Jul 6 2011
Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world; it is filled with historical places, architecture, art and innovation. It has been the leader in art and aerospace engineering since one can remember. This post shows the ten best attractions to see while you are in Paris.
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre Dame de Paris is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in France and in Europe. It took two centuries to construct and is simply surreal.
Pictures of this cathedral do not do it justice, seeing it in person is simply amazing. The level of detail put into the sculptures is mind boggling.
After witnessing this cathedral in person, you can truly see why it took nearly 200 years to build!
The sheer height of the two towers (which can be seen from most of Paris is astonishing.
The interior is astonishing, stained glass and tall pillars resemble French Gothic Architecture of this period.
This cathedral is located on an island, which makes it a spectacular sight off the tour boats that go through this canal.
Gargoyle statues are located everywhere on this structure amongst other statues of creatures, kings and monks.
One of the most recognizable structures in the world and an icon of France. If you do not come here while in Paris you will truly loose out on a special moment in your life. The size of the iron tower is immense, it is nothing like it is on pictures. The first time I saw it I couldn't believe the width of the base, or being underneath it - it is quite a bit larger then one imagines from pictures. This is a must see!
Eiffel tower getting built during the two years of 1887 - 1889 (that's right, two short years) it was built for the Exposition Universelle and was supposed to be taken down after it.
The people liked it so much that they have decided to leave it be, it is now the most popular tourism attraction in Paris.
The view from the top of the tower is even more spectacular (referring to an older post on our site).
Palace of Versailles
When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a suburb of Paris, some twenty kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime.
Some interesting facts:
- Number of rooms: 700
- Number of windows: 2,153
- Paintings in the museum's collection: 6,123
- Engravings in museum's collection: 15,034
- Sculptures: 2,102
- Pieces of Furniture & Misc. Art: 5,210
The gardens can take weeks to stroll through and explore, the dimensions of them are amazing.
Technologies that were very new at the time were used to build such fountains. Piping and water flow were very unexplored horizons.
The attention to detail of the interior of this palace is unbelievable. Anywhere you look you see engravings, paintings, furniture. Hard to believe the 700 rooms are furnished similar to this style!
Musée du Louvre
Being the largest museum in the world, that should be enough reason to visit this spectacular attraction. With nearly 35,000 objects from prehistory to the 19th century are exhibited here. It is also the most visited museum in the world. Many art fans flock here due to the amount of art held here.
If you spent a minute on each piece of art here, it would take you two months to get through the entire collection.
Much iconic art is held here in safety such as the 'La gioconda' (Mona Lisa) by Leonardo Da Vinci.
La Vallée Village
Hands down the best place to shop for high end brands, and also very close to central Paris. The Vallee Village houses some extremely popular luxury brands such as Versace, D&G, Gucci etc.
There is also a large shopping center near by for more brands such as Zara, Jack & Jones, Lacoste etc.
Arranged in a nice looking street, these small stores provide you with a luxurious shopping experience.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Paris's most prestigious cemetery is set on a wooded hill overlooking the city. Famous graves and striking funerary sculpture make this a pleasant place for a leisurely, nostalgic stroll.
Important people and celebrities are buried here such as the lead singer of "The Doors" Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde and Marcel Proust.
Basilique du Sacré Cœur
A popular landmark, the basilica is located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city.
It can be seen virtually from any point in Paris since it is located on top of a large hill. It is a Roman Catholic church and a minor basilica.
The area around this church is very well known for art (the kind you can purchase, not just look at) and there are lots of beautiful, narrow European streets here.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe (in English: "Triumphal Arch") honours those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces. Beneath its vault lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I.
This is the largest arch in Europe (and probably in the world), the street leading up to it from the direction of the Eiffel tower is filled with more luxury stores.
Almost in central Paris, this has been the home for the wolrds biggest airshows over the last 4 years. The Le Bourget airshow showcases new technologies from aerospace manufacturers.
Thousands of people attend this airshow, and it is definitely worth checking out (given that the airshow is on during the time you are in Paris).
If during your stay the airshow is not happening, you can still visit the Le Bourget aviation museum. It has one of the most comprehensive collections in the world of World War 1 aircraft and zeppelins. It also has a huge model aviation section.
Several very rare World Ward 2 aircraft also found refuge in this amazing museum. Some airplanes such as the Me-108 can only be seen here, as they are the last examples left on the planet.
Boat & Bus Tours
The idea at first may not sound as exciting as say seeing some attraction, this is actually the best way to relax your feet and look at a large portion of Paris. It is relatively inexpensive and worth every euro.
The canal is very beautiful and you can see lots of things that would be too far to go see on foot. You can also have a dinner or drinks while on the tour boat.
The tour bus was simply amazing. Without a doubt the best way to see central Paris in all its glory. If it is nice outside going on the double deck bus is essential. The ability to photograph freely and see places you want to see in detail is great.
A great picture to show the view from the top deck of the tour bus.