“A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty and the point of life.”
– Thomas Jefferson
Paris is one of the most magical and romantic cities in Europe. Also known as the City of Lights, Paris is one of the world’s premier travel, culinary, art, and shopping destinations. Similar to San Francisco, Paris is very compact, making it a great walking city. The Metro is a quick and easy way to get around town if you don’t feel like walking, or taking a taxi. Metro stations are conveniently located all over Paris.
Fun Paris Attractions
Paris is famous for its gourmet cuisine and award-winning wines. It’s home to historical monuments and world-renowned art galleries and museums. Paris is also known for its high fashion, designer boutiques, quaint sidewalk cafes, and beautiful gardens. Explore the city at your own pace or take a fun guided tour and visit the most popular sights in and around Paris. Must-see attractions include:
- Arc de Triomphe
One of the most visited monuments in Paris – and the biggest Triumphal Arch in the world. In 1806, Napoléon, the French Emperor, ordered the Arc’s construction and it was finally completed in 1836. Beneath the monument is The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – symbolizing all the soldiers that died on the field in World War I. To get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, climb the stairs – almost 300 of them – or take an elevator to the Observatory for stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Sacre-Coeur.
- Bateaux-Mouches River Cruises along the River Seine
What better way to see Paris than by taking a scenic Bateaux-Mouches cruise along the River Seine. Admire stunning Paris views, including Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower. It’s also very romantic to take a leisurely stroll along the River Seine – day or night.
The main boulevard in Paris runs from the Arc de Triomphe, at one end, to the Egyptian obelisk – the oldest man-made object in Paris – at the other end, at Place de la Concorde. The best time to walk down the Champs-Élysées is after dark, when the city really comes alive. It’s also nice during the daytime, but if you don’t like crowds, try to avoid the rush-hour period.
- Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized structures in the world. Built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889, the tower stands at 1,056 feet – making it the tallest monument in Paris. On a clear day, you can see up to 40 miles away. For the best view of the Eiffel Tower, walk up to it through the Champ-de-Mars Gardens. Go early or later in the day, when it’s not so crowded.
- Flame of Liberty
The Flame of Liberty is a replica of the flame carried in the hand of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. In 1987, it was given to France as a gift from the U.S. as a symbol of French-American friendship. Because of the Flame’s proximity – located above the infamous tunnel where Princess Diana tragically died in 1997 – many people over the years have believed this to be her memorial. Today, it is visited by people from around the world who come to pay their respects.
- Galleries Lafayette
Galleries Lafayette is the largest – and the most famous – department store in France. It is located on Boulevard Haussmann, next to the Opera house, in the heart of Paris.
- Ile St. Louis
This is one of the cutest – and most elegant – neighborhoods in Paris. Take the little footbridge from the rear of the Notre Dame to Ile St-Louis, the smallest island on the River Seine. Walk down the main street, rue Saint Louis En L’Ile, and check out the quaint little bistros, cafés and shops. Famous people who have lived in this area include: Marie Curie, Honore Daumier and Voltaire.
- The Louvre
The legendary Louvre houses some of the world’s greatest art and sculpture, including the two most popular attractions – Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
- Montparnesse Tower & Observation Deck
Come and discover one of the most beautiful views of Paris – from the 56th Floor of the Montparnasse Tower. In just 38 seconds, Europe’s fastest elevator will take you to a height of 689 feet (210 meters), where the most beautiful view of Paris stretches out before you from a modern, relaxed and very comfortable setting.
- Moulin Rouge
This famous French nightclub was immortalized by world-renowned artist Toulouse-Lautrec. See fabulous entertainment – up to 60 artists participate in the show- including performances of the legendary CanCan. It’s located in Montmartre – just look for the giant windmill.
- Musee d’Orsay
If you’re passionate about Impressionist paintings, you’re going to love Musée d’Orsay – it’s our favorite museum in Paris. Apparently we’re not alone – the popular museum welcomes millions of visitors a year.
- Musee de l’Orangerie
This popular art museum features Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. The museum is located in the Tuileries Gardens next to the Place de la Concorde.
- Musee Rodin
The charming Musée Rodin is nestled in a beautiful manicured Rose Garden, with a view of the Eiffel Tower in the background. This was Rodin’s studio from 1910, until his death in 1917. The courtyard holds three of his world-famous sculptures – The Thinker (perhaps his best-known work), The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell. There are also a number of other famous sculptures and bronzes located throughout the museum and its gardens.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the most popular attractions in Paris. With its setting on the banks of the River Seine, Notre Dame’s grand architecture is even more beautiful outside, especially during sunset. In the Spring of 2019, a major fire destroyed its spire, the roof and vaulted ceiling. Thankfully though, most of the cathedral’s structure, including its beautiful stained-glass windows and many of its priceless artifacts was spared. Renovations are ongoing.
- Père Lachaise
This famous Paris cemetery is one of the most visited cemeteries in the world. It’s the final resting place for numerous artists and celebrities, including: Chopin, Molière, Oscar Wilde, Gertrude Stein, Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Yves Montand, Madame Bernhardt, and Isadora Duncan.
- Place des Vosges
One of Paris’ oldest and most beautiful squares – showcasing some of the finest architecture in Europe. Famed author, Victor Hugo, lived here from 1832 to 1848. Cardinal Richelieu also lived and worked here.
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur – the famous white-domed church and a prominent part of the Paris skyline – is one of the city’s most popular landmarks. The interior of the church contains one of the world’s largest mosaics and beautiful stained-glass.
- Tuileries Gardens
Jardin des Tuileries is a beautiful sculpture garden, located between The Louvre and the Place de la Concord.
Book Paris Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips and Fun Things To Do
Get Skip-the-Line Access to the Louvre Museum. Enjoy an up-close view of the world-famous Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo on this Small-Group Guided Tour. Visitors have the option of upgrading to a Private Tour of the Louvre. For a romantic night on the water, take a Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise. See Paris’ illuminated waterfront along the way. Bypass long lines and get Skip-the-Line tickets to the Eiffel Tower and hear about Paris history, culture and traditions. Tour includes 2nd and 3rd story viewing platforms for magnificent Paris views, before ascending to the summit to see Gustave Eiffel’s private apartments. Explore Paris at your own pace aboard an open-top Hop-On-Hop-Off Big Bus Tour. Take a Guided Bike Tour of Paris. Follow your local guide through the city and see top attractions including the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Tuileries Gardens, Napoleon’s Tomb and Les Invalides.
The Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles)
Versailles is only a 30-minute train ride away from Paris. We took the RER (train) from Invalides station in the heart of Paris directly to Versailles-Rive-Gauche station. It’s fast and inexpensive. Plan on spending at least half a day at Versailles because there’s a lot to see at this World Heritage Site. Take a Guided Tour of the Palace. See where the famous Treaty of Versailles (peace settlement signifying the official end of World War 1) was signed on June 28, 1919. Take a leisurely Self-Walking Tour of the Grand Apartments (Louis XIV’s and Marie Antoinette’s Royal Apartments), The Royal Chapel and the beautiful Hall of Mirrors. Stroll through Versailles’ stunning gardens, filled with statues, fountains and pools. It’s a breathtaking sight. If you have time, see a spectacular Musical Fountains Show or a Night Fountains Show in Versailles Gardens. Weekends are the busiest times to visit Versailles, so expect crowds.
Book Versailles Tours & Fun Day Trips from Paris
Take a fun Day Trip to Versailles and explore the Palace and its magnificent gardens. Visit Versailles, Normandy, Loire Valley and other fun regions of France.
Book Your Paris Business Trip or Vacation
The Best Time To Visit Paris
The best time to visit Paris is from April-June and October to early November. Summer is peak season and the most crowded.