Paris sights

The 20 most interesting places to see in Paris

Paris is beautiful in all its forms. To experience it, you don’t have to rush off to see all the sights. We advocate getting to know the city with a reasonable balance of places of interest and leisurely walks around the city. To save you time and simplify your itinerary, we’ve prepared a must-see list of the French capital’s most interesting sights. It is unlikely you can do it in one trip, but at least part of the program you will have time to implement!

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The Eiffel Tower.

Let’s start with the classics! After all, it’s the most visited landmark not only in Paris, but also in the world – the Eiffel Tower. At last count, there are about 7 million visitors a year. You can climb to the top, and if the weather is fine, organize a picnic on the Champ de Mars with a view of it.

  • Ticket price: An entrance ticket to the tower costs from €16 to €25.

Eiffel Tower - Paris

If you still want to fulfill the maximum program and climb it, we strongly recommend buying a ticket in advance on the website, otherwise you will spend half a day in a queue.

However, if your goal is to enjoy the panorama of the city, you can do it from other observation sites in Paris – more affordable and certainly cheaper.

2. the Louvre

This huge and impressive museum is one of the most interesting and controversial places in Paris. Why ambiguous? Because on the one hand such a grandiose museum is simply impossible to miss, but on the other hand, all those who were in Paris more than once, say that on your first visit to the Louvre is better not to plan a visit. Five floors and 35,000 exhibits – it is better to visit it in Paris only if you have a free day, which you are ready to devote to contemplation of the beauty.

Louvre - Paris

If you just want to check the box and look at the Mona Lisa from afar, it is not worth it.

To enjoy a visit to the Louvre, you need to study the layout of the museum in advance and walk through the halls, where the crowds of tourists usually do not reach.

You can read about the tricks of buying tickets to the Louvre here.

If you want to get the most out of the museum experience, we advise you to go on the Grand Tour of the Louvre or to learn more about the main masterpieces of the Louvre.

The Arc de Triomphe

It proudly towers over the Champs-Elysées and is rightly considered a symbol of Paris on a par with the Eiffel Tower.

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 Arc de Triomphe - Paris

No wonder because the view of the city, which opens from the Arch, perhaps, even more impressive. Entrance ticket here and is cheaper and there are fewer tourists.

4. Sacré Coeur Basilica

Sacré Coeur Basilica towers above Paris at an altitude of 130 meters. Walking around Montmartre, do not be lazy to walk to it.

Sacré Coeur Basilica - Paris

Climb the famous stairs to the Sacré-Coeur and get a panoramic view of one of the city’s authentic neighborhoods – believe me, it’s worth it.

  • Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre
  • Open: 06:00 to 22:30
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5. Luxembourg Garden

If your walk through the interesting places of Paris will take place in the warm season, be sure to visit the Luxembourg Garden, which is located in the sixth district.

Luxembourg Garden - Paris

This palace and park ensemble is appealing with its calm and peaceful atmosphere. Just grab a baguette and coffee at a nearby café, sit on one of the elegant chairs spread around the grounds – and enjoy this beauty.

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6. Musée d’Orsay

While the guidebooks used to refer to this Paris museum, located on the left bank of the Seine, as “lesser known,” in recent years it has become very, very popular. But the collection of Impressionist artwork on display here is worth putting up with the influx of tourists also eager to see the masterpieces of Manet, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin, Van Gogh and other great artists.

Orsay Museum - Paris

  • Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur
  • Opening hours:
    • 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m,
    • Thursday until 9:45 pm,
    • Closed Mondays.
    • €14 standard ticket
    • and €11 for all visitors after 16:30 (except Thursday).

    7. Notre Dame de Paris

    Notre Dame de Paris is a very monumental sight and a must see in Paris. Unfortunately, after a fire occurred in the cathedral in April 2019, it is still under restoration. The work is scheduled to be completed by 2024.

     Notre Dame de Paris

     Notre Dame de Paris - Paris

    However, it is still worth seeing this architectural masterpiece even in its current form. Looking forward to 2024!

    • Address: Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II
    • Price – admission is free. Additional fee is needed only for climbing the bell tower – €15, for persons under 26 years old – free of charge.
    • Opening hours:
      • Mon-Fri 08:00-18:45;
      • Sat, Sat – 8:00-19:15

      8. Versailles

      Since the Palace of Versailles is outside of Paris, it is worth taking a full day to see it. The residence of King Louis XIV is a living history. You can immerse yourself in it by visiting the palace itself and strolling through the surrounding gardens. If you get hungry, inside there is a wonderful bakery “Angelina”, though the prices here are not so low.

      Versailles Palace is considered the most outstanding architectural heritage of Louis XIV century, a symbol of the greatness of France and the French monarchy. Stunning interiors, halls and royal chambers, striking for their theatricality and luxury – as well as many intrigues that lurked within the walls of Versailles. We recommend taking a tour of the Palace of Versailles to discover the pages of history of French kings and courtiers.

      What to see in Paris – 40 unforgettable places

      Paris! The city that captivates with its aesthetics. A corner of romance and beauty in details, creativity and inexhaustible supply of inspiration. Here you can see both the famous objects of world cultural heritage and secret, non-tourist places that can amaze no less. If you do not know where to go in Paris – here is a list of interesting, popular and completely unexpected locations.

      Floating art center Fluctuar

      A great place to explore contemporary art. The art center is located directly on the river – near the Big and Small Palaces. Its name echoes the motto of Paris – Fluctuat nec mergitur, which means “Floats, but does not sink. The platform accommodates halls for permanent and temporary exhibitions, a bar and a rooftop café. Here you can see the work of Banksy, Rammelzee and other popular artists. And afterwards – to have a lunch or a coffee with a view of the evening Paris. Entrance to Fluctuart is free. The center works every day from noon to midnight.

      Creative meeting place on the Seine

      Eiffel Tower

      As a rule, the answers to the question of what to do in Paris are not without the phrase Eiffel Tower. Of course, it is unlikely that the recommendation to visit this landmark will surprise anyone, but not to mention it is simply indecent. Symbol of Paris and one of the most photogenic buildings in the world is definitely worthy of attention of anyone who meets the city for the first time.

      Here are a few interesting facts that will refresh your understanding of the popular tourist attraction:

      • The tower was originally planned to be built in Barcelona, but the Spanish authorities did not appreciate the project.
      • German paleontologist Hermann von Mayer helped to design it correctly. He used a special structure of the femur bone, thanks to which it does not break under the weight of a person.
      • Despite its worldwide fame, the Eiffel Tower often finds itself on lists of the most disappointing sights.
      • Every day about 2 tons of paper is used to print admission tickets.
      • Every 7 years it is completely repainted in a patented color called “brown-Eiffel.” The procedure costs Paris about 4 million euros.

      The Eiffel Tower on a beautiful spring morning

      Happy young couple at Eiffel Tower at sunrise

      Parc Butte Chaumont.

      An amazing landscape park that reeks of fairy tale. It’s hard to believe that it was once an execution site with a giant gallows and then a dump. The park is decorated with green hills and cliffs that make you forget you’re in a bustling metropolis. There is also a lake, a grotto with a waterfall, gardens with exotic plants and areas for relaxing. At the top of the rocky cliff is an ancient temple of Sibylline. To get to it, you can use a suspension bridge built at a height of 8 meters above the lake. Park Bute Chaumont is a place where you want to relax, take long walks and enjoy the surrounding beauty.

      The Sibylla Temple by the lake

      European House of Photography

      The gallery is located in the Marais quarter, in the former 17th-century De Cantobre mansion. Its collection numbers about 24 thousand photographs by various authors, times and subjects. In addition to the exhibition halls, there is a café, library, restoration workshop and rooms for lectures. The main mission of the European House of Photography has been and still is the popularization of photography as something separate, multifaceted and alive. And, of course, the preservation of old photographs as a cultural heritage of Paris. The permanent exhibition consists of works dating from 1955 to 1995. Here one can see works of legendary Karl Lagerfeld, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank.

      Versailles

      One of the places you should not miss while in Paris. Versailles palace and park complex is the most important cultural attraction not only in France, but throughout Europe. In 1979 he was among the first sites included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and was recognized as one of a hundred wonders of the world. Versailles is a 40 minute drive from Paris and can be reached as part of a tour group or on your own. The complex is striking in its beauty and scale, leaving no chance to leave here indifferent. On its territory there are more than a thousand fountains, gardens, park areas, stunning architectural structures and other works of art that take your breath away.

      Versailles palace was the most beautiful royal castle

      Rich interiors in a royal castle

      St. Ouen Flea Market

      Shopping at flea markets is always something special, exciting, and soulful. Such places usually have their own unique atmosphere. This is where you can find exclusive and inexpensive things that have their own history. One of these markets – Saint-Ouen – is located outside the northern 18th arrondissement of Paris, in the suburb of Saint-Ouen. It was founded in the XIX century. Its pavilions occupy an area of 7 hectares. Here you can find antique figurines, dishes, clothes, paintings, jewelry, furniture and much more. Found a souvenir will remind you of Paris or can go to a loved one as a gift.

      Coffee grinders lined up in rows on store shelves

      Store interior at the flea market

      Montmartre district

      A full acquaintance with the city of love is impossible without the Montmartre district, as well as without the Eiffel Tower. It’s home to some of Paris’ most popular attractions, and the creative spirit is palpable. And also in this area lived and worked Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso and other famous masters. Walking around Montmartre, do not miss the kingdom of cancan – Moulin Rouge, the largest Catholic Cathedral of France – Sacre-Coeur, the Wall of Love, where the cherished phrase is written in different languages, the old cafe “Pink House”, a monument “Man Walking through the Wall” and the Pigalle Square, which is often compared to the “red light district” in Amsterdam.

      Ancient alley with cobblestone stones and fence

      Catacombs

      It’s a good time to dilute the romance of Paris with a thrill. The city catacombs are often compared to the kingdom of the afterlife – this is where several million Parisians were buried after the closure of cemeteries in the late 18th century. In the tunnels of the ancient quarries, at a depth of 20 m, there is an ossuary where the remains are located. The walls of the catacombs are covered with processed bones and skulls. You can visit this place during a tour, if, of course, you are not afraid of scary stories and legends. It is said that people often disappeared in the labyrinths, but their bodies were never found afterwards. Also, many claim to have seen ghosts in the corridors.

      People's bones and skulls stacked neatly in the catacombs.

      Arc de Triomphe

      The famous architectural monument is located on the Place Charles de Gaulle. The arch was erected by order of Napoleon, as a reminder of his great victories. The construction of the structure took 30 years (1806-1836). Interestingly, the original idea was to build a giant elephant instead of an arch, inside which would be a museum dedicated to Napoleon. But in the end the idea failed – it was decided to construct an object in the likeness of the Arch of Titus in Rome. The names of the conquered cities are engraved on the walls. Inside there is a museum of the same name and access to the observation deck, and under the arch – the tomb of the unknown soldier.

      A road and an alley of trees on the Champs-Élysées

      Galeries Lafayette

      If you do not know where to go shopping in Paris – go to the Galeries Lafayette – a real kingdom of shopping and just an amazingly beautiful place. Its glass dome, designed by Jacques Gruber in the Neo-Byzantine style, is considered a historical monument. Lafayette is located on Boulevard Haussmann and receives thousands of visitors daily. Within the building you can find boutiques of more than 300 famous brands, many cafes and restaurants, supermarkets and an observation deck, which offers stunning panoramas of the city. The gallery also often hosts fashion shows and autograph sessions. Wandering through such a place will be a real pleasure even for those who are not very fond of shopping.

      A massive Christmas tree with flowers under a large glass dome

      A store of luxury handbags and accessories.

      Art Nouveau glass and steel dome

      Père Lachaise Cemetery

      This cemetery was originally conceived and built as a park. Therefore, the atmosphere here, as strange as it may sound, is conducive to walking. Here you can see the most beautiful sculptures, family vaults, resembling palaces, and centuries-old trees. People come here to take a walk in silence, to reflect and to honor the memory of many famous people. Honoré de Balzac, Edith Piaf, Sarah Bernhardt and Frédéric Chopin are buried on the grounds of Père-Lachaise. By the way, it is this cemetery Balzac described in his novel “Father Goriot”. Because of its imposing size and large number of graves, Pere Lachaise is often called the “city of the dead”.

      A grave in the Pere Lachaise cemetery

      Autumn old French cemetery

      Georges Pompidou Centre

      The famous cultural center, one of the trademarks of Paris, is located in the Beaubourg district. It was founded by President Georges Pompidou in 1977 and its main goal was to explore and support contemporary art. In addition to exhibition halls, the building has cinemas, concert venues, designer boutiques, a library, a theater, the Institute for the Study and Coordination of Acoustics and Music, and the Museum of Modern Art. And even that’s not the whole list of interesting places within the center! The exterior of the building is just as impressive. And if you climb to its roof – you can see beautiful Paris from a bird’s-eye view.

      The high-tech facade is covered in multicolored pipes.

      Communication pipes outside the Georges Pompidou Center

      Notre-Dame de Paris

      One of the greatest masterpieces of world Gothic architecture that occupies a special place in the hearts of tourists and locals. Construction of the cathedral began as early as 1160 and was completed around 1345. It was here, for many years, that imperial coronations and national funerals were held. One of the most remarkable features of the cathedral are its stunning stained glass windows, which not only serve the function of lighting, but also adorn the structure itself. Extensive restoration of Notre Dame began in the 20s of XIX century. The impetus for this was Victor Hugo’s novel Notre Dame de Paris, which drew attention to the problem of the sad state of the landmark. On April 15, 2019, the cathedral was badly damaged in a fire, after which it underwent a major renovation.

      Night view of Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral and the Seine River

      Brasserie Café des Deux Moulins

      The cozy cafe on the corner of the building became famous for the movie “Amelie,” and has been one of the must-see places in Paris ever since. According to the plot, this is where the main character worked. Coming to the city, tourists never miss an opportunity to drink here a cup of coffee with a fragrant croissant and enjoy the atmosphere of the beloved romantic movie. Brasserie is located on Montmartre, on Lepic street, 15. The interior of the institution remained almost unchanged since the 50s. Inside you can see a movie poster with Audrey Tautou’s autograph and her portrait on the menu, and order “Amelie’s afternoon snack” – custard with caramel crust.

      Evening café on the corner

      One of the oldest and most famous museums of the world has something to surprise its guests. Louvre – it is more than 30 thousand exhibits, including ancient paintings, frescoes, sculptures, engravings and jewelry. It is here you can look into the eyes of the famous Gioconda and see the statue of Venus of Milos. The exhibition of the museum consists of eight sections – ancient halls (Orient and Egypt), Greek, Etruscan and Roman, Islamic art, sculpture, painting, objects of art and graphic art. The most visited part of the Louvre is considered to be the Denon wing.

      The Louvre and the glass pyramids in the evening lights.

      Forest of Vincennes

      The largest green space in Paris is located in the twelfth arrondissement. This place is literally made for long walks in nature, so locals often call it “the lungs of the city”. There are 4 lakes, hiking trails, bicycle paths and an endless amount of green plants. In the reserve you can ride a boat or horses, have a picnic and do yoga, look into the Park of flowers, zoo and arboretum, visit a Buddhist temple and see a beautiful medieval fortress. The forest of Vincennes is a place that offers entertainment for everyone. In order not to miss anything, it is better to come here for the whole day.

      People in a boat and a swan on the shore of the artificial lake Domenille.

      Nose perfume boutique

      The multi-brand store of selective fragrances opened in 2012 and became famous for its individual approach to each client. The slogan of the boutique reads: “We aim at finding the perfume that will perfectly suit you. Instead of smelling hundreds of bottles the client receives an iPad and is offered to fill in a special form. After you answer all the questions, the program will make your own olfactory pyramid, where the top, middle and base notes will be indicated, and it will also give you a list of several recommended fragrances. You can find famous brand perfumes here, as well as buy scented candles as a souvenir.

      Fragrant oils in dark bottles and flasks on the shelves.

      Disneyland

      Where to go in Paris with a child? Disneyland of course! Despite the fact that the famous amusement park is located in the suburbs, travelers always find a place for it on their must see list. Disneyland is a separate little world where childhood lives. Characters of favorite cartoons, the best attractions, toys, amazing scenery – all this allows you to be transported into a fairy tale reality and really have fun. Disney World is divided into two theme parks. The first is the classic Disneyland Park, which has existed since the opening of the complex (1992). And the second is the Walt Disney Studios Park (2002), dedicated to the history and process of creating the masterpieces of the film studio. In addition to the rides there is a Disney Village area with restaurants, bars, stores and cinemas, as well as a golf course and tennis courts.

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