Best Places to visit in Paris
From the boulevards of Paris to the fashionable seaside resorts of the Côte d’Azur, France offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. Fairy-tale castles, glorious cathedrals, and picture-perfect villages delight romantics. At the same time, the country’s contemporary monuments and rapid train transit jolt visitors from the storybook surroundings into the ambience of the 21st century. This incomparable city is filled with grandiose monuments like the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Panthéon. Yet the charm of Paris lies in the small details: the quaint cobblestone streets, perfectly manicured trees, dainty tea salons, Belle Epoque brasseries, and avant-garde art galleries. Here are the list of best places to visit in Paris.
The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world. More than 250 million people have visited the tower since it was completed in 1889. In 2015, there were 6.91 million visitors. An average of 25,000 people ascend the tower every day which can result in long queues. Constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticized by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, 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.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris referred to simply as Notre-Dame, is a medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. The cathedral was consecrated to the Virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its pioneering use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, as well as the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style. Major components that make Notre Dame stand out include its large historic organ and its immense church bells.
The cathedral’s construction began in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed. In the 19th century, the cathedral was the site of the coronation of Napoleon I and the funerals of many Presidents of the French Republic.
Musée du Louvre
The Louvre or Musée du Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris, France. The museum is housed in the Louvre Palace, originally built as the Louvre castle in the late 12th to 13th century under Philip II. In 1546 Francis I converted it into the primary residence of the French Kings.
The Musée du Louvre contains more than 380,000 objects and displays 35,000 works of art in eight curatorial departments with more than 60,600 square metres dedicated to the permanent collection. The Louvre exhibits sculptures, objets d’art, paintings, drawings, and archaeological finds. It is the world’s most visited museum, averaging 15,000 visitors per day, 65 percent of whom are foreign tourists.
The Musée d’Orsay is a museum in Paris, France, housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum holds mainly French art dating from 1848 to 1914, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, and photography. It houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces in the world, by painters including Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Many of these works were held at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume prior to the museum’s opening in 1986. It is one of the largest art museums in Europe. Musée d’Orsay had more than 3.6 million visitors in 2019.
The Orsay Museum is among the best places to visit in Paris to get an overview of Impressionist art history from the gentle brush strokes of Monet to the wild, colorful scenes of Gauguin.
The Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house at the Place de l’Opéra in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, France. It was designed by Charles Garnier for the Paris Opera from 1861 to 1875 at the behest of Emperor Napoleon III. Initially referred to as “le nouvel Opéra de Paris” (the new Paris Opera), it soon became known as the Palais Garnier, in acknowledgment of its extraordinary opulence and the architect Charles Garnier’s plans and designs, which are representative of the Napoleon III style.
The Opéra Garnier hosts a prestigious calendar of events. Besides opera, there are ballet performances, classical music concerts, and gala events. Attending a performance is a wonderful way to see the building’s interior and enjoy a glamorous evening.