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12 Best Places to Visit in Paris

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Paris skyline with blooming magnolias and Eiffel Tower in the background

Paris, France

From cafe terraces to the aroma of chocolates, the visions of Impressionist painters to the history in hidden catacombs, the 12 best places to visit in Paris provide insight into the celebrated culture, remarkable history, and fascinating heritage of the city and greater France.

Discover the remarkable panorama from the Eiffel Tower. Embrace the preserved wonders of captivating civilizations. Explore the marvelous minds of celebrated artists. Whether wandering through a garden or visiting a palace, you can find elegance and beauty around every corner.

Delight in the grand and opulent, historic and charismatic with our list of places to see during your trip to Paris.

Overview

  1. 1. Eiffel Tower
  2. 2. Arc de Triomphe
  3. 3. Louvre Museum
  4. 4. d’Orsay Museum
  5. 5. Rodin Museum
  6. 6. Champs-Elysees
  7. 7. Place de la Concorde
  8. 8. Luxembourg Garden
  9. 9. Sacre-Coeur
  10. 10. Palace of Versailles
  11. 11. Pantheon
  12. 12. Palais-Royal
  13. Explore the Best Places to Visit in Paris

1. Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower in Paris at sunset

Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower represents the wonders of Paris and the beauty of France as it towers over the Parc du Champ de Mars. Originally constructed in 1889 for the World’s Fair, the iron shimmers in the daylight and a series of lights set the tower sparkling in the night.

Whether traveling to the top of the tower for a panoramic view across the city or dining in its Michelin-starred restaurant, you can embrace the masterful architecture and wander into the emblem of Paris that stands over 905 feet tall.

2. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe at sunrise in Paris, France

Paris, France

The Arc de Triomphe was initially constructed as a monument to the fallen soldiers of the Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, but has since come to define the grandeur of Paris. Inspired by the Arch of Titus in Rome, it contains remarkable bas reliefs that feature French armies’ victories and a glorious turn through time.

You can find an illustration of troops led by the winged Liberty. From the viewing platform, you can look down onto the 12 avenues that radiate from the arc as though leading away from the heart to reach other monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, and Louvre.

3. Louvre Museum

Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture at the Louvre Museum in Paris

Paris, France

The fascinating Louvre Museum was originally the palatial home to France’s kings. With over 300 rooms and 35,000 artworks, the Louvre represents the splendor of civilizations from antiquity to the 19th century.

Whether interested in classical sculpture, Renaissance art, or more contemporary French masterworks, the galleries provide insight into the layers of the Mediterranean.

Discover the connections between countries as you uncover the likes of Venus de Milo, Liberty Leading the People, Mona Lisa, and Code of Hammurabi.

4. d’Orsay Museum

Clock and chandeliers at the d’Orsay Museum in Paris

Paris, France

Instead of an expansive immersion into the ancient world, the Musee d’Orsay offers stunning insight into the artistic minds of the 19th and 20th centuries inside the former Belle Epoque railway station.

Cherished art demonstrates the Impressionist ideals featured in masterful works by Monet and Gauguin, Degas and Renoir.

You can glimpse into the former lives of Toulouse Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh or wander beneath the gilded ceilings and lavish chandeliers inside the celebrated restaurant.

5. Rodin Museum

The Three Shades statue at the Rodin Museum in Paris

Paris, France

The enchanting Rodin Museum is unique in that it inspires art lovers and novices with a combination of sculptures and manicured gardens.

The romantic ambiance spreads from the artwork to the hedges, from the workshop and showroom to the winding lanes lined with roses or conical boxed-hedges to create one of the most serene escapes within the city.

Witness a marble monument entitled The Kissi, locate the intricate scene of Dante’s Inferno, and bask in the renowned work of The Thinker.

6. Champs-Elysees

Aerial view of Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris, France

Paris, France

The Champs-Elysees is one of Paris’s most famous boulevards and is celebrated for its elegant architecture that lines the wide lines. Divided into two sections, the lower part of the boulevard borders the Place de la Concorde and creates a stunning green space that edges the glamorous facade of the Petit Palais.

The upper section of the boulevard hosts luxury shops and restaurants, with walkways that extend to the Arc de Triomphe. The prestige of the grand boulevard remains palpable, with refined tastes and glamorous decor glinting in the morning, noon, and night.

7. Place de la Concorde

Statue of Perseus at Place de la Concorde in Paris, France

Paris, France

The Place de Concorde is where you can appreciate an expansive view of the famous monuments of Paris.

From the 18th-century plaza, you can stand beneath a 3,300-year-old pink granite obelisk and find views of the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, and the banks of the Seine River for a majestic panorama.

Whether interested in the key events that occurred in the square or in the marvelous intersection of the city’s emblematic monuments, the Place de la Concorde embraces the city’s opulence.

8. Luxembourg Garden

Luxembourg Garden and palace in the background in Paris, France

Paris, France

The Jardin du Luxembourg provides a sense of calm in the fast-paced ambiance of Paris. The essential green space in the heart of the city spreads across more than 60 acres and features a stunning octagonal fountain, with terraced statutes and flower beds.

Each step through the park accentuates the classical French style, embellished by chairs where locals sit and enjoy the day. Treasured works of art populate the park and add to the feeling of outdoor opulence.

9. Sacre-Coeur

Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Paris, France

Paris, France

The glowing white Basilica of Sacre Coeur crowns the hilltop of the Montmartre neighborhood and stands as a symbol of the former contention between conservative Catholics and secular Republicans in the 19th century. The elegant and grand architecture contrasts the bohemian ambiance of the cobbled lanes that once housed the likes of Toulouse Lautrec and Pablo Picasso.

At the top of the spiral staircase that twists through the dome, you can embrace the breathtaking view of Paris, before venturing back into the eclectic realm of performers, artists, and picnickers who surround the basilica.

10. Palace of Versailles

The hall of mirrors in Palace of Versailles in Paris, France

Paris, France

The Palace of Versailles continues to dazzle visitors from around the world with captivating design and architectural embellishments that demonstrate the power of Louis XIV. The grounds took over 50 years to reconstruct as the palace shifted from hunting lodge to one of the world’s most grand estates.

Witness the gilded Galerie des Glaces that reflects the golden frames and windows to create a forest of light. Wander a selection of the 2,300 rooms that provide a window into the opulent lifestyle of French royalty. Explore the breadth of gardens that cover more than 1,976 acres, where you can find spouting fountains and hidden waterfalls, as well as a surprising model Austrian village.

11. Pantheon

Dome of Pantheon in Paris, France

Paris, France

The marvelous dome of the Pantheon’s Neoclassical architecture has become etched into Paris’s skyline and demonstrates a masterpiece of 18th-century design and engineering.

A copy of Foucault’s pendulum stands at the center of the gallery and emphasizes the elements inspired by the ancient Pantheon in Rome.

What was once constructed as an abbey became a mausoleum for several of France’s most notable citizens, including Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and Marie Curie.

12. Palais-Royal

Palais-Royal pavilion and gardens in Paris, France

Paris, France

Often overlooked for the wonders inside the Louvre Museum, the adjacent Palais-Royal provides a retreat from the quick movement at the heart of the city to reveal a secluded getaway into the former residence of Cardinal Richelieu.

The design celebrates traditional classical French architecture with 60 pavilions that frame a remarkable courtyard and garden. Lush trees shade the grounds and colonnaded pathways connect to high-end boutiques, as well as cafes with charming outdoor terraces.

While the grounds are a favorite for Parisians, it remains little explored by travelers who could enjoy the feeling of an enclosed village within the greater city.

Explore the Best Places to Visit in Paris

The Louvre Museum exterior in Paris, France

Paris, France

Gorgeous boutiques, shimmering fountains, and cobblestone streets add to the immersive ambiance of the City of Lights. Each neighborhood features a treasure trove of personality, ranging from delectable patisseries to marvelous museums, stunning views, and hidden artistic alcoves.

No matter your travel preferences, Paris inspires a lifelong passion in visitors, and you can visit our Paris Tours & Packages for inspiration on how to craft your best custom trip.

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