Attractions In Paris: The 10 Best

Paris, France
Panoramic view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower

Paris is historical and modern, bright and gloomy, sunny and slightly rain-washed, as seen in Camille Pissarro's paintings. Visiting Paris is the only way to discover it and leave a piece of your heart there.

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"Paris is not a city; it is a world," King Francis I of France once said. The city is an art and fashion capital and one of the most romantic places in Europe; almost everyone wishes to visit the "City of Light" at least once. Its colossal historical value and incomparable atmosphere attract more than 30 million foreign tourists each year, making it the most visited city on the planet. According to statista.com, trees cover 20% of its area on average, making Paris the ninth greenest city in Europe.



I'm not a big fan of Paris. The city looks boring compared with the Eternal City of Rome or the Royal City of London. I find Paris rather monotonous due to its endless avenues and hundreds of almost identical buildings. Sadly, the city's medieval quarters were destroyed during the reconstruction of Paris in the 19th century "thanks" to Baron Haussmann, prefect of the Seine department. However, the French capital is worth visiting because of its numerous unique tourist sites, such as the Catacombs, Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame. Here is my list of ten Paris attractions I found the most exciting. Perhaps you might want to put some or all of them on your bucket list for your visit to France's capital.


Top 10 Paris Attractions


1. Eiffel Tower


Paris

The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable architectural landmark in France's capital. Nobody now imagines Paris without the structure. Built by the French civil engineer Gustave Eiffel between 1887 and 1889, it was the world's tallest construction for a long time.

The 324 meters (1,063 feet) high metal tower stands between the public greenspace Champ de Mars and the 19th-century bridge Pont d'Iéna in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. It has 1,665 steps and three observation decks. The platform at the top level is 276 meters (906 feet) above ground. There are two ways to get there: stairs or a lift.

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris


2. Notre-Dame de Paris


Top 10 Paris Attractions

The medieval cathedral with the catchy name Notre-Dame-de-Paris has blended everything you'd expect to see in Paris – it stands as a stunningly beautiful structure in the city's heart.

The Romanesque style dominated French architecture in the 12th century – at the start of the cathedral's construction. During construction in the 13th and 14th centuries, the Gothic style took its place, and as a result, the cathedral incorporated the best elements of both forms, giving it a distinct appearance.

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
Official website: Notre-Dame de Paris


3. Seine River Banks


Paris Attractions

The Seine is more than just a river; it's France's symbol. It divides Paris into the Right and Left Banks, each with a different lifestyle. Many great painters, writers, and musicians lived and worked on the Left Bank, and it was here that France's bohemian culture took place. Wealth and splendor made the Right Bank a bourgeois enclave. The banks of the Seine are unique and therefore included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.



Along the Seine in the center of Paris stands the most famous landmarks of the French capital: the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre, as well as beautiful bridges connecting the river's banks. The history of many bridges goes back centuries. For example, the Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris: Henry III of France laid the first stone in 1578.


4. Paris Catacombs


Paris Attractions

Paris is usually associated with romanticism, but there is one area in this city that is simply horrific and hidden underground from the eyes of a tourist. That is the famed Paris Catacombs. The network of underground and winding tunnels formed by mining limestone to build cathedrals and palaces in medieval Paris can have a total length of up to 300 kilometers (186 miles) and a depth of 15 to 20 meters (49 to 65 feet).

There are approximately 6 million people buried in Paris tunnels due to a shortage of space in Paris' cemeteries in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Visitors can visit a 1.7-kilometer (1-mile) area filled with old tombstones and thousands of human bone and skull fragments arranged in bizarre compositions and tall columns.

Address: 1 av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy 75014 Paris

Touring The World's Largest Grave, Paris Catacombs


5. Luxembourg Gardens


Paris Attractions

The atmosphere on Paris's Left Bank exudes a distinct French charm. Located in the Latin Quarter, there is the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens. Visitors have been drawn to the garden since the 17th century to walk along shady alleys, relax by the fountains, admire numerous elegant sculptures, and lie on green lawns.

Parisians are grateful for their favorite garden to Marie de Medici, wife of King Henry IV. Originally from Italy, Marie longed for her homeland so much that she decided to establish its small piece in Paris. The Orangerie, the Luxembourg Museum, and the stunning Baroque-style Luxembourg Palace, which now houses the French Senate, are all in the garden.

Address: The 6th arrondissement, 75006 Paris

Relaxing In Paris's Most Beautiful Garden, Jardin Du Luxembourg


6. Sacré-Cœur Basilica


Paris Landmarks

Completed in 1914, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a bizarre imitation of a Byzantine temple. Its white tower and dome have become an iconic part of the Paris skyline.

The most beautiful mosaic in France, measuring 480 square meters (5166 square feet), appears hypnotic inside the church. Built to commemorate the Franco-Prussian War victims at the end of the 19h century, it is the second most visited religious monument in France, after Notre Dame.

Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris


7. Tuileries Garden


Paris Attractions

The Tuileries Garden is one of the first parks created in France according to the "French formal style" rules, the layout of which still serves as an example for all park creators. This style prevailed in the 16th century when designers, through structural form, emphasized man's power over nature. The park has a geometrically correct plan with prominent symmetry, which gives it solemnity and majesty.

It is very popular with tourists due to its proximity to the Louvre, France's principal museum. The Tuileries Garden, adorned with flowers, greenery, and sculptures, is the epitome of peace and tranquillity after walking through Paris's bustling streets. The majority of the park's sculptures are exact replicas of the originals. There is a Ferris wheel and several cafes on the site.

Address: 1st arrondissement, 75001 Paris


8. Château of Vincennes


Paris Landmarks

Together with the Palace of Versailles, the Château de Vincennes is the most remarkable royal residence in Paris, built between the 14th and 16th centuries for the kings of France in the Bois de Vincennes (hence its name) wood. Vincennes grew up around the castle and is now a Paris suburb accessible by metro.

The building, which remained a strong fortress for 700 years, was constantly at the center of events: kings were born, married, lived (including as prisoners), and died here. The large, 52-meter (170 ft) high keep rises in a large courtyard, surrounded by a moat and fortress walls. The Sainte-Chapelle de Vincennes, a beautiful Gothic chapel – a Monument Historique on France's national heritage list – stands in front of the castle.

Address: 1 avenue de Paris, 94300 Vincennes, France
Official website: Château de Vincennes


9. Père Lachaise Cemetery


Paris Attractions

The Père Lachaise Cemetery is one of the world's most famous burial sites. This cemetery, located in the eastern part of Paris, is the city's largest. Many celebrities are buried here, including writer Oscar Wilde, cabaret performer Edith Piaf, actress Sarah Bernhardt, dancer Isadora Duncan, author Honoré de Balzac, opera singer Maria Callas, musician Frédéric Chopin, Doors vocalist Jim Morrison, and others. The Père Lachaise Cemetery is a beautiful place: on properly planned alleys, there are artistic tombs with complex sculptural compositions, architecturally impressive family crypts with modest or majestic gravestones, and elegant columbariums.

Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris


10. La Défense


Paris Attractions

It's no surprise that La Défense is known as the French Manhattan. It is considered the grandest business center in Europe. The modern business and residential district, which includes skyscrapers and shopping malls, is located 3 kilometers (2 miles) west of the city. The main local attraction is the Great Arch, a stop in many tours of the French capital.

The architectural modernism monument's steps are popular among tourists from all over the world. They enjoy looking at the evening edge of skyscrapers and Paris in the distance. The pedestrian area in La Défense is attractive, with fountains and over sixty abstract sculptures.



Where to Stay in Paris

Unsure of where to stay in Paris? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.




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Have any questions about things to do in Paris? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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