If you are going to the capital of France and want to know the places to see in Paris, here we will tell you everything you need to know. There are many places to visit in Paris that are worthwhile and no one can stay with a single monument that is essential.
The best places to see in Paris are here, although surely you know some other corner that is worth knowing.
The essential places to see in Paris
1. Notre Dame Cathedral
Without a doubt, one of the most impressive cathedrals in the world and one of the most visited. And of course, the best things to see in Paris.
The Notre Dame Cathedral, which has been immortalized in numerous films and stories, stands out for its spectacular façade with its large rose window and its two tall towers, visible from much of the city and which enhance its beauty as it stands next to the River Seine.
You can climb the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral and have a good view of Paris. It is also mandatory to visit its interior and admire its stained glass windows and the organ.
You can take this guided tour of Notre Dame with skip-the-line access.
2. Eiffel Tower
In a list of the essential monuments to see in Paris, you cannot miss the Eiffel Tower, the most famous in France and the most visited in the world. It was created for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 with the idea of being dismantled later. But there it stayed, although many Parisians did not like the Eiffel Tower.
The iron building consists of 3 levels that you can go up by elevator or by stairs, except for the third, which only has the elevator. Although you may think that the best views are at level 3, we have to say that the best are from the second level since you have a better perspective being at a lower height.
In any case, we recommend visiting both levels and enjoying unique views of Paris.
Located on the Île de la Cité, the heart of Paris, the Sainte Chapelle is one of the best places to visit in the city, being for many the most beautiful of all Parisian monuments.
It is a Gothic church with two levels, each with its own charm, which was built in the 13th century to house the relics of Jesus Christ, which cost more than the building itself, although most were destroyed in the French Revolution.
But the best thing about Sainte Chapelle is the stained glass windows on the second level, something that will leave you speechless, especially when the sun passes through them.
4. Champs Elysées
Glamor and luxury are concentrated on the Champs Elysées, the main street to walk in Paris. The Champs Elysées is one of the great avenues of the city formed by two very different parts.
The first, which starts from the Place Concorde, is a wooded area that runs away from what is presented in the middle of the street until it reaches the Arc de Triomphe. And it is that it is transformed into a commercial street where the main fashion and jewelry firms are found.
Walking through these streets is a great experience and one of the best things to do in Paris.
5. Arc de Triomphe
As we have said before, at the end of the Champs-Elysées is another of the great icons to visit in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, almost as famous as the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral.
This Arc de Triomphe was built by order of Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate the victory in 1805 of his troops at the Battle of Austerlitz.
It is 50 meters high and you can go up to its terrace and have wonderful views of its surroundings, including the Champs Elysées, and La Defense, the financial center of Paris, in the background.
6. Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Montmartre Quarter
Without a doubt, one of the most bohemian neighborhoods in Paris and where you will find the greatest atmosphere in Paris is the Montmartre neighborhood, where we can enjoy the Moulin Rouge, the Place du Tertre with its painters and, above all, the Basilica from Sacre Coeur.
The Basilica of Sacre Coeur, almost taken from a story, is at the top of the Montmartre hill, it was built in 1873 and is one of the most beautiful sights to see in Paris along with the staircase that leads up to it.
Its interior is also very special and without a doubt one of the best visits you can make in this city.
So far all the places we have described to you are north of the Seine River. But to the south there are also places of interest, such as the Pantheon, a spectacular building that will surprise you both inside and out.
The Pantheon was the first great monument to be built in Paris and under its immense dome there is a temple with two very different parts. On the one hand, the upper one, with sublime paintings and decoration, among which the Sicard National Convention or the Foucault Pendulum stand out.
And on the other hand, the lower part, the crypt, where the tombs of illustrious Frenchmen such as Voltaire, Rousseau, Marie Curie, Emile Zola, Alexandre Dumas, Louis Braille or Victor Hugo are located.
8. Opera Garnier
Who hasn’t read or seen the Phantom of the Opera movie? Well, the place where the story takes place is the Opéra Garnier, a neo-baroque style building that opened in 1875 and is also known as the Palais Garnier, after the last name of its architect.
The writer, Gaston Leroux, was inspired by the underground lake that exists in the building and the fall of the lamp that occurred in 1896. Two real events that inspired one of the most famous stories of all time.
It is an essential place to see in Paris both for its fantastic façade and for its interior that you can visit admiring its colossal decoration as well as the Seating Area, the Marble Staircase or the Lobby.
9. Tour Montparnasse
If the Eiffel Tower did not exist, the Montparnasse Tower would probably be the main building to climb to see Paris from above. And in fact, it is if what you want to see is precisely the Eiffel Tower.
For this reason, it is said that this tower is the one from which you have the best views of Paris. Also because from the Tour Montaparnasse it is not possible to see the Tour Montparnasse. In any case, you have to climb this tower to enjoy it from its rooftop located 210 meters above Paris.
10. Palace of Versailles
It is not near the center of Paris and you will have to travel there. But it’s worth it. And you cannot leave Paris without having visited the Palace of Versailles.
The Palace of Versailles is not only the most famous royal palace in the world but also the most visited and not only for the building itself, which is spectacular, but also for its extensive gardens, where you can lose yourself and also visit other small palaces.
You may find too many tourists in the Palace of Versailles, but it is also part of its charm and you should not miss it.
11. The gardens of Paris
We could not choose just one of the parks and gardens to see in Paris and that is why we have grouped them under this very generic title. And it is that all the green areas of Paris have a special charm and are perfect for rest and relaxation.
Of these we can highlight the Jardin des Tuileries, very central and possibly the most visited. But we must not forget the Champ de Mars, located at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, or the Luxembourg Gardens, inside which is the Senate of France.
A little less visited, but no less important, is the Jardin des Plantes, the botanical garden of Paris, also surrounded by beautiful buildings.
12. Louvre Museum
We arrived at the part of the museums to visit in Paris. And above them stands the Louvre Museum, the main museum in the world. A museum so huge that it will be impossible to visit it in a single day. But if you organize yourself you can visit the most important part of the Louvre Museum.
And you should not only admire its works of art, but also its spectacular building, the Louvre Palace, which was a royal palace.
Among all the works inside, La Gioconda stands out, although it is in a room that is too crowded.
To discover the most important places in the Louvre Museum, we recommend you take this guided tour of the Louvre.
13. George Pompidou Center
Modern art also has a place in Paris. And the place where you should visit it is the Center George Pompidou, located in a very curious building in the Le Marais neighborhood, one of the main places to visit in Paris.
If you don’t like modern art, you also have reasons to visit the George Pompidou, if only to go up to its roof and have a different view of the Parisian rooftops.
Then you can walk around Le Marais and enjoy its atmosphere, its streets, its avenues, its restaurants and its monuments.
14. Musée d’Orsay
The third museum that we must highlight is the Musée d’Orsay, the museum of the Impressionists. And if we can give our personal opinion, the most beautiful museum in Paris. Yes, more so than the Louvre Museum, which, although spectacular, does not have the charm of this small museum located south of the Seine River.
In addition, it is also located in a very peculiar building, an old railway station that has not lost any of its charm.
The Musée d’Orsay consists of two floors. In the lower one we can enjoy realistic paintings such as those by Coubert, Monet, Cezanne or Manet. But above all, the Impressionists stand out with important canvases by Van Gogh and the Post-Impressionists such as Delacroix and Degas.
15. Disneyland Paris
Are you going to Paris with children? Well, you must visit Disneyland Paris. Are you going without children? Well, you should also visit one of the most charming and essential places in Paris. And it is that Disneyland Paris is not only for children and adults also enjoy like nobody else.
You can stay in a hotel in the park itself and be there, but we recommend you stay in Paris and travel there in order to enjoy both wonders.
Disneyland Paris is actually made up of two different parks, Parc Disneyland, the most famous and visited, and Walt Disney Studios Park, dedicated to the world of cinema and also very interesting.
16. The Catacombs of Paris
You cannot leave this city without visiting the Catacombs, one of the best things to do in Paris.
Inside there are more than 6 million human skeletons in a network of underground tunnels that will surprise you. They are no less than 300 km long. Incredible, right? Of course, only one part can be visited.
The corpses come from 1786 when, in order to combat the epidemics that devastated the city, they decided to move them to this place from the different cemeteries of the city.
For more information on what to see in Paris, you can visit the official Paris tourism website.