If visiting Paris is on your bucket list, you are not alone. More than 40 million tourists from around the world visited the city in 2017 alone.
What is it that makes Paris such a desirable destination? Perhaps it’s the romantic culture and fabulous dining options. We happen to think that the rich history of Paris and the number of world-renowned museums located there makes the city one to add to your passport.
Whether you’ve been to Paris before or this is your first time, you might need a little help navigating all of your options.
Keep reading for a list of 7 amazing places to visit in Paris.
1. The Louvre
The Louvre is the largest and most visited museums in the world and it is located right in the heart of Paris.
The Louvre got its start as a medieval fortress and in the 1700s become a gallery for artists to study the old world and its art. Now, the Louvre is a massive art museum that people travel from all over the world to see.
Some of the most impressive collections include the Baroque and the Renaissance collections. The museum features art from cultures all around the world. Perhaps the museum’s most famous painting and one of the most famous paintings in history is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.
2. The Eiffel Tower
When most people think of visiting Paris, they picture the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous attractions in the entire world and is one of the top things to do in Paris. The tower stands at an impressive 324 meters and is the second tallest structure in France, coming in behind the Millau Viaduct.
If you are visiting Paris for the first time, you absolutely must visit the Eiffel Tower. Even if you are well traveled in the city, you can view newly constructed landmarks from the great views of the observation deck.
It’s well worth waiting in line to go up in the tower itself. Almost 7 million people from around the world go into the tower each year.
The first two levels house shops and restaurants, some of the best Paris has to offer. For more tips on where to eat in Paris, check out this helpful article. The third level is the highest observation deck in Europe, at a height of 276 meters.
3. Musée d’Orsay
This Parisian gem is located on the left bank of the Seine river inside of a Beaux-Arts railway station and is one of the top places to visit in Paris. If you are looking for things to do in Paris, add this to your list.
It’s a collection of French art and culture from the mid-19th-century to 1914 that was completed in 1900 for the Exposition Universelle.
The building used to be used as a train station before becoming useless with the advent of modern rail technologies. It sat empty for some time and was eventually turned into one of the largest and most famous art museums in the world.
Some of the most well-known art housed in the museum include the works of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. We recommend checking out Bal du Moulin de la Galette by Renoir while you are there.
4. Cathedral Notre Dame
Notre-Dame de Paris is probably the second most commonly identified landmark in Paris and is one of the top things to do in Paris. Notre-Dame is the most famous Gothic monument in the world and for good reason.
The cathedral features remarkable towers that you have to see in person to believe. The history of the cathedral is almost as fascinating as its architecture.
The cathedral was built in the year 1163 during the heart of the Medieval period in France. It was finished less than 200 years later and revitalized in the 19th century after the French revolution caused some damage.
Some of the top things to see at the cathedral include the world-famous gargoyles, the rose and stained glass windows, and Victor Hugo’s famous tower bell.
You can also go into the towers to glean an amazing view of the city.
5. Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is the largest place on our list and one of the most impressive. You’ll want to make sure you schedule to spend at least an entire day here.
The Palace itself is only a small part of this massive compound. Versailles was originally a hunting lodge in the 17th century and was improved upon to create a powerful statement from France over the next century.
The Palace features a historical garden and was decorated by the well known- Charles Le Brun. The various places in the area are linked by apartments and the Hall of Mirrors.
Some of the top places to check out include the Royal Opera House, Marie Antoinette’s village, and Neptune Basin.
6. Hôtel des Invalides
The Hôtel des Invalides was founded by King Louis XIV in 1670 as a home for sick and disabled war veterans. Today, the building is still used as a retirement home and hospital for military men and women.
The building is a top Paris attraction because of the museums located inside.
The Musée de l’Armée is the national military museum of France and is sure to impress military buffs with its collection of Medieval armour, tanks, and cannons among many other relics.
The Dôme des Invalides is a church and burial ground for French military heroes. Napoleon’s tomb is located under the dome.
7. Musée de l’Orangerie
The last place to visit on our list is this orangery, or greenhouse where oranges ar e grown, built by Napoleon III. More than just an orangery, the building now serves as a museum of Impressionist and modern art and is one of the best things to do in Paris.
The museum was founded when Monet donated his famous Water Lilies painting to the French government. Water Lilies was a symbol of the end of the first world war and is still displayed at the orangery.
The basement of the museum houses works by some of the most famous names in art history including Picasso, Renoir, and Paul Cézanne.
More Places to Visit in Paris
While this list will get you started and take you to some of the most popular tourist destinations, there are more than 7 places to visit in Paris.
Paris is home to many of the most famous tourist destinations in the world and you’ll probably need more than one trip to see them all. Consult with your travel agent for more places to visit in Paris before your next trip.
For more travel tips and destination ideas, check out our blog.