France welcomed a record-breaking 90 million tourists in 2018, making it the most popular vacation destination in the world. While there are tons of amazing places, Paris remains the must-visit city for anyone going to France.
And there’s a good reason why. Paris is full of history, culture, shopping, and some of the best food around.
With so much to do, you’ll want to make sure you compile a list of the must-see places in Paris before you hop on that plane.
Do you need a little help getting started? Keep reading to discover the top places you can’t miss on your upcoming Parisian getaway.
You can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower. And we don’t just mean catching a glimpse of it from afar.
Be sure to set aside some time to actually climb it. When you buy your tickets, make sure you get tickets for the elevator. They’re slightly more expensive, but it’ll ensure you make it to the top without feeling like your legs are about to fall off.
You’ll also want to make sure you have time one evening to just relax on the lawn watching the Eiffel Tower light up the sky. Buy a bottle of wine beforehand and enjoy the view.
There are also a few restaurants inside the Eiffel Tower that can make your experience even more unforgettable. But these book up quickly, so you’ll want to make reservations a few months before your trip.
Even those who aren’t a fan of art museums can’t miss a trip to the Louvre. This is one of the largest museums in the world, so make sure you set aside at least a few hours to view it.
This is also where the Mona Lisa is. While the crowds are usually thick around this famous painting, set aside enough time to work your way to the front and really admire it.
Versailles was once the residence of King Louis XIV. Although you can take a self-guided tour, you’ll learn a lot more by signing up for a guided tour.
Once you’re done touring the inside, you should leave time to wander around the Palace Gardens. These are a lot less crowded than the inside of Versailles, so it’s great for de-stressing and enjoying nature.
Even the city of love has its creepy side. If you’re looking for something totally unique, you can’t miss the opportunity to take a catacombs tour.
What makes this so unforgettable is that the bones and skulls were actually used to create intricate designs on the walls. Not only is this a great opportunity to witness Paris’s unique side and enjoy an adventure like no other, but you’ll also learn a ton about the city’s history.
Pere Lachaise Cemetery
If you enjoyed the catacombs, you may also want to stop by the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Here, you’ll find many celebrities buried, including Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, and Edith Piaf.
Even if you’re not interested in visiting these graves, just walking through the cemetery and looking at all the sculptures is interesting. Plus, it’s completely free!
You probably first heard of this famous cathedral while watching The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a kid. Well, now you have the chance to view it in real life.
Unfortunately, Notre Dame experienced a fire in April 2019 that caused quite a bit of damage. However, you can still walk by and see the stunning architecture.
France’s president is hoping to have it rebuilt by 2024, so keep your eyes peeled for updates if you’re trip is still a while away.
A trip to Sacre-Coeur is a must, whether or not Notre Dame has reopened by the time of your trip. This church stands tall and offers spectacular views of the city.
And the exterior is just as beautiful as the views you can experience. Made almost entirely of white stone, it’s a sight that you simply cannot miss.
Arc de Triomphe
Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the construction of the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate France’s victory in the 1806 Battle of Austerlitz. Today, it’s home to the flame of the Unknown Soldier and commemorates World War 1.
When visiting the Arc de Triomphe, make sure you pay the small fee to climb the stairs. Once at the top, you’ll get a great view of Paris and the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, known by some as the world’s most beautiful avenue.
Jardins des Tuileries
Even when visiting a city as beautiful as Paris, it’s easy to miss being surrounded by nature. If you’re looking to all a little tranquility and greenery into your trip, consider visiting Jardins des Tuileries.
Andre Le Notre, the creator of the Versailles Palace Gardens, is also responsible for designing Jardins des Tuileries. These gardens were originally made to accompany a palace, although it sadly burned down back in 1871.
Luckily, the Jardins des Tuileries are still standing as beautiful as ever. There are also some gorgeous fountains and statues to discover here.
Les Grand Magasins
No vacation would be complete without a little shopping. When in Paris, les Grand Magasins (made up of Le Bon Marche, Au Printemps, and Galeries Lafayette) is the best place to go.
You’re sure to find everything you were looking for here, whether that’s clothes, perfume, leather goods, or jewelry. Don’t forget to take a moment to admire the architecture around you and head up to the roof of the Galeries Lafayette to get some amazing views of the city.
Top Must-See Places in Paris
There’s no denying that Paris is filled with incredible sights. Just follow our list of the must-see places in Paris to start creating your itinerary!
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