They say, “Paris is always a good idea.” However, if you’re traveling for the first time, you might be wondering which of its attractions you definitely shouldn’t miss. Especially given that there’s so much to see in Paris.
From my personal experience, I’d say the following 7 attractions are the must-sees in Paris. These are my absolute favorites in the “City of Lights”. The photos will tell you why 🙂
A long time ago, Montmartre used to be an independent neighboring town of Paris. Although it is now considered to be a part of the city, the people of Montmartre (Montmartrois) don’t call themselves Parisians. They live independently and even have their own system of doing things.
Nonetheless, Montmartre remains one of the cutest areas of Paris and you definitely shouldn’t miss it. It has some of the best bakeries, restaurants, and cafes in town. They even have their own vineyard!
The area is also famous for its cabarets, the most popular name being “Moulin Rouge.”
Fun fact: If you’ve watched the movie, Amelie, you might remember the restaurant where she supposedly worked. It exists. In Montmartre 🙂
#2. Sacre Coeur
The beautiful basilica of Sacre Coeur is also located in Montmartre. If you love architecture, this will be a delight to watch. The imposing structure is one of the iconic landmarks of Paris. From its steps, you can see some of the best views of the city.
Just behind the Sacre Coeur is a park which is a popular hangout for many Montmartrois. It is not uncommon to find people sprawled across the lush green grass, basking in the sun. If you travel in fall or winter, this is a perfect place to catch some sun amidst a pretty backdrop.
#3. Pont Alexandre III
The Seine has a number of bridges connecting the Left and the Right Banks of the city of Paris. Undoubtedly, the most beautiful one among them all is the Pont Alexandre III. On any given day, you’re bound to see tens of wedding photoshoots in progress here. Such is the beauty of this place.
The river and the Eiffel tower looming in the distance makes for a beautiful backdrop, as does the intricate architecture of the bridge itself.
Plan on visiting Pont Alexandre III around sundown and wait for the lights to go on for a truly magical sight.
#4. Palais Garnier
The Palais Garnier or the Paris Opera house is a treat for the eyes. You can watch a show if you want. But even if you’re not so much into theater or opera, visit the place just to marvel at its architecture and design. I’ll let the pictures do the talking here.
#5. Eiffel Tower Summit
Of course, you’re not going to give the Eiffel Tower a miss, when in Paris. What I’m referring to, however, is a visit to the topmost level of the tower. The Summit. It will take you a while to get there given the crowds, but trust me, it’s totally worth the wait. Here’s why.
#6. Notre Dame Cathedral
Another gorgeous Gothic structure is the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. It has a length of 130 meters and a height of 35 meters, making it one of the largest and grandest cathedrals in the world. The twin towers of the cathedral go up to a height of 69 meters!
It is best to reach early to avoid the crowds. You can access the cathedral free of any charges. If you wish to climb all the way to the top to see the bell tower, there is a fee to be paid.
#7. Les Catacombs
One of the lesser-known attractions of Paris, the Catacombs is a series of underground tunnels that stretch along a large area in the city. It houses the remains of people who died ages ago. At the time, the cemeteries in Paris were overcrowded and so the authorities moved most of them to this ossuary underground.
It is definitely a creepy experience that might haunt you for a while. Nonetheless an exciting one and definitely not to be missed.
What are some of your favorite spots in Paris? I’d love to know, so feel free to share them in the comments below.