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Paris Sightseeing – Bucket List Icons!

by Anthony Bianco

Paris. The City of Lights. One of the world’s most visited cities, Paris offers a range of culinary, cultural and creative experiences to soak up and enjoy.

There’s so much to see and do and Paris that attractions need to be divided up into the Left and Right Banks – that is the southern and northern sides of the River Seine.

Here’s our guide for the landmark things to experience in Paris:

Left Bank (La Rive Gauche)

Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)

Eiffel tower at sunset in Paris

Probably the most iconic building in Paris and one of the most recognisable constructions in the world, the Eiffel Tower is worth seeing both during the day and night for the panoramic views at the top.

Hint: to avoid the long queues, walk up to the first level and then catch an elevator to the top. As with any popular tourism attraction in Paris, watch out for the pickpockets.

https://www.toureiffel.paris/en

Napoleon’s Tomb and Army Museum (Les Invalides)

Les Invalides is actually a number of buildings housing tributes and monuments to France’s military history, which also includes the Tomb of Napoleon.

Napoleon’s body rests inside an elaborate six coffins in a Russian doll type arrangement – soft iron, mahogany, ebony, oak and two of lead.

https://www.musee-armee.fr/en/

Musee d’Orsay

A former railway station, this museum holds numerous examples of French art, including works and masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne and Van Gogh.

Not as crowded as the Louvre, but try and avoid the crowds if you can.

https://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/home.html

Latin Quarter (Quartier latin)

The Latin Quarter is a lively part of town known for its student life and is home to a number of higher education institutions.

A throwback to medieval Paris, the Latin Quarter also has a number of picturesque gardens, museums such as the Natural History Museum, and markets.

https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73228/Quartier-Latin

Paris Catacombs (Catacombes de Paris)

Housing the remains of over six million people, the Paris Catacombs is an eerie but interesting Paris tourist attraction worth the 243 steps (131 down and 112 up), 20 metre descent and 1500 metre walk.

Originally a quarry, the site was converted into an ‘ossuary’ where you can see the bones of the exhumed stacked into walls and other room formations. A visit will take around an hour. Book ahead online if you’re going in a group.

http://www.catacombes.paris.fr/en

Paris Left Bank Map

Right Bank (La Rive Droite)

Arc De Triomphe

A monument to the people who fought and died for France during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, the Arc De Triomphe located at the western end of the Champs-Elysees.

One of life’s great experiences to see how traffic traverses around the monument. It looks like complete chaos, but somehow it just works!

http://www.paris-arc-de-triomphe.fr/en/

Champs-Élysées (Avenue des Champs-Élysées)

A world famous avenue that runs for almost two kilometres (it’s the last piece of road for the famous Tour de France cycling race), the Champs-Élysées is packed full of cafes, theatres and luxurious shopping.

Try and be here on Bastille Day on 14 July as the largest military parade in Europe passes down here.

https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73130/Avenue-des-Champs-Elysees

The Louvre (Musée du Louvre)

The most visited museum in the world at over 10 million people per year, The Louvre is most famous for housing the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Collections include Greek, Roman and Egyptian antiquities and over 7500 paintings!

Note that the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays.

https://www.louvre.fr/en

Moulin Rouge

You want Cabaret? You’ve got it at Moulin Rouge. Numerous acts involving lots of colour and movement happen every night here. The ‘Feerie’ show is made up of 80 people including 60 girls and 1000 colourful costumes made up of feathers and sequins.

Try the dinner show which includes fine dining which cater for vegans, pescatarians, or classic French cuisine.

http://www.moulinrouge.fr/

Sacre-Coeur Basilica               

A Roman Catholic church located at the highest point of the city, the basilica pays tribute to France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.

Worth the visit to take a panoramic shot of Paris.

http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/

Pere Lachaise Cemetery (Cimetière du Père Lachaise)

One of the most visited cemeteries in the world, some famous souls lie at Pere Lachaise – including Doors lead singer Jim Morrison, singer Edith Piaf, and author Oscar Wilde.

A peaceful walk around here is a good excuse the escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

https://en.parisinfo.com/paris-museum-monument/71470/Cimetiere-du-Pere-Lachaise

Paris Right Bank Map

Further Afield

For easy day trips out of Paris, try visiting the Palace of Versaille (Château de Versailles  – http://en.chateauversailles.fr/)  and if you want your dose of the Happiest Place On Earth in Europe, check out Paris Disneyland which is around 20 kilometres from the city centre (https://www.disneylandparis.com/).

Getting Around

There are many ways to get around Paris. There’s the Paris Metro (http://metromap.fr/en), River Seine Cruises, hop on hop off buses, and of course, getting around on foot – which is probably one of the best ways to see the City of Lights!

And when you’re gallivanting around Paris, don’t forget the tasty street eats, bistros, and patisseries in between!

Au revoir for now!

See more at How To Learn French, Parisian Food and French Fashion.