The 10 Best Things to See in Paris


The Top Sites of the City of Lights

While there are a lot of things to see and do in Paris, I'm going to stick to the top ten tourist attractions of Paris. Throughout the year I'll go into more detail and break it down into categories, but for today I'll stick to the big ones.

10. Musée d'Orsay: while not as big as the Louvre, this museum still has an impressive art collection. But my reason for adding this to the list is that it is inside an old train station. It has that Belle Époque feel to it that I love.

9. The Champs Élysées: while packed with tourists you are able to marvel at all the designer stores, pass by the Petit and Grand Palais, see the Arc de Triomphe, and end up at Place de la Concorde. Of you want to stretch your legs, it's a beautiful walk. 

Notre Dame

8. Sacré Coeur: while it is not located in the best area, it is worth it to climb up its hill and look onto all of Paris. Inside be amazed by its beautiful basilica.

7. The Opera Garnier: if you want to be amazed by the classical beauty of Paris, the opera is for you. It's grand staircase and gold hallway are worth the visit. 

6. Chateau de Versailles: this is not exactly in Paris but it is a must see. The day trip is worth it to see how the kings lived and the beautiful gardens. Just try to go in the off season so that you can actually see the place without everyone else trying to do the same. 

5. Les Invalides: ok so this is something that might not come up in the guidebooks, but for a history major this is a must do. Inside Napoleon is buried in six coffins and you can spend hours looking at all the artifacts from French military history. The church has a collection of flags captured from victorious battles dating back to medieval times to World War II. If you like history this place is for you.

The Eiffel Tower and the tip of Les Invalides
4. The Louvre: this is one of the most well known museums in the world. It houses the Mona Lisa and other great works. So plan a day to get lost in one of the biggest art collections in the world. Just plan on buying your tickets in advance.

3. Arc de Triomphe: this structure was built for Napoleon as an honor to those who have served France. To this day it is still the center of military events. If you climb to the top you will get a panoramic view of Paris.

2. Notre Dame: this cathedral is over 850 years old. Even if you're not religious, go check it out. It's free to go inside but if you want to climb to the bell towers you'll have to pay. But its central location will give you panoramic views of Paris and how often do you get to climb something that's 850 years old?

1. The Eiffel Tower: this is the most iconic structure in all of France. When people see the Eiffel Tower around the world, they immediately identify it as a symbol of Paris and even France. So take to the time to marvel at its grandeur, it's beauty, and it's importance. 

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