Paris; the City of Love. In this blog we posted 18 amazing things to do & see in Paris. From famous attractions like the Eiffel Tower to somewhat more unknown places like Pont Alexandre III, there is much to discover in this beautiful city!
#1 Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower, La Tour Eiffel, is one of France’s most famous and visited landmarks. This is the symbol of Paris. When taking a city break to Paris, the Eiffel Tower is not to be missed. The tower towers far above the city, as it has a total size of 330 meters. It is possible to climb the Eiffel Tower by stairs or get to the top of the Eiffel Tower by elevator. From the different floors you will have a wonderful view of the city. However, if you suffer from vertigo or find it too expensive to go to the top, it is worth taking a photo in front of the Eiffel Tower.
#2 Go on a boat on the Seine River
The Seine River runs through the city and is not to be missed. You can take a cruise or boat ride on the Seine. On the boat, you will have a special perspective to view the beautiful city.
#3 Louvre Museum
Museum the Louvre is one of the largest museums in the world where you can see Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, among other things! It is the most famous but also the most visited art museum worldwide, so there are quite long lines at the entrance of the museum. It is therefore recommended to reserve tickets in advance. If you do not have enough time to visit the museum, are not a museum lover or if you find it too expensive to go inside, the exterior alone is worth a snapshot. In fact, the museum is shaped like a glass pyramid, so many tourists stand outside daily posing for photos with this building. For young people between the ages of 18 and 25: you can enter this museum for free! Don’t forget to bring your identification. Note: The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays. However, you can go to Musée d’Orsay then (see #5).
#4 Catacombs of Paris
It is a famous collection of underground cemeteries under the city. It houses bones and skulls of about 6 million Parisians and is scattered in the underground chambers and galleries. In these chambers and corridors, you can see the bones all piled up, often in patterns, rather than in graves. Important: It does get cold in the catacombs, about 14 degrees, so dress a little warmer. Tip: buy your ticket in advance here too, otherwise you’ll be waiting in line for hours.
#5 Musée d’Orsay
This is an art museum where you can admire many different sculptures, as well as paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Monet and Picasso, among others. Anyone up to 25 years old with a European passport can enter for free. This museum is free for everyone on the first Sunday of the month, but of course it is extra busy on this day. Visiting on weekends and Tuesdays is not recommended, as it is incredibly crowded. On Tuesdays, the Louvre is closed, so people go to the Musée d’Orsay.
#6 Notre Dame
Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful churches in Paris. This cathedral was completed in 1345. During the French Revolution, in 1793, many works of art were stolen or destroyed and statues were all beheaded. Things went wrong again in 1801. starting in 1845, Notre Dame was restored. In 2019, a major fire broke out at Notre Dame and thanks to one of the world’s best trained firefighting teams in Paris, managed to put out the fire, remove important props and art from the cathedral and save the three important relics of Christ. The fire may have been caused by a computer malfunction. Notre Dame is still closed to the public and being repaired and it is currently still under scaffolding (in 2023). However, it is nevertheless still a beautiful church to see and take a look at in the square in front of Notre Dame.
#7 Luxembourg Gardens
The Luxembourg Gardens are a beautiful green and peaceful place to walk, rest or have a picnic. The gardens total 25 acres and are beautifully decorated with statues, monuments and fountains. There are often open-air concerts or art exhibitions. The Jardin du Luxembourg was built in 1612. It is a great place to visit with children, as it hosts many outdoor activities. It is also a nice place to have something to eat or drink.
The Sainte-Chapelle is the most beautiful church in Paris. It consists of an upper and a lower chapel. The upper chapel was originally for the royal family of France where only the king and his friends and family were allowed to enter. Today it is fully open to tourists! It has tall stained glass windows in Gothic style that tell Biblical stories. Two thirds are still original from the 13th century.
#9 Arc de Triomphe
This structure stands at one of the busiest intersections in Paris and is the second largest triumphal arch in the world. It is possible to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but to do so you have to climb up 284 steps (an elevator is also available). And this is also free to climb if you are under 26! It gives a great view of Paris, but viewing the arch itself is also worthwhile and also has a pretty important significance. The Arc de Triomphe was built in 1806 at the behest of Napoléon Bonaparte. The statues atop the arch represent four events in French history, namely the French Revolution, Peace, Resistance and The Triumph of 1810. On the inside of the arch are the names of important generals and at the top of the arch are thirty shields depicting Napoléon’s most important victories.
It is also possible to go under the arch and look there at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier who was never identified but did fight for his homeland. There is also an eternal fire that burns to commemorate all the fallen soldiers who fought in World War I and World War II. In short, it is an important and impressive monument.
#10 Opéra Garnier, Palais Garnier
This is the opera house in Paris. It is an impressive building, lined with gold leaf and marble on the inside and a facade decorated with marble columns, statues and statues. You can visit the Opéra Garnier without going to a performance. A ticket allows you to visit all the halls.
#11 Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre
The Basilique Sacré Coeur is located on the hill of Montmartre. To get to this church, you can climb 237 steps or go up by cable car. At the top, you have a beautiful view of Paris. Some 58,000 people died during the Franco-German War (1870-1871) and to commemorate these casualties, French Catholics had this large basilica placed on Montmartre. It is free to go inside this basilica. However, to enter the dome of the basilica, you do need a ticket. The dome requires you to climb 300 steps to enjoy a beautiful view of Paris here as well.
Montmartre is known as the artist district of Paris, as this was also the home of Picasso and Vincent van Gogh. There are many nice restaurants, the love wall and an artists’ square. You can also have a caricature made here! The square is full of artists who love to make nice drawings.
The Champs-Élysées is one of the most famous streets in the world. You can find many cafes, restaurants and luxury stores in this widest avenue in Paris. The Champs-Élysées connects the popular sights Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre. Around the Christmas season, this area is beautifully decorated with lights.
#13 Pont Neuf
This is one of the bridges that crosses the Seine River in Paris. Pont Neuf means New Bridge. However, this is the oldest bridge in the city. The bridge was built around 1600 and has also played a role in numerous movies. This bridge connects the Île de France to the banks of the Seine. The Île de France is home to Notre Dame, among others.
#14 Place de la Concorde
This octagonal historic square has several statues on the outside depicting the greatest French cities. In the center of the square is a 23-meter obelisk that was donated by the Egyptian viceroy in exchange for a bell tower in Cairo. This obelisk was originally located in front of the Luxor Temple in Egypt.There are also two large fountains in the square. It is a beautiful square that is definitely worth visiting.
#15 Castle of Versailles
Located a few kilometers outside of Paris is Versailles, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Palace of Versailles has an important history, having been the residence of the Royal family of France for many years. The palace is huge, but extraordinarily beautiful and has exquisite details.
#16 Le Mur des Je T’aime
The I-love-you wall is a love wall created in 2000. In more than 250 languages and dialects, “I love you” is written on this wall. It is therefore widely visited by couples from different countries to take a romantic photo together here.
#17 Montparnasse Tower
This skyscraper is 210 meters high and has 58 floors. You need a ticket to enter this tower. The first 54 floors are office floors. The fastest elevator in the world takes you to the first observation point, because in just 38 seconds this elevator will take you from the first floor to the 56th floor. On this floor you will find the highest restaurant in Paris. On the roof of the Montparnasse Tower is the second observation point. You do have to walk some stairs from the 56th floor for this. With clear weather, the view is insane!
#18 Pont Alexandre III
This bridge is decorated with lanterns and winged golden horses. The bridge opens onto the Grand Palais. It is a nice bridge to walk across and take some pictures.