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Paris Attractions

Visit These Top Paris Attractions

If you've never been to Paris, then you do not know what you are missing. Also known as the City of Lights, Paris is never short of fabulous attractions, some of which have been around for centuries, while the others are modern-day monuments. From awe-inspiring museums, to the breathtaking Eiffel Tower, to the eclectic Centre Pompidou, you will never be short of fun things to explore in the French capital. We've gathered together a list of some of the top things to see and do in Paris to make your trip one to remember. So, if you are on vacation in France, make your way to Paris and experience the fantastic Paris attractions in style.

Jump on a Hop-on-hop-off Bus

Armed with the Paris sites map in your hand, you can access most of the Paris attractions by way of an exciting bus tour. Choose from a variety of buses that will take you around the city - an excellent way to tour most of the top 10 attractions in Paris in one single trip. A hop-on-hop-off bus moves along an extensive hop-on, hop-off route, making stops at exciting destinations and landmarks across the capital, such as Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre Dame, Musée d'Orsay, Champs-Élysées, Grand Palais, and Trocadéro. Haven't had time to brush up on your French? Don't worry, these buses always feature a variety of languages available on board. All you need to do is to sit back and take in the breathtaking sights of Paris. But be sure to book for your ticket in advance to beat the long queues during busy months.

Pop Into the Louvre Museum

Opened in 1793, the Louvre is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful art museums (and one of the most widely visited) in the world. Featuring approximately 38,000 works from throughout French and world history, this Paris attraction is a must-see for connoisseurs of art, history, and culture. Marvel at its French Renaissance façade contrasted with I. M. Pei's iconic pyramid, and wander the halls filled with world-famous artworks, such as the Venus de Milo and Da Vinci's iconic Mona Lisa. While the museum is far too large to see everything, a day is more than enough time to browse some of the classical Italian works and to explore the collection of Greek, Etruscan, and Islamic art. Tip: buy your tickets in advance, or expect to spend a few hours in line at the ticket office. 

Visit the Musée d'Orsay

This museum should rank top on your list of Paris tourist attractions. Formerly a uniquely designed train station, the Musée d'Orsay now houses a vast collection of artworks spanning the period between 1848 and 1914, and boasts the largest collection of French Impressionism in the world. Experience breathtaking works by Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Van Gough, and stand before the Musée d'Orsay Clock to get spectacular views of the city. Hungry? Grab lunch at the elegant Restaurant du Musée d'Orsay and enjoy quality French fare while marveling at the elegant Baroque ceiling. End your visit this marvelous Paris attraction with a trip to the gift shop to pick up some classy souvenirs for your loved ones back home.

Explore the Musee de I'Orangerie

Consider continuing your exploration of French Impressionism at the Musée de l'Orangerie after visiting Musee d'Orsay. Located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens near the Sein, this museum is a quaint yet stunning institution, and one well worth a visit. Check out Monet's iconic series of waterlily murals, known as the Nymphéas, which were installed in 1927. The museum also features works by Picasso and Soutine, making it a Paris attraction you don't want to miss. When you're finished exploring the museum, take a stroll through across the Place de la Concorde, or embark on a romantic adventure through the Tuileries Gardens and pop into the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, a contemporary art museum located at the gardens' northwest corner.

Scale the Eiffel Tower

One of the top 10 tourists attractions in the French capital is the Eiffel Tower. Attracting millions of visitors from around the globe, the tower has become an iconic symbol of France. A mythical and audacious structure, this tower is the stage for numerous events of international significance. The monument was built by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle of 1889, thus acquiring the name Eiffel. The decades since have seen it renovated and revived to host the endless tourists who come to marvel at its stature: over 250 million visitors from all over the world have come to see the tower since its inception.

Initially, the Eiffel Tower was open to the public only up to its 2nd-floor platform, but nowadays all the three levels are accessible, two of which now features restaurants which you can access via the stairway or one of the eight elevators. The tower's sparkling lights makes it one of the most astounding Paris attractions at night.

Awaken Your Inner Somalier at Les Caves du Louvre

France is synonymous with good wine, so why not experience the best reds and whites the city of lights has to offer? Les Caves du Louvre were built in the 18th century, and were home to King Louis XV's sommelier. During this period, a tunnel served as a connection from the Caves to the Palais de Louvre so that wine could be easily transported. These days, this Paris attraction is open to the public for wine tours and tastings, and even a winemaking workshop for the ambitious savant who wants to try out their fermentation skills. Les Caves du Louvre also offers personalized wine and gifts for visitors who want to bring a memento bottle home.

Cruise Along the Seine River

If you are looking for top outdoor attractions in Paris, consider taking a cruise along the Seine River. From the waters of the Seine, you will be able to view the Musée d'Orsay, Eiffel Tower, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, just to name a few. A majestic trip along the river on the Bateaux Parisiens, for example, will help you discover the City of Lights from the water's reflective surface. But really you can choose from a variety of companies offering daytime, evening, and nighttime cruises. Choose to take a sunlit boat in the daytime with many other tourists to view the sights, or opt for a romantic dinner for two and marvel at the brilliant Paris attractions at night as you cruise.

Behold the Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame is one of the most famous Gothic cathedrals and Paris attractions dating back to the middle-ages. Also called Notre-Dame de Paris, this catholic church is distinguished for its size, beauty, and architectural design. Get a glimpse of the world-famous gargoyles and stained glass rose windows at this 13th-century French Gothic Cathedral. After suffering some damage during World War II, Notre-Dame has undergone several reconstructions and is now one of Paris' main tourist attractions. Visitors stand in awe of the Gothic stone ceilings and humbling artwork, and can ascend to the towers to get a closer look at Viollet-le-Duc's sculptures.

The largest of Notre-Dam's ten church bells named "Emmanuel" sits in the southern tower and has been part of the building since 1681, ringing hourly and on special occasions and celebrations. Visitors can also view the impressive organ installed in the 13th century, with five keyboards, 190 ties, and 800 pipes, making it the most extensive music instrument in France and most famous in the world. The organ is still played to this day during Sunday services.

Experience Great Views at the Sacré-Cœur

Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, the Sacré-Cœur is another one of Paris' best-loved attractions. Located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, this basilica was designed by Paul Abadie and was constructed from 1875-1914. This landmark is not only known for its lush interiors, complete with stunning arches and marvelous mosaics, but for its phenomenal views. Perched atop a hill in the 18th arrondissement, the site boasts some of the best panoramas of Paris. Marvel at the white stone façade and take a moment of silence as you walk through the church or light a candle for your loved ones. 
While you're in Montmartre, take a tour around. This is the old artistic district, full of quirky carousels, stylish boutiques, and funky cafes frequented by locals. It's the perfect place to pick up a souvenir for someone special, or to grab a glass of wine and watch the sun set over the City of Lights.

Have a Night Out at the Paris Opera House

Also known as Palais Garnier, this is one of the most elaborate and stunning buildings in in the city, making it one of the number one Paris attractions for visitors. Located in Paris' 9th arrondissement, the Palais Garnier is adorned with mirrors, mosaics, and chandeliers, not to mention the impressive Grand Staircase. Take a tour of the magnificent Palais during the day, or book tickets to one of their shows for a night to remember in Paris.

Experiencing the Best the City Has to Offer

The name of this street suggests that someone thought it was a heaven on earth. Translated as "Elysian Fields" - a Greek paradise for dead soldiers - the Champs Champs-Élysées' symmetrical landscaping reveals its glory and grandeur, setting it among the most famous avenues in the world. Initially a famed meeting point for politicians and intellectuals, what were once stylish cafes have now given way to a commercial atmosphere with larger "grand magasins" taking over. 
Strolling along the sidewalks on a Saturday will reward you with elegant facades and leafy trees and bushes. Unless, of course, you're there during the holidays, in which case you can explore the massive Christmas market that lines the street. Regardless of when you come, a stroll along the Champs-Élysées lets you drink in the beauty of the wonderful Paris attractions on its path, including the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, and the Place Charles de Gaulle.

Relax at the Trocadéro

Trocadéro, another significant Paris attractions, got its name from the Battle of Trocadero on on August 31, 1823. It is comprised of several gardens and buildings, including the Palais de Chaillot, constructed for the Exposition Internationale of 1937. The site presents a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower. The centerpiece of the gardens is the great Warsaw foundations, which, with its 20 water cannons, offers a remarkable water display. Trocadéro is undoubtedly one of the best attractions in Paris, especially on summer evenings when the illuminations around the fountains add to its beauty. The Chaillot Palace itself contains several museums, and an underground aquarium.

Marvel at the Arc de Triomphe

The name of this street suggests that someone thought it was a heaven on earth. Translated as "Elysian Fields" - a Greek paradise for dead soldiers - the Champs Champs-Élysées' symmetrical landscaping reveals its glory and grandeur, setting it among the most famous avenues in the world. Initially a famed meeting point for politicians and intellectuals, what were once stylish cafes have now given way to a commercial atmosphere with larger "grand magasins" taking over. 

Strolling along the sidewalks on a Saturday will reward you with elegant facades and leafy trees and bushes. Unless, of course, you're there during the holidays, in which case you can explore the massive Christmas market that lines the street. Regardless of when you come, a stroll along the Champs-Élysées lets you drink in the beauty of the wonderful Paris attractions on its path, including the Arc de Triomphe, Place de la Concorde, and the Place Charles de Gaulle.

Get Artsy at the Centre Pompidou

The Pompidou is the perfect Paris attraction to explore the world of contemporary art. Also known as Europe's MoMA, you will undoubtedly enjoy an educational tour of this futuristic museum. The Centre Pompidou building is a 20th-century architectural masterpiece by architects Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, known for its exterior escalators and enormous colored tubing. Internationally renowned exhibitions take place regularly on the top floor, which also gives visitors a breathtaking view of Paris, while the permanent collection features a vast array of iconic works.  Learn more at the public information library, browse the shelves of the museum gift shop, or get a ticket to one of the numerous film screenings or lectures happening almost daily. Complete a fun-filled day at this museum by eating at the Pompidou's Le Georges, boasting mind-blowing views of the city.

Paris Attractions by Night

Not an early bird? Have no fear, Paris features lots of exciting activities for night owls. For example, once a week, every museum extends visiting hours to allow evening visits. Evenings present a calmer atmosphere, making every tour an exceptionally great experience, owing to the quiet and peaceful environment. Additionally, several night tours are run by young local tour guides, beginning from the Louvre and crossing the Seine River to St. Germain neighborhood.

Enjoy Delicious Food in the French Capital

Parisians love good food. In fact, the city's cuisine is renowned worldwide as one of the best, offering a myriad of options for tourists and residents alike. After all, how can you visit all the noteworthy Paris attractions on an empty stomach? For traditional French fare, head to Saint-Germain-des-Prés to Les Deux Maggots. This iconic cafe is the former stomping ground of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Ernest Hemingway, to name a few. For the best traditional French "café", grab a table at Café des 2 Moulins, known for its appearance in the French classic Amélie.
For fine dining, Paris never fails to please. If you're looking for French food with a contemporary twist, check out Frenchie on rue du Nil, offering a five course tasting menu with optional wine pairings. For fantastic cuisine with killer views, head to Monsieur Bleu. Located at the contemporary art museum Palais de Tokyo, Monsieur Bleu boasts exceptional French cuisine with stunning views of the Eiffel Tower. Book a table in the evening for a truly memorable experience.

Enjoy the Sunset at the Montparnasse Tower

Watch the sunset at the Montparnasse Tower, the highest skyscrapper in the city, and enjoy the breathtaking view of Paris from the 56th-floor observation deck. Head to the tower just before sunset and watch the sun go below the horizon, and see how the city comes to life after dark. This tower is undoubtedly one of the best Paris attractions in the evening.

And What About Paris Nightlife?

After touring enough Paris attractions for the day, you will find many jazz clubs showcasing  experimental musicians and international artists across the French capital. Try out Sunside/Sunset in Chatelet or Au Duc des Lombards. Catch a show at Atelier de Charonne that will light up your night. You can also head to Montmartre to experience a cabaret, a famous tradition dating back to 1881, with a fun-packed schedule of exciting entertainment all year round. Head to the Lido for traditional shows that attract both locals and foreigners. 
For something more low-key, check out the variety of trendy bars littering the streets of Paris. The French youngsters enjoy having drinks in cheap bars located around the rue Oberkampf. Grab a beer or cocktail and dance the night away, or cozy up with your chéri over a bottle of red and a plate of charcuterie.

Experiencing the Best the City Has to Offer

One thing about visiting Paris is that you will probably struggle to see everything you'd like to. This historic and enchanting city has something for everyone, and every little corner is full of tiny delights. Our advice: grab a map and do a little research, make every minute count. However, remember not to pack too much in either. After all, one of the best things to do in Paris is to simply sit, relax, and pause to take in all the beauty around you. So remember to schedule a few breaks to sit in a sidewalk café, order your vin rouge, and do as the French do.

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