Paris is the capital of France and is seen as one of the world’s cities. More than 11 million people live and work in the metropolis, making the city by far the largest in the country. The many sights, museums, atmospheric streets and beautiful squares ensure that Parishas been a top tourist destination for decades. About 25 million tourists visit the city of romance every year. For American tourists, a trip to Europe is not complete without visiting Paris. There is so much to see and do in Paris that first of all it is impossible to discover everything in one weekend and secondly it is an almost impossible task to limit the number of sights to just ten. We therefore had to drop top attractions and sights such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Latin Quarter, Boulevard Haussmann, the Place de la Bastille and the Galleries Lafayette. Also important to mention is that Paris is an excellent shopping cityis. Paris has been one of the fashion capitals of the world for decades.
According to Vaultedwatches, Notre-Dame de Paris has been temporarily removed from these top 10 Paris landmarks after a fire on April 15, 2019 wreaked havoc on this beautiful piece of heritage. The cathedral, also known for the ‘Hiccupine of Notre-Dame’, is a beautiful example of the early Gothic style. The facade and structure survived the fire, but it will be years before this icon is rebuilt and can be visited again.
Top 10 Paris Attractions
#1. Eiffel Tower
In honor of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris, the idea arose to build imposing structures that would be representative of the industrial century in which one was in. Two were built that attracted many visitors to the exhibition, namely Galerie des Machines and the Eiffel Tower. The first was a mega pavilion made of glass and steel, which unfortunately was later completely demolished. The Eiffel Tower has remained standing and has subsequently become the symbol of France and the city of Paris. You can’t visit Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower.
You can’t just admire the Eiffel Tower from the ground. It is possible to visit this Parisian icon. That can be done in different ways. The most popular method is to go up by elevator. You have tickets that go up to the second floor and tickets that take you to the top of the Eiffel Tower. another option is to climb the stairs to the second floor. Even then you can optionally take the elevator to the top.
The city of Paris is full of history and treasures from ancient times. The Louvre should certainly not be missed during a visit, but there are more museums in Paris that you should definitely visit. Museums that are definitely worth a visit: Musée Picasso / Cité des sciences et de l’industrie / Musée national du Moyen Âge / Musée Rodin and much more. Please note that most museums are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is definitely recommended to inquire about a museum pass for a few days.
The must-see museum is the Louvre. Dating back to 1793, this gigantic museum is one of the best museums in the world. Among the approximately 35,000 works of art are masterpieces such as Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo that can be admired here. You will find here mainly works from antiquity from about ten thousand years ago to about the first half of the 19th century.
The Louvre is the most visited art museum in the world. The queues at the cash registers can therefore unfortunately be huge, especially on weekends. To avoid these queues, it is best to purchase your tickets online in advance before going to the Louvre.
The Center Georges Pompidou is a striking building. The modern designed building is one of the most absurd buildings in Paris. From the outside, it is a construction of metal-framed stairs and large numbers of huge pipelines. Inside you will find a huge collection of modern and contemporary art. Here you can admire works by big names such as Pablo Picasso, Philippe Starck, Matisse, Edvard Munch and Salvador Dalí.
For tourists, the Montmartre district is arguably the most ‘Parisian’ district of Paris. Place du Tetre, where the combination of painters and terraces that represent the typical atmosphere of the district, is a real crowd puller. Montmartre is a neighborhood that you either love or loathe because it has become very touristy. We would say ‘just take a look and judge for yourself’.
The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur is Montmartre’s most distinctive building. Because this white-colored basilica stands on top of the Montmartre hill, it has a particularly beautiful appearance and appearance. People often sit on the green forecourt with huge stairs to enjoy the beautiful view over Paris. The inside is also worth seeing, especially the huge mosaic depiction of Jesus.
#4. Palace of Versailles
A few kilometers outside the city of Paris is the Palace of Versailles. The castle was commissioned by Louis the thirteenth in the seventeenth century and later expanded by his son Lodewijk the Fourteenth. This turned it into the current gigantic luxurious castle as we know it today. The Hall of Mirrors is one of the most beautiful rooms of the Palace of Versailles. It is one of the largest castles in the world and since 1979 Versailles has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of the most visited sights in France. As a result, it can sometimes be busy in the summer months and long queues can occur. It is therefore highly recommended to book a ticket for Versailles in advance.
#5. Tour Montparnasse
It is sometimes thought that the Eiffel Tower offers the best view of Paris. However, if you want to have a panoramic view of the metropolis including the Eiffel Tower, then you should have a different vantage point. Tour Montparnasse in the Montparnasse district of the same name is the best choice. From the roof of this 212 meter high skyscraper you have a very good view over Paris. The good news is that a visit to the roof will take you less time than a visit to the Eiffel Tower, if you buy your entrance tickets in advance.
#6. Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is an impressive triumphal arch, which was largely designed by the French architect Jean Chalgrin. After his death, the project was taken over by Jean-Nicolas Huyot. The statues come from various French sculptors of the time. Below the monument you will find hundreds of names of all kinds of important generals who have provided their services. Not many people know that there is a small museum located in the monument and that from the Arc de Triomphe you have a beautiful view over the Place Charles de Gaulle area and over Paris itself. From here you can have a good view of the La Defense business district, admire the Eiffel Tower and see how the main streets of Paris align. You must buy a ticket to visit the Arc de Triomphe from the inside and enjoy the view from the roof.
The Seine is largely responsible for romanticism in Paris. You can take various boat trips and pass the many historic buildings that line the Seine, such as La Statue de la Liberté, Le Grand Palais, La Place de La Concorde, L’Assemblée Nationale and La Conciergerie. There are also boat trips where you can enjoy an excellent dinner with live music during a mini cruise. The many bridges of Paris are even more beautiful from the water.
The best way to discover the Seine is through a boat trip. From the water you get a unique view of different parts of Paris and thanks to the audio guide you learn everything about this city.
Paris has many beautiful squares. Consider, for example, the famous Place de la Concorde, which was laid out before the French Revolution as Place de Louis XV. After the revolution, that name was no longer possible and the spacious square was given its new name. The most distinctive element of the Place de la Concorde is the Egyptian obelisk. This ‘cleopatra’s needle’ was donated to Paris by the Egyptian king in the nineteenth century.
The atmospheric Place des Vosges is one of the oldest existing squares in Paris. The uniform look of the buildings, the arcades that surround the square and the green heart make the Place des Vosges one of the most beautiful squares in all of France.
A third square worth visiting is the Place de la Bastille. The Bastille Saint-Antoine used to be here. During the French Revolution it was stormed and demolished by the outraged French people. The busy square is an important hub in Paris and therefore has a completely different appearance than the romantic Place de Vosges. However, a visit to this square should not be missed during your Paris city trip. Striking elements are the Collene de Juliët in the center of the roundabout and the modern designed Opéra Bastille.
#9. Opera Garnier
Of the many beautiful buildings to admire in Paris, the Opéra Garnier deserves a place in the top 10 places of interest in Paris. This opera house is, not entirely unjustly, also called Palais Garnier. The wealth radiates from this building, which dates from 1871. Inside, extensive use has been made of gold leaf, marble and frescoes. There is also a museum entirely devoted to French theater history. Nowadays it is mainly ballet performances that are held at Opéra Garnier. For operas and other performances you now largely have to be at Opéra Bastille.
#10. Les Invalides
In 1671 a place was set up in Paris where disabled soldiers were given shelter. This place was named Hôtel National des Invalides. Over time, this shelter for disabled soldiers has grown into a complex where as many as four thousand men (there were no women in the army at the time) could be housed. Meanwhile, Les Invalides, as this place is now called, has been given a different function. One part is furnished as a national army museum, where you can see which wars France fought, which materials were used and how these wars went.
In our opinion, the most beautiful sight of Les Invalides is the Dôme des Invalides. This domed church stands out because of its detached location. The many gilded elements on the outside, especially on the dome, make for an impressive building that is a sight to behold. You can see the main attraction inside. There is the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. This former self-proclaimed emperor of France has found his final resting place here among the other prominent soldiers.