Paris is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. And once you have been there, you will see why. It is the capital of France and has a population of more than two million people but also gets over 38 million visitors per year from all over the world.
The city has been the major hub of France since the 17th century, but the history of Paris goes all the way back to the Parisii in the 3rd century BC. The architecture in Paris is well-known, with some Romanesque buildings dating back to 1014.
The gothic architecture period saw buildings like the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Basilica of Saint-Denis. Paris is also full of stunning bridges and monuments, beautiful parks, and unique shops. But before you start looking around, don’t forget to drop off your bags at one of the luggage storage companies in Paris.
Whether you want to see some artwork by one of the greats or learn more about the Revolution, you can see it at one of these major landmarks. Of course, you have to see the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, but don’t miss Notre Dame or the Arc De Triomphe. They are all open to the public, but it is best to book a tour for better service.
- The Eiffel Tower
Your first stop should be the 984-foot Eiffel Tower, which is the most famous spot in France. Walk under the tower on the Esplanade to get a feel for the majestic structure before heading up to the top where you can see for hundreds of miles while you enjoy a glass of champagne.
- Arc De Triomphe
This 164-foot arch is a dedication to the many soldiers who fought in the French army during the Revolution and the First Empire. Napoleon himself commissioned the building in 1806 but did not live long enough to see it completed in 1836. You do not want to miss the viewing platform on top.
- Notre Dame Cathedral
Founded by King Louis the Ninth in 1163, it took over 150 years to build this massive work of art. The gothic style of Notre Dame boasts ornaments of gargoyles, buttresses, and other sculptures as well as the stained-glass windows and the Gallery of Kings. Don’t miss the rose window in the north hall.
- The Louvre
You have to go see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre while you are in town. This famous painting from the early 1500s is a must-see for sure. You can also see the Venus de Milo and many other famous works of art. Reserve a tour in advance, so you do not have to wait in line.
The Museums of Paris
There are a plethora of museums in Paris. From art to science and even some more unique places like the Catacombs underground or the Sewers Museum. You can learn about the city and its history as well as the culture. See some of the fun places, too, like the Musee des Arts Forains, which is a fair and carnival museum.
- Musee d’Orsay
To get a good look at some of the most famous art in the world, head to the Musee d’Orsay. You can find art from van Gogh, Renoir, Monet, and Degas among many others. The most impressive and renowned is Starry Night by van Gogh. Be sure to stop at the restaurant for a bit of lunch before you go.
- Palace of Versailles
This majestic building was the residence of royalty from 1682 to 1789. But now it is open to the public, where you can see the War Salon, Hall of Mirrors, and the Peace Salon. Do not miss the gardens and fountains while you are there. You can even see the private apartments of the King and Queen.
- The Catacombs
You may not want to visit a graveyard while you are in the city, but you will not want to miss the Catacombs of Paris. Under the city streets, you can stroll along the remains of over 6 million people. See galleries, historic presentations, and the wall of skulls.
- The Musée des Arts Forains
This art museum is more of a carnival than a museum. You can take a ride on the old-time merry-go-round, see the clowns, and get a selfie with the elephant-shaped hot air balloon. The whole museum is filled with funfair and carnival items like carousel horses, games, and wacky statuary.
You will love visiting the parks and shops, and you can even take a cruise on the Seine River while you are in Paris. See a show at Moulin Rouge or shop until you drop at the Paris at Le Forum des Halles. Paris is waiting for you.
- Seine River Cruise
One of the best ways to see Paris is from the Seine River. The city has dozens of cruise options, from a daytime boat ride to a romantic dinner for two. One of the best is the four-hour Bateaux Parisiens Cruise where you can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre and it includes a gourmet meal.
- Luxembourg Gardens
Created by Marie de’ Medici in 1612, Luxembourg Gardens has 57 acres to enjoy. You can stroll through the many rows of flora or meander along the path by the lake to see the statuary. You may even get to see some children sailing boats. Stop in at the café to get a bite to eat before you go.
- Moulin Rouge
Known all over the world, the Moulin Rouge is one of the most famous shows on earth. Multiple movies and plays have been made about Moulin Rouge where you can see dancers, clowns, ponies, and even have a five-course meal. Only in Paris!
- Paris at Le Forum des Halles
Have you ever wanted to shop underground? Well, you can do that in Paris at Le Forum des Halles. You can find dozens of shops, two cinemas, and a large number of eateries to choose from. They have 118 shops in all from Accessorize to Zara.
And That’s Not All
Be sure to stop and try some of the local cuisine like steak Frites, macaroons, croissants, and of course, the crêpes. You can also visit some of the most amazing beaches in the country right here in Paris. Don’t forget to grab your sunblock and camera out of your bags before dropping them off.