Best touristic attractions in Paris

Photo by Pedro Lastra on Unsplash

No matter the political and pandemic conditions, Paris is and will continue to be on most travel bucket lists in the world. And there’s a good reason for this. It really is wonderful! In Paris one can find some of the most popular touristic attractions in Europe, but also off-the-beaten-path places. There’s so much to do and see in Paris that this could keep you busy for a month and you’d still only have scratched the surface of all it has to offer.

When you have limited time in the city, you want to make sure that you get to live the best experiences it has to offer. I’ve been twice in Paris, but consider myself far from an expert, so instead of providing just my opinion, I wanted to give you a better insight. It’s hard to narrow it down, but I gathered the recommendations of 29 travel bloggers, in order to make it easier for you. Rain or sunshine, day or evening, hungry or not, still troubled by jetlag or already one week in the city of lights, there’s always something to do in Paris.

Here are the places and experiences they think will leave you with a memorable and authentic experience!

Best touristic attractions in Paris

Canal Saint Martin

Canal St. Martin

The Canal Saint Martin, which extends over 4.5 km, is one of the best places to visit in Paris away from the typical tourist’s path. Located in picturesque working-class area, the canal enchants with many beautiful locks, Venetian-style foot bridges, lush green parks, lovely squares and wonderful places to sit and enjoy the waterfront. Not surprisingly, that Canal Saint Martin has become a popular meeting point for locals as well as tourists for having a picnic at the canal banks. Especially in the late afternoon, the places along the waterfront fill up.

Walking along the canal and enjoy the marvelous scenery is the best relaxing thing you can do downtown Paris. Just do it like the locals do. Take your lunch, a bottle of red wine and some drinks and soak in the unique atmosphere of Paris. If you prefer eating out, there are many nice and small shops and bars along the canal. However, in any case, don’t forget to take your camera! Canal Saint Martin is one of Paris’ hidden jewels and offers many lovely photo opportunities.

The nicest part for having a picnic is definitively between rue Dieu and rue des Récollets. Here you will also find the Hotel du Nord, built in 1885, which was the location of the film Hôtel du Nord by Marcel Carné.

Recommended by Jürgen & Martina of PlacesofJuma.

The Catacombs of Paris

Attractions in Paris - the Catacombs

One of the most unique and eerie places to visit in Paris is the Catacombs. In the 17th century, Paris cemeteries were beyond full. People were no longer able to be buried as corpses were uncovered because of graves being filled to overflowing. The solution was to use the tunnels below the “City of Lights” to store the remains.

Today, visitors will find an ossuary twenty meters underground where they can make their way through a maze of tunnels and crypts that holds approximately six million Parisians. The bones were placed here for almost 30 years after the closing of the cemeteries.  It may be eerie walking around the catacombs, but there is a strange beauty to it, with the skulls and bones arranged in such an artistic fashion.

Expect putting aside 1 to 1.5 hours for your visit to the 1.5 km circuit, go early as at peak times you might have to wait a lot to get inside. Come prepared since you are going underground. Bringing along a light sweater is a great idea, as it can get chilly and reach a low of 14°C.

There are 131 steps to go down into the tunnels and 112 steps to climb out. Unfortunately, the Paris Catacombs are not wheelchair or stroller accessible because of the site’s underground constraints.

Even the City of Lights hides a dark and disturbing history.

Recommended by Debbie Fettback of


Saint Chapelle - Attractions in Paris

Sainte-Chapelle, meaning Holy Chapel, is a stunningly beautiful Gothic wonder located on Île de la Cité on the River Seine in Paris. It was built in the 13th century and it’s located in the courtyard of the Palais de la Cité. This palace is now the Palais of Justice, though it’s where the French royal family once lived.

The real reason to go visit this beautiful building is to see the massive stained glass windows inside. When people walk in, they immediately look up to take in this truly incredible view. You can’t help but be stunned by the beautiful colors and the exquisite detail. Be sure to visit on a sunny day to get the full impact of these windows as it’s truly breathtaking!

Not far from Sainte-Chapelle is the Conciergerie. This part of the palace complex holds a claim to fame as the medieval prison where Marie Antoinette was held and tried during the French Revolution. You can purchase a joint ticket to see both places for 18 Euros or Sainte-Chapelle alone for 13 Euros. And, not far from Sainte-Chapelle is the Notre Dame Cathedral, also a must-see when you visit Paris. You can easily visit all three in half a day or less. 

Sainte-Chapelle may not get as much attention as some other places in Paris, but it will surely be a highlight of your visit. And remember—it’s a religious place, so please dress respectfully modestly with your shoulders and knees covered.

Recommended by Sam of My Flying Leap.

Île Saint-Louis

Ile Saint-Louis - best attractions in Paris

If you are looking to experience the quintessential Parisian life then escape to Île Saint-Louis. It sits in the middle of the Seine with the left and right banks on either side, connected to the rest of Paris by five bridges. The postcard worthy views and historic architecture are the real highlights here.

There is nothing better than strolling through the quiet streets admiring the grandeur of the well-preserved 17th century buildings. Look out for Hôtel Lambert, Hôtel de Lauzun and Hôtel Le Vau being the grandest of them all. As well, the island’s only church, Saint-Louis-en-l’Île, designed in a classic Baroque style.

Île Saint-Louis is chock full of lovely boutique and specialty shops – from bakeries to cheese shops to chocolatiers. But perhaps its most famous and long-standing shop is Berthillon ice cream. Grab yourself a delicious cone and head to the pretty square of Place Louis-Aragon to enjoy one of the best views in Paris.

Recommended by Renee of Dream Plan Experience.

Place des Vosges

Places des Vosges

Place des Voges is known as “the prettiest square in Paris”… and for good reason. Located in the beautiful Marais district (straddling the 3rd and 4th arrondissements), the formal name of this square is “Place Royale.” It’s also the oldest planned square in Paris.

What makes it so beautiful? The regularity of the facades, each built to resemble the next with their red bricks and steeply pitched slate blue roofs. It was among the first examples of European city planning in the early 17th century, built to commemorate the engagement of Louise XIII and Anne of Austria. Up until the revolution, this was the place for nobility to meet, even though they never lived here.

Today, Place des Vosges is home to cute little cafes, boutiques, and artist studios. It’s the perfect off-the-beaten track activity in Paris for tourists. Stroll under the arches, meander the paths in the garden, or use this as a starting point for exploring the historic Marais. Nearby, you’ll find the Musée Picasso Paris, Musée Carnavalet (the house of Victor Hugo), and the Rue des Rosiers, the very center of Paris’ Jewish community.

Recommended by Christina of Explore Now or Never.

Musée Picassso Paris

Musee Pablo Picasso

While there are many incredible art galleries scattered around Paris, from the Louvre to the Musée d’Orsay, an amazing art museum that is often overlooked is the Musée Picasso Paris.

Located in Hôtel Salé in the Marais district of Paris, the Musée Picasso is, unsurprisingly, dedicated to Pablo Picasso. Holding over 5,000 pieces of his work, with a wide range of mediums, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, prints, engravings, and doodles, Picasso Museum is an essential visit for any admirer of Picasso’s work. Holding tens of thousands of Picasso’s archived pieces, including a photographic archive, personal papers, correspondence, and manuscripts, the museum outlines Picasso’s creative process and character, which is found utterly fascinating.

But, even if you’re not a huge fan of Picasso’s strange and eccentric style, the museum is still a worthwhile stop on your Paris itinerary. Musée Picasso also showcases the works of other incredible artists!

Overall, the Musée Picasso is an unmissable tourist attraction in Paris. And, if you’re looking for some more Europe travel inspiration, check out this 1-month Europe itinerary!

Recommended by Mia of Walk a While with Me.

Rue Cremieux

Rue Cremieux

One of the best tourist attractions to visit in Paris is the colorful street of Rue Cremieux! This residential street is closed off to traffic and only allows foot traffic. Located in the 12th arrondissement, the pedestrian street has become widely popular on social media, drawing in more visitors. It does not cost anything to visit as it is just a pedestrian street.

The beautiful street just kind of pops up out of nowhere, but it is unmissable. Atop many Paris spring bucket list destinations and not only, this street will keep you here for hours just marveling at how beautiful it is and taking photos.

One thing to note: people do reside in these homes and respecting them and their privacy is very important. If someone asks you to leave, be quiet or not to photograph, you should. Not doing so can cause a problem with the homeowners and potentially future visitors.

Recommended by Nicole Sunderland of Bucket List Lists.

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland - best attractions in Paris

Disneyland Paris is the only Disney park in Europe. It has its own unique vibe and is similar yet different from other Disney parks around the world.

There are actually two parks at Disneyland Paris. The traditional castle park (Disneyland Paris) and a newer park that features mostly Pixar attractions and more thrilling rides (Walt Disney Studios).

Disneyland Paris is located just outside Paris, and you can easily get to the park of the metro by taking the RER A line to the end of the line and getting off at Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy. The entrance to Disneyland Paris is right outside the metro station!

One day two-park tickets start at €74. The two parks are only a few hundred feet apart, so you can easily visit both parks in a single day.

To get the most out of your day at Disneyland Paris, you should arrive at the park right when it opens. You are often let into the park about 30 minutes before it officially opens. Take the opportunity to meet a few characters and then head towards the land you want to visit first, so you can ride a few attractions with little to no wait time!

Recommended by Erica Riley of Travels with Erica

Arc de Triomphe

Arch of Triomphe - attractions in Paris

Located on the top of the famous Champs-Élysées, is one of the most iconic attractions in Paris. The Arc de Triomphe honors the soldiers who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. French victories and generals are inscribed on the Arc de Triomphe, with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I lying beneath its vault.

The Arc de Triomphe is located in the middle of a roundabout with heavy traffic and there are no walkways above ground. If you are not getting dropped off by car, be sure to use one of two underpasses located at the Champs-Élysées and the Avenue de la Grande Armée.

It costs €13 to climb to the top, and is definitely worth the price. While preparing for your visit, keep in mind, there are 280 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but there is a lift available.

Once you’re at the top, it has the best panoramic views in all of Paris! The view right down the Champs-Élysées, looking toward the Louvre is truly breathtaking. You’re not too high, so it’s the perfect view as you stand right above all the buildings. But the best part are the views of the Eiffel Tower! Try to plan your visit here on a clear day so you are able to see most major monuments in Paris.

Recommended by Sam of S & A Getaway.

The Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower - best attractions in Paris

The Eiffel Tower is quite simply the best place to visit in Paris.

Built to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution and the World Expo, the tower was designed by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, but named after Gustave Eiffel, the man who invested the most in its construction.

Back when it was inaugurated, it was seen as monstrous, to the point that a petition was run asking to take it down – but with time it became so popular that this idea was dismissed.

The tower remained the tallest building in the world until 1930, when the Chrysler Building was inaugurated in New York.

The views of the city from the tower are simply impressive – the best are probably from the second level, but if you are curious to see Gustave Eiffel’s secret apartment you should go all the way up to the top level.

Getting tickets in advance is a must for visiting – there always is a line at the counter, as well as a line for the elevator.

For the best views of the Eiffel Tower, you may want to go up Montparnasse Tower. Another excellent spot to admire the tower is the Trocadero Center, which is right across the Seine River. If you manage to go there very early in the morning, before sunrise, you’ll have the place to yourself for excellent photos.

Recommended by Claudia Tavani of My Adventures Across The World.

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Père Lachaise Cemetery is probably one of the top attractions in Paris and somewhat off-the-beaten-path, as it is not as visited as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, or Notre Dame Cathedral. A secret almost, where you will mostly meet French travelers. The few international visitors come to admire the graves of famous people buried there over the centuries.

Indeed, some of the celebrities include authors like Oscar Wilde, singers like Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf, and French president Felix Faure. To find your favorite artist, make sure to plan your visit ahead of time, looking up the names and tomb numbers before heading into the cemetery.

Even if you are not looking for specific tombs, walking through the cemetery is like walking through a museum. Most of the funeral displays feature incredible architecture, some the size of small houses, some with statues.

The park is vast, and you can spend hours wandering through the different hallways and alleys. Located in the 20th Arrondissement, the Père Lachaise is easily accessed by metro. What makes a visit to Père Lachaise even more worthwhile is that there is no entrance fee. So if you are traveling on a budget, the Père Lachaise is among the best free things to do in Paris.

Recommended by Patricia Pagenel of Ze Wandering Frogs.

The Cité Florale

Cite florale Paris

Perfectly hidden between the Cité Universitaire de Paris and the Buttes-aux-Cailles quarter, la Cité Florale is a tiny, colorful, and flowery neighborhood in the 13th district. The neighborhood covers only six small cobblestone streets, all named by a different type of flower: Iris, Orchidées, Liserons, Glycines, Volubilis and Mimosas. All the little townhouses found on those 6 streets are covered in vines with balconies full of flowers.

This village in the heart of Paris was built in 1928 on an old meadow that was floated regularly by the nearby Bièvre River. With that type of soil, they couldn’t build the typical Haussmanian period buildings. It’s why those little colorful townhouses were built.

The tour of the Cité Florale doesn’t take very long. You can plan for about 15-30 minutes, depending on how many photographs you take. But it is worth the detour. There is a peaceful atmosphere when exploring the Cite Florale, making you forget the craziness and business of the City of Lights. After your visit, you can head to Parc Montsouris. You can also explore the beautiful micro-arrondissement of Buttes-aux-Cailles. Make sure to try one of the specialty Basque dishes at Chez Gladines (30 rue des Cinq Diamants).

To get to the Cité Florale, take Brillat-Savarin street from Rungis Place, then turn right to start your visit on rue des Orchidées. The closest metro stations are Maison Blanche and Cité Universitaire.

Recommended by Emilie of Love Life Abroad, a family around the world.

The Louvre Museum

The Louvre Museum - best attractions in Paris

The Louvre is an iconic attraction and it’s worth a look even if you have just two days in Paris. It’s the world’s largest art museum with 400,000 exhibits. The Louvre is situated in Rue de Rivoli on the right bank of the Seine. The museum is huge, covering 60,500 square meters. Sadly, the signage is poor, so it is hard to navigate. It is worth getting a map of exhibits and planning your route! The Louvre gets incredibly busy, so try to get there when it opens. Buy your entrance ticket in advance online- you will still have to queue at the entrance, but in a much shorter queue!

The Louvre was built as a fortress in the 12th century and in the 16-17th century, it became a royal palace. When Louis XVI moved his court to Versailles it was converted into a museum. In the 1980s, it was completely renovated and a huge glass pyramid was built at the front entrance. The art exhibited ranges from Ancient Greek and Egyptian to 19th-century impressionist. Its most famous painting is Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa

The museum is open seven days a week 09.00- 18.00. Entrance costs €15.00. Because the Louvre is always extremely busy, beware of pickpockets.

Recommended by Chrysoula of Two Days in a City.


Trocadero - cimitiere de passy

The full name of this place is Place du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre and it is an area in the 16th arrondissement of Paris. It is located on the bank of the Seine, across from the Eiffel Tower. The hill of Chaillot was renamed Trocadero after a famous fort in Spain with the same name was captured by the French in 1823. Metro with the same name is the best way to access this location.

Hilltop is surrounded by a roundabout. Passy Cemetery is on the northwest side. To the south, there is Palais de Chaillot, which was built for the World Fair – the Exposition Internationale of 1937. In the middle between two wings of the palace, you will have the best view of the Eiffel Tower in the whole of Paris.

Even Hitler visited this place in 1940. After WWII Truman had his Victory speech at this spot. The United Nations bill of human rights was signed here. You can go down the hill by stairs to the Gardens of Trocadero. In the middle, there is a 125 meters long fountain 125. In the northeast part of the park, there is Aquarium. It is followed by UN Avenue and bridge Pont d’Iéna leading to the Eiffel Tower.

Recommended by Džangir of Dr Jam Travels.

The Pantheon

Pantheon of Paris

The Pantheon is one of the best places to visit in Paris for its architecture and symbolic representation to the French Culture. This imposing building is home to various exceptional French men and women who sacrificed their lives for the country or contributed to the Republic in some recognizable manner. Some of these notable individuals include Victoria Hugo, Maria Curie, and Jean Moulin, to name a few.

To make the most out of visiting this major attraction, there are many places to stay in Paris close to everything so that you can be within walking distance to the Pantheon.

When you arrive and tour around the building, you will surely be impressed with its Neoclassical influences showcasing Gothic decorations, dramatic columns, and wide spaces. The facade is also a marvel to behold, reminiscent of the Pantheon found in Rome.

Last but not the least, the best thing to do in the Pantheon is to witness its stunning views. Although it takes about 276 steps to get to the top of this landmark, the experience is so worth it as it provides you with the most beautiful panoramic scenes of all of Paris. As such, it is recommended to visit during the sunset hours to get the best photographs of the city. Entrance fees range from 9 to 11 euros per adult.

Recommended by Antoine and Marielle of Offbeat Escapades.

Luxembourg Gardens

Palace Luxembourg Gardens - Sharon Odegaard

Lovely Luxembourg Gardens sprawls between the Latin Quarter and Saint-Germain-des-Prés and graces central Paris with greenery and beauty. The gardens, created by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612, cover the park acres in both French and English style. And the centerpiece of Luxembourg Gardens is a stately palace that now houses the French Senate.

Locals head here to stroll the shady lanes, relax beside the pond, jog, rollerblade, and simply enjoy the outdoors. This is a great place to get a feel for Parisian life. Friendly folk will stop and chat with you, too.

More than 100 sculptures decorate the grounds. You will even find a small-scale replica of the American Statue of Liberty. And be sure to linger at the famous Medici fountain.

One of the most delightful areas of Luxembourg Gardens is the large pond outside the palace. Here, children can sail colorful wooden toy boats. On weekends, families rent the boats and push them with long poles across the lake. The young ones run around the lake chasing the boats and laughing. It’s simply charming.

Within this Paris oasis you can find an apple orchard, a rose garden, large lawns, a geometric forest, and orchids. Play chess, bridge, or tennis. Then order a take-out lunch from the little café and find a pleasant place to sit and be a part of joyful Parisian life.

Recommended by Sharon Odegaard of Exploring Our World.

AU P’TIT GREC – Best Crepes in Paris

Au P'tit Grec -best crepes in Paris

Who hasn’t heard about the famous Parisian crepes? And who doesn’t have them on the top of their list? If you’re one of them, then this is the perfect place for you. It’s called AU P’TIT GREC and it’s one of the best places to visit in Paris.

Yes, I know it has the word Grec in it, which means Greek, but these crepes are as French as they can get. Experiencing the food in a city is as big a must as visiting a famous tourist spot and in Paris, that means crepes equals the Eiffel tower!

AU P’TIT GREC is located at 68 rue Mouffetard 75005, a bit far away from the city centre, but this actually makes it even better. You won’t have to deal with all the crowd from the famous tourist spots and you will get crepes that will make you drool on the spot.

They have all kinds of crepes. From sweet ones with Nutella, fruits, chocolate and more, to salty ones with eggs, sausages, cheese, mushrooms and many other ingredients. Their prices vary from 2.50 to 8 euro, so they make sure to cover all kinds of budgets and tastes!

Even if you go and don’t sit inside, eating delicious crepes on a Parisian street surrounded by all its magic is as good as it can get!

Recommended by Nathalie Bolet of Boletworldwide.

Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier

The Palais Garnier, Paris’s lavish opera house in the 9th arrondissement, is an architectural and artistic masterpiece and was the world’s largest theater when it was initially completed in 1875 by the Emperor Napoleon III.

The perfect embodiment of the opulence of the Second Empire, visitors can explore the building’s grand staircase, gold-laden walls, and grandiose decor, including busts of famous names of the opera world and mythological creatures. The over-the-top design pairs well with the opera’s theatrical and ornate costumes, extravagant music, and the famously oversized egos of the most renowned singers, whose voices grace these halls.

While the best way to visit the theater is to see a ballet or dance performance here, you can alternatively tour the facility by yourself (€14 for an adult ticket) or on a guided tour. Be sure to gaze up at the colorful fresco painted by Marc Chagal on the ceiling of the main theater, which has a modern edge that stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the room’s more traditional baroque gold and red tones.

If you’re a fan of ghost stories, it may be worth visiting the theater at night- it was the basis of Gaston Leroux’s beloved “Phantom of the Opera” novel. Be sure to visit Box #5 during your visit to the theater (if you dare). It remains empty during every performance for the Phantom’s own personal use!

If you happen to be vegan or just want to find out more about the subject, check out this vegan guide to Paris.

Recommended by Jess and Justin of Uprooted Traveler.

Parc André Citroën – Hot Air Balloon Ride

Parc Andre Citroen Hot Balloon Ride

When I travel, I prefer to wander off-the-beaten path and seek out less touristy spots. That’s how I ended up both at an ancient Egyptian pyramid in Rome and a little known archaeological dig site under the Vatican. But it’s also how I discovered that the Eiffel Tower may not actually offer the best view of Paris.

What does? The Balloon de Paris Generali at Parc André Citroën. For just 14€ (7 for kids) you can take a ride up 150 meters in this (tethered) hot-air balloon.

When planning your visit, don’t be like me and wait until the end of the day to arrive at the park. I wanted to time my ride for sunset (which I highly recommend, by the way!) but I wish I had come a couple hours earlier to relax and explore the park.

This innovative green space was built in the 1990s, on the site of the former Citroën automobile manufacturing plant and offers beautifully landscaped gardens, play areas for children of all ages (seriously some were designed specifically for teenagers!), wooded trails, picnic areas, a modern greenhouse and so much more. So if you’re looking for the perfect spot to unwind and escape the tourist-packed streets, pack a picnic, grab a book and head to Parc André Citroën.

Note: Be sure to check the balloon’s website before heading over as the weather and winds impact whether or not it’s flying each day.

Recommended by Catherine of Her Bags Were Packed.

Tuileries Gardens

Tuileries Gardens - best attractions in Paris

Located nearby the Louvre in central Paris, the Tuileries gardens are a beautiful leafy park within the city. Most well known for their grand circular ponds, and iconic green chairs in which to sit by the ponds, they’re a popular meeting place for the locals and beloved by visitors also.

Dating back to the 16th century, the gardens were re-landscaped in their current formal style by the gardener of King Louis XIV, André Le Nôtre in the 17th century. Within the gardens, you’ll find the Musée de l’Orangerie which houses an incredible range of works from renowned artists both past and present. It costs €12,50 to enter, but it’s well worth the small charge.

There are also several restaurants within the gardens where you can grab anything from casual coffee, to a seated lunch al fresco, or an early dinner. And if you’re visiting Paris with kids, they’ll love the fairground rides and convivial atmosphere that surrounds the gardens during the warmer months.

There are tours available, but unfortunately, they are only offered in French, so if your language skills aren’t up to scratch, you’d be best to enjoy the gardens at leisure and discover their secrets by yourself.

Recommended by Nadine of Le Long Weekend.


Champs-Elysee - best attractions in Paris

The iconic Champs-Élysées, located in the 8th arrondissement, is a must see sight on any visit to the city. Officially referred to as Avenue des Champs-Élysées, this avenue stretches 1.2 miles (1.9 km) connecting the Arc de Triomphe with the Place de la Concorde.

It is considered to be one of the world’s most famous commercial streets and comprises a variety of stores for every budget. Besides shopping, there are a lot of things to do here, including dining out and watching a show at Lido’s. In addition to its glamorous stature, the avenue also has a rich past going all the way back to the 1600’s.

The name translates to “Elysian Fields” which comes from Greek mythology as a reference to a resting place for gods and heroes. A stroll along the avenue comes highly recommended and it would take around 45 minutes to walk its entire length at a relaxed pace.

The best time to visit is during the festive season when the street is completely lit up and adorned with Christmas trees, lights, and decorations. The area also provides a prime position having superlative Eiffel Tower views at many points along the street, but particularly at the top of the towering Arc de Triomphe.

Recommended by Rai of A Rai of Light.

Musée d’Orsay

Musee d'Orsay @expeditionintrovert

Established in a refurbished train station, the Musée d’Orsay is one of the most popular museums in Paris. It is home to some of the most well-known impressionist artists, like Monet and Van Gogh, that should be the first thing you visit when you arrive at the museum before the crowds start.

The Impressionist paints are primarily located on the 5th floor, where you can also look out of the old clock tower to see a beautiful view overlooking the Seine river and Jardin des Tuileries, with the Sacré Coeur in the distant background.

Additional Impressionist paintings can be found on the 2nd floor, but you can’t miss the small scale replicas of the Palau’s Garnier Opera House! Located on the other side of the 2nd floor, this exhibit offers up-close looks to hand drawn images of historical buildings around Paris and other major European cities.

In order to skip the long lines, plan to arrive before the museum opens at 9:30am so you can enjoy the art and take photos without competing with too many other visitors. The museum is located across the river from the Louvre, so you could split your day between the two museums if you wanted to. The cost to get in is €16, but is free on the first Sunday of the month and to students studying in the EU (must provide a current student ID), with other exceptions listed here.

Recommended by Blair of Expedition Introvert.

Notre-Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris

The Notre-Dame is one of the most well-known places in the city of Paris. It is a beautiful church that is really worth visiting. You find the building at Île de la Cité, near other sights in Paris, such as the Louvre. Going here is one of the most popular activities in the capital of France.

The construction of the Notre-Dame started in 1163 and the building was ready in the year 1345. So, it is a very old church. It was a very important building throughout the history of Paris and played a role in many parts of the history of the city. For example, the funerals of many French Presidents took place here. It is also a wonderful building to see.

The church is made in the French Gothic architectural style. Furthermore, you find a large historic organ in the church and large church bells. The inside of the church is great to see as well. In the year 2019, there was a large fire that destroyed the spine and the roof of the Notre-Dame. Since then, many renovations take place at the Notre-Dame. Luckily, the structure of the building wasn’t damaged, so you can still see the characteristic front of the Notre-Dame.

There are lots of reasons to visit Paris, and the sights, including the Notre-Dame, are definitely one too!

Recommended by Dymphe of DymAbroad.

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Grande Mosque de Paris

La Grande Mosquée de Paris (The Great Mosque of Paris in English) is the largest mosque in France and the third one in Europe. You will find it in the charming Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement. It was built between 1922 and 1926 and was inspired by mosques in Morocco and Tunisia, as well as by the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Although it is a place of prayer, you can also visit it.

There are many interesting parts to visit in the Grande Mosquée. First of all, you can admire the 33-meter-tall minaret. Then you should walk around the patio under the pretty, sculpted arcades. You can have a look at the prayer room and its beautiful decorations. Also do not miss the library. The garden is one of the highlights of the Great Mosque of Paris! It features plants and trees, beautiful tiles on the floor and the walls and some lovely fountains.

Before you leave you should enjoy some traditional mint tea with lokum or pastries at the tearoom.

You can visit the mosque every day of the year except on Fridays and the entrance is 3 EUR. It’s open from 9am to 6pm. The best time of the year to visit it is in spring, as the garden is covered with wisteria!

La Grande Mosquée de Paris is located near the beautiful garden Jardin des Plantes and the museum Institut du Monde Arabe.

Recommended by Ophelie  of Limitless Secrets

Sacré Coeur, Paris

Sacre Coeur - best attractions in Paris

Sacré Coeur is one of the iconic monuments and top tourist attraction in Paris. Also known as Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacré Coeur sits on the summit of Montmarte Hill. Sacré Coeur, sitting at 213 feet above the sea level, is the second highest point of Paris, next to Eiffel Tower.

Sacré Coeur is a fairly new church. The construction of the Basilica began in 1875 by Paul Abadie, and it got completed in 1914. Though it only got consecrated in 1919 due to World War I. The church was built in a Romano-Byzantine style, quite an unusual combination in the architectural world.

However, the hill has been a sacred site for Pagans for centuries before that. The top of the hill was used for pagan rituals and it is believed that there were temples dedicated for Mars and Mercury on the very spot the basilica sits today.

The chalky whiteness of the monument is intact, even after many years. The stones used in construction were from Château-Landon, and are known to have high content of calcite in them. Every time it rains, the calcite leaches out of the stone, thus making the monument retain its chalky white colour.

Climb up the 200 odd spiral steps to get to top of the dome and be awed by one of the best panoramic view of the Paris. Entrance to Basilica is free, but there is a charge to see the crypt and to climb the tower.

Recommended by Anuradha of Country Hopping Couple.

Palace of Versailles

Versailles Palace

The Palace of Versailles is one of the best places to visit during your stay in Paris. It is located in the city of Versailles, 17 km south-west of Paris, and it is one of the most popular day trips out of the French Capital.

Versailles was home to the three last kings and their families before the French Revolution: Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI. It is a two-story palace built in French baroque style by the best architects of their time, and the rooms and halls inside are magnificently decorated. Amongst them outstands the Hall of the Mirrors, a long hall decorated with mirrors and impressive chandeliers used for the most extravagant balls. Beautiful French-style gardens surround the palace on three sides, and there’s also a beautiful forest, a grand canal used by the king for naval battles, and beautiful fountains and other water games.

The ticket to the palace costs around 18€, and it is possible to combine it with the Trianon and the Garden Shows when they are running. Also, it is possible to add an audio guide or visit the palace with a guided tour.

The best time to visit Versailles is in spring when the flowerbeds and trees are in full bloom, and the fountains are running. Summer is a good time too, but the palace and the gardens are more crowded.

Recommended by Elisa of World in Paris.

A Turkish Spa

Hammams, or Turkish Spas, are a unique way to experience the pampering culture and a perfect way to beat your day one jetlag in Paris. While there are many throughout the city ranging, from budget to luxurious, this experience is hands down a must when visiting the city of love.

Many Parisiennes will spend an entire day relaxing at their hammam of choice, and with everything from sauna and massage to the famous savon noir (black soap) and gommage (process of intense exfoliation) there is plenty to do. The typical sequence will be a mixture of steam room and sauna, a cold dip in the pool, relaxing on the heated slab, and then an intense gommage, followed by a brief rest in the salon with mint tea and then a massage with almond oil. The entire experience is thoroughly divine and will be just the cure after lengthy travels.

Most of the spas will be single-gender only with alternating days for men and women. So be sure to check the schedule ahead of time when planning your trip. The Hammam Medina Center, located in the 19th arrondissement, offers mixed group visits on Saturdays with swimsuits required.

For a more intimate and luxurious experience visit the female-only Aux Bains Montorgueil, located in the 2nd arrondissement and rumored to have been the best kept secret of Moroccan Royalty for years.

Recommended by Michele of Adventures Abound.

Backstreets of Montmartre

Artists on the backstreets of Montmartre

Montmartre is one of the most scenic and popular places to visit in Paris with the stunning Sacre Coeur and lookout point to the rest of Paris in the areas below.

Wandering around the streets of Montmarte and the artist village at Place du Tertre is a must to check out the artist boutiques, cafes and artist displays and impromptu drawings done for visitors that want a funny caricature or more fine art drawing done of themselves.

But one of the best secrets and out of the way things is to walk down the back streets downhill from the Montmartre area and follow the narrow streets towards La Pigall. Here, you’ll find some of the most quiet and charming boutique stores, artisanal shops and creperies and really unique one of a kind shops that most tourist don’t get a chance to explore outside of the bigger attractions around the city.

But you’ll really get to appreciate the quiet, pretty and even friendly shop owners in the area that love to engage and share stories about their little district downhill from busy Montmartre. When you get a chance to visit, do explore this fun area and also check out these wonderful 25 things to do in Paris for free and to inspire you to visit on the cheap!

Recommended by Noel Morata of Travel and travel photography.

Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse

Tour Montparnasse is the other tall building in Paris, at 210 meters tall it looks straight down on the champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower. The tower offers a 360-degree viewing platform that gives you the best views of the Eiffel tower.

While lines at the Eiffel Tower can be long and the wait can be torturous, Tour Montparnasse is just the opposite. You will be whizzed up to a 2 story viewing platform. The first floor is an enclosed area with cafe and information signs pointing to the sights of Paris and giving you information about these places. The second floor is an open-air area enclosed with glass panels.

The view is simply breathtaking encompassing sights of Sacre Coeur Cathedral, La Defence and the previously mentioned Eiffel Tower. The Tour Montparnasse viewing deck is a must when visiting Paris with teenagers or not.

The tower is easily accessible by public transport with the Montparnasse train station just meters away. We recommend you book your tickets online for easy entry.

Recommended by Mark of Wyld Family Travel

These were the recommendations received. Of course, there are many other places that could be mentioned here from old bridges to a show at the famous Moulin Rouge. This list is not exhaustive, but it does give you options and ideas on how to spend your time in this romantic city. If your favorite place wasn’t mentioned, don’t be upset! Mention it in the comments for other to add it to their list!

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Best touristic attractions in Paris, France


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