How do you choose what to see in less than a week in the City of Light? Here is everything you need to know about the 45 most famous Paris landmarks, monuments, palaces, museums, parks and gardens, squares, bridges, cathedrals, and historical monuments to help plan your itinerary to Paris.
Some of these Paris landmarks are not just famous landmarks of France, but of the world. Don’t miss them on your next trip to Paris!
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Paris landmarks map
If you are an art lover then a visit to The Louvre is a must for you when you visit Paris.
Even if art is not your thing a visit to the Louvre will still be something that will have you wowed in some of the many rooms and corridors filled with some of the most famous art in the world. The Louvre Museum is located in The Louvre Palace and is easily accessed by the Paris metro as well as the Hop on Hop off boat or Paris bus routes.
It is always recommended that you book your tickets well in advance of your visit as lines for access into the museum can be long and wait times can be hours.
Once you are inside the Louvre though there is just so much to see and what you will see really depends on how much time you have. If art is something you can spend all day looking at then you need an early entry time to give yourself the best chance of seeing as much as you can.
Being the most popular and most visited museum in the world means that it gets busy and crowds can be an issue for some rooms.
The Louvre is divided into 3 wings Denon, Sully, and Richelieu which all hold magnificent artwork from some of the most famous painters, sculptors, and artists from all over the world. If you are visiting the Lourve and want an insider’s guide on the paintings and the rooms you are walking through you are able to hire audio guides that will help you discover more of the information behind the works of art.
People with low vision are encouraged to get one of these to enhance their experience at the Louvre.
There are lifts and ramps for people who have limited mobility and need help navigating the many stairs that are inside the Louvre. Families visiting the Louvre with children are also welcomed and the children are encouraged to participate in a quiz that they can take as they wander the Louvre with their parents.
A prize at the end for a completed worksheet gets many of the underage visitors excited!
Visiting the Louvre is an amazing experience and one that will stay with your but if you do plan on visiting please make sure you give yourself enough time to take your time and not hurry. Plan well and see your must-see artwork first and then wander to find something truly amazing.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday: 9.00 am to 18:00 pm
Admission: 17,00 € and up
by Bec at Wyld Family Travel
2. Sacre Coeur, Montmartre
One of the most famous and important landmarks to visit in Paris is Sacre Coeur known as the Basilica of the Heart. Located at the top of the Montmartre district with gorgeous panoramic views of the entire city below, Sacre Coeur is a fantastic Catholic basilica to visit, and the views absolutely gorgeous day or night time.
Completed in 1914 and consecrated at the end of World War I in 1919, the basilica is a popular attraction and also a local hang-out spot for Parisians enjoying the views of the city from above.
The basilica’s history is significant and represents both a political and cultural monument that signified the defeat of France in the Franco-Russian war of 1919 when the basilica was finished.
The religious significance of the basilica was about divine punishment amidst a moral decline, but the basilica is dedicated to the 58,000 soldiers that perished in that war.
The building of the basilica also represented the national yearning for spiritual renewal and a combined religious and national renewal with a dedication to Roman Catholic values. Today the basilica and surrounding area of Montmarte is the 2nd most popular attraction in Paris. Visitors coming to see the church and the views over the city.
They also come to walk cool cobbled streets around the artist district to see a slice of the Parisian lifestyle. In the small and narrow streets winding down from the Montmartre area, there are many small galleries and boutique stores to explore.
It’s fun to explore here during the day but also at night time to experience a different and colorful part of Paris.
Opening Hours: Daily, 6.00 am to 10:30 pm, last entry 10:15 pm
by Noel at This Hawaii Life
3. Eiffel Tower
Perhaps the most famous landmark in the world, you won’t want to miss a visit to the Eiffel Tower.
It doesn’t matter how many times you have seen it in pictures and in movies, there is nothing like the first time you see it and touch it in real life.
The Eiffel Tower was built from 1887 to 1889 by Gustave Eiffel from iron. It was built for the World Fair held in Paris in 1889. Originally called the 300-meter tower, it was soon named after the engineer that built it. It was controversial at the time, but people soon fell in love with it.
Opening hours vary throughout the year with summer opening hours currently allowing entry from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm. The hours are slightly less in colder months. It’s open every day.
Ticket prices depend on how much of the tower you want to see. There are three levels and you’ll pay more to venture to the upper ones. You’ll also pay more if you want to use the elevator compared to stairs. Prices start at 10.50 euros for an adult to get to the second level by stairs. It’s 26.10 euros to make it to the top.
Views from the top are amazing, but the tower does sway so it’s not the best for people who don’t like heights.
There is parkland surrounding the Eiffel Tower and this is the perfect place for a picnic while you take in the views and enjoy your surroundings.
Opening Hours: Daily 9.30 am to 10:30 pm in summer, earlier closing times in winter
Admission: €10,50 and up
by Sharon at Tasmania Explorer
4. Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay, situated in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris, is an expansive art museum housing over 3,000 works of art from some of the world’s most renowned Impressionist and post-Impressionist artists, from the likes of Monet, Degas, and Cézanne.
For example, the museum is home to Degas’ The Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer, Vincent Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait, and Renoir’s Bal du moulin de la Galette. While its art collection is undoubtedly impressive, the building itself, an impossibly grand train station built in 1900 for the World’s Fair, makes this museum a bit more special.
The opulence of the architecture, like an enormous glass clock overlooking the Seine and Louvre below, perfectly complements the artwork festooning its halls.
Another benefit of the museum is its more manageable size- while a visitor could easily spend a day perusing its artwork, the collection is a bit more manageable for a visitor short on time, as opposed to its more cavernous neighbor, the Louvre.
The museum is open every day besides Monday, from 9:30 am- 6 pm, with extended hours on Thursday. Tickets to the museum cost €16 for all visitors 18 years and above, with admission free for individuals under the age of 18 and for visitors from the EU between 18-25.
If you want to save time before your visit, buy your tickets online ahead of time- you’ll get to skip the long queue of visitors waiting to purchase tickets!
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 9.30 am to 18:00 pm, extended hours on Thursdays
Admission: €16,00, free for those under 18 and 18-25 from the EU
by Jessica at Uprooted Traveler
5. Les Invalides (Napoleon’s Tomb)
If you’ve ever been curious about the life of Napoleon, his death may fascinate you even more: all is revealed at Les Invalides in Paris, a combination mausoleum-military history museum that highlights France’s military prowess.
But don’t be put off if you’re not a military fan: Les Invalides is so much more.
It was ordered built by Louis XIV as a military hospice but has since expanded to include a church, gardens, a massive courtyard, several museums, and a number of veteran and war offices. During the French Revolution, the people of Paris stormed the Invalides and helped themselves to 32,000 rifles and 27 cannons, which would be used to storm the Bastille later that day.
With Les Invalides pillaged, it would take Napoleon Bonaparte to rehabilitate it.
A tortuous journey would return his ashes to France from exile on St Helena in the South Atlantic. Today, a reproduction of the skeleton of his favorite horse, Marengo, hangs over his tomb; not everyone agrees this is an improvement.
While the former Emperor may be the Invalides’ most famous occupant, others include several members of his family, the author of France’s national anthem La Marseillaise, top military leaders, and Vauban, Louis XIV’s military architect, responsible for so many of France’s defensive fortresses.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.00 am to 6:00 pm, except for a few national holidays, and 9:00 pm on Tuesdays
by Leyla at Offbeat France
6. Shakespeare and Company Bookstore
The Shakespeare and Company is one of the best bookshops in the world a must-see stop for anyone visiting Paris!
The Shakespeare and Company is a landmark bookshop in the heart of Paris. Located close to cathedral Notre Dame, it’s open every day and has over 60,000 new and used books on every imaginable topic.
You’ll find certain books that are difficult to find anywhere else in the world – often at bargain prices.
The Shakespeare and Company is also home to an English-speaking café where you can enjoy your coffee while browsing through their vast selection of titles knowing that many great writers slept on sofas you sitting on while sipping espresso.
It’s a perfect place for people who love reading or want to start reading more because they have so much choice from which to choose! The Shakespeare and Company has been at the heart of Parisian bohemian life for over a century.
It became an important meeting place for writers, artists, political exiles, and free spirits as it was often visited by famous literary figures such as James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, and George Orwell.
The atmosphere is lively, with people from all backgrounds that come to enjoy this unique bookshop’s ambiance.
Opening Hours: Daily: 12.00 pm to 19:30 pm
by Ania at The Travelling Twins
7. Canal Saint-Martin
When looking for the best landmarks to visit in Paris, Canal Saint-Martin is one you can’t afford to miss when you want to visit some of the city’s more off-the-beaten-track places. The Canal is an important place to visit because it gives you an up-close and personal look at how local Parisians like to relax during the early evenings.
As one of the hippest and romantic areas to visit in Eastern Paris the canal which officially opened in 1825 has been a source of inspiration for many artists and painters throughout the years.
Whether you are already in the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood or visiting from another area of the city, you’ll find your safety in Paris is generally in good hands and many locals recommend coming here to spend a warm summer’s day or afternoon.
This landmark allows you to chill and enjoy a more peaceful atmosphere as you have a drink or picnic beside the water.
One highlight for many is the little shops found on the side streets where you can pick up a baguette and some wine for your picnic. As well as the pretty architecture surrounding the canal and the overarching chestnut trees you’ll also find some of the most colorful and intrinsic street art in Paris which makes for some great photo opportunities.
Opening Hours: Always open
by Daniel at Urban Abroad
8. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral (Our Lady of Paris), is one of the best-known landmarks in the city of Paris.
You can find this beautiful structure on the Île de la Cité, an island in the river Seine. The construction of this large monument began in 1163 and went on for several centuries. It includes flying buttresses, towers, and gargoyles.
The Medieval cathedral is very important in French history – many historic events have taken place at the Cathedral. For example, kings have been crowned here and the coronation of Napoleon also took place here.
Important relics of Christianity have been placed in the Church and the Crown of Thorns was kept here for many years.
In 2019, a large fire damaged a significant part of the cathedral, including the central spire, but most of Notre Dame survived. To finance the reconstruction, many wealthy French families, companies, and even other governments donated money.
It is possible to go up into the Towers of Notre Dame and also to attend Mass here.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.00 am to 18:45 pm and until 19:45 pm weekends
by Dymphe at Dymabroad
9. Champs Elysees
Known as the “most beautiful avenue” in the world, is the grand boulevard in France’s capital city Paris, the Champs Elysees. The road goes for almost two kilometers and is around 70 meters wide.
It’s highly recommended that every visitor coming to Paris see the Champs Elysees at least once and go for a nice walk.
The beginning of the famous avenue is at the Place de la Concorde and it ends at the famous Arc de Triomphe. You can either drive the road in a taxi or your own car if you have it or walk your way all the way up.
Along the Champs Elysees, you will find many high-class boutiques such as Balenciaga, Gucci, or Chanel as well as many cafes and restaurants from where you can watch the hustle and bustle of the city.
Enjoy a delicious and fresh Pan au chocolate together with a coffee and enjoy the amazing view of the Arc de Triomphe.
Furthermore, you will find many parks and museums in the surrounding areas which are definitely worth a visit as well. Don’t forget to bring your camera to this iconic place in the middle of Paris. The pictures will be unforgettable.
Opening Hours: Always open
by Victoria at Guide Your Travel
10. Palais Garnier
The historic Palais Garnier is one of two opera houses in Paris. Emperor Napoléon III commissioned architect Charles Garnier to build this Second Empire-style landmark, which was inaugurated in 1875.
The exterior of this imposing building is packed with mythological references to music, from the large copper dome with its Apollo statue flanked by two shiny gilded statues representing Poetry and Harmony to the sculptures and busts that adorn the facade.
But the true grandeur of the Palais Garnier is to be found indoors where visitors are treated to a dazzling decor of eye-catching elements and intricate details.
From the candelabra-lined staircase to the elegant balconies and from the magnificent Grand Foyer with its colorful frescos and golden ornaments to the spectacular auditorium with its crystal chandelier and Chagall mural, the opulent Palais Garnier’s interior is a feast to the eyes.
You can visit this musical palace every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., either on a self-guided (€14) or guided tour (€17).
Another option to discover this Parisian landmark is to attend an opera or ballet performance. The Avenue de l’Opéra connects the Palais Garnier to the Louvre and the metro lines 3, 7 and 8 stop right in front of this opulent building.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.00 am to 17:00 pm
By Sarah at CosmopoliClan
The neighborhood of Montmartre is on everybody’s Paris bucket list. This oh-so picturesque neighborhood is located north of Paris on the hill of the same name, and it is well known for its cobbled stones, pretty architecture, and bohemian atmosphere.
Montmartre was originally a separate town on the outskirts of Paris. Parisians liked to visit Montmartre on weekends for its fresh air and cheap wine.
The neighborhood had many guinguettes (open-air restaurants to eat, drink, and dance), and they were a fun place to be. Today, the neighborhood keeps this same spirit, especially on those streets and little squares far from the beaten path.
The best way to visit Montmartre is to get lost and wander without any direction. However, be sure not to miss places like the Sacré Coeur, Place du Tertre and Moulin Rouge.
Sacré Coeur and the Moulin Rouge cabaret are two of the most famous Paris landmarks, while Place du Tertre is home to many painters and caricaturists.
Montmartre is also home to cute little restaurants and lovely boutique hotels. Even if it is far from the center, it is a lovely place to stay in Paris, especially out of the high season. Metro lines 2 and 12 connect Montmartre with central Paris.
Opening Hours: Always open
by Elisa at France Bucket List
The catacombs of Paris are one of the most interesting landmarks in the French capital. This unique underground attraction, great for kids and adults, attracts every year thousands of visitors even if it is far from the city center.
The catacombs of Paris were former stone quarries that fell into disuse. When the city of Paris decided to close the old cemeteries within the city, overcrowded and considered a threat to public health, all the bones were moved to these quarries.
Today, the catacombs of Paris consist of kilometers of galleries below the ground hosting bones dating back to medieval times and beautifully displayed.
So visitors will see lots of bones and skulls but also learn the fascinating story of the stone quarries. It is a popular attraction that always sees long lines, so skip the line tickets (with or without an audio guide) are paramount.
There are also skip-the-line tours with a knowledgeable guide, and they usually include exclusive access to special rooms which happen to be the most beautiful. The catacombs of Paris are open every day except Monday from 9.45 am to 8.30 pm.
There are different kinds of tickets with different prices. There are also combo tickets Paris Catacombs + Archaeological Crypt on Ile de la Cité.
Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9.45 am to 8:30 pm
Admission: 3,00 €
by Elisa at World in Paris
13. Arc de Triomphe
Located on the west end of the famous Champs Elysees sits the landmark of the Arc de Triomphe.
It is at the very middle of an intersection where 12 streets meet up to this gorgeous arc structure at the center of the streets going around it in a circular motion.
Be wary when getting to the Arc. Do not cross the street at this hectic roundabout intersection! There is an underground tunnel from the Avenue de la Grande Armee that will get you safely and swiftly to the gorgeous Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most significant monuments in all of Paris. It was inaugurated in 1836 by the French king. It was dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the Empire. Because of this, every day the flame of remembrance is relit at 6:30 PM.
Being on top of the Arc de Triomphe is one of the best viewpoints of Paris with the Tour de Eiffel off in the distance. Besides, you would rather see the Eiffel Tower to remind yourself you’re in Paris!
The Arc de Triomphe is open to visitors from 10 am-10:45 pm. The last admittance of the day is within 30 mins of closing, so 10:15 pm.
The price of a ticket is 13 euros, however, there are certain times of the year it is free if you meet certain stipulations.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.00 am to 10:45 pm
Admission: 13,00 €, free occasional days of the year.
by Heather at Wanderlust in Real Life
14. Philharmonie de Paris
There are a handful of exquisite contemporary architectural gems in Paris and foremost among them is the Concert Hall at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Offering over 500 concerts a year, an evening at the Philharmonie or one of its many children’s concerts is a treat for any visitor to Paris. The Concert Hall shines as the metallic skin that covers its unusual shape is touched by the sun.
265,000 aluminum “birds” make up the grey surface. The organ in the Symphonic Hall is similarly metallic and futuristic. Jean Nouvel’s daring building is in the 19th arrondissement, in Parc de la Vilette.
Cloud-shaped sound reflectors and floating balconies are some of the innovative interior design features that Nouvel used to create an intimate soundscape and an exciting and immersive visual experience for the audience.
Like all of the great Paris landmarks, when it finally opened in 2015 it had run over budget and caused controversy. Nouvel wanted to design a “mineral building”, that would be a hill and a visual marker for the outer arrondissements.
There are temporary exhibitions, cafes, a restaurant, rooftop terrace, media library, shows, and workshops. The view of central Paris from the Belvedere captures all of the main monuments.
Opening Hours: Variable depending upon the season and the concerts and exhibitions
Admission: Varies depending upon the concert or exhibition ticket chosen
15. Medici Fountain (Luxembourg Gardens)
Paris is known for its incredible parks and gardens of which there are over 400. One of the top parks in Paris is the Luxembourg Gardens.
Located in the 6th arrondissement, the gardens cover over 60 acres and are home to an art museum, greenhouses, as well as over 100 statues, monuments, and fountains. One of the fountains is a classic landmark in Paris and a must-see while visiting the city. It’s the Medici Fountain.
The Medici Fountain is an iconic Paris fountain with deep roots in French royalty. Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, commissioned the fountain and gardens to surround her sprawling Luxembourg Palace in the early 1600s.
Hidden in the northeast corner of Luxembourg Gardens, the Medici Fountain is a must-see in Paris.
Under a canopy of trees, a long pool of water flanked by huge stone flower pots leads you to the magnificent towering fountain. It’s topped by two nymphs pouring pitchers of water but at its center crouches the giant Cyclopes Polyphemus gazing upon lovers Acis and Galatea.
If you’re looking for free things to do in Paris then be sure to add the Medici Fountains to your Paris itinerary. The Luxembourg Gardens are free to visit and open all day, every day.
Opening Hours: Always Open
by Stephanie at The World As I See It
The Panthéon is one of the most distinct landmarks in the Parisian skyline, not only due to its remarkable cupola but also because of its elevated location on top of the hill of Saint Geneviève.
The monument was originally planned as a church, in honor of Saint Geneviève, Paris’ patron.
However, by the time the monumental building was finished in 1790, the French Revolution had started and the National Assembly finally voted to transform the Church into a mausoleum for distinguished French citizens.
Throughout the years more than 80 personalities found their last resting place within the walls of the Panthéon. Voltaire, Jean-Jaques Rousseau, Victor Hugo, just to name a few.
However, even though Sainte-Geneviève, the reason the Panthéon was built in the first place, was a female, until this day only 5 women received the honor to be interred in the Panthéon. The first woman was no one less than Marie Curie. Even though the pioneer physicist and chemist died already in 1934, her remains were only transferred to the Panthéon in 1995.
In August 2021 it was announced that the 6th woman receiving the honor to be considered as a distinguished French citizen will be Josephine Baker. Many will know her as a dancer from the ’20s, but she was in French Resistance and the French army and will be the first black woman in the Panthéon.
For visiting the Panthéon, head over to the Latin Quarter. The mausoleum is open 7 days a week, from 10-18:30 in summer and 10 am to 6 pm if you visit Paris in winter.
Opening Hours: Daily, 10.00 am to 6.30 pm
by Lena at Salut from Paris
17. Palais Royal
Paris visitors frequently overlook the Palais-Royal, despite its prime location in the heart of the French capital.
Perhaps one explanation is that, since it is surrounded by other prominent structures such as the Louvre, making Palais Royal is difficult to spot.
However, Palais Royal’s exquisite garden is one of the best gardens in Paris and it’s a must-visit. This area is ideal for a relaxing stroll, as it passes through galleries that line the garden’s perimeter. Take a stroll down the flowery walkways or pay a visit to one of Paris’ most beautiful fountains for some peace and quiet.
Cardinal Richelieu built the Palais Royale (Royal Palace) in 1636, and it was known as the Palais-Cardinal at the time. The mansion became Royal in 1642 after Richelieu donated it to the King in his testament.
Today, the palace houses the Conseil d’Etat, the Constitutional Council, and the Ministry of Culture offices.
This place is a lovely respite in-between visits to the more touristy areas of Paris. Apart from the gardens, guests can visit the kiosque des noctambules, a folly created by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel, and the Comédie Française, which houses classic French theater.
Under the arches near the theater – look for the contentious Buren columns, an art installation. Finish your visit to the Palais-Royal with a hearty supper at the Grand Véfour, one of Paris’ finest restaurants, which will entice you with its menu as well as its intricate décor.
Palais Royale is located at 8 rue Montpensier. Visiting time is from 7 am to 9:30 pm. Entrance is free and there are many ways to get in.
The gardens can be accessed from the east by Rue de Valois, the west via Rue de Montpensier, and the north via Rue de Beaujolais.
Opening Hours: Daily, 7.00 am to 9:30 pm
By Christine at Journey To France
18. Sainte Chapelle
Sainte Chapelle is located in the heart of Île de la Cité, the largest island of the Seine and the one which boasts the likes of Notre Dame Cathedral and one of the best flower markets in Paris.
Île de la Cité also happens to be where visitors will discover the extravagant Sainte-Chapelle, a 12th-century chapel that houses some of the best-preserved medieval stained glass windows in the world.
The ecclesiastical building was first constructed to house Louis IX’s collection of religious relics, including the Crown of Thorns, and comprises of two chapels stacked on top of one another.
The Lower Chapel was originally intended to be used by the King’s staff, while the upper and more ornate of the two chapels were meant to serve as the King’s chapel.
Today, both chapels can be visited for a fee. Be sure to pick up an audio guide during your visit (available in several different languages) as this really gives you a deeper history of the Parisian landmark.
Sainte Chapelle is open from 9 to am to 7 pm on a daily basis.
If you wish to visit the Conciergerie next door (the former prison where Marie Antoinette was once held), then you can save money by purchasing a combination ticket for the two Paris attractions.
Otherwise, standard admission costs €11.50 for adults and less for those buying concession tickets.
Opening Hours: Daily: 9.00 am to 19:00 pm
by Sophie at Solo Sophie
19. Pompidou Center
Centre Pompidou is a daring and world-famous building that is an Arts center and national public library in the 4th arrondissement. It is near Les Halles in the Beaubourg area. Parisians just call the Centre Pompidou, “Beaubourg”.
The building was a triumph of “inside-out” architecture where all of the functional structural parts of the building are placed on the outside of the building.
Each of the functions is painted a different color. The result is a building that was daring and unique when it was opened in 1977.
The Centre houses one of the most important collections of modern art in the world and has blockbuster exhibitions on a regular basis. Even if you aren’t a fan of art this crazy building is well worth a walk through an interesting part of Paris to see.
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Monday, 11.00 am to 10:00 pm for the Centre, closed May 1
Admission: € 14,00. The Centre Pompidou will be closed for renovations from 2022 for three years
20. Grand Mosque of Paris
The Grande Mosquée de Paris is the oldest mosque in metropolitan France and is one of the biggest in the country. You’ll find it in the 5th arrondissement.
The mosque is of Moorish design and its minaret is 33 meters tall. It is modeled on one of the oldest and most famous el-Qaraouyyîn Mosque in Morocco. It holds 1000 people and women are permitted.
The mosque was not inaugurated until 1926 but quickly made a mark in Paris.
During the Second World War, it was a beacon for the Resistance, smuggling downed parachutists out through the caves below the mosque onto a tributary of the Seine below. The Mosque also organized identity/ration cards for between 500 and 1600 Jews, saving them from the Nazis.
With a history like this, the mosque draws visitors from around the world to its prayer room, cafe, library, and other facilities.
Opening Hours: Daily: 10.00 am to 18.00 pm, and 19.00 pm on Tuesdays
Admission: €3,00 for independent tours, no tours on Fridays
21. Jardin des Tuileries
The Tuileries Garden (Jardin des Tuileries) is a great landmark to visit in Paris. Located between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, enjoy 55 acres of manicured gardens, two large ponds, and grand statues throughout.
The statues you will find were made by artists including Maillol, Rodin, and Giacometti. You will also find Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel to marvel at during your visit.
The gardens date back to 1564 when Catherine de Medici (the former Queen of France who was married to King Henry II ) had the gardens commissioned to accompany Tuileries Palace.
Throughout the years the garden passed hands and turned into hunting grounds, stables, ruins, and then rebuilt and landscaped by King Louis XIV. It was then, in 1664 that the gardens were finally open to the public to enjoy.
Since then, the Tuileries Gardens have become a place for the locals and tourists alike to meet, hang out and eat at one of the three restaurants.
You can also explore the Musée de l’Orangerie located southwest of the Tuileries. The gardens are free to stroll around and host events throughout the year.
One of which is fairgrounds from June through August. Visiting the Tuileries Garden is especially beautiful in the Spring for blooming flowers and in Autumn for vibrant fall foliage.
With so much beauty, the Tuileries Garden is a must for any Paris itinerary!
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7.00 am to 9:00 pm
by Sam at Find Love and Travel
22. Seine River
Looking down at the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower you can’t help but notice the river tour boats and of course, the many beautiful bridges of Paris.
The Seine empties into the English Channel at Le Havre and is more than 700 kilometers long.
But once it arrives in Paris it is used by the city’s residents as a swimming hole, a beach, a picnic destination, a destination for lovers to stroll beside, and a backdrop to the antiquarian booksellers, the Bouqinistes.
For the locals, fountains, decks, swimming pools, and sandy beaches transform the banks of La Seine in summer.
But for visitors to Paris, a boat trip on the Seine is the perfect way to catch your first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Musee D’Orsay, the Conciergerie, and Ile de la Cité and Notre-Dame Cathedral.
Opening Hours: Always open
23. Les Bouqinistes
In the 16th century, booksellers set up shop along the Banks of the Seine.
In 1649 this became illegal. During the French Revolution, they became eagerly sought after because of their antique books. Napoleon, revitalized the docks along the Seine and the Bouqinistes spread along the Left and Right bank.
An iconic Parisian site, the second-hand and antiquarian booksellers of the Seine are immediately identifiable by the dark green metal of their bookstalls. They are such an integral part of Parisian culture, they were listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for their “literary and historic patrimony” in 1991.
Les Bouqinistes sell around 300,000 books and there are 226 of them. They line the banks of the Seine. On Right Bank, look for them from Pont Marie to Quai du Louvre.
On the Left Bank, you can find them between Quai de la Tournelle and Quai Voltaire.
Opening Hours: Daily, 11 am to dusk
24. Place Vendôme
Immediately north of the Jardin de Tuilieries is the neoclassical Place Vendôme. The square is in the 1st arrondissement and was originally called Place Louis-le-Grand.
Back then it was the wish of King Louis XIV that the square (which is octagonal), represent the absolute power of the French monarchy.
The facades of the houses fronting the square were constructed before the square itself so that the square would be as perfect as possible. The enormous statue of the King was dismantled on the orders of Napoleon, who replaced it with a bronze column he had commissioned from 1,200 captured enemy cannons.
Since that time the square has become a fashionable high-end shopping area.
Opening Hours: Always open
25. Grand Palais
The Grand Palais des Champs-Élysées is a historic site that is an exhibition space and museum. The Grand Palais is in a prime position in central Paris – across the Pont Alexandre III from the Eiffel Tower, and located on the Champs-Élysées.
It occupies this position because it was built for the World Fair in 1900 in a Beaux-Art style made from wrought iron.
Mosaic floor tiles are definitely worth seeing but your eye is automatically drawn to the magnificent glass, steel, and iron dome above. The dome and the floor below is the Nave and is one of the most elegant structures in Paris.
Whilst it has had its share of controversy in the exhibitions that it has held over the years, it is also loved for being the center of French Resistance in World War II.
It sustained damage from a German tank in 1944 that caused a fire and serious damage. Unfortunately, the building can only be seen from the outside at the moment as it is closed until it makes a grand re-opening in time for the Olympics in 2024.
Opening Hours: Closed until 2024
26. Saint-Jacques Tower
At the junction of Rue Nicolas Flamel and Rue de Rivoli is the Tour Saint-Jacques with a fascinating array of historic figures, evangelists, and gargoyles.
This lovely ‘Gothic flamboyant’- style stone tower is a landmark of the 4th arrondissement, standing 52 meters tall in the Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques. Construction of the tower began in 1508 (until 1525).
If it seems strange to have a large Gothic stone tower in the middle of a small park, it’s because it is all that is left of the Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie that was torn down during the French Revolution.
The Tower was a meeting point along the Tours Route for those making a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
It has an interesting view over this part of Paris if you are able to take the staircase of 300 small steps that leads to the top of the Tower. Children under 10 years are not permitted to take the stairs.
Opening Hours: 50 minutes guided tour by appointment only, 10.00 am to 5:00 pm, Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Admission: €12,00, free during European Heritage days
An outstandingly gorgeous building with immense historical value because of its turbulent history. The UNESCO World-Heritage listed Conciergerie looks over the Seine River in the 1st arrondissement.
It was once part of the Palais de la Cité which also included Sainte Chapelle and the Palais de Justice.
The Conciergerie was built from the remains of a Meringovian palace. The Franks established the Meringovian dynasty in this part of France until 751 AD. It became the residence of the Kings of France from the 10th to the 14th centuries and it was Louis IX who added the exquisite Sainte Chapelle.
In 1358 Charles V decamped for the Louvre Palace and the Conciergerie became a prison. In fact, it because the most famous prison in France, especially during the Reign of Terror (1793-4) when 40,000 people died while in prison or were executed.
Below the Conciergerie are dungeons that held prisoners before they were taken to the guillotine sites around Paris.
Marie Antoinette was held here before her execution, and also Robespierre shortly before he was also executed. Even after the Restoration, the Conciergerie remained as a prison and as law courts, only being decommissioned in 1913.
A few parts of the building are open to see, much of it is still used by the Paris law courts.
Opening Hours: Daily 9.30 am to 18:00 pm, closed 1 May, 25 December
28. Arènes de Lutèce
Les Arènes de Lutèce is one of the two most important remaining sites in Paris from the Ancient Roman era. It is an amphitheater that could seat 15,000 spectators and was used for everything from gladiatorial fights to orchestral concerts.
The amphitheater was constructed in the first century AD and a linen awning provided shade over the audience. Only free Roman men could sit on the bottom tiers.
The Barbarian raids of 275 AD sacked Lutèce (the name of the area before it was named Paris), and the amphitheater fell into disuse.
Eventually, it became a cemetery and was completely filled in. It was not discovered again until the 1860s and eventually restored and opened to the public in 1896. Les Arènes de Lutèce it is located in the Latin Quartier, 5th arrondissement, at 4 rue des Arènes.
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9 am until 6 pm; 8 am to 8.30 pm in summer
29. Place Dauphine
There are so many unique neighborhoods and squares in Paris, it is sometimes hard to find a typically beautiful and oh-so-Parisian one. But that’s what Place Dauphine is, and it is a delight to visit in spring and summer.
The Place is a triangular shape and was named after the son of King Henri IV (who became King XIII). It is surrounded by uniform houses – the same materials, facades, and roofing materials – a total of 32 of them.
This is Paris’ second most important royal square and you’ll find it just behind the Palais de Justice on Il de la Cite. In fact, you can even see the tower of Sante Chapelle from the square.
Place Dauphine is a favorite spot for lovers to walk underneath the rows of chestnut trees and sit at the cafes in the square.
The closest metro station to Place Dauphine is Pont Neuf.
Opening Hours: Always open
30. Place de la Concorde
The end of the Jardin de Tuileries and the beginning of the Champs Elysees (8th arrondissement) is where you will find busy Place de la Concorde. Don’t let the traffic and the splendor of the other sites immediately around you cause you to overlook this interesting and important Parisian square.
Place de la Concorde is where a lot of important French history took place.
In 1792, during the French Revolution, the Place was an execution ground. It’s here that Marie Antionette and Louis XVI were guillotined.
The Place was redesigned in 1836 and it was then that the giant obelisk was transported here and erected. The Luxor Obelisk is more than 3,300 years old.
Place de la Concorde is surrounded by high-end hotels and also contains two monumental fountains – Fontaine des Fleuves and Fontaine des Mers.
Opening Hours: Always open
31. Pont Alexandre III
The most ornate of the bridges across the Seine in central Paris, Pont Alexandre III is a Beaux Arts-style bridge that was built in 1896.
The gold of the art deco lamps and sculptures shine in the sun and you can see winged horses, Fames, cherubs, and nymphs as the bridge points your way to the Grand Palais quartier on the Right Bank.
On the Left Bank, the bridge connects to the Eiffel Tower and Invalides quartiers. It was an engineering feat, needing to span 160 meters but remain only 20 meters high so that the view of the Champs-Élysées and Invalides would not be obstructed.
It was ready to be inaugurated in time for the World’s Fair in 1900 and was named after Tsar Alexandre III.
Opening Hours: Always open
32. Pont au Change
Pont au Change bridges the Seine by connecting Île de la Cité (near the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie), to the Right Bank at Place du Châtelet.
It’s fascinating to walk over this bridge and think about its rich and old history! The Pont au Change Arch bridge you see today was built in 1860 as part of the great recreation of Paris by Napoleon and it still bears the letter “N,” his royal insignia, on the pylons. This was the latest time that the bridge had been rebuilt.
The bridge has existed since Roman times and was set alight in the 9th century by the Vikings.
Then as a medieval bridge, it was rebuilt with two rows of houses on each side.
Louis VII in 1141 ordered the name of the bridge to be changed from Grand Pont to Pont au Change and for money changers, lenders, and jewelers/ goldsmiths to only trade on the bridge.
Over the next few centuries, the Pont au Change burned down a few times and was damaged in winter floods. Then in 1786, all of the trading houses on the bridge were demolished according to a royal edict.
Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann realigned the bridge and with its three elliptical arches, it is now the widest bridge in Paris.
Opening Hours: Always open
33. Champ de Mars
Looking down from the Eiffel Tower on the 4th arrondissement, your eye can’t help but follow the formally planned paths, hedges, and gardens of the Champ de Mars all the way to the École Militaire.
This lovely 780-meter green space is used to hold events and as a prime city park for Parisians.
There are four playgrounds, a carousel, a basketball court, and it is an ideal spot to picnic on summer nights to watch the Eiffel Tower light show.
Once a vegetable garden, the central Paris position of the Champ de Mars has led to many important cultural and historical events taking place here. These include sporting events, military drills, and World Fairs.
The park also commemorates a massacre during the French Revolution (17 July 1791) when the National Guard fired into a crowd of protesters who had gathered at the Champ de Mars on news that the King had fled the country.
Opening Hours: Always open
34. Place Saint-Sulpice
There are two equally good reasons to venture to the 1754 Place Saint Sulpice in the Saint-Germain-des-Près district of the 6th arrondissement.
The first is the Baroque Church of Saint-Sulpice whose foundations were laid in the 12th century.
What you see today is from the 17th century and it’s easily recognizable by its two front towers. These were made popular when parts of the movie, The Da Vinci Code, were filmed here.
Saint Sulpice is a Roman Catholic Church and is one of the largest churches in Paris. In addition to the impressive Baroque facade and towers, it has a number of notable paintings by Delacroix, crypts, sculptural details, and oddities (like the gnomon!) that are worth seeing.
The other reason to visit Place Saint Sulpice is the fountain in front of the church.
The fountain was constructed in the 1840s and is called the Fountain of the Four Bishops. It was designed by Joachim Visconti. At the base of the fountain, four lions hold up the Coat of Arms of Paris.
Opening Hours: Whilst Place Saint Sulpice is always open, the church is open 7.30 am to 7.30 pm except on occasional days of the year
35. Pont Neuf
Located in the heart of Paris close to the Sainte Chapelle in the 1st arrondissement, the Pont Neuf is a must-see when visiting the city, especially because of its important historical background.
You’ll certainly see it on your way to visit Notre-Dame Cathedral or the Louvre Museum.
Meaning “New Bridge”, the Pont Neuf is one of the bridges that span the Seine river through the Ile de la Cité, but above all, it’s the oldest standing bridge in Paris.
Completed in the early 17th century, the Pont Neuf was the first of its kind: it’s the first stone bridge in the city, the first to have sidewalks for pedestrians, and the first to cross the river in a single span.
The bridge is now more than 400 years old and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1991.
The bridge is free to access day and night as it’s a major traffic route in Paris. The best way to visit the Pont Neuf is to cross it as it offers beautiful views of the Conciergerie and features a stunning statue of King Henri IV.
You can also have an overall view from another famous bridge, the Pont des Arts, or from outside the Louvre.
Opening Hours: Always open
by Nesrine at Kevmrc Travel
36. Pont Notre Dame
The striking stone carved head of the god Dionysis is the unmistakable lingering image travelers will have of Pont Notre Dame.
The bridge across the Seine, like many of Paris’ bridges, was originally a Roman bridge. This one was destroyed by the conquering Normans in 887. An interesting bridge containing water wheels and a wooden footbridge was then constructed between Quai de Gesvres on the Right Bank with the Quai de la Corse on Île de la Cité.
When it was washed away by floods, Charle VI ordered a new bridge to be built which, unwisely, had 60 houses erected on it.
When this bridge inevitably collapsed in 1499, a further three stone bridges were constructed and a fourth was also made of steel. This last bridge caused numerous barge and boating accidents and became known as the “Devil’s Bridge.”
Finally, a more robust central arch was created and the bridge you travel across now has stood in its present configuration since 1919.
Opening Hours: Always open
37. Pont d’Iéna
Tourists to Paris rightly want to travel between the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadéro and for this, they take the lovely Pont d’Iéna.
This was also the view of Napoleon Bonaparte I, although he was more interested in the bridge joining the Champ de Mars to the Trocadero which he commissioned by royal decree in 1807. The Pont d’Iéna means “Bridge of Jena” and it is named after a French victory against the Prussians in 1806.
It has golden imperial eagles and four important equestrian statues (of a Gallic, Roman, Arab, and Greek warrior).
It is a focal point for tourists taking photos with the Eiffel Tower rising behind them, but also for souvenir sellers and pickpockets. And if that isn’t enough to make you add this to your essential Paris itinerary, James Bond drove a car down the steps of the Pont d’Iéna in A View to a Kill.
Opening Hours: Always open
38. Institut de France
The stately Institut de France building was initially built on the orders of Cardinal Mazarin between 1662 and 1688 to house the Collège des Quatre-Nations, a new organization under Louis XIV.
Its prime location and handsome cupola dome roof mean that visitors to Paris are sure to pass and notice the building. The cupola is 44 meters high and part of the chapel is flanked by two solid square pavilions that gently curve to the front of the building that faces the Seine.
Today the Institut de France is a cultural institution that defines itself as the protector of ‘arts, literature, and science.’ It manages museums, châteaux, five learned societies (Academies), and 1000 foundations.
The oldest library in France, the Bibliothèque Mazarine, is located inside the Institut and is open to visitors.
Opening Hours: La Coupole is open for free access every Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. The Palais de l’Institut de France in its entirety can only be visited on the third weekend of September. The Mazarine Library is open to readers and visitors from Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm
39. Pont des Arts
Between the square in front of the Louvre (Quai des Tuileries) and the stately Institut de France (Quai de Conti) is this elegant bridge spanning the Seine river.
Pont des Arts was once a fine iron structure of nine arches that had been built between 1802 and 1804 on the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte. Over time, however, the bridge became damaged and unstable as was replaced in the 1980s with the current 7-arch steel bridge.
The pedestrian bridge is also known as the Passerelle des Arts and informally as the ‘Bridge of Romance’. Lovers came from all over France to place a padlock around the railings of the Pont des Arts. The key was then thrown into the Seine.
In 2016 this practice was banned because of the sheer weight of all those metal padlocks. Panels were erected to replace the railings.
The bridge is popular not just for its romantic history, but also for photography as wide-angle shots of Paris are particularly good from the bridge. Finally, it is loved because it is a pedestrian-only bridge and so makes a convenient place to cross the Seine between major tourist attractions.
Opening Hours: Always open
40. Moulin Rouge
From 1189 to 1915, Moulin Rouge was a cabaret house in the Pigalle area of Montmartre on Boulevard de Clichy.
It is known throughout the world as the place that has (re)invented and popularised the can-can dance. The can-can dancers created a desire for cabaret clubs which caused many to be set up across Europe.
The Moulin Rouge burned down in a fire and was rebuilt. Luckily, it still exudes a romantic fin-de-siecle ambiance in its decor and architecture.
The interior is ornate and elegant and dinner or a drink can be had prior to the evening show.
Whilst pricey, this is a bucket list experience for many people in opulent and famous surroundings. The Moulin Rouge now features musical entertainment from around the world.
Photography is not allowed inside and prices vary depending upon the show and the food and drink options that are chosen.
Opening Hours: evenings, first dinner sitting is at 9.00 pm
Admission: €87,00 and up
41. Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
Second, only to the Eiffel Tower in visitor numbers, the flagship Galeries Lafayette store on Haussman Boulevard pioneered the model of shopping as a pleasure and an experience.
Galeries Lafayette started as a tiny, humble store but its owners believed in unending innovation. They created astounding shopfronts, glass domes, a terrace from which to view the landmarks of Paris, and an art gallery.
Galeries Lafayette also invented “fashion for the masses.” Iconic global fashion brands got their start at Galeries Lafayette such as Sonia Rykiel, Pierre Cardin, and Yves Saint-Laurent.
As each expansion and renovation occurred, from 1893 to the present day, Galeries Lafayette redefined the shopping experience not just in Paris, but globally. In 1990 it became the first “global facilities center,” incorporating parking, boutiques, customer service, and direct entrance to the underground metro station.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sundays and public holidays from 11 am to 8 pm. Gourmet shop open Monday to Saturday from 9.30 am to 9 pm and Sundays and public holidays from 11 am to 8 pm
42. Boulevards of Paris
Napoleon III and Baron Haussman, the Prefecture of the Seine, recreated central Paris through a monumental urban architecture project between 1853 and 1870.
The new urban infrastructure of water and sewerage, the doubling of the size of Paris, and the razing of the urban medieval city was a bold and fiercely contested project. The second phase of this great rebuilding of Paris began in 1859 and involved the building of long and wide boulevards, planted with trees, that emptied into parks and squares.
These boulevards became known as Haussman boulevards because Baron Haussman was the architect of the great master plan of new Paris.
The buildings that lined the broad and straight boulevards were known as Haussman apartment buildings. They were required to have the same materials, styles, and size.
It is these great boulevards, only one part of the large and controversial Haussman project, that has contributed to Paris’ uniqueness.
Opening Hours: Always Open
43. Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is a little out of central Paris in the 20th arrondissement. That doesn’t stop more than 3.5 million tourists visiting the largest necropolis in the world each year because of the list of famous people who are buried here.
It’s easy to find because there is a metro stop of the same name (but Philippe Auguste is closer).
The cemetery was the first in the world to be designed as it were a garden. It is a beautiful garden but the reason to visit is the graves of famous deceased.
This came about as a marketing exercise by the Cemetery in 1804 by transferring the bodies of Jean de La Fontaine and Molière there. It worked, and more people decided to be buried there even though it was considered too far from central Paris.
Most people come to see the grave of Jim Morrison but while you are here you can also visit the graves of Chopin, Moliere, Edith Piaf, Rossini, and Oscar Wilde.
Wander this vast site yourself, or take one of the excellent walking tours from Get Your Guide.
Opening Hours: Daily 8.00 am to 18:00 pm but opening at 8.30 am on Saturdays and 9:00 am on Sundays
44. Hôtel de Ville
The imposing City Hall of Paris, known in French as Hôtel de Ville, is located right in the center, close to the Seine and near the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Especially beautiful here is the facade, which was inspired by the castles of the Loire Valley. Until today, the building is the location of the city administration and the seat of the mayor.
Since 1357, the Paris City Hall has been located in its current place.
From the 14th century, it was transformed into a palace based on the Italian model.
In 1871, however, it was burned to the ground and so today’s Hôtel de Ville is similar to the palace but not the original. During a city walk, you should definitely plan a stop at this attraction.
Although you can only visit the exhibition on the first floor of the building, cool events take place regularly on the square in front of the city hall – the so-called Esplanade de la Libération!
In winter you can skate on the square in front of the Hôtel de Ville, in summer there are several sports events but also cultural events.
Opening Hours: Daily except for Sundays and bank holidays
by Martina at Places of Juma
The magnificent St. Eustache Church is a Roman Catholic Church near Led Halles in the 1st arrondissement. It was built over 100 years between 1532 and 1632.
It’s named after a Roman general who was burned alive (and his family as well) for converting to Christianity.
Loius XIV made his First Communion in the church in 1649 and many famous figures were baptized at St. Eustache including Richelieu, Molière, and Madame Pompadour.
The ornate Gothic exterior is a contrast with the Renaissance and classical interior. The church has been decimated by fire twice and looted and decimated during the French Revolution when it became a barn.
It was then set upon again during the Paris commune in 1871.
The church is fascinating because it has a chapel dedicated to butchers (charcuterie), including pork butchers appearing in the stained glass windows. The chapel of the Virgon was inaugurated by Pope Pius VII when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon (1804).
There is also a Rubens painting and other interesting and significant artworks.
St. Eustache is the parish church of Les Halles and it hosts Christmas organ recitals. The exquisite organ is second only to that of Notre Dame. Many of the world’s famous composers have played here.
Audio guides in French and English are available at the reception desk.
Opening Hours: Weekdays 9.30 am to 19.00 pm, Saturday 10.00 am to 19.15 pm and Sunday 9 am to 19:15 pm
- See all of the best things to do in France, from Get Your Guide
- Make sure you see the incredible Strasbourg Cathedral on your trip to France.
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