10 Must-Visit Tourist Places in Paris: Exploring the Best Attractions


Paris, the capital city of France, is renowned for its rich history, breathtaking architecture, and artistic allure. Every year, millions of tourists flock to this enchanting city to immerse themselves in its vibrant culture and explore its iconic landmarks. If you’re planning a trip to Paris and wondering which attractions to include in your itinerary, look no further. In this article, we will take you on a virtual tour of the top 10 must-visit tourist places in Paris.

1. Eiffel Tower: A Majestic Symbol of Paris

Effil tower

The Eiffel Tower stands tall at the heart of Paris, proudly representing the city’s grandeur and elegance. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, this iron lattice tower was constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair). While initially met with skepticism, it has become one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

History: Construction and Significance

The construction of the Eiffel Tower began in 1887 and was completed in just over two years. It served as a testament to France’s industrial prowess and technological advancement during the late 19th century. The tower was intended to be a temporary structure but remained standing due to its value as a telecommunications tower.

Architecture: Iron Lattice Structure

The Eiffel Tower stands at an impressive height of 324 meters, equivalent to an 81-story building. Its distinctive feature is its iron lattice structure, composed of interconnected metal beams. The tower’s design maximizes strength while minimizing the amount of material required, showcasing Eiffel’s engineering genius.

Attractions: Observation Decks, Panoramic Views

Visitors can ascend the Eiffel Tower through its elevators or stairs and be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. The tower boasts three observation decks, each offering a unique perspective of the city’s landmarks. From the topmost deck, one can admire the sprawling cityscape, including famous sites like the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the River Seine.

  • Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
  • Reach: The Eiffel Tower is easily accessible by public transportation, including metro lines 6 and 9 to the Trocadéro station, or line 8 to the École Militaire station. Buses and taxis are also available.
  • Best Time to Visit: To avoid crowds, it’s recommended to visit early in the morning or during weekdays. Sunset hours offer a magical experience as the tower illuminates the city.

2. Louvre Museum: Home to Artistic Masterpieces


The Louvre Museum, located on the Right Bank of the Seine River, is a treasure trove of art and history. Housed within the grand Louvre Palace, this world-renowned museum attracts art enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. It is a testament to human creativity and a journey through various epochs of artistic expression.

History: Evolution from Fortress to Museum

The Louvre Museum’s history can be traced back to the 12th century when it was originally built as a fortress to protect Paris. Over the centuries, it underwent several expansions and transformations, eventually becoming a royal palace. It was during the French Revolution in the late 18th century that the Louvre was converted into a public museum, opening its doors to the public in 1793.

Architecture: Palatial Design, Glass Pyramid

The Louvre Palace showcases a harmonious blend of architectural styles, ranging from medieval fortress to Renaissance and classical elements. The iconic glass pyramid, designed by architect I.M. Pei, serves as the museum’s main entrance and has become an emblematic feature of the Louvre’s architecture.

Attractions: Mona Lisa, Ancient Artifacts, Art Collections

Within the Louvre Museum’s vast halls, visitors can marvel at an extensive collection that spans thousands of years. The museum is home to the world-famous painting, Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci. Other notable artworks include the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and countless paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from various civilizations.

  • Location: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
  • Reach: The Louvre Museum can be reached by metro lines 1 and 7 to the Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre station. Several buses also stop nearby, and taxi services are available.
  • Best Time to Visit: The museum tends to be less crowded on weekday mornings and late in the afternoon. It’s advisable to purchase tickets in advance to skip the long queues.

3. Notre-Dame Cathedral: A Gothic Marvel


The Notre Dame Cathedral, situated on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris, is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. Its awe-inspiring beauty, intricate details, and spiritual significance have made it an enduring symbol of Paris.

History: Gothic Architectural Marvel

Construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral began in 1163 and took over a century to complete. It stands as a testament to the ingenuity of medieval architects and craftsmen who designed and built this magnificent structure. Over the centuries, the cathedral witnessed numerous historical events, including coronations and religious ceremonies.

Architecture: Stained Glass Windows, Flying Buttresses

The Notre Dame Cathedral’s architectural marvel lies in its intricate details and mastery of Gothic design. The facade is adorned with ornate sculptures, gargoyles, and intricate rose windows that filter soft, colorful light into the interior. The flying buttresses, and external supports that allow for taller and thinner walls, are characteristic features of Gothic architecture.

Attractions: Interior, Climb to the Top, Panoramic Views

Visitors to Notre Dame Cathedral can explore its breathtaking interior, including its towering nave, chapels, and beautiful stained glass windows. For the adventurous, climbing to the top of the cathedral offers a unique perspective of Paris and an up-close encounter with the famous gargoyles.

  • Location: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris
  • Reach: The cathedral is accessible by metro lines 1, 4, 7, 10, and 11 to the Cité or Saint-Michel stations. Buses and taxis are also convenient options.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays and early mornings are recommended to avoid large crowds. Please note that the cathedral may have limited access due to ongoing restoration work.

4. Montmartre: A Bohemian Paradise


Montmartre, located in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, is a neighborhood with a bohemian spirit and a rich artistic history. It has been a gathering place for artists, writers, and musicians for centuries, and its charming streets and vibrant atmosphere continue to inspire.

History: Bohemian and Artistic Neighborhood

Montmartre’s artistic legacy can be traced back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries when it attracted renowned artists like Picasso, Van Gogh, and Toulouse-Lautrec. The neighborhood’s free-spirited ambiance and affordable living conditions drew creatives seeking inspiration and camaraderie.

Architecture: Charming Streets and Buildings

The streets of Montmartre are a delightful mix of cobblestone lanes, quaint houses, and lively cafes. The architecture reflects the area’s rich history, with buildings showcasing different styles from various periods. The famous white-domed Sacré-Cœur Basilica perched atop the hill is a prominent architectural landmark in Montmartre.

Attractions: Sacré-Cœur Basilica, Artists’ Square

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica, with its stunning white facade and panoramic views of the city, is a major attraction in Montmartre. Visitors can climb the steps to the basilica and admire its grandeur, or simply relax in the nearby Artists’ Square, where painters showcase their works and capture the essence of the neighborhood.

  • Location: 75018 Paris
  • Reach: Montmartre can be reached by metro lines 2 and 12 to the Anvers or Abbesses stations. Buses and taxis are also available.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays are generally less crowded than weekends. Consider visiting in the morning to enjoy the neighborhood’s charm before it gets busy with tourists.

5. Champs-Élysées: The Iconic Avenue

Champs Elysees

The Champs-Élysées is synonymous with luxury, elegance, and Parisian glamour. Stretching from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, this iconic avenue offers a mix of high-end boutiques, historic landmarks, and vibrant ambiance.

History: Transformation into a Renowned Avenue

Originally designed as a garden promenade in the 17th century, the Champs-Élysées transformed over the centuries to become the grand avenue it is today. It evolved into a fashionable and bustling street, attracting luxury shops, theaters, and cafes.

Architecture: Elegant Buildings, Luxury Shops

The Champs-Élysées is lined with elegant buildings that showcase architectural splendor. Grand facades, intricate details, and Belle Époque-style architecture characterize the boutiques, theaters, and cafes along the avenue. Luxury brands from around the world have established their flagship stores here, making it a shopping paradise.

Attractions: Shopping, Theaters, Cafes

The Champs-Élysées offers a delightful blend of shopping, entertainment, and gastronomic experiences. Visitors can indulge in luxury shopping at renowned brands, catch a show at one of the theaters, or savor delicious French cuisine at the charming cafes that line the avenue.

  • Location: Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
  • Reach: The avenue is accessible by metro lines 1, 2, 6, 9, and 13 to various stations along the Champs-Élysées. Buses and taxis provide convenient transportation as well.
  • Best Time to Visit: Early mornings or weekdays are ideal for a more relaxed experience. The avenue tends to get crowded during weekends and evenings.

6. Palace of Versailles: Extravagance and Grandeur

Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles, located just outside of Paris, is a testament to opulence and grandeur. Once the residence of French kings and queens, this magnificent palace showcases exquisite architecture, meticulously manicured gardens, and rich historical significance.

History: Royal Residence and Symbol of Power

Constructed in the 17th century, the Palace of Versailles served as the principal royal residence of France until the French Revolution. It was a symbol of absolute monarchy and the seat of political power, witnessing significant historical events and lavish royal ceremonies.

Architecture: Baroque Masterpiece

The palace’s architecture is a marvel of Baroque design, with its symmetrical layout, grand facades, and intricate details. The Hall of Mirrors, with its breathtaking length and magnificent chandeliers, remains one of the most iconic and enchanting spaces in the palace.

Attractions: Hall of Mirrors, Gardens, Trianon Estate

Visitors to the Palace of Versailles can explore the opulent interiors, including the famed Hall of Mirrors, adorned with stunning mirrors and beautiful frescoes. The expansive gardens, meticulously landscaped with fountains, sculptures, and flower beds, offer a serene retreat. The Trianon Estate, a retreat for the royal family, features charming palaces and picturesque gardens.

  • Location: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles
  • Reach: To reach Versailles from Paris, take the RER C train to the Versailles-Château-Rive-Gauche station. From there, it’s a short walk to the palace. Trains run regularly.
  • Best Time to Visit: To avoid large crowds, visit early in the morning on weekdays. The gardens are particularly beautiful during spring and summer.

7. Sainte-Chapelle: A Stained Glass Gem

Sainte Chapelle

Tucked away on the Île de la Cité, Sainte-Chapelle is a hidden gem renowned for its stunning stained glass windows and Gothic architecture. It is a true masterpiece that transports visitors into a world of ethereal beauty and spirituality.

History: Royal Chapel and Relic Holder

Sainte-Chapelle was built in the 13th century as a royal chapel for King Louis IX. It was designed to house religious relics, including the Crown of Thorns. The chapel served as a place of worship for the royal family and their entourage.

Architecture: Gothic Splendor

The architectural beauty of Sainte-Chapelle lies in its soaring stained glass windows, which cover a significant portion of its walls. The intricate designs and vibrant colors of the stained glass create a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of light within the chapel. The delicate rib vaults and slender columns further enhance the ethereal atmosphere.

Attractions: Stained Glass Windows, Upper and Lower Chapels

The main attraction of Sainte-Chapelle is its magnificent stained glass windows, depicting biblical stories and scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Visitors can marvel at the radiant colors and intricate details as sunlight filters through the glass. The chapel is divided into the upper and lower chapels, both of which showcase impressive architectural elements.

  • Location: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris
  • Reach: The chapel is conveniently located near the Cité metro station (line 4) and the Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame RER station (lines B and C). Buses and taxis are also available.
  • Best Time to Visit: Mornings or weekdays offer a quieter atmosphere. Consider checking the schedule for musical concerts held in the chapel for a unique experience.

8. Musée d’Orsay: Impressionist Delights

Musee d Orsay

Located on the Left Bank of the Seine, the Musée d’Orsay is a paradise for art lovers, particularly those with a penchant for Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces. Housed in a former railway station, this museum offers a rich collection of artworks from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

History: Transformation from Railway Station to Museum

The Musée d’Orsay occupies the site of the former Gare d’Orsay railway station, which was constructed for the 1900 Exposition Universelle. In the 1970s, the building was repurposed into a museum to showcase artworks that were previously housed in the overcrowded Louvre Museum.

Architecture: Beaux-Arts Style, Clock Tower

The museum’s architecture is a blend of Beaux-Arts style and industrial design, reflecting its origin as a railway station. The grand entrance hall, with its lofty ceilings and ornate details, sets the stage for the artistic treasures that lie within. The iconic clock tower, offering panoramic views of Paris, is a beloved feature of the museum.

Attractions: Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art, Sculptures

The Musée d’Orsay houses an extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artworks, including masterpieces by renowned artists such as Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Cézanne. Visitors can immerse themselves in the vibrant brushstrokes and revolutionary techniques that defined this artistic movement. The museum also features sculptures, decorative arts, and photography.

  • Location: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris
  • Reach: The museum is located near the Solferino metro station (line 12) and is also accessible by RER line C to the Musée d’Orsay station. Buses and taxis provide alternative options.
  • Best Time to Visit: The museum is generally less crowded on weekdays, particularly during the late afternoon. Avoid visiting on Mondays, as it’s closed.

9. Père Lachaise Cemetery: Celestial Tranquility


Père Lachaise Cemetery is a place of serene beauty and reverence, located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris. It is not only a final resting place for the departed but also a tranquil oasis where visitors can reflect, appreciate artistry, and pay homage to some of the world’s most famous figures.

History: Historic Cemetery and Cultural Landmark

Established in 1804, Père Lachaise Cemetery is the largest cemetery in Paris and has since become an iconic cultural landmark. It was named after Père François de la Chaise, confessor to King Louis XIV, and was designed as a garden cemetery, departing from traditional burial grounds.

Architecture: Varied Tombs and Monuments

The cemetery is a testament to architectural diversity, featuring a range of tomb styles and funerary monuments. From simple headstones to elaborate mausoleums and sculptures, each structure tells a story and represents a unique artistic expression. The cemetery’s peaceful atmosphere and leafy pathways add to its allure.

Attractions: Graves of Famous Personalities, Memorable Tombs

Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place of many notable individuals, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Frédéric Chopin, among others. Visitors can explore the cemetery, paying their respects to these cultural icons and discovering beautifully crafted tombs that stand as works of art in their own right.

  • Location: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
  • Reach: The cemetery can be reached by metro lines 2 and 3 to the Père Lachaise station. Buses and taxis are available as well.
  • Best Time to Visit: Weekdays are preferable for a quieter visit. Spring and autumn offer pleasant weather and beautiful foliage.

10. Luxembourg Gardens: Serenity in the City

Luxembourg gardens

The Luxembourg Gardens, nestled in the heart of the Left Bank, offer a haven of tranquility and natural beauty. With its meticulously manicured lawns, vibrant flowerbeds, and charming features, this park provides a serene escape from the bustling city streets.

History: Royal Garden and Public Park

Originally commissioned by Queen Marie de Medici in the 17th century as part of the Luxembourg Palace, the gardens were transformed into a public park after the French Revolution. The park has since become a beloved gathering place for locals and visitors alike.

Architecture: Medici Fountain, Statues, and Orangerie

The Luxembourg Gardens boast several architectural highlights, including the stunning Medici Fountain, inspired by Florentine aesthetics. Statues and sculptures adorn the park, paying homage to various historical figures and mythological characters. The Orangerie, with its striking glass windows and elegant design, adds an air of sophistication.

Attractions: Flowerbeds, Lawns, Promenades

Visitors can take strolls along the tree-lined promenades, relax on the manicured lawns, or admire the vibrant flowerbeds bursting with seasonal blooms. The garden’s picturesque setting also offers opportunities for boating on the central pond, enjoying a picnic, or simply finding a quiet spot to read or people-watch.

  • Location: Rue de Médicis, 75006 Paris
  • Reach: The gardens are conveniently located near the Odéon metro station (lines 4 and 10) and the Luxembourg RER station (line B). Buses and taxis are additional options.
  • Best Time to Visit: The gardens are lovely throughout the year. Weekdays and early mornings provide a peaceful atmosphere for a stroll or picnic.

Please note that the best time to visit may vary depending on the season, weather conditions, and current events. It’s always recommended to check the official websites of the attractions for the most up-to-date information on opening hours and any restrictions.


Paris, with its rich history, architectural marvels, and captivating attractions, remains a dream destination for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in art, culture, and beauty. The 10 must-visit tourist places highlighted in this article, from the iconic Eiffel Tower to the bohemian charm of Montmartre, offer a glimpse into the city’s diverse offerings. Whether you are a history enthusiast, an art lover, or simply seeking to experience the enchantment of Paris, these attractions will leave an indelible mark on your journey.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How tall is the Eiffel Tower?

The Eiffel Tower stands at a height of approximately 330 meters (1,083 feet).

Q: Can I go to the top of the Eiffel Tower?

Yes, visitors can ascend to the top of the Eiffel Tower via elevators or stairs for breathtaking panoramic views of Paris.

Q: How can I skip the long queues at the Louvre Museum?

To avoid long queues, it’s recommended to purchase skip-the-line tickets in advance or consider visiting during less busy hours.

Q: What are some famous artworks at the Louvre Museum?

The Louvre Museum houses famous artworks such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa,” “Venus de Milo,” and the “Winged Victory of Samothrace.”

Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit Notre Dame Cathedral?

There is no entrance fee to enter Notre Dame Cathedral, but there may be a fee for specific areas like the towers or treasury.

Q: Can I attend a mass at Notre Dame Cathedral?

Yes, Notre Dame Cathedral holds regular masses, and visitors are welcome to attend and experience the beautiful spiritual atmosphere.

Q: What is the significance of Montmartre in Paris?

Montmartre is known for its bohemian atmosphere, historic charm, and the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica located at its summit.

Q: Are there any art studios or galleries in Montmartre?

Yes, Montmartre is famous for its art studios, galleries, and the Place du Tertre, where visitors can witness artists at work and purchase their creations.

Q: Can I walk along the entire length of Champs-Élysées?

Yes, Champs-Élysées is a long avenue that stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, offering a pleasant walk with shops and cafes along the way.

Q: Can I visit the Palace of Versailles from Paris for a day trip?

Yes, the Palace of Versailles is easily accessible from Paris, and many visitors choose to take a day trip to explore its opulent halls and stunning gardens.

Q: What is the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles?

The Hall of Mirrors is a famous room in the Palace of Versailles, adorned with magnificent mirrors, chandeliers, and intricate decorations.

Q: Is booking required to visit Sainte-Chapelle?

While it’s not always necessary, it’s recommended to book tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to avoid waiting in long queues.

Q: What makes Musée d’Orsay famous?

Musée d’Orsay is renowned for its extensive collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, including works by Monet, Van Gogh, and Renoir.

Q: Can I visit the graves of famous personalities at Père Lachaise Cemetery?

Yes, Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place of notable figures such as Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Frédéric Chopin.

Q: Are picnics allowed in Luxembourg Gardens?

Yes, Luxembourg Gardens is an ideal spot for picnics, and many visitors enjoy relaxing on the lawns or by the fountains while enjoying a picnic.

Q: Are there any playgrounds or activities for children in Luxembourg Gardens?

Yes, Luxembourg Gardens offers playgrounds, puppet shows, and a carousel, making it a family-friendly destination with activities for children.

Q: Can I rent a boat to sail on the pond in Luxembourg Gardens?

Yes, visitors can rent small boats to sail on the pond in Luxembourg Gardens and enjoy a leisurely and picturesque experience.

Q: Is photography allowed inside the Louvre Museum?

Yes, photography is generally allowed inside the Louvre Museum for personal use, but the use of flash or tripods may be restricted in certain areas.

Q: Are there any guided tours available for the Eiffel Tower?

Yes, the Eiffel Tower offers guided tours with knowledgeable guides who provide insights into the history and architecture of the iconic monument.

Q: Can I buy souvenirs near Notre Dame Cathedral?

Yes, there are several souvenir shops and vendors near Notre-Dame Cathedral where you can find a variety of Paris-themed souvenirs and gifts.

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