What to see and visit

What do I want to see in Paris? Such a difficult and easy question at the same time. There is so much to see in Paris that one could come one and a thousand times more and in each trip discover something new, or see things with different eyes.
For a first visit, you need about 3 full days to visit the city (actually 3 nights) and an additional day if you wish to visit the Palace of Versailles. Anything additional is always a gain. This does not mean that if you only have one day to visit Paris you should just abandon your plans, on the contrary, any chance to visit this amazing city should be taken and we’ll tell you how to get the most out of it here (see our Detailed Travel Guides).

 

First trip to Paris: The “MUSTS” of the city

The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris. The most photographed monument in the whole world, and it was built in 1889 by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle that took place that year. It is 320 meters high, composed of 15 thousand metallic pieces welded to each other, with a total weight of seven thousand tons.

Simply looking at it is incredible, but if you wish to have your breath taken away, go see the Tower at night. Don’t miss out !

If you wish to go up the Tower (2020 prices):

  • By foot: Access up to the second floor. Only sold at the counter. Price: 10.40€ for adults, children 5.20€, 2.6€ or free (depending on their age)
  • Elevator to the second floor: 16.60€
  • Elevator to the second floor and the top: 25,90€
  • Plan your visit to the Eiffel Tower ahead of time and try to purchase your tickets online directly on their official website.
  • Para tener en cuenta: el acceso a la torre es restringido (por su capacidad) y también puede variar en función de las condiciones climatológicas.

 

All the details and how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our our Detailed Travel Guides and our blog.

Eiffel Tower

The world’s most beautiful avenue offers a promenade that is worth enjoying. Take a stroll down this avenue and let your curiosity take you into the different shops, show rooms and French cafés.

At the end the Champs Elysees awaits the world’s biggest arc. Measuring 50 meters high and 45 meters wide (you can imagine the proportions already…but it’s best you see it with your own eyes), it was built upon Napoleon I’s request to celebrate the Grande Armée (the multinational Napoleonic army) and was finished in 1836.

If you wish to go up to the top of the arc you will have to make line, which you will find when descending into the tunnel that leads to the arc, pay, and be willing to go up around 300 stairs, otherwise simply walk past the line and take the stairs that will take you to the Arc for free.

All the details on how and when to visit this incredibly monument can be found on ourDetailed Guides and on our blog.

The arc of triumph

This lavish bridge is found between the Grand and Petit Palais (next to the Champs Elysees) and the building and dome of Les Invalides.

The bridge was built in 1900 to celebrate the Franco Russian friendship and is worth taking a walk down. Take many pictures, enjoy the view on both sides and imagine walking down it back in 1900. On the right hand side of the bridge (with your back to les Invalides) is the Simón Bolivar statue, a Liberator in South America, who was very close to France.

All the details on how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our Detailed Guides and on our blog.

Pont Alexandre III

Located on the Island of the City (Île de la Cité in French) where Paris was born, this majestic construction is a must when visiting the City of Lights.
After the fire from April 2019, it is not possible to get inside, but you can you can appreciate it from the outside, from Pont des Cœurs, Pont de l’Archêveché, from the banks of the Seine or in the main square.

The fire initiated in the scaffoldings put in place for the reconstruction of the giant arrow, which was devoured by the flames, as well as the roof. Fortunately, the impressive intervention by the fire department allowed for much of the infrastructure to be saved, as well as many treasures and relics that were evacuated from the building. The quality assurance of the structure and removal of debris process continue up till this day. Being able to access the inside of this architectural jewel will take at least 5 years.

Even so, from afar, take a few moments to admire this magnificent structure that inspired so many writers and movies. It’s construction began in 1163 and was finished around 1345. More informations in our Detailed Guidesand our blog.

The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral

This Basilic is located on the highest part of the Mount of the Martyr. It is a permanent place of prayer and worship; it is a huge structure that was a promise or offering from the Parisian after the war with Prussia (Germany) in 1870.

Entry is free but photos are not allowed. Once you exit the Basilic, a colorful and interesting neighborhood awaits. This is a charming little corner of Paris.

ATTENTION: When you begin your ascent to Montmartre, men will try to offer you bracelets, they may even grab your hand and try to force them onto your wrist. Be firm and say “No, thank you” and keep going your way. They are not dangerous or bad people, but they have a tendency to try and force tourists into buying these bracelets.

All the details on how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our Detailed Guides and on our blog.

THE SACRED HEART OF JESUS AND MONTMARTRE BASILIC (SACRÉ CŒUR)

The world’s largest museum! You will find the works of Delacroix, Da Vinci and many others here. Although there are always large crowds waiting to go in, this ancient palace is worth a visit.

First suggestion: try and select afternoon hours for your visit. If you go very early, you will more than likely be making line for around 2 hours due to the security check points.
Second suggestion: Choose what you want to see ahead of time and prepare yourself psychologically to walk a lot inside this ancient royal abode. Consider visiting the museum during it’s night hours (until 9:45 p.m.) every Wednesday and Friday.

The ticket price is 17€. Beware the fake tickets controllers.

All the details on how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our Detailed Guides and on our blog.

THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

Sincerely, for DiscoveringParis.com, this is the most beautiful museum in Paris. A train station-turned-home for some of the most representative art works by Impressionists. It hosts works by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cézanne, amongst many others.

It is a much smaller museum compared to the Louvre, but it can get very full as well. The entry fee is 12€.
Try and visit it during it’s night hours on Thursday (if you can) or buy your tickets online and skip the line.
Tip: visit from the top down.

All the details on how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our Detailed Guides and on our blog.

THE ORSAY MUSEUM

Located in the city of Versailles, 30 minutes west from Paris. A lot of history and beauty are hidden in this marvelous place, well worth a visit. Coming here implies having a full day open, especially, if the weather permits, so you can visit the gardens and the Estate of Trianon.

To get to the palace, you will need to take RER C headed towards Château de Versailles (not Versailles Chantiers, be careful). You will need to buy a special train ticket, as your Parisian metro ticket “t+” cannot be used for this.

Tip: To avoid long lines and a slightly “tumultuous” visit, we suggest you visit the gardens first, in the morning.

All the details on how and when to visit this beautiful monument can be found on our Detailed Guides and on our blog.

THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES

Up next we give you a slightly more extensive list of things you can do and see in Paris. Ever one of these visits and themes will be further developed on our blog, and many of them are included in ourDetailed Guides.

  • River tour on a Bateaux Mouche
  • Walk across the Pont des Arts (known as the Bridge of Love Locks before) and the River Seine
  • Visit the Saint Chapelle
  • Relax at the Luxembourg Gardens
  • Visit the Opera Garnier
  • Walk around and eat in the Marais
  • Eat a good “galette” and a good crêpe
  • Visit at least one Parisian Department Store
  • Walk around Place Vendôme
  • Visit the Rodin Museum
  • Visit La Madeleine and the renown Rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré
  • Go up to the Panoramic Observatory of Montparnasse
  • Visit the Pantheon
  • Walk and eat at Rue Mouffetard
  • Visit the Père Lachaise cemetery
  • Visit Les Invalides and Napoleon I’s grave
  • Relax at the Parc Montsouris
  • Eat around the Canal Saint-Martin
  • Visit the Place de la République
  • Visit the Arc of La Défense
  • Visit the Petit Palais
  • Check out an exhibition at the Grand Palais
  • Venture into the Catacombs of Paris
  • Go to a Parisian cabaret show
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