20 Great Things Not to Miss When Visiting Paris
Updated by Jordan on 13/12/2019 and Farah on 09/02/2022
Paris is an amazing city that most people have dreamt of visiting. If you’re coming to the wonderful city of Paris, you may be wondering which are the attractions you certainly shouldn’t miss! This is why I’ve decided to write this article and share with you the 20 attractions you must see in Paris!
To me, Paris is one of the coolest cities to visit in the world. The history, the culture, the lifestyle are fascinating and will certainly give you a new perspective on life. The Parisians are revolutionary people and this shows through the many attractions of the city. From centuries old landmarks to more modern buildings, walking the city and having a look at all its details will definitely inspire you. Read on and find out the 20 attractions you must see in Paris!
What Shouldn’t You Miss in Paris?
When one thinks about the city of lights, the first thing that comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower, of course. Another smaller tower for a great photo of the city is the Montparnasse Tower. But of course, Paris has a lot more to offer from art, culture to shopping. Paris has a lot of landmarks worth exploring and one of the most famous is the beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame. Next, check out the Palais Garnier, the Arc de Triomphe and the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre. Don’t forget the world’s most famous painting, the Mona Lisa, at the Louvre. Take a stroll along the Siene to the other side. If you’re an art lover, enjoy some street art or indulge in some of the world’s greatest artists’ works at the Musée d’Orsay, the Relax at the Tuileries Gardens and the Luxembourg Gardens. As for neighbourhoods, you can stay in the Latin Quarter and Le Marais and explore these unique districts.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889. It is now the symbol of the city of Paris! Its history is very interesting, because its design was innovative and different from the architecture of the time, which is why it wasn’t even supposed to remain. It was a temporary construction that was to stay only twenty years.
It was built in 1889 to celebrate the French Revolution’s centennial year during the Exposition Universelle at the Champs de Mars. The purpose was to show the other nations the power and the industrial abilities of France!
Nowadays, your trip to Paris isn’t complete without catching a glimpse of the Iron Lady at the very least! If you fancy a great view of the city, why not climb to the top of the tower? From 300 meters up, you can see all of Paris passing below you and spot the city’s numerous monuments. But if that’s not your thing, you can still enjoy a picnic on the Champs de Mars and watch the Eiffel Tower light up over your traditional Parisian feast (after dark, the tower sparkles on the hour for five minutes until 1AM).Get your priority-access ticket to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and don’t waste your time waiting!
eiffel tower – Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007
Paris metro station: école militaire or bir-hakeim
opening hours: open daily 9.30am-10.30pm
tickets: adult fare: Ticket with access lift second floor 17,10€; via stairs to top 26,80€; Ticket with access stairs to second floor 10,70€; Ticket with access stairs 2nd floor+lift The top 20,40€
youth fare (age 12-24): Ticket with access lift second floor 8,60€; via stairs to top 13,40€; Ticket with access stairs to second floor 5,40€; Ticket with access stairs 2nd floor+lift The top 10,20€
The Louvre Museum
Visiting the Louvre Museum is certainly one experience you shouldn’t miss in Paris! The Louvre Museum is one of the biggest museums in the worlds. It is the biggest Parisian museum! Located in the center of the city of Paris, in the right bank of the city, it is a former royal palace! You will also notice that it is found in the Axe historique, which is also known as the Voie Triomphale, meaning “triumphal way” in English.
The Voie Triomphale is a line of monuments. The Louvre Museum is aligned with other important landmarks of the city, such as the Concorde Square, and the Arc de Triomphe. If you want to discover more about the museum and its history, I strongly recommend you to join two of our tours: the Paris landmarks one and the hidden gems one!
To visit the Louvre Museum, you can purchase tickets with our partner Tiqets for any day (we have yet to see them sold out). You will receive your tickets via email or SMS and you just have to show your tickets on your smartphone.
Read more about the Louvre:
> If you’re interested in art, you will enjoy some of the worthiest paintings of the Louvre Museum.
> For a few tips on how to see the Mona Lisa in the best conditions, read this article.
> Check this article to know the best way to visit the Louvre Museum.
> Do you want to have lunch near the Louvre Museum? Read our suggestions.
musée du louvre – Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
metro station: louvre-rivoli or palais royal musée du louvre
opening hours: 9AM-6PM; closed tuesdayS
TICKETS: ADULTS: €17; UNDER-18 AND UNDER 26 OF EEA FREE
The Musée d’Orsay
The Orsay Museum is located in the left bank of Paris. The main collections of the museum present the western paintings and sculpture from 1848 to 1914! Van Gogh, Monet, Degas are some of the artists whose works are part of the collections.
The Orsay Museum was a former train station in 1898 and was converted into a museum in 1986. If you enjoy the Impressionism art movement, you will thoroughly enjoy this museum! Tickets to Le Musée d'Orsay can be bought in advance and explore one of the best art museums in the world at your own pace.
Read more about the Orsay Museum:
> Find out five reasons to visit the Orsay Museum.
> What are some of the best things to do near the Orsay Museum? Find out in this article.
> If you want to know the best way to visit the Orsay Museum, read this article.
musée d’orsay – 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
metro station: solférino
opening hours: 9:30AM-6PM; closed on mondays
tickets: ADULT: €16.00; Admission to the “Enfants & Cie” museum if you are accompanying a child under 18 – €13.00
The Tuileries Garden
First of all, you need to know about the Tuileries Palace, which was a palace that was built by order of the Queen Catherine de Médicis, located by the Louvre Palace. As she was living there, she also wanted a splendid garden where she could walk for hours. Several kings also lived there, such as Henri IV, Louis XIV, and Louis XVI. But, in 1871, it was burnt down. But the Tuileries Garden remained. It was designed by the landscape architect, André Le Nôtre, who also designed the garden of the Palace of Versailles.
Read more about the Tuileries Garden:
> Discover our top 10 best parks and gardens in Paris.
> If you want to take a quiet nap in the middle of Paris, read this article. The Tuileries have a secret place!
jardin des tuilieries – place de la concorde 75001
metro station: concorde or tuileries
opening hours: open daily from dawn until dusk
The Notre Dame Cathedral
Located in the City Island, you will find the Notre Dame. The dramatic fire in April 2019 was a disaster for every Parisian, but you can still experience the magic of the cathedral as you get closer. It is still one of the most outstanding cathedrals of France thanks to its Gothic architecture! Read the following articles to find out more about it and a few tips!
Read more about Notre Dame de Paris:
> Discover the best way to visit the Notre Dame.
> If you feel like having lunch or dinner near the Cathedral, check this article.
> Join our post-fire walking tour every day at 1pm to discover Notre Dame and all the info about the re-build of the cathedral.
notre-dame cathedral – 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
metro station: cité or saint-michel
opening hours: temporarily closed to visitors following the fire in april 2019
Also called the Jardin du Luxembourg, this beautiful garden is located in the 6th arrondissement. Like the Tuileries Garden, it was built by Marie de Medici, one of the members of the powerful Medici family and the widow of King Henry IV. Attached to the garden is the Luxembourg Palace, where the French Senate meets. It’s a great spot to rest your feet, read a book and enjoy a day out in the sun!
26 rue de Vaugirard, Dans le Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris, FR 75006
metro station: port royal or Sèvres-Babylone
opening hours: 7.30am and 8.15am; closing hours depend on season between 4.30pm and 9.30pm
The Palais Garnier
The Palais Garnier is located in the ninth arrondissement of Paris.
In 1860, a competition was held for the construction of a new opera that was to replace the opera Le Peletier, where an attack against the Emperor Napoleon III happened two years before. The new opera had to be located in a big street, a less likely target for attacks. It was the architect Charles Garnier that won the contest with his project.
The Palais Garnier is undoubtedly one of the main landmarks of the city. You will love to look at its details: the gold, marbles, and the precious fabrics that decorate the facade, the stairs, and the theatre. But also its dome that was decorated by March Chagall.
opéra garnier – Place de l’Opéra, 75009 Paris
metro station: opéra
tickets: adult fare: €14 (€12 outside exhibition periods) ; Reduced rate: €10 (€8 outside exhibition periods); Free admisssions (children under 12, unemployed)
opening hours: every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last entry 45 minutes before closing).
If you want to admire the Eiffel Tower from a gorgeous angle, then head here to Trocadéro and its gardens. The gardens were created in 1937 and are famous for their Warsaw Fountain, sculptures & a central fountain featuring 20 water jets. The gardens are punctuated by statues and the waters and lights make a wonderful scenery in the evening. Some statues are really famous such as the “Man” by Traverse and the “Woman” by Bacqué, which overlook the pools, and it should not be missed. The gardens are near the Palais de Chaillot and the architectural, naval & ethnographic museums with amazing exhibits around the world.
Pl. du Trocadéro et du 11 Novembre, 75016 Paris, France
metro station: Trocadéro
open 24 hours
The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe stands gloriously at the beginning of the Champs Elysees Avenue. The next day of Napoleon’s victory in the battle of Austerlitz, he promised his soldiers they would come back home passing under arcs of triumph. Napoleon is the one who ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe, but he never got to see it finished. The Arc de Triomphe was finished in 1836, during the reign of the king Louis Philippe, and was to celebrate both the Imperial and Revolutionary armies.
This monument is a national icon that accompanies the celebrations of the whole country, such as the Bastille Day, every year on the 14th of July, but also the victories of the France national football team.
If you decide to visit the Arc de Triomphe, you can choose to buy skip-the-line tickets. You won’t regret it: the view over Paris is stunning!
l’arc de triomphe – Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris
metro station: charles de gaulle etoile
tickets: adult fare: €13; Free entry for those under 18 and 18 to 25 nationals and / or residents of the EU, checkout on site on the day of the visit.
opening hours: 10 am-10.30 pm
Dubbed the most beautiful street in the world, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. It is 1.9 kilometeres long and quite bit at 70 metres wide. The Place de la Concorde lies to its east and the Place Charles de Gaulle on its west. The avenue begins at the Arc de Triomphe and it is the where the famous Tour de France race finishes.
The avenue has tons of theatres, cafes and shops! Upscale shops, bistros and offices are also located in the area, along with the art museums such as the Grand Palais.
l’arc de triomphe – Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris
metro station: charles de gaulle etoile or george v
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica
Located at the top of the hill of Montmartre, the majestic church offers one of the most amazing views over Paris! Whether you’re an architecture enthusiast, or a believer, you will love the Sacre-Coeur where art and worship are mixed together. Join our Montmartre tour to visit the area while reaching the top in the company of a local that will show you all the hidden gems of Montmartre, its narrow alleys and windmills.
Read more about Montmartre:
> Read our top 10 fun facts about the Sacre-Coeur.
> If you want to eat near the Basilica, check our suggestions.
> Learn more about the lovely area of Montmarte and its highlights.
> Also, read our top 5 fun facts about the Moulin Rouge.
la basilique du sacre-coeur – 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris
metro station: abbesses
opening hours: open daily 6.00AM-10:30PM
Le Marais is a Parisian neighborhood, located in the third and fourth arrondissements. Marais means swamp in English. It got its name from its geographic location which used to be an arm of the Seine river. The area was very swampy! But things have changed and it is now one of the trendiest neighborhoods of Paris!
The Marais is historically the Jewish Quarter of Paris, and the culture is still very much alive today. Try some traditional Jewish food at the Marais bakeries, or try one of the best falafels in Paris at l’As du Falafel. Nowadays, the Marais has also become the center of the arts and LGBTQ+ scenes in the city, which make it a great location for museum hopping during the day or a night out on the town.
Read more about Le Marais:
> Read our article about the best things to do near the Marais.
> Learn more about the Marais neighborhood
> Read about Paris third district.
> Read about Paris fourth district.
The Crazy Horse
The Crazy Horse is my favorite cabaret in Paris! It is much more intimate than the others. The shows in the Crazy Horse are all meticulously choreographed by the female dancers. The beauty of the female body is definitely in the spotlight, thanks to skilful use of light by the technicians. If you want to live a unique and intense experience, attend a show at the Crazy Horse and you’ll have to book it in advance!
the crazy horse – 12 Avenue George V, 75008 Paris
metro station: george V
opening hours: 8:30pm and 11:00pm from Sunday to Friday and 7:00pm, 9:30pm and midnight on Saturday
The Galeries Lafayette
The Galeries Lafayette is one of the best department stores of Paris! You will find a huge variety of high-ed and high street brands here. But the ten-story department store is also one of the best attractions of Paris, especially during the month of December when Christmas is getting closer. A giant Christmas tree is put up in the glass-domed central atrium – the tree is a couple stories tall and always has a theme, so definitely worth a stop.
Plus, the rooftop is free to access and provides a stunning view over all of Paris. During the Christmas season, there’s even an ice skating rink on top! Talk about one of the best things to do in Paris.
galeries lafayette haussmann – 48 bouleavrd haussmann 75009 paris
metro station: chausée d’antin lafayette or grands boulevards
opening hours: monday – sunday 10AM-8PM
The Latin Quarter
Located in the left bank of Paris, the Latin Quarter is another great neighborhood! It takes its name from the fact that the latin was the language used in the medieval schools and universities found in the area! There, you will find many prestigious universities and schools, such as the University of the Sorbonne. But also many monuments, such as the Pantheon, the Luxembourg Palace, the Luxembourg garden.
Boat Cruises on the Seine
The Seine river delimits the left bank and the right bank of Paris. All about it is so magical. The bridges, the docks, and its historical islands can best be seen during a boat cruise. I strongly advise to join one. It provides a complete new perspective on the city and its monuments! If you’re coming with kids, it will be so much fun for them. If you’re coming with your lover, it will be a great moment because it is so romantic!
Paris Street Art
Paris street art is very original and diversified thanks to the artists that differentiate themselves one from another. Each Parisian artist has its unique style and each creation will tell you a different story. You have no clue how many surprises you can get roaming Parisian colorful streets decorated by artists! There is so much to discover! You should join our Paris street art tour, it is definitely worth it!
You should consider visiting the Paris Catacombs, because it is interesting, quite impressive and a little creepy. To me, it is one of the 15 attractions you must see in Paris, because its history is very interesting. The bones of six millions of Parisians were moved to the underground tunnels of the City of Light. If you have some time while in Paris, put it in your list of things to do! Read the following article, you will learn a lot more about this peculiar place and get a few tips to make sure your visit to the Paris Catacombs happens in the best conditions.
catacombes de paris – 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris
metro station: denfert-rochereau
opening hours: tuesday – sunday 9.45AM-8:30PM; closed mondays
tickets: adult fare: 29€/ 27€ (audioguide included); 5€ (-18 yo); Special fare for ‘last minute’ tickets 15€ / 13 € (reduced rate)
The Montparnasse Tower
Built in 1973, you should go to the top of the Montparnasse Tower if you want to achieve the perfect photo of the city of Paris! We all know this tower is not the most beautiful, so we can easily do without it in the picture. From there, you will get an amazing overall view over the city guaranteed!
Read more about Montparnasse Tower
> Read about some of the best things to do in Montparnasse.
> You will have the best view over Paris from the Montparnasse Tower. Read about it here.
> If you want to eat near Montparnasse, read our recommandations.
> Learn more about the highest points in Paris.
tour montparnasse – 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris
metro station: montparnasse-bienvenue
opening hours: wed-thursday;saturday-sunday 12-AM-8:30pM
tickets: Adult: Online: 17€; On site, at the ticket office: 18€.
Young people (12-18 years) and student: 12.50€, On site, at the ticket office: 13,50€.
Child from 4 to 11 years: 8€; Disabled person: 7,50€
Free for children under 4 years old.
Paris is a city of bridges as well and there are tons of them that cross the River Seine. This is Paris’s oldest stone bridge, despite its name. It has a beautiful equine statue of King Henri IV.
The bridge crosses the Seine at the western end of the Ile-de-la-Cité and provides access to the Sainte Chapelle and Notre Dame. It also provides easy access to the footways on the river banks below and it’s a great place to take photos, of course! It’s also famous for its padlocks on its railings that are locked by romantic lovers. The best thing is that it is absolutely free. You can spot the Eiffel tower, the Louvre museum, as well as Notre Dame cathedral looking east from this cute spot!
75001 Paris, France
metro station: pont neuf
My article about the 20 attractions you must see in Paris is over! I hope you’ve enjoyed it and that it has inspired you! Feel free to share your own suggestions in the comments, so we can grow as a community! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything. See you soon in Paris!