The Paris Travel Guide

Written: The Top Thing Staff | July 28, 2023

1. Musée du Louvre

The Musée du Louvre is a must-visit destination in Paris for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike. It is renowned for being the home of the iconic Mona Lisa, drawing millions of visitors each year to catch a glimpse of this enigmatic masterpiece at the Louvre.

This grand museum, Louvre, boasts an extensive collection of over 35,000 works of art, including ancient artifacts, sculptures, and paintings from various periods and cultures. The diverse range of artworks at the Louvre ensures that there’s something to captivate every visitor’s interest.

museum Originally built as a fortress in the late 12th century before being transformed into a royal palace, the Louvre has a rich historical significance beyond its role as an art repository. Louvre museum’s evolution from stronghold to regal residence to world-class museum offers visitors a unique perspective on French history and architecture.

With its sheer size and comprehensive exhibits, it’s advisable for visitors to plan their trip strategically. Consider purchasing a Louvre museum pass or opting for guided tours to make the most out of your visit without feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artwork on display.

2. Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris, offering breathtaking panoramic views of the city. Built for the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower stands as one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower and Louvre provides a unique experience that allows you to see Paris from a different perspective. The view from its top is truly unparalleled and offers visitors a chance to appreciate the beauty and grandeur of this historic city.

For those seeking a local tip, it’s recommended to visit during sunset or at night when the city lights are aglow. This time presents an opportunity to visit Paris and witness the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and mesmerizing spectacle.

To make the most out of your visit to the museum, purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended as lines can be quite long. Consider taking some time to explore Champ de Mars and Rue de l’Université nearby for more picturesque views and photo opportunities. Visit the museum for the best things.

3. Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

The Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre is a stunning white-domed basilica located atop the picturesque Montmartre hill, offering sweeping views of Paris.

Situated at the highest point in the city, this iconic landmark provides breathtaking panoramic views of Paris, making it a must-visit for tourists and locals alike. The basilica’s architectural beauty and historical significance draw millions of visitors annually.

The structure’s unique design and Roman-Byzantine style make it one of the best things to visit and view. Visitors can climb to the top of the dome for an even more spectacular view of the cityscape below.

Aside from its visual appeal, the basilica holds cultural and religious importance as well. It has been a place of pilgrimage since it was consecrated in 1919 after World War I.

Visitors can also explore the charming neighborhood surrounding the basilica, known for its artistic history and vibrant atmosphere. The area boasts numerous cafes, art galleries, street performers, and local artists selling their work—a perfect way to immerse oneself in Parisian culture after taking in the magnificent sights from atop Montmartre hill.

4. Palais Garnier

The Palais Garnier is an opulent 19th-century opera house, renowned for its grand staircase and ornate interiors. The building’s lavish design and rich history make it a must-see attraction for visitors to Paris.

Key Highlights:

  • The grand staircase at the entrance of the Palais Garnier is a breathtaking sight, adorned with intricate details and considered one of the most iconic features of the opera house.
  • Its ornate interiors, including the Grand Foyer and Auditorium, showcase stunning architectural craftsmanship and opulence that captivate visitors.

Cultural Significance: The Palais Garnier has left an indelible mark on popular culture as it served as inspiration for Gaston Leroux’s novel “The Phantom of the Opera.” This association adds an element of allure to this historical monument.

Visitor Experience: Visitors can take guided tours to explore this magnificent palace, gaining insight into its architecture, history, and behind-the-scenes workings of an esteemed opera house. The tour offers a captivating visit through time within its walls.

5. Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe stands as an essential visit for history enthusiasts, making it the best tribute to those who fought and perished for France. Offering a breathtaking panoramic view of the Champs-Élysées, visitors can marvel at the beauty of Paris from this vantage point. The experience is not only visually captivating but also deeply symbolic, as one gazes upon the city’s iconic landmarks.

Moreover, within its grand structure lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, serving as a poignant reminder of sacrifice and valor. This adds an emotional layer to the visit, providing a moment for reflection on the price paid for freedom.

The monument’s historical significance combined with its architectural magnificence makes it an indispensable part of any Paris visit itinerary. It encapsulates both solemnity and splendor in one awe-inspiring location.

6. Seine River Cruise

A Seine River cruise offers a scenic and leisurely way to experience Paris from the water, providing a unique perspective of the city’s iconic landmarks. As you meander along the river, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of renowned sites such as Notre-Dame and the Louvre, allowing for unparalleled photo opportunities.

These cruises often offer dinner options, making it an ideal choice for couples seeking a romantic evening in Paris. The combination of delectable cuisine with stunning nighttime views creates an unforgettable experience that perfectly encapsulates the essence of this enchanting city.

The gentle sway of the boat coupled with the soft glow of Parisian lights against the darkened sky sets a truly magical ambiance during an evening cruise. Whether celebrating a special occasion or simply wanting to wander through Paris in style, opting for a Seine River dinner cruise is sure to leave lasting memories.

7. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Notre-Dame Cathedral is a Gothic masterpiece known for its iconic flying buttresses and intricate gargoyles, making it a must-see architectural wonder in Paris. The cathedral is home to historic relics, including the Crown of Thorns and one of the world’s most stunning rose windows, adding depth to its historical significance.

The devastating fire that engulfed Notre-Dame in 2019 sparked significant restoration efforts, drawing global attention and support. This event highlighted the cathedral’s resilience and the unwavering commitment to preserving this cultural gem for future generations.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the grandeur of Notre-Dame by exploring its interior with awe-inspiring stained glass windows and ornate details that showcase centuries of craftsmanship. Ascending to the top offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city from its lofty perch.

8. Montmartre Walking Tour

Montmartre is a bohemian neighborhood renowned for its rich artistic history, making it a must-visit destination in Paris. As you stroll through its charming streets, you’ll be immersed in the same ambiance that inspired legendary artists like Picasso and Van Gogh. The area’s cobblestone pathways lead to famous artist hangouts where creativity thrived.

A local guide can enrich your experience by providing insights into the neighborhood’s vibrant past and present. They can take you off the beaten path to discover hidden gems such as Place du Tertre, an open-air square filled with portrait artists, and Le Consulat café, a historic haunt frequented by artists in the early 20th century.

Exploring Montmartre on foot allows for an intimate encounter with its unique character and landmarks. From the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica perched atop the hill to quaint vineyard remnants tucked away from bustling tourist areas, every corner holds something special.

Engaging with a knowledgeable guide not only ensures that you don’t miss out on any significant spots but also provides context that brings each location to life. Whether it’s learning about famous paintings created within these very streets or understanding how this neighborhood continues to inspire modern-day artists, a guided tour offers depth beyond what meets the eye.

9. Jardin du Luxembourg

The Jardin du Luxembourg is the second largest public park in Paris, offering a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The park features stunning gardens, statues, and fountains that make it a picturesque spot for leisurely strolls or peaceful relaxation.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty of art nouveau and art deco elements integrated into the design of the gardens and surrounding structures. This fusion of architectural styles adds an extra layer of charm to the park’s ambiance, making it a must-visit destination for enthusiasts of these artistic movements.

One standout feature is the Medici Fountain, an iconic centerpiece adorned with classical sculptures that add to the park’s allure. The carefully manicured lawns provide ample space for picnics or simply basking in nature’s tranquility.

The Jardin du Luxembourg also hosts numerous events throughout the year, including concerts and exhibitions which offer cultural experiences amidst its natural splendor. There are designated areas where visitors can engage in activities such as chess matches or remote-controlled sailboat races on its octagonal pond.

10. Le Marais District Exploration

The Le Marais district in Paris is a historic area characterized by its narrow medieval streets, offering visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich past. This charming neighborhood is famous for its trendy boutiques, art galleries, and vibrant nightlife, making it an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of history and modernity.

One of the notable attractions in Le Marais is the Place des Vosges. This elegant square is surrounded by striking red-brick buildings and lush greenery, providing a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls or picnics. The Musée Carnavalet offers an immersive experience into the history of Paris through its extensive collection of artifacts and artworks.

For shopping enthusiasts, exploring the unique markets in Le Marais can be an enriching experience. The district boasts diverse marketplaces that offer everything from vintage clothing to artisanal goods, providing ample opportunities to discover one-of-a-kind treasures.

Visitors can also delve into Jewish history at the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme or simply savor delectable treats at one of the many quaint cafes scattered throughout this lively neighborhood.

With its blend of historical significance and contemporary allure, exploring Le Marais promises an unforgettable Parisian experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top attractions to visit in Paris?

Paris offers a myriad of must-see attractions, including the iconic Musée du Louvre, majestic Eiffel Tower, picturesque Seine River Cruise, and historic Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Is it worth visiting the Montmartre district in Paris?

Absolutely! The Montmartre district is brimming with artistic charm, from the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur to captivating walking tours. It’s a delightful blend of history and creativity.

How can I make the most of my visit to Jardin du Luxembourg?

Take a leisurely stroll through its immaculate gardens, admire the stunning fountains and sculptures, or simply relax amidst its tranquil ambiance. It’s an oasis of serenity within bustling Paris.

Are there any unique experiences to explore in Le Marais District?

Indeed! Delve into Le Marais’ eclectic mix of trendy boutiques, vibrant street art, and historical sites such as Place des Vosges for an unforgettable exploration.

What’s the best way to experience Parisian architecture beyond famous landmarks?

Embark on a Palais Garnier tour for an immersive encounter with opulent opera house architecture that showcases Paris’ grandeur beyond its renowned landmarks.