Best things to see in Paris: Top 9 places to go to

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Each year, the capital city of France attracts around 30 million tourists. Indeed, people have always seen the beauty of the city, and artists in particular always have been interested in Paris. This city should absolutely be on your list of places to visit at least once in your life, even if you will almost certainly want to go back! To help you decide what to visit during your stay, here are the top 9 places to see while you are in Paris!

#1 Best things to see in Paris: Musée du Louvre

The Louvre Museum or Musée du Louvre is the largest art museum in the world in terms of space. The Louvre is on the top of the must-sees in Paris. This museum contains more than 380,000 items, with only 35,000 of them on display. There are a lot of items from ancient times, such as the Greek, Etruscan and Roman collections. You will also find, among other things, many beautiful paintings here. A ticket purchased online will cost you €17. If you buy it at the Museum it will be €15 but you might have to wait for a while longer to get inside. Be aware that you will most likely not be able to see everything you wanted due to the number of visitors and the extent of the collections. You might just have to go back to see what you missed the first time! 

#2 Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe 

The Champs-Elysées avenue is in the 8th arrondissement of Paris and is nearly 2 km long. Along the Champs-Elysées you will find many theaters, cafés, and luxury shops. This is a very beautiful place, but if you want to buy souvenirs you shouldn’t do it there as the prices are really high. At the end of the avenue, you will find the Arc de Triomphe. The panoramic terrace on top of the impressive building is a great viewpoint over the whole city. This is the perfect stop to take some stunning pictures of the city’s skyline. 

Arc de Triomphe, Image by ian kelsall from Pixabay

#3 Best things to see in Paris: Tour Eiffel 

The Eiffel Tower is named after Gustave Eiffel whose company built the tower from 1887 to 1889. In 2017, 7 million people came to see the Eiffel Tower. This building is a wrought-iron lattice tower 324 meters high. There are 3 floors inside the tower. You will be able to learn more about the tower by buying an entrance. You can take gorgeous pictures while on the observation deck and you can even shop for souvenirs and buy something to eat. Like the Arc de Triomphe terrace, the Eiffel Tower is the perfect destination for photographers.

#4 Île de la Cité

The Île de la Cité is a natural river island in the heart of Paris. In the middle of the Seine River, this island is an important part of the city and has been so since Merovingian times. Nowadays you will find on the Île de la Cité a hospital, a police prefecture, and a courthouse. However, the main attraction is the Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral. This cathedral has a rich past, with the construction beginning in 1163, its desecration during the Revolution, and the 2019 fire. The reconstruction began recently and there is hope that the building will be finished in a few years.

Notre Dame de Paris on the Île de la Cité, Image from Flickr

#5 Best things to see in Paris: Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is a must-see in Paris, especially if you are an art-lover! You will find this museum on the Left Bank of the Seine. The museum mainly displays French art from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, photographs, furniture, and sculptures.  The Musée d’Orsay has the biggest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art in the world. You will be able to admire masterpieces by Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin, and more. The building that houses the museum is a sight itself, a former railway station. You can take some great pictures of it from the Pont du Carrousel, with the Seine in the foreground. 

#6 Montmartre

Montmartre is a large hill in the 18th arrondissement and it gives its name to the surrounding district. This part of the city is a popular destination among tourists as well as locals. Indeed, it is there that you will find the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, right on top of the hill. The white-domed building is another must-see in the French Capital. The area of Montmartre inspired many artists, and many of them lived there during their lifetimes, such as Monet or Picasso. Walking around Montmartre, you will be able to get a feel of the old Paris, and of its art.  

Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, Image by Leonhard Niederwimmer from Pixabay 

#7 Best things to see in Paris: The catacombs

The Catacombs of Paris are very interesting to visit if you are into eerie sites. Moreover, if you wish to visit it, you will see that it is a very unique experience! These underground ossuaries hold the remains of about 6 million people. The Catacombs were created because the cemeteries were overflowing at the end of the 18th century and there was no room left in them. In the years that followed, people often organized private parties in this unusual place, and it was opened to the public in the late 19th century.  

#8 Canal Saint-Martin 

This canal is 4.6 km long and connects the Canal de l’Ourcq to the Seine river. Some of it is now covered to create wide streets and public spaces on the surface. Tourists and locals enjoy taking cruises on the canal or going to the bars or restaurants along the open part of the canal. To cross the canal, you will be able to use the typical iron bridges. The scenery that the canal creates inspired many artists, like many sights in Paris. 

#9 The view from Tour Montparnasse

This 210-meter tower in the Montparnasse area is an office skyscraper. The interesting part is its 56th floor, where you will be able to find the terrace, bars, and restaurants. The terrace is obviously another great viewpoint on the city of Paris, and you can admire the view while having a drink! Indeed, the panoramic view is incredible, and it includes the Eiffel Tower, so you might take the perfect souvenir picture from Tour Montparnasse. 

View from the Montparnasse Tower, Image from Flickr

If you enjoyed this article and want to read more, click here to learn about the best tourist attractions in London and useful tips for your visit!