Places to visit in Paris, France – 25 places you can’t miss on your trip to Paris
Places to visit in Paris, France – 25 places you can’t miss on your trip to Paris! Paris – the city of love and lights looks like an auteur cinema at night and like a shining paradise in the mornings. This scenic landscape is constituted by historical and architectural landmarks which gives this city an old world aura that lives and breathes in an urban setting. So let’s get exploring this city of delights and sunshine with some of the must-see places:
25 Best Places to visit in Paris, France
1. Notre-Dame Cathedral
This Parisian icon deserves to be on top of this list. Situated along the scenic River Seine, this Gothic masterpiece is popularly regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind. Stroll inside from its front entrance and marvel at the statues therein. Move on inside to see high gilded ceilings and breathtaking stained glass windows.
Tired of meandering along? Then climb up the Notre-Dame Cathedral‘s 387 steps for a panoramic view of the city. But be prepared to be shooed off from the top after a really short time since there’s a huge line. Not much of a scenic person? Then how about exploring the ancient crypt below? Inside or out, below or top; this architectural marvel is a thing to behold.
2. Musée du Louvre
Visiting Paris without even venturing inside a museum? That’s just not possible. So even if your trip is short and you have time to just visit one then this should be it. Why do you ask? It’s because here you will get to stroll along and view a grand total of around 35,000 works of art. At the Louvre you will find everything right from ancient Grecian sculptures to Egyptian mummy tombs and painting masterpieces.
Make sure to stop by classics like Eugene Delacroix’s “Liberty Leading the People” and sculptures like Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace and of course the most famous painting in the world – The Monalisa by Leonardo da Vinci. But don’t just bring your curiosity along for the ride; bring loads of time and patience as well because the crowds are sure to get you. But still, a jewel like this should not be missed.
3. Eiffel Tower
How can we talk about Paris without mentioning the Eiffel tower? Constructed at the 1889 World’s Fair, this structure escaped demolition talks twice and became the grandeur of Paris. So walk up to the first floor of this beauty or escape the hassle and take the elevator to view the panorama of the city.
I am sure you won’t like standing in long lines for your turn, so escape the trouble by booking your tickets online on the Eiffel Tower’s website. But keep in mind that the tickets are costly. So keep your pockets bulky. A pro tip- Make a trip at night as well. You don’t want to miss the blinking colorful lights which light up this magnanimity set along the night sky.
4. Le Marais
Want to take a trip back in time to medieval Paris? While there’s no time machine yet but you can just get that atmosphere while strolling along cobblestone streets and viewing courtyards as well as stately stone architectures at one of Paris’s oldest districts – Le Marais. But don’t get fooled, this place has played host to multiple cultures.
I had been the city’s Jewish center from the 13th century. Take a stroll along the rue des Rosiers and you might get a whiff of that culture in the old school bakeries and delis. While on the topic of food, don’t miss out on its falafel as well as on the striking art galleries and museums. Antique hunters will find treasures in its numerous vintage stores. The best way to enjoy this place is by walking and so a joining a walking tour is most recommended.
5. Grand Mosque
Constructed in 1926 and located at the Latin Quarter, Grand Mosque is perfect for just grabbing a cup of tea and hanging out in its courtyard cafe, filled with mosaic decorations and uplifting hanging foliage.
Rich historical culture isn’t just found in museums and tourist traps; it’s also hidden in small fading places. So just kick back and relax at this hangout.
6. Shakespeare & Company bookshop
Let’s start off with the list of intellectuals who have frequented this site – established by Sylvia Beach; Shakespeare & Company bookshop was frequented for long by James Joyce and Hemingway. This bookshop located in the Left bank, just in the shadows of the Notre Dame, was reopened by George Whitman in 1951.
You are invited to stay within its book-lined walls but in exchange for staying there for free, you will have to help out at the shop and read a book per day. So if you are strapped for cash then this is the place to head to for lunch. The payment? That leaves a page of autobiography.
7. Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre
Don’t mistake it for a white castle since it certainly looks like that instead of a basilica. But you will be able to recognize Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre by its ornate ivory domes and the glittering ceilings inside. Step inside this Roman – Byzantium marvel to view a depiction of Jesus rising alongside Joan of Arc and Virgin Mary.
Want to get a sky-high view again? Just head up the outdoor staircase or perhaps climb up the 300 steps to the dome for an amazing photo op. Crowds are going to be with you every step along the way but braving it to look inside is worth it.
8. Musée d’Orsay
If paintings are what you crave then Musée d’Orsay is the place you should be at. Regarded for its rich collection of impressionist works, come along to see paintings by renowned artists like Degas, Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne and many more. But why stop at paintings when this place houses sculptures, photographs, and furniture displays.
Stop by the Belle Epoque wing as well to view architecture on the outside just like the inside. At the end make sure to climb up to the museum’s balcony to catch amazing views of the Sacré- Coeur Basilica, right through the museum’s transparent clock!
9. Pere-Lachaise Cemetery
Tired of museums and art galleries? Visit something a little spooky and take a turn towards Pere-Lachaise Cemetery. Step inside nearly 110 acres of cobblestone path mazes lined with leafy trees which cascade upon and shade the 19th-century burial chambers which are built with dramatic statues on them.
Known as the most beautiful cemetery in the world, the people buried here are no less than world famous as well – from Jim Morrison to Oscar Wilde and Gertrude Stein and more are laid to rest here. The area is so big that you will not encounter much foot traffic on your walks and so you will be able to wander along to your heart’s pleasure.
10. Palais Garnier
Take a break from all the sightseeing and get an opera ticket to Palais Garnier. You might be more familiar with it as the inspiration behind “Phantom of the Opera”.
Whether there truly was a dweller underneath the opera or not, you can certainly enjoy the enigmatic charms and the old world interiors of this architectural opulence as you think out that dilemma. But tickets aren’t cheap or easy to get since performances here are highly coveted. So if you are unwilling to empty your pockets then you can just stroll in to witness the enormity of this luxurious cavern.
11. Luxembourg Gardens
Relax a bit from your sightseeing schedule by sitting down at the Luxembourg gardens and just engaging in some people watching and sun soaking. As for kids – there’s plenty which will keep them entertained like climbing on sailboats or riding ponies or they can perhaps enjoy a puppet show at the Theatre des Marionettes.
While there do peep into Musee de Luxembourg which was the first museum open to the public. But with 106 sculptures on site, the Luxembourg gardens can easily be considered an open air museum. While there’s sport like basketball or football to be enjoyed but the best way is to enjoy this place is to just kick back and relax or perhaps go for stroll along the pathways and formal gardens.
12. Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe adorned with intricately carved sculptures was made to give high regards to the Grande Armee while the Napoleonic Wars. You will get to see the tomb of the Unknown Soldier who represents all the unidentified and unaccounted for soldiers. You will be surprised to know that the flame which was lit when the Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in 1920 is still burning.
While the structure in itself is massive but even more breathtaking is the Parisian panorama which can be viewed from atop. Lots of crowds will be on the ground and the climb to the top can give you a serious workout so plan accordingly. Also a pro tip: Be careful while crossing the road to the Arc.
13. Canal St. Martin
The once abandoned and derelict part of the tenth arrondissement now buzzes with life and cafés. There are also local boutiques if you want to buy some local things to take back home.
So just climb up the Paname Brewing Company and settle onto their veranda to take in the ambience along with the craft beer as you look over the water.
The Le Perchoir Marais sitting atop the BHV department store is located right next to the Hotel de Ville, Paris’ city hall. This is a rooftop bar and the perfect place to relax after a long day of walking and sightseeing.
The best part? It’s open all year round. So if you want to just relax with a cocktail in hand as you enjoy the evening and take in a far-off view of the Eiffel tower, this is the place to be.
15. The Promenade Plantee
Built over an old overground railroad line that runs from Place de la Bastille, this walkway is lined with beautiful plants and is an absolute beauty to look at during spring. Enjoy the blooming flowers and stroll along for about 4.5 km and then come up on the Coulee Verte.
Follow up to Bois de Vincennes on a bike for a much more enjoyable experience. But don’t actually bike onto the plantee or people are going to be mighty annoyed with you.
16. Petite Ceinture
Known as the Little Belt, this unused railroad line ran from 1852 to 1934 around Paris. After falling into disuse, some portions of it were opened up to the public from 2007.
So if you just want to get away from the city then going for a calming walk in here is a great idea. No need to get spooked as plenty of people will be milling around as well.
17. Marché Bastille
One of the larger markets in the city, here you can find classic fresh produce, cheeses, and meats. The market is held on Thursdays and Sundays mornings but you can still stroll through on any random afternoon.
If you are on the mood for some delicacies then going on to the Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement, Rue des Levis in the 17th, and Rue Poncelet in the 17th for some delicious and freshly baked baguettes as well as pâté and berries id a must. As you can guess, this place is great an impromptu picnic with all the food available all around.
18. Lucha Libre
Want to do something a little unique in the city of Old World grandeur? How about hopping into Lucha Libre? The motto is here to drink up, eat to your heart’s fill and then dance around.
There’s one more thing actually – to dress up as a Mexican wrestler in an inflatable sumo suit and beat up your buds. One thing is guaranteed – you are going to have loads of fun in here.
The title probably threw you off since we have been talking about specific places to visit in here. But if you are just tired of emptying your pockets for fees and want to get away from the crowd as well as the bustle of the city, then the forests of Bois de Vincennes and Bois de Boulogne are here for you.
Just stroll along the tree covered walking paths which change colour during autumn months. Here there’s tranquility and peace. This place is a great way to reconnect with nature and escape from the city.
20. Centre Pompidou
Probably the most visited cultural site in Paris, so be wary of crowds in here. But if you are a fan of modern and contemporary art then this is the place for you. Step inside and find the interiors designed with plumbing, elevators, escalators, pipings and more.
The museum is actually exposed on the outside, so much so that visitors call it the inside out museum. You will get to view more than 100,000 modern arts by lots of big-name artists like Picasso, Andy Warhol, Matisse and even more. After admiring the paintings you can chill out at the rooftop restaurant with a drink in hand or visit the library there.
21. Chateau de Versailles
You will never behold anything as awe-inspiring as this sprawling palace. What’s to see you ask? Take in the dramatic frescoes, cascading crystal chandeliers and gold figurines you will find in bulk to view.
Step into the Hall of Mirrors, Royal Opera House, King’s chambers and the Royal Chapel which are popular attractions. While getting in is a trial in itself, but once in, you will not get enough of the over the top magnificence and the manicured gardens of this place.
22. Paris Catacombs
Feeling bored of all the romance? How about heading to visit something downright chilling? The Paris Catacombs make you feel just that.
The burial place of Parisians after the city ran out of graves in the 18th century, these limestone quarries acted as the resting place for the loved ones in this city. So visit and walk along this skull and bone lined tunnels as they weave the sprawling city of love for a mile.
23. Musée Rodin
This was the former residence of 19th-century sculptor Auguste Rodin. This hidden jewel doesn’t house the sculptor’s furniture but Rodin’s sculptures. Which actually include works like The Kiss, The Thinker, The Hand of God and more? There are also 7,000 of the artists’ drawings on display apart from the emotive sculptures.
There’s also a separate chamber where the sculptor’s Mistress’s works are shown off. Recommend by all to visit even if you are not an art buff. But apart from the beautiful art, there are also the manicured on-site lush gardens to explore as well.
Paris’s most famous boulevard where you will find everything you could ever need. Stretching from the Palace de la Concorde to the foot of the Arc de Triomphe, in this shopper’s paradise, you will find everything from Louis Vuitton to Hugo Boss and Adidas as well as Gap.
A pro tip- just engage in window shopping instead of actually breaking out your wallet as the prices are too high in here and there’s a high chance that tourists like you are going to be scammed. Instead, shop at local boutiques which offer authentic local stuff and that too at affordable prices.
25. Pink Flamingo at Canal Saint-Martin
It is an ideal place for couples to steal away from the group and have a pizza picnic. How to get pizza in there you ask? There’s a quirky delivery service called the Pink Flamingo. What’s so quirky about it? When you will order, you will get a pink balloon with it.
You just have to find a great spot on the Canal Saint-Martin and wait with your balloon. As for the pizza – it will be delivered right to you. But this place isn’t just great for couples or first dates; you can hang out with your friends and have a great time while munching on some local pizzas.
While in Paris, take to heart one French word- Flâner. It means “to stroll” and that is actually the perfect way to experience this vast city where little jewels are hidden in every nook and cranny. So strap on your backpack, get a map, charge your cell phone and get out taking in the city of lights while munching on a croissant.