Info and photos of top tourist attractions in Paris
Here is a selection of museums, monuments and other famous places in Paris that should be on your ‘must-do’ list if this is your first trip.
Paris is incredibly rich in cultural attractions.
The city alone has more than 300 museums – just staggering.
And Paris is estimated to receive around 30 million visitor a year!
So what are some of the most famous places to visit in Paris?
Here is a selection of some of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris. We’ve included lots of photos too!
TEN Famous Places In Paris
Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris
One of the most famous places in Paris.
A masterpiece of French Gothic architecture. Construction started in 1163 and was finished around 1345. Napoléon crowned himself emperor here in 1804. Famous for beautiful stained glass “Rose” windows.
One of the most famous french monuments of all! Designed by Gustave Eiffel for the International Exhibition of Paris in 1889 to commemorate the centenary of the Revolution.
The world’s tallest building until 1930; almost torn down in 1909 but was saved because of its antennae used for telegraphy.
Palais du Louvre
Originally a military fortress in the 13th century and rebuilt in the middle of the 16th as a royal palace. Converted into a museum in 1973.
Featuring western art from the Middle Ages to 1848 (paintings, sculptures, objets d’art and graphic arts) and ancient civilisations (Oriental, Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan and Roman antiquities); Islamic, African, Asian, Oceanic and North and South American arts.
Most famous works: Mona Lisa (da Vinci), Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothracem, Michelangelo’s Slaves as well as works by Raphael, Botticelli and Titian.
Arc de Triomphe
Commissioned in 1806 by Emperor Napoléon in honour of France’s military victories, the Arc de Triomphe is also one of the most recognisable and famous places in Paris. Design was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus; construction began in 1806 but wasn’t completed until 1836.
Beneath the Arc is the tomb of the Unknown soldier, which commemorates soldiers who lost their lives during World War I.
Basilique du Sacré Coeur
The Sacré Coeur basilica was built towards the end of the 19th century, at the top of the Montmartre Hill, north of downtown Paris. Famous for its bright white stone, you can climb up the 200-odd steps to the dome, which has wonderful views of the city.
Located in a former train station built in 1900, and opened as a museum in 1986.
Displaying France’s national collection of paintings, sculptures, dating from between 1848 and 1914 – impressionist, post impressionist and Art Nouveau movements – including Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas, Manet, Van Gogh and Cézanne, Matisse.
Les Invalides is actually made up of several buildings, including the Musée de l’Armée (military museum of the Army of France), the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the the church of Saint Louis (soldier’s church) and royal chapel, Dôme des Invalides, where you can see Napoleon’s tomb.
Les Invalides was originally built as a military hospital in the 1670s by Louis XIV.
Palace of Versailles
Built in the mid 17th century during the reign of Louis XIV (the Sun King) to symbolize the glory and power of the monarchy.
- The Galerie des Glaces (Hall of Mirrors), where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1919, signifying the end of World War I;
- the royal bedrooms of the King and Queen; and
- Salon de Hercules, with its beautiful frescoed ceiling.
Centre Pompidou – Musée national d’art moderne
Contemporary art museum, including works by: Matisse, Picasso, Duchamp, Kandinsky, Ernst, Warhol, etc and as well as the latest contemporary artists. The artwork inside isn’t the only attraction: the building itself is daringly modern, with elevators and coloured pipes on the outside.
Place de la Concorde
This is where the guillotine executions took place during the Revolution – Louis XVI, Marie-Antoinette, Danton, Robespierre, and 2800 more died here between 1793 and 1795.
More Famous Places In Paris, Vacation Ideas
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Find out about some of the most visited monuments in France, not just famous places in paris but other regions.