If you’re planning a trip and you want to discover the best places to visit in Paris, you’ll be pleased to know you’ve come to the right place. Here are the top 10 places to add to your Paris bucket list.
1. Louvre Museum
A trip to the capital of France isn’t complete without a visit to the Louvre, the largest and most-visited art museum in the world. Boasting famous masterpieces, such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, this historic palace in the heart of Paris displays thousands of artworks and attracts millions of visitors every year. Since the Louvre houses an incredible collection of art and artefacts, there simply isn’t enough time in a day to see everything, and you may want to book a guided tour to skip the line and ensure you don’t miss the many highlights on offer at this impressive museum. This is definitely one of the best places to visit in Paris.
2. The Latin Quarter
Situated on the left bank of the Seine, the Latin Quarter of Paris is one of the most attractive areas of the city, known for its pretty narrow streets, charming cafes and cultural buildings. As one of the oldest parts of Paris, the neighbourhood has a wonderful old-world character and is home to numerous universities and hidden gems.
Many writers and book lovers enjoy browsing in the Latin Quarter bookstores, such as Shakespeare and Company, which hosts book readings and literary events. You can also find several historic churches in the area, as well as the National Museum of Natural History and the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens. What’s more, the Latin Quarter is a great option if you’re looking for jewellers, antique shops and boutiques with pieces created by Parisian artisans.
3. Notre Dame Cathedral
Widely regarded as one of the finest examples of French gothic architecture, Notre-Dame de Paris sits on the Île de la Cité, one of the last remaining islands located in the middle of the river Seine. Construction began in 1163 and took more than a century to complete, and this mesmerising cathedral is still the site of many important religious events today.
Private guides are available at Notre Dame or you can explore on a self-guided tour, and you will be absolutely wowed the moment you step inside this world-famous building. You can even climb the two towers to get a breathtaking view of Paris and admire the decorative functioning gargoyles that serve as part of the cathedral’s water drainage system.
4. Moulin Rouge
It would be rude not to spend an evening in Paris watching the most famous cabaret on the planet. The Moulin Rouge first opened in 1889 and can be found in the Pigalle area at the bottom of Montmartre hill. Featuring a huge red windmill that’s lit up at night, the building is easily recognisable and can be spotted from a distance no matter the time of day.
The building was destroyed by a fire in 1915 and was rebuilt in 1921 just after World War I. Today, the Moulin Rouge continues to dazzle locals and tourists and remains the number one place you should visit to see glamourous, high-kicking Can-Can dancers.
5. Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned by Napoleon and completed in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe was built to honour the soldiers and victories of the French army, with the names of generals and battles engraved on its surfaces. Buried beneath the arc is the unknown French soldier who died during WWI and is remembered every day with an eternal flame.
With a height of 50 metres, a width of 45 metres and a depth of 22 metres, the Arc de Triomphe is a truly spectacular monument that dominates the Champs Elysées. You need to climb 280 stairs to reach the top of the arc, where you can take in the fabulous views and spot some of the city’s most popular landmarks.
6. Palace of Versailles
Often described as one of the greatest achievements of 17th century French art and architecture, the Palace of Versailles is an opulent former royal residence located southwest of Paris. Initially a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the palace is most associated with his son, King Louis XIV who played a significant role in transforming what was then a chateau into a regal complex of buildings, fountains and landscaped gardens.
Home to the Kings of France between 1662 and 1789, the Palace of Versailles was designed to impress all who set eyes on it. Today, visitors are drawn to the palace’s history, artworks and ornate rooms, including the Royal Apartments and Hall of Mirrors, not to mention the gardens that hold 400 statues and over 1,000 fountains.
7. Seine River Cruise
One of the best ways to see Paris is on a Seine river cruise. You can head to the river morning, noon or night to embark on a sightseeing tour by boat and discover the city’s most beautiful monuments, such as Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. A river cruise is far more exciting than a bus tour, plus it gives you a chance to soak up the romantic atmosphere.
If you prefer, you can glide along the Seine and take in the stunning views while enjoying a meal on a dinner cruise. River cruises on the Seine are the perfect choice if you want to explore Paris from a different perspective. This is one of our favourite best places to visit in Paris.
8. Disneyland Paris
Great for guests of all ages and especially those who are young at heart, Disneyland Paris promises you a fun day out and a truly magical experience. With two theme parks, including Disneyland Park and the Walt Disney Studios Park, it’s an enchanting destination and the most visited amusement park in all of Europe.
There’s plenty to explore at Disneyland Paris, which is home to hotels, restaurants, a golf course, a railway system, shopping venues and over 50 rides. You don’t want to miss the best things on offer, so it’s a good idea to build your day around the live shows and check out the top attractions first, such as ‘It’s a Small World’, ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ‘Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain’.
An area full of charm, Montmartre will amaze you with its bohemian atmosphere, winding cobbled streets and memorable art scene. Built on a hill, the neighbourhood has a village vibe and is associated with some of the world’s most celebrated artists, like Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet to name a few.
Montmartre’s most iconic monument is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, commonly called Sacré-Coeur, which is located at the very top of the hill and is visible from much of Paris. Once you’re done admiring the white-domed basilica, you can have a portrait drawn by a Parisian artist in Place du Tertre and drop by Au Lapin Agile to attend a cabaret.
When here, you can even find ‘Amelié’ filming locations and visit the Musée de Montmartre, a former residence and meeting place for artists such as Renoir and Valadon and Bernard.
10. Eiffel Tower
It would be unthinkable to visit France’s capital without going to see the Eiffel Tower, the most recognisable symbol of Paris. Built and named after Gustave Eiffel, the tower is over 300 metres tall and was first opened to the public in 1889. It was designed to mark the centennial of the French Revolution and became the world’s tallest structure at the time of its construction.