Paris has been drawing visitors from all over the world for centuries. From it’s beautiful historical monuments to exceptional cuisine, Paris has become one of the visited cities in the world.
But with so much to see and do in the City of Lights, it can feel overwhelming planning an itinerary that hits all the best spots. To help make planning your trip to Paris a little easier, I’ve put together a list of my favorite places that all travelers should visit at least once.
The Eiffel Tower
What would a trip to Paris be without a visit to the famous Eiffel Tower? Built for the 1889 World Fair, it stands at 324 meters tall and offers some seriously impressive views of the city.
While there is a cost to go up, it’s definitely worth it if you want to see Paris from a new perspective. If you don’t feel like going to the top or have a fear of heights, you can still enjoy it from below at one of the nearby parks.
The Louvre Museum is the most visited museum in the world. In 2017, it welcomed more than 8 million visitors!
Inside the former royal palace, you’ll find some of the most iconic pieces of art in history. From Leanardo Da Vinci’s famous Mona Lisa to the famous Venus de Milo statue!
The Louvre is a massive building, and you’ll want to plan your visit out before you arrive. With so many exhibits, you won’t get through everything in one day, so it’s a good idea to have a game plan and download the museum’s app to help you get around.
Since Notre Dame was completed in 1345, it has been the religious heart of the city. It’s considered the finest example of French Gothic architecture on Earth and despite the large crowds, it won’t be hard to be awed by the famous stained glass and the gargoyle-framed panoramas of the city.
Top Tip: Get here early before the cathedral opens! It will help you avoid the pickpockets that the crowds attract.
The Champs Elysees is one of Paris’ most iconic streets. Lining the boulevard on either side are manicured trees leading up to another of the city’s top attractions, the Arc de Triomphe.
It’s also one of the best sunset spots in Paris!
If you’re a lover of the arts, you can’t miss out on exploring the Palais Garnier. It’s the location the Phantom of the Opera book and musical is based on and the building is nothing short of beautiful.
Today, the opulent Beaux-Arts building is mainly used for ballet performances. Be sure to check out the grand marble staircase, massive foyer and the painted ceiling that depicts the history of music.
Just like Rome, Paris has its own pantheon in the Latin Quarter. The building was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve.
Today, it’s the final resting place for many of Paris’ famous scientists, generals, writers, churchmen, and politicians. The Pantheon is also where you’ll find Foucault’s Pendulum that traces the path of the Earth.
Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned by Napolean in 1806, the Arc de Triomphe was built to celebrate Napolean’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. If you’re looking for an incredible sunset spot in Paris, climb the 300 stairs to the top of the building.
It will cost you about $9, but the views are worth it!
Picnic Along Seine
If you’re looking for a way to wind down after a busy day of sightseeing, pack a picnic and head to the banks of the Seine. Stop by one of the local grocery stores and pick up some freshly baked bread, cheese and a bottle of wine.
One of my favorite spots is at the Square du Vert Galant. It’s one of the two islands on the river and has uninterrupted views of the Pont des Arts bridge and the Louvre Museum.
Paris Street Art
Not all of Paris’ art scene is kept away to crowded museums. Hit the pavements and explore the city’s vibrant street art scene.
You can sign up for a guided tour with Paris Underground that will take you all over Paris. It’s a great introduction to the city’s modern art scene.
Boulevard St. Germain
Paris is famous for its cafe au lait and the best place to try one is at the Boulevard St. Germain on the 6th arrondissement. The broad tree-lined boulevard is lined with designer boutiques, prestigious cafes, and classic brasseries.
Some of the most popular cafes are Cafe de Flore and Cafe des Deux Magots. Both establishments were frequented by famous historical figures like Picasso and Hemmingway.
Paris is an incredible destination for travelers who love history, art and the finer things in life. With so much to see and do, take your time exploring the top sights and leave room in your itinerary to discover a few spots that are off the beaten track.