Top 10 tourist attractions in Paris & best places to visit

The top 10 tourist attractions in Paris! Which attractions should you definitely not miss? What to do in Paris and what are the best places to visit? It is one of the most frequently asked questions when visiting Paris for the first time. Paris is an open-air museum and has more than 10 sites and famous tourist attractions. There really is so much to experience. We also discover new fun things to do with every visit. The many sights in Paris, fun activities, famous monuments & museums, atmospheric streets and beautiful squares ensure that Paris is and remains a top destination for tourists. Paris has many attractions, spots and places that you should visit.

Here are our top 10 things to see and do in Paris. The best highlights and attractions in Paris that you should not miss. By buying your tickets for the sights in Paris in advance, you can avoid the queue and enjoy your visit much faster. Also read our frequently asked questions about the sights, sites and highlights in Paris. Discover a map of the places of interest in Paris, what to do in Paris in 2 or 3 days, the free attractions, etc…

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    1. Eiffel Tower: most famous tourist attraction in Paris

    Undoubtedly the most famous tourist attraction, the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Designed by Gustav Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair. Consisting of 3 floors, the highest floor is 276 meters high. The first and second floors are accessible by stairs and elevator. Only an elevator goes to the 3rd floor. In total, the Eiffel Tower is 330 meters high, if you include the antenna on top.

    There are often gigantic queues at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, but patience is rewarded. The magical view of Paris is truly breathtaking. Nice to know: many Parisians were initially not so charmed by the Eiffel Tower. Now the unmistakable symbol of the French capital.

    Guided Tours & Tickets Eiffel Tower →

    2. The Louvre museum: must-see and must-do highlight in Paris

    You should not miss the Louvre in Paris, the most famous and largest museum in the world during your visit to Paris. The Louvre is, next to the Eiffel Tower, one of the most visited sights in Paris. Rightly so. The cultural symbol of Paris with a number of world famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa by Leonardo Da Vinci or the Venus de Milo. The works of art cover a history period of no less than 5000 years.

    It’s best to allocate a full day for it. Tip: be sure to buy your ticket in advance to avoid the queue.

    Tickets Louvre + guided tours →

    3. Sacré-Coeur: enjoy a beautiful view of Paris

    The Sacré-Coeur is located on the Montmartre hill and is certainly one of the top 10 attractions in Paris. The Sacré-Coeur was built in 1871 to commemorate the victims of the Franco-German war. After the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré-Coeur has the highest vantage point in the city.

    Entrance to the Sacré-Coeur is free. From the dome (which is payable) you have a beautiful view of Paris. To reach the Sacré-Coeur you first have to climb 237 steps or you take the funicular up. There is also an entrance fee for a visit to the crypt. Keep in mind that there is often a long queue here on busy days. Or book a ticket for a guided walk in the Sacré-Coeur and then enjoy a great walk through the Montmartre district.

    Tickets Sacré-Coeur + guided tour →

    4. Arc de Triomphe: climb to the top of this fun spot

    The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is 50 meters high and is located in the 8th arrondissement, on the busy roundabout Place Charles de Gaulle. It was built by Napoleon in honor of his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. The Arc de Triomphe was designed by Jean-François Chalgrin and took 30 years to build.

    After climbing 284 steps you reach the panoramic terrace. The reward here is also a breathtaking view over the Champs-Élysées and the 12 (star-shaped) boulevards. One of top 10 spots in Paris that you should not miss.

    Tickets Arc de Triomphe →

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    5. Notre-Dame: must-see highlight in Paris

    Besides the Sacre-Coeur, Notre-Dame is the most famous church in Paris, located on the island of Île de la Cité. World famous because of the book “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”, which Victor Hugo wrote in 1831. The cathedral is 130 meters long, 69 meters wide and 35 meters high.

    More than 13 million tourists visit the cathedral every year. This makes it one of the most visited attractions in the world. In the spring of 2019, part of Notre-Dame in Paris went up in flames in front of the whole world.

    Notre-Dame is expected to be closed until 2024.

    6. Jardin du Luxembourg: beautiful city park in Paris

    Jardin du Luxembourg, one of the most beautiful and largest city parks in Paris. Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris is not to be missed during your visit to the City of Lights. Enjoy the beautiful pond in one of the typical green chairs or you can also have a nice picnic with a glass of wine and some French cheese. Or relax at the beautiful Medici fountain. You can also enjoy a lovely walk through the garden and Jardin du Luxembourg is also highly recommended with children.

    Jardin du Luxembourg is freely accessible and one of the top attractions in Paris.

    7. Père Lachaise: visit the famous cemetery

    The famous Père-Lachaise cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris. Without doubt also one of the top 10 sights in Paris. A quiet and dreamy place that attracts more than 3 million visitors every year. Especially during the autumn in Paris very beautiful because of the beautiful autumn colors.

    It is a cemetery where many celebrities have their final resting place. Just think of Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac, Jim Morrison, Gilbert Bécaud, Frédéric Chopin or Oscar Wilde. Good to know: at the entrance you can obtain a map of Cimetière du Père-Lachaise so as not to miss any highlights.

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    8. Boat trip on the Seine: discover the tourist highlights

    A river cruise on the Seine remains a unique experience and of course one of the highlights of Paris. You see Paris in a different way and the view of the beautiful historic buildings and bridges are truly beautiful. Very nice to do in Paris.

    You usually depart from the Eiffel Tower and you sail past famous sights of Paris such as the Grand Palais, Notre Dame, Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Pont Alexandre-III and of course the Eiffel Tower.

    Seine cruise tickets: view all packages →

    9. Montmartre: a district not to be missed

    Montmartre is one of the best neighborhoods in Paris that you should not miss. It was once a village outside Paris, but has been part of Paris since 1860. Many famous painters such as Vincent van Gogh and Picasso have lived and worked here. There are lots of fun things to do. Montmartre is touristy, but skip the Sacré-Cœur (if you haven’t visited it yet) and stroll through the small streets. You will get to know the real Montmartre.

    The Montmartre district has many attractions such as Place du Tertre, Moulin Rouge, Cimetière de Montmartre or Musée de Montmartre, which is worth a visit just for its beautiful garden with terrace. There is even a vineyard in Montmartre (Clos Montmartre).

    10. Château de Versailles: must-see and ideal as a day trip

    The Palace of Versailles is a final must-see with over 10 million visitors per year. It is located about twenty kilometers from Paris and can therefore also be perfectly combined as a day trip from the center of Paris.

    In addition to the castle itself, there is an extensive park with several smaller castles and pavilions. The entire estate is over 800 hectares. It is therefore best to allocate a full day and avoid the busiest moments of the day.

    Tickets Château de Versailles →

    These were the top 10 tourist attractions in Paris. Highlights in Paris not to be missed. For most monuments, attractions and activities in Paris, it is best to buy your tickets in advance to avoid any queues. Enjoy the 10 most beautiful tourist spots and sites in Paris!

    FAQ about tourist attractions, sights and highlights in Paris

    What to see in Paris? When visiting Paris for the first time, you should definitely see and do the following top 10 sights: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Sacré-Coeur, Arc de Triomphe, Notre-Dame, Jardin du Luxembourg, Père-Lachaise, Boat trip on the Seine, Montmartre and Château the Versailles.

    The best neighborhoods to stay in Paris are Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th), Le Marais (3rd & 4th), Quartier Latin (5th) and Montmartre (18th). But Bastille (12th) and Montparnasse (14th) are also nice neighbourhoods. Discover the 5 best areas of Paris with hotel tips here!

    For those who want to visit Paris but do not know the city very well, a map is very useful. On the map below you can find the best sights and sites of Paris. Discover the best tourist attractions to visit in Paris on the map.

    © GetYourGuide

    Do you only have 2 or 3 days to visit Paris?
    Day 1: Eiffel Tower, Seine Cruise & Louvre Museum (+ Jardin des Tuileries)
    Day 2: walking and shopping in the nice district of Le Marais, visit of Notre-Dame, walk along the Seine & Jardin du Luxembourg
    Day 3: Arc de Triomphe, Avenue des Champs-Élysées & walk in Montmartre

    Absolute. Here are some free sights & fun activities in Paris: take a walk along the Seine, beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro, visit the Sacré-Cœur (entrance is free), explore the famous cemetery Cimitière du Père-Lachaise or go shopping in Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen (largest flea market in Europe). The city museums of Paris are also always free to visit.

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