21 Must-See Places to Visit in Paris For a Tourist

Get ready to discover the best of Paris! As a first-time visitor, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start. That’s why I’ve handpicked the top 21 must-see places you can’t afford to miss while in the City of Love.

What not to miss in Paris? Let’s dive right in! – Copyright: Yann Caradec under Creative Commons 2.0


Let’s start by seeing all the sites on a map:



1) The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is the emblem of Paris, and it would be an absolute sacrilege to not at least go by and take some pictures. Today it is the second most visited building in France, right after the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral.

Looking down on Paris from its 325 meters (1066 ft) in height, the Eiffel Tower was built for the Paris World Exhibition of 1889 by Gustave Eiffel. It held the world’s highest building record until 1930 when the Chrysler Building was built in New York City.

Endure the queue and the height and climb to the top; you won’t be disappointed by the view of Paris and the Champ de Mars!

The Eiffel Tower hosts several restaurants, so you can enjoy a meal with a spectacular view, though you will have to book your table a few months in advance to be able to eat there.

Opening hours: Every day from 9:30AM to 11PM (last rise to the top at 10:30 PM by elevator).

Prices: There are different tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower, some of them only give you access to the 2nd floor and some others only allow you to take the stairs. The price will vary according to your choice.

Last-floor access by elevator:

  • Adult rate: €28.30
  • Teenage & Young Adult rate (12 to 24 years old): €14.10
  • Children rate(4 to 11 years old): €7.10
  • Rate for children under 4 years old: Free

Access: Metro Trocadéro (line 9), Ecole Militaire (line 8), Bir Hakeim (line 6) or RER C station Champ de Mars.

Book a “no queueing ticket” for the 2nd and 3rd floors


2) Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées

The famous Arc de Triomphe

As a symbol of France’s national power, the Arc de Triomphe was requested by Napoleon Bonaparte in order to commemorate the victory during the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806.

Today it commemorates the first World War and hosts the Flame of the Unknown Soldier.

The Arc de Triomphe overlooks Paris in general, and the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in particular, which is known to be the most beautiful street in the whole world.

The Champs-Elysées is also a great place for shopping because it gathers the biggest French and international brands.

Opening hours: 

  • Until September 30th: every day from 10AM to 11PM (last access 45 minutes before closing time, at 10:15pm)
  • From October 1st: every day from 10AM to 10:30PM (last access 45 minutes before closing time, at 9:45pm)


  • Full price: 13€
  • Reduced fare: 10€ (young people from 18 to 25 years old, tourism professionals, and foreign teachers)
  • Free for people under 18 years old and for people between 18 and 25 years old from European Union countries as well as for disabled people and their helpers

Access: Arc de Triomphe: Metro Charles de Gaulle-Etoile (lines 1, 2, 6, RER A), Champs-Elysées: Franklin Roosevelt (line 1), George V (line 1) or Champs-Elysées – Clémenceau (lines 1 and 13)

More information about the Arc de Triomphe

Book a tour of the Arc de Triomphe (and skip the line)


3) Palace of Versailles

Château de Versailles – Galerie des Glaces

The palace of Versailles is an absolute masterpiece of French architecture. It’s the symbol of the French monarchy and used to be the home of Louis XIV, the Sun King as well as his descendants Louis XV and Louis XVI.

While it was initially a mere hunting pavilion for King Louis XIII, it was transformed into the marvel it is today under Louis XIV’s decree as a means to establish dominance over the nobles and to leave his mark in history.

Spend a day in another time while visiting the Château de Versailles, as well as its Gardens, the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon, and the Hameau de la Reine.

Opening hours:

  • Palace: every day, except Monday, from 9AM to 5:30PM
  • The Trianons and the Hamlet open at 12 noon only
  • The Gardens and the Park are open every day from 8AM to 6PM


  • Simple full-price ticket for the Castle: 19,50€
  • Free entrance for people under 26 years old and are residents of the European Union.

Access: Versailles Château Rive Gauche station (RER C) or Versailles Rive Droite station (Transilien L, access by the Paris Saint-Lazare station)

Book your Château de Versailles tour 


4) Louvre Museum

After having 300 years of history as a royal residence, the Palais du Louvre has been hosting the Louvre Museum ever since 1793. Through gathering thousands of pieces of art from Ancient Egypt to the Romantic Period, the Louvre is the symbol of France’s history.

Many classic pieces such as Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa, the Winged Victory of Samothrace or even Antioche’s Venus de Milo are on permanent exhibit for anyone to see.

Opening hours:

  • Every day – except on Tuesdays – from 9 AM to 6 PM
  • On Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum closes at 9:45 PM.


  • Full price ticket: 15€ on site and 17€ online with a visit time slot and guaranteed access in 30 minutes (prices can change)
  • Free entrance for people under 25 years old living in the European Union and for all young people between 18 and 25 years old for nocturnal visits.
  • Moreover, free for everyone on each first Sunday of the month.

Access: Metro Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)

Book your visit to the Louvre Museum


5) Notre-Dame-de-Paris

Image de Notre Dame de Paris
Copyright: Zuffe, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0

Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Notre-Dame-de-Paris Cathedral was, the main symbol of Paris until the Eiffel Tower was built.

It is the core subject of Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris. Among other things, it was the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation in 1804.

Unfortunately, on Monday April 15, 2019, Notre Dame Cathedral was severely damaged in a fire. As a result, it is currently under renovation and visits are suspended until further notice.

The building is expected to reopen in 2024 thanks to the many restoration works underway: the stone vault of the north transept has been rebuilt, the cleaning and restoration of the interior walls is well underway, stone carvers have begun work on the façade, and many other works are completed or well underway. The spire is scheduled to be rebuilt in 2023.

But nothing prevents you from admiring the building from the outside, from the quays of the Seine or the square! On the barriers surrounding the construction site, you will find more detailed explanations about the fire and the restoration plans.

Opening hours: Every day from 7:45 AM to 6:45 PM (7:15 PM on Saturday and Sunday)

Price: The entrance is free.

Access: RER B and C, Saint-Michel – Notre-Dame station, metro Saint-Michel (line 4), Cité (line 4) or Cluny – La Sorbonne (line 10).

More information about the cathedral (website in French)


6) Sacré-Cœur

Built after the Franco-German war in 1870, the Sacré-Coeur basilica was dedicated to the Heart of the Christ. Its purpose was to expiate the sins committed by the French people during the war.

Located at the top of Montmartre Hill, the Sacré-Coeur used to be very unpopular because of its original architecture. However, it became the second most visited religious monument in Paris, right behind the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Not only is the interior absolutely stunning, with its white stones and the painting of Christ’s Holy Heart, but the view from the top of Montmartre is breathtaking!

Opening hours: Every day, from 6 AM to 10:30 PM

Prices: Free entrance

Access: Metro Anvers (line 2) or Abbesses (line 12) then take the funicular or the stairs.

More information on the Sacré-Coeur


7) Père Lachaise Cemetery

Copyright: Sherpa, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0 

The biggest cemetery of Paris, the Père Lachaise cemetery is also one of the most famous in the world.

Many celebrities are buried here such as Edith Piaf, Eugène Delacroix, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Jean de la Fontaine or Molière.

You will be able to pay your respects to these famous figures.

Opening hours:

  • From Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 5:30 PM (the hours may vary)
  • Saturday from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM
  • Sunday and holidays from 9 AM to 5:30 PM

Prices:  Free entrance

Access: 16, rue du Repos, 75020 Paris. Metro Philippe Auguste (line 2)

More information about the Père Lachaise cemetery


8) Les Grands Magasins (Department Stores)

Holding the qualification of a monument in and of itself, the department stores of the Boulevard Haussmann gather the Galeries Lafayette and the Printemps Haussmann and is considered Europe’s number one shopping center.

Every major brand is for sale, whether it be clothes, shoes, leather goods, perfumes, jewelry and more. Whatever you’re looking for, you are sure to find it here.

You will also have the opportunity to witness the building’s architecture, and you even be able to go to the roof of the Galeries Lafayette to enjoy a beautiful view of Paris.

Opening hours:

  • From Monday to Saturday from 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM
  • Sunday from 11 AM to 8 PM (the schedules may change depending on the shops).

Access: Boulevard Haussmann, metro Chaussée d’Antin – La Fayette (lines 7 and 9), Opéra (lines 3, 7 or 8) or Trinité (line 12), Auber (RER A) or Haussmann – Saint-Lazare (RER E)

For more information on the Galeries Lafayette, the Printemps and their opening hours, you can check their official websites.


9) Buttes Chaumont Park

Located in the North-East region of Paris, the Buttes Chaumont Park is one of the largest parks in Paris.

Its position on top of a quarry lets you enjoy some of the most beautiful views of the city, especially the Montmartre neighborhood. With its caves and cascades, it might make you forget that you’re still in Paris!

You can easily organize a picnic in the park with your family or friends.

Prices: Free entrance

Opening hours:

  • Every day from 7 AM to 10 PM in the summer
  • From 7 AM to 8 PM in winter

Access: Metro station Buttes Chaumont (line 7 bis)

More information about Buttes-Chaumont (site in French)


10) Montmartre Quarter

Montmartre street
A street of Montmartre – Copyright: Fabrizio Sciami under Creative Commons 2.0

Known for the Sacré Cœur, Montmartre is one of Paris’ most iconic districts.

As it is a historic and vibrant quarter, you can find anything here – bars and restaurants, but also many museums, and even the Moulin Rouge!

It’s also the area that Dalida’s heart belonged to – she lived there during the 60s until her death. You will also be able to admire the carved chest made in order to pay tribute to her, but also her house – which now has been sold.

Access: Metro 12 – Station Abbesses


11) Moulin Rouge

The Moulin Rouge's facade
We don’t really need to introduce the Moulin Rouge, do we?

Inaugurated in 1889 (the same year as the Eiffel Tower), the Moulin Rouge has always been defined as a symbol of music, artistic and body liberty.

A true definition of joy, nowadays the Moulin Rouge is still one of Paris’ emblems thanks to its shows, including its famous dancers and their stunning outfits.

Many celebrities have performed there, such as the famous Edith Piaf who sang there.

Show schedule: Every day at 9PM and 11PM. You can also attend a dinner-show every day at 7PM


  • Shows start at €88 per person
  • Dinner-show start at €205 (the prices may change)

Access: Metro 2 – Station Blanche

Book your event at the Moulin Rouge (booking is mandatory and tickets sell out fast, so book ahead of time)


12) Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries
Copyright:  Jean Pierre Dalbéra under Creative Commons 2.0 

Between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries was designed by André Le Nôtre, a famous royal gardener (he also designed the gardens of the Château de Versailles) to accompany the Palais des Tuileries, which was burnt down in 1871.

As one of Parisians’ favorite meeting places, the Jardin Des Tuileries is not only very pleasant, with its large alleys and its fountains, but it also has statues sculpted by the greatest French sculptors like Rodin or Maillol!

It’s also near the Musée de l’Orangerie, where you can admire Monet’s famous Water Lilies.

Opening hours:

  • From 7:30 am to 7:30 pm in January, February, March, October, November and December
  • From 7:00 am to 11:00 pm in June, July and August
  • From 7:00 am to 9:00 pm in April, May and September

Price: Free entrance.

Access: Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris, metro Concorde (lines 1, 8 and 12).


13) Latin Quarter

Latin quarter's street by night
Copyright:   Ninara under Creative Commons 2.0 

The Latin Quarter is located in the 5th district of Paris, right next to the Notre-Dame Cathedral.

It’s one of the most famous and active neighborhoods in the city. Due to the presence of two universities, it’s an area with many students.

You will find many streets with bars and restaurants, but also tourist sites such as the Panthéon, Les Arènes, the Curie museum and the Jardin des Plantes.

Access: Metros 10, 7 and 4


14) The Panthéon

Located in the 5th district – in the Latin Quarter – the Panthéon was built during the 18th century, using Rome’s Panthéon as a model.

Its objective was to pay tribute to the French Republic’s great men, and many prominent personalities such as Simone Veil and her husband, as well as Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Jean Moulin which are buried there.

Its eclectic architecture is a must-see and will doubtlessly amaze you through its beauty.

Opening hours: Open every day from 10am to 6pm (last access 45 minutes before closing time)


  • Full price: 11,50€
  • Free for people from European Union countries under 25 years old and for disabled people and heir helpers.

Access: Metro 10 – Station Cardinal Lemoine / Bus lines 84, 89, 75, 24 –Panthéon station

Book a visit to the Panthéon


15) Jardin des Plantes

National Museum of Natural History

Also located in the Latin Quarter, the Jardin des Plantes is the home of the National Museum of Natural History.

It has many greenhouses and scientific buildings called “galeries” which act as little museums concerning various topics. It is truly a little paradise in the center of Paris which will seduce you thanks to its diversity.

There are also many independent exhibits such as the garden’s zoo, called the menagerie.

Garden’s schedule:

  • March 1 – 25, 2023: 8:00AM – 6:30PM
  • March 26 – September 30: 7:30AM – 8:00PM
  • October 1 – 28: 8:00AM – 6:30PM
  • October 29 – February 29, 2024: 8:00AM – 5:30PM

The menagerie’s schedule: Every day from 9AM to 6PM (last entry is 45 minutes before closing time)


  • Free entry for all (note: there are some charged exhibits- go on the official website for more information)
  • Menagerie’s full price: from 10 to 13€
  • Reduced rate (for people from European Union countries under 25 years old): 10€
  • Free for disabled people and their helpers

Access: Metros 5/10 and RER C – Station Gare d’Austerlitz / Bus lines 63, 87, 89 – Station Jardin des Plantes


16) Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg's pool

Located in the 6th district of Paris, the Jardin du Luxembourg is right next to the Latin Quarter. Due to the mix of English and French garden styles, it’s makes for an impressive sight.

As such, a beautiful mix of greenery and art is presented to you when you go to the Jardin du Luxembourg. There are many sculptures scattered throughout it as well.

It’s also the location of the Senate, which is therefore in charge of the garden.

Opening hours: Opening between 7:30AM and 8:15AM and closure between 4:30PM and 9:30PM (depending on the season – more information here)

Prices: Free entry for all

Access: RER A and RER B – Station Luxembourg / Bus lines 58, 82, 83 – Station Guynemer-Vavin


17) Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier's outside view
Copyright: Peter Rivera, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 2.0 

The Palais Garnier or Opéra Garnier is a theater which was built in 1875 and has a performance hall, public areas and rehearsal areas. It’s one of the places that welcomes the most visitors in Paris.

It’s a true architectural masterpiece and it is quite unsurprising that it was classified as a historical monument in 1923.

The Palais Garnier is also part of the public institution of the “Opéra national de Paris” organization (along with the Opéra Bastille). You can go there to visit the building itself or attend ballets or the dance school’s demonstrations, concerts and recitals.

Show schedule: Beginning at 2:30PM in the afternoon and 7:30PM in the evening, except special cases (you must arrive at least 30 minutes before the beginning of the show)

Counter’s schedules: From Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 6:30PM


Access: Metros 3,7 and 8 – Station Opéra / Metros 8 and 14 – Station Madeleine / RER A – Station Auber

Book a guided tour of the Opéra Garnier


18) Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou's outside view
Copyright: Jean Pierre Dalbéra under Creative Commons 2.0

The Georges-Pompidou museum of contemporary art is located in the 4th district of Paris in the famous Marais area.

Opened in 1977, temporary and permanent exhibitions form the biggest modern and contemporary art collection of Europe. There is also theatre and dance shows, as well as the most important public library in Europe.

Its original design – which emulates the industrial era – will surprise you.

Opening hours:

  • Every day except Tuesdays from 11AM to 9PM (last access 1 hour before closure)
  • Thursdays nocturnal tours last until 11PM


  • Permanent collection ticket/children’s gallery and view over Paris: 15 €
  • Permanent exhibitions: free for people from 18 to 25 years old from European Union countries, and for all each first Sunday of the month.
  • Permanent and temporary exhibitions: free for people under 18 years old and for disabled people and their helpers

Access: Metro 11 – Station Rambuteau / RER A, B and D – Station Châtelet-les-Halles

Book your “skip the line” tickets for the Centre Pompidou


19) Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle's indoor lightened
Copyright: Jean Pierre Dalbéra, under Creative Commons 2.0 

The Sainte-Chapelle du Palais is a gothic-style chapel located on the Île de la Cité, near Notre-Dame.

It’s famous for being built in only 7 years and because it hosts the most important Christian relics such as the Crown of Thorns.

The Sainte-Chapelle was classified as a historical monument in 1862.

Opening hours: Everyday from 9AM to 5PM.


  • Full price ticket: €11,50
  • Free for people under 26 years old from European Union countries and for disabled people and their helpers.

Access: Metro 4 – Station Cité / Metros 1, 7, 11 and 14 – Station Châtelet / RER B/C – Station saint-Michel

Book tickets for the Sainte-Chapelle


20) Hôtel des Invalides

Hôtel des Invalides illuminated
Copyright:  Daniel Vorndran / Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons 3.0

While the Hôtel des Invalides is currently located in the Paris’ 7th district of Paris, until 1860, it used to be in the 10th district.

Its construction began in 1671 under Louis XIV’s instruction, who wanted to give his veteran soldiers a place to live in after having served in the army.

Nowadays, while there are still some army veterans who live there, there are mainly museums including the Army Museum.

Opening hours: Everyday from 10AM to 6PM (museum’s fund closes 30 minutes before the museum’s closure)


  • Museum full-price ticket: €14
  • Museum reduced rate ticket: €11
  • Free for young people under 18 years old, for young people from 18 to 25 years old from European Union countries, and for veterans.

Access: Metro 8 – Stations Invalides or La Tour Maubourg / Metro 13 – Station Varennes
/ RER C – Station Invalides

Book tickets to the Invalides


21) Parc de la Villette

La Villette's pool view
Copyright: Marko Kudjerski, under Creative Commons 3.0

The Parc de la Villette – located in the 19th district – was founded in 1987 and is the biggest park in Paris.

There are many types of Gardens, as well as the Museum of Science and Industry and the Cité de la Musique in which you can attend exhibits or shows, in addition to enjoying the greenery.

Opening hours (some gardens are closed depending on the time of the year and/or weather conditions):

  • The park: Everyday from 6AM to 1AM
  • Exhibits of the Museum of Science and Industry: from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 AM to 6PM and Sunday from 10AM to 7PM (more information here)
  • Philharmonie and Cité de la Musique: from Tuesday to Friday from 12AM to 6PM and Saturdays and Sundays from 10AM to 6PM (more information here)


  • Park access: free for all
  • Full price ticket for the Cité des Sciences: 12€
  • Off-price ticket: 9€

More information on the prices (site in French)

The prices of the Cité de la Musique may change depending on the exhibit- more information on the official website.

Access to the park: Metro 5 – Station Porte de Pantin / Metro 7 – Station Porte de la Villette / Tram 3b – Stations Porte de Pantin/ Ella Fitzgerald/ Porte de la Villette

Access to the Cité des Sciences: Metro 7 – Station Porte de la Villette / Bus lines 139, 150, 152 – Station Porte de la Villette / Tram T3b – Station Porte de la Villette

Access to the Cité de la Musique: Metro 5 – Station Porte de Pantin
/ RER E – Station Pantin / Tram T3b – Station Porte de Pantin / Bus lines 75 et 151 – Station Porte de Pantin