In the City of Lights, there is an almost endless list of things to do. It’s a beautiful, charming, romantic city, and it has stolen my heart time and time again. My first time visiting Paris was on a student exchange in high school, and it was everything I dreamed it would be! Every time I’ve been back since then, I’ve explored more and more of this endlessly charming city. But there are certain attractions that never fail to impress, the ones that I go back to see every time. So if it’s your first time to Paris, make sure you fit these sights into you schedule because they will absolutely blow you away! For a taste of the classic Paris charm, these are the top 10 sights to see in Paris:
Top Sights to See in Paris
1 | Walk through the Jardin de Tuileries and enjoy the luscious gardens, as you make your way up to the Louvre. Then spend all day getting lost in the Louvre, enjoying all the artistic and cultural gems it holds. Most folks go to the Louvre to see the Mona Lisa, but there is so much more art to enjoy there, that you really need a full day to see it all! And there are a few ways you can get in for free, check out your options here.
2 | Check out the the architectural beauty of the Cathedrale de Notre-Dame. The inside is somehow even more impressive than the exterior facade, so it’s definitely worth the wait in line to go inside. This display of Gothic architecture is famous and rightfully so, it’s both beautiful and imposing, and it will make you want to kneel down and pray!
3 | Go up the Eiffel Tower elevator and look out over all of Paris. I would recommend buying your tickets ahead of time, since the lines get pretty long for walk-up tickets, and you don’t want to miss your chance. Anytime of day or night is a good time to go up the Eiffel Tower, but I particularly enjoy going at sunset. After you return to the ground, have a picnic on the Champ de Mars and take in the view of Le Tour Eiffel, or enjoy dinner at the Cafe Trocadero while watching the lights show on the tower.
4 | Stroll down the Champs Elysses and do some fabulous shopping, by window or wallet. Either way, it will be a treat! With over a mile of stores lined up between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees is a famous luxury shopping street and the location of the Tour de France finish line.
5 | The famous cabaret theatre in the Montmarte neighborhood of Paris, Moulin Rouge is a great place to enjoy some dance and entertainment. It’s not necessarily a family-friendly show, but it’s famous the world-over and definitely a quintessential Paris experience. Get your tickets here.
6 | Walk along the Seine river, taking in all the beauty of Paris’ central artery. Be sure to check out the books and art sold by the bouquinistes along the riverside sidewalks, a Parisian tradition. And take a dinner cruise along the Seine, enjoying the sights from the water. This long snaking river cuts through the city, and the various bridges that cross it are beautiful too, like the Pont Neuf, Pont Alexandre III, and Love Locks Bridge.
7 | Walk the steps up to the Basilica du Sacre-Coeur. The Sacred Heart church sits atop a hill in Montmartre, its white domes an icon in Paris. On a clear day, you can see a panoramic view of the Paris skyline from the top of the hill, and the best part is that admission to the Sacre-Coeur is free!
8 | The Place de la Concorde is the largest public square in Paris, and sits between the Champs Elysses shopping street and the Tuileries Gardens. Go there to see the two grand beautiful fountains, and toss a penny into each as you make a wish!
9 | At the other end of the Champs Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe, a large and beautiful arch at the center of a six-street intersection. This arch was constructed to honor those who fought and died in the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. You can access it by taking the underground walkway to get to the center of the traffic circle where the arch sits.
10 | Located in an old beaux-arts train station, the Musee d’Orsay is a museum with an impressive collection of French art. In fact, it holds the world’s largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Head over the the Musee d’Orsay to see some of the best pieces of art by Monet, Renoir, Manet, Cezanne, Degas, Van Gogh, and more!
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