Paris tourist attractions

See the sights of Paris in 2021 - - the reliable guide to France

The main Paris Tourist attractions

IMPORTANT - COVID-19  information for Paris. Bars and restaurants will remain closed in France until at least March 2021. After that, the speed of the hoped-for progressive return to normal will depend on whether the spread of the virus remains under control, and on the rate at which the population can be vaccinated. At a convervative guess, Paris should be largely open again for tourism by June 2021, though some restrictions and social distancing rules may stay in place for a good while after that.
   Museums and art galleries reopen as from 15th December 2020, but social distancing rules apply. Whether they remain open in the early months of 2021 depends on whether the covid-19 virus is kept under control.

Museums Sites & sights Guided tours Other ideas Free Paris passes

See Paris from the river
Paris's river boats - for a cruise on the Seine
Paris offers the largest concentration of tourist attractions in France, and possibly in Europe. Besides some of the world's most famous musuems, its has a vibrant historic city centre, a beautiful riverscape, an extensive range of historic monuments, including cathedrals, chapels and palaces, plus one of the most famous nightlife scenes in the world.
Paris is also famous for its cafés and restaurants, its theatres and cinemas, and its general ambiance. While there are a thousand other things to do in Paris apart from those mentioned on this page, for the traveller spending just a few days in Paris , this list offers more than enough choice to fill the time. Note that national museums (i.e. the main museums) are generally closed on Tuesdays - though a few, including the Musée d'Orsay, are closed on Mondays.

Do you need a visitor Pass?
Answer "yes" if you want to see and do lots of things in Paris, but don't want to waste hours queueing for tickets at the popular sites.
These days, there are two queues to get in to the main attractions, firstly the security check, then the ticket booth. You can't avoid the security checks, but with a "skip the line" pass you'll avoid the much slower queues to get tickets to get in. Just bypas the slow-moving ticket-booth queue, and go straight on in, or use the fast-track provided for pass-holders.. recommends the Paris City Pass as offering best value for money.

Paris Museums:

Mona Lisa - Joconde
  • The Louvre
    - one of the world's great art galleries, with masterpieces such as the Mona Lisa (which is known in French as La Joconde), and works by almost all the greatest painters. The Louvre is also a major museum, with an exceptionally rich collection of antiquities and artefacts, including Egyptian mummies, Classical bronzes, and artefacts from round the world. Expect long queues at busy moments, unless you have a pass.  Choice of tickets available  online here 
  • The Musée d'Orsay
    Closed Mondays
    (Paris 7- Metro Solférino) , the museum of the nineteenth century, containg the works of the Impressionists - Monet, Manet, Sisley, Van Gogh, Renoir and others. Choice of tickets available  online here 
  • The Musée de l'Orangerie
    Closed Tuesdays
    Located on Place de la Concorde. fine collection of Impressionist art, notably the most famous of Monet's Water lilies series. Choice of tickets available online here 
  • The Musée d'Art Moderne,
    Closed Mondays
    Located at the Trocadero. The City of Paris's collection of modern art. And it's free.
  • The Musée Monet - Marmottan,
    in the 16th Arondissement, with a fine collection of Monets and other French art.  Choice of tickets available  online here  Vuitton Foundation - Bois de Boulogne
  • The Vuitton museum Musée Louis Vuitton
    The Louis Vuitton Foundation contemporary arts gallery in the Bois de Boulogne - opened 2014. Choice of tickets available online here 
  • Centre Georges Pompidou,
    Closed Tuesdays
    (Beaubourg, 4° arrondissement), Large collection of avant garde art, housed in a very avant garde building. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Choice of tickets available online here 
  • Musée Rodin
    Closed Mondays
    7° arrondissement - museum devoted to the works of the great sculptor Auguste Rodin.
  • Musée National Picasso,
    3° arrond. Metro St.Paul - Now reopened after major renovation.

Other main sites and sights:

  • The Eiffel tower - take the lift to the top, for a spectacular panorama of Paris. The tower is 317 metres high, over 1,000 ft.
  • Notre Dame de ParisNotre Dame cathedral - Paris's iconic cathedral will remain shut for some years while the building is renovated following the devastating fire of April 2019. .
  • La Sainte Chapelle, not far from Notre Dame. thirteenth century royal chapel, with remarkable stained glass windows. (included in passes)
  • The Arc de Triomphe - the largest triumphal arch in the world, commissioned by Napoleon. Another place with spectacular views over Paris. (included in passes)
  • Montmartre, and the Sacré Coeur. Narrow streets, filled with artists, round the 19th century basilica on top of a hill on the north edge of Paris.
  • Les Champs Elysées; one of the most famous streets in the world, a broad tree-lined boulevard. Enjoy a drink on a pavement café, but watch the prices !
  • Seine river boats (les bateaux mouche). Take a trip on one of the famous Seine river boats, and see Paris from the river. Departures from the Pont Neuf. Or use the Batobus.. daily and weekly passes from 12 to 17 Euros.
  • Les Invalides A fine military museum, containing the tomb of Napoleon, and a remarkable collection of historic models of French cities (included in Paris Museum pass).
  • The Latin quarter; narrow streets, with lots of cafés and restaurants, antique shops and boutiques, near the Sorbonne university. Free! (See more things to do for free in Paris)
  • La Cité des Sciences Paris 19 . Metro line 7 - Porte de la Villette. The Paris science museum, well worth a visit.
  • Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris 1°. Metro Louvre. Museum of decorative arts, close to the Louvre.
  • The Château de Versailles - The fabulous castle of King Louis XIV, 20 km from the centre of Paris. Take RER C train from central Paris to Versailles.  Château entrance tickets online here

Other tourist attractions in Paris.....

  • Paris panorama

    See Paris from the top of the Tour Montparnasse, the tallest office block in the city. Panoramic viewing area, and it's the only place from which the skyline isn't spoiled by the tour Montparnasse...
  • The Gardens of the Luxembourg;

    The classic Paris city park. Off Boulevard St. Michel.
  • Paris by night:

    Many tour-bus operators run Paris by night tours; but there's no need to take a tour. The lights and sights can be seen in may ways. The most carefree option is to just stroll down the Champs Elysées and along the banks of the Seine, looking at the lights and the illuminated monuments that can often be seen from afar. Then there plenty of restaurants with chairs and tables outside, where you can have dinner and watch the world go by. Then of course there is Pigalle, Paris's raunchy nightlife district, with its arrray of bars, cabarets, clubs and shows.
  • The Moulin Rouge:

    The most famous cabaret in Paris, situated in Pigalle at the foot of Montmartre. Running since 1889. 

Taking a trip outside of Paris:

The most visited locations on the outskirts of Paris are:
1. the château de Versailles (train from Gare Montparnasse, or RER C line from St Michel Notre Dame, Musée d’Orsay, Invalides, Pont de l’Alma, or Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel. Château entrance tickets online here.

2: Château de Fontainebleau - train from Gare de Lyon. Château entrance tickets online here.

Use the trains or hire a car at a location on the outskirts of Paris, to avoid having to drive in the streets of Paris. See tips on car hire on the outskirts of Paris.

Paris underground.....
Two offbeat visits to see the Paris other people haven't seen.....

The Paris sewer museum.

(Musée des égouts) Quai d'Orsay - (Metro Alma-Marceau) There is a whole underground city beneath the Paris streets, and the Metro is just one part of it. The ancient sewerage system is a historic monument, and it has its own museum and tour visit.

The Paris catacombsThe Paris catacombs

1, avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy 75014 Paris Tél. : 01 43 22 47 63
Metro Denfert-Rochereau
Eery underground ossuary, filled with the bones and skeletons of some 6 million Parisians, removed from city graveyards between 1786 and the mid 19th century. 2 km walk underground. 130 steps down, 83 up. Website
Reservation recommended

More information on things to do in Paris: Visit
the insider's guide

Eating out in Paris

There are thousands of restaurants to choose from in Paris; as well as plenty of French restaurants, there are hundreds of Italian restaurants, pizzerias, Vietnamese restaurants, and restuarants serving food from just about every country in the world. There are also interesting French regional restaurants, serving traditional regional dishes.
There are restaurants all over Paris, because Paris is very much a lived-in city. The best concentrations of top-class restaurants in Paris are near the Champs Elysees, in the 8th, 16th and 17th arrondissements, where there are a good number of Michelin starred restaurants. For more affordable eating, and plenty of choice and atmosphere, try the small streets in the Latin quarter (5th and 6th districts), or on the Ile St. Louis.

For the best oriental cuisine, go to the Paris Chinatown, south from the Place d'Italie in the 13th.

About-Paris guide - Pages of useful information for visitors to Paris
Paris hotel information The quarters of Paris Paris transport tips
The Eiffel Tower Budget Paris Paris airport guide
Disneyland Paris Paris for free Paris in the Spring
Paris with children A week in Paris Paris car hire
Christmas shopping Other areas of France

Problem? Click for Paris Emergency numbers
Eiffel tower at sunset

The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre museum

paris City Vision
Paris City Vision offers a range of all inclusive guided tours in and round Paris

Day trips from Paris

Day trip excursions from Paris, by coach or minibus, including

Private minibus tours from your hotel

Private guided tours with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel. Click for minibus tour catalog

Hotels near the Eiffel Tower.
Click here
for a choice of over 50 hotels close to the Eiffel tower

Disneyland Paris... just click

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