The 20 best places to see in Paris
Paris is beautiful in all its manifestations. You don’t have to rush off to see all the sights to experience it. We encourage you to get 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 go up to the top, and if the weather is favorable, 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.
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.
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 scheme 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.
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.
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
5. Luxembourg Garden
If your walk to interesting places in Paris takes place in the warm season, be sure to visit the Luxembourg Garden, which is located in the sixth district.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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: 20 best places
A trip to the capital of France is a dream for many. What to see in Paris? We tell you about popular and non-trivial sights with addresses and ticket prices. Let a trip to the city of romantics stay in your memory for a long time!
What is a must-see in Paris for those visiting the city for the first time? The iconic landmark is the Eiffel Tower. In a year it is visited by 7 million tourists. Grab a coffee at a cafe near the epathetic edifice, take a walk around and find non-trivial angles to the tower, or go upstairs to admire the boulevards of Paris.
The famous tower stands on the Champ de Mars, near the bridge of Jens. The second level is ascended by stairs on foot. The ticket costs 10€ for adults, 5€ for youth from 12 to 24 years old and 2.5€ for children from 4 to 10 years old. The elevator ride costs 16€, 8€ and 4€. The third level also has an elevator: 25€ for adults, 12.5€ for visitors 12-24 years old and 6.3€ for children. Quite expensive when you consider the crowding of people and the low altitude from which to view Paris.
The Eiffel Tower is the main attraction in Paris. (Photo: unsplash.com / @thkelley)
Copies of the Statue of Liberty
The slogan “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity” was born in France, so Parisians cherish another Eiffel creation – smaller copies of the Statue of Liberty. The original was donated to America in 1876 and stands 46 meters above the pedestal. The largest French Statue of Liberty is 11.5 m high. An ingenious architect designed the steel support and supporting frame for it, and the sculpture itself was made by the talented master Frederic Auguste Bartholdi.
There are four copies in Paris. The largest stands on Swan Island on the Seine. A smaller statue is kept in the Museum of Arts and Crafts. The third sculpture, 2 meters high, is in the Luxembourg Garden, in the center of the city. The fourth can be seen next to the Eiffel Tower, on one of the barges moored to the pier.
The largest Statue of Liberty on Swan Island (Photo: Spongeldn / pixabay.com)
Not sure what to see on your own in Paris? Take a stroll through Montmartre, the artistic district in the center of the city where some of the most notable writers and artists have visited. Walk to the picturesque Sacré-Coeur Basilica, which adorns the city’s highest point at 130 meters. Ask a street artist to paint your portrait, visit the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret and take a memorable photo near Paris’ only windmill, the Moulin de la Galette.
Do not limit yourself to the main streets of Montmartre. Turn into the alleyways and you’ll find yourself in the quiet, almost rustic neighborhood Hemingway wrote about.
The Bohemian Quarter is perched on a hill. You can take the stairs or the funicular up it.
Sacré Coeur Basilica (Photo: unsplash.com / @heytowner)
Arc de Triomphe
If you’re planning to see Paris in 1 day, don’t forget to include one of the city’s most famous monuments. Remarque’s novel The Arc de Triomphe is named after the majestic monument that has towered over the Champs-Elysées since the early 19th century.
The richly decorated arch stands on the square, which bears the name of Charles de Gaulle. The entrance fee is 12 €, and there are considerably fewer people here than near the Eiffel Tower.
Arc de Triomphe in the early morning, without traffic and crowds (Photo: unsplash.com / @bill_bokeh)
Art lovers in Paris should definitely check out the Louvre. The huge museum of classical painting and sculpture has five floors with more than 35,000 exhibits. Plan your route to the Louvre in advance, because even a week is not enough to see all the collections. Many come here to see the mysterious smile of the “Mona Lisa”.
The museum occupies the old royal palace on the Rue de Rivoli. Entrance ticket costs 15 €. Temporary exhibitions are charged separately.
Evening Louvre (Photo: EdiNugraha / pixabay.com)
Paris is beautiful in its own way in winter. What to see in the city besides famous monuments and museums? Go to a beautiful park with unique plantings that is good at any time of year. The palace and park ensemble has an area of 22 hectares and is famous for its calming atmosphere. Speaking about it the French themselves use superlative degrees – the most beautiful, amazing and romantic.
The territory of the garden is in the sixth district of Paris, near the metro station Odeon. Admission is free.
Holidaymakers in front of the Luxembourg Palace, the seat of the French Senate (Photo: Adolesco / pixabay.com)
What to see in Paris in winter when the weather is dank and cold? Warm up and take a breather in the halls of the museum, where bright and cheerful works of impressionist artists are on display. The converted rooms of the former train station display canvases by Degas, Renoir, Gauguin and Van Gogh. They are very popular, and up to 3.5 million visitors come here a year. Walk from painting to painting and you will discover the lightness and colorfulness of Impressionism.
The museum is located on the left bank of the Seine, near metro station Musée d’Orsay. The ticket for adults is 14 €, for youth 11 €.
Musée d’Orsay (Photo: tripster.ru / Children’s tour of the Musée d’Orsay)
Notre Dame de Paris
Warning: the cathedral is closed indefinitely due to a fire.
One of the places worth seeing in Paris on your own is the majestic Notre Dame de Paris, the heart of Catholic France. From the observation deck of Notre-Dame-de-Paris you have an amazing view of the valley of the Seine and the streets of the city. Admire the largest organ in the country and listen to the beautiful singing of the church choir.
The famous cathedral is in the historic center, on the island of Cité. It is easily accessible from both sides of the river by bridges. It is best to come in the morning, as there is a long line afterwards. Entrance is free. To visit the tower they charge 7,5 € and the observation deck 15 €.
Feed the pigeons on the square in front of the cathedral (Photo: unsplash.com / @gregoryallen)
What to see in the immediate vicinity of Paris? Versailles, of course! The palace and park ensemble, which has the status of a monument to King Louis XIV, is reasonable to dedicate a whole day to. Take a walk around Versailles and learn about the intricate palace intrigues that took place under the Sun King.
The historic town is about 16km from Paris and is easily accessible by train or bus. A full ticket costs 20€, on fountain days 27€. On normal days, the park is free to enter, but if there are fountains on, visitors pay 9€.
Front door of the palace (Photo: BennBeck / flickr.com)
Want to admire the unique 13th century stained glass windows? Check out the Gothic chapel, considered one of the most beautiful Catholic churches in the city. Marvel at the rich decorations and high vaults. See how the old masters used colored glass to tell the story of the Old and New Testaments.
The picturesque chapel stands on the island of Cité, in the middle of the Seine, in the IV district of Paris. Admission for adult tourists is 10 €, for young people 18-25 years old – 8 €.
Colorful stained glass windows of the chapel (Photo: iankelsall1 / pixabay.com)
What’s the best thing to see in Paris for music lovers? You won’t regret it if you buy a ticket to the Opéra Garnier, or the Opéra de Paris. The famous temple of the arts constantly hosts classical performances, ballets, and high-profile premieres. Even if you don’t know French, the spectacle and music will leave a lasting impression.
The Opera House stands opposite the Opéra metro station. A ticket here costs 11 € for adults and 7 € for youth. For this price you will be shown the interiors of the magnificent building and given an informative tour.
The Opera House at night (Photo: unsplash.com / @nxalessandro) The Grand Opera Hall (Photo: Worlds In Focus / flickr.com)
House of the Disabled.
This is the name of the former asylum for wounded soldiers, which was later converted into a tomb for the great French. Tourists come to the Maison des Invalides to see the resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte and the monuments dedicated to the military glory of France. Admire ancient frescoes and the gilded dome, and see soldiers’ armor and weapons from different eras in the Army Museum.
The Invalides’ House is located in the city’s 7th arrondissement, opposite the Grand and Petit Palais. A full ticket costs 12€ and a reduced ticket costs 10€. Audioguide with a guided tour in Russian – 6 €.
Maison des Invalides – Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb (Photo: Praveen Ramavath / flickr.com)
Fancy a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets? Check out the picturesque Tuileries Garden in Paris, which covers an area of 25.5 hectares. In the warm season, sit on the green lawn, have an ice cream and watch Parisians relax. In winter or early spring, take a leisurely stroll along the flat paths and see the sculptures displayed along them.
The beautiful park is halfway from the Champs-Elysées and Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre. Admission is free.
Jardin des Tuileries and the Musée d’Orsay from the Ferris Wheel (Photo: wikimedia.org / Martin Robson)
Alexander III Bridge
The picturesque single-arch structure is a favorite of photographers. It was discovered in 1900 and is 152 m long. Guidebooks call it the most elegant Parisian bridge in the city. From here you can see the Eiffel Tower perfectly and have a colorful view of the buildings.
The historic bridge connects the banks of the Seine between the Maison des Invalides and the Champs-Élysées. It is free to enter and travel on it.
Alexander III Bridge – named after the father of Nicholas II, after the signing of the Franco-Russian Union (Photo: skeeze / pixabay.com)
Place de la Concorde
The representative octagonal square is the epitome of classical architectural style. In the center is the tall Luxor Obelisk, which was created during the reign of Pharaoh Ramses II and brought to France in the 1930s. Walk through the square where the formidable guillotine used to stand. Take a break at the Fountain of the Seas and examine the statues dedicated to the eight French cities.
The square is halfway between the Champs-Elysées and the Tuileries gardens. Exit it from the Concorde metro station.
Luxor obelisk in the center of Place de la Concorde (Photo: wikimedia.org / Cristian Bortes)
Catacombs of Paris
What to see in Paris for lovers of unusual urban stories? Since the late 18th century, people were buried in underground tunnels under the streets. Until the mid XIX century in the catacombs buried the remains of about 6 million Parisians. Today, to see the creepy place and old skeletons come thousands of tourists. There are excursion routes of 1.5 km long. However, under the ground there are many secret passages that are still waiting for their explorers.
Catacombs are located near the metro station Denfert-Rochereau. Ticket with audio guide costs 29 €. The price of the ticket for visitors from 5 to 17 years without an audio guide is 5 €.
Underground tunnels with remains (Photo: pxhere.com)
The city has an amazing place, the Sorbonne, an ancient university where young Parisians and visitors to France study. Next to it sits the Latin Quarter, so named because Latin was taught to students. The narrow streets offer some of the city’s best bookstores, cafes, bars, and bistros. Tourists flock here to see the Pantheon, the Medieval Museum and the Luxembourg Garden.
The historic quarter is located on the left bank of the Seine, near metro stations Cluny – La Sorbonne, Odéon, Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame.
Chapel of the Sorbonne in Paris (Photo: wikimedia.org / NickK)
Coeur du Commerce-Saint-André.
What are the streets of Paris that attract shopping lovers? Many tourists come to the Cours du Commerce-Saint-André to visit the stores and small boutiques of fashion brands. You’ll find all kinds of clothes and shoes at great prices.
The Cours du Commerce Saint-André isn’t just famous for its shopping. Danton lived here and a monument to the revolutionary now stands on the site of his house. Nearby is the Procope Restaurant, where Molière, Diderot and Balzac used to be. The famous street is accessed from the Odéon metro station.
Restaurant on the Cours du Commerce-Saint-André (Photo: wikimedia.org / Mbzt)
Next to the Luxembourg Gardens rises a laconic classical structure in which many famous figures of France are buried. The majestic six-column portico of the Pantheon can be seen in any guidebook to Paris. People come here to honor the graves of Voltaire, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola and other celebrities.
The Pantheon stands in the Latin Quarter, within walking distance of the Cardinal Lemoine metro station. Admission costs 9€.
View of the Pantheon and Rue Sufflot from the Luxembourg Garden (Photo: wikimedia.org / Ba’Gamnan)
Center Georges Pompidou
The most controversial place in Paris is where a huge city market once operated. Then it was closed and the Museum of Modern Art was built, which still amazes with its communications. There is a movie theater on the first floor, a public library above, and the upper floors are the halls of the museum. Many exhibitions and art workshops are held here.
The cultural center is located in the Beaubourg district, next to the Rambuteau metro station. Admission costs 14€ and a discount ticket is 11€.
Georges Pompidou Center (Photo: dalbera / flickr.com)
What to see in Paris in 1 day
1 day is too short for Paris. Don’t try to see all the main sights, but rather choose the most interesting for you or those that are adjacent to each other so that you don’t waste time on trips. We suggest to see in 1 day in Paris:
- Eiffel Tower. Where to go without it! Someone wants to climb the tower by all means (note that the queues are large), and someone is looking for unusual angles without tourists.
- Montmartre. “The Moulin Rouge and Sacré Coeur in Montmartre are almost as recognizable symbols of Paris as the Eiffel Tower. The neighborhood has maintained its bohemianism: street artists and musicians, small cafes and flea markets, winding streets and beautiful architecture.
- Notre Dame de Paris (temporarily closed). Climb up to the observation deck of the legendary cathedral and admire Paris from above and the stone gargoyles.
- The Louvre Pyramid. A visit is better in the evening when they turn on the lights.
What to see in Paris in 2 days
On your 2nd day in Paris, visit:
- The Louvre. Choose exhibitions that interest you, such as Egyptian antiquities or Medieval art. Some people even come just for the “Joconde”! The museum is enormous, and one day is not enough time to see everything.
- The Latin Quarter: the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Garden.
- Pont Alexandre III – From here you have a good view of the Eiffel Tower and typical Parisian houses.
- The Tuileries is an example of a symmetric French park.
What to see in Paris in 3 to 5 days
On days 3, 4, and 5 in Paris, see lesser-known sights and those to go to: