Our Latest Articles  

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

51 unmissable attractions in Paris: including free attractions

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 decadent pastries - the kind you can dip in your hot chocolate. But how do you enjoy this gorgeous city without just succumbing to the age-old clich é s (as much as we do love all of them)?

We’ve compiled a list of the 51 best attractions in Paris, from the big-name ‘must-see’ paris attractions to something a little bit more bespoke and  treasured  locally. So whether you’re looking for lesser-known museums , late-night live music , or the best places for shopping , we’ve got plenty of ideas - and they’re all as tasty as a Ladur é e macaron.

Time Out tip:  If you want avoid taxing, RATP App and Citymapper will be essential for getting around Paris like a local. 

RECOMMENDED: 🇫🇷See our full guide to the best things to do in Paris 🥖Check out  the best food tours in Paris 📍Here's where to head for  the best tours in Paris 🛏 Stay in the best airbnbs in Paris 🚍The best Paris bus tours

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). Though, perhaps the best part about this structural beauty is that it's free and incredibly photogenic, making it a popular attraction for couples - especially when it comes to popping the big question, that is, where to head for dinner. 

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

If you're looking for things to do near the Eiffel Tower, so you tick off a bunch of sights all in one day, your next stop should be none other than, Musée d’Orsay.  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, Paris main attraction,  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

Next on our list of Paris highlights is The Canal Saint-Martin.  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 changed 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!

The Seine river cruise

14.  The Seine river cruise

In a city where there is so much to do (just see this list, eh), it can be hard to check it all off without succumbing to serious blisters, Metro fatigue or taxi hell (or, all three). Consider instead the lazy-luxe option of a cruise down the river Seine, wine glass in hand as you peacefully gaze upon Les Invalids, the Parliament of Paris, the Musée d’Orsay etcetera etcetera… Basically, it’s the thinking person’s version of whistlestop tourism and it’ll still leave you feeling as chic and unruffled as the city you’re staying in.

Don’t miss: Take your river-riding experience to the next level with a three-course lunch (trad French cuisine, naturellment ).

Moulin Rouge

15.  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

16.  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

17.  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

18.  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

19.  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

20.  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

21.  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

22.  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.


23.  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

24.  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

25.  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

26.  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

27.  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

28.  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

29.  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

30.  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

31.  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

32.  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

33.  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.


34.  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

35.  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

36.  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

37.  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

38.  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

39.  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

40.  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

41.  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

42.  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

43.  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

44.  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

45.  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

46.  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

47.  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

48.  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

49.  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

50.  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. 

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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12 famous places in Paris and what makes them iconic

View of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Known as one of the fashion capitals of the world, Paris also tops the list when it comes to entertainment and culture. Many flock to the city’s renowned landmarks, museums, and historic sites. From lofty towers and busy boulevards to its iconic museums and grandiose palaces, Paris has a way of romancing its visitors to return time after time.

Tick off these 12 famous places in Paris and discover what makes them so alluring.

1. Eiffel Tower

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine River in Paris

The Eiffel Tower ​​has been a national icon for over 130 years. You’ll see it in every skyline photo and box-office hits like Midnight in Paris , Rush Hour 3 , and Monte Carlo .

Looming over 1,000 feet above the city, many still try to capture this architectural marvel in a single frame—whether it’s from Les Jardins du Trocadéro or the sprawling lawns of Champ de Mars . To get ahead of the crowd, buy skip-the-line tickets or opt for a guided climbing tour (a pro-tip to beat the elevator lines). The picture-perfect views from the summit are absolutely worth it.

2. Louvre Museum

Aerial view of the Louvre Museum pyramid in Paris

The Louvre Museum is the most visited museum in the world. Millions of tourists make the trip not just to pose in front of its sleek pyramid entrance, but to see masterpieces like Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa first-hand.

Housing an extensive collection of over 380,000 exhibits, the museum can’t be covered in a day. Check out our guide to the Louvre's must-see paintings or maximize your visit with a skip-the-line guided tour of the Louvre’s highlights .

3. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe in Paris

Located at the western end of Champs Élysées , Arc de Triomphe is the most emblematic attraction in Paris. It was constructed in 1806 to commemorate some of France’s biggest victories, and memorialize noble soldiers who lost their lives tragically.

Don’t just admire it from the ground: climb up to the viewing platform and revel in unobstructed views of the city—you might even be able to see La Défense and Montmartre in the distance. After that, conquer the scores of boutiques, department stores, and fancy restaurants along bustling Champs-Élysées.

4. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris

The 800-year-old Notre-Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’ most revered monuments. This esteemed church is also the most famous Gothic cathedral of the Middle Ages, and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Formerly the location of major events like coronations, weddings, and funerals, the Notre-Dame also became a common tourist pit-stop. Inside, visitors would marvel at the stained-glass rose windows and massive bells. Although it remains closed after the devastating fire, you can still appreciate its resplendent architecture along the banks of the Seine River.

5. Moulin Rouge

Outside Moulin Rouge in Paris at night

Moulin Rouge is a world-renowned and legendary cabaret in Montmartre. Catch glamorous evening shows full of music and dance, and enjoy the rambunctious atmosphere. Though usually held at night, there are several matinees throughout the year to look out for.

Learn about the story of Moulin Rouge while enjoying the fast-paced French Can-Can with performers in dazzling rhinestone costumes is certainly a feast for the eyes. Parents, save Moulin Rouge for date nights—the performances are not for kids under six. Also, check the dress code to avoid being turned away.

6. Champs Élysées

Champs Elysees street and the Arc de Triomphe during sunset

Whether you’re planning a sightseeing bus tour or a shopping spree, add Champs-Élysées, Paris’ famous shopping street, to your itinerary. This tree-lined boulevard is one of the most beautiful spots in Paris. It also connects Arc de Triomphe with Place de la Concorde , so include some photo-taking along the way. Better still, get a tourist pass and save on entry fees.

Known as the Beverly Hills of Paris, Champs-Élysées is home to upscale boutiques, posh restaurants, and swanky hotels. There are wallet-friendly options too, like Starbucks and McDonald’s. If the little ones are tagging along, the Disney store warrants a detour.

7. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is the only Disneyland in Europe, and that makes it worth a trip. Start your day early and revel in the magic of both parks: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park . Check out the best Disneyland rides , heartwarming shows, nostalgic Disney merchandise and dazzling fireworks, this fun-filled outing will excite the young and young at heart.

Don’t miss the Disney Village nearby—a great shopping and dining hub, especially if you need to bag more souvenirs. There’s also a wonderful hot-air balloon ride, PanoraMagique , which boasts spectacular views over Lake Disney (weather-permitting). Read our guide to Disneyland Paris for more tips and tricks before you go.

8. Seine River

Seine River in Paris

Seine River is one of the most romantic things to do in Paris. Soak in the lovely scenery from the comfort of a bateaux (flat-bottomed riverboat). Whether it’s day or night, prep your cameras for the regal Grand Palais , Ponts des Arts , Île Saint-Louis , and the Eiffel Tower.

Surprise someone special and take them on a lunchtime sightseeing cruise . Or pick a sunset sail and watch the monuments shimmer beneath the night sky.

9. Basilica of Sacré-Cœur

Basilica of Sacré-Cœur in Paris

The Basilica of Sacré-Cœur is a striking Roman Catholic church nestled on Montmartre hill. It’s one of the most noticeable landmarks in Paris and attracts many for its gleaming-white marble architecture and special aura.

For the best vantage point, head up to the esplanade area—after climbing over 200 steps—and be rewarded with mesmerizing views of the city. Avoid golden hour though, when it’s teeming with photo enthusiasts. After your visit, explore the neighborhood and visit Place du Tertre , Le Consulat (for coffee lovers), and Musee de Montmartre , which celebrates the art and history of the area.

10. Musée d'Orsay

Musée d'Orsay in Paris

Musée d'Orsay is renowned for housing the world’s largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings. Most of these brilliant artworks span the period between the 18th and 19th centuries. With thousands of paintings (some of which are rare), and hundreds of sculptures, make a beeline for famous pieces first like Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Claude Monet’s The Magpie .

This opulent museum sits in a century-old railway station. Come on weekday mornings when it’s less crowded, and take advantage of the photo ops starting with the Musée d’Orsay Clock.

11. Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden in Paris

Once you’ve wrapped up your Musée d’Orsay tour, stroll to the nearby Tuileries Garden . This popular French garden is the ideal spot for a lazy afternoon picnic, amidst the manicured trees and statues. Alternatively, admire the colorful shrubs from the park benches or cafes.

If you visit Paris during the summer between June and August, enjoy Fête des Tuileries. The kids will love this traditional carnival with over 60 attractions, a 1900s carousel, and treats like cotton candy and toffee apples.

12. Panthéon

Outside view of the Panthéon in Paris

The Panthéon honors revolutionary French citizens like Victor Hugo, Marie Curie and Voltaire. Built in a neoclassical style, this national mausoleum was originally a church. Today, you can pay homage to some of the most distinguished people whose final resting place is in the Crypt.

Inside, you’ll find many statues on the main floor, breathtaking artworks, and sculptures of illustrious scientists and politicians. The Panthéon may not be suitable for young kids or the elderly (due to the lack of elevators), so make this a brief pit-stop before exploring the rest of Paris’ Latin Quarter .

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

By Caitlin Morton

Muse Rodin Paris Museum Exterior

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.

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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.

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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.

Eiffel Tower Paris

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.

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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.


Disneyland Hotel Paris

Disneyland Hotel Paris

SO/ Paris

Paris Travel Guide

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Home » Europe » France » Paris

20 BEST Places to Visit in Paris (2024 • Famous Sites Guide)

Paris aka the City of Light. It is known as a destination for lovers, for revolutionaries, for artists, and for tourists. There are so many incredible places to visit in Paris – it can be hard to know where to start!

Wherever you choose to visit in Paris, be sure to start your morning off at a French bakery. If it is one thing the French have got right: fresh, delectable bread that will make you go  oui, je t’aime Paris ! It’s a city that feels distinctly French, and yet, a world away from the rest of France.

There are the classic places to visit in Paris like the Louvre, and the Seine River but there are hidden surprises in the cobblestone streets too. Paris calls to be explored by foot and demands your attention like no other city.

Travelling to such an iconic city can feel impossible – how can I possibly see  everything?

Fear not! We have put together the ULTIMATE guide to the best places to visit in Paris! From the quirky to the budget friendly, we have covered the city from top to tail. Let your planning to the culture capital of the world begin with these top 20 places to visit in Paris .

Need a Place Quick? This is The Best Neighborhood in Paris:

These are the best places to visit in paris, faq on the best places to visit in paris, final thoughts on places to visit in paris.


Montmartre (18th Arrondissement)

Montmartre is one of the most romantic districts in Paris. Situated on a large hill overlooking the city, Montmartre is a labyrinth of cobbled streets that are lined with cafes, bistros and bars.

  • Catch a risqué cabaret performance at the Moulin Rouge.
  • Delve deep into the history of Montmartre and some of its most famous residents at the Musee de Montmartre.
  • Feast on incredible French far at Le Basilic.

Let’s do it! This is the list of where to go in Paris to truly experience the city you’ve seen in the movies. From food to architecture to art to hidden gems, it’s all in here. Be sure to check out where to stay in Paris so that you’re all set up with a base from which to guzzle your fancy wine!

tourist locations in paris

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#1 – Catacombs – THE Best Place to Visit in Paris!

Catacombs - One of the more unique places to visit in Paris

  • Spooky history
  • Exciting and grizzly experience

Why it’s awesome: Deep below Paris’s busy streets lies a rather gruesome sight. Established in the late 1700s in order to reduce overflowing graveyards and cemeteries, the catacombs now contain the remains of more than six million people. Under the cover of night, many human remains were moved from city cemeteries and dropped down a mine-shaft opening where they were then arranged in a grizzly manner. Think skulls lining the walls, and bones making up oddly decorative corner pieces.

Even the graveyards have got to be extra in Paris. 😉

Forgotten for many years, the catacombs became something of a novelty for 19th-century Parisian seeking to distract themselves from their Imperial conquests at the time. Ok, you got me, they probably just thought the catacombs were cool and morbid like we do. The tunnels were once used by people in the French Resistance during the Second World War – although the Nazis also created a base within the catacombs too…

What to do there: Descend underground into the gloomy old tunnels under the thriving city streets of Paris. Let your eyes adjust to the dimness as you walk through the old subterranean passageways and chambers. When you reach the underground cemetery it’s hard not to feel a shiver down your spine. This is a badass place to explore while backpacking Paris .

Stare death in the face as you see the remains of hundreds and thousands of deceased locals. Shudder as you view enormous piles of bones placed on top of each other to form entire walls of dead people. Did someone order an existential crisis on their vacation?

#2 – Notre Dame Cathedral – An Incredible Free Place to Visit in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral - incredible free place to go to in Paris

  • Striking architectural gem
  • Long and interesting history

Why it’s awesome: Yes, this site is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. It is busy and chaotic with estimates of 12 million to 13 million visitors annually. But, this towering cathedral is an epic experience. It has stood the test of time and its gargoyles have watched over Paris for over 700 years. It’s also free to enter which helps you keep to your Paris budget .

The architecture is visually striking, but it’s the energy of the place that makes it worth going to. It was an active place of worship with church music that has been rumoured to have converted many to the Catholic faith. And of course, it was the inspiration for the famous Hunchback of Notre Dame. It is one thing to read about such a classic icon – it is something else altogether to see it in the flesh.

In 2019, a fire broke out during some restoration works. As of 2021, it’s no longer a place of active worship and you cannot visit the crypts or towers. However, you can still visit the site itself and admire the architecture. I think it’s a unique experience to witness such an emblem of France during its restoration and know that you’ve seen a little bit of history in the (re)making.

What to do there: Take a couple of photos of the awesome architecture. Keep an eye out for the cheeky gargoyles at the top – originally they were designed as rain spouts but now are simply characters to watch over Paris.

You can admire the celestial feeling inspired by the stained glass panels. I got lost staring at the intricate West Facade. Can you imagine carving hundreds of figures by hand?

There are also beautiful grounds and parks nearby that you can stop to rest in once you have finished taking in the majesty of the cathedral itself. People watching is always a great thing to do at top tourist attractions – all walks of life are inspired to come by and witness something spectacular!

#3 – Eiffel Tower – Most Iconic Places to Visit in Paris

Eiffel Tower- the best place to visit in Paris

  • Terrific city views
  • Iconic landmark

Why it’s awesome: No list of the best places to visit in Paris would be complete without mentioning the world-famous Eiffel Tower. One of Gustave Eiffel’s most well-known masterpieces, the soaring tower is built from wrought iron and dates back to the late 1880s.

One of the world’s most-visited attractions is hardly a hidden gem in Paris . This French icon is recognisable across the globe.

It’s one of those monuments that you can read about in books and see in the movies and still nothing quite prepares you for the real thing.

What to do there: Marvel at the iconic tower from a distance and snap plenty of pictures of one of Paris’s most famous landmarks. Take a guided tour of the observation platforms and soak up amazing views of the city. The landmark becomes that much more alive when a local guide gives you some history.

If you are feeling energetic you can take the staircase, although many people opt to save their legs and ascend the tower by elevator.

If you are feeling fancy, or perhaps want to impress a special someone, you can also sip a glass of bubbly in the decadent champagne bar at the top of the tower as you appreciate beautiful vistas.

#4 – Sainte-Chapelle – A Gothic Gem to See in Paris

Sainte-Chapelle - great place to see in Paris

  • Relatively under-visited attraction
  • Stunning stained glass
  • Peaceful place
  • Religious vibe

Why it’s awesome: Located on Île de la Cité, Sainte-Chapelle was built to contain important Christian relics. Close to the historic homes of former French Kings, the spectacular Church dates back to the 1200s. Built on the orders of King Louis IX, it is a fine example of Gothic architecture.

Surprisingly, the church sees relatively few visitors compared with other major Parisian attractions. As well as being a treat for the eyes, the church has a tranquil and spiritual atmosphere. It’s a great place to beat the crowds.

There is something a little chilling about stained glass windows in a silent church. The light streams in, and just for a moment, there is a feeling of something Divine. What is all the more incredible, is that these were handcrafted by artisans and have withstood the test of time – and German bombs.

What to do there: While the exteriors might seem fairly ordinary, you are sure to be impressed by the fantastic ornamental designs inside the church. Enormous stained glass windows immediately catch the eye, casting bright and colourful light throughout the building.

The windows depict interesting religious scenes and stories. Admire the large sculptures of the 12 apostles that stand halfway up the walls. Feel a sense of being puny as you stand beneath the high arched ceilings. Take a seat on a pew to soak up the lavish surroundings and to enjoy a few moments of peaceful contemplation.

#5 – Louvre – An Amazing Places in Paris to Visit!

Louvre - One of the most amazing places in Paris to visit

  • Home of the Mona Lisa
  • Large collection of art and artefacts

Why it’s awesome: Sitting on the banks of the River Seine, The Louvre is the biggest art museum in the world and another no-brainer of Paris’s must-visit sites. It houses more than 450,000 objects from various points in time, ranging from prehistoric times to the present day, as well as some 35,000 pieces of art. One of the most-visited art museums on the planet, the museum is contained within an opulent former palace.

What to do there: Allow plenty of time to fully appreciate the many marvels and treasures housed within The Louvre (like, a whole day). One of the museum’s most-celebrated pieces is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci but other major artists with works in the museum include Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Giovanni Bellini, and Johan Vermeer. See a huge assortment of antiques and artefacts from around the world and just generally have a super cultural and jampacked day added to your itinerary for Paris.

For all of the art enthusiasts, we recommend booking an audio tour, so you’ll find out all of the details behind each of the artworks and their creators.

tourist locations in paris

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#6 – Buttes-Chaumont Park – A Beautiful Outdoor Place to Visit in Paris

Buttes-Chaumont Park - A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Paris

  • No charge (perfect for you broke backpackers)
  • Quirky atmosphere
  • Nature in the heart of the city
  • Good people watching

Why it’s awesome: Buttes-Chaumont Park is Paris’s fifth-biggest park and a free place to visit. Long stretches of pathways and roads wind through the green park with a historic temple sitting high atop a cliff overlooking the shimmering man-made lake.

With almost 50 species of plants and an abundance of wildlife, the pretty park is a fantastic place to escape the busy city streets. Green spaces are something that is sorely lacking in many cities, and it is great to be able to relax in the ones that are preserved.

What to do there: Plan to spend at least a couple of hours enjoying the scenic park and relish being outdoors and away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Enjoy a lot of the artificial nature structures designed to give a wonderful sense of tranquillity and awes.

There is plenty of space for kids to run and play as well making it the perfect place to go in Paris with kids (other than Disneyland, of course).

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#7 – Champs-Élysées – A Great Place in Paris if You Love to Shop!

Champs-Élysées - great place in Paris if you love to shop

  • Famous Parisian street
  • Luxury shopping
  • Lively atmosphere
  • Lots of cute cafes

Why it’s awesome: The Champs-Élysées is famous for being one of the most exclusive shopping streets on the planet. The elegant and wide street runs for 1.9 kilometres (1.2 miles) between the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Place de la Concorde.

Numerous luxurious stores line the busy street, and there are also plentiful cafes and theatres. Originally designed in the 1600s, it has been a major Parisian thoroughfare for many years. the road sees much activity all throughout the year, and various celebrations, parades, and events take place along the famous road.

What to do there: Even if you do not plan on buying anything, the elegant Champs-Elysees is a terrific place to daydream and indulge in a little window shopping in Paris. The shopfronts and detailed displays are attractive and the energetic vibe is invigorating. Even for budget backpackers in Paris, it’s still a really cool place to visit.

When it’s time to take a break, rest your feet in one of the charming cafes and enjoy a traditional French pastry and drink. In the evening, the street’s theatres burst into life. You can make friends with penniless artisans while a $20 000 handbag watches you from the window.

#8 – Sacre Coeur – An Important Religious Places to See in Paris

Sacre Coeur - one of the most religious places to see in Paris

  • Revered religious site
  • Beautiful architecture
  • Great city views
  • Top place for photography

Why it’s awesome: Officially named the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacre-Coeur is a spectacular Catholic church. Today, the church remembers all those who perished during World Wars. Among Paris’s most-visited attractions, the church is located at the top of Montmartre, which is the city’s highest point.

Still used as an active place of worship, the church boasts interesting statues and sculptures, graceful domes, and a handsome portico. Built from local stone and surrounded by a peaceful garden, the church is a serene sanctuary with interiors as impressive as the exterior and fantastic views of the city.

What to do there: You will surely have noticed the attractive Sacre-Coeur from a distance, as it sits high above the rest of the city. Once you are closer to the magnificent religious building it is easy to admire the many fine details. See the gardens, admire the architecture, stroll the interior and gaze upon the mosaic: this is yet another example of Paris’s exquisite landmarks.

You can attend a church service, or simply wander the grounds. People watching is always a favourite of mine to do at any tourist-filled location. We come from all walks of life and yet we all want to see the big building on the highest hill in the city.

#9 – Palace of Versailles – A Royally Opulant Place in Paris

Palace of Versailles - A very cool place in Paris to go for a day

  • Stunning building
  • Lots of incredible artwork and décor
  • Historical importance
  • Royal associations

Why it’s awesome: The Palace of Versailles is located just outside the heart of Paris. It was the main royal home for a number of years until the beginning of the French Revolution. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring many splendid details both inside and out. Although all of its lavish interiors were destroyed after the revolution, most rooms have now been restored to their former glory.

What to do there: Marvel at the splendid golden gate and impressive facades and wander through the beautiful gardens, which are complete with fountains, statues, wide walkways, and many attractive flowers. Be dazzled inside the mighty Hall of Mirrors, standing in the place where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed. With more than 350 gleaming mirrors the hall is certainly an impressive sight.

Peek inside Marie Antoinette’s former bedroom and see the Gothic architecture, combined with baroque influences, of the amazing Grand Chapel. Stroll alongside the Grand Canal or perhaps enjoy a ride in a gondola or soak up the views from a rowing boat. See where royalty used to entertain guests in the Ballroom Grove, be enchanted by the Musical Fountain, and appreciate the palace’s huge collection of important artwork.

I actually did go on a tour of Versailles, but thanks to my shocking sense of place and direction, ended up quite lost within the ground and had to be escorted out by security at closing time! These grounds are BIG!

#10 – La Pagode / The Pagoda Paris – An Unknown (but awesome) Place to See in Paris!

La Pagode / The Pagoda Paris - Off the beaten path in Paris

  • Unusual attraction
  • Blend of cultures
  • Beautiful art and architecture
  • Off Paris’s beaten track

Why it’s awesome: Combining chic Parisian Style with exotic Chinese features, the Pagoda Paris presents a captivating blend of east meets west. Despite being one of Paris’s most fascinating buildings, the Pagoda is a relatively unknown place.

Originally built as a hotel, it later served as the home of many fine Asian and Chinese artworks and antiques. From the outside, it looks exactly like a Chinese Pagoda, while inside there are gorgeous themed rooms that are filled with a plethora of striking objects.

What to do there: You would be forgiven for thinking that you had somehow been transported across the oceans to Asia when you feast your eyes on the unusual Pagoda. Admire the striking building from outside, taking time to appreciate the finer details.

Inside, the lavish rooms have elaborate panels, with lots of colour and ornate designs adding to the aesthetic value. See the rich and opulent collection of antiques and be amazed that such a treasure exists right in the heart of Paris.

#11 – Wall of Love – Great Place to Visit in Paris for Couples!

Wall of Love - Great place to visit in Paris for couples

  • Romantic atmosphere
  • Beautiful scenery

Why it’s awesome: Located in Montmartre, the Wall of Love covers 40 square meters (430.5 square feet). It was designed in the year 2000 and has been a popular place for lovers ever since. It has more than 600 enamelled tiles that say “I love you”, and the wall features 250 languages, including some that are rare.

There’s also no charge to admire the heartfelt Wall of Love. So, not only is it a beautiful place to see in Paris, but also a free one.

What to do there: Visit the Wall of Love with your sweetheart and enjoy telling each other your feelings in an array of global languages. If you ever wanted to tell your beloved that you love them in Navajo, Esperanto, and numerous other tongues, this is your place to do it.

Pose for selfies in front of the attractive wall as a reminder of your romantic trip to the City of Light.

After you have finished looking at the wall, take a stroll hand-in-hand with your sweet through the surrounding garden square. It’s certainly difficult not to feel enamoured at this lovely spot.

#12 – 59 Rivoli – Artisitic Place to Visit in Paris!

Rivoli - Quite the quirky place in Paris

  • Great place for creative souls
  • Former illegal squat
  • Cultural attraction
  • Home to lots of cool art

Why it’s awesome: Once home to a bank, 59 Rivoli was left deserted. Eventually, however, a group of artists moved into the property, living there and using it as an illegal squat. The aim of the artists was to show how a large space could be put to good artistic use and as living quarters.

In 2006 the squatters were evicted and the building was cleaned and renovated. Now it is a legal site for artists, with numerous workshops and studios and there are some 20 permanent artists as well as temporary creatives. There is no charge to visit what is now one of Paris’s most interesting artistic and cultural places.

There is something inspiring about the display of wilderness and quirkiness. It feels like Paris summed up in a building.

What to do there: Learn more about the building’s past and the visions of the determined artists who once illegally occupied the site. Discover how the local government worked with the artists to create a legal place for artists to live, work, and display a range of eye-catching pieces. Admire the interesting artworks, some of which tell interesting tales. Speak with the artists in residence, admire art, and perhaps pick up a signature piece for your own home.

tourist locations in paris

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#13 – Les Invalides – One of Paris’s Coolest Historical Sites!

Les Invalides - One of Paris’s coolest historical sites

  • Military associations
  • Striking architecture
  • Interesting museum
  • Beautiful grounds

Why it’s awesome: Les Invalides is a large collection of buildings that were originally constructed as a military hospital and retirement home. The site was developed in the 1600s on the orders of the French king.

A number of impressive buildings surround a sweeping courtyard, and there are many interesting designs and architectural features including a glorious church and an ornate vault that houses many significant tombs. Although one of Paris’s popular tourist attractions, the site is also still used as a retirement centre for veterans.

What to do there: Cross the impressive bridge that leads to the site, admiring the beauty as you approach. See the ornate dome-topped chapel, which is the tallest in Paris, and admire the elegant buildings of Les Invalides: the church, the tombs (including Napoleon’s), and the Army Museum.  There is an onsite cafe where you can relax, or alternatively, you can enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawns.

#14 – La Promenade Plantée – A Beautiful Park to Visit in Paris

La Promenade Plantee

  • Peaceful natural spot
  • Lovely city vistas
  • Great use of public space
  • Enjoy being outdoors

Why it’s awesome: Created in 1998, La Promenade Plantée is very similar to the famous Highline in New York. The attractive city park makes use of an old abandoned railway track and has sections at street level, above the busy roads, and underground. There are walking and cycling tracks through lush greenery and pretty flowers.

Younger visitors are not forgotten with the excellent play areas. Additionally, there are sections dedicated to rest and relaxation and exercise and fitness.

What to do there: Follow the pedestrianised walkway for the full length of La Promenade Plantée, which takes around one hour to complete. Alternatively, explore under pedal power and cycle along the track. Listen to the delightful singing of birds as you admire the colourful flowers and inhale the delicious scents.

The lush greenery is definitely a world apart from the busy city streets below; it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and spend some time in nature and unwind in a peaceful setting.

#15 – Centre Pompidou – A Unique Place to Visit in Paris

Centre Pompidou - A great place to visit in Paris if you are alone/traveling solo

  • Eye-catching modern art
  • Incredible architecture
  • Street performers
  • Sweet picnic spot

Why it’s awesome: The Centre Pompidou is most celebrated for being the home of Europe’s biggest modern art museum. The site also has an extensive public library and a music and acoustic research centre. Named after a former French president, the centre sees millions of visitors each year.

Designed to be like a mini town within a city, the centre has unusual architectural designs; most major structural and mechanical elements are outside of the building. There are many interesting art exhibitions inside, with a variety of permanent and temporary displays.

What to do there: Gaze at the unusual building from the outside and be enchanted by an array of street performers in Place Georges Pompidou, located in front of the museum.

Watch as mime artists, musicians, jugglers, acrobats, and skateboarders entertain the crowds, and see artists and caricaturists at work. Take time to view the extensive collection of contemporary art inside the building, some of which contains interesting messages and representations

#16 – Belleville – Underrated Place to See in Paris

Belleville - One of the most underrated places to see in Paris

  • Lesser-visited neighbourhood in Paris
  • Bohemian and edgy atmosphere
  • Interesting street art
  • Great shopping and dining

Why it’s awesome: The Parisian neighbourhood of Belleville doesn’t often feature on many travellers itineraries. However, the area has a gritty and edgy vibe that makes it different to other parts of the city and is one of Paris’s coolest places to visit.

Once a working-class neighbourhood, Belleville used to be an independent area. It attracted large immigrant communities. As a result, today the area is a multi-ethnic and colourful place. Several famous Parisians came from the area and a number of movies have shot scenes there too.

Paris is not just home to pipe smoking, cafe dwelling, existentialist philosophers. Paris is the home of revolutionaries, workers, artists, immigrants, and even bankers and billionaires. This is the place to visit in Paris for a taste of it’s grittier side.

What to do there: Have an alternative Paris adventure and spend several hours wandering through Belleville. Soak up the Bohemian vibe and join locals for a relaxed picnic in the park. Satisfy your appetite in global restaurants, where you’ll find cuisine such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Algerian, Italian, Indian, and Jewish.

See an abundance of graffiti and street art, call into artists’ workshops and galleries, peruse small book shops, and see local mosques from the outside. As nighttime approaches, you’ll find a good selection of bars where you can sip cocktails, wine, and cheap beer. You might even find a great hostel in the area if you’d like to make Belleville your base for a while.

tourist locations in paris

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#17 – Père Lachaise Cemetery – A Quiet Place to See in Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery - A nice quiet place to see in Paris

  • Striking funerary architecture
  • Tranquil atmosphere
  • Lots of nature
  • Final resting place of several famous figures

Why it’s awesome: Père Lachaise Cemetery is the biggest cemetery in the French Capital and is also the world’s most-visited cemetery. The beautiful garden cemetery has several war memorials and graves of famous people. Peaceful and relaxed, the cemetery combines nature and stunning architecture. Open since the early 1800s, the cemetery is the final resting place for more than one million people.

What to do there: Stroll along the shaded pathways, taking time to admire the striking funerary architecture and enjoy being in nature. Pay your respects to the deceased and see the graves of famous people like Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, and Jim Morrison from The Doors. Remember those who gave their lives at the war memorials and sit for a while in quiet contemplation in the serene setting.

#18 – Rue des Martyrs – A Must-See Place in Paris for Foodies!

Rue des Martyrs

  • Lively community
  • Ethnic diversity
  • Plentiful eating options
  • Unusual stores

Why it’s awesome: Stretching for around 0.8 kilometres (half a mile), the enticing Rue des Martyrs has around 200 small and independent businesses. With a real community feeling, quirky stores and charming restaurants and cafes, it’s a place in Paris to feel at home and like a friend.

The street also has a long history; local lore says that France’s patron saint was beheaded here, and there are many tales of ghostly activity.

What to do there: Wander along the timeless street, pausing to peek inside the diverse stores that line the sloping and narrow road. From watch-mender and bookshops to fashion boutiques, discount stores, grocers, and others, you’ll find a huge array of goods to tempt you.

It is also a must-visit place in Paris for foodies with a large amount of cute cafes, traditional bakeries, and excellent restaurants.

Purchase things like craft beers, homemade jams, French olive oil, local wines, macaroons, delicatessen meats and cheeses, and deliciously sweet cakes in the specialty stores. It’s definitely a great place to stock up on picnic supplies and for anyone staying in self-catering accommodation.

#19 – Latin Quarter – Cool Place to Visit in Paris with Friends!

Latin Quarter - Cool place to see in Paris with friends

  • Roman history
  • Major landmarks and museums

Why it’s awesome: Home to the prestigious Sorbonne University, Paris’s vibrant Latin Quarter has a youthful atmosphere and an array of interesting things to see and do. the area has a long Roman history, having been conquered by Roman soldiers who established an ancient city. The area is known today for its numerous book shops and affordable cafes.

The atmosphere is arty, historic, and bohemian, with narrow cobblestone streets and remnants from the medieval era adding to the attractiveness. There are several museums and major landmarks throughout the area, along with pretty parks, historic churches, and a vibrant food market. This is one of Paris’s top places to go for anyone seeking an alternative vibe.

What to do there: Discover the many charms of the enticing Latin Quarter and experience a blend between the medieval world and modern life. Featuring many of Paris’s architectural landmarks as well as museums, markets, local life, and churches, it’s easily an area of Paris you could get lost or even find a homestay in to feel like a local in for a few days.

There are also a number of hostels and places to stay in the Latin Quarter and it’s definitely a popular place in Paris to dedicate some time to.

#20 – Moulin Rouge – A Great Place to Visit in Paris for Nightlife

Moulin Rouge - A great place to visit in Paris at night

  • World-famous entertainment venue
  • Sultry, chic, sexy, and hypnotic Parisian air
  • Home of the can-can dance
  • Flamboyant and extravagant cabaret

Why it’s awesome: Originally established in the late 1880s, the Moulin Rouge has become something of an icon for Parisian sophistication, sex appeal, and seduction. The building is famous for its red windmill on its rooftop. Once a playground for affluent and elite socialites, it is now a popular tourist spot in Paris.

Numerous well-known dancers have graced the theatre’s stages over the years and it was where the can-can dance was born.

If the French accent does it for you, you may even get lucky when you visit the Moulin Rouge. There’s just something about dancing and glistening lights at night that puts us in the mood!

What to do there: Ogle the scintillating costumes and be wowed by the dance moves and performances during a fun night at the world-famous Moulin Rouge.

Get into the party spirit as you watch a can-can dance in its home theatre and be transported to a magical and whimsical world.

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Paris

What is the most visited place in Paris?

It will come as no surprise that the Eiffel Tower is the most visited place in Paris.

What should you not miss in Paris?

The Catacombs are the coolest attraction in the city of Paris. Don’t miss this!

What is the nicest place to visit in Paris?

The area around the Louvre is quaint and charming and full of nice restaurants. I would say this is the nicest part of Paris for tourists.

Is Paris expensive?

Paris is one of the most expensive European cities to visit, but you can do it cheaply. Check out our guide on prices in Paris for more info.

Well, it must be high about time you got packing for Paris! There certainly is a lot to see.

This list covers a lot of the top places to visit in Paris but it still only scratches the surface. Once you start digging deeper, you’re going to unearth so much more.

There’s a reason Paris remains a cultural icon despite the lingering smell of pee in some areas. Every place you go in Paris is going to feel you with a little sense of wonder. This is a 2000-year-old city that lives and breathes life to this day! Every secret alley, cafe tucked away, and rooftop view is going to be a new experience. Plus, you can never get enough of their damn fine bread.

So enjoy Paris and all its top sites. When you’re ready, continue on to the rest of France. And then, after that, I hear backpacking Europe is pretty dope… Avast, travellers! It’s time to explore the best places to visit in Paris.

Notre Dame Cathedral Gargoyle - once the best place to visit in Paris

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Mathilde Magnier

Mathilde Magnier

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32 must-see places in Paris (map + itineraries)

This list of the best places to see in Paris will help you prepare your trip and make sure you don't miss anything important in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

Known as the City of Love, the capital of France is perfect for long romantic walks along the banks of the Seine or through the Montmartre and Le Marais neighbourhoods and visiting some of the world's most famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Sainte Chapelle or the ill-fated Notre Dame Cathedral, which will hopefully soon shine again.

Although Paris is a city to come back again and again, for a first trip we recommend you to stay 4 or 5 days, perfect time to visit the most important places and enjoy typical Parisian experiences such as having a coffee with a croissant in a nice terrace, having a picnic with a view of the Eiffel Tower or going shopping in its elegant galleries.

Remember that the quickest and most convenient way to get around Paris is to use the extensive metro, which has stops at all the city's main attractions, except for the Montmartre district, which can be reached by funicular or on foot.

Based on the experience of the several times we have visited this city, during the last one we wrote this list of Paris travel tips and this guide to Paris, we have made this selection of 32 must-see places to visit in Paris . Let's get started!

1. Trocadero Square

Getting there early in the morning by metro, bus or walking to Trocadero Square for the best views of the Eiffel Tower is one of the best things to do in Paris . If you arrive early in the morning, you can take a pleasant, uncrowded stroll through the Trocadero Gardens, a collection of green spaces, ponds and fountains decorated with sculptures such as the famous "Bull and Fallow deer", leading down from the Palais de Chaillot to the Pont de Jena over the Seine River. At the end of the gardens you'll come across a photogenic carrousel and the banks of the Seine, from where you also have an excellent view of the Eiffel Tower.

Other spots we love where you can see the Eiffel Tower and are located in the surrounding area are Rue de l'Université and Champ de Mars, perfect for a picnic with an unforgettable view.

trocadero que ver en parís

2. Eiffel Tower, one of the must-see sights in Paris

The Eiffel Tower was created for the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1889 and although Parisians did not like its design at first, over time it has become the most important symbol to see in Paris and the most visited monument in the world with more than 7 million people a year.

To get to the top of this 300-metre-high iron structure, built by the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel, we recommend you take the lift rather than the 1665-step staircase, not forgetting that unlike the staircase, the lifts form endless queues, which you can save by booking this ticket to the first floor or this one to the third floor. Also with this ticket you can access the 3 floors of the tower which allows you to see the structure of the building up close and enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the whole city or enjoy one of the best restaurants in Paris " Le 58 Tour Eiffel ", perfect for a special occasion. If you prefer to dine in another restaurant, we recommend the Italian restaurant Chez Pippo, one of our favourites in Paris, which is located nearby.

A comfortable and interesting option to learn about the history of the tower and the city is to book this tour with an English speaking guide that includes the entrance without queues, a boat ride and a panoramic bus tour of the main neighbourhoods, squares and monuments of Paris. For more information you can check this post on how to visit the Eiffel Tower.

Visiting hours: daily from 9am to 0:45am July and August, the rest of the year from 9:30am to 11:45pm.

Rue Universite

3. The Louvre

The Louvre , the most famous and visited museum in the world , is another must-see in Paris . Inaugurated at the end of the 18th century, this enormous space located in the Louvre Palace houses some of the most important masterpieces of history such as Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo or the Seated Scribe from ancient Egypt. In addition to its incredible structure, in 1989 a glass pyramid was built in the centre of the square, which acts as the entrance, and which is worth seeing at night, illuminated. An image that we are sure will stay in your memory forever.

Remember that to avoid the long queues at the entrance, which can take over two hours, we recommend that you buy your tickets in advance from this page. Another great way to skip the queues and learn more about the history of the most important pieces is to book this tour with an English-speaking guide, an expert in art and history.

If you are not a great art lover, you can complete the tour of the museum in about 3 hours, following a small map where the most important works to see in the Louvre are marked on the 3 floors. If you're going to visit quite a few of the city's tourist attractions, it's worth buying the Paris Pass, which gives you free entry to over 60 Paris attractions like the Louvre.

For more information you can read this post on how to visit the Louvre Museum and this one with all the information about the Paris Pass.

Visiting hours: Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 6pm; Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 9.45pm and closed on Tuesday.

El Louvre, que visitar en París

4. Royal Palace Gardens

The Royal Palace Gardens, located a few metres from the Louvre Museum, are a haven of peace where you can relax after a visit to the museum and another of the must-see places in Paris .

These gardens of the Palais Royal, built as a residence for Cardinal Richelieu, are surprising for having a courtyard at one end with columns of different heights (colonnes de Buren) that have become one of the favourite places for instagramers and photographers. Although our favourite part is the garden area with magnificent fountains where you can cool off and benches where you can sit and read a book, surrounded by arcades where you can find small antique and vintage clothes shops.

A good way to learn more about the history and not miss anything important in Paris is to book this free tour or this free tour of mysteries and legends, both with an English speaking guide and ranked among the best free tours in Paris.

palacio real que ver en parís

5. National Library

Entering the Richelieu-Louvois branch of the National Library of France, located between the streets des Petits-Champs, Vivienne, Louvois and Richelieu, is one of the best free things to do in Paris. If you don't have a library card, you'll only have access to a small part of this building, but enough to see its beautiful reading room covered with nine domes supported by iron arches and illuminated by natural light. Another library worth visiting in Paris is the Bibliothèque Mazarin, located on the Quai de Conti, on the banks of the Seine, and considered the oldest public library in France.

Opening hours National Library: Tuesday to Saturday from 9am to 7.30pm, Sunday from 10am to 6pm and Monday from 2pm to 7.30pm. Mazarin Library opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Biblioteca Nacional gratis paris

6. Sainte Chapelle, one of the places to see in Paris

The Sainte Chapelle is our favourite church to see in Paris and one of the most beautiful in the world. Gothic in style and located on the beautiful Île de la Cité, it was built between 1241 and 1248 to store various relics such as the crown of thorns, part of the cross, the iron lance and the sponge of the martyrdom of Jesus Christ. What stands out most about the interior is its lack of walls, which enhances the impressive stained-glass windows of the upper chapel, where you will be left speechless in front of so much beauty. The lower chapel is more sober and has a 13th-century fresco of the Annunciation, considered the oldest mural in the city.

A good option to get to know the history of this church and not miss any detail is to book this visit with an expert guide in Spanish that includes a tour of the island. If you don't want to take a guided tour, you can book this skip-the-line ticket in advance or this one that includes the Conciergerie, a former Gothic palace that was used as a prison for historical figures such as Marie Antoinette, whose cell can be visited.

For more information you can read this post on how to visit the Sainte-Chapelle.

Visiting hours: from April to September from 9am to 7pm and the rest of the year from 9am to 5pm. Free entrance with the Paris Pass .

Iglesia de Sainte Chapelle, que ver en París

7. Vivienne Gallery

You can't leave the city without visiting one of its traditional shopping arcades full of fashion and antique shops, perfect for a coffee with a croissant in one of its cafés or patisseries, another of the best things to do in Paris. Among our favourites are the Passage des Panoramas and the Galerie Vivienne, two beautiful galleries with similar architecture that prioritises natural light and early 19th-century Parisian design, which will take you back to a bygone era of splendour.

Galería Vivienne

8. Montmartre neighbourhood

Montmartre is our favourite neighbourhood in the city, along with Le Marais, which is another must-see in Paris . Although nowadays it is very touristy, we can say that it still retains a certain bohemian air of yesteryear when painters like Picasso and Van Gogh lived there and it is also the perfect place to stroll through its beautiful streets and buildings, paying special attention to the Place du Tertre, full of artists painting or selling their paintings, as well as visiting the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, one of the most beautiful places to see in Paris .

This church, which was built between 1875 and 1914, stands out for its white façade, its mix of Roman and Byzantine architecture and its staircase, where you can enjoy one of the best experiences in Paris: an unforgettable sunset, with magnificent views of the city.

The only aspect of Montmartre that we don't recommend, at least in our experience, is staying for lunch or dinner, as most of the restaurants offer tourist menus with a fairly tight quality/price ratio that, in our opinion, doesn't justify staying for lunch or dinner.

To get to Montmartre, take metro line 2 to Anvers or metro line 12 to Abbesses and from there walk up or take the Montmartre Funicular. A good way to explore this neighbourhood and learn about its history and anecdotes is to book this tour of Montmartre with a free English-speaking guide.

Visiting hours of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica: every day from 6am to 10.30pm.

Barrio de Montmartre, lugares que ver en París

9. Arc de Triomphe, one of the places to visit in Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe, built between 1806 and 1836 by Napoleon to commemorate his great victory in the battle of Austerlitz, is the most famous in the world and one of the must-see sights in Paris . At 50 metres high by 45 metres wide, and inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, it is located in one of the largest roundabouts in the world, so you will have to enter through an underground passage, and once in front of it, you will see the moving Tomb of the Unknown Soldier of the First World War. As well as being a symbol of Paris and France as a whole, this Arc de Triomphe is one of the best vantage points in Paris with excellent views of the grand avenue of the Champs Elysées. You can get in for free with the Paris Pass or book this skip-the-line ticket in advance.

For more information you can check this post on how to visit the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 11pm.

Arco del Triunfo de París

10. Seine River

The Seine River, which crosses the city forming some islands such as the Île de la Cité and the Île Saint-Louis, has become another of the points of interest to see in Paris where you can stroll during the sunset from the Notre Dame Cathedral to the Eiffel Tower along the river to enjoy one of the most romantic walks in the world. Along the way you'll cross some of the city's most beautiful bridges, including the Pont Neuf, Pont des Almes, Pont Alexandre III and Pont des Arts, which all have great views of the Île de la Cité, although our favourite is the late 16th-century Pont Neuf , which is the oldest bridge and links the Île de la Cité to the city.

In our experience, the best way to tour the river and see the city lit up is to book this boat trip on the Seine or this gourmet dinner cruise, both of which rank among the best tours in Paris. For more information you can check out this post about the best boat trip on the Seine.

El río Sena en París

11. Visit the Musée d'Orsay, one of the things to do in Paris.

Visiting the Musée d'Orsay, located in a former train station built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, is another of the most interesting things to do in Paris . In addition to observing the architecture of this imposing building covered by a large glass and steel vault that illuminates the interior with natural light, and which still preserves the old station clock, it is worth taking the time to see the masterpieces of great painters such as "Lunch on the Grass" by Manet, "The Starry Night" and several self-portraits by Van Gogh, "Women of Tahiti" by Gauguin, "Poppies" by Monet and "The Card Players" by Paul Cézanne, among many others.

To learn more about the history of the museum and its main pieces, we recommend you book this guided tour or just buy this ticket (included in the Paris Pass).

Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9.30am to 6pm (Thursdays until 9.45pm).

museo orsay que visitar en paris

12. Place Vendome

The Place Vendome, which has at its centre the impressive Vendome Column, erected by Napoleon in 1810 in imitation of the Trajan Column in Rome, is our favourite square to visit in Paris. Surrounded by historic buildings that house some of the most expensive hotels in Paris such as the Ritz and the Vendome, it is home to luxury fashion boutiques such as Dior and Chanel, and especially fine jewellers and watchmakers such as Cartier.

vendome que visitar en paris

13. Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral, built between 1163 and 1345, is one of the oldest and most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in the world. Unfortunately, nowadays, as a result of the tragic fire of 15 April 2019, the building was badly damaged, and only its magnificent exterior can be seen today, with the western façade and the two towers standing out. Above the gates of the façade, there are 28 statues representing the kings of Judea and Israel.

For the moment, waiting and hoping for an exact reconstruction of the cathedral before the fire, we are left with the memory of its luminous interior thanks to its large windows and the ascent to its two towers, in which you can find its famous and mysterious chimeras or gargoyles, from where you can enjoy views to remember.

Catedral de Notre Dame, que ver en París

14. Montparnasse Tower, the best viewpoint to see in Paris

The Montparnasse Tower, with a height of 210 metres, is our favourite viewpoint to see in Paris . This office building, which clashes with the classical architecture of the city, has a viewing platform on the 56th floor and a spectacular terrace on the 59th floor, protected by glass but with open-air photo opportunities, from which you can enjoy breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the whole of Paris, with the Eiffel Tower as its most important landmark. Although it's a bit far from the centre, it's easily accessible by metro on lines 4, 6, 12 and 13, which stop at Montparnasse-Bienvenüe. We recommend booking your ticket in advance, especially at weekends and during the high season, as there is a limited number of places per day.

Visiting hours: daily from 9.30am to 11pm. Free admission with the Paris Pass .

Vistas desde la Torre Montparnasse

15. Champs Elysées

The Champs Elysées, a wide avenue of two kilometres connecting the Place de la Concorde with the Arc de Triomphe, is another of the most famous places to visit in Paris , where you can see the countless windows of luxurious shops, international restaurants and great historic buildings such as the Petit and Grand Palais. At the end of the walk you will reach the Place de la Concorde, where more than 1000 people were executed by guillotine during the French Revolution and where today you can see an Egyptian obelisk more than 3,000 years old.

If you are looking for a place to stay nearby, we recommend Splendid Etoile Hotel on . Located on Avenue de Friedland, just steps away from the Champs-Élysées, it embodies the essence of Parisian charm and sophistication. The hotel's classic Haussmannian architecture exudes elegance, while its interior boasts contemporary design elements and modern amenities. From the moment you arrive, you'll be captivated by the seamless blend of luxury, comfort, and unparalleled service.

Campos Eliseos, uno de los lugares que visitar en París

16. Tuileries Gardens

Past the Place de la Concorde are the magnificent Florentine-style gardens of the Tuileries, created by Catherine de Medicis in 1564 as the garden of the Tuileries Palace. It is worth strolling along the central avenue, decorated with trees, statues, fountains and ponds, until you reach the Arc de Triomphe de Carrousel, built by order of Napoleon, although for us the best part of the garden is to buy an ice cream or a crêpe at one of the stalls and sit in the comfortable chairs around the two ponds.

tullerias que hacer en paris

17. La Conciergerie, one of the must-see places in Paris

La Conciergerie, located on the Ile de la Cité, is one of the most historic places to see in Paris . A royal residence between the 10th and 14th centuries, this place was a royal residence until 1392 when it became one of the harshest prisons from which few prisoners emerged unscathed. Among several famous people of the time, Queen Marie-Antoinette was there for a time, before dying at the guillotine in 1793. During the tour of the prison you can see a reconstruction of Marie-Antoinette's cell and the differences in conditions that existed between the poor prisoners, who slept on the floor, and the rich prisoners, who had all kinds of comforts, including servants.

If you don't have much time, we recommend you book this skip-the-line ticket or this one, which also includes the skip-the-line ticket to the Sainte-Chapelle, located next door.

Visiting hours: daily: 9.30am-6pm.

Recommended travel cards Remember that to avoid paying commissions and to always have the current exchange rate, we recommend you use the Revolut card and the N26 card, which are the ones we use, are free and will save you a lot of money. You can find more information in this article on the best cards for commission-free travel.

18. Le Marais, one of Paris's must-see neighbourhoods

Strolling through the bohemian neighbourhood of Le Marais, located in the heart of the city by the Seine, is another of the best things to do in Paris . Here you'll get a taste of old Paris as you stroll through cobblestone streets lined with vintage shops, hidden courtyards, art galleries, fashion boutiques, elegant mansions, designer restaurants and picnic spots such as the fantastic Place des Vosges, the oldest square in the city and home to Victor Hugo 's former home and the charming courtyard of the Hôtel de Sully. The most famous streets in the neighbourhood and where most of the locals are concentrated are Rue de Rivoli, Rosiers, Charlot, des Archives, Bourg Tibourg, Vieille du Temple, Obenkampf and Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, as well as the alleyways adjacent to them all.

A trip to Paris, the city of love and romance, is an enchanting experience filled with architectural wonders, artistic treasures, and a vibrant cultural scene. To fully immerse yourself in the charm of the city, consider staying at the exquisite Hotel Brighton on . Nestled in the heart of Paris, this elegant establishment captivates with its timeless beauty and unparalleled location. Join us as we explore the allure of Hotel Brighton and discover a luxurious retreat that embodies the essence of Parisian elegance.

The neighbourhood is also home to some of the best restaurants in Paris, including L'As du Fallafel, Benedict, Comptoir Gourmet and Pain Vin fromage, where they serve a delicious fondue.

Place des Vosges, que ver en París

19. Paris City Hall

Listed as a Historic Monument, the City Hall or Hôtel de Ville, the seat of the Parisian municipality since 1357, is another of the most beautiful buildings to see in Paris . We love to sit in the bronze statue-adorned Place de l'Hôtel de Ville to take in its magnificent atmosphere and imposing neo-Renaissance façade.

A few metres from the Town Hall is another historic monument, the flamboyant Gothic-style Saint-Jacques Tower, set in a pretty garden. This 52-metre-high bell tower is all that remains of the former 16th-century church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie, which was demolished in 1797 during the French Revolution, and during the summer you can climb it for a 360-degree view of central Paris.

ayuntamiento de paris

20. Les Halles

From the Saint Jacques Tower you can start a tour of the Les Halles neighbourhood, which revolves around the Pompidou Centre and is another of our must-see places in Paris . Neighbouring Le Marais, this neighbourhood allows you to take a trip through different countries thanks to its multiculturalism, passing through different corners and buildings with history such as the Stock Exchange, the Nelson Mandela Garden and the Church of St. Eustache. One of our favourite areas is Rue Montorgueil, full of shops and terraces where you can have a drink, and the restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, where you can try different typical French dishes such as onion soup, foie gras and escargots (snails).

To finish the route, nothing better than seeing the original Stravinsky Fountain and entering the Georges Pompidou National Centre of Art and Culture, which stands out for its original exterior design with coloured tubes on the façade and for its valuable collection of modern art with works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Matisse and Miró. You can book your ticket to the museum on this page.

Opening hours of the Pompidou Centre: Wednesday to Monday from 11am to 10pm.

Centro Pompidou, que visitar en París

21. Luxembourg Gardens, another of the places to see in Paris.

The Luxembourg Gardens are one of the most beautiful green spaces to see in Paris as well as a perfect place to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city. Located opposite the Palais du Luxembourg, near the Latin Quarter, it's a popular spot for Parisians to picnic, listen to free concerts or just chat with friends on the lawn, especially when the weather is nice. In these gardens with a large central pond, you'll also find several sculptures worth spending a few minutes in, among all kinds of plants and trees. One of its most charming and historic spots is the Medici Fountain, which dates back to the early 17th century when Queen Maria de' Medici had it built to recreate the Boboli Garden in her native Florence.

Jardines de Luxemburgo

22. Catacombs

Another of the places to visit in Paris that have become more fashionable in recent times are the Catacombs. In this extensive network of tunnels and underground chambers at a depth of 20 metres, the remains of more than 6 million skeletons from different eras can be found, forming a large rosary. It is important to know that of the 300 kilometres of tunnels, only 800 metres of bone-lined wall galleries are open to the public.

A good option to skip the long queues, which can take more than 3 hours, is to book this ticket in advance. Bear in mind that the catacombs are a bit far from the city centre, so the best option is to get to the Denfert-Rochereau stop on metro lines 4 and 6.

Visiting hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8.30 pm, last admission one hour before closing time.

Las Catacumbas, uno de los lugares que ver en París

23. Other museums to visit in Paris

Paris is a city that breathes art in every corner, but at the same time, it is full of interesting museums with world-famous collections and works of art, which we recommend you to take into account during your visit.

Other museums to see in Paris, besides the Louvre, Orsay and Pompidou, are:

Musée du quai Branly : located very close to the Eiffel Tower, this modern space exhibits samples of indigenous art, cultures and civilisations from Africa, Asia, Oceania and America. You can book your ticket from this page.

Rodin Museum : in the rococo style palace of the Hotel Biron and its gardens, some of Rodin's most famous sculptures are exhibited, such as The Gates of Hell, The Thinker and The Kiss. You can book your ticket from this page.

La Orangerie : located in a former orangery, this museum has such great gems as Monet's huge paintings of The Water Lilies. You can book your ticket from this page.

All these museums are included if you have the Paris Pass. For more information you can check this post about the best museums in Paris.

Museo Rodin de París

24. Saint-Martin Canal

Another of the best things to do in Paris is to take a pleasant stroll along the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, starting at the Place de la Bastille, the symbolic site of the French Revolution and presided over by the Column of Jules. As you walk along the banks, you'll pass several parks and bridges from where you'll get the best views of this canal full of small boats, and then finish by relaxing in the Jardin des Plantes.

canal saint martin paris

25. The Invalides

The National Palace of Invalides is one of the most iconic and historic monuments to see in Paris , housing the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. Baroque in style, this immense complex was built in the late 17th century as a residence for homeless war veterans and today, in addition to Napoleon's mausoleum and some of his marshals' tombs, you can visit the Army Museum, among the best of its kind, and the Saint Louis Cathedral. This is because in the past, so that soldiers and royalty would not mix, this cathedral was divided into two: the Church of Saint-Louis-des-Invalides for the military and the Church of the Dome for the royal family, the latter containing the sarcophagus with Napoleon's ashes.

A good option if you only have a few days in Paris is to book this tourist bus with recorded commentary in English that stops at the main tourist attractions in the city, such as Les Invalides. For more information you can read this post about the tourist bus in Paris. To enter the Saint Louis Cathedral, if you don't have the Paris Pass, you will have to book the entrance from this page.

Visiting hours: every day from 10am to 6pm. Closed on the first Monday of every month.

los invalides que ver en París

26. Latin Quarter of Paris

If you want to go out at night for dinner or a drink, you cannot miss the Latin Quarter, located to the south of the Ile de la Cité, a neighbourhood in which in its lively and busy streets such as Rue Huchette, you will find a wide variety of restaurants with terraces and signs showing prices much cheaper than in the rest of Paris. In the neighbourhood, as well as enjoying the atmosphere, you can take the time to see the Saint Michel square and fountain, visit the Church of Saint Sulpice, which has some beautiful frescoes by Delacroix and was featured in the film "The Da Vinci Code", or go into the beautiful Shakespeare & Co bookshop, although the most outstanding monument in the neighbourhood is the Pantheon of Paris, where the remains of illustrious French figures such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Louis Braille and Alexandre Dumas, among others, rest in its interior.

If you don't want to waste time on your visit, we recommend you book this skip-the-line ticket in advance. A good option to learn more about the history and curiosities of the neighbourhood is a free tour of the Latin Quarter with an English-speaking guide.

Pantheon opening hours: daily from 10am to 6pm.

Barrio Latino

27. Galeries Lafayette, another place to visit in Paris.

The Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is one of the most famous shopping centres in the world and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Paris. With 7 floors distributed in a circular shape, which looks like a theatre thanks to its huge colourful dome, it also has a rooftop terrace where you can enjoy one of the best views of central Paris for free. Inside the art nouveau-style interior, you'll find plenty of reasonably priced brands, a gourmet section to buy typical French products and an area of good-quality restaurants and cafés. One of the best times to visit is at Christmas, when the incredible window displays seem to come to life and a large tree inside sets the store apart from the rest of the city's Christmas decorations.

Visiting hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:30am to 8:30pm and Sundays from 11am to 7pm.

Galerías Lafayette, que ver en París

28. Paris Opera Garnier

The Opéra Garnier, an immense neo-baroque building built by order of Napoleon in the 19th century, is another of the most beautiful places to see in Paris . The ornate interior offers a luxurious and ostentatious image, full of gilding, mosaics and large chandeliers, and some of its highlights include the grand marble staircase and the impressive red and gold decorated auditorium, which inspired the play " The Phantom of the Opera ".

If you don't feel like spending a lot of money on tickets to see a show, we recommend you book this guided tour or this free entrance.

Visiting hours: daily from 10am to 5pm. Entrance included in the Paris Pass .

For more information you can check this post about how to visit the Opera Garnier in Paris.

Opera Garnier

29. Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world as well as being the largest cemetery to visit in Paris. Known for being the resting place of many famous people, such as Maria Callas (her ashes were laid to rest here, but nowadays you can only see a commemorative plaque), Edith Piaf or composers such as Chopin. In addition, you can also find the grave of the singer Jim Morrison, leader of The Doors, which is one of the most famous in the place and is always full of souvenirs and gifts.

Another of the most beloved graves is that of writer, poet and playwright Oscar Wilde, which has a figure of a naked angel with wings outstretched and is protected by glass, as fans used to paint their lips and mark the grave with a kiss. To find the most famous tombs you can buy a map at a kiosk near the entrance.

A great way to learn about the history of the cemetery and not miss anything is to book a guided tour in English. The cemetery is a little out of town but is easily accessible by metro on lines 2 and 3, which stop at Philippe Auguste and Pere Lachaise stations.

Visiting hours: every day from 8am to 6am, except Sundays when it opens at 9am.

Cementerio Pere Lachaise

30. Pigalle, one of the neighbourhoods to visit in Paris

An evening stroll in the Pigalle district, located at the foot of the Montmartre hill, along the boulevard de Clichy, is another of the things to do in Paris . This red-light district, dotted with sex shops and erotic clubs, has several trendy nightclubs and, above all, the famous Moulin Rouge where artists such as Edith Piaf, Liza Minelli and Frank Sinatra have performed, and where the Féerie show is currently being staged. You can book your ticket in advance on this page.

If you visit Montmartre in the morning, you can walk to Pigalle for lunch at one of its best-known restaurants, such as Les Apotres de Pigalle or Café des Deux Moulins, famous for its appearance in the film Amelie.

moulin rouge paris en dos dias

31. Madeleine Church

The Church of the Madeleine, whose architecture is reminiscent of the classical temples of Ancient Greece, is another must-see in Paris. Surrounded by 52 Corinthian columns 20 metres high and erected in honour of the Great French Army by order of Napoleon, this church is impressive for its pediment with a scene of the Last Judgement and for its spectacular interior where the relics of Saint Mary Magdalene are kept.

Visiting hours: daily from 9.30am to 7pm.

madeleine que ver en parís

32. The Defence

If you have more time, you can complete this list of places to visit in Paris by taking the metro to La Défense, the city's financial district. As well as numerous skyscrapers and the huge Quatre Temps shopping centre, it's worth a trip to this out-of-the-way spot to see the 110-metre-high Grande Arche de la Défense and take the lift up to its terrace for a unique view of Paris. You can book entry to the terrace on this page.

On your way back to the centre you can stop at the Bois de Boulogne for a pleasant stroll among the trees and ponds.

defensa que hacer en paris

Paris itineraries

To complete this list of things to do in Paris, we recommend you follow these itineraries around the city, optimised according to the days you have available:

Paris in one day

Paris in two days

Paris in 3 days

Paris in 4 days

Paris in 5 or 6 days

To get to the centre of Paris in the quickest and most comfortable way, we recommend you follow these guides on how to get from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris, how to get from Beauvais Airport to Paris and how to get from Orly Airport to Paris.

Where to stay in Paris

A trip to Paris, the epitome of romance and elegance, is an experience that captivates the senses. To truly immerse yourself in the authentic Parisian atmosphere, consider staying at a charming bed and breakfast. These hidden gems offer a unique blend of personalized hospitality, cozy accommodations, and a glimpse into the local way of life. Join us as we explore the world of bed and breakfast in Paris, France , and discover a delightful alternative to traditional hotels.

A great area to stay in Paris is Le Marais, as it has a wide range of restaurants, is close to the main points of interest and has good metro and train (Chatelet) connections that will take you to Disneyland Paris and the Palace of Versailles.

Our recommended accommodations in this neighbourhood are the Hotel Le Compostelle , Le Relais du Marais and the Paris France Hotel . Another good value for money option is the Hotel Londres Saint Honoré , located near the Louvre and the Tuileries Gardens.

One more recommendation is Hotel Costes on . It offers a range of meticulously designed rooms and suites, each showcasing the perfect balance between comfort and sophistication. Adorned with sumptuous furnishings, rich fabrics, and elegant décor, the accommodations provide a sanctuary of tranquility amidst the vibrant city. Unwind in the plush surroundings, indulge in modern amenities, and experience the epitome of Parisian luxury.

For more information on the best hotels and neighbourhoods to stay in Paris, read this post on where to stay in Paris.

Excursions from Paris

If you have time to spare, you can see some of the wonders of France by booking some of these recommended excursions:

Excursion to the Palace of Versailles

Excursion to Disneyland Paris

Excursion to Mont Saint Michel

Excursion to Bruges

Frequently asked questions about Paris

How much time do I need to see Paris? Although Paris is a huge city with long distances between the different points of interest, we believe that 4 or 5 days are enough to enjoy the best Parisian experiences and visit the main tourist attractions. If you have less time you can focus on visiting its most emblematic buildings such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle or the Louvre and stroll through its most charming neighbourhoods such as Montmartre and Le Marais, and then complete the whole list of Paris must-sees with another trip.

How to get around Paris? The quickest and most comfortable way to get around Paris is by metro, which stops close to all the most important sights in Paris, although sometimes you'll be better off on the RER train, which makes fewer stops. The price of a single ticket in zone A is 1.90 euros, although if you're going to take the metro more than once it's a good idea to get a 10-trip pass which will cost you less. Another good option for getting around the city if you're short on time is the one- or two-day tourist bus, which stops at the main sights of Paris and you can hop on and off as many times as you like.

What's the most beautiful thing about Paris? If you have less time and can't complete this list of the 32 most beautiful places in Paris, our top 10 would be: Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, Sainte Chapelle, Notre Dame, Le Marais, Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe, Walk along the Seine, Les Halles and Latin Quarter.

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20 Tourist Places in Paris

20 Tourist Places in Paris

Is Paris more romantic than any other city in the world? There is always something to see in this enchanted city, whether it is the whimsical Montmartre and its plethora of artists or St. Germain and its numerous boutiques. What about the must-see sights in Paris, though? Everything you must see and do in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to a day trip outside the city to the historic Versailles Palace, will be listed in this article.

1. Eiffel Tower

tourist locations in paris

For most visitors, seeing the most recognisable symbol of Paris is the top priority. Built for the 1889 World Exposition, this iron structure rises more than 1,000 feet (300 metres) in the Champ de Mars park. The Eiffel Tower, one of the most photographed tourist destinations in the world, offers fantastic day and nighttime photography opportunities. In addition to dining at one of the two excellent restaurants within the tower, visitors can take the lift to witness breathtaking city views.

You’ll pay €15 for tickets, but make sure you make your reservation on the website or at the tower itself, because some travel agencies may charge up to three times that amount.


The Louvre Museum, housed in the Louvre Palace and has its iconic glass pyramid marking its entrance, is the most visited in the world. The Louvre is home to a collection of more than a million items, including some of the most well-known pieces of art in the world, including Michelangelo’s “Dying Slave,” Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” and the Greek statue “Venus of Milo.”

The opulent Napoleon III apartments, the historic Code of Hammurabi, Egyptian antiquities, and paintings by great artists like Rembrandt and Rubens are among the other well-liked exhibits. Since you’ll spend a lot of time in line to enter, plan to spend a half or full day there!

3. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe, one of the most visited tourist destinations in Paris, was built in 1806 as a monument to Napoleon Bonaparte’s victorious wars. The arch, measuring 50 by 45 metres (164 feet high and 148 feet wide), is adorned with elaborate reliefs that show winning battles and the engraved names of many of the soldiers who gave their lives defending the emperor. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I is located beneath the arch. The cost of ascending the stairs to reach the summit is €9,50, which can be settled upon arrival. You can enter by going underground on the Champs Elysees (follow the signs).

4. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

A visit to the renowned Notre Dame cathedral is a must-see on any trip to Paris. This magnificent church, with its two tall towers and spire, rises to a height of over 400 feet (120 metres) and is regarded as the pinnacle of French Gothic architecture.

Visitors can take in the breathtaking rose windows, Gothic carvings, exquisite sculptures, and a collection of relics when taking a tour of this masterpiece from the 13th century. Be sure to arrive early and be up for entrance.

5. Sacre-Coeur


Paris’s most striking landmark is the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, which has a white dome. Every year, a large number of tourists flock to this magnificent basilica, which is perched atop Montmartre Hill and is known for its marble architecture and exquisite interior design.

Visitors can see one of the biggest clocks in the world, gold mosaics, and stained-glass windows by taking a tour. Be sure to explore Montmartre’s streets and soak up the authentic areas.

6. Jardin du Luxembourg

tourist locations in paris

The second-largest public park in Paris is called the Luxembourg Gardens in English. There are lovely lawns, formal gardens, and fruit orchards with numerous artistic statues and fountains for guests to enjoy a picnic or stroll through and it is a must-visit during the Paris summer. There are tennis courts, fitness centres, and jogging paths for recreation and exercise. Kids can enjoy a puppet show, play on the expansive playground, ride ponies, and navigate model boats in a pond.

7. Musee d’Orsay

tourist locations in paris

The Musee d’Orsay is a must-see for art enthusiasts, as it is home to the best collection of impressionist paintings in the world. This opulent museum, housed in a former railroad station, features thousands of art pieces and artefacts from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. Guests can view amazing artwork by a variety of well-known artists, including Monet, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Degas, Pissarro, Renoir, and Jean-Francois Millet, as they navigate through several rooms.

8. Place de la Concorde

tourist locations in paris

The largest square in Paris, Place de la Concorde, is located at the east end of the Champs-Elysées and offers breathtaking views in all directions. During the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI of France, and numerous others were executed by hanging in this square. Moved from the Temple of Luxor in the 19th century, the enormous 3200-year-old Egyptian obelisk stands in the middle of the Place de la Concorde.

9. Champs- Elysees

tourist locations in paris

Paris’s most well-known thoroughfare, the tree-lined Avenue des Champs-Elysees, has been called the world’s most beautiful avenue. The boulevard that links the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde is just over a mile long. Around the Champs-Elysees is where life in Paris revolves.

There are fine dining establishments, nightclubs, museums, and boutiques all along this avenue, making it the perfect place to find a gift for her to bring home or a souvenir. It is the venue for the Tour de France’s conclusion and the military parade on Bastille Day.

10. Les Catacombes

tourist locations in paris

Les Catacombes, in contrast to the City of Lights, symbolises the sinister side of Paris. This tourist destination, which is just under a mile long and lies beneath Paris’s streets, has a grisly side: the remains of millions of people. The arrangement of the bones is artistic; there are poems and other passages all over. Certain remains, like those lost during the French Revolution, arrived here right away and didn’t pass through the cemeteries. It’s completely fascinating and an alternative side to Paris that should be visited at least once.

11. Disney Land Paris

tourist locations in paris

Disneyland Paris is a fantastic day trip destination for kids and kids at heart, situated 32 kilometres east of Paris! Here, you can spend an entire day watching shows, going on rides or tasting some delicious treats, which is the perfect way to celebrate the world of Disney.

12. Seine Cruise

tourist locations in paris

The River Seine travels through France for almost 800 km (500 miles) before entering the English Channel. One of the most romantic things visitors can do is cruise the river as it winds through Paris. Seine cruises travel beneath several bridges in Paris, passing iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre. An hour or so is all that a Seine cruise lasts, but what a magical hour! Experiencing Paris at night can also be had on a Seine cruise.

13. Les Invalides

tourist locations in paris

A collection of structures called Les Invalides pays tribute to the French armed forces. It was constructed in 1670 as a veterinary hospital and retirement community. It still fulfils many other purposes in addition to that one today.

Les Invalides is the location of military museums as well as a church where Napoleon Bonaparte and other war heroes are buried. The rioters got their muskets and cannons from Les Invalides, which they used later that day to storm the Bastille and start the French Revolution.

14. Palais Garnier

tourist locations in paris

When designing the Palais Garnier in the 19th century, architect Charles Garnier did not skimp on elaborate details. Maybe for that reason, the structure was the priciest of its time. The National Opera of Paris performs at the Palais Garnier, which has seating for almost 2,000 people. It is the main character in the book and the ensuing Phantom of the Opera films. Even now, ballet is the primary use of the Palais Garnier, which also houses the opera library museum.

15. Musee de l’Orangerie

tourist locations in paris

See the Musee de l’Orangerie if you’re a fan of impressionist and post-impressionist art. The eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet, which are housed in the museum and tucked away in a corner of the Tuileries Garden, are the main attraction there. Other impressionist painters like Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, and Modigliani are also represented in it. The Orangerie was first constructed in 1852 to safeguard the orange trees at the Tuileries Palace.

16. Pere Lachaise Cemetry

tourist locations in paris

Napoleon turned Pere Lachaise, the most visited cemetery in the world, into a municipal cemetery in 1804. Many well-known individuals are buried there, including chanteuse Edith Piaf, author Oscar Wilde, and Jim Morrison of the Doors. There are a lot of sculptures in the cemetery because every family that had a deceased member tried to outdo the other wealthy families with their monuments. As a result, numerous breathtaking pieces of art are just as fascinating as the different graves of well-known people.

17. Pantheon

tourist locations in paris

Notable French citizens are buried in the Pantheon. Originally a church devoted to St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, and her relics, it was modelled after the Pantheon in Rome. King Louis XV had the church reconstructed in neoclassical style as a token of gratitude to God for his recovery from a life-threatening illness. During the French Revolution, it was converted into a mausoleum in remembrance of the revolutionary martyrs. Marie Curie, Victor Hugo, and Voltaire are among the well-known individuals buried here.

18. Moulin Rouge

tourist locations in paris

The construction of the Eiffel Tower, France’s most well-known landmark, began in 1889. Additionally, the Moulin Rouge opened for business as an entertainment venue this year. It catered to the wealthy who wished to “slum” it when it first opened. The can-can, a dance deemed risqué for the time, was created by the courtesans who worked there. The Moulin Rouge has been featured in many films and is still regarded as the best entertainment venue in Paris.

19. Point Alexandre III

tourist locations in paris

What could be more romantic in a city where romance is rife than the Pont Alexandre III, which is thought to be the most elaborate and beautiful bridge in Paris? This steel single-arch bridge, named for the Russian tsar, crosses the Seine to link the Champs-Elysees, Les Invalides, and Eiffel Tower neighbourhoods. Viewing the bridge is akin to visiting an art gallery, as multiple French sculptors created the statues that adorn its top, such as winged horses, nymphs, and cherubs.

20. Sainte-Chapelle

tourist locations in paris

The Sainte-Chapelle, which was built sometime after 1239, is regarded as one of the pinnacles of Gothic design. King Louis IX of France ordered its construction to hold his collection of Passion Relics, which includes Christ’s Crown of Thorns, one of the most significant artefacts in mediaeval Christendom.

It was damaged during the French Revolution, but despite restoration efforts in the 19th century, it still holds one of the largest collections of intact 13th-century stained glass in the world.

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35 Best Places To Visit In Paris For An Amazing Time

Planning a trip to the French capital and looking for what to do, this article will show you all the best places to visit in Paris for a fun trip.

Paris may be world-renowned for being the romantic City of Love , but it’s truly much more than that.

View of the Eiffel Tower and the Carousel

Disclaimer:  This post might contain affiliate links. This means we may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) should you choose to sign up for a program or make a purchase using one of our links. It’s okay – We love all of the products we recommend anyway, and you will too! Also, that commission helps us keep this awesome free blog up to date! You can read our  full disclosure here  for more details!

From world-class museums to picturesque neighborhoods and sights steeped in history, there’s so much to see and do in Paris beyond the places you might have seen in various Paris guidebooks .

Whether you’re planning a trip to Paris for the first time or just looking for inspiration on things to do in the city this weekend, I’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in Paris, including the iconic must-see sights and lesser-known gems that aren’t packed with tourists.

Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips

WHERE TO STAY Best Eiffel Tower Views:  Hôtel Le Walt  (9.0) Luxury stay:  Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel  (8.2) Mid-range stay:  Hôtel Eiffel  (8.7) Budget Stay:  People – Paris Bercy  (8.9) Apartment Rental:  Résidence Charles Floquet  (9.1)  

BEST GUIDED TOURS Louvre Museum guided tour : (4.5/5) Seine River Dinner Cruise : (4.7/5) Montmartre Walking Tour : (4.8/5) Le Marais Walking Food Tour : (4.5/5) Versailles Guided Tour : (4.8/5) Eiffel Tower Guided Tour : (4.4/5) 

  • Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more.
  • Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook .
  • Don’t forget a universal travel adapter , a travel neck pouch , and comfortable walking shoes .
  • Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit many attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
  • Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.

Best Places to Visit in Paris

From historical landmarks, beautiful gardens, and museums to pretty streets, here are the most beautiful places in Paris not to miss, recommended by someone who actually lives here.

1. Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement of Paris

We’ll start off with the icon. A trip to Paris is not complete without seeing the iconic Eiffel Tower up close.

Besides admiring the architectural wonder from the bottom, you can head up to the observation decks for sprawling views of Paris .

I highly recommend seeing it both in daylight and at night! There’s just something magical about how it dazzles against the night sky.

The tower also sparkles for 5 minutes every hour after dusk (with the last sparkle commencing at 11 PM), so you might want to time your visit to catch it!

To visit this Parisian landmark, you’d need to purchase this Eiffel tower skip-the-line ticket to beat the long lines that come with it.

You can also opt for this Eiffel Tower guided tour to not admire its architectural beauty but to also learn about its history from a knowledgeable and friendly tour guide.

2. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the 8th arrondissement attractions in Paris to visit.

The Arc de Triomphe is another iconic Parisian landmark not to miss.

Standing in the heart of one of the busiest traffic junctions of the city at Pl. Charles de Gaulle, the majestic triumphal arch was built in honor of those who fought and died for the country during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, making it a powerful, unified symbol for France.

Like the Eiffel Tower, you can access the Arc de Triomphe for free, and pay to get to the observation deck to take in magnificent views of Paris. In fact, this is my favorite viewpoint in Paris.

The lines at the Arc de Triomphe are equally long so I’d advise you to buy this skip-the-line ticket in advance to beat the queues.

Psst… You can learn more about this monument by reading these Arc de Triomphe fun facts .

You can also check out my recommended tours and activities in Paris in the widget below   all offered by my favorite tour provider, GetYourGuide .

3. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III is one of the places to go in Paris for free.

There are many famous bridges in Paris that connect different sides of the city over the Seine, but the Pont Alexandre III is the most extravagant and legendary of all.

Widely regarded as the most beautiful bridge in Paris, the Pont Alexandre III arches elegantly and is decorated with golden torches, bronze sculptures, and ornate lamps.

Pop by for an evening stroll and take in the beautiful details up close, especially at night when they shimmer, or simply enjoy the views of the Eiffel Tower , the Seine, the Grand Palais roof, and the Invalides.

Related Posts How to spend 2 days in Paris 3 days in Paris itinerary What to do in Paris in 1 day

4. Pont des Arts

Pont des Arts is most famous bridge in Paris.

Though not as extravagant as the Pont Alexandre III, Pont des Arts is also well worth a visit.

The pedestrian bridge was the first metal bridge to be built in Paris, making it another engineering marvel of the city.

However, it’s not the reason it’s so famous. It is the fact that it holds thousands of locks from couples who attached them to its railings as a way of proclaiming everlasting love. This tradition even gave it the nickname of the Love lock bridge .

But, it is now illegal to do so, and thousands of locks were removed back in 2015 after some structural damage and continued fears of collapse.

It is, however, still a very romantic bridge to stroll along with your loved one, especially for those looking for romantic things to do in Paris .

5. Panthéon

Paris Pantheon in the Latin Quarter

If you’re keen on learning more about French history, be sure to add the Panthéon to your Paris bucket list .

Easily recognizable for its majestic dome and porch of Corinthian columns, the historical building was once a church but is now a mausoleum dedicated to the memory of prominent French people .

Some of the famous people buried in the Panthéon, include Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Pierre Curie, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Alexandre Dumas, and more.

Step inside and you’ll be greeted by beautiful mosaics, paintings, and sculptures that decorate its majestic interior.

You can purchase this entry ticket for a self-guided tour of Panthéon and if you visit in April, you’ll be able to enjoy stunning views of the city from its dome.

6. Palace of Versailles

What is Paris famous for? Versailles palace is one of them.

The Palace of Versailles was once a French royal residence built by King Louis XIV. Today, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris.

While you can enjoy its elegant architecture from the outside, I recommend stepping inside to admire its many beautiful rooms.

From the extravagant Hall of Mirrors, the King’s apartment, the royal chapel, and the Queen’s apartment to several other luxurious rooms, this is truly one of the most beautiful palaces near Paris .

Besides the architecture, the palace’s spacious garden grounds are incredibly beautiful and perfect for relaxing strolls. Plus, if you visit between April to October , you’ll be able to enjoy the mesmerizing fountain and musical show in the gardens.

Since it’s near Paris, (just 12 miles away), it can be treated as a day trip. But if you don’t know how to get there, you can read my previous post on how to get from Paris to Versailles Palace to discover various options.

Make sure you purchase this Versailles palace and garden access ticket to avoid wasting time in lines or better yet opt for this Versailles Palace guided tour to learn more history about this French monument.

7. Champs-Élysées

Stroll The Champs-Elysées is one things to do in Paris in 2 days.

This beautiful avenue needs no introduction. Ranked at the top of most lists of must visit places in Paris, Champs-Élysées is usually referred to as the world’s most beautiful avenue. It’s picture-perfect, elegant, and has much to offer, especially to those who love to shop.

If you’re set to do some shopping while in Paris, Champs-Élysées is the perfect place to go as it has options from high-end French luxury brands to affordable ones.

From the Louis Vuitton flagship to Tiffany & Co, Lacoste, Longchamp, Petit Bateau, Cartier, Nike, Zara, and Sephora.

Anything you can think of can be found along this avenue. Whether you want to shop for luxury French handbags , French perfumes , to luxury French shoe brands .

In fact, if you’re not careful, you may end up spending a couple of hours here and lots of money.

But, even if shopping is not your thing, Champs-Élysées is one of the cool places in Paris to see.

8. Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens

Slow down a little and spend some time at one of Paris’s most beautiful gardens .

Located in the 6th arrondissement, Jardin de Luxembourg is a spacious green space with impressive English and French gardens, a large pond, fountains, and over 100 statues.

This park is the perfect spot to take in some fresh air in between your city sightseeing since there are plenty of benches spread across the garden to sit on.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even join the locals to play chess or tennis since the park has a tennis court, or simply admire the architectural beauty of the historic Medici fountain.

Related Post: How to spend a weekend in Paris

9. Tuileries Garden

Jardin Des Tuileries is one of the best places to visit in Paris in 3 days.

Often known as the Louvre Garden since it’s right next to the Louvre museum, the Tuileries Garden is another great spot for a refreshing stroll.

Besides the beautiful flowers, plants, and a tree-lined street that becomes picture-perfect in Parisian fall , the garden is an open-air museum housing a number of sculptures worth stopping for.

The gardens also host a traditional funfair (Fête des Tuileries) with a merry-go-round, giant slides, trampolines, and carnival food in the summer months that the entire family can enjoy!

But if you want something a little laid back, you can pack a picnic and enjoy a Parisian picnic in what used to be a royal garden.

10. Louvre Museum

Louvre museum, Paris

Here’s another attraction that shouldn’t be missed when it comes to places to visit in Paris.

The Louvre museum is the world’s most-visited art museum, and an iconic landmark of Paris.

It is also home to one of the largest art collections in the world, with artwork and objects that represent all periods of European art, including masterpieces by world-renowned artists, plus a collection dedicated to Egypt, and more.

Some of the most popular artworks not to miss at the Louvre include the famous Mona Lisa , The Raft of the Medusa, The Wedding at Cana, The Coronation of Napoleon, the Venus de Milo, and many others.

With a collection of over 380, 000 pieces, you can easily spend hours admiring all the famous paintings in the Louvre and the sculptures.

Since the Louvre receives over 20, 000 people a day on average, you can expect long lines and the best way to beat them is by purchasing this Louvre museum timed entrance ticket .

And if you want to learn more about its history and know exactly where to go to see the popular artwork without walking in circles (since the museum can be overwhelming due to its size), I recommend booking this Louvre museum guided tour to go with a friendly and knowledgable guide.

Psst… You can learn more about this museum by reading my previous post on interesting facts about the Louvre .

11. Musee d’Orsay

Exploring the Parisian Museums without the crowds is one of the best things to do in winter in Paris.

Another must-visit museum in Paris is Musee d’Orsay , conveniently located just across the Seine from the Louvre.

The museum building itself is an impressive piece of work since it’s housed in the former Orsay railway station.

Today, the Musee d’Orsay exhibits the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, including masterpieces by famous French painters like Claude Monet , Paul Cézanne, Auguste Renoir , Édouard Manet, Berthe Morisot, and Van Gogh, plus many more.

Besides admiring paintings and sculptures, be sure to take a photo of the beautiful original train station clock that stands in the museum’s main hall.

Home to some of the most famous paintings in Paris , you can easily spend hours here going through its many different exhibition halls.

Like the Louvre, the Orsay museum also receives a number of visitors, so I recommend booking your entry ticket in advance to save time.

12. The Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs are one of the best places to visit in Paris in October.

The Catacombs of Paris probably rank on top of the most creepy yet interesting places in Paris.

The Catacombs are essentially an underground network of galleries with an ossuary that contains the remains of over 6 million Parisians.

If you’re interested in checking it out, be sure to pre-book this ticket and audio guide in advance as they tend to run out quickly!

For those who want to learn more history of this rather unique Paris attraction, I recommend booking this guided tour .

I also recommend wearing sturdy shoes as there’ll be lots of walking and a warm sweater as it gets chilly.

13. L’Atelier des Lumières

Spending an evening at Atelier des Lumières is one of the best things to do in Paris in December.

L’Atelier des Lumières is a breath of fresh air from the mostly classical museums in Paris.

This digital art museum presents classic art in immersive formats. Installations are projected on the walls, floors, and ceilings while being accompanied by musical soundtracks, allowing visitors to enjoy popular classic art in a vastly different environment.

Some of the famous artworks that have been showcased at this museum include works of big names like Dali, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Gaudi, Monet, Renoir, and many others.

14. Cathedrale Notre-Dame

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is one of the famous Paris churches.

The Cathedrale Notre-Dame is another important building and one of the most visited tourist places in Paris.

The cathedral is world-renowned as one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and should definitely be on your list of sights to see in Paris.

Unfortunately, it sustained serious damage after the fire in 2019. While it’s still being renovated and cannot be entered at the moment, you can still catch a glimpse of its magnificent exterior from a distance.

Reconstruction works are currently ongoing and the cathedral is expected to reopen in December 2024. I can’t wait to see it in its full glory once again.

15. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle is one of the best Parisian churches.

Also a jewel of Gothic architecture, the Sainte-Chapelle is a royal chapel that was once home to several Christian relics including the Christ’s Crown of Thorns.

If you love stained glass, you’ll definitely be in awe as you take in the beauty of the 15 stained glass windows in the upper chapel which depict biblical stories. Another stunning feature to look out for is the rose window.

It may not be a big church compared to other famous churches in Paris , but it definitely has a distinct beauty that’s hard to find elsewhere.

You should note that tickets to Sainte-Chapelle sell out fast so you’re better off booking one here in advance to guarantee your spot.

If you want to combine your visit to Sainte-Chapelle with that of the next door Conciergerie , then you can buy this combined ticket which is slightly cheaper than purchasing separate ones.

16. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacre Coeur)

Sacré-Coeur is one of the famous Paris landmarks

Perched atop Montmartre hill, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sacré Coeur) is France’s second most visited religious building, ranked just behind the Cathedrale Notre-Dame (at least before the fire).

You can catch sight of its dazzling white exterior from afar, and enjoy sprawling views of Paris and its suburbs if you commit to climbing the flight of over 200 steps that lead up to its dome.

On the inside, you’ll be able to admire the beauty of its nave, its mosaic which is one of the biggest in France plus its detailed crypt.

Fun fact: The design of the basilica was selected among 77 proposals, and its construction took place across a span of nearly 40 long years!

You can read these interesting facts about Sacre Coeur to learn more about this Parisian monument.

17. Palais Garnier

Catching an opera show is one of the best things to do in Paris during winter.

Also known as Opéra Garnier, the Palais Garnier is one of the city’s greatest treasures and definitely one of the most beautiful places in Paris.

Both the impressive exterior and elegant interior of this architectural masterpiece will blow you away.

From the luxurious mosaics, monumental staircase, grandeur foyer, majestic theater, and ornate sculptures, everything in the Opera is worth stopping for.

The theatre usually holds Opera shows and ballet dancers which you can buy a ticket for if you’re a fan, but even if you’re not, you can take a self-guided tour of this monument by purchasing this Opera Garnier entry ticket to take in all its immense beauty.

If you want to learn more about this monument, you can read my previous post on the fun facts about Palais Garnier .

18. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris hotel

A list of the best places to visit in Paris wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the most magical place on earth.

Located just 32 km (20 miles) from Paris, Disneyland Paris has everything you can expect from a Disney theme park!

A mesmerizing castle, fun rides and attractions for people of all ages, enchanting parades, meet and greets with your favorite Disney characters, and nightly fireworks that will take your breath away.

For fans of Marvel, you’ll also be happy to know that there’s an Avengers Campus, where you can expect an action-packed time as you take on the mightiest Marvel missions while being teamed up with Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Spiderman, Thor, and more superheroes!

But before you go, make sure that you know these useful tips for visiting Disneyland Paris for an amazing trip, and if you plan on dining at some of the popular restaurants at Disneyland Paris , make reservations in time to be guaranteed a table.

And if you’re not sure how to get there, you can read my detailed guide on how to get from CDG airport to Disneyland Paris .

Psst… Make sure you choose the right ticket for your trip to Disneyland Paris to get the most out of your visit! Below are some options to consider.

Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket: This ticket will give you entry to Disney for 1 day. You can choose the option of visiting just 1 park or both of them. Disneyland Paris Multi-Day Entrance Ticket: This ticket will give you access to both parks for multiple consecutive days. It can be either 2, 3, or 4 days depending on the number of days you want to visit for. Disneyland Paris 1-Day Flexible Ticket: With this ticket , you’ll have access to Disney for 1 day but you have flexibility since the ticket is valid for 1 year.

19. The Passage des Panoramas

Passage des Panoramas is one of the best covered passages in Paris.

Photo by Camille Lemaitre / Flickr

Looking for a relaxing stroll on a rainy or cold day? Then Passage des Panoramas nestled in the heart of the 2nd arrondissement is perfect for just that.

Known as the oldest covered passage in Paris , it can be accessed via 4 entrances to admire its old-fashioned charm that it has retained since its opening in 1800.

You will be greeted by tiled floors, a stained glass ceiling, period decor, and a unique mix of shops selling everything from old stamps and vintage postcards, to restaurants, and more.

Whether you want to pick up a Parisian souvenir or are looking for alternative things to do in Paris on a rainy day , Passage des Panoramas is one place not to miss.

Related post: Non touristy things to do in Paris

20. Les Invalides

Exploring Les Invalides is one of the best things to do in the 7th arrondissement of Paris.

Situated in the 7th arrondissement of Paris , the impressive Les Invalides can be spotted from miles away.

The complex is essentially a collection of buildings and courtyards, most of which are dedicated to the French military.

You can easily spend hours here going through the many museums with the most notable one being the Army Museum of France which showcases French military objects as well as courtyards filled with bronze cannons (there are sixty of these displayed in the main courtyard) and historical sculptures.

Be sure to not miss out on the royal chapel and dome that houses the tomb of Napoleon which is probably the highlight of your visit to this monument as well as many other French military figures.

You can buy this skip-the-line ticket to have priority entrance to Les Invalides.

21. Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou in Paris

Located in the Beaubourg area, the Centre Pompidou is known for its excellent modern and contemporary art collection housed in the Musée National d’Art Moderne (National Museum of Modern Art).

The museum houses one of the most impressive 20th and 21st-century modern art collections in the world including iconic works by popular artists such as Henri Matisse, Picasso, Vassily Kandinsky, and more.

Art collection aside, the museum building itself is a work of art and a cultural landmark of Paris giving an inside-out look with bold colors that make it stand out from the typical Parisian buildings.

After admiring the art, you can head to its rooftop to take in stunning views of the Eiffel Tower or even dine at its rooftop restaurant known as Georges.

The queues at this museum are usually long, so I recommend purchasing this skip-the-line ticket to beat them.

21. Galeries Lafayette

View of the Eiffel Tower from Galeries Lafayette.

No, the Galeries Lafayette is not an art gallery.

Instead, it’s a grand department store where you can get everything from upscale fashion items, luxury brands, and affordable ones, to gourmet food and home items. Literally, anything you can think of.

If you’re expecting a huge, boring department store with floors of bright and common retail outlets, you’re imagining it wrong.

Think breathtaking stained glass ceiling dome, fancy balconies, and a well-decorated space where you can shop till you drop. After all, it is one of the most beautiful department stores in the world.

Even if you’re not intending to shop, it’s still well worth a visit just to take in its grandeur and the sprawling views it offers from its rooftop terrace.

And if you visit Paris at Christmas or anytime in December , this department store puts on beautiful and creative Christmas displays in its windows and a gigantic Christmas tree under its dome — which is the most beautiful in the whole of Paris.

23. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is one of the places to visit on your trip to Paris for 2 days.

Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris! Located at the end of the Champs-Élysées, the square has a rather haunting history, having served as the execution location for public beheadings during the French Revolution with the most famous being Marie Antoinette.

The most iconic sight at the square is the Luxor Obelisk, a 3,000-year-old granite monolith that stands proud in its center. The square is also home to 2 monumental fountains.

On top of this, the square also offers beautiful views. You’ll be able to spot the Champs-Élysées, Louvre Museum, Tuileries Garden, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe from here!

After a quick stroll, make your way to Hôtel de la Marine , to not only admire the French heritage collection it houses but to also take in its grandeur and beauty.

If you’re down to visit this museum, you’ll need to purchase this entry ticket .

24. Moulin Rouge

Spending Your Evening Watching a Cabaret Show is one of the best rainy day activities in Paris.

Looking for the best places in Paris to have some evening fun apart from pure sightseeing, shopping, or eating?

Make your way to the Moulin Rouge , the city’s top-rated cabaret that has served up nights of excitement since 1889.

You can book yourself a seat for an extravagant cabaret show and be impressed by dancers in dazzling feathers, sequins, and sparkly outfits while sipping on a glass of champagne, or take it a notch higher by opting for the Cabaret dinner show option to watch the show while enjoying a French meal.

Be sure to take a photo with Moulin Rouge’s iconic bright red windmill and lively streets before leaving.

25. Latin Quarter

Sorbonne university - latin quarter

Covering both the 5th and the 6th arrondissements of Paris , the Latin Quarter is one of Paris’s oldest districts.

The area has retained much of its ancient charm, with much hidden amidst its winding cobbled streets.

There are so many things to do in the Latin Quarter , but some must-visits include Shakespeare and Company, a legendary independent Engish bookstore in Paris , the magnificent Jardin des Plantes, Sorbonne University, the institution that gave Latin Quarter its name due to the fact that professors and students used to speak Latin, the beautiful Place St. Michel, several museums like Musée National du Moyen Age, churches like Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, and so much more.

There is simply so much to do and see in the Latin Quarter that it can take you a full day to see everything.

However, if you’re short on time and want to see all the major highlights in a short time while learning more history about them, then I recommend booking this Latin Quarter walking guided tour .

And if you get hungry after hours of sightseeing, you can refresh and eat delicious food at one of these restaurants in the Latin Quarter .

26. Jardin des Plantes

Jardin des Plantes is one of the places to add to your 3-day Paris itinerary.

Looking for places in Paris to visit for some refreshing greenery? Although I mentioned it above, Jardin des Plantes deserves a separate mention!

As Paris’s main and oldest botanical garden, Jardin des Plantes has stood the test of time since its construction in the 17th century.

The garden is known for its beautiful flower gardens, rare plant series, greenhouses, a mini zoo, as well as galleries dedicated to thematic exhibitions.

While it’s beautiful all year round, it becomes even more magical in Spring when its largest trees bloom turning them into the biggest  cherry blossom trees in Paris .

The garden also hosts a light festival every winter known as Festival des lumières du Jardin des Plantes, from the months of November to January which sheds light on the evolution of endangered species.

27. Montmartre

Rue Norvins is one of the prettiest streets in Paris

Montmartre is my favorite Parisian neighborhood and one of the places to visit when in Paris.

Perched atop a hill, Montmartre has a quaint bohemian village vibe that will make you fall in love with it.

You can easily spend a full day taking in its charming sights or strolling its pretty cobblestoned streets.

Besides the locations I’ve already listed above such as the Sacre-Coeur and Moulin Rouge, there are plenty of other places to visit in Montmartre .

Start your visit at Rue de l’Abreuvoir which is often referred to as the prettiest street in Paris and make sure to stop by La Maison Rose, a cute restaurant affectionately known as The Pink House that was once frequented by Picasso himself!

Other spots you shouldn’t miss while in Montmartre include the Place Dalida, Musee de Montmartre, Place du Tertre, Le Consulat Cafe (an equally cute cafe that was frequently by famous painters ), the I Love You Wall, and Clos Montmartre which is the only remaining vineyard in Paris.

And if all the walking makes you work up an appetite, stop at one of these Montmartre restaurants to taste some of the most delicious meals in the area.

You can either visit Montmartre on your own or join this guided walking tour of Montmartre to not only see the places but also learn about their history.

If you’re a foodie, you can choose to discover the district through food by joining this Montmartre food walking tour where you’ll taste different types of cheese, Charcuterie, wine, and pastries.

28. Champ de Mars

Geting an upclose look at the Eiffel Tower from Champs De Mars is one of the things to do in one day in Paris

Located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the Champ de Mars is a tranquil public greenspace where activities are held throughout the year. From concerts, picnics, funfairs, and marathons, to fireworks displays, and more.

One of the best things you can do here is to pack a picnic blanket and some snacks to enjoy a Parisian picnic while overlooking the majestic Eiffel Tower.

But don’t be in a hurry to leave as this is the best spot to see the Eiffel Tower shimmer at the top of the hour every night for 5 minutes.

29. Parc de la Villette

Parc De La Villette is one of the famous gardens in Paris.

Designed by French-Swiss architect Tschumi, Parc de la Villette is a lovely urban green space packed with lots of culture and personality.

Besides shady trees and ecological gardens, the park was also designed as a space for people to enjoy art, culture, and relaxation.

From a 2,400-seater auditorium (the Philharmonie de Paris) to one of the largest concert halls in Paris (Zenith de Paris) and a spacious exhibition space (Grande Halle de la Villette), the park hosts plenty of exhibitions, parties, festivals, concerts, outdoor movie screenings in the summer , and other events throughout the year.

The park is also home to Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie which is the largest science museum in Europe.

Be sure to check the park’s official website to see what’s going on before your visit!

30. Parc Astérix

Astérix Park is one of the places to visit when in Paris.

Located just a 40-minute drive from Paris, Parc Astérix is one of the best day trips from Paris .

Based on the comic book series of the same name, the park is renowned for its huge variety of roller coasters with crazy loops, perilous drops, and exciting accelerations.

The entire park is modeled after the settings in the comic book, and is sure to delight both fans and non-fans with its unique and fun vibe!

Plus, the park pays homage to different countries around the world, so you’ll be able to get a glimpse of other cultures from here.

It may not have the same magical feel as Disneyland Paris (although it has more thrilling rides), but it’s one of the places to visit when in Paris.

Before you go, make sure to purchase your entry ticket .

31. Shakespeare and Company

Shakespeare & Co bookstore

Shakespeare and Company is unofficially the most famous and legendary independent bookstore in the world, and it’s located right in the heart of Paris.

Step into a whimsical space and get lost amongst shelves and floor-to-ceiling piles of books from new ones, second-hand copies, classic titles, as well as latest releases.

Shakespeare and Company also has a cafe where you can go for a quick drink or buy some of its merchandise. For book lovers, every book bought here will have a stamp of the famous store to take back home as a souvenir.

You should note that photography is prohibited inside the bookstore, so you really have to head here yourself to get a sense of how it looks and feels on the inside!

32. The Sinking House

The Sinking House is one of the best places to visit when in Paris.

Literally called The Sinking House of Paris , this unique building in Montmartre has made waves on social media thanks to its cool optical illusion look.

The house is located right next to the Sacré Coeur in front of a bank of grass and is well worth a pop-by if you’re in Montmartre.

All you have to do is tilt your phone slightly and you can take a great shot that will impress your friends back home.

I suggest planning your visit in the morning for lesser crowds, or at sunset to see the house being drenched in orange sunlight!

33. Rue Mouffetard

Rue Mouffetard in the Latin Quartre.

Also called la Mouffe by the locals, the lively Rue Mouffetard is one of the oldest and most picturesque streets in Paris .

Unlike other bustling streets in central Paris, Rue Mouffetard is charming, vibrant, and laid-back.

The long street is lined with cozy bistros, bakeries, cheese shops, and stores selling fresh foods.

Pop by in the morning if you’d like to check out the Mouffetard Market, or at night for a glass of wine at one of the quaint bars.

34. Rue Cremieux

Rue Cremieux is one of the best places to visit in Paris.

Rue Cremieux was not supposed to be a special place! It was originally built with little thought as housing for workers in the city!

Today, it has however gained popularity over the years and has become a famed Instagram photo spot in Paris thanks to its pastel color, and candy-hued quirky houses that line the street.

While you’re here, keep an eye out for a commemorative plaque at house number 8 that serves as a reminder of how high the water reached when the street was affected by the floods of the Seine in 1910!

Do note though that there are people living in the houses, so make sure to be respectful when taking photos.

35. Robert et Louise

Le Petit Châtelet is one of the best restaurants in Paris Latin Quarter.

Looking for a cozy local restaurant to enjoy some authentic French food ? I’ve got just a suggestion for you.

Robert et Louise is a restaurant that has been around for decades since its opening in 1958.

You can enjoy humble, traditional French cuisine in a warm atmosphere that will make you feel right at home.

The meat is grilled over a wood fire, and signature dishes include beef ribs, duck confit, rib eye steak, and delicious, buttery escargot. End your meal with a sweet treat. You won’t regret trying their creamy crème brulée!

Final Thoughts on the Best Places in Paris to Visit

Have you gotten enough inspiration on the best places to go in Paris? From iconic Paris attractions to hidden gems, it’s hard to not fall in love with Paris once you get to know it through its beautiful sights.

If you only have a few days to spare in the city, I’d suggest you pick and choose from the list depending on what you’re most interested in. Whether it’s culture, history, nature, shopping, good food, or even a little bit of everything.

But regardless of what you choose, these famous places in Paris are bound to create lasting memories for you.

NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance ! You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive! Unfortunately, things can and do go wrong when you travel. World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation, and more. If you’re considering travel insurance for your trip, check out World Nomads .

Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris

  • Fun things to do in Paris on a Rainy day
  • Famous Paintings in Paris
  • Where to Find the Best Macarons in Paris
  • Famous Paintings at the Louvre Museum
  • Best Covered Passages of Paris
  • Most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
  • Fun free things to do in Paris
  • Famous Churches to Visit in Paris
  • Best Museums in Paris
  • Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower
  • How to spend One day In Paris

Was this post on the best places to see in Paris   helpful? Then please consider sharing it with others.

Planning a trip to the French capital and looking for what to do, this article will show you all the best places to visit in Paris for a fun trip.| Paris tourist attractions| Paris bucket list| Points of interest in Paris| things to see in Paris| what to see in Paris| beautiful places in Paris| Paris beautiful places|

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Esther is the face and voice behind Dreams in Paris! She has always been obsessed with Paris even before she moved there. She has lived in Paris for a couple of years, and that obsession has not changed! That love for Paris, plus her passion for writing led to the birth of Dreams in Paris! She now shares all the practical tips and guides she’s picked along the way to help you plan a memorable trip to the city of love! You can learn more about her here !

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30 Best Things To Do In Paris, According To Locals

From fromageries to private pontoon rides on the seine, here are some of the things to do in paris according to locals.

By: Lane Nieset Published: Jul 17, 2023 08:00 AM UTC

30 Best Things To Do In Paris, According To Locals

After a decade in France, I still find myself wandering through Paris and thinking, “Wow, I can’t believe I live here.” The City of Light is full of all the best clichés: Parisians cycling with bread in their bike basket, brass bands serenading crowds on stone bridges over the Seine, and picnickers drinking Champagne and eating cheese on blankets in front of the Eiffel Tower.

The capital city’s mélange of modern and medieval architecture, stunning symmetrical gardens, and vibrant café terraces add to its romantic allure — and that’s all part of what makes Paris a city designed for strolling. Whether you want to visit major landmarks like the Louvre and Arc de Triomphe or are looking for more off-the-beaten-path experiences, we’ve polled local cookbook authors, hotel concierges, and tour guides to build a list of the 30 best things to do in Paris.

The best things to do in the city of lights according to locals

Sample cheese at a fromagerie.

Things to do in Paris

“When you’re in Paris, you absolutely have to pay a visit to one of the city’s fromageries (cheese shops) — and there are so many wonderful ones to choose from,” says Emily Monaco , a journalist and cheese expert who leads Paris by Mouth food tours. A few of her favourites: La Laiterie de Paris , the first in town to produce its own cheese, and Fromagerie Quatrehomme , whose house specialties include a smoked Charolais chèvre aged in Nikka Whisky .

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Have lunch at les enfants du marché.

Weekend brunch is becoming more popular in Paris (the line at Holybelly never seems to dwindle), but I prefer snagging a seat at the counter of Les Enfants du Marché , in the back of the covered Marché des Enfants Rouge in the Marais. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so arrive just before it opens at noon so you won’t have to wait too long. Plan to linger over natural wine and a mix of market-fresh plates as the music slowly shifts, turning the venue into a bit more of a party as the day goes on.

Go gourmet at La Grande Epicérie

Attached to the first Parisian department store, Le Bon Marché , the ground floor of La Grande Epicérie is an upscale version of the city’s covered markets and food halls. Peruse the stands of fruits and vegetables or shop the curated selection of artisanal products. I’ll often stop here for freshly shucked oysters and a glass of white wine when I need a break from shopping next door.

Indulge in pastries

tourist locations in paris

“The city’s boulevards are brimming with enticing pastries that run the gamut, from exquisite luxury creations housed in palace hotels, like Francois Perret’s strawberry fraisier at Ritz Paris , to the equally delicious yet humble vanilla choux à la crème at Mamiche boulangerie,” says Frank Barron , author of “Sweet Paris: Seasonal Recipes from an American Baker in France .”

Visit Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen

Things to do in Paris

Dedicate an entire weekend day to strolling the stands and stalls of vintage designer jewellery, clothing, furniture, records, and books at the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen. Considered the largest flea market in the world, there are more than 2,000 boutiques here, and they’re scattered across more than a dozen individual markets. This is a place that requires more than a map, so consider a personalised tour with a guide like Alexandra Weinress of The Seen , who can help you navigate this sprawling sea of second-hand vendors.

Celebrate couture at Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris

tourist locations in paris

Located in the same private mansion that Yves Saint Laurent called his atelier and headquarters for nearly 30 years, the Musée Yves Saint Laurent is as much a monument to the legendary designer as an insider look at the couture house and its many collections. Retrospective displays and thematic exhibitions are constantly rotating, and once a month, the conservation workshop — which contains sketches, diagrams of runway shows, and runway pieces and accessories — opens to the public.

Picnic in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

Things to do in Paris

In the summer, the Buttes-Chaumont Park is as popular a picnic destination as Paris Plages along the banks of the Seine. Even Emily and Alfie spread out a blanket on one of the grassy hills here during a scene in Emily in Paris .

Cruise the canals

tourist locations in paris

One of the best ways to tour Paris is from the water, especially cruising along canals through the heart of the city’s past landmarks like the Eiffel Tower. “It’s a different way of seeing the city, and at night it’s even more magical,” says Pierre Cortin, head bartender at Hotel Fouquet’s Paris . Join a themed or hour-long trip along the Canal Saint-Martin or Seine, or book a private pontoon boat , where you can curate the playlist and bring your own selection of wine and snacks.

Book your stay at Hôtel Barrière Fouquet's Paris via

Book your stay at Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet's Paris via

Catch a DJ set at Rooftop Molitor

tourist locations in paris

Emily also spent a day poolside at a nautical-themed Molitor , and the beach club vibe seen in the show is recreated in summer on the rooftop. Head up for lunch or dinner throughout the week or catch a DJ set or concert in the late afternoon on the weekends.

Sip French spirits at Le Syndicat

Things to do in Paris

A gem on the somewhat seedy rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, speakeasy-style bar Le Syndicat champions French spirits in its playful cocktail concoctions that have earned it a permanent place on the list of The World’s 50 Best Bars . Guest bartenders take the reins here, and the soundtrack is heavy on hip-hop.

Explore Musée Picasso Paris

tourist locations in paris

One of the standouts in the Marais, the Musée Picasso Paris is the perfect place to take a break from shopping or the summer heat. Housed in the 17th-century Hôtel Salé, the old mansion is as impressive as its collection of nearly 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and drawings by artist Pablo Picasso.

Shop perfume at Officine Universelle Buly

Part apothecary, part café, Officine Universelle Buly’s wood-panelled boutique in the Haut-Marais takes you back centuries in history, to when the Rudier Foundry once created art for Rodin. Glass cases display the French beauty and skincare brand’s gorgeous bottles of perfume and lotion. If you’re looking for a souvenir to bring back from Paris, the shop will even emboss or engrave initials on its lip balm cases and combs.

Eat crêpes at Breizh Café

Things to do in Paris

The closest you’ll get to authentic Breton crêpes in Paris, the wood-panelled Breizh Café is a landmark in Le Marais — and a great place to pause from museums and shopping if you don’t want to linger over a long lunch. Take your pick of savoury buckwheat crêpes and galettes topped with comté cheese and ham or go for something sweet like salted caramel and Chantilly cream.

Have a drink at Bar Hemingway

tourist locations in paris

Before officially moving to Paris, I visited Bar Hemingway every time I came to town. Serving some of the best cocktails in the city, the cigar lounge-style space lined with Hemingway memorabilia is still a go-to when friends visit and on special occasions. Be sure to arrive as the bar opens (or even before) since it doesn’t take reservations.

Book your stay at Saint James Paris via

Book your stay at Saint James Hotel Paris via

Stroll in Musée National Gustave Moreau

Things to do in Paris

“The symbolist painter turned his childhood neoclassical townhouse into a museum several years before his death in 1898. The best part is that what visitors see today is almost precisely as he left it when he passed. You’ll find enough paintings, watercolours, and sketches to keep you occupied — but with far fewer tourists to elbow your way through,” says Lindsey Tramuta , author of “The New Paris” and “The New Parisienne.”

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See a Cabaret show

tourist locations in paris

Paris has a history of cabaret culture, some of the most famous being Le Moulin Rouge and Crazy Horse . While the cancan never gets old, something just as French and risqué that’s lesser known is Madame Arthur , a drag cabaret and club in Pigalle where Serge Gainsbourg first played.

Visit Lafayette Anticipations

Things to do in Paris

“When clients ask for an artsy place nearby, we answer Lafayette Anticipations , in the heart of the Marais, where you’ll find a mix of contemporary art, design, and fashion . They have a nice little café-restaurant, M?t?r, where you can get a bite or drinks after exhibitions or film screenings,” suggests the guest experience team at SO/ Paris .

Marvel at the beauty of Galerie Vivienne

tourist locations in paris

Galerie Vivienne is one of the most impressive covered arcades in the city, with restaurant and café patios spilling out on the natural light-illuminated mosaic floor. Browse a mix of boutiques, wine shops, and old bookstores here, or take a seat at a tea house or traditional bistro.

Have a seat at Café de Flore

Live your own version of “Midnight in Paris” by sipping coffee in the old stomping grounds of the Lost Generation. Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Montparnasse are dotted with Art Deco cafés once frequented by Hemingway and Picasso. One of the most fashionable is Café de Flore — you can’t beat the people watching from its outdoor terrace on the Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Enjoy Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac

Things to do in Paris

“I love the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac , which has an incredible collection of primitive art from different civilisations, a panoramic terrasse with a menu created by Alain Ducasse, and cocktails by Margot Lecarpentier, the owner of Combat in Belleville,” says Timothée Prangee, co-owner and founder of farm-to-glass cocktail bar Little Red Door in the Marais.

Walk the grounds of Père Lachaise

tourist locations in paris

The infamous inhabitants and their ornate burial plots aren’t the only reason to visit the Père Lachaise cemetery — although it’s like a Hollywood Walk of Fame, with Gothic graves and Haussmannian burial chambers belonging to everyone from French poet Apollinaire to Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf. Blanketed in gardens and sculptures, Paris’s largest cemetery is as much a park as it is a monument to French culture.

Linger in Marché Saint-Germain

Things to do in Paris

“In a neighbourhood that can feel so touristy, the Marché Saint-Germain is a hidden gem that you could walk right past. Don’t miss the superb coffee shop Le Café du Clown from the team behind Clown Bar , and before you leave the market, pick up a bottle of wine from the attached wine shop Bacchus et Ariane,” suggests Catherine Down , a Paris-based, James Beard Award-nominated food and travel writer and culinary tour guide.

Visit Belleville

tourist locations in paris

From the hillside Parc de Belleville and its 350-foot-high viewpoint, you’ll have some of the best panoramas of the Eiffel Tower, Centre Pompidou , and Notre Dame Cathedral. Once one of the city’s largest water reservoirs, the area is home to everything from the Place des Fêtes flea market to the “quartier chinois,” with Asian grocery stores and restaurants lining the rue de Belleville. My go-to is Lao Siam , but I also love the more traditional French fare at nearby Le Baratin.

Stroll in La Bourse de Commerce-Pinault Collection

Things to do in Paris

Japanese architect Tadao Ando modernised the Bourse de Commerce , whose history dates back to the 13th century and has served as everything from a convent to Catherine de Medici’s palace before being transformed into the contemporary art museum it is today. In addition to the collection of work François Pinault has curated over the past 50 years, the Bourse de Commerce hosts exhibitions designed specifically for its light-filled rotunda.

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Book your stay at Hôtel San Régis via

Peruse the shelves at Shakespeare and Company

tourist locations in paris

After checking Notre Dame off your list, cross the Seine and peruse the titles on the leaning antique bookshelves of the English bookstore Shakespeare and Company , which was once the meeting ground for the expat literary set in Paris. The café next door is also a great spot to sit and admire the adjacent cathedral while sipping the bookshop’s signature coffee blend.

Stroll along the Seine

Things to do in Paris

Paris’s history stems from its landmark river, whose pedestrianised banks are bordered by gardens and museums like the Jean Nouvel-designed Institut du Monde Arabe . Brass bands and street musicians often perform along bridges like Pont des Arts, and bouquinistes (second-hand booksellers) set up stalls along walls overlooking the river. Two other bridges that are favourites of Victoire de Taillac, co-founder of Officine Universelle Buly : Pont Marie and Pont des Tournelles. Along the banks, you’ll also find floating bars, restaurants, and clubs housed in barges docked along the Seine, some of the most popular being Les Maquereaux and Rosa Bonheur .

Visit Canal Saint-Martin

tourist locations in paris

The cast-iron footbridges along the Canal Saint-Martin have made this backdrop one of the more iconic ones in Paris, yet it still feels less busy than other shopping and dining destinations like the Marais. Spend the afternoon browsing the collection at the concept store Centre Commercial or design bookshop Artazart before sitting down for apéro on the terrace of Chez Prune or for oysters at Sur Mer .

Enjoy the facade of the Palais-Royal

Things to do in Paris

Across from the Louvre, the Palais-Royal and its art installation of black-and-white-striped columns are a photo favourite. Grab a matcha latte from Café Kitsuné or a ramen takeaway from the nearby rue Saint-Anne and post up on one of the benches in the courtyard gardens.

Shop for designer vintage goods

Friends often ask for good vintage shops in Paris, and one of the best is Thanx God I’m a V.I.P. , off the Canal Saint-Martin. The shop stocks a mix of pieces from major designers and brands like Chanel and Hermès, plus a selection of reasonably priced vintage accessories like hats, scarves, and purses.

Visit concept shop Archive 18-20

“Located in the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais, Archive 18-20 is more than a simple concept store — it’s a real Parisian hub where you’ll find an art gallery, book store, restaurant, and fashion all under the same roof,” says Stefan Viard, General Manager of SO/ in Europe .

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Book your stay at La Demeure Montaigne via

(Hero and feature image credit: David Henderson/Getty Images)

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Places to Visit in Paris

Visit the city of lights and explore the roads of paris at night, best time to visit.

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  • Historical Sites
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Boasting of some great masterpieces of ancient gothic art, serene boulevards and picturesque riverbanks, Paris is the place for those connoisseurs of art and beauty. A favorite fashion hub, Paris is a city of love and romance, the place where the Eiffel Tower stands tall. One can choose among the best places to visit in Paris depending on your taste. From fashion to culture, romance, architectures and food, seems like Paris has everything on its platter.

The Eiffel Tower is one of the best tourist attractions in Paris . The uniqueness of these buildings lie in the fact that they can be viewed from any corner of the city. Also, the ‘Iron Lady’ shines bright during the night, bringing alive the entire city. Some of the best honeymoon places in Paris are a welcome spot for newlyweds owing to its romantic aura. The view of Paris from its top is a bliss. The Arc De Triomphe and the palace of Versailles are other important tourist attractions in Paris having a historic significance.

For those connoisseurs of art and ancient culture, Centre Pompidou is a must see among the places to see in Paris . It is one of the biggest centre, hosting art galleries, libraries, museum and famous world arts under one roof. The largest modern art museum aka Musée National d'Art Moderne also resides here. Besides, other museums like Musee d’Orsay - a museum built in Beaux-Arts architecture, boasting of French nationalism spirit through art and paintings and Musee Du Louvre that hosts the painting of Mona Lisa and other ancient arts etc. are other Paris tourist places to visit.

Notre Dame Cathedral – the oldest cathedral in France, which is built in ancient gothic style is also one of the best places to visit in Paris . It features a magnificent medieval architecture, stained glass windows, western towers and Emmanuel – the largest bell. Besides, the gothic lovers also have a choice of other must visit tourist attractions in Paris like the Sainte Chapelle, Sacré-Coeur, Grand Palais and the Conciergerie Palace.

Axe Historique is a famous area, flooded with famous places in Paris , arranged along its axis. These Paris tourist attractions , walking away from Paris towards countryside, include the Louvre – a glass pyramid, Tuileries Gardens, Place de La Concorde, Champ-Elysées, Arc de Triomphe, Porte Maillot, Pont de Neuilly, La Defense, Grande Arche and Seine-Arche respectively, in the same order. Do check Place de la Concorde, which is the largest public square of Paris as you stroll through the Axe Historique.  

Owing to its romantic essence, these are also some of the best places to visit in Paris for honeymoon besides the Eiffel Tower. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont, Temple of love, Sacré Coeur Basilica , River Seine etc. and much more are the best honeymoon places in Paris . Lastly, to embrace this beautiful city, walk along those mesmerising boulevards, especially along the banks of River Seine, as you visit the famous Paris tourist places . Sure to be romantic escape.

One of the most marvelous places in Paris

Eiffel Tower in Paris

Standing tall right in the heart of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is a mesmerizing visual gaze, bringing alive the city of romance. Also, famous as the ‘Iron Lady’, the Eiffel Tower in Paris holds a place in the Seven Wonders of the World. Boasting of a flamboyant architecture, the Eiffel Tower in France is cherished as a landmar...

Enjoy spending time at this historical monument

Arc De Triomphe in Paris

Arc De Triomphe has been one of the most famous monuments and landmark of tourist attraction in Paris that stands right at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle also called as the “Place de l’Étoile“. Situated on the western side of the famous Champs-Élysées, the Arc De Triomphe in Paris is a part of L’Axe historique, a...

Enjoy a day exploring the famed Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris is a world-famous Catholic Cathedral that boasts of magnificent French Gothic structures. Situated on the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, it is also called as ‘Our Lady of Paris’. Famous for its architectural richness and size, Notre Dame de in Paris is located on the eastern end of...

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One of the most popular cabaret shows of Paris

Moulin Rouge in Paris

Moulin Rouge is a celebration of music, dance, truth, beauty, and freedom. It is here when the scenes from movies and shows come to life on stage dressed extravagantly in glitzy costumes making the entire atmosphere enchanting and lively.

History of Moulin Rouge

One of the most popular cabaret shows of Paris, Moulin Rouge ...

A medieval era Catholic cathedral in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

The Notre Dame Cathedral is a medieval era Catholic cathedral in Paris. Its name can be translated into “Our Lady of Paris”. It is located in the 4th arrondissement of the city, on the Île de la Cité. It is one of the most popular of all Gothic cathedrals of the middle ages in Paris. The construction of Notre Dame cathedral...

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Have Fun in The Louvre Museum in Paris

Louvre Museum In Paris

World’s largest art museum and one of the most historic structures to ever stand on earth, Louvre Museum of Paris is not just a tourist attraction, it is a phenomenon. With a history spanning over three centuries and witnessing some of the biggest turns that western civilization has taken, Louvre Museum is a destination one...

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Enjoy a smattering of Parisian art and culture

Centre Pompidou in Paris

Centre Georges Pompidou or Centre Pompidou is a complex that stands tall in Beaubourg, an area in the 4 th arrondissement of Paris. It is also famous in English as Pompidou Centre and is named after French President, Georges Pompidou (1969-74). Centre Pompidou (Paris) was officially declared open to the common public by the ...

An amazing place to spend some time

Musee d’Orsay in Paris

Musee d’Orsay is one of the most famous museums in Paris, representing the nationalism of France in the form of paintings and arts. It houses some exceptional paintings of both impressionist and post-impressionist as well as the French nationalism movements of art-nouveau dating back from years 1848 to 1914. Musee d'Orsay i...

Spend time admiring the beautiful architecture here

Palace of Versailles in Paris

The Palace of Versailles in Paris is the royal house built by King Louis XIV and his successors until the French Revolution. One of the famous tourist attractions in Paris, it has been a part of World Heritage Locations for a span of 30 years. The Palace demonstrates the highest pinnacle of French art from the 19th century,...

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One of the most happening places in Paris

Place de la Concorde in Paris

Place de la Concorde is one of the famous public squares in Paris and the largest square in France. Located at the eastern corner of Champs Champs-Élysées in the eighth arrondissement of Paris, Place de la Concorde in Paris has witnessed royal exhibitions in the past especially during the French Revolution. King Louis XVI w...

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What is Paris famous for?

The monumental city of Paris famed for its architectural grandeur worldwide. It houses some of the prominent attractions, including the Eiffel Tower, the Iron Lady, Arc de Triomphe, and more. 

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Made of stone that used to be reserved for wealthy people only, the Mansion e Nicolas Flamel, located at 51 rue Montmorency in the 3rd arrondissement, which was built in 1407 is the oldest house in Paris.  

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  • Paris in the Spring: 15 Things to See and Do

Have you booked a short break in Paris? Explore our list of Inspector-approved activities to enjoy the warmer weather in the French capital.

Things to do in Paris

tourist locations in paris

Paris by The MICHELIN Guide

See the Paris guide

tourist locations in paris

Wondering what to do in Paris ? Not sure how to make the most of the city in the beautiful springtime? The MICHELIN Guide has got you covered! With our selection of 15 fabulous spots in and around the city, you can make the most of the milder weather and go full Emily in Paris. Channel your inner Parisian at the best restaurants with outside tables; enjoy a picnic or admire the cherry blossom at the prettiest gardens and parks; and discover the best ice cream shops, open-air markets, and flea markets.

1- Bask in the sun on one of the capital's 3,000 terraces

Rooftop spaces with a bird's-eye view of the city, leafy courtyards sheltered from sight and the noise of the street… in Paris, some restaurant terraces are real treasures, jealously guarded by those in the know. With an intimate terrace hidden from view, Apicius is set in a sumptuous 18th-century mansion akin to a small palace; overlooking the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower, Monsieur Bleu is ensconced in the Palais de Tokyo; and then there is the impressive terrace of Michelin-Starred Le Tout-Paris , a brasserie perched on the seventh floor of the Cheval Blanc hotel  (3 MICHELIN Keys). From Saint-Germain to Montmartre, via the Eiffel Tower, discover all the loveliest terraces in Paris!

More good news for fans of outdoor dining is that this year, as every year since 2021, the capital's 3,000 or so outdoor cafés will be allowed to expand and overflow onto the sidewalk too. Even better: from 1st April to 31st October 2024, these pop-up terraces will be open until midnight (instead of their usual closing time of 10pm).

La Tour d'Argent © Matthieu Salvaing

2- Go bargain-hunting outside, from the bouquinistes to brocanteurs

The return of warmer weather means getting out in the fresh air! The City of Paris regularly publishes a list of the best flea markets. But for anyone who loves antiques and vintage design, the best place to go remains the Puces de Saint-Ouen, the world's largest flea market, where antique dealers and brocanteurs (second-hand dealers) sell their wares. This Marché aux Puces is spread over 7 hectares and encompasses no fewer than 11 different markets and over 2,000 stalls and shops. Furniture, bronze ornaments, lights, tableware, jewelry, books, archaeological finds… Pick up a rare piece as you wander through the narrow streets of this bohemian market founded in 1885, or sit on the terrace of a café and listen to a gypsy jazz concert. Another typically Parisian point of interest: the bouquinistes . These are booksellers who set up on the Right Bank of the River Seine, from Pont Marie to the Quai du Louvre, and on the Left Bank, from the Quai de la Tournelle to Quai Voltaire – they specialize in old editions and second-hand books.

NEW: Discover Paris by The MICHELIN Guide – expert insights on where to dine, stay and enjoy the City of Light

The bouquinistes © Roman Kraft / DR- Unsplash

3- Picnic in a park with a view of cherry trees blossoming

If you ask a Parisian what their favorite springtime activity is, the chances are they'll say having a picnic. If you're lucky enough to be in the capital during that brief period when the cherry trees are in bloom, then your timing is perfect! In the Jardin des Plantes, the impressive 'Shirotae' Japanese cherry tree stands at 8m tall, and its branches form a giant parasol measuring 12m across. Square Marie-Trintignant on the edge of the historical Marais has a number of benches overlooking the nearby Seine. But if you're a true cherry blossom fan, the Parc de Sceaux is the place to go to see a remarkable floral explosion. From 30th March to 28th April 2024, the park is celebrating Hanami, the Japanese festival marking the blossoming of the sakura (cherry trees) – of which there are more than 150 scattered across the 180 hectare estate. Other green spaces where you can relax on the grass and tuck into your picnic are the Luxembourg Gardens, the Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, the Buttes Chaumont, and Parc de Belleville, which commands one of the best views in the capital from its hilltop location. And let's not forget Parc Montsouris, in the very south of Paris.

© Polina Silivanova / DR - Unsplash

4- Stock up on top-notch produce at the best markets

Would Paris be Paris without its countless food markets? With stalls packed with mouth-watering produce from all over France, they illustrate Parisians' obsession with good food. From the stalls of the famous Marché des Enfants Rouges to the crowded paths of the Marché d'Aligre, take a stroll through The MICHELIN Guide's favorite Parisian markets .

© Le marché d'Aligre, Paris / LembiBuchanan / iStock

5- Hire a license-free boat or embark on a cruise

With Marin d'Eau Douce, hire a license-free electric boat and navigate the waters at your own pace, whether with friends, family or a date. Alternatively, hop aboard one of the famous Bateaux-Mouches, Vedettes de Paris or Bateaux Parisiens for a River Seine cruise taking in sights such as the Invalides, Musée d'Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Grand Palais, and the Eiffel Tower. At night, with its illuminated bridges and monuments, the capital feels like a life-size film set. The Seine doesn't have a monopoly on Parisian waterways. Enjoyable cruises are also organized on Canal Saint-Martin, Canal de l'Ourcq, and the River Marne. Paris Canal takes you alongside the Musée d'Orsay, the Philharmonie, and La Géode; Canauxrama offers a range of cruise formats, from an introduction to the Paris of Parisians to a full-day exploration of the banks of the River Marne.

Paris from the Seine © Big Dodzy

6- Savor the best ice creams and sorbets in Paris

Just a stone's throw from the Sacré Coeur Basilica, at 16 Place des Abbesses, Une Glace à Paris came up with the concept of offering outdoor seating in the form of deckchairs. Their delicious sorbets and ice creams are designed by Emmanuel Ryon (a Meilleur Ouvrier de France Glacier and World Pastry Champion) and Olivier Ménard. You can of course also order your cornet to take with you as you explore the streets of Montmartre. Head for the most popular sights, from Café des Deux Moulins, made famous by the film Amélie, to the bronze bust of the singer Dalida at the top of rue de l'Abreuvoir. On Île Saint Louis, Berthillon has become a real institution, having reigned supreme since the 1950s. Their recipes are guaranteed to contain no artificial colors or preservatives, and the menu features around 40 flavors on any given day (there are over 90 altogether): marron glacé, blackcurrant, mango, roasted pineapple with basil… all delicious!

© Pixabay

7- Admire the greatest masterpieces at the European Night of Museums

Around mid-May, just before summer is in full swing, a magical night takes place in Paris. The European Night of Museums is a not-to-be-missed event organized by the Ministry of Culture, offering free evening entry to over 3,000 museums in France and Europe. As night falls, soak up the festive atmosphere with new routes, guided tours, open-air events, live shows, music, and culinary delights! In Paris, the Musée d'Orsay, Fondation Louis Vuitton, and Centre Pompidou will be welcoming you free of charge for this 20th edition, which falls on Saturday 18th May 2024. It's also an opportunity to visit the Louvre, as well as its eponymous brasserie with tables set up beneath the arcades of this quintessentially Haussmann-style building. But take note: you'll need to pre-book!

© The Free Birds / Unsplash

8- Get romantic in the gardens of the Musée de la Vie Romantique

South of Montmartre, on the other side of Boulevard de Clichy, the bucolic ‘Museum of Romantic Life’ is well worth a visit. From the ground floor (where writer George Sand's room has been recreated) to the first floor (dedicated to painter Ary Scheffer), it sweeps us back to the 19th century. But the main draw of this private mansion is its foliage-kissed terrace – one of the most idyllic in the capital, complete with an English-style tearoom, Rose Bakery. At a remove from the hustle and bustle, this green space is an oasis of calm in the heart of the 9th arrondissement.

Streets in Montmartre © Jeff Frenette / DR- Unsplash

9- Visit the Opéra, the Eiffel Tower… and the best restaurants in the area!

Kill two birds with one stone: Avoid the tourist traps and confidently head to these top restaurants located close to Paris's most beautiful monuments , not forgetting the excellent bistro Le Maquis , just a 15 minute walk from Montmartre.

© Julie Limont /Drouant

10- Get a bird's-eye view of Paris: belvederes, rooftops and balloon rides

Springtime in Paris (usually) means clear skies. From the Belvédère de Belleville to the Tour d'Argent or the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower, from the upper terrace of the Arc de Triomphe to our favorite rooftops , see Paris from a different angle at these sky-high venues! If you want to go even higher, the Ballon de Paris Generali – in the Parc André Citroën (15th arrondissement) on the banks of the Seine – promises an unforgettable experience for young and old, from 0 to 99 years. Aboard the world's largest hot-air balloon, see the capital and its monuments from 150m above the ground.

© Ballon de Paris Generali

11- Eat macarons

The famous almond-based sweet is distinguished by its texture, which is at once both crunchy and soft. The most famous brands are Ladurée, Lenôtre, Dalloyau, Fauchon, and Pierre Hermé, but there are also noteworthy lesser-known names; for instance, Jean-Paul Hévin, one of the best chocolatiers in Paris, has created a delicious macaron with Peruvian Grand Cru dark chocolate. There's also Chez Carette (Place des Vosges and Place du Tertre) and Yannick Lefort, another macaron specialist, in the 6th arrondissement. And don't forget Le Jardin Sucré (17th arrondissement), whose shop is nestled next to Parc Monceau. Get ready for a rainbow of flavors! For the record, it was Queen Catherine de' Medici, of Italian origin, who imported the macaron to France in the 16th century. It was a roaring success, shooting to fame all over France during the Renaissance and giving rise to the Amiens Macaron, the Saint-Emilion Macaron, and the Nancy Macaron. The Parisian version, also known as the Macaron Gerbet, only appeared in the 19th century.

 © Ladurée

12- Take a dip in the most stunning open-air, Art Deco swimming pool in Paris

Luxury hotel Molitor Paris has taken over the Molitor swimming pool , a legendary venue from the 1920s up to the 1980s. Tastefully renovated by architect Jean-Philippe Nuel, the outdoor pool has had extra floors added, including a roof terrace overlooking the city. It also boasts a Clarins spa and a fantastic restaurant run by an award-winning chef. Behind the ultra-contemporary veneer, the site's Art Deco heritage has been preserved, not least the original studded portholes and 1940s furniture. Access to the swimming pool is, of course, included in the room rate.

 © Molitor Paris

13- Order an excellent specialty coffee… or the best hot chocolate!

There was a time when the average espresso at a Parisian café was undrinkable, being dubbed ‘jus de chaussette’ (‘sock juice’), but over the last decade the capital has been making up for lost time. When it comes to coffee, Paris has nothing left to prove and now even boasts a number of quality coffee roasteries. If you're not a fan of caffeine, you can fall back on our best Parisian haunts for a hot chocolate. Drink in or take away if you can, to sip as you wander the streets of the capital.

© Nathan Dumlao / Unsplash

14- Enjoy the gardens of Versailles, its fountains and restaurants

Considered among the most fabulous in Europe and the world, the royal gardens of Versailles come into their own in spring. Take in the Palace of Versailles fountain show, in which the water interacts with lights and music. Then refuel at Le Bistrot du 11 , just a stone's throw from the palace, one of five establishments in Île-de-France (the Paris region) to have recently been awarded a Bib Gourmand .

© Jan Zinnbauer / Unsplash

15- Watch a tennis match at Roland Garros

The French Open is back from 20th May to 9th June for another championship! Located in the west of Paris, at Porte d'Auteuil, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, the Roland Garros Stadium hosts this Grand Slam tournament every year, as well as the Paris Major Premier Padel. The sun will hopefully be shining, so don't forget your hat and sunglasses. Celebrities are often to be seen watching from the stands, so you might even bump into a famous face while you’re here!

© Gonzalo Facello / Unsplash

Illustration image © Dan Asaki / Unsplash

tourist locations in paris

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The Best Spas in Paris

Scaling the hills of Montmartre, shopping till you drop in the Grands Magasins, taking in endless museums? When your stay in the City of Light gets a little tiring, what better way to unwind than with a visit to a spa or hammam? Don't miss these wellness destinations from The MICHELIN Guide hotel selection.

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Local Strolls: Follow our writer's perfect walking route in Paris

Vivian Song

Apr 12, 2024 • 4 min read

tourist locations in paris

Follow this writer's favorite walking route through Paris © Vivian Song / Lonely Planet

Delve into Local Strolls, a series where writers reveal their favorite walks in their hometowns. Each route offers a snapshot of urban life, guiding you to lesser-known attractions and cherished local spots. Here, Vivian Song takes us on a gentle stroll past shops, through gardens and along the river in Paris.

In some ways, one of my favorite walking itineraries in Paris contradicts the very definition of that most famous and poetic of French verbs, “flâner” or to stroll. Some purists might point out that my oft-repeated route has a predetermined start and finish line, while the point of "flâner” -ing is to wander aimlessly, not knowing where their walk will lead them.

But I would argue that switching to autopilot and repeating a familiar and comforting walking routine can also produce moments of awe, pleasure and discovery if done in the same spirit of the aimless wander: without haste, with no agenda, and always with a sweet treat.

People sit on benches under blossoming magnolia trees in a park

On that last point, this particular itinerary actually starts at Mochi Mochi Aki, a small Japanese take-out dessert shop on rue Saint-Anne that is lined with Japanese and Korean restaurants and grocers. I order my usual, passion fruit mochi, and resist the urge to bite into the ridiculously soft and pillowy sweet rice cake until I get to my next destination, the Jardin du Palais Royal , five minutes away. If I’m feeling particularly indulgent, I may also stop at Matcha Social Club to pick up an iced strawberry matcha latte for the walk over.

At the park, I will amble leisurely up and down the tree-lined alleyways, chuckling inwardly at the waddling toddlers chasing after dogs, and dogs chasing after pigeons, and take dozens of photos of the gardens because I am rarely without my DSLR camera on a leisurely outing like this one.

After a good long sit-down under the shade that involves one of the best mochis in Paris, a bit of reading, and a lot of people-watching, I’ll make my way out of the park in the direction of the Louvre and the Seine in order to indulge in another one of my Paris pastimes: the crossing of bridges. I cross as many as I can on this route, zigzagging between the Left and Right Banks as views from either side of the river offer such beautifully different perspectives.

L: Queue outside Mochi Mochi in Paris. R: Close-up of mochi desserts boxed in plastic containers

After crossing Pont du Carrousel, I head south on the Left Bank and then cross Pont des Arts, the pedestrian bridge where buskers provide passersby with some lively entertainment. I continue along the upper quay in order to greet the open-air booksellers or bouquinistes and check out their latest wares.

That brings me to the majestic Pont Neuf , which means "new bridge" but is actually the oldest standing bridge in Paris, where I join the other tourists in taking in the views of the Seine, Eiffel Tower , and the pedestrians strolling on the quay below. Even after 14 years of living in Paris, I never tire of views like this. I cross this bridge too, but stop short of reaching the Left Bank and veer midway into Île de la Cité’s Place Dauphine, a lovely triangle-shaped public square, where groups of friends are playing petanque, young couples are on weekend dates, and parents are following waddling toddlers, who are chasing delightedly after small dogs their own size.

People follow a walkway beside a river heading towards a bridge

After staying on the upper quays, I’m now ready to embark on the last stretch of my itinerary. I cross the Pont au Change and take the stairs that lead down to the lower quay on Voie Georges Pompidou. Formerly a major traffic artery, the riverside banks on both sides of the Seine became car-free in 2017, giving Parisians nearly 8km (5 miles) of wide and scenic waterfront promenades lined with petanque courts, terraces and children’s play areas.

The strolling experience is different down here. Those on wheels — bikers, skateboarders, e-scooters and rollers skaters (yes, of the disco-kind) — weave their way between pedestrians, who have collectively, it seems, agreed to walk with slackened pace to match the gentle cadence of the Seine rolling beside us to our right. As I reach Pont Marie, at which point I can take the metro line 7 straight home, I take one last look at the scenery before me and am reminded of the words of Victor Hugo: “To wander is human, to stroll is Parisian.”

Distance: Approx 3.8km Time: Approx one hour

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Where to Find Paris Tourist Information Offices?

And How to Make The Most of Their Resources

tourist locations in paris

Many people feel comfortable navigating a new city using only their wits (and maybe their smartphones). But for other visitors, finding a good tourist information center and seeking some advice from local experts is key to feeling informed and relaxed.

Paris has several tourist "welcome centers" dotted around the city, where you can get free advice and maps, buy special discount cards and passes, and find most other info related to your stay. Here are the main ones you should look out for. We suggest noting down which is closest to your hotel or apartment, and making your way there early on in your stay. 

Armed with plenty of information and advice, including on tours, top attractions and special events, you'll be more likely to enjoy your sojourn to the fullest. 

Main Welcome Center at Pyramides

25, rue des Pyramides 1st arrondissement Metro: Pyramides (line 7 or 14) RER: Auber (line A) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

June 1st-October 31st: Mon.-Sun., 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

November 1st-May 31st: Mon.-Sat, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Sundays and bank holidays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Resources at this branch include: 

  • Brochures and information on Paris tourist attractions
  • Hotel and attractions bookings
  • Paris public transport passes; Paris Museum Pass , and other discount cards
  • Center is accessible to visitors with disabilities or limited mobility

Carrousel du Louvre Tourist Welcome Center

This welcome center is especially useful if you want to explore the greater Paris region and take day trips to nearby cities and attractions such as the Palais de Versailles or Disneyland Paris.  

Carrousel du Louvre,  Place de la Pyramide Inversée 99, rue de Rivoli 1st arrondissement Metro: Palais Royal Musée du Louvre (line 1 and 7) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

This center is open seven days a week, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Resources at this branch include brochures and information on Paris tourist attractions, as well as information on tourist attractions and events in the greater Paris (Ile de France) region.

Gare de Lyon Tourist Welcome Center

20, Boulevard Diderot 12th arrondissement Metro: Gare de Lyon (line 1 or 14) RER: Gare de Lyon (line A) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

This center is open Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Sunday and bank holidays. Resources here include:

  • Paris public transport passes; Paris Museum Pass, and other discount cards

Gare du Nord Tourist Welcome Center

18, rue de Dunkerque 10th arrondissement Look for the "Welcome" kiosque under the glass roof of the Gare du Nord train station, "Ile de France" section. Metro: Gare du Nord (line 2,4, or 5) RER: Gare du Nord (line B, D) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Dec. 25th, Jan. 1st, and May 1st. Resources at this center include:

Porte de Versailles/Paris Expo Welcome Center

1, Place de la Porte de Versailles 15th arrondissement The Porte de Versailles Convention Center hosts many of Paris' most interesting trade fairs. The tourist office here can provide detailed information on trade fairs and special events at Paris Expo. Metro: Porte de Versailles (line 12) Tramway: Porte de Versailles (T3) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

This center near the southern tip of the city is open from 11 am-7 pm during trade fairs. Resources here include: 

  • Bookings for hotels and popular attractions

Montmartre Tourist Office

21, place du Tertre 18th arrondissement Metro: Abbesses (line 12), Anvers (line 2), funicular Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

This center is open 7 days a week, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Brochures and information on Paris tourist attractions are among the resources at this branch. 

Anvers Tourist Welcome Center

Located on the median strip facing 72, boulevard Rochechouart 18th arrondissemen t Metro: Anvers (line 2) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

Daily, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed on December 25th, January 1st and May 1st. Resources at this branch include:

  • Bookings for hotels and attractions

Clémenceau Tourist Welcome Center

Located on corner of Avenue des Champs-Elysées and Avenue Marigny 8th arrondissement Metro: Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau (line 1 and 13) Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.)

April 6th to October 20th, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed July 14th. Resources at this branch include:

Why to Visit in Person? 

For first-time visitors to Paris, the city can feel overwhelming and confusing. If you're unsure about how to spend your time, want to get some information and advice in person from tourism officials, pick up some helpful documentation and even look into buying Paris metro tickets or discount cards such as the Paris Museum pass , you'll find it more than useful to beeline over to one of the city's friendly information centers, conveniently located in several neighborhoods.

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tourist locations in paris

US embassy in Paris issues security alert for Americans in France after Moscow terrorist attack

T he American embassy in Paris has issued a security alert for U.S. Citizens in France following last week’s terrorist attack in Moscow. 

This means that visitors in France can expect to see heightened security in public areas, including public transport, places of worship, tourist sites, schools, sports venues , and other large commercial centers. 

The U.S. Embassy has warned that terrorists may target tourist locations "with little or no warning." 

"Visitors to congested and popular tourist areas should be particularly attentive to their surroundings," the embassy said, urging the public to report suspicious activity to law enforcement. 


The warning comes after the French government elevated its Vigipirate national security alert system to its highest level, following a terrorist attack in Moscow on Friday evening. Russian authorities said "radical Islamists" killed 139 people at a suburban concert hall in Moscow. 


Later Monday, Italy followed France in stepping up security. The country’s national security council met Monday, and decided to increase security around Holy Week observances leading up to Easter this weekend. 

Both surveillance and checks will be increased, "paying the most attention to the places of greatest aggregation and transit of people, as well as sensitive targets,’’ the Italian Interior Ministry said in a statement. Pope Francis has a busy schedule of events in Rome and at the Vatican in the days leading up to Easter Sunday.

Original article source: US embassy in Paris issues security alert for Americans in France after Moscow terrorist attack

One of the alleged perpetrators of last week's terrorist attack in Moscow against the backdrop of the US embassy in Paris and the Crocus City Hall music venue in Moscow. Getty Images

Google reveals top destinations for summer vacation 2024

Paris, Puerto Rico and more made the top 20!

For anyone feeling a sudden urge for summer wanderlust, Google unveiled its top 20 destinations that travelers have already taken an interest in for any upcoming warm weather getaways.

From domestic to international locations, Google shared insights based on past flight booking data and search trends with "Good Morning America" to help people start planning summer vacation spots or shape an ideal itinerary.

Much like snubs and surprises during awards season, there are a couple of places that fell out of favor since last year as well as some new additions that made this year's list.

PHOTO: Flight status board at SFO (San Francisco International Airport), San Francisco, Calif., March 9, 2023.

Check out all the spots below.

Top summer 2024 destinations on Google flights

The search engine technology company said the list reflects people in the U.S. searching on Google Flights for travel anytime between June 1 through August 31, 2024.

PHOTO: Aerial view through plane window of Caribbean coastline buildings in the hotel zone, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.

Cancun, which previously came in at number one during summer, dropped to number six, while Tokyo is on the rise, with Madrid and San Juan new to the summer location lineup.

1. London 2. Paris 3. Tokyo 4. Rome 5. New York 6. Cancun 7. Orlando 8. Las Vegas 9. Seattle 10. Athens 11. Los Angeles 12. Miami 13. Barcelona 14. Dublin 15. Fort Lauderdale 16. Honolulu 17. Denver 18. Madrid 19. Boston 20. San Juan

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The biggest change from 2023, according to Google, is that Cancun moved down from the number two spot to number six, while Tokyo rose from number eight to number three.

Newcomers to the top destinations list include San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Madrid, Spain. Chicago and San Francisco didn't make the top 20 this year.

Travel trends on Google search

Google gathers insights from mid-January to mid-March from U.S. users to find out what travel-related queries are top of mind ahead of summer.

Searches for "travel itinerary" and "solo travel" reached an all-time high in January.

Two of the top trending "weekend getaway" destinations are Palm Springs and Florida Keys.

The top trending "romantic getaway" destinations were Napa, the famed California wine country, and Key West, home to the southernmost point in the Continental U.S. with historic landmarks.

Finally, La Romana and Saint John were the top trending destinations searched with all-inclusive resorts.

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Taylor Swift Concerts Increase Hotel Prices By Up to 154% — These Are the Destinations and Dates to Avoid

Let’s get out of this town ... away from the crowds …

tourist locations in paris

Emma McIntyre/TAS23/Getty Images

Taylor Swift's Eras Tour is rather popular. As in, it's made Swift a certified billionaire , popular. So popular that Swift is credited with bringing millions to local economies around the globe thanks to her thousands of fans flying in from all over the world just to see her sing. However, the one thing we could perhaps complain just a little about as travelers is that the tour is causing hotels to seriously jack up their prices in the days leading up to her tour. In some spots, as much as 44 percent. 

According to a 2024 study by Lighthouse , a travel and hospitality insights company, the increase in room pricing during Swift's European stops is "staggering." 

We can see that the effect on hotel room pricing in some cities is "staggering," including some spots seeing a more than 100 percent increase. 

"Overall, the median increase in rates for a standard hotel room compared to those nearby weeks was 44 percent, which is a huge boost to local hotel rates and indicative of the continuing star power Swift has in every geography she has visited so far," the study's findings read. However, it also noted, the effect is not universal and there is "massive variation between locations." 

There was also one other bit of good news in the study: "Most visitors are solely interested in the event's tour within the specified dates, with limited spillover demand." 

So, if you happen to want to be traveling to Europe this summer during her tour, we thought we'd give you the heads up on a few dates to avoid, and note a few cities where you may still be able to get a good deal over her concert dates, to ensure you can maximize deals and swerve the Swift Effect. 

Avoid: Warsaw 

Price increase: According to the study, prices for hotel rooms in Warsaw are experiencing a whopping 154 percent increase during Swift's tour dates.  Dates to avoid: Swift's tour stops in Warsaw from Aug. 1 to Aug. 3, so if you can, try to go the week following the concerts, when prices will be far lower. 

Avoid: Stockholm

Price increase: According to the study, prices for hotel rooms in Stockholm are experiencing a whopping 119 percent increase during Swift's tour dates.  Dates to avoid: Swift's tour stops in Warsaw from May 19 to May 19. Avoid that weekend and you should be able to find prices for less.

Avoid: Liverpool

Price increase: According to the study, prices for hotel rooms in Stockholm are experiencing a whopping 116 percent increase during Swift's tour dates.  Dates to avoid: Swift's tour stops in Liverpool from June 13 to June 15. After those dates, you should be great. 

Avoid: Vienna

Price increase: According to the study, prices for hotel rooms in Vienna are experiencing a whopping 88 percent increase during Swift's tour dates.  Dates to avoid: Swift's tour stops in Warsaw from Aug. 8 to Aug. 10, so skip those dates and find new ones to snag a deal in this fantastic city. 

Still go: Paris

Price increase: In an interesting twist, larger cities don't seem to have the same price increases as smaller ones, according to the study. Thus, spots like Paris are only experiencing a 5 percent increase in pricing for hotel rooms. So, if you plan to see the City of Lights between Swift's tour stops from May 9 to May 12, you should be in the clear.

Still go: London

Price increase: Like Paris, London too hasn't been hit too hard with Swift increases. The study notes that the city is only seeing a 9 percent increase in room prices, so feel free to still book a (slightly more expensive) stay during the tour dates from June 21 to June 23. 

There is, however, one more solution if you simply cannot avoid traveling over Swift's tour dates. According to the study, short-term rentals, like those on Airbnb and Vrbo, are seeing far less volatile pricing over the tour dates. In fact, the study noted that prices are actually lower than ever in London over her tour dates than on other days, so there's always a solution to your travel woes. Even if those woes are the fact that you couldn't score T Swift tickets.


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    9- Visit the Opéra, the Eiffel Tower… and the best restaurants in the area! Kill two birds with one stone: Avoid the tourist traps and confidently head to these top restaurants located close to Paris's most beautiful monuments, not forgetting the excellent bistro Le Maquis, just a 15 minute walk from Montmartre.

  22. Getting around in Paris

    The quickest way to get around is on the metro and RER. Paris' train network consists of two separate but linked systems: the metro and the RER. The metro currently has 16 lines (numbered 1-14, plus two secondary lines, 3bis and 7bis). The network is currently being expanded to add another four lines as part of the Grand Paris Express project.

  23. Stroll Paris with this perfect walking route

    That brings me to the majestic Pont Neuf, which means "new bridge" but is actually the oldest standing bridge in Paris, where I join the other tourists in taking in the views of the Seine, Eiffel Tower, and the pedestrians strolling on the quay below.Even after 14 years of living in Paris, I never tire of views like this. I cross this bridge too, but stop short of reaching the Left Bank and ...

  24. Paris Tourist Information Offices and Welcome Centers

    Tel.: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 € per min.) Monday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Closed Dec. 25th, Jan. 1st, and May 1st. Resources at this center include: Brochures and information on Paris tourist attractions. Hotel and attractions bookings. Paris public transport passes; Paris Museum Pass, and other discount cards.

  25. The world's top city destinations for 2023 are revealed

    Alexander Spatari/Moment RF/Getty Images. Istanbul topped the list for the number of international arrivals in 2023, followed by London and then Dubai. The cities with the biggest year-on-year ...

  26. Edgar & Achille Hotel Review, Paris, France

    Read the Hotel Edgar, Paris, France hotel review on Telegraph Travel. See great photos, full ratings, facilities, expert advice and book the best hotel deals.

  27. US embassy in Paris issues security alert for Americans in France ...

    The U.S. embassy in Paris on Monday issued a security alert for Americans in France following last week's terrorist attack in Moscow. ... places of worship, tourist sites, schools, ...

  28. Google reveals top destinations for summer vacation 2024

    20. San Juan. The biggest change from 2023, according to Google, is that Cancun moved down from the number two spot to number six, while Tokyo rose from number eight to number three. Newcomers to ...

  29. 5 Romantic Date Spots In Istanbul To Visit This Spring

    Destinations like Paris and Rome tend to get all the credit when it comes to romance — but Istanbul should not be overlooked as a love-fueled city. ... Here's Your 2024 Summer Travel Insurance ...

  30. Taylor Swift Concerts Increase Hotel Prices By up to 154%

    Thus, spots like Paris are only experiencing a 5 percent increase in pricing for hotel rooms. So, if you plan to see the City of Lights between Swift's tour stops from May 9 to May 12, you should ...