Must-See Stops in Paris
These gardens were originally created in 1612 to imitate the grand Palazzo Pitti in Florence and every corner of this lush space speaks to that noble origin. Nature, sculpture, and terrace cover over 22 hectares to form a setting so breathtaking, you’ll hardly believe you haven’t stepped into a royal fantasy. Many artistic creators,Victor Hugo for example, have used the extraordinary sight as a catalyst; igniting passionate romance and revelation into their works. Wander the geometric pathways, rest by the mirror-like waters of the Medici Fountain, and discover all the features that make this spot so unique!
The Louvre is the largest and most visited museum in not just Paris, but the whole world. It welcomes more than 9 million visitors annually and it is no wonder considering it is home to 35,000 works of art. Notable pieces include the Venus de Milo, the Mona Lisa, and Liberty Leading the People. It is nearly impossible to see all that the museum has to offer in one day. However, it is open every day but Tuesday and select holidays – so you can always plan a second visit!
The wrought-iron latticed tower stands 324 metres tall and, like the Louvre, is on the list of global must-sees. It is the most visited paid-for monument in the world – an amazing feat since it was intended to be a temporary installation (originally built for the 1889 World’s Fair). There are three levels for visitors with restaurants and shops on the first two. A lift waits to take the bravest to the top and rewards them with panoramic views of Paris’s cityscape and a champagne bar. The tower is open 365 days a year with varying visiting times depending on the season.
Officially opened in 1836, the Neoclassical arc, designed by Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin, celebrates historic French military victories. High-relief sculptures adorn the four pillars, with renowned battles and the generals who led them, decorating the remaining surfaces. It too features an observation deck, as well as a small, interactive museum a level beneath the top which documents the history of the structure.
This inside-out building hides more than meets the eyes and has enough features to appeal to every visitor. Bibliophiles can puruse the vast public library while art lovers wander the the Musée National d’Art Moderne. If neither of those suit your tastes, there are cinema spaces and a rooftop restaurant for those with a penchant for Paris’s stunning views.
Maybe the contemporary art scene is not for you – well, the Musée d’Orsay is a chance to witness the largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist works in the world. Featuring art by iconic figures such as Degas, Manet, Cézanne, and Van Gogh, the Musée is a visual treasure trove. Even with the large collection, visitors may find it a more manageable visit than the Louvre thanks to fewer crowds. The relaxed atmosphere means you can take your time and top off the trip with a climb to the museum’s top balcony. There you can catch a glimpse of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica through the tremendous clock window.
The Seine is more than a pretty backdrop, it is the lifeblood of Paris. It flows directly through the heart of the city, from east to west, and divides the Left and Right banks. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is a great place to start your visit. A boat tour along the river helps new visitors orient themselves with the city – during any season! Year round tours makes it a reliable sight seeing method (even for some spots on this list!) and it is a great opportunity to check out local vendors along the banks.
Paris proves its aesthetic capabilities with Père Lachaise, the first garden cemetary dating back to 1804. It acts as Paris’s largest green space, at over 43 hectares, and is rich with vegetation and history. Specifically, the site holds three World War I memorials and is the resting place for some of France’s most well-known. Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, and similar famous personalities may be the greatest initial draw for tourists, but the captivating grounds are worth the time to wander.