The Greatest Sites in The City of Light
Take some time to research and narrow down which attractions you don't want to miss! There are so many things to do in Paris that is easy to get overwhelmed and overbooked with your site seeing. If you don't have the patience or don't know where to start, here's a quick list of Ten Paris Must Sees:
Originally designed by Gustave Eiffel as a temporary structure for the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris, the Eiffel Tower, at 1,056 feet, was once the world’s tallest building. Today, Parisians and visitors alike marvel at this beautiful masterpiece of steel, as it stands high above the 19th century architecture of the 7th arrondissement, and enjoys 360 degree views of the city.
Musee Du Louvre
The mother of all Parisian museums and home to two very special ladies, the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. Best time to avoid crowds is during nocturne on Monday or Wednesday, when the doors are open until 9:45 pm.
Musee D' Orsay
This former train station is devoted to paintings and sculptures from 1848 to 1914, during one of the most vibrant and productive periods in French art. The Impressionism galleries are the main attraction, but post-impressionists and fauvists like Van Gogh and Gauguin make some dazzling contributions.
Centre Georges Pompidou
This iconic high-tech architecture building houses the Musée National d'Art Moderne which is the largest museum of modern art in Europe. Do not miss the nearby Fontaine des automates, on Place Stravinsky, featuring sixteen whimsical moving and water-spraying sculptures by Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint-Phalle, which represent themes and works by composer Igor Stravinsky.
L'arc De Triomphe
It was commissioned in 1806 after the victory at Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his fortunes, but was not completed until the reign of King Louis-Philippe. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier at its base commemorates all the unknown dead soldiers of the two World Wars. There are magnificent views from the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
The gold standard for Gothic architecture. Started in 1163, it took more than 170 years to finish. The cathedral suffered desecration during the French Revolution in the 1790s, when much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. An extensive restoration in the mid 19th century, supervised by Architect Viollet-le-Duc removed remaining decoration, returning the cathedral to an 'original' gothic state.
This magnificent church built under Louis XIV is the site of Napoleon’s tomb. Do not miss the Musee de l’Armee, for it’s flags, arms and superb uniforms.
Place De La Concorde
At the Eastern end of the Champs-Elysees, is the Place de la Concorde, designed in the middle of the 18th century, the largest square of Paris. In the center of the square stands the obelisk of Luxor, a gift of Mehmet Ali to France in 1829. The obelisk stands where the guillotine was erected during the French Revolution. On the North side of Place de la Concorde, two magnificent “hotels particuliers” were erected in 1755. One shows as the French Naval Ministry, the other Hotel de Crillon, a Parisian palace. To the east; les Jardins des Tuileries with the Jeu de Paume exhibit gallery and the Musee de l’Orangerie with its magnificent Nympheas by Monet. Every 14th of July the French army marches from the Arc de Triomphe at one end of the Champs Elysees to the Place de la Concorde. To the south, the Pont de la Concorde crosses the Seine towards the Palais Bourbon seat of the French National Assembly. On the Jardins des Tuileries side, The Grand Roue (Big Wheel) of 60m high is erected for the end of the year festivities and often in spring and summer. Do not miss the panoramic view of Paris from the top.
A 13th century Gothic architectural gem, the chapel inside the Paris Court is said to house Christ’s crown of thorns. Magnificent stained-glass windows depict over 1,000 religious scenes.
Place Des Vosges
Place des Vosges is probably the most beautiful square in Paris, with 36 symmetrical houses dating from the early 17th century.
Do not miss No 6 Victor Hugo house, were its namesake lived from 1832–1848, in what was then the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, and is now a museum devoted to his memory. The gardens, designed as a shelter from the bustle of the city, are perfect for a romantic stroll.