Paris is one of the most romantic cities in Europe and the truth is that no one can resist its unique charms. With its world-famous museums and galleries, cobbled streets, and vibrant atmosphere, Paris offers plenty of attractions worth visiting. Without further to do, we present you our list of top 10 things to do in Paris.
- Top of the Eiffel Tower
Built in 1889 for the Paris Exhibition, the Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous monument in the world. It consists of 15,000 steel sections and is 307 meters tall, making it the second-largest building in the world. You can take an elevator or walk up to the first and the second floor. The top floor is reachable only by the elevator and offers spectacular views of the city. If you want to have a meal at the Eiffel Tower, go to Michelin-starred Restaurant le Jules Vernes on the second floor.
Panthéon is the burial-place of famous Frenchman. Originally built as a church, this place was built when King Louis XV told the famous architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot to build a church in 1756. This building is quite important, simply because of its unique architecture that can be described as the neoclassical style. The church inspired the creation of other buildings in Paris including the Bourse and Arc de Triomphe. Did you know that the famous French philosopher Voltaire is buried here? The French writer Emile Zola also rests here.
- Arc de Triomphe
Dedicated to the victory of France and Napoleon, Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris. It was Napoleon who ordered the building of this amazing structure back in 1806. What he didn’t know is that he wouldn’t live long enough to see it completed in 1836. Arc de Triomphe was designed by JF Chalgrin and features reliefs with large figures which celebrate the victories of the French armies. The most famous relief is definitely The Marseillaise, also known as Departure of the Volunteers of 1792.
- Admire Mona Lisa at Musee du Louvre
Home to the famous Mona Lisa painting, Musee du Louvre is a must-see attraction when visiting Paris. Besides being a royal palace, this amazing place houses plenty of treasures such as Egyptian mummies, baroque and renaissance paintings from the 19th century, classical sculptures, and Mesopotamian antiquities. Check out the Italian Renaissance galleries and some of David’s best works like Delacroix and Géricault. Guests can pick up a plan once they enter the museum and avoid long lines by purchasing tickets beforehand.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, Notre Dame Cathedral is located close to the Latin Quarter on the island of Ile de la Cité. This beautiful island was the place where the Romans built the city of Litetia and Kings of France lived here from the 6th to the 14th century. The cathedral itself was founded in 1163, but it took more than 150 years to build it. First, it was built in the Early Gothic style and several additions were made in High Gothic style. There is a special show every weekend from 9.15 pm which projects a large number of images onto a giant screen. The good news about the Notre Dame Cathedral is that the entrance is free of charge.
- Take a walk through Luxembourg Gardens
Laid out in the beginning of the 17th century, Luxembourg Gardens in Paris feature a big octagonal pond with a fountain with two terraces and several statues. This central part of the park is designed in a French classical style and there are many benches where tourists can sit to relax. The park is quite popular among the locals who love to come here over the weekends and make a picnic with friends and family. There is also the famous Fontaine de Médicis from the 17th century on the east front. If you wish to see a puppet show, go to the southwest of the park and check out Théâtre du Luxembourg that seats over 250 people.
- Palais Garnier
Known for the fictional Phantom of the Opera, Palais Garnier is located close to the Louvre and hosts ballet and opera performances. If you wish to explore the building itself without going to a concert, you can do this every day from 10 AM to 5 PM. There are many visitors who suggest booking the guided tour which includes stories about Palais Garnier’s history and famous events that took place here. Of course, you can always purchase a ticket for concerts, however, it is advised to get your tickets several months in advance, as ballet and opera performances are highly popular.
- Musee d’Orsay
Situated inside a railway station from the 20th century, Musee d’Orsay is one of the most visited museums in Paris and includes an impressionist and post-impressionist collection of artwork. Some of the masterpieces on the top floor feature Little Dancer from Degas, Olympia and Déjeuner sur l’herbe from Manet, and Cézannes and Gauguins from Van Gogh. The first floor includes a few art nouveau galleries and a new room that is devoted to Courbet’s giant canvases. Make sure to purchase tickets in advance and avoid waiting in long lines.
Built by Saint Louis between 1242 and 1248 to house the Holy relic, Sainte-Chapelle is definitely a palace worth visiting while exploring the city. The lower level of the palace was used for the servants, while the Royal family lived on the upper level which is a masterpiece of gothic architecture with its stained glass. You can purchase tickets in advance; however, visitors need to wait in line for security checks. Make sure to have your passport with you.
- Cross the Pont Alexandre III Bridge
Built for the World Exhibition in 1900, Pont Alexandre III is considered being one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris due to its spectacular features which include nymphs, candelabras, and cherubs. An interesting fact is that the first stone for the bridge was laid by Nicholas II in 1896. Resal and Alby were in charge of the design of the bridge and the only requirement that was asked of them is that the bridge does not interrupt traffic on the Seine River.