Paris Attractions, Top Things to do in Paris, France

Paris, France is one of the most fabulous cities in the world. First visits to Paris can be daunting: nearly every square inch of the city seems to be seeping with history and beauty. All of it is worth seeing and exploring, but there are some Paris tourist attractions that simply shouldn't be missed.


Paris probably has more familiar landmarks than any other city in the world. As a result, first-time visitors often arrive in the French capital with all sorts of expectations: of grand vistas, of intellectuals discussing weighty matters in cafes, of romance along the Seine, of naughty nightclub revues, of rude people who won’t speak English. If you look hard enough, you can probably find all of those. But another approach is to set aside the preconceptions of Paris and to explore the city’s avenues and backstreets as if the tip of the Eiffel Tower or the spire of Notre Dame wasn’t about to pop into view at any moment.

Open Double Decker Bus Tour
A bus tour is a MUST for all first time visitors to Paris. Do it your first day to get oriented to the city and to decide which things you'd like to go back and see on subsequent vacation days. I highly recommend the L'Open Tour which is an open deck tour so you can get an unobstructed view of the city.

Eiffel Tower
Think Paris, and you instantly think of the Eiffel Tower. It is of course the most recognizable monument in all of Paris and can be seen miles from the city.

Taking a ride on an elevator to one of the viewing platforms at the top of the tower is a must do for anyone visiting Paris. This iron icon was built in 1889 for a World's Fair that marked the 100 year celebration of the French Revolution. It was named after its builder, Gustave Eiffel.

Paris Louvre Museum Musée du Louvre
The Louvre, without question is the best and most famous art museum in the world.

The world's largest art museum holds some of the greatest works mankind has seen - from Da Vinci's Mona Lisa to the Venus de Milo to the Winged Victory. The problem is that the museum is so big that it can take several hours to make your way through the maze of corridors just to see those few pieces of artwork. The Louvre displays well over 35,000 pieces of artwork in eight curatorial departments (antiquities, sculptures, paintings, decorative arts, etc) so even if you spent a solid week at the museum, you still wouldn't see everything. The Mona Lisa is small, and is so overcrowded with tourists that it almost isn't worth the wait.

Notre Dame Cathedral (French for Our Lady of Paris)
One of the most enduring symbols of Paris, the Notre Dame Cathedral sits on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité (one of the natural islands in the Seine River). Begun in 1163 and finished in 1345, this cathedral is a sight to behold with its French Gothic Architecture. It features flying buttresses, portals surrounded by ornate carvings and many gargoyles on the roof.

The cathedral of Notre Dame is one of the world’s greatest examples of Gothic architecture, complete with gargoyles. Building was started in 1163 and continued for nearly two hundred years. Notice the three main entrances, all shaped differently. Walk around the entire building and then take a look at it from a distance. Don’t miss seeing the enormous rose windows inside. See them at night from outside.

Arc de Triomphe
This monument is devoted to one of France's most fearless leaders, Napoleon Bonaparte. A visit to the Arc de Triomphe gives visitors a chance to see this architectural wonder, as well as a fabulous view and photo vantage point on the Champs Elysees. Here is a guide to visiting Paris' Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile.

You can climb up the Arc du Triomphe and get a better idea of the shape of the city - the classic straight line running from the Louvre, up the Jardins des Tuileries, pinned to the ground by the obelisk in the Place de la Concorde.

Les Invalides (Napoleon's Tomb)
Les Invalides (built in 1679) is a complex of buildings that house the military museums and monuments, a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans. Les Invalides is the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte who died in 1821. A huge marble sarcophagus sits directly under the ornate, hand-painted chapel dome (designed by Jules Hardouin-Mansart and painted by Charles de La Fosse).

Centre Pompidou
The Centre national d'art et de culture was the brainchild of President Georges Pompidou who wanted to create an original cultural institution in the heart of Paris completely focused on modern and contemporary creation where the visual arts could rub shoulders with theatre, music, cinema, literature and the spoken word.

Cite des Sciences at de l'Industrie
One of the world's largest and most visited science museums, La Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie is on an impressive modern site in northeastern Paris. The Parc de la Villette is a unique area of culture and leisure in Paris.

Musee d'Orsay
This museum may not be the massive size of Louvre, but its Impressionist collection is among the best in the world. The museum is housed in a former rail station, and has the atmosphere and personality to match.

The interior of the museum in and of itself is a work of art with breathtaking views from one end of the renovated Belle Epoque train station to the other.

Sunset River Cruise on the Seine
What better way to see the City of Lights (La Ville-lumière), than by cruising down the Seine River as the sun is setting over the Eiffel Tower and all the other sites of Paris?

Sainte Chapelle Church
Near the Notre Dame Cathedral on the Île de la Cité island is a little Gothic gem known as Sainte Chapelle (Holy Church). Sainte Chapelle was built around 1248. Nearly two-thirds of the stained-glass windows are authentic because they were removed during WWII

Montmarte & Sacre Couer Basilica
Montmarte is an 130 meter tall hill in the north of Paris and is the highest point in the city. Atop the hill is the famous Sacré-Couer Basilica whose white domes can be seen from many vantage points in the city. The basilica features both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture and was consecrated in 1919.

French Riviera Beaches
Located on France’s Mediterranean coast is the Côte d’Azur or more commonly, the French Riviera. It is not only one of the most targeted holiday and vacation destinations in France, it is extremely popular with Europeans and other international travelers of all ages. Few places on the planet can rival the glamour and glitz that this area has to offer. Despite the fact that the region is well known for the Cannes Film Festival, the casinos of Monaco, and St. Tropez, the beaches along the French Riviera hold a magnetic allure that few can resist.

If you are planning a holiday or vacation to the region, be prepared for the stunning natural beauty that this pristine coastal area has waiting for you. No matter what area you visit, the landscape changes and no two beaches ever look the same.

Paris City Tour
Paris sightseeing tours - Other Guided Tours in Paris, Tours and Attractions in Paris Day and Night

Paris Half Day Tours
Paris panorama tour, Paris orientation tour, Paris city tour & lunch at the restaurant "Le 58 Tour Eiffel", Paris city tour & lunch at the restaurant "Le 58 Tour Eiffel" & Seine river cruise, Paris city tour & lunch cruise, Paris city tour & Seine river sightseeing cruise, Paris city tour & lunch at Cineaqua, Paris city tour & lunch at the restaurant "Le 58 Tour Eiffel" & seine river cruise, Louvre guided tour, Da Vinci Code tour...

Paris Full Day Tours
Paris city tour & lunch & Louvre guided tour, Paris City Tour & lunch at the restaurant "Le 58 Tour Eiffel" & versailles...

Paris Night Tours
Paris illuminations tour, Paris cruise and illuminations tour, Paris Seine river dinner cruise, Seine river sightseeing cruise & dinner on the Champs Elysees "Chez Clément", Seine river sightseeing cruise & dinner at the restaurant "Le 58 Tour Eiffel"...

The Metro
The Metro is the Parisian underground train system. It's dead easy to use: just wander into a station (there's one near the Bois De Boulogne, even), approach the ticket window and say: 'Jam er ayz un carnay duh tick ay, see voo play'. This is the only piece of French you ever need to know in Paris. The ticket operator will take your money and give you ten tickets that will enable you to take any overground or underground train within Paris.

Paris, France with Kids
For families considering a first trip to Europe with kids, Paris is my top recommendation. There are parks and kids activities all over the city (including near the major tourist destinations). Flat streets make it easy to walk with a stroller or a tired child, and there is great public transportation.

No matter what your visit to Paris looks like, a little advance planning can make your trip not only more enjoyable but also more hassle-free.

There are so many things to do in Paris that even the Parisians who have lived in this fantastic city for decades still haven’t covered everything. So keep that in mind when you’re making your to-do list – you’re not going to see it all in one visit. Make sure you fit in your top priorities, and then make plans to come back to Paris – she’ll still be there waiting for you whenever you return!

Paris convention and visitors office
Official website - Paris tourism
Paris Travel Information and Travel Guide
Eiffel Tower
Musée du Louvre
Notre Dame Cathedral
Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile
Top 10 things to do in paris
Free Things to Do in Paris


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