You’ll be spoilt for choice with things to do in this beautiful city of romance. There’s a reason Paris attracts millions of tourists every year; it is packed with culture. In fact, there are so many things to do, a weekend away might just not be enough. Our selection of the top places to visit in Paris is just the thing for you if you’re planning to make the most of a short trip.
The Eiffel Tower
This iron monument by the River Seine is by far the most well recognised symbol of the city. The original purpose of the monument was to mark the centennial of the French Revolution. At 324 metres, it is the tallest building in Paris as well as the fifth tallest in the world. A world renowned tourist hotspot, visitors can take a lift to viewing platforms on three levels, the highest of which is 276 metres. Since it has been constructed, the tower has attracted over 250 million tourists. If you plan to ascend the tower, prepare for long queues. On average, 25,000 people ascend it on any given day. It’s recommended that you book your ticket in advance of your visit in order to avoid some of these queues.
The Catacombs of Paris
If you are not claustrophobic or easily spooked, the catacombs are a must see hidden gem in the city. Used as a burial place in the 18th century and now holding approximately six million skeletons. The bones are stacked along the walls of the tunnel, as well as being arranged in a variety of patterns. A tour of the catacombs takes approximately an hour; it is a delightful mix of fascinating, unusual, and haunting. Whilst visitors are free to explore a little over a mile of the catacombs, the tunnels expand for many more miles beyond, unfortunately it’s illegal to visit most of them.
Exhibiting over 35,000 works, the Louvre is one of the foremost art galleries in the world and is situated right in the centre of the city. One of the most famous pieces housed within the walls of this stunning building is da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Expanding over 60,000 metres, the museum can be somewhat overwhelming; thankfully, guided tours lasting ninety minutes are available, as well as audio tours in multiple languages. Flash photography is not permitted inside the museum.
The Palace of Versailles
Louis XIV transformed what was originally a hunting lodge into the magnificent residence that millions of tourists now visit each year. Its beautiful gardens, which took forty years to complete, are almost as spectacular as the palace itself. Located 20 kilometres outside of the capital, there are a range of tour options, including guided tours and audio tours. When it was first built, Versailles was a small country village; it is now a wealthy and bustling suburb of the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Close to the Eiffel Tower, this beautiful gothic style cathedral is one of the most renowned tourist sites in Paris. It still operates as a church but tourists are welcome to tour the building to appreciate its beauty and magnificence. There are free guided tours throughout the year that visitors are welcomed to avail of. The tower outside of the cathedral is also worth a visit; the view from the top of it is quite stunning if you are up for climbing the 387 steps.