Paris’ best landmarks don’t break the bank, and you can admire them in all their glory while taking in some amazing views. There are so many reasons to visit Paris, the fashion and the food are just a few of them. But the main reason why you should visit Paris is for its tourist attractions. Be sure to get a few Instagrammable snaps of your trip to the city of light, these landmarks will take your breath away!
The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum in the world, and is renowned for its glass pyramid structure. When you visit this landmark in Paris, you surrounded by gorgeous fountains. A little bonus? It’s right opposite the Jardins des Tuileries. This means that you can easily go for a picnic before visiting the beautiful museum.
Before even entering the Louvre, you’ll see that plenty of tourists flock here to take photos. But the landmark is way more than just your next Instagram photo! Tourists love to sit down on the concrete blocks and admire the fountains, before heading off into the world’s greatest museum.
Every trip to Paris warrants a visit of the Louvre. You’ll never see the same thing twice! There are works dating from various eras, from the Egyptian times to the Middle Ages. Needless to say, the Louvre is highly visited for the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci. The painting is very protected, so you can take in one of the world’s most famous masterpieces from afar. A large number of paintings were owned by kings who lived in the Louvre when it was a royal residence. Other masterpieces were acquired through treaties with the Vatican. The latest addition is the Islamic Arts section, which was designed by architects Mario Bellini and Rudy Ricciotti.
Nowadays, with the current pandemic, you will need to book in advance before visiting the Louvre. Buying your ticket online allows you to go through a less packed entrance at the Passage Richelieu. Another way to avoid fellow tourists is by entering the museum through the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center. But remember – if you’re under 26 years old, every first Sunday of the month, you can get into any Parisian museum for free!
The Eiffel Tower
When you think of Paris, your mind goes straight to the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, and also in the world. In fact, it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the city. Standing 324 meters tall, the tower was built as the entrance to the 1889 Exposition Universelle. The “Iron Lady” truly is a work of art, it is made up of 18,000 iron parts held together by 2.5 million rivets. In 1887, the Journal Officiel launched a competition for a tower to be exhibited at the event. This is when the Eiffel Tower was born. The landmark was created by Gustave Eiffel with architect Stephen Sauvestre. The tower was only supposed to exist for 20 years, but it then became a huge part of the Parisian landscape.
As well as climbing up all the different wings of the tower, there is so much more to the Eiffel Tower. You can climb to the top and admire a 360 degree view of the Parisian skyline, or discover the grassy esplanade underneath. Discover the lush landscaping that will make you realize why Paris is one of the most loved capitals in the world. Nearby, you can discover the Champs de Mars. This is a stunning spot at night time because you can see the Eiffel Tower sparkle from afar. The Jardins de Trocadéro is another occasion to view the Iron Lady, surrounded by the quaint fountains.
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of the iconic Champs-Elysées, at the Place Charles de Gaulle. So after a long day of shopping, you can take a break to admire this striking landmark. This was created to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars.
You can even climb up its 280 stairs to reach the top and look down on the Champs-Elysées as well as the chic Avenue de Wagram. Discover a birds eye view of the beautiful city as well as the traffic which tends to be around this square. You can look down on the Champs-Elysées all the way to Place de la Concorde. You can even see the Louvre from up there!
The design was inspired by ancient Roman ceremonial arches, and the size is truly Napoleonic, though it wasn’t finished during his lifetime. It measures 50 meters, and it really has a majestic presence on the Place Charles de Gaulle. On the national holiday of July 14th, the Prise de la Bastille, the parade starts in this iconic location. The Tour de France also finishes underneath the arch.
The medieval gothic cathedral is one of the most iconic landmarks in Paris. It has also, of course, inspired the brilliant Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Based on the Île de la Cité, construction of the stunning cathedral began in 1160. The cathedral is 70 meters high, and it was the tallest building in the city for centuries. The cathedral was founded in 1163 by King Louis IX and Bishop Maurice de Sully, who both wanted to create a church that rivalled the Basilique de Saint Denis. It took over 200 years to build.
The monument has lived through many ages. It has been through a lot, more recently, a fire in 2019. This means that unfortunately, the towers and the interior are closed until further notice while renovation is taking place. However, before this event, you could climb 422 steps of the towers. Once you reach the top, you can get picturesque panoramic views of Paris.
The Centre Pompidou is a striking structure in Beaubourg, and was ordered by the President Pompidou. It was inaugurated in 1977, making it a fairly new addition to the list of Parisian landmarks. Architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers built the bold building, covered with tubes and light up signs which change on a regular basis. Each color tube has its own meaning. Green is for plumbing, blue for climate control, electrical systems in yellow and safety devices in red. Its unique design created many polemics, but it’s now accepted and loved by tourists and locals alike.
At Centre Pompidou, you can view amazing permanent and temporary art exhibitions. You can see work from the likes of Van Gogh and Picasso, as well as more contemporary artwork such as Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work was shown throughout November and December 2021. You can also view photography exhibitions, and it is the home to Europe’s largest permanent photography exhibit.
The building has its own cinema, public library and shops for you to enjoy. You will also love its outside plaza where you can often see live music as well as tourists catching snaps of the Instagrammable light displays.
Want to know its best kept secret? Le Georges is a chic restaurant on the rooftop of the Centre Pompidou, giving you panoramic views of the city as well as the sparkling Eiffel Tower. Book in advance to ensure you get a table at one of the city’s best restaurants.
Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur
The Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur stands tall above the Parisian architecture and is an atmospheric place to visit. The Catholic Church stands at the highest point in the city and is known for its white domes. Located at the top of Montmartre, you can climb up its steps and take in panoramic views of the city, including La Défense. It is the second most renowned church in the city after Notre-Dame.
Construction began in 1875, and was consecrated in 1919. The structure is made of stone from outside Paris that whitens and hardens upon exposure to air, explaining the crisp, pristine white architecture.
Whilst you’re discovering the Sacré-Coeur, walk down the steps to discover the Montmartre neighborhood. You’ll fall for its quaint cobblestone streets and bohemian lifestyle. You’ll see artists from street to street, and you can stop off for a coffee at one of its traditional brasseries. Montmartre is also the home to the iconic Maison Rose as well as the Montmartre Cemetery, where some of France’s biggest icons are buried. The Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur is also located near Pigalle, where you can catch a show at the Moulin Rouge.