Paris tourist attractions

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 The main Paris Tourist attractions


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.

Paris Museums:  

Mona Lisa - Joconde
The Louvre

Closed  Tuesdays
- 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.


The Musée d'Orsay
Sisley - musée OrsayClosed  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. 

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..

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 Marmottan, in the 16th Arondissement, with a fine collection of Monets and other French art. 

 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

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.,

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 - one of the finest gothic cathedrals in Europe. Entrance to the cathedral is free. Entrance to the towers is not, but is included in passes. Climb the 400 steps to the top of the towers .
  • 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.

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.  More info

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.
2: Château de Fontainebleau - train from Gare de Lyon.

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

The Stade de France

France's iconic sports stadium.
See  Ticketbar.

More information on things to do in Paris: Visit ParisAdvice.com 
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.

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