With an incomparable heritage of historic sites, iconic monuments and attractions, Paris is a dream destination for visitors in search of places to discover. Classic, innovative and offbeat, the capital offers a unique cultural journey through 2,185 monuments, 206 museums and many other exceptional places.
The top things to do on a first-time visit: enjoy a panoramic view of the city from a 324-metre height at the top of the Eiffel Tower, admire Victor Hugo’s beloved gargoyles at Notre Dame Cathedral and stand at the top of the tallest hill in Paris at the Sacré Cœur Basilica. These are the three monuments most popular with visitors to Paris. Not far from Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sainte Chapelle with its beautiful stained glass windows is also well worth visiting.
A short distance from the Champs-Elysées, the Grand Palais, a huge stone, steel and glass structure, hosts prestigious exhibitions. Built by Napoleon, the Arc de Triomphe offers a breathtaking bird’s-eye view of the city.
In the heart of Paris, the Louvre is a former royal residence which was transformed into a museum after the Revolution and has since become the world’s most visited museum. The Musée d’Orsay houses the largest collection of Impressionist and post-Impressionist paintings in the world.
Another must-see is the Palais Garnier with its ornately decorated façade and its ceiling painted by Marc Chagall. Finally, a trip out to the Père Lachaise cemetery offers the opportunity to pay homage at the tombs of many famous people.
Take a break between your sightseeing visits to mix cultural heritage with great food at a museum or monument in Paris.
The Perchoir at the Gare de l’Est is ideal for fans of industrial architecture and offers a close-up view of the half-rose window above the entrance to the station.
Over at the Grand Palais, the Minipalais restaurant offers spectacular neo-classical decor and is a delightful place to go after admiring master paintings at the museum. If your taste is more contemporary, you’ll love the panoramic restaurant at the Philharmonie, or the Café des Marronniers, in the Tuileries – one of the finest French-style gardens in Paris.
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