From the streets to the monuments, from the fine arts to the intrinsic architecture, to the secret spots and iconic sights, no place on the planet feels as young and passionate as Paris, in France. Be it a family vacation, a crazy trip with friends, or a honeymoon, here are the top 13 beautiful places to visit in Paris, that you won’t want to miss on any trip to the City of fragrance and art!
Here we will explore cityscape sparkles with the iconic architecture of historical monuments and old palaces, art museums, cathedrals, expansive landscaped gardens, and stylish shopping hubs, and all the locations you may have heard of, but never thought to visit. We hope this helps you in planning your next visit to Paris.
What would Paris be without this symbolic tower? The Eiffel Tower was built to commemorate the anniversary of the French Revolution. This monument is 324 meters high, and it is one of the most visited monuments in the world, with about 7 million visitors annually.
The Eiffel Tower—also called La Tour Eiffel by the French, —is one of the world’s most noticeable landmarks. The tower was designed as the highlight of the 1889 World’s Fair in Paris. It was meant to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and show off France’s modern mechanical prowess on a world stage. A ride on its elevator will bring you to the top of the tower, where you can absorb a panorama and find the engineer Gustave Eiffel’s secret apartment on display.
The Louvre Museum is the former palace of the Kings of France, and it presents vast and rich collections. In all, more than 38.000 works of the ancient civilizations around the Mediterranean, the arts of Islam, and Western art from the Middle Ages to 1848. The most famous artworks include the Mona Lisa, the Victory of Samothrace, or the Venus de Milo, but also the squatting Scribe, the Code Hammurabi, or Vermeer’s Lacemaker.
Every journey to Paris deserves a visit to the Louvre to see the wealth of treasures it holds. The museum keeps western works of art from the Middle Ages to 1848, besides collections of ancient oriental, Greek, Egyptian, Roman, and Etruscan civilizations, as well as Islamic and graphic arts.
Overall, there are 35,000 works to be discovered or re-discovered! With its eight hundred-year-old history, the Louvre has been influenced by many architectural trends, and this makes it one of the best places to visit in Paris.
Notre-Dame Cathedral is perhaps the world’s most beautiful example of French Gothic architecture. It was initially commissioned in 1163, and it was not completed until the beginning of the 14th century, as a result of various additions and revisions over the centuries, like the famous flying buttresses. The cathedral is free and open to the public, but as it’s the most visited monument in Paris, you will wait in line for a while.
While its interior is barred from visitors as a result of the overwhelming fire of April 2019, this masterpiece of French Gothic architecture remains the city’s geographic and spiritual heart. Its grand exterior, with its two enduring towers and flying buttresses, is rightly still an alluring attraction to countless visitors, which makes it one of the most artistic places to visit in Paris.
Even with the crowds, it is hard not to feel a sense of admiration once inside the cavernous nave. The soaring arches, the stained-glass windows, and the sheer height of the space successfully convey a kind of spiritual power.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées does not need to be introduced. This is a fixture on the list of Paris’s top attractions, with nearly 300,000 daily visits. People go there to admire its grandiose monuments, enjoy a shopping spree, or get caught up in the delight of the major festive occasions that are organized here.
The Champs-Élysées is a magnificent avenue: a picture-postcard scene, just about 2 kilometers in length. This historic thoroughfare runs from Place de la Concorde to the majestic Arc de Triomphe.
The variety and range of stores along the Champs-Élysées will elate the heart of any shopper. There’s something for everyone. Get ready for a fantastic day out shopping!
Also, foodies are not left out, as they will find many delights to sample on a stroll along the Champs-Élysées. In essence, there is a Ladurée, known for mouth-watering French macarons.
The Musée d’Orsay is a museum housed in a grand railway station built in 1900. Home to many sculptures and impressionist paintings, it has become one of Paris’s most famous museums.
The Musée d’Orsay has one of the most impressive art collections. The museum formed its collection from works of art from three different museums–the Musée du Jeu de Paume, the former National Museum of Modern Art, and the Louvre. The Orsay’s collection displays a range of disciplines including Sculpture, Painting, Photography, Decorative Arts, Architecture, and Graphic Arts.
At the top of every visitor’s must-see list is the painting collection. This is centered on the world’s most extensive collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Allow ample time to swoon over masterpieces by Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Degas, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Pissarro.
The Palais Garnier Opera House is a 19th-century architectural masterpiece built by Charles Garnier and opened in 1875. It is the 13th opera house in Paris since the introduction of French opera by Louis XIV. It is a historical monument open to visitors during the day staging dance and opera. Don’t forget to admire the ceiling painted by Chagall in the main auditorium.
The Palais Garnier Opera House is one of the most famous opera houses in the world. It can be visited during the day, and that hosts ballets and operas at night.
It is home to monumental treasures such as the magnificent double staircase leading to the various floors of the theatre or the horseshoe-shaped “French” auditorium with the ceiling painted by Marc Chagall in 1964.
Place de la Concorde is located at the end of the Champs-Elysées. Today it is famous for the Luxor Obelisk (a 3,300year-old Egyptian obelisk erected on the square), the surrounding impressive hotels, and the two monumental fountains (Fontaine des Fleuves and Fontaine des Mers). Place de la Concorde was initially known for having been an execution site during the French Revolution. The architect Jacques-Ignace Hittorf completed the redesigning of the square in 1846 to become what it is today.
The Palais Garnier, the traditional home of the Opéra National de Paris since 1875, is probably the most famous and storied opera house in the world.
Situated at the Place de l’Etoile, overlooking the Champs-Elysées, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most prominent arches in the world. It was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806 to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz.
From the top of the monument, visitors have a panoramic view of Paris, during the day and at night, and two viewpoint indicators. A museum retracing the history of the Arc de Triomphe, located inside the structure, completes the visit.
You can walk around the base and under the arches of the Arc de Triomphe for free or even pay a fee to climb about 280 stairs to the top for lovely views over Paris. Also, if you are not up for the climb, make time out to visit the base of the Arc de Triomphe. To safely reach the monument, you can follow the underground passageway on the Champs-Elysées that comes up at the bottom of the Arc de Triomphe. It’s quite a sight!
Paris has some of the world’s most impressive gardens, but Luxembourg Gardens is the city’s standout. It is known for its well-manicured lawns, intricate flower beds, statues, and fountains, which makes it one of the most beautiful places to visit in Paris. Luxembourg draws plenty of Parisians, who claim that it has a quiet atmosphere and is the perfect place to take a break from the hubbub of city life. The park features small cafes and a gazebo where music is performed. This is not a place for a hike in wild surroundings. Still, the gardens do provide the requisite natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere for a brief escape.
Place de Vosges is one of the loveliest historic squares in Paris. It is a coveted spot in the French capital for strolls, lazy picnics, admiring works of art in intimate local galleries, and window-shopping.Place de Vosges is prized for its lush lawns studded with elegant fountains. It has neatly manicured flowers and trees, and unique red-brick mansion houses that surround the central green area.
Take a walk under the high-ceilinged vaulted galleries to window-shop, search for the perfect painting to hang in your living room, or enjoy a meal out on one of the terraces. When it’s warm out, we recommend stretching out on a bench or the grass to tuck into some delicious local street food.
The square is a symbol of wealth and architectural grandeur that embodies the spirit of the French and Italian Renaissance, which makes it one of the top places to visit in Paris. It emphasizes on lush green spaces, lofty but still accessible heights, and geometric harmony. Its steep slate roofs and easily-recognizable red brick facades make it stand out quite a bit from other buildings in the area.
The Place Vendôme was built by order of the French King Louis XIV. Here, one will find the most stunning emeralds, rubies, diamonds, and sapphires in the world. In the last two centuries, the most prestigious jewelers established there. Boucheron, Chaumet, Mellerio, are some of the names you will need to remember.
If you love jewelry, delicate materials, elegant designs, and shiny pieces, you will enjoy walking the Place Vendôme and admiring the vitrines of the jewelry stores. Place Vendôme arguably makes the most beautiful jewelry in the world! Each jewel is a true masterpiece and pure art.
The Centre Pompidou is a 20th-century architectural marvel, immediately recognizable by its sizeable colored tubing and exterior escalators. It is where the National Museum of Modern Art is situated, and it is internationally renowned for its 20th and 21st-century art collections. The works of iconic artists are showcased chronologically.
Besides its permanent collections, internationally renowned exhibitions are organized yearly on the top floor. Here, visitors can enjoy an awe-inspiring view of Paris and its rooftops. Everything you might need to spend a lovely half-day, or even a day in the museum, is available. You can eat at Le Georges, study more at the public information library, and take a break browsing the shelves of the museum gift shop. Beneath the Centre, are a unique collection of works by this artist who played a unique role in the history of modern sculpture.
The Palais Royal (Royal Palace) is located to the north of the Louvre. Curiously, despite its name, the palace was built as a residence for Cardinal Richelieu and not for the Royal Family.
Still open to the public, the Palais Royal park offers a peaceful green space where visitors can sit and rest or enjoy a bit of tranquillity. The gardens are surrounded by a shopping and entertainment complex where travelers will find small peculiar stores.
This park is not especially picturesque, nor does it have great views of the palace, and makes it one of the most remarkable places to visit in Paris. Therefore, if you’re only staying in Paris for a few days, we recommend visiting other attractions and parks before visiting the Palais-Royal Gardens.
The palace is currently closed to the public, but one can visit the garden and the courtyard. The courtyard also referred to as Cour d’Honneur, is dominated by a large sculpture by Daniel Buren. It consists of 280 white and black striped truncated columns. Next to the courtyard is the Galerie d’Orléans, a courtyard bordered by two colonnades. It houses two modern fountains created by the Belgian sculptor, Pol Bury.
Can’t wait to treat your eyes to these alluring places to visit in Paris? Then make sure you include these must-visit tourist attractions in your itinerary to enjoy a hassle-free vacation and a personalized experience!