Visit Paris: Top 12 things to see in Paris
Paris, for many people, is the romantic city of lovers; others love it for its vitality and many like it for its museums (which preserve some of the best masterpieces of the world). Obviously it’s hard not to be charmed by Paris, whose charm certainly does not end just in one weekend.
There are many things to do and to see if you visit Paris, but this could be a good short tourist guide of Paris.
In this post you'll read...
- The Louvre Museum of Paris
- The Eiffel Tower Paris
- The cathedral of Notre Dame Paris
- The Basilica of the Sacred Heart Paris
- The Orsay Museum of Paris
- The Arch of Triumph
- Sainte Chapelle Church of Paris
- Latin District
- A walk along the Seine
- Sunset from Montparnasse Tower
- Disnelyland Paris
- La defense
This is a top 12 tourist attractions you cannot miss if you visit Paris:
The Louvre Museum of Paris
The Louvre of Paris is the most know museum of the world and a must if you visit Paris. I suggest to visit it when after sunset when the lighting system stands out the charm and beauty of the buildings, including the Louvre pyramid which is the entrance of the museum. The Louvre museum is a touch point between the modern and the ancient which seem to have found a perfect balance here and it would be a shame to leave Paris without visiting this prestigious museum. Due to the huge dimensions of this museum normally if you visit Paris for just a few days and your time available is short, it would be a good idea to organize your visit in advance. Checking the map which can be found here, you can make an idea of what you can find into the Louvre Museum, decide what is interesting for you and plan your route into the museum before you get there.
The main visited attractions of the Louvre Museum are the Mona Lisa by Leonardo de Vinci, the statue of Venus of Milo and the masterpiece of Canova Cupid and Psyche, but the Louvre is full of great masterpieces. The basic visit will take about 2 or 3 hours, but perhaps would be a good idea to leave a little time to “get lost” and admire the most attractive masterpieces (to you), because sometimes the artist’s name is not everything.
Useful information to see the Louvre Museum when you visit Paris:
Louvre Museum Entrance: The cost of the ticket is 12€ and 5€ is the price of the audio guide.
Louvre Museum Free Entrance: visitors younger than 18 years old, disabled visitors, 18-25 year-old residents of the European Economic Area, visitors younger than 26 years old but only on Fridays and from 6 pm and first Sunday of each month and on July 14th is totally free for everyone.
Tickets: To avoid long queues it would be better to buy your ticket in advance here
The Eiffel Tower Paris
What about the Eiffel Tower? Many people think the Eiffel Tower is just an intricate mass of iron and bolts, but I do not think so at all, especially at night, when lights and stands as the queen of the city while with its powerful lighthouse seems to indicate that this is the center of the Paris.
Like any respecting tourist attraction also to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower there is a long queue, but if you feel sporty you can choose to come up by walk using the stairs , at least up to the second level ( 1,665 steps) and so the queue will be much , much faster 🙂 However to get the top level, at the 324 meters terrace you should take the lift. For the top of the Eiffel Tower you can have a great panoramic view of Paris and the surroundings up to 80 km away.
Useful information to see the Eiffel Tower when you visit Paris:
To climb on top of its 324 meters (with elevator) the cost is 14.50€ or if you suffer from vertigo can stop at the second level with a reduced ticket of 8.50€.
Tickets. Buy your tickets on advance to avoid queues here
The cathedral of Notre Dame Paris
In 2012, the cathedral of Notre Dame has made some 850 years … and it looks really well! It’s without doubt one of the most beautiful Gothic churches in the world. With its double aisles, its interior is majestic, and despite the crowds of tourists who visit it every day, it manages to maintain a holy atmosphere, maybe thanks to the soft light filtering through the fantastic stained glass mosaics.
If you want to enjoy a breathtaking view for the gargoyles (statues of demons and animals that look out over the balustrade) you must climb the 400 steps to the roof and there is no way to skip the long tail: be patient.
Useful information to see the Notre Dame when you visit Paris:
The entrance to the cathedral is free. To rise to the roof the ticket is 8.50€.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart Paris
In Romanesque / Byzantine style, built between 1873 and 1919, is certainly one of the most beautiful churches in Paris. Enthroned on top of the hill of Montmartre, on a clear day offers a picturesque view of Paris below. Its interior can be defined quite simple, if you don’t consider the apse with a giant mosaic, one of the largest in the world. This Montparnasse hill is one of the most iconic panoramas of Paris, leaving you astonished especially during sunny days.
Useful information to see the Sacred Heart Basilica when you visit Paris:
visit it early in the morning to take the best panoramic picture of it, without too many tourists.
The Orsay Museum of Paris
Far from the glitz of huge halls of the Louvre, was set up in a former railway station with a surreal atmosphere. At the Orsay Museum you’ll find the paintings of the greatest Impressionists such as Monet, Cezanne, Renoir and Degas, to name just a few: a blaze of colors hard to forget.
Useful information to see the Orsay Museum when you visit Paris:
The cost of the ticket is 12€ (or jointly with the Musée de l’ Orangerie 16€)
The Arch of Triumph
Whether you are lovers of photography or just want to enjoy the most beautiful view of Paris, visit Paris’ Arch of Triumph must be for you an absolute must, especially at sunset. Located at the center of the Place de l’Etoile, it dominates the Champs -Elysees and you can admire the nearby Eiffel Tower in all its glory, especially in the evenings when o’clock hour shines like a diamond in the night of Paris. But the Arc de Triumph is also a piece of history, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate the winning of the battle of Austerlitz in 1806.
Useful information to see the Arc of Triumph when you visit Paris:
The cost of the ticket is 9.50€ and the view from it worth them all.
Sainte Chapelle Church of Paris
The Saint Chapelle, in the heart of the Ile de la Cité, is undoubtedly the most beautiful church with stained glass windows I have ever seen. On my visit, the day was overcast, but the amount of light that penetrated assuming colorful colors literally made me shiver and I was not the only one! Everyone who crossed the entrance, or was left open-mouthed, or could only tell one universal word: WOOOW!
Useful information to see the Saint Chapelle when you visit Paris:
Entry cost 8.50€, inform in advance because sometimes use to host concerts and so it’s closed to public.
The Latin District is the most bohemian district of Paris, and together with it, one of the most tourists. This is one of the most dynamic neighborhoods in Paris, located on the banks of the Seine, near the Sorbonne University. Despite its name might suggest to a district inhabited by latin people, is one of the most authentically Parisian districts of the city, perfect for a nice evening, full of restaurants and pretty locals with a lot of Parisiene charme.
A walk along the Seine
Also if you’re not a sentimentalist a walk along the Seine, hand in hand with your sweetie, it can melt the hearts of everyone. A good way to enjoy it more is to bring with you the unforgettable “macarons” of the Ladurée pastry and a bottle of French wine to live magical moments. You can also have a boat trip along the Seine, to have an unparalleled as romantic experiences.
Useful information to have a tour on the Seine river when you visit Paris:
The cost of a tour is around 13€ (depending on the company) and if you would like to have a romantic dinner on the boat it can cost you up to 150€ per person.
Sunset from Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse tower is the second tallest skyscraper in Paris with its 210 meters, its rooftop terrace offers a fantastic 360 degree view of Paris, especially at sunset when the light is dim and the sky is set on fire. However, if the weather is foggy or too much cloudy is not worth spending 13.50€ for the ticket, unless you want to dine in the restaurant of the floor 56
Useful information to see Panoramic view from Montparnasse Tower when you visit Paris:
The queue here is much faster than at the Eiffel Tower and in 35 seconds you are on top!
If you are going to visit Paris for more than a few days or if you are travelling with kids, a good opportunity to enjoy a different day is a visit to Disneyland Paris, the greatest and most famous amusement parks in Europe.
La defense is totally different from common idea of Paris: this is the new district, the financial and modern face of Paris. If you want to take a look to the modern side of Paris have a walk in this district and you’ll have a different point of view of the city of love.