Paris is a big city and is rich with activities to do. So how can you know what to do as a priority? It’s your first visit to Paris and you want to be sure not to miss any of the best visits of the city? Don’t worry; France Hotel Guide has gathered them especially for you. If there is only 10 places that you should visit in Paris, there are those ones..
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 its picture. 325 meters high (or 1066 ft), 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. Today it is the second most visited building in France, right after the Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral. Brave the queue and the height and climb to the top, and you won’t be disappointed by the view of Paris and the Champ de Mars!
Little advantage: The Eiffel Tower owns 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.
For more information on the different restaurants of the Eiffel Tower, you can check the official website.
The Eiffel Tower is open every day from 9:30 AM to 11 PM.
Prices: The ticket for the Eiffel Tower costs 17€ for adults, 14.5€ for youth between 12 and 24 years old and 8€ for children.
Access: metro Trocadéro (line 9), Ecole militaire (line 8), Bir Hakeim (line 6) or RER C station Champ de Mars.
2) Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
Another symbol of the French power, the Arc de Triomphe was ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte to commemorate the victory of the Battle of Austerlitz in 1806. Today it commemorates the First World War and holds the flame of the Unknown Soldier. The Arc de Triomphe also overlooks Paris, the Avenue des Champs-Elysées in particular, known to be the most beautiful avenue in the whole world. The Champs-Elysées are also great for shopping, because they gather the biggest French and international brands!
The Arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10 AM to 10:30 PM.
Prices: The entrance costs 12€ full price and 9€ half price.
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)
For more information about the Arc de Triomphe, you can check its official website.
3) Château de Versailles
An absolute masterpiece, the Château de Versailles is the symbol of the French monarchy and used to be the home of the Sun King Louis XIV as well as his descendants Louis XV and Louis XVI. Originally a simple hunting pavilion for King Louis XIII, it was transformed into the marvel it is today under Louis XIV’s orders as a means to establish dominance over the nobles and to leave his trace upon the world. Spend a day out of time by visiting the Château de Versailles, but also its gardens, the Petit Trianon, the Grand Trianon and the Hameau de la Reine!
The Castle is open every day except on Monday, from 9 AM to 6:30 PM. The Trianons and the Hameau only open at noon.
Prices: The ticket for the Castle only is 18€ and the entrance is free for young people under 26 years old who are residents of the European Union. For more information on the prices for the Château de Versailles, you can check the official website.
Access: Versailles Château Rive Gauche station (RER C) or Versailles Rive Droite station (Transilien L, access by the Paris Saint-Lazare station)
4) Louvre Museum
Royal residence for 300 years, the Palais du Louvre has been hosting the Louvre Museum since 1793. Gathering thousands of pieces of artwork from Ancient Egypt to the Romantic Period, the Louvre is the symbol of the History of France. You will find there some classic works, like 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 the Venus de Milo.
The Louvre Museum is open every day except on Tuesdays, from 9 am to 6 pm. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the museum closes at 9:45 pm.
Prices: The full price ticket costs 15€ but the entrance is free for people under 26 years old and living in the European Union, and for everyone on each first Sunday of the month, from October to march.
Access: Metro Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre (lines 1 and 7)
Located on the Ile de la Cité, the Notre-Dame-de-Paris cathedral was for a long time the main symbol of Paris, before the Eiffel Tower was built. It is by the way at the center of Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris. Among other things, it was the location of Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation in 1804.
The cathedral is open every day from 7:45 am to 6:45 pm (7:15 pm on Saturday and Sunday)
Prices: 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).
For more information about the cathedral, you can check its official website. (in french)
Built after the Franco-German war of 1870, the Sacré-Coeur basilica was to be dedicated to the Heart of the Christ. Indeed, it was supposed to expiate the sins committed by the French people during the war. Located at the top of the Montmartre Hill, the Sacré-Coeur is the second most visited religious monument, right behind the Notre-Dame cathedral. Not only is the inside absolutely stunning, with its white stones and the painting of the Christ inside the Heart, but the view from the top of Montmartre is breathtaking!
The Sacré-Coeur basilica is open every day with no exceptions, from 6 am to 10:30 pm and the entrance is free.
Access: Metro Anvers (line 2) or Abbesses (line 12) then take the funicular or the stairs.
For more information on the Sacré-Coeur, you can check its official website.
7) Père Lachaise cemetery
Biggest cemetery of Paris, le Père Lachaise cemetery is also one of the most famous of the world. Many celebrities are buried there, like Edith Piaf, Eugène Delacroix, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Jean de la Fontaine or Molière. You will then be able to pay your respects to these icons!
The Père Lachaise cemetery is open every day from 8 am to 5:30 pm (the hours may vary) and the entrance is free.
Access: 16, rue du Repos, 75020 Paris. Metro Philippe Auguste (line 2)
For more information on the opening hours of the Père Lachaise cemetery, you can check the official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
8) The Grands Magasins (Department Stores)
Considered to be a monument, the department stores of the Boulevard Haussmann gather the Galeries Lafayette and the Printemps Haussmann and make the first shopping center in Europe. You will find there every major brand, whether it be clothes, shoes, leather goods, perfumes or jewelry wise… Whatever you’re looking for, you are guaranteed to find it! You will also have the opportunity to witness the great architecture, and you will even be able to go to the roof of the Galeries Lafayette and enjoy a beautiful view of Paris.
Opening hours: from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm from Monday to Saturday and from 11 am to 7 pm on Sunday.
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)
9) Buttes Chaumont Park
Located in the northeast region of Paris, the Buttes Chaumont Park is one of the biggest parks of Paris. Its setting in a pit gives you access to some beautiful views of the city, especially of the Montmartre neighbourhood. With its caves and cascades, it might make you forget that you’re still in Paris! You will easily be able to organize a picnic in the park with your family or friends.
The entrance of the park is free.
Opening hours: The Buttes Chaumont Park is open every day from 7 am to 10 pm in summer and 8 pm in winter.
Access: 1, rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris. Metro Buttes Chaumont (line 7 bis)
10) Jardin des Tuileries
Separating the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde, the Jardin des Tuileries was designed by André Le Nôtre, famous royal gardener (he created the gardens of the Château de Versailles) to accompany the Palais des Tuileries, which was burnt down in 1871. Favorite meeting place among the Parisians, the Jardin Des Tuileries is not only very pleasant, with its large alleys and its fountains, but it also has statues made by the greatest French sculptors like Rodin or Maillol! It is also close to the Musée de l’Orangerie, where you will find the famous Water Lilies by Monet.
The entrance to the park is free.
Opening hours: From 7:30 am to 7:30 pm, from the last Sunday of September to the last Sunday of March.
From 7 am to 9 pm from the last Sunday of March to the last Sunday of September.
Access: Place de la Concorde, 75001 Paris, metro Concorde (lines 1, 8 and 12).