A trip to France is incomplete without Paris being on your list of places to visit. This gorgeous romantic city is quite renowned and distinctive due to its grand structures and monuments. This capital of France is a tourist hotspot and a place where you can explore architecture, history, fashion, and gastronomy in a way like nowhere else.
When it comes to entertainment, there is no shortage of things to do in Paris. This city is grand in every way and what makes it much more interesting to explore is its intimate quarters. These quarters are gorgeous villages that are fun to stroll through. This fashion center of the world has many high-end boutiques and shops where you will find amazing stuff. When we talk about Paris, it goes without saying that you would want to visit the famous Eiffel Tower in the beginning. This wrought-iron tower is associated with romance, which is why it is great for visiting with a loved one. If you head to the top of the tower, you can witness the picturesque views of the city. Other impressive structures and building you must visit in Paris include Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, and the Notre Dame cathedral. Each of these structures is beautifully architected and has an interesting history as well. When it comes to food, you will find many things to do in Paris. This city is world-famous for its cafes and restaurants. If you head to the street market, you will get a chance to experience the real taste of French cuisine and its mouthwatering desserts.
If you are interested in historical sites and archeological finds, then you will find many places to visit in Paris. Although this city is known as the romance center of the world, there are places that will give you the chills like the Catacombs of Paris. This place is an underground burial site that has almost 6 million skeletons. If that’s too haunting for your taste, then head to the fascinating Notre Dame Cathedral. This architectural wonder is in the heart of the city with impressive ceilings and gorgeous stained-glass art on the windows. The Palace of Versailles is also a site that you must not miss out on. This castle is magnificent to say the least with its mesmerizing gardens and architecture. Head to Sainte Chapelle, a 13th century church, which is nothing less than spectacular. The upper chapel of the church features jaw-dropping stained-glass windows and a heavily decorated ceiling. The Champs Elysees is another popular tourist spot in Paris that offers great views into the architectural history of this part of Europe. Make sure to get to the top of the Champs Elysees to witness the panoramic views of the city. Some other popular spots to visit in Paris include Musee de Louvre, The Pantheon, Musee de Cluny, and La Conciergerie.
France is known for its ornate and extravagant monuments, and Pont Alexandre III is known as the most ornate and extravagant bridge in France. The bridge is a sight to behold. It was inaugurated in 1900 for the world fair and has been amazing people since then. The games and nymphs of the bridge are famous.
The bridge had to be so beautiful and extravagant because of its location. This is a bridge which you cross when going between Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower, and the Invalides. Champs Elysees is literally named after heaven, so any bridge near it had to be amazing.
There are 4 gilt statues who keep a vigilant watch over the bridge. These include Fame of the Sciences, Fame of Commerce, Fame of Charlemagne, and Fame on the industry. Each of these, as the name suggests, celebrate something different. The fact that they are gilded gives them a beautiful gold shine.
There are also two Nymph reliefs on the bridge. Both of these Nymphs celebrate the Franco-Russia alliance. One of them is called Nymphs of the Seine and bears the arms of France, while the other is called Nymphs of the Neva, and bears arms of Imperial Russia.
Witness the beauty of the sunset by taking a ride in one of the Bateau Mouche excursion boats. Visitors enjoy the serene view of Paris along the Seine River, which is located centrally in Paris. The excursion boats cover a wide region of the city. Visitors in the ride can see both the Left Bank and the Right Bank as well as the city’s famous attractions including the Eiffel Tower, the Alexander III Bridge, the Orsay Museum, the Louvre Museum, Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Les Invalides, and the burial site of Napoleon. The Bateau Mouche excursion boats belong to the Compagnie des Bateaux Mouches (or ‘fly boats’ in French), which is considered to be the oldest and most well-known tourist boat operator in the city.
Boat tours had received positive acclaim following the 1867 exhibition and have been a popular tourist attraction ever since. Demand for boat tours dwindled following the Second World War, but after its end, the demand restored. The boats can accommodate a capacity of several hundred people with upper and lower decks and the one hour-long tours are usually provided with a recording of a commentary about the famous sights to see along the river. A lot of the companies also offer lunch and dinners inside cruises.
You cannot miss one of the most extravagant areas of Paris. Grand Palais, Petit Palais, and Palais de la Decouverte are 3 different attractions but they are in the exact same space. Don’t be overwhelmed at seeing 3 great monuments in one place.
The Grand Palais was constructed in 1900, and it sees more than 1.5 million visitors daily. The Grand Palais is a very happening place with over 40 events happening every year. The palace is undergoing a huge restoration project and slowly the different areas are being renovated so they can be open to the public. The palace also served as a military hospital in the World War.
The Petit Palais is smaller as the name suggests, and serves as an art museum. Once you are done with the Grand Palais you need to step by the Petit Palais. The museum focuses on the history of the French art. The exhibits here are exquisite, they have different collections of renaissance art, and a collection of medieval art as well.
The Palais de la Decouverte is a science museum in the same place. After you are done with the beautiful art at the Petit Palais, step over here to see the marvels and history of science.
The Assemblee Nationale is one of those historical places which have managed to stay important over the years. The Palais Bourbon, where the Assemblee Nationale meets, was constructed in 1728 for Louise-Françoise de Bourbon, daughter of Louis XIV. Since then it has served an important function is Paris, and continues to do so.
If you are interested in French history you cannot miss this place. During the revolution this was where the Council of the 500 used to meet. While it happens to be a secure and active government building, the good thing is that it is still possible to get a tour of the Assemblee Nationale.
You can book a tour on the official Assemblee Nationale website. It is also open for public visitation Monday to Saturday, though only during periods of adjournment. Also remember that you cannot just stroll inside in a T-shirt, you need proper attire to be allowed in. We would recommend getting the guided tour which happens every Saturday. Do note that you need to reach 15 minutes before the tour starts for security reasons, otherwise your spot may be given to someone else. The tour is interesting because it tells you about the history inside an active building, and it is a very different feeling to hear the history of a building that is still ‘alive’ in function, instead of being a museum.
Inaugurated in 1678, Les Invalides is a complex of buildings which are a must visit to anyone interested in the military history of France. It is called Les Invalides because it was built by Louis XIV as a home and medical care facility for disabled and needy soldiers. The Musée de l'Armée (Museum of the Army) is one of the most interesting places in Les Invalides. Created in 1905, the museum gives a great overview of French military history from the earliest periods to the 20th century. You will see many interesting artifacts here. You can see vintage artillery used by the armies, as well as the armor of several leaders and kings.
Dôme des Invalides is easily the most prominent place here. Created to be a burial place for Napoleon, the place is very beautifully built. The tomb of Napoleon is a must visit for any tourist, and viewing the tomb is an amazing experience. Many of Napoleon's family members and people who served with him are also buried here. Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine is also worth a visit. It shows the contemporary history of France, and the displays includes things relating to the sociological, political, and cultural events.
Place Vendôme is a luxurious square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris. It is beautifully located between Église de la Madeleine and the Tuileries Gardens. It is also home to the famous Vendôme Column, which was erected by Napoleon in 1806. We would highly recommend stopping by this place when you visit the Tulleries Gardens. The column was made to commemorate the French military and its victory in the Battle of Austerlitz. The column is made out of brass plates of the cannons seized in the battle.
The column was destroyed during the Paris Commune but the plates were preserved. The column was then rebuilt using the same plates, this time with a statue of Napoleon at its apex. Place Vendôme has long been known as one of the most luxurious sites in Paris, and is home to the best hotels in the city. It used to be home to high end shops as well, however not too many of these still remain. The square is also home to the Ministry of Justice. It also housed a large statue of the King; however this was destroyed during the French Revolution. There is a smaller model of the statue in the Louvre.
The Musée d'Orsay is the 3rd most visited museum in Paris and the 10th one globally. In a city filled with old historic museums, the Musée d'Orsay is unique for it was established in 1986. The other two famous museums, the Louvre and the National d’Art Moderne are both much older. Don’t be fooled by the date of inauguration though as this museum houses some of the most famous paintings by some of the most respected artists in the world.
The building was a railway station which became unsuitable for modern trains. Eventually it was decided that the land would be sold off, and a hotel will be built in this place. However, this is Paris, and Parisians know the value of art. Thus, a discussion started about possibly building a museum here. That is how we ended up with one of the best modern museums in the world.
When it comes to impressionist and post-impressionist art, there is no greater museum in the world. The paintings are some of the greatest in the world. This includes Self-Portrait by Van Gogh, 86 paintings by Monet, along with work by major sculptors, and a collection of photography and architectural arts.
Auguste Rodin was easily one of the best sculptors ever to grace this planet. Musee Rodin is dedicated to showcasing the sculptures made by him and has more than 6,600 sculptures in its collection. It received more than 700,000 visitors a year, and it is easy to see why. The museum has been a popular attraction since it opened in 1919. Rodin is one of those artists whose work is so pervasive that even people who know nothing about him know about his work. The Thinker, Rodin's most famous sculpture, is referenced not only in high art but even in children's cartoons.
However, once you visit this museum, you will truly see the range of Rodin's art. The Three Shades is one of our favorite sculptures in this museum, as it demonstrates the intricacy of Rodin's work and his thematic prowess. Similarly, the ominous tone of the Gates of Hell by Rodin evokes a strong reaction. The museum is divided into 2 sites. One is at the Hotel Biron, and the other is at Rodin's old home just outside of Paris. We highly recommend visiting these museums even if you are not strongly interested in arts; these sculptures are good enough to impress everyone.