The Eiffel Tower, the impressive Notre Dame, the picturesque Montmartre – you haven’t got enough fingers on both hands to count all the sights in Paris! Classical buildings and modern architecture, it all comes together in this cosmopolitan city.
The Eiffel Tower is of course the number one sight in Paris. The 300-metre high tower was built in honour of a world exhibition in 1889. The original intention was to demolish the Eiffel Tower after twenty years, but it was left standing as it played an important role in communications. And lucky for us, as who could imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower? It has become the symbol of the city. The lift takes you almost to the top of the tower and you can enjoy the great view over Paris from there. The Eiffel Tower is also worth visiting at night when it is wonderfully illuminated.
The Louvre is one of the biggest museums in the world, with its most famous painting being the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. But you can also admire the Venus de Milo there. The Louvre has three wings and if you want to see all 35,000 works of art you will need to reserve a few days to do so. The inner courtyard of the Louvre has the famous glass pyramid, which serves as the museum’s entrance.
The Arc de Triomphe is another symbol of Paris and one of its unmissable sights. The 50-metre high triumphal arch was built on commission by Napoleon and stands on the Place Charles de Gaulle, one of the city’s busiest traffic intersections. Climb all 284 steps to the vantage point on the Arc de Triomphe and you will be able to see the entire city. So it’s certainly worth the climb!
The lovely, white Sacré-Coeur Basilica stands at the top of the Montmartre hill, which means it can be seen from a great distance. The church glistens at you in the sunshine. Compared to Notre Dame, the Sacré-Coeur is relatively new. Construction started in 1876 and the basilica was completed in 1914. So it has just celebrated its 100th birthday! The Sacré-Coeur has an enormous dome and inside you can find one of the largest mosaics in the world. If you want to recharge your batteries after seeing all the sights in Paris, sit down on the steps in front of the basilica and enjoy the view.
The Montmartre district lies on a hill in the north of Paris. The district is so special due to the many painters and artists it attracts such as Dalí, Van Gogh and Picasso, who have all lived there. Nowadays, many artists still come to Montmartre. It is a lovely place to wander around and see them at work. And if you want a great keepsake from your citytrip to Paris, get a caricature of yourself made!
The lovely Champs Élysées is almost 2 kilometres long and stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Place Charles de Gaulle. It is the most expensive street in France, where many of the rich and famous live. In fact, it is almost the most expensive street in the world, beaten only by Fifth Avenue in New York. You will not believe your eyes as you take a leisurely stroll along the Champs Élysées with all its cinemas, cafés and luxury shops.
We of course all know the Notre Dame from the world famous book: ‘The Hunchback of the Notre Dame’ by Victor Hugo. The early-Gothic cathedral is located in the heart of Paris, on the Île de la Cité natural island in the Seine. More than 14 million people visit ‘Our Lady’ each year. For instance to admire the colourful window rosettes or the famous gargoyles. It also houses three exceptional relics of Jesus Christ, the crown of thorns, a piece of the cross and one of the nails used in his crucifixion.
Centre Pompidou is the modern counterpart of all the historical sights in Paris. The striking building is the centre of modern art. The façade of the Centre Pompidou consists of various pipes and tubes in an array of colours. The architect wanted to turn the building inside out as it were. Centre Pompidou hosts exhibitions, theatre, dance and music. Plenty to choose from!
Pont Neuf literally means ‘new bridge’ and yet, it is the oldest bridge in Paris. The 232-metre long bridge was built in the 16th century and was the first paved bridge in Paris. Pont Neuf takes you over the Seine to Île de la Cité, the location of the Notre Dame.
The Place de la Concorde is no less than 8 hectares in size, making it the largest square in Paris. There are two lovely fountains on the square and an Egyptian obelisk in the middle. Yet despite all its magnificence, the Place de la Concorde also has a dark history. Over 1,300 people were executed here during the French Revolution, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.