Chic, trendy, beautiful, hipster, historical, romantic … Paris is such an amazing city. I completely loved visiting it and would like to come back again and again and again!
After all the movies, books, blog posts, songs and so many other places where I heard about Paris I didn’t want to miss out any of the most important places during my visit because I had limited time and wanted to make the most of it.
My top 10 places are: The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe), Notre Dame Cathedral, Place de la Concorde, Moulin Rouge, Sacre Coeur Basilica, Les Invalides, Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxemburg Gardens), and Versailles (Palace and Gardens).
So here they are, in this post I’m going to show you which are the places you should definitely visit and will also give you some advice on how to get there and which are their costs (if any) and opening times.
1. The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is an iron tower on the Champ de Mars. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Constructed from 1887–89, it was initially critiqued but it has become a worldwide cultural icon of France and one of the most noticeable structures in the world.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, and has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels and the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union at the top level.
Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift (elevator) to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is around 300 steps, the same as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift. It is open from 9:30 to 23:45 hrs.
- 2nd floor by lift: 16 EUR
- 2nd floor stairs: 10 EUR
- Top by lift: 25 EUR
- Stairs to 2nd floor and lift to top: 19 EUR
Read more information on the Eiffel Tower official website.
2. The Louvre
The Louvre Palace is a former royal palace located on the Right Bank of the Seine. It was originally a fortress built in the medieval period, and then it became a royal palace in the 14th century and was used sometimes by the kings of France as their main Paris residence. Now, the Musée du Louvre, has expanded to occupy most of the building.
Louvre Museum Tickets
Adults: 17 EUR
*Check availability and prices on the Louvre Museum official website.
- Open every day except Tuesday.
- Daily (except Tuesdays): 9:00 to 18:00 hrs.
- Wednesday, Friday: 9:00 to 21:45 hrs.
*Free access: from October to March access to the permanent collections is free for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month.
Read more information on The Louvre official website.
3. The Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe)
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile was formerly named — the étoile or “star” because of the connection formed by its twelve radiating avenues.
It tributes those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.
Triumphal Arch Tickets
From the top of the panoramic terrace, your eyes sweep over the whole of Paris.
Adults: 12 EUR
Every day from 10:00 to 22:30 hrs.
Read more information on the Triumphal Arch official website.
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame de Paris also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral. It is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and best-known church buildings in the Catholic Church in France, and in the world.
In 1831 the famous novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame was published by French author Victor Hugo.
Notre Dame Tickets
Admission is free.
The Cathedral is open every day of the year from 7:45 to 18:45 hrs. (19:15 hrs. on Saturday and Sunday)
Read more information on Notre Dame official website.
5. Place de la Concorde
The Place de la Concorde is one of the major public squares in Paris. It was the site of many notable public executions of royalty during the French Revolution.
On the center of the Place you will see a giant Egyptian obelisk decorated with hieroglyphics (it once marked the entrance to the Luxor Temple). It was given by the Egyptian government to the French in the 19th century.
Read more information on Place de la Concorde here.
6. Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is best known as the birthplace of the modern form of the can-can dance, a seductive which led to the introduction of cabarets across Europe.
Today, the Moulin Rouge is a tourist attraction, offering musical dance entertainment for visitors from around the world. The club’s decor still contains much of the romance of fin de siècle France.
Moulin Rouge Tickets
You can have dinner and watch a show.
*You can make a reservation online, kids are accepted starting 6 years old and correct clothing is required.
There is a show at 21:00 hrs. and another one at 23:00 hrs.
Read more information on Moulin Rouge official website.
7. Sacre Coeur Basilica
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city so you can have amazing views from there (don’t forget to bring your camera).
Sacre Coeur Basilica Tickets
Entrance is free.
The Basilica is open every day from 6:00 to 22.30 hrs.
*Access to the Dome is outside the Basilica on the left. Warning, there are 300 steps to climb and no lift! Opening hours: Every day from 8:30 to 20:00 hrs. (May to September) and 9:00 to 17:00 hrs. (October to April). Admission charge varies.
Read more information on the Basilica of Sacre Coeur official website.
8. Les Invalides (Hôtel national des Invalides)
Les Invalides or “The National Residence of the Invalids”, is a complex of buildings containing museums and monuments, all relating to the military history of France, as well as a hospital and a retirement home for war veterans (the building’s original purpose).
There you can find the Musée de l’Armée (Army Museum), the Musée des Plans-Reliefs, and the Musée d’Histoire Contemporaine, as well as the Dôme des Invalides, a large church with the tombs of some of France’s war heroes, most notably Napoleon Bonaparte.
Tickets for the Army Museum
Adult: 12 EUR
- Open every day.
- 1 April to 31 October: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 to 18:00 hrs.
- 1 November to 31 March: Monday to Sunday, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs.
Read more information on Les Invalides official website.
9. Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxemburg Gardens)
The Jardin du Luxembourg was created in 1612 by Marie de’ Medici, the widow of King Henry IV of France, and for a new residence she constructed the Luxembourg Palace.
The garden today is owned by the French Senate, which meets in the Palace. It covers 23 hectares and is known for its lawns, flowerbeds, tree-lined walkways, model sailboats, and a picturesque Medici Fountain.
Luxemburg Gardens Tickets
Free access to garden for all public.
Opens between 7:30 and 8:15 hrs. and closes between 16:30 and 21:30 hrs. according to season.
Read more information on the Senate official website.
10. Versailles (Palace and Gardens)
The Palace of Versailles is a royal château in Versailles. It is now open as a museum and is a very popular tourist attraction. Versailles was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682, when King Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris.
The gardens of Versailles represent one of the finest examples of the jardin à la française.
- Garden: free
- Palace: 18 EUR
- Garden: Open from 8:00 to 18:00 hrs.
- Palace: Open from 9:00 to 17:30 hrs.
Read more information on Versailles Castle official website.
Extra 1: Drive a Ferrari
While you visit all these places you are going to find Ferraris parked on the street. Get an awesome Parisian chic experience and drive them for around €89 per 20 minutes.
Extra 2: Eat and have a stroll around the Basilica of Sacre Coeur
I loved the nice artistic vibes around the Basilica of Sacre Coeur, the area is full of restaurants, souvenir shops, artists and ice cream!
How to visit all these places?
You are going to need at least 3 days to see all these places (or 2 if you only want to see them from outside). This is my suggestion:
1. Arc de Triomphe: you can either take a quick picture outside or spend less than an hour (depending on the queue) to get to the panoramic terrace at the top.
2. Tour Eiffel: you can either spend some time taking pictures outside (Trocadéro is where you can get the best views in my opinion) or spend some hours climbing the stairs or taking the lifts to the top.
3. Les Invalides (Army Museum): admire the nice buildings or enter the museum and spend some hours there.
4. Place de la Concorde: you can just have a quick visit to admire all the buildings and obelisk.
5. The Louvre: if you enter the museum you can spend the whole day inside.
6. Notre Dame Cathedral: take some pictures outside or spend around half an hour inside this nice cathedral.
7. Luxemburg Gardens: these gardens are so pretty, I spent around one hour taking pictures in this awesome place.
8. Sacre Coeur: there is a long queue to enter this basilica, after you see it you can have a stroll on the nice streets that surround it and have lunch on one of the delicious restaurants nearby.
9. Moulin Rouge: prepare yourself to see the show in the night.
10. Versailles Palace: this attraction is the only one which is far away from the others. If you don’t have time you can either try to see it quickly the second day (just visit the gardens) or go with calm the third day.
How to move?
some places are walking distance but I recommend you to take the metro to save time. Paris metro is not like New York Metro, it is very easy to use and you can buy a day pass for around 7.50 EUR (depending on the zones you are moving, 12.4 EUR if you are also going to Versailles).
Also, you just have to type on Google the name of the place you want to get to and it will create the route you have to follow with the respective trains and times.
Read more information about Paris Metro here.
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