10 Stunning Places to Visit in Paris (Do Not Miss These!)

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From Notre-dam to the Eiffel Tower, Paris holds a percentage of the world’s most acclaimed sights and these ten attractions are our favorite places to visit in Paris.

For that reason, they should be at the top of the list for any first time visitor. With the exception of the overtly modern Pompidou Centre, they have been landmarks of this elegant and romantic capital for centuries and remain dazzling sights, regardless of how frequently you visit the city.

Before you start exploring Paris, I highly recommend purchasing the Paris Pass.

This little gem is going to give you access to pretty much everything listed in this guide, free access to the entire public transportation system including the metro and a 48 hour Hop on Hop off bus ticket.

It is invaluable in saving time while exploring Paris on a short amount of time.

If you are looking for only a transportation option without access to the sites, I would recommend that you consider booking a Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour.

These tours are a fantastic way to get your bearings of the city, above ground. They provide light commentary of the sights you are seeing while driving through the city.

The bus also stops at several designated stop points, typically near iconic attractions, and gives you an option to hop off and explore before boarding the next bus that stops.

10 Must-See Places to Visit in Paris

Paris is a massive city that could take a lifetime to truly explore in-depth, but that is what makes it exciting. I am a firm believer that every trip to Paris should be designed around some of the top pillar sights, even if you have seen them before.

Assign a couple of them to each of your days and then let yourself wander and discover the areas between them. I promise you’ll leave Paris with an experience you will not soon forget.

Don’t leave home without: Lonely Planet Discover Paris

Top 10 Paris Highlights

1. Musee du Louvre

The world’s largest museum unsurprisingly also contains one of the world’s finest collections of art and antiquities.

To complete the superlatives, the building was one once France’s largest royal palace. One of the world’s most noteworthy historical centers, the Louvre contains almost 35,000 inestimable articles.

Entering this museum through the Louvre Pyramid or via Carrousel Du Louvre, you will see some of the world most famous works of art in the Museum are the Venus of Milo, the Nike of Samothrace, the Dying Slave by Michelangelo, and of course Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

In addition to your interior visit during the day, I highly recommend that you plan at least one night to return and enjoy the lighted splendor of the Louvre.

You’ll find people from all walks of life enjoying the atmosphere, sitting on benches, playing cards and living the Parisian life. Plus it makes for some fantastic night photography opportunities.

Our top recommended tours of the Louvre:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

2. Sacre-Coeur

The patio before this grand white-domed basilica in Montmartre bears one of the world’s finest free perspectives over Paris.

One of the most photographed images of the city, the spectacular white outline of Sacre-Coeur watches over Paris from its highest point.

The basilica was built as a memorial to the 58,000 French soldiers killed during the Franco-Prussian War.

Our top recommended tours including Sacre-Couer:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

3. Arc De Triomphe

Napoleon’s Triumphal Arch, celebrating battle victories, stands proudly at the top of the Champs-Elysees and along with the Eiffel Tower, is one of the city’s most enduring images.

It’s also a site in the city that constantly draws you to it. There is something about the symmetry of this area that makes it attractive and I find that every time I visit Paris, I stop here multiple times.

Our top recommended tours including Arc de Triomphe:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

4. Musee d’Orsay

This former railway station is one of the world’s leading art galleries and for many, the real reason alone to visit Paris.

This wonderful collection covers a variety of art from 1848-1914. I highly recommend that you get up early to be the first in line at the museum when it opens.

It will take some effort, but it will be rewarded when you are able to wander the halls of the museum without the inevitable bus crowds that start showing up in the late morning and afternoon.

Our recommended tours of Musee d’Orsay:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

5. Eiffel Tower

Approximately six million visitors a year ascends to the top of this most famous Paris landmark for the spectacular views.

The most distinctive symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower was much maligned by critics when it rose on the city’s skyline in 1889 as part of the Universal Exhibition, but its graceful symmetry soon made it the star attraction.

I absolutely adore the Eiffel Tower and it is my favorite place to visit in Paris. It is an icon of Paris and its presence is magnetic.

Through all of my touring in the city, I always find myself randomly looking to catch a glimpse of it.

Be sure to visit at sunrise, sunset and once it gets dark. The twinkling lights are something you will remember for the rest of your life.

Our top recommended tours of the Eiffel Tower:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

6. Notre-Dame

This great Gothic cathedral, founded on the site of a Gallo-Roman temple, is a repository of French art and history. It also represents the geographical heart of France. The heart of the country, both geographically and spiritually, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame stands majestically on the Île de la Cité.

Our top recommended tours of Notre-Dame:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

7. Center Georges Pompidou

Home to France’s National Museum of Modern Art, the building itself is a work of contemporary art. There are also extensive research facilities. Today one of the world’s most famous pieces of modern architecture.

Our top recommended tours of Center Georges Pompidou:

Don’t forget to bring: Top 10 Paris: 2019 (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide)

Top 10 Paris Highlights

8. Pantheon

The great and the good of France are buried in the Pantheon. Today Paris’s beautiful Pantheon building is a fitting final resting place for the nation’s great figures. Originally built as a church during the revolution, it was turned into a mausoleum but Napoleon gave it back to the church.

Our top recommended tours of the Pantheon:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

9. Sainte-Chapelle

Called the gateway to heaven, this splendid medieval church was built to house the relics collected by St.Louis on his many Crusades.

This Gothic masterpiece, built by Louis IX as a shrine of his holy relics of the passion and completed in 1248, is considered the most beautiful church in Paris, not least for its 15 stained-glass windows to a star-covered vaulted roof.

This church was damaged during the revolution but restored in the mid-19th century.

Our top recommended tours of Sainte-Chapelle:

Top 10 Paris Highlights

10. Hotel des Invalides

The glowing golden dome of the Hotel des Invalides church is unmistakable across the rooftop of Paris.

The “invalids” from whom this imposing Hotel was built where wounded soldiers of the late 17th century.

This site has a ton of character and is the perfect place to wander, sit on a park bench and read about the history of Paris in your Lonely Planet Paris guidebook.

Our top recommended tours of Hotel des Invalides:

places to visit in Paris - Divergent Travelers

Top Hotels in Paris

Looking for a great hotel for your long weekend in Paris? We have put together the top hotels we recommend for your Paris vacation. These hotels have some of the best locations in Paris and are rated well be other travelers. Not sure where to stay? Check out our breakdown of the districts and best accommodation options in the city.

Read reviews and check prices for hotels in Paris with our Hotel Search Engine, that gives you the best hotel deals found across the web. Our search engine pulls results from all of the major booking places, including Expedia, Hotels, Booking & more. All the options, all the deals, all in one place and just for you (ok, we use it too!).

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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