Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. From the Eiffel Tower to the Louvre Museum, Paris has something to offer every type of traveler.
With so much to see and do, deciding which attractions to visit can be challenging during your trip. To make it easier, we’ve compiled a list of Paris’s top 20 tourist attractions.
This list covers Paris’s best and most popular places, from iconic landmarks to little-known hidden gems.
Whether you want to explore the city’s incredible art and culture or enjoy its picturesque views, this guide is guaranteed to help you make the most of your stay in Paris.
1) Eiffel Tower and Champ De Mars
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited tourist attractions on the planet. It was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and was initially intended to be demolished after 20 years, but it has become a permanent fixture of Paris’ skyline.
At 324 meters tall, you’ll get a spectacular view from its top floor at 379 meters (1,235 feet).
The tower is open during daylight hours, and visitors can buy tickets online before arriving at the building.
You can also buy tickets directly from vendors in front of the Eiffel Tower if you don’t have time to purchase online beforehand!
There are three levels inside:
- Level 1 (patio level): Open-air patio area where you can dine or relax with a drink
- Level 2 (upper terrace): Open-air terrace with great views over Paris
- Level 3 (first floor): The indoor viewing platform offers panoramic views over Paris.
2) Louvre Museum
The renowned Louvre Museum, situated in the heart of Paris on the Right Bank of the River Seine, is a French museum containing some of the most celebrated artworks in the world.
It was founded during the 14th century by King Louis IX with 800 paintings and sculptures from his collection.
Today it houses over 35,000 objects (both authentic and replicas) from prehistory to the 19th century, including famous masterpieces such as Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci (1503), Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch (ca 120 BC), The Raft of Medusa by Théodore Géricault (1819–1824).
3) Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles, located in Versailles, France, is a royal palace built by Louis XIV and his architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart.
Built as a hunting lodge in 1623, it was turned into a royal residence by Louis XIV in 1671 when he moved out of Paris and into the secluded manor house (now known as “Le Petit Trianon”).
The chateau or castle has 775 rooms spread over six floors with gardens stretching over 73 acres (30 hectares).
In its heyday under Louis XIV, it was one of the largest palaces in Europe, with 1,500 servants serving 500 guests at any time.
4) Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is a Gothic-style building on the Île de la Cité in the core of Paris, France.
It is the most renowned church in the city and one of the greatest exemplifications of French architecture.
The cathedral was constructed between 1163 and 1345 under Louis VII, Philip Augustus, and Saint Louis (Louis IX).
The building was constructed on foundations laid by Maurice de Sully during his ministry as bishop of Paris (1160–1180), but construction took over 150 years to complete due to interruptions caused by war and lack of funds. It was not finished until 1845.
Notre Dame covers an area with a floor space more significant than that at Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome or Saint Paul’s Cathedral in London; its towers are almost double those at Amiens Cathedral (120 m/393 ft vs. 82 m/269 ft) or Chartres Cathedral (105 m/344 ft vs. 77 m/252 ft).
It contains hundreds of sculptures from all periods, from Romanesque masterpieces to modern works by Rodin and others from after 1900
Sainte-Chapelle, located on the Île de la Cité and designed by King Louis IX (later canonized), was built in 1248.
The chapel is a 13th-century masterpiece that combines stained glass windows and a chapel. Sainte-Chapelle is one of Paris’ most iconic attractions and can be found within the Palais de Justice area of Paris.
The chapel was built to house the Crown of Thorns, one of the most revered relics in Christianity.
It is believed that King Louis IX obtained the relic when he went on a crusade to the Holy Land.
The chapel is also famous for its stained glass windows, some of the most exquisite in Paris, and are responsible for giving Sainte-Chapelle its name (which translates to “Holy Chapel”).
6) Paris Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs are underground ossuaries in Paris, France. The ossuaries are the remains of the dead, with more than six million people buried in them.
The Catacombs of Paris comprise a labyrinthine system of tunnels housing the remains of around six million people. The bones were taken from cemeteries and brought to the city in horse-drawn carriages, gathered from quarrying limestone nearby.
This venture took numerous years to ascertain a safe and tranquil spot for all who died during that period.
It ensured that their corpses wouldn’t be disturbed while people were still living above ground, which could have happened before this task was concluded.
Montmartre is a hill in Paris, France. It attracts many tourists because it’s home to the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur, built between 1875 and 1914 by architect Paul Abadie and painter Louis Visconti.
Many art galleries, restaurants, and cafes in Montmartre make it a popular tourist destination for people visiting France for business or personal reasons.
Montmartre is also home to a guillotine used during the French Revolution. The guillotine was last used in 1977 when murderer Hamida Djandoubi was executed.
I recommend going to the rue Rodier and searching for Pizzeria Loretta. I’ve worked here for almost three years, and it has the best pizza in Paris.
8) The Pompidou Center
The Pompidou Center is a modern art museum in the Beaubourg area of Paris.
Designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, it is considered to be one of the most important architectural achievements of the 20th century.
It has a great view from its rooftop terrace, which takes you above the city and over to Notre Dame Cathedral. The museum has an impressive collection of modern art, including works by Picasso, Matisse, Dali, and many others.
The museum is also home to an extensive collection of modern works. There are many interactive exhibits throughout the museum, including an exhibition where you can paint your self-portrait on a giant canvas.
The museum has two restaurants on the first floor: Le Cafe du Musée and Le Café Pompidou. There is also a gift shop with unique gifts for art lovers of all ages.
9) Place de la Concorde
Located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, this square is one of the most famous in the city. It has been known by many names, including Place Louis-XV and Place de la Révolution (although it was never actually called that).
Back in Napoleon’s day, there used to be an obelisk in the middle, but they took it down and replaced it with a tree.
It was later restored and moved to another part of Paris before being put back up again here at Place de la Concorde in 1836.
This rectangular park is surrounded by luxury hotels like Crillon, Bristol, Ritz, and Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which offers views over the Seine River on one side; you’ll also see several statues throughout this space as well as fountains with goldfish swimming around inside them!
10) Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is a true marvel of architecture. It’s the perfect place to wander, ponder, and learn about history.
This monument in the heart of the Champs-Elysées was a tribute to those who bravely served in Napoleon’s army throughout his numerous battles with different European countries.
The Arc comprises two arches stretching across traffic lanes on either side of the Champs-Élysées.
It stands 46 meters (151 feet) tall and has ample interior space that can fit up to 40 people at once!
The architect who designed this structure was Jean Francois Chalgrin, and its designer was Jean-Nicolas Huyot de Ville-Isle.
11) Seine River Cruise
Cruise boats on the Seine come in all shapes and sizes.
You can choose from an intimate gondola or a large cruise ship with multiple decks. This is an excellent way to see the city and get a feel for its history while enjoying beautiful views of its landmarks at the same time.
The best time to visit this attraction is during summer when there’s more sunshine than rain and fewer tourists than wintertime would bring in.
12) Pont des Arts
You might know the Pont des Arts as a place where lovers attach locks to commemorate their relationship. It’s also known as “Love Lock Bridge,” and for a good reason: milling about the bridge, you can see hundreds of these padlocks on display.
For those who don’t know, here’s how it works: couples will visit this pedestrian bridge over the Seine River in Paris and attach a lock as a symbol of their love.
Then they throw away the key into the river below, which is said to ensure that their love will stay intact forever (even if it doesn’t work out).
13) Marche aux Puces St-Ouen Flea Market
If you’re looking for a place to find unique souvenirs, then the Marche aux Puces St-Ouen Flea Market is the place for you. This flea market is the largest in Europe and is open every day except Monday year around.
The market is in the northern suburbs of Paris and can be accessed by public transportation or car.
The market is open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm each Sunday, but it’s best to get there early before the crowds flood.
I used to live in Avenue da Saint Ouen a few years ago, and I used to go there almost every Sunday.
The Marche aux Puces is a great place to find fun and unique souvenirs for your friends and family back home. You can find everything from vintage clothing, antique furniture, records, toys, and more!
14) Luxembourg Gardens
The Luxembourg Gardens are located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. The park was opened in 1612 and named after Luxembourg Palace, now the French Senate.
The gardens feature a statue of Joan of Arc and a children’s playground and fountain. The fountain was built in 1848 by Alexandre Placide Dagnan-Bouveret and was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Steadfast Tin Soldier.”
The Luxembourg Gardens are free to enter and open every day from 7 am until 10 pm.
The Luxembourg Palace was built between 1615 and 1620 as the Paris residence of Charles de Lorraine, Duke of Mayenne.
Marie de Medici acquired it in 1630 and sold it to Louis XIII in 1631 as a winter residence for himself and his family.
15) Orsay Museum & Rodin Museum
The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France. It is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.
The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography.
It also contains displays about major artists like Monet or Rodin, who were influenced by Naturalism and Impressionism movements.
The museum opened in 1977 and has since been one of Paris’ most popular tourist interests. It is one of the largest art museums in France, with about 1,300 paintings on display.
Local politician Léon Bourgeois first conceived the Musée d’Orsay to bring art and artists back to Paris after WWII. Gustave Eiffel built the station between 1898 and 1900 as part of his “Gare d’Orsay” project, which included a hotel, restaurant, and rail platforms for trains running between Versailles-Rive Gauche and Saint-Germain en Laye.
16) Cimetière du Père Lachaise
The Cimetière du Père Lachaise is a famous cemetery in Paris, France. It is the largest cemetery in the city and one of the most visited tourist attractions.
Established in 1804, it was named after a Jesuit priest and contained more than 70,000 tombs. Some of the most famous people buried there include French writer Molière, French singer Edith Piaf, and American rock star Jim Morrison.
The cemetery also contains many other notable graves, including those of French painter Eugène Delacroix, French poet Oscar Wilde, and German composer Ludwig van Beethoven.
With its vast array of memorials and monuments, this cemetery is a unique place that brings together different cultures worldwide to remember their lost loved ones.
17) Latin Quarter & Jardin Des Plantes
Located near the banks of the Seine River, these two sites offer visitors a unique look into the history and culture of France.
The Latin Quarter is known for its vibrant intellectual atmosphere and is home to several universities and libraries, such as Sorbonne University.
Visitors can explore cobblestone streets filled with quaint cafes, shops, and galleries. Meanwhile, Jardin des Plantes is a picturesque garden that houses one of Europe’s most renowned botanical collections.
It features greenhouses filled with exotic plants worldwide and outdoor gardens boasting breathtaking landscapes.
Whether you’re looking for a place to relax or explore some of France’s best attractions, these two iconic spots are bound to satisfy your needs.
18) Galeries Lafayette
No trip to Paris would be complete without visiting the famous Galeries Lafayette. This elaborate 19th-century department store is an unforgettable shopping experience, boasting a grand glass-domed atrium dripping with chandeliers, crystal, and marble.
Spread across four floors are haute couture, accessories, gourmet food, perfumes and beauty products, jewelry, and even a kid’s zone.
It’s easy to lose track of time browsing the elegant aisles even if you don’t plan to purchase anything, so make sure to come early to get the whole experience!
19) Canal Saint-Martin
The Canal Saint-Martin is one of Paris’ most romantic spots and a great place to go for a stroll.
The canal is situated in the 10th arrondissement and is flanked by trees, grassy areas, and little bridges.
This artificial canal was opened in 1825. While it was initially built to bring fresh water into Paris, today, it’s a popular hot spot for locals, tourists, and couples wanting to enjoy peace.
You can even hire boats to float along the canal while you take in all its beauty.
A few restaurants, bars, cafes, and shops also line the canal, so you can sit back, relax, and watch the world go by.
It’s also close to other attractions, such as Place de la République, so you can tick more than one tourist destination off your list when you visit the Canal Saint-Martin!
The Champs-Élysées is an iconic street in Paris that no traveler should miss. Stretching from Place de la Concorde to Arc de Triomphe, it’s probably the most famous avenue in the world.
The Champs-Élysées is home to some of the biggest names in fashion, including Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent.
Here you’ll also find various high-end restaurants and, of course, the iconic Ladurée macarons.
It’s great for window shopping and people-watching, so take some time to slow down and enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful street.
From here, you can also visit Jardin des Tuileries and take a ride on the legendary Ferris wheel, the Grande Roue.
Best Paris Tours
For starters, consider taking a tour of the Eiffel Tower, one of the most iconic attractions in Paris, or the stunning Palais Garnier, a world-renowned opera house and music venue.
If you love spooky places, Les Catacombes is a must-see.
This network of underground tunnels holds the remains of millions of people who once walked the streets of Paris.
There are also boat tours that give visitors an up-close look at some of Paris’s most famous landmarks from different angles and walking tours through some of the city’s beloved neighborhoods.
Booking with a trusted guide service can make your visit even more enjoyable and informative.
Can you visit Paris in one Day?
Visiting Paris in one day is possible, but it may be challenging to see everything the city offers in such a short time.
Consider taking a guided tour of the town. This will give you an overview of the major sights, such as the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre.
Also, make sure to leave time for leisure activities such as strolling along the Champs-Élysées or settling down for lunch in a café.
Consider using public transportation or even renting a bike to get around quickly and easily.
With careful planning and an efficient itinerary, it is possible to make your one-day trip to Paris an unforgettable experience!
What are the top attractions in Paris?
The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, Champs-Elysees Avenue, Arc de Triomphe, Center Pompidou, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Catacombs of Paris, Palace of Versailles, Sainte-Chapelle Church and Latin Quarter.
If you’re looking for something unique and off the beaten path during your trip to Paris, I highly recommend Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck. You can get an unparalleled view of the city from its 209-meter observation deck.
Another great spot is the Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th arrondissement for its sprawling gardens filled with trees, sculptures, and fountains.
Last but not least, I suggest stepping back in time by visiting Place des Vosges, Europe’s oldest square in the Marais district.
What should I be careful of in Paris?
Paris is a fantastic city with many exciting things to do and explore. However, it’s essential to be mindful of certain pitfalls that can spoil your experience.
- Always take tickets for any attractions/shows beforehand. This is especially true for popular attractions like the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, which often require reservations even months ahead.
- Avoid taking pictures in specific areas like police stations, military establishments, and places of worship.
- Note that the Champs Elysees is generally more expensive than other districts for shopping, so try shopping elsewhere for better deals.
Paris, France, is home to some of the world’s most iconic monuments, museums, and attractions.
From the stunning Eiffel Tower and the spectacular Louvre to the magnificent Notre Dame and the romantic Montmartre hill, Paris has something for everyone.
Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a cultural experience, Paris has it all. With so much to see and do, it’s no wonder that Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.