Paris is a beautiful and romantic city in which historical landmarks, magnificent artwork and rich culture await you at every corner. This charming City of Lights is a “must see” for all who travel to Europe. To sample some of the best the city has to offer, make sure you visit the top ten sites.
1. Eiffel Tower
Nothing symbolizes Paris more than the Eiffel Tower. At 984 feet tall, its iron figure stands above the rest of the city and can be seen from almost anywhere. It was built in 1889 for the World Exhibition to celebrate the French Revolution. For a truly breathtaking view, ascend to the top of the tower.
2. Seine River
For an unforgettable experience, take a river boat cruise down the Seine River. As you calmly glide through the water, you’ll have spectacular views of significant landmarks. Night is the best time to go, when the city’s lights glisten against the dark sky.
3. Musée du Louvre
It is the world’s most visited museum and contains the most diverse collection of pre-20th century art. Before transforming into a national treasure, the museum first served as a fortress and then as a palace. It has nearly 35,000 pieces, with the most prominent being Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
4. Cathédrale de Notre-Dame
This grandiose cathedral is perhaps one of the most famous in the world. The Gothic masterpiece, which is named “Our Lady of Paris,” is considered the heart of the city – both spiritually and geographically. The dramatic towers, beautiful stained glass and intricate carvings took nearly 200 years to complete. It is also home to the infamous gargoyle statues and the world’s largest organ.
5. Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay boasts an impressive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. It features Van Gogh’s legendary works, as well as Monet’s water lily paintings.
6. Centre Pompidou
This structurally intriguing building is home to the most extensive collection of modern art. The complex, which is considered the cultural center of the city, showcases works by Matisse and Modigliani, among many others.
7. Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Elysees
The iconic monument was built to honor the French military. The best time to visit is at 6p.m. when the Unknown Soldier’s flame is lit or on December 2, the day that marks Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805.
8. Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre
Situated on Montmartre knoll, is the Sacré-Coeur basilica, the tallest point in Paris. It is known for its pristine white dome and gold mosaic interior and offers visitors some of the best views of the city.
9. Jardin du Luxembourg
Take an afternoon walk or prepare a typical Parisian picnic to enjoy in this sprawling and peaceful garden of the French Senate
10. Opéra Garnier
The ornate façade of this grand opera house is known for its opulence. Although a tour is enough to experience the inspiration behind the infamous work “Phantom of the Opera,” it’s even more spectacular if you catch a show.