25 BEST Places to Visit in Paris (2020 • Famous Sites Guide)

Places to Visit in Paris

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One of the biggest cities in Europe, the French capital of Paris is also one of the continent’s most-visited destinations. There’s a wealth of exciting places to see in Paris ranging from visiting interesting landmarks and museums, indulging in stylish shopping, and dining on delicious gastronomy, to boat trips along the Seine River, fun days out at amusement parks, and much, much more. Known as the City of Light, Paris has a well-deserved reputation for being a fabulous place for lovers. It’s also, however, a great place for families, friends, and solo travellers.

On the downside, Paris is a huge and spread-out city and it is known for being quite expensive to explore. Planning what to include on your itinerary can be tough.

There’s no need to put off visiting this beautiful city though; our team of travel writers has put together the ultimate list of the best places to visit in Paris. You won’t miss any of the highlights of Paris and we’ve included some fantastic pocket-friendly places too!

With off-the-beaten-track recommendations and quirky attractions, many of the top places to visit in Paris are bound to amaze you!

 

Best places to stay in Paris

Set yourself up for success – read our insider’s guide on where to stay in Paris before starting your journey!

 

Best Hostel in Paris: St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord

Best Hostel in Paris: St Christopher’s Inn Gare du Nord

Without a shadow of a doubt, the overall best hostel in Paris in 2020 is St Christopher’s Inn, Gare du Nord. They have got the hostel vibe on-point; laid back, friendly and always up for a good time. So, what makes St Christopher’s Inn a top hostel in Paris?

On top of the free wifi throughout the hostel, guests also get 25% off food at the Belushi Bar & Restaurant downstairs; perfect for backpackers on a tight budget. Securing St Christopher’s Inn’s spot as the best hostel in Paris is the free city walking tours offered daily.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Paris: Cute flat near Eiffel Tower

Best Airbnb in Paris: Cute flat near Eiffel Tower

You can’t get any closer. This Airbnb is located a few meters from the Eiffel Tower and many other attractions in Paris, like the Seine River. Surrounded by fine dining restaurants, cafes, and the typical french shops, you will find yourself in the best area to live in. This home is definitely a great choice when travelling to Paris for the first time. You’re also very close to Bus-, Metro- and Train stations.

View on Airbnb

 

Best Budget Hotel in Paris: Hôtel Paris Gambetta

Best Budget Hotel in Paris: Hôtel Paris Gambetta

Hôtel Paris Gambetta is a budget-friendly hotel close to Père Lachaise Cemetery. Rooms are en suite and come with free Wi-Fi, a fridge, a TV, a hairdryer, a wardrobe, and free toiletries. There are rooms for one, two, and three.

Breakfast is available for an extra fee. Reception is open around the clock and the hotel has a tour desk to make your sightseeing in Paris even easier. Alternatively, rent a bicycle to get around the city. Other useful facilities include laundry services, luggage storage, currency exchange, and paid onsite parking.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined

 

Best Luxury Hotel in Paris: Urban Bivouac Hotel

Best Luxury Hotel in Paris: Urban Bivouac Hotel

Urban Bivouac Hotel is a top Paris hotel if you want to treat yourself to a fancy stay. A stone’s throw from Olympiades Metro Station, the hotel is within easy reach of Opéra Bastille, the Louvre, and the Luxembourg Gardens. There are regular and superior rooms, with a choice of either one double or two single beds. All rooms are en suite and have sound-proofing, a TV, free Wi-Fi, a telephone, a kettle, a wardrobe, and a safe.

An extensive buffet breakfast is available for a surcharge, or you can take breakfast in your room if you prefer. The onsite bar is perfect for a nightcap and the hotel also has laundry and dry-cleaning services, baggage storage, a lift, daily housekeeping, and 24-hour reception.

View on Booking.com    View on HotelsCombined

 

After even more awesome places to stay in Paris? Check out our roundup of the best hostels in Paris, or, for some more local vibes, the best homestays in Paris. 

 

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Paris:

Montmartre (18th Arrondissement)
Montmartre is one of the most romantic districts in Paris. Situated on a large hill overlooking the city, Montmartre is a labyrinth of cobbled streets that are lined with cafes, bistros and bars.
Places to Visit:
  • Catch a risqué cabaret performance at the Moulin Rouge.
  • Delve deep into the history of Montmartre and some of its most famous residents at the Musee de Montmartre.
  • Feast on incredible French far at Le Basilic.

 

These are the BEST Places to Visit in Paris!

Let’s do it! This is the list where to go in Paris to truly experience the city. From food to architecture to art to hidden gems, it’s all in here.

 

#1 – Notre Dame Cathedral

One of the most incredible free places to go to in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral - incredible free place to go to in Paris

Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture.

  • Striking architectural gem
  • Long and interesting history
  • Major religious site
  • No charge to visit the main parts of the cathedral

 

Why it’s awesome: Notre Dame Cathedral is one of Paris’s most stunning pieces of architecture. A splendid medieval Gothic gem, the cathedral was built between the 12th and 13th centuries and is easily one of the most quintessential and famous places to visit in Paris (the Eifel Tower not withstanding. An impressive sight from the outside, it has grand spires and towers, along with intricate carvings and gorgeous windows while inside there are plenty of religious statues and sculptures, and the atmosphere is peaceful and spiritual.

What to do there: Admire the glorious building from the outside, noting the soaring towers, awesome spires, and beautiful windows. Indeed, the cathedral is famous for its splendid windows. Step through the elegant entrance to be dazzled by the magnificent interiors. If you want to discover even more of the splendid building purchase tickets to go up the tower, from where you can enjoy incredible views across the city, or alternatively descend into the dark depths of the crypt.

 

After the devastating fire of 2019, Notre Dame still, unfortunately, remains closed until further notice (and is expected to be for quite some time). As both a sign of respect and due to the building’s significance, it still remains in our list of Paris’s must visits.

 

#2 – Disneyland Paris

Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Paris

Disneyland Paris - fun placesto visit in Paris

Feel like going back to childhood for a day?

  • Amazing place for family and friends
  • Numerous rides and shows
  • Fabulous themed areas
  • Meet all your favourite Disney characters

 

Why it’s awesome: One of the most popular attractions in Paris, Disneyland Paris is a top place for a fun-filled day out with family and friends. Located a short way from the heart of the city, the theme park has been open since 1992. Made up of two separate parks, visitors can enjoy various rides and attractions as well as meeting all their favourite Disney characters in The whimsical Disneyland Park.

What to do there: Enjoy a fun and laughter-filled day at Disneyland Paris, visiting the two amazing theme parks, the large shopping centres, and the golf course. If you just don’t want the fun to end, that are also several onsite hotels well you can spend a night or more. Feel the magic in Disneyland Park as you explore the enchanting areas based around different fairytales.

Like, what do there? It’s Disneyland; it’s self-explanatory. This is a magical place in Paris to visit and perfect for families.

 

#3 – Eiffel Tower

Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Paris

Eiffel Tower- the best place to visit in Paris

You just can’t miss it!

  • Major iconic landmark
  • Terrific city views
  • Opportunities for romance
  • Must-see sight in Paris

 

Why it’s awesome: No list of the best places to visit in Paris would be complete without mentioning the world-famous Eiffel Tower. One of Gustave Eiffel’s most well-known masterpieces, the soaring tower is built from wrought iron and dates back to the late 1880s. One of the world’s most-visited attractions and also one of the most instantly recognisable structures across the globe, it is a proud French icon.

What to do there: Marvel at the iconic tower from a distance and snap plenty of pictures of one of Paris’s most famous landmarks. Buy tickets to access the observation platforms and soak up amazing views of the city. If you are feeling energetic you can take the staircase, although many people opt to save their legs and ascend the tower by elevator.

If you are feeling fancy, or perhaps want to impress a special someone, you can also sip a glass of bubbly in the decadent champagne bar at the top of the tower as you appreciate beautiful vistas.

 

#4 – Sainte-Chapelle

A great place to see in Paris if you love architecture

Sainte-Chapelle - great place to see in Paris

Another gothic style gem!

  • Relatively under-visited attraction
  • Stunning stained glass
  • Peaceful place
  • Religious vibe

 

Why it’s awesome: Located on Île de la Cité, Sainte-Chapelle was built to contain important Christian relics. Close to the historic homes of former French Kings, the spectacular Church dates back to the 1200s. Built on the orders of King Louis IX, it is a fine example of Gothic architecture.

Surprisingly, the church sees relatively few visitors compared with other major Parisian attractions. As well as being a treat for the eyes, the church has a tranquil and spiritual atmosphere. It’s a great place to beat the crowds.

What to do there: While the exteriors might seem fairly ordinary, you are sure to be impressed by the fantastic ornamental designs inside the church. Enormous stained glass windows immediately catch the eye, casting bright and colourful light throughout the building. The windows depict interesting religious scenes and stories. Admire the large sculptures of the 12 apostles that stand halfway up the walls. Feel a sense of being somewhat small as you stand beneath the high arched ceilings. Take a seat on a pew to soak up the lavish surroundings and to enjoy a few moments of peaceful contemplation.

 

#5 – Louvre

One of the most amazing places in Paris to visit!

Louvre - One of the most amazing places in Paris to visit

Make sure that you add Le Louvre on your Paris itinerary!

  • World-famous art museum
  • Home of the Mona Lisa
  • Top Parisian attraction
  • Large collection of art and artefacts

 

Why it’s awesome: Sitting on the banks of the River Seine, The Louvre is the biggest art museum in the world and another no-brainer of Paris’s must visit sites. It houses more than 450,000 objects from various points in time, ranging from prehistoric times to the present day, as well as some 35,000 pieces of art. One of the most-visited art museums on the planet, the museum is contained within an opulent former palace.

What to do there: Allow plenty of time to fully appreciate the many marvels and treasures housed within The Louvre (like, a whole day). One of the museum’s most-celebrated pieces is the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci but other major artists with works in the museum include Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrandt, Giovanni Bellini, and Johan Vermeer. See a huge assortment of antiques and artefacts from around the world and just generally have a super cultural and jampacked day added to your itinerary for Paris.

For all of the art enthusiasts, we recommend booking a guided tour, so you’ll find out all of the details behind each of the artworks and their creators.

 

#6 – Buttes-Chaumont Park

A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Paris

Buttes-Chaumont Park - A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Paris

  • No charge
  • Quirky and unusual features
  • Nature in the heart of the city
  • Various activities

 

Why it’s awesome: Buttes-Chaumont Park is Paris’s fifth-biggest park and a free place to visit. Long stretches of pathways and roads wind through the green park with a historic temple sitting high atop a cliff overlooking the shimmering man-made lake. With almost 50 species of plants and an abundance of wildlife, the pretty park is a fantastic place to escape the busy city streets.

What to do there: Plan to spend at least a couple of hours enjoying the scenic park and relish being outdoors and away from the city’s hustle and bustle. Enjoy a lot of the artifical nature structures designed to give a wonderful sene of tranquility and awes There is plenty of space for kids to run and play as well making it the perfect place to go in Paris with kids (other than Disneyland, of course).

 

#7 – Champs-Élysées

A great place in Paris if you love to shop!

Champs-Élysées - great place in Paris if you love to shop

…or window shopping at its finest!

  • Famous Parisian street
  • Luxury shopping
  • Lively atmosphere
  • Lots of cute cafes

 

Why it’s awesome: The Champs-Élysées is famous for being one of the most exclusive shopping streets on the planet. The elegant and wide street runs for 1.9 kilometres (1.2 miles) between the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Place de la Concorde. Numerous luxurious stores line the busy street, and there are also plentiful cafes and theatres. Originally designed in the 1600s, it has been a major Parisian thoroughfare for many years. the road sees much activity all throughout the year, and various celebrations, parades, and events take place along the famous road.

What to do there: Even if you do not plan on buying anything, the elegant Champs-elysees is a terrific place to daydream and indulge in a little window shopping in Paris. The shopfronts and detailed displays are attractive and the energetic vibe is invigorating. Even for budget backpackers in Paris, it’s still a really cool place to visit.

When it’s time to take a break, rest your feet in one of the charming cafes and enjoy a traditional French pastry and drink. In the evening, the street’s theatres burst into life.

 

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Read our full review!

#8 – Sacre Coeur

One of the most religious places to see in Paris

Sacre Coeur - one of the most religious places to see in Paris

You’ll find the Sacre Coeur in the arty district of Montmartre

  • Revered religious site
  • Beautiful architecture
  • Great city views
  • Top place for photography

 

Why it’s awesome: Officially named the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacre-Coeur is a spectacular Catholic church. Today, the church remembers all those who perished during the World War. Among Paris’s most-visited attractions, the church is located at the top of Montmartre, which is the city’s highest point.

Still used as an active place of worship, the church boasts interesting statues and sculptures, graceful domes, and a handsome portico. Built from local stone and surrounded by a peaceful garden, the church is a serene sanctuary with interiors as impressive as the exterior and fantastic views of the city.

What to do there: You will surely have noticed the attractive Sacre-Coeur from a distance, as it sits high above the rest of the city. Once you are closer to the magnificent religious building it is easy to admire the many fine details. See the gardens, admire the architecture, stroll the interior and gaze upon the mosaic: this is yet another example of Paris’s ezquisite landmarks.

 

Quick Note – Staying safe in Paris

Paris is generally a safe place to visit and, statistically, it’s one of Europe’s safest large cities. There are some areas, however, that are best avoided at night time, especially if you are a lone female traveller. These include Saint-Ouen, Aubervilliers, Seine-Saint-Denis, Les Halles, Jaures, and Stalingrad.

Do your homework and ask locals (in your accommodation) what areas to avoid. At night, Quartier Pigalle, Bois de Boulogne, and public parks have many prostitutes trying to pick up punters; do keep in mind that prostitution is illegal in France.

While violent crimes are reasonably rare, petty thefts and pickpocketing can be a problem; be aware of your belongings in crowded places and when using public transportation. If catching a cab only use official taxis and make sure that you check the starting fare before commencing your journey. Keep an eye on the meter and have a rough idea of the route to prevent overcharging and unnecessary detours.

More of an annoyance than a danger, be aware of scams involving friendship bracelets—once these are securely tied to your wrist the scammer will demand payment. As a plus point, tap water is perfectly safe and clean to drink, unlike many other places in the world.

And now, onto the fun stuff … the best places to visit in Paris!

No destination is perfect – check out our Paris safety guide here and learn about this destination’s unique problems.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

Notre Dame Cathedral

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you – pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it’s perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.

GET IT HERE

 

#9 – Palace of Versailles

A very cool place in Paris to go for a day

Palace of Versailles - A very cool place in Paris to go for a day

Learn more about the Royal Families who lived in the Palais of Versailles!

  • Stunning building
  • Lots of incredible artwork and décor
  • Historical importance
  • Royal associations

 

Why it’s awesome: The Palace of Versailles is located just outside the heart of Paris. It was the main royal home for a number of years until the beginning of the French Revolution. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring many splendid details both inside and out. Although all of its lavish interiors were destroyed after the revolution, most rooms have now been restored to their former glory.

What to do there: Marvel at the splendid golden gate and impressive facades and wander through the beautiful gardens, which are complete with fountains, statues, wide walkways, and many attractive flowers. Be dazzled inside the mighty Hall of Mirrors, standing in the place where the famous Treaty of Versailles was signed. With more than 350 gleaming mirrors the hall is certainly an impressive sight.

Peek inside Marie Antoinette’s former bedroom and see the Gothic architecture, combined with baroque influences, of the amazing Grand Chapel. Stroll alongside the Grand Canal or perhaps enjoy a ride in a gondola or soak up the views from a rowing boat. See where royalty used to entertain guests in the Ballroom Grove, be enchanted by the Musical Fountain, and appreciate the palace’s huge collection of important artwork.

To have transport from where you’re staying and back, fast access which allows you to skip the line and an audio-guided tour, you can book your Versaille-Tour here – trust us, it’ll make the whole experience even better!

 

#10 – La Pagode / The Pagoda Paris

An unknown (but awesome) place to see in Paris!

La Pagode / The Pagoda Paris - Off the beaten path in Paris

A Chinese touch in the heart of Paris! | source: Stephane Debove (shutterstock)

  • Unusual attraction
  • Blend of cultures
  • Beautiful art and architecture
  • Off Paris’s beaten track

 

Why it’s awesome: Combining chic Parisian Style with exotic Chinese features, the Pagoda Paris presents a captivating blend of east meets west. Despite being one of Paris’s most fascinating buildings, the Pagoda is a relatively unknown place. Originally built as a hotel, it later served as the home of many fine Asian and Chinese artworks and antiques. From the outside it looks exactly like a Chinese Pagoda, while inside there are gorgeous themed rooms that are filled with a plethora of striking objects.

What to do there: You would be forgiven for thinking that you had somehow being transported across the oceans to Asia when you feast your eyes on the unusual Pagoda. Admire the striking building from outside, taking time to appreciate the finer details. Inside, the lavish rooms have elaborate panels, with lots of colour and ornate designs adding to the aesthetic value. See the rich and opulent collection of antiques and be amazed that such a treasure exists right in the heart of Paris.

 

#11 – Wall of Love

Great place to visit in Paris for couples!

Wall of Love - Great place to visit in Paris for couples

Paris is the city of love, after all.

  • Romantic atmosphere
  • Quirky attraction
  • Language of love
  • Pretty park

 

Why it’s awesome: Located in Montmartre, the Wall of Love covers 40 square meters (430.5 square feet). It was designed in the year 2000 and has been a popular place for lovers ever since. It has more than 600 enamelled tiles that say “I love you”, and the wall features 250 languages, including some that are rare. There’s also no charge to admire the heartfelt Wall of Love making it not a beautiful place to see in Paris, but also a free one.

What to do there: Visit the Wall of Love with your sweetheart and enjoy telling each other your feelings in an array of global languages. If you ever wanted to tell your beloved that you love them in Navajo, Esperanto, and numerous other tongues, this is your place to do it. Pose for selfies in front of the attractive wall as a reminder of your romantic trip to the City of Light.

After you have finished looking at the wall, take a stroll hand-in-hand with your sweet through the surrounding garden square. It’s certainly difficult not to feel enamoured at this lovely spot.

 

#12 – 59 Rivoli

Quite the quirky place in Paris!

Rivoli - Quite the quirky place in Paris

Stroll around Rivoli area for some surprises! | source: Sergey Novikov (shutterstock)

  • Great place for creative souls
  • Former illegal squat
  • Cultural attraction
  • Home to lots of cool art

 

Why it’s awesome: Once home to a bank, 59 Rivoli was left deserted. Eventually however, a group of artists moved into the property, living there and using it as an illegal squat. The aim of the artists was to show how a large space could be put to good artistic use and as living quarters.

In 2006 the squatters were evicted and the building was cleaned and renovated. Now it is a legal site for artists, with numerous workshops and studios and there are some 20 permanent artists as well as temporary creatives. There is no charge to visit what is now one of Paris’s most interesting artistic and cultural places.

What to do there: Learn more about the building’s past and the visions of the determined artists who once illegally occupied the site. Discover how the local government worked with the artists to create a legal place for artists to live, work, and display a range of eye-catching pieces. Admire the interesting artworks, some of which tell interesting tales. Speak with the artists in residence, admire art, and perhaps pick up a signature piece for your own home.

 

#13 – Les Invalides

One of Paris’s coolest historical sites!

Les Invalides - One of Paris’s coolest historical sites

Les Invalides is worth the trip!

  • Military associations
  • Striking architecture
  • Interesting museum
  • Beautiful grounds

 

Why it’s awesome: Les Invalides is a large collection of buildings that were originally constructed as a military hospital and retirement home. The site was developed in the 1600s on the orders of the French king. A number of impressive buildings surround a sweeping courtyard, and there are many interesting designs and architectural features including a glorious church and an ornate vault that houses many significant tombs. Although one of Paris’s popular tourist attractions, the site is also still used as a retirement centre for veterans.

What to do there: Cross the impressive bridge that leads to the site, admiring the beauty as you approach. See the ornate dome-topped chapel, which is the tallest in Paris, and admire the elegant buildings of Les Invalides: the church, the tombs (including Napoleon’s), and the Army Museum.  There is an onsite cafe where you can relax, or alternatively you can enjoy a picnic on the grassy lawns.

 

#14 – Parc Asterix

Awesome place to visit in Paris with kids!

Parc Asterix

Visit the park asterix for a day of fun! | source: Giuseppe Nocera (Shutterstock)

  • Excellent attraction for people of all ages
  • Comic book themes
  • Assortment of rides and shows
  • Diverse activities

 

Why it’s awesome: Parc Asterix is often overlooked by foreign visitors somewhat living in the shadow of Disneyland, yet it is an incredibly fun place in Paris for families and friends to spend the day. With a real French feel, there are various attractions, rides, and shows for people of all ages. The park is themed around a popular French comic character. Although you may not know the stories and scenes represented, you are still sure to have an awesome visit.

What to do there: Enter the world of Asterix and go on an exciting comic book journey. The theme park is especially famous for its huge and exciting selection of roller coasters. Little kids will like the small boat, carousel, and charming small train. Immerse yourself in a 4D animated experience, snap pictures with comic book characters, witness an action-packed battle between the Gauls and the Romans, see cute sea lions and dolphins, get up close and personal with an array of small animals, and be amazed by a mysterious magic show.

It’s another theme park and theme parks are the best!

 

#15 – La Promenade Plantée

A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Paris

La Promenade Plantee

Head to one of Paris’ most beautiful parks | source: La Citta Vita (Flickr)

  • Peaceful natural spot
  • Lovely city vistas
  • Great use of public space
  • Enjoy being outdoors

 

Why it’s awesome: Created in 1998, La Promenade Plantée is very similar to the famous Highline in New York. The attractive city park makes use of an old abandoned railway track and has sections at street level, above the busy roads, and underground. There are walking and cycling tracks through lush greenery and pretty flowers.

Younger visitors are not forgotten with the excellent play areas. Additionally, there are sections dedicated to rest and relaxation and exercise and fitness.

What to do there: Follow the pedestrianised walkway for the full length of La Promenade Plantée, which takes around one hour to complete. Alternatively, explore under pedal power and cycle along the track. Listen to the delightful singing of birds as you admire the colourful flowers and inhale the delicious scents. The lush greenery is definitely a world apart from the busy city streets below; it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and spend some time in nature and unwind in a peaceful setting.

 

#16 – Centre Pompidou

A great place to visit in Paris if you are alone/traveling solo

Centre Pompidou - A great place to visit in Paris if you are alone/traveling solo

Become more cultured at Centre Pompidou!

  • See eye-catching modern art
  • Ground-breaking architecture
  • Street performers
  • Pleasant grounds

 

Why it’s awesome: The Centre Pompidou is most celebrated for being the home of Europe’s biggest modern art museum. The site also has an extensive public library and a music and acoustic research centre. Named after a former French president, the centre sees millions of visitors each year.

Designed to be like a mini town within a city, the centre has unusual architectural designs; most major structural and mechanical elements are outside of the building. There are many interesting art exhibitions inside, with a variety of permanent and temporary displays.

What to do there: Gaze at the unusual building from the outside and be enchanted by an array of street performers in Place Georges Pompidou, located in front of the museum. Watch as mime artists, musicians, jugglers, acrobats, and skateboarders entertain the crowds, and see artists and caricaturists at work. Take time to view the extensive collection of contemporary art inside the building, some of which contains interesting messages and representations

 

#17 – Catacombs

One of the more unique places to visit in Paris!

Catacombs - One of the more unique places to visit in Paris

Those underground ossuaries are pretty intriguing.

  • Unusual attraction
  • Spooky site
  • Long history
  • Exciting experience

 

Why it’s awesome: Deep below Paris’s busy streets lies a rather unusual and somewhat gruesome site. Established in the late 1700s in order to reduce problems associated with overflowing graveyards and cemeteries, the catacombs now contain the remains of more than six million people. Under the cover of night many skeletal remains were moved from city cemeteries and dropped down a mine-shaft opening where they were then arranged in a grizzly manner.

Forgotten for many years, the catacombs became something of a novelty for private events in the 19th century. The tunnels were once used by people in the French Resistance during the Second World War and an underground bunker was created by the Nazis. It’s easily one of the most interesting places to visit in Paris

What to do there: Descend underground into the gloomy old tunnels under the thriving city streets of Paris. Let your eyes adjust to the dimness as you walk through the old subterranean passageways and chambers. When you reach the underground cemetery it’s hard not to feel a shiver down your spine.

Stare death in the face as you see the remains of hundreds and thousands of deceased locals. Shudder as you view enormous piles of bones placed on top of each other to form entire walls of dead people. Bones are arranged to create somewhat arty displays with skulls positioned in heart shapes, crosses, neat lines, arches, and over designs.

 

Spending a romantic weekend in Paris? Check out our Weekend in Paris guide to see a solid chunk of Paris’ highlights!

 

#18 – Belleville

One of the most underrated places to see in Paris

Belleville - One of the most underrated places to see in Paris

source: Myrabella (Wikicommons)

  • Lesser-visited neighbourhood in Paris
  • Bohemian and edgy atmosphere
  • Interesting street art
  • Great shopping and dining

 

Why it’s awesome: The Parisian neighbourhood of Belleville doesn’t often feature on many travellers itineraries. However, the area has a gritty and edgy vibe that makes it different to other parts of the city and is one of Paris’s coolest places to visit.

Once a working-class neighbourhood, Belleville used to be an independent area. It attracted large immigrant communities. As a result, today the area is a multi-ethnic and colourful place. Several famous Parisians came from the area and a number of movies have shot scenes there too.

What to do there: Have an alternative Paris adventure and spend several hours wandering through Belleville. Soak up the Bohemian vibe and join locals for a relaxed picnic in the park. Satisfy your appetite in global restaurants, where you’ll find cuisine such as Chinese, Vietnamese, Moroccan, Algerian, Italian, Indian, and Jewish. See an abundance of graffiti and street art, call into artists’ workshops and galleries, peruse small book shops, and see local mosques from the outside. As night time approaches you’ll find a good selection of bars where you can sip cocktails, wine, and cheap beer.

 

#19 – Père Lachaise Cemetery

A nice quiet place to see in Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery - A nice quiet place to see in Paris

Père Lachaise Cemetery is a very nice and peaceful walk!

  • Striking funerary architecture
  • Tranquil atmosphere
  • Lots of nature
  • Final resting place of several famous figures

 

Why it’s awesome: Père Lachaise Cemetery is the biggest cemetery in the French Capital and is also the world’s most-visited cemetery. The beautiful garden cemetery has several war memorials and graves of famous people. Peaceful and relaxed, the cemetery combines nature and stunning architecture. Open since the early 1800s, the cemetery is the final resting place for  more than one million people.

What to do there: Stroll along the shaded pathways, taking time to admire the striking funerary architecture and enjoy being in nature. Pay your respects to the deceased and see the graves of famous people like Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, and Jim Morrison from The Doors. Remember those who gave their lives at the war memorials and sit for a while in quiet contemplation in the serene setting.

 

#20 – Rue des Martyrs

A must-see in Paris for foodies!

Rue des Martyrs

Indulge your taste buds in Rue des Martyrs! | source: David Stanley (Flickr)

  • Lively community
  • Ethnic diversity
  • Plentiful eating options
  • Unusual stores

 

Why it’s awesome: Stretching for around 0.8 kilometres (half a mile), the enticing Rue des Martyrs has around 200 small and independent businesses. With a real community feeling, quirky stores and charming restaurants and cafes, it’s a place in Paris to feel at home and like a friend. The street also has a long history; local lore says that France’s patron saint was beheaded here, and there are many tales of ghostly activity.

What to do there: Wander along the timeless street, pausing to peek inside the diverse stores that line the sloping and narrow road. From watch-mender and bookshops to fashion boutiques, discount stores, grocers, and others, you’ll find a huge array of goods to tempt you. It is also a must-visit place in Paris for foodies with a large amount of cute cafes, traditional bakeries, and excellent restaurants.

Purchase things like craft beers, homemade jams, French olive oil, local wines, macaroons, delicatessen meats and cheeses, and deliciously sweet cakes in the speciality stores. It’s definitely a great place to stock up on picnic supplies and for anyone staying in self-catering accommodation.

 

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#21 – Luxembourg Gardens

A must visit place to visit in Paris on the weekend!

Luxembourg Gardens - A must visit place to visit in Paris on the weekend

Unwind and take a break from the city in Luxembourg Gardens

  • Relaxing vibe
  • Splendid park with family-friendly features
  • Watch traditional puppet shows
  • Appreciate Florentine beauty in Paris

 

Why it’s awesome: Established in the early 1600s by the wife of King Henry IV, the Luxembourg Gardens were part of a palace complex. Marie de’Medici wished to construct a replica of her luxurious palace in her hometown of Florence, Italy. The gardens were laid out in a typical Florentine style, with an artificial cave and fountain, statues, formal lawns and flower beds, lots of trees, and numerous attractive features. Covering 57 acres (23 hectares), the gardens are a popular place for leisure, relaxation, and family fun today.

What to do there: Let kids run, play, and have fun on the large grassy lawns and sail toy boats on the large pond. The quaint carousel is often a huge hit with younger visitors and the play area offers plenty of opportunities for kids to let off steam. Watch the delightful puppet show and appreciate the skills of the puppet masters as they make the marionettes appear lifelike.

 

#22 – Latin Quarter

Cool place to see in Paris with friends!

Latin Quarter - Cool place to see in Paris with friends

Latin Quarter has been a magnet for students for the longest time.

  • Roman history
  • Youthful and bohemian ambience
  • Major landmarks and museums
  • Tons of things to see and do

 

Why it’s awesome: Home to the prestigious Sorbonne University, Paris’s vibrant Latin Quarter has a youthful atmosphere and an array of interesting things to see and do. the area has a long Roman history, having being conquered by Roman soldiers who established an ancient city. The area is known today for its numerous book shops and affordable cafes.

The atmosphere is arty, historic, and bohemian, with narrow cobblestone streets and remnants from the medieval era adding to the attractiveness. There are several museums and major landmarks throughout the area, along with pretty parks, historic churches, and a vibrant food market. This is one of Paris’s top places to go for anyone seeking an alternative vibe.

What to do there: Discover the many charms of the enticing Latin Quarter and experience a blend between the medieval world and modern life. Featuring many of Paris’s architecural landmarks as well as museums, markets, local life, and churches, it’s easily an area of Paris you could get lost in for a few days. There are also a number of hostels and places to stay in the Latin Quarter and it’s definitely  popular place in Paris to dedicate some time to.

 

#23 – Canal St Martin

A perfect place to visit in Paris if you are on a budget!

Canal St Martin - A perfect place to visit in Paris if you are on a budget

  • Fabulous street art
  • Cheap activity
  • Picturesque waterside views
  • Peaceful part of the city

 

Why it’s awesome: Canal St Martin stretches for more than 4 kilometres (more than two miles) through Paris. It connects the River Seine and with another canal and it was constructed in the early 1800s. Busy restaurants and bars line sections of the canal and there are many pretty views. Lots of canal-side buildings now also feature attractive public artworks.

What to do there: For a low-budget activity, take a walk alongside the water and admire the scenic views complete with quaint barges and small boats sailing along the canal. Cross the cast-iron bridges for different views and watch as vessels navigate the locks. Spot the street art and graffiti next to the water and visit the big multimedia art space at 104 Rue d’Aubervilliers. If you have more money to spend you can also take a pleasurable boat ride along the canal to see Paris’s many beautiful places from a different perspective.

 

#24 – Ballon Generali

One of the most romantic places to visit in Paris!

Ballon Generali

Soak up the Parisian vistas! | source: Aero4 (Wikimedia Commons)

  • Terrific vistas
  • Fun activity
  • Ideal for couples
  • Advertising and marketing

 

Why it’s awesome: The Ballon Generali is a fixed helium-filled hot-air balloon in the attractive Andre-Citroen Park. In situ since the year 2000, it serves as both a tourist attraction in Paris as well as a marketing and advertising medium. The balloon also has lit panels that inform people as to the air quality. It can seat around 30 passengers at any given time, letting people soar high in the sky and admire glorious panoramic views.

What to do there: See the soaring balloon and wander around the pretty park before taking your seat for an exciting ride. Lap up the bird’s eye views of Paris and see famous landmarks spread out beneath you. Take plenty of pictures and enjoy the moment with your sweetheart (or yourself). A ride lasts for around ten minutes.

 

#25 – Moulin Rouge

A great place to visit in Paris at night

Moulin Rouge - A great place to visit in Paris at night

Watch the hottest show in Paris!

  • World-famous entertainment venue
  • Sultry, chic, sexy, and hypnotic Parisian air
  • Home of the can-can dance
  • Flamboyant and extravagant cabaret

 

Why it’s awesome: Originally established in the late 1880s, the Moulin Rouge has become something of an icon for Parisian sophistication, sex-appeal, and seduction. The building is famous for its red windmill on its rooftop. Once a playground for affluent and elite socialites, it is now a popular tourist spot in Paris. Numerous well-known dancers have graced the theatre’s stages over the years and it was where the can-can dance was born.

What to do there: Ogle the scintillating costumes and be wowed by the dance moves and performances during a fun night at the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Get into the party spirit as you watch a can-can dance in its home theatre and be transported to a magical and whimsical world.

 

Don’t forget to pack a good book!

The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris: This is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

 

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Plenty of excellent places to visit in Paris

Well, it must be high about time you got packing for Paris! There certainly is a lot too see.

This list covers a lot of the top places to visit in Paris but it still only scratches the surface. Once you start digging deeper, you’re goin to unearth so much more. There are so many beautiful places to see in Paris – popular or not.

There’s a reason it remains such a cultural icon in the world’s eye. Every place you go in Paris is going to feel you with a little sense of wonder and every secret alley, cafe tucked away, and rooftop view is going to be a new experience. You can never eat the same croissant twice.

So enjoy Paris and all its top sites. When you’re ready, continue on to the rest of France. And then, after that, I hear Europe is pretty big… and pretty awesome!

Notre Dame Cathedral Gargoyle - once the best place to visit in Paris

RIP

 

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Places to Visit in Paris

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