Paris is truly a world city. Known for its romantic ambience, it has inspired artists and dreamers throughout the ages with its rich culture, grand architecture, wide boulevards and iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is, without doubt, the most recognisable landmark in Paris and is one of the most visited monuments in the whole world, attracting nearly 7 million visitors a year. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose to pose for a snap by visiting the park at its base or head up the tower itself. Don’t forget to book in advance, as it’s very popular! It has three platforms, with bars and restaurants where you can fortify yourself for the 1665 steps to the third floor for the most impressive panoramic views over Paris.
Arc de Triomphe (Arc of Triumph)
This huge triumphal arch is another of the most recognisable symbols of Paris. It was built in the 19th century by Napoleon to commemorate the glory of his success on the battlefield. The sculptures which decorate the pillars were created by French sculptors, and at its base is the tomb of the unknown soldier. If you climb the 234 steps to the top of the arch, you will be rewarded with splendid views along the Champs Elysées towards the Sacré Coeur.
Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
This grand 17th century palace was built to demonstrate the wealth and power of the French court, although its opulence subsequently came to represent its excesses. The Château de Versaille is no less impressive today with its lavish decoration and beautiful works of Renaissance art. Explore the State Apartments and the dazzling Hall of Mirrors. It is built in the Baroque style and surrounded by magnificent formal gardens, which cover some 800 hectares, displaying canals, water features and statues. It is closed on Mondays.
Montmartre is one of the most historic neighbourhoods in Paris. Set on a hill, its steep, cobbled streets are known as the home of artists and painters. Its crowning glory is the impressive Basilica of Sacré Coeur, which sits on the top of the hill. Visit the Square of Tertre, close by, where local artists set up their easels to paint portraits of passers-by, or display their art for sale. In the midst of the hustle and bustle sits the Clos Montmarte Vineyard, which produces fine local wine in the heart of the city. The Musée de Montmartre celebrates the work of the artists who once lived here, including Auguste Renoir. Also situated in Montmartre is the world-famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge, which has been entertaining visitors since 1899.
Sacred Heart Basilica of Montmartre (Sacre-Coeur) For more information see the Places of Worship Section
Le Marais is the most intact neighbourhood of Paris, retaining the atmosphere of the medieval city, with many buildings and streets pre-dating the French Revolution. This area is also home to some of the most famous sights of Paris, including the Musée Picasso, Musée des Arts et Métiers, the Centre Pompidou and the National Archives of France.
Louvre Museum For more information see the Museums Section
Notre Dame Cathedral For more information see the Places of Worship Section