Paris – the city of love, a dreamland that has come to life, where every nook and corner is worthy of falling in love at the very first sight. Millions of travellers dream about visiting this city at least once in their lifetime. From the most gorgeous architectural prodigies to rich culture, fascinating lifestyle, enchanting cuisines and beautiful faces all around the city with art running in their blood, Parisians have all the reasons to boast in the world.
As they say, the devil is in the details, Paris is full of delicate details when it comes to their structures. Everything seems equally divine and gorgeous in the night as they do during the day. To be honest, Paris is a place where each spot seems like a tourist attraction, and it is pretty hard to uncover everything Paris is famous for in a short itinerary.
You start your day with the smell of fresh croissants and the view of Eiffel tower from your room, wandering around the picturesque street and reminiscing the beauty of the people walking around. This place is not called the fashion paradise without any reason, with an abundance of clothing boutiques around, every single person is dressed in rich vintage clothes from head to toe, and it seems like a fashion week out here every other day. There are as many historic monuments as the gardens around it with pretty benches built around to just sit and admire the designs all day long.
Paris easily ticks off to be a muse of an artist who is in search of inspiration. Even a whole month in exploring every detail of Paris will not be enough for a tourist. However, to understand the in and out of Parisian architecture, these are the 7 must-visit places that will speak for the city itself and it’s sure to sweep you off your feet at the first sight of it.
The Eiffel Tower
The first thing that would pop in your head as soon as someone calls out Paris has to be The Eiffel Tower! It is a majestic emblem of Paris which carries an abundance of heritage standing 325 meters tall above the ground. The structure was built back in 1889 for the world exhibition by Gustave Eiffel and was regarded as the world’s highest building until 1930.
You can see the view of Eiffel tower from almost all the adjacent neighbourhood and while you book your accommodation, make sure you book it close to the Eiffel tower to wake up to the spectacular view every single day. You can visit Eiffel tower at any time of the day from 9:20 am to 11 pm in the night, but if you want to experience the beautiful structure in all its twinkling glory, witness the light show at the tower which happens every night till 1 am. Even though it lasts merely for 5 minutes, you will never witness a breathtaking sight as this ever. The entire tower lights up with twinkling lights and you can just grab some wine and cheese while cozying up to your loved one as you watch the blinking Eiffel in all its glory.
If you want to climb all the way up and get the view of the whole city, the tickets range from 21€ for adults, and a reduction for the children and youth. There are many restaurants and cafés in the Eiffel tower itself and you can relish the delicious dinner spread with a mesmerizing view and make it a memorable evening in Paris!
Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées
Arc de Triomphe is another grandeur of French power. Napoleon Bonaparte commemorated the victory of the battle of Austerlitz in 1806 with this building and it overlooks Paris, particularly the Avenue des Champs-Elysées which is one of the greatest French shopping hubs.
The beautiful tower soars over the traffic of the city stunningly with thousands of army members’ name engraved on the arch, denoting the glorious parts of the World War. Every evening at 6:30 pm, an eternal flame is re-lit by war veterans which never goes out. To soak in the panoramic views of the city, you can climb all the way up 280 steps to the Arc de Triomphe and also trace the tales of history inside the structure. You can buy the tickets for Arc De Triomphe for merely 12 euros online and skip waiting in the line for hours and scoop your way through the crowd quickly. It is open every day for visits from 10:00 am to 10:30 pm.
The Arc de Triomphe is located on one of the busiest roundabouts of Paris, giving you a stellar panoramic view of the cityscape surrounding it. The observation deck located on top of the arc provides tourists with a platform to take pictures and admire the view. While metal spikes guard the observatory deck, you can still manage to click a picture of the unobstructed view. At each end of the deck, there is a map present that indicates various monuments in that direction. The top of Arc de Triomphe boasts of one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in the whole of Paris.
Château de Versailles
Château de Versailles stands to be the symbol of the French monarchy and is a stunning architectural masterpiece of Paris. Formerly considered as the home of the Sun King Louis XIV and his descendants, now stands to be the rich heritage of Paris.
Château de Versailles still remains to be the most visited structure of Paris by the tourists after the Eiffel tower and showcases an incredible insight into the French history and revolution. More than 10 million people visit this monument every year. The palace is located at Place d’Armes, Versailles and is open for tourist visit from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:30 pm with the last entry being at 5 in the evening. The palace is closed for visits on Mondays. The passport tickets give you access to all the tours of the palace ranging from the estate to gardens, fountains show and the exhibitions as well. The total cost bearing for the ticket is 27 EUR for one day and 30 EUR for two days. The admission is free for the youth (under the age of 26 years) and for the residents of European Union. The queue to get inside the palace is unbelievably long and it is highly advisable to get the tickets booked online in advance and just bear the waiting in the security line.
The gardens of this palace are the epitome of beauty and marvels with a large tract of land and covered with many fountains and structures around. The main palace is where you will spend most of your time as there are more than 2300 rooms in the palace. Some of the must visit rooms are the Marie-Antoinette’s bedrooms, Hall of Mirrors, King’s Apartments and Royal Bedchamber. The Trianon estates are less crowded as compared to the main palace but are equally stunning. The Queen’s Hamlet is a rustic getaway, and was specifically built for Marie Antoinette to live a private life away from the razzmatazz of the palace with her close friends.
Renowned as the royal residence since the past 300 years, Palais du Louvre has hosted the Louvre museum since 1793 qualifying it as the rich historic element of France. There are thousands of artwork pieces inspired by cultures of ancient Egypt and Roman period. All the classic work of art like Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa and more are showcased here for the world to see. Louvre museum is the world’s largest art museum and definitely falls under the must-see places of Paris.
You need to spare at least half a day (or even more if you are an art enthusiast) to visit the museum if you have the time. The waiting line lasts for a really long time, but once you enter the museum, you will know that it is worth it. The full price of the entrance ticket is 15€ for adults. The admission is free for youth under 26 years of age and the residents of the European Union. Also, on every first Sunday of the month, the tickets to the museum are free for all visitors from October to March. The museum is open every day except Tuesday and the timings are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. With more than 3500 works of art, the highlight of the museum has to be the one of a kind inverted glass Pyramid. As you set forth in the humongous hallways and set your eyes on the grand chandeliers and vaulted ceiling, you will be astonished by the exquisite details of the place.
The cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Paris is the oldest defining structure of Paris that stood as the most beautiful architectural icon in history until a few months ago. Built in the heart of the city, the cathedral stood alongside seine since the beginning of 1163. The Gothic architectural style has been used by paying emphasis to the minute details, carvings and sculptures that recite the tales of the old times church stories. Even the design of the exterior structure is made to direct rainwater downward. Along with being the site of worship, it was also a symbol or rich and significant architectural achievement in the world. It was the first ever building to incorporate flying buttresses for supporting the exterior of the building where each one of them was individually crafted in the world. In the history of Christianity, the three large rosettes were regarded as the greatest masterpieces in the religion.
However, the massive fire in April 2019 devastated the major parts of the Cathedral. Parisian government has taken up the responsibility of rebuilding the oldest structure of Paris more grand and beautiful in the next five years.
There are many such extraordinary places that one could include in their Paris itinerary, and all of them are sure to woo them away just like everything else. To have an experience of a lifetime, the best time to visit Paris starts from Mid-April to June and from October to early November to explore this city of love in its best form of weather. The climate is mild and pleasant, perfect for lurking around the city.
Paris is an ideal holiday destination for a family vacation, the honeymoon place for newlyweds, the solo travelling city for the artists or for people with an inclination for fashion, food, history and lots and lot of rich culture.
Wanderer of a million colourful thoughts. A hardcore believer of destiny and miracles. Grew up with a world map stuck on my bedroom wall and have been ticking off cities since then. Absolutely rebels against the idea of growing up and staying put. I’m all about deliberately getting lost in a strange city, surprising people with posted letters, extra kadak chai and watching undisturbed sunsets.
Willing to explore the world and more. Aspire me and become a part of my once upon a time.