It is easy to assume that Paris is worth visiting as it’s on everyone’s travel bucket list. When I asked my friends, some said Paris is one of the first cities they’ll see when they go to Europe! We all have those friends, right? Haha!
But, like any other metropolitan city in the world, Paris has drawbacks too. Some say Paris is expensive and polluted, and parts of the town do not smell so nice. They lowered the expectations, but does it matter if Paris has worth visiting attractions?
If you are unsure about visiting Paris, let this post give you an idea of what you’ll be missing if you skip Paris. This post highlights the best things and most beautiful places you can find in Paris. These are the stunning landmarks, impressive museums, and many more, making Paris worth visiting.
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I will not only introduce you to the beautiful places in Paris which make it worth visiting. I will also give my opinion, explaining the value you can get from seeing them.
Of course, I also included visiting information for each destination. You can find some helpful links at the end of this post for a more convenient visit to Paris. Those to help you more if you decide to go to Paris after reading the discussion.
So without further ado, let’s now answer the question you’re here for:
Is Paris Worth Visiting?
Paris is worth visiting for the plethora of things to discover, see, and experience – all in one metropolis. From stunning historical landmarks to world-famous artworks, fancy food to picturesque sights. Paris can indulge your wanderlust, tickle your tastebuds, and make you learn so much all at the same time!
Even well-known publications like CNTraveler and Travel&Leisure agree. They say that the French capital is one of the most beautiful cities you can ever visit. It is one of the world’s most romantic cities also!
Paris is not only beautiful because of its stunning landmarks and romantic cityscape. Paris, being one of the world’s fashion capitals, you can expect to find gorgeous-looking people once in a while. Of course, there are the glamorous shopping districts also. Both of them add to the beautiful Parisian charm.
Last time I checked, Paris is the second city next to Tokyo to have the most Michelin stars restaurants. Paris has 10 restaurants with 3 Michelin stars, 14 with 2 Michelin stars, and 94 with 1 Michelin star. These and with the French cuisine that satisfies both eyes and tummies, Paris is definitely a foodie paradise.
If the cost of living isn’t so expensive in Paris, it will be one of the cities I prefer to live in. It’s all because of the Cafe Culture – Paris is the Mecca of the Cafe Culture. I love hanging out and working in cafes; Paris has hundreds of them.
Paris isn’t the only place with a thriving Cafe Culture. Vienna, Granada, and Naples have it too. Although that is a fact, the Parisian Cafe Culture is still one of the most fascinating things you can witness in Paris.
The Cafe Culture in Paris dates back to the 17th century. And it tells so much about the daily lives of the Parisians.
Believe it or not, it was in these Parisian cafes where a few of the great talents did their work. Hemingway, Sartre, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, and Jean-Paul Sartre are some worth mentioning.
One of the perks of visiting Paris is the day trips from the city. There are many you can go to, Versailles Palace and Disneyland being the most famous.
And oh, did you know that London is roughly 2 hours away from Paris via Eurostar?
If you are looking for other towns to visit for a day trip from Paris, the three places I recommend you visit are (and here’s why):
- The city where the kings of France had and celebrated their coronation — Reims. Is Reims really worth visiting? Find out here.
- One of the capital cities of Europe. A place where you can discover different architectural landmarks dating from all ages — Strasbourg. Here are the 22 reasons why you should visit Strasbourg.
- A town where you can satisfy your escapist desires. Its colorful half-timbered houses are straight out of a fairytale — Strasbourg. Here are the 10 reasons why you should go to Colmar.
Indeed, some of Paris’ best offers are culture, food, day trips, and shopping. But if you ask me, the landmarks, museums, and historical places hold the most unique value for a trip to Paris. Truthfully, they’re the primary reason Paris has millions of visitors every single year.
This is why the best attractions in Paris are what we’ll discuss next. I’ll walk you through each. And we’ll pick up the values we can find for each destination we discuss.
Here’s the link where you can find the best hotel deals in Paris. Click the link and it will open in a new tab. You may check it later.
10 Beautiful Places You Should Visit in Paris (Reasons to Visit)
Visitors wanting to visit Paris may need three to five days to see the best experiences the city offers. With its 2000+ years of history, the French capital has built and gathered a myriad of manmade wonders. Some of them are even quintessential achievements of humankind in arts and architecture!
Paris has landmarks whose beauty is beyond belief. Others bear witness to the horrors that happened in the past. The experiences you get can vary, and discoveries range from countless things.
Here is a summary of the places in Paris we’ll talk about in this post. For me, these are a few of the reasons why Paris is worth visiting:
- Eiffel Tower
- Cathédrale Notre-Dame
- Arc de Triomphe
- Louvre Museum
- Musée d’Orsay
- Palais Garnier
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Center Pompidou
Here’s a list of deals, skip-the-line tickets, and affordable tours to help you visit these beautiful attractions in Paris without hassle.
Reason 1. Eiffel Tower
There is no more obvious reason to visit Paris than Eiffel Tower. Going to Paris means seeing one of the world’s most iconic landmarks.
Have you long fantasized about the Eiffel Tower in a movie or a postcard? Well, this is the sign you’re waiting for.
The essence of visiting Paris and seeing the Eiffel tower comes in many forms. For me, to see the Eiffel tower in person is a privilege and a dream come true. As a traveler, seeing something so emblematic and historic means a lot.
Seeing the Eiffel tower is a romantic fulfillment for some, especially couples. Others want to find links to the past… and some find awe in seeing this revolutionary architectural marvel.
Regardless of the essence of the Eiffel Tower to anyone, it will still be the best symbol for France. A visit to France would seem incomplete without having even a glimpse at the tower. Or, a selfie, to be frank! LOL.
Aside from that, the Eiffel tower is one of humankind’s most outstanding creations. It is an artwork and an impressive technological prowess that awe-inspires even now. Aren’t you excited to see such an incredible iconic place?
Add to that the fact that, for four decades, the world hailed the Eiffel tower as its tallest structure. Though this 324-meter (1063-feet) tall building is now dwarfed by the current tallest, its charm never fails to impress still.
The Eiffel Tower’s revolutionary architecture, having 18 thousand steel parts and 2.5 million rivets, should be the one true shutter-presser to see.
At night the Eiffel Tower appears even more spectacular. It glows and glitters with its 20,000 light bulbs as the night falls. Glamor should twinkle not only in the Parisian sky. But also the stars inside your eyes.
The Eiffel Tower looks elegant from the ground day or night. But did you know that you can climb to the top of it? It has 3 floors and an esplanade below — each offers a different experience, and some tell the tower’s history.
For me, it’s the Eiffel tower that any visitor must first visit before seeing other parts of Paris. Its three floors are vantage points offering panoramic sights of the city. The view will introduce you to the city’s architecture and other landmarks.
The Eiffel Tower is open all year round. Visitors can go to its upper levels from 9:30 am to 10:45 pm. Slight adjustments on schedules from April 16 to May 1 (9:00 am to 11:45 pm) and May 2 to May 7 (9:30 am to 11:45 pm).
The entry fee to the Eiffel tower varies with the access level you want to avail yourself of. Adult rates range from 10.70 EUR to 26.80 EUR the last time I checked. Learn all the information you need to know from the official website of the Eiffel Tower.
Reason 2. Cathédrale Notre-Dame
Back in school, history was one of the subjects I disliked the most. But, I realized we were only taught history the boring way. If it was only possible to travel to the “actual” historical places, learning would rather be so fun!
To see historical places is one of the reasons to visit Paris.
This city of over 2000 years of history has built many monumental structures. One is the Eiffel tower (to celebrate the French Revolution’s centennial year).
Another must-visit place in Paris is its so-iconic historic church, Notre-Dame de Paris. It is a 12th-century cathedral, also an architectural marvel exhibiting gorgeous Gothic design. In Notre Dame, Napoleon crowned himself as the emperor of France in 1804.
The essence of visiting historical places like the Notre-Dame de Paris is profound.
They link us to the past. Also, connect us to other cultures, widening our broad understanding of things.
At the same time, historical places let us fantasize and imagine things that happened in the past. It’s like time traveling with our minds—a different kind of travel, escapism to the max!
Aside from history, you can also imagine scenes from fiction novels. One famous example is Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Disney has created an animated film about this novel. Watch it to get insights not only into the cathedral but also into medieval France.
Notre Dame is definitely an inspirational and historical monument. But, it is also Paris’ architectural gem. It is an epitome of French Gothic architecture that impresses anyone who sees it.
From its remarkable facade to flying buttresses, enormous rose windows, and spire—Notre Dame’s glorious appearance would not let you walk away without taking a photo. It’s only a figurative talk, but still!
Notre Dame de Paris used to house some of the most precious relics in Christendom.
The most notable is the Crown of Thorns, which is now in the Louvre. Authorities have transferred it to the museum after the 2019 fire incident at Notre Dame.
The fire has left significant damage to the cathedral, though. Authorities said they would need approximately 5 years to finish the restoration. It will be impossible to enter Notre Dame until the summer of 2024.
You may get news and updates about Notre Dame from its official website.
Trivia! Did you know that France was once the center of Christendom? Seven popes resided in Avignon (the world’s largest Gothic palace). Learn more about Avignon from my post: Is Avignon Worth Visiting? 10 Best Reasons To Visit Avignon
Reason 3. Arc de Triomphe
Needless to say, architecture is another reason to visit Paris. The Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame are good examples. But, did you know Paris has its parts (cityscape) built well-architected also?
If you can fly above Paris and observe its streets from the sky, you will notice one thing. That is… Paris has several plazas in it, with several avenues converging on them. Place Charles de Gaulle is definitely the most notable of them all.
Visitors of the Eiffel Tower can see Place Charles de Gaulle from its highest floor. At the top, the notable plaza or juncture can be easily spotted if you face north.
Place de l’Étoile was the previous name of Place Charles de Gaulle. In English translation, it means “The Star’s Plaza.” The 12 radiating avenues joining here characterize the square. You should be able to find it on top of the Eiffel tower with less effort.
One of the avenues that run along Place Charles de Gaulle is Champs-Élysées. It is the avenue known for theaters, luxury stores, and cafes. But what makes Place Charles de Gaulle significant is the monument in its center.
In the heart of Place Charles de Gaulle lies Arc de Triomphe. It is a massive arch that the French have built to commemorate their heroes.
During a visit, people see people’s names who sacrificed their lives during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars inscribed on the monument.
Tourism speaking, Arc de Triomphe is also Paris’ most visited landmark. Arc de Triomphe looks small in some pictures. But, in actuality, it is massive!
This arch was the world’s biggest during its inauguration in 1836.
This massive structure that is 50-meter tall has beautiful neoclassicism architecture. Beautiful relief sculptures elaborate the Arc de Triomphe’s pillars. Each shows symbolism and commemorates different momentous parts of French history.
The sculptures and reliefs date back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries. And they look so impressive, in pure honesty. Come under the Arc de Triomphe’s primary arch to see more remarkable decorations.
Like the Eiffel Tower, visitors can enter Arc de Triomphe and climb to the viewing decks. It offers a beautiful view of the Eiffel tower. Impressive views of the Parisian cityscape await on it also!
Arc de Triomphe is open from 10:00 am until 11:00 pm. The admission rate is 13 EUR only for non-EU citizens and adults 18 and above. You must check the official website of Arc de Triomphe for announcements before making plans to visit.
Reason 4. Panthéon
Panthéon is another attraction in Paris that makes the city worth visiting.
We can consider Panthéon an architectural masterpiece, a historical building, and a symbolic structure. Also, it has some religious significance, a place with many things to discover.
Compared to the first three tourist attractions we discussed, we can say that Panthéon has a little less fame. Though true, the value that anyone gets from visiting Panthéon is massive. Indeed, travel gems fill the Panthéon you can’t miss on a trip to France.
Panthéon dates back to 1790, and it served many purposes. It became a church dedicated to the Patroness of Paris, Saint Genevieve. The French revolution came, and the French turned Panthéon into a temple devoted to liberty.
Fate was playful. It became a church again and then into a temple once more. Now, Panthéon serves as the resting place of well-known French personalities. It is now a mausoleum, but it is one of the most elegant you will ever find.
If you love marveling at some stylish architecture, the Panthéon won’t disappoint you. The architects of the Pantheon modeled the structure after a Greek temple. Panthéon’s exterior alone can leave you speechless!
The part which captured my attention the most was Panthéon’s pediment. It has magnificent reliefs depicting liberty and great French leaders.
Below is the inscription “Aux grands hommes la patrie reconaissante,” meaning, “To the great men, from a grateful nation.”
The dome of the Panthéon was even designed to rival Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. Inside the dome are frescoes depicting the Apotheosis of Saint Genevieve.
Even from the start, you will find instant insights into French heritage and history. But it does not stop there. Come under the peristyle. And there, you’ll find stunning elaborations covering the ceiling and the wall.
Continue to the first floor to put yourself into a non-stop marveling mode. Gorgeous interiors await, and beautiful paintings embellish them. Artworks depict Joan of Arc, Saint Genevieve, and more historical scenes of French history.
As an engineer, I tend to be curious about tech. Whether it is old or new. If you ask me? The “coolest” thing you can find inside Panthéon is the Foucault pendulum.
Foucault’s pendulum is a 67-meter pendulum that Leon Foucault used to show the earth’s rotation. You can find the pendulum beneath the dome of Panthéon.
If it is the great people (in their resting place) you want to meet, you must visit the crypt. You’ll find the tomb of Marie Curie, Josephine Baker, and Victor Hugo in it.
Panthéon is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from October 1 to March 31; 10:00 am to 6:30 pm from April 1 to June 30. The entry fee is 11.5 EUR. Visit the official website of the Panthéon to see complete details and announcements.
Reason 5. Louvre Museum
Historical landmarks aren’t the only beautiful places you can find in Paris. The museums are, without a doubt, picturesque and indeed iconic. The Louvre Museum is one of them, and it is a compelling reason to visit Paris.
There is a high probability that almost every one of us has seen the Louvre Museum before. It’s everywhere on the Internet, especially on social media. Why? Because it is the world’s most visited museum.
Believe it or not, the Louvre welcomes more than nine million visitors annually! It’s roughly 24 to 25 thousand a day.
That is so hard to imagine how big of a crowd it would be in real life!
From how the Louvre appears outside, it is not hard to explain why millions visit it. The picturesque glass pyramid in the heart of Napoleon’s courtyard is oh-so unmissable.
Before, I thought the glass pyramid was the actual museum. But I was wrong! The Louvre Museum is the Louvre Palace, and the glass pyramid is only the main entrance to the museum.
Like the Pantheon, the Louvre offers many kinds of experiences for its visitors. Of course, there’s gorgeous architecture to marvel at. Also, historical importance to ponder. But the best part must be the famous artworks in the museum, known everywhere.
But before we get to the best part, did you know that the Louvre Palace dates back to the 13th century?
It was the residence of the French kings until Louis XIV (1682) decided to move to Versailles. Expect to find some of the grandest royal chambers and halls you will ever see when you visit.
The Louvre Palace did not become so obsolete after the kings moved to Versailles. It became the place to exhibit royal collections like Greek and Roman sculptures. After the French Revolution, it finally became a museum to show the nation’s treasures.
Today, there are more or less 400,000 exhibits in the Louvre. Around 35,000 artworks in eight curatorial departments. The exhibits range from paintings to sculptures, prints to decorative arts, and more.
The collections in the Louvre are not only from Europe.
They came from different ancient civilizations and faraway cultures. These include Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Etruscan antiquities, and Islamic art.
If you want to see the best of the Louvre, follow the pre-made visitor’s trail by the museum’s authorities. The most famous artwork, the Monalisa, also a reason to visit Paris, is included in the premade path. Learn more information here.
The Louvre is open from Monday, Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. The tickets purchased online cost 17 EUR (15 EUR at the counters). 18 years old below are free to enter. Please check the visitor’s information page for announcements and more details.
Reason 6. Musée d’Orsay
One thing I admire so much about the French people is their love for art. Even their language is an art – it is so poetic, indeed!
This is why the French capital has a lot of art, which is, without a doubt, a reason to visit Paris.
Art conveys our feelings, shows our creativity, and represents our soul. Appreciating art helps us connect with the artists. As the artworks tickle our imagination and emotions, we develop our sense of being human even further.
It happens when we try to tap on the idea of the artists—we teach ourselves to connect and understand. These are the skills that only we, humans, have. Thus, to become “more human” is one of the essences of traveling we get from Paris.
There are two fantastic museums in Paris where we can find impressive artworks. First is the Louvre Museum, which we discussed in the previous section. Another is Musée d’Orsay.
Like the Louvre Museum, the builders of Musée d’Orsay did not build it to become a museum.
The structure where Musée d’Orsay is now was a train station. It only opened as a museum a few decades ago, in 1986.
Though it only opened recently, most of the artworks it houses date back to the late 19th century. What makes Paris more compelling to visit for Musée d’Orsay? The kind of art that Musée d’Orsay exhibits originated in Paris.
I told you Parisians love art.
They love it so much that they have revolutionized it right in their capital city. The kind of art that originated in Paris is Impressionism. So, what is it all about?
Impressionism is a radical art movement led by Claude Monet and other Parisian artists. They are the people who aimed to create art that reflects the world in which they lived.
After it clicked in Paris, it spread in the western world. And it soon became one of the most influential art styles in Western history.
You can learn more about Impressionism and how it started from history.com. Anyhow, we can distinguish these artworks without too much mental effort. Many brief brush strokes and fragmented color application characterizes Impressionism.
Today, Musée d’Orsay is the museum with the most impressionist masterpieces worldwide.
It is the second most visited museum in France and fifteenth worldwide. About 3000 artworks are on display which awaits all art appreciators.
The masterpieces of the most renowned impressionist artists Monet, Manet, Pissarro, Morisot, and Renoir are in the Musée d’Orsay. Although Dutch, the famous Vincent van Gogh’s works (some) are also in this museum.
If you’re a fan of Impressionism, you can spend an entire day in Musée d’Orsay marveling.
Discover some of the beautiful artworks in Musée d’Orsay from the museum’s official website. What should you not miss in Musée d’Orsay? Coquelicots (room 29), La Nuit Étoilée/The Starry Night (room 72), and Olympia (room 14).
Musée d’Orsay is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. Open hours extend to 9:45 pm every Thursday. The Entry fee is 16 EUR for adults. Learn more from the visiting information page of Musée d’Orsay’s website.
Do you want to see more museums in France? You should check Lyon. It has fascinating museums and a picturesque historic center. Learn more about Lyon from my article “Is Lyon Worth Visiting?”
Reason 7. Palais Garnier
As I have said earlier, visiting historical places links us to the past. We see scenes that enable our imagination, making our fantasies come to life. Paris offers many such attractions, but Palais Garnier is one so unmissable to visit.
Palais Garnier is a theater packed with artworks and filled with extravagance.
It’s a place to let you imagine the luxurious social life of the prosperous Parisian elites back in the day. All these or even just the sheer spectacle of Palais Garnier is definitely a reason to visit Paris.
Like the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, Palais Garnier is also an Icon of Paris. It is even considered one of the world’s most famous opera houses. And its architecture? An unquestionably a masterpiece of the first rank.
No wonder why Palais Garnier became a French historical monument.
We can find Palais Garnier in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, which stands as a magnificent eye-catcher. Palais Garnier boasts a unique architecture called Napoleon III.
This style combines different traditional architectural elements. Visitors should see Baroque, Renaissance, and Palladio Classicism combined styles in Palais Garnier. Visitors can witness grandeur right from its facade.
For me, Palais Garnier has four oh-so jaw-dropping features.
The first one, of course, is the principal facade (facing south). The other three are inside the building, the grand staircase, the grand foyer, and the auditorium.
The principal facade of Palais Garnier is both elegant and symbolic. It has sculptures depicting different art performances, like music, drama, dance, etc… The most notable decoration is the two golden statues on top representing harmony and poetry.
You will not regret visiting Paris for Palais Garnier. That is, especially when you see its interiors.
Awe-inspiring lavishness and golden and shimmering scenery await inside Palais Garnier.
We can start at Palais Garnier’s grand staircase.
The grand staircase was built to impress as it has beautiful white, green, and red marble. The staircase’s pedestals even have these female torchères, so-inviting to the guests. Elegance radiates from the stairs to the arches with elaborate Corinthian columns around.
Above are the eye-magnetizing frescoes, and guests must be careful of their steps as they move up the stairs.
These frescoes depict Olympian gods, music, and Paris. The staircase is impressive already, but wait until you arrive at where it is leading… to the grand foyer.
Hold your jaw as you emerge into the grand foyer because it will surely drop!
Golden shimmering embellishments cover the entire hall. It seems nothing was left undecorated – even the mid-air! Glamorous chandeliers shine hanging beneath the frescoes.
A stroll along the foyer will be a journey to the world of music because of the paintings that cover the foyer’s ceiling. The lyre-shaped decorations above the portals will sure give you the vibe! It’s a unique experience, a reason to visit Paris.
Of course, the ultimate thing to see in Palais Garnier is the auditorium… and the artistic performances.
Did you know? Palais Garnier has the “largest” stage in Europe. It is so large that approximately 450 artists can perform simultaneously in it.
Indeed, the circles and galleries do have imposing architecture. But the one that captured my attention very much is the gigantic chandelier in the middle.
Believe it or not, it has seven tons of bronze, hundreds of crystals, and bulb lights! Its value ranged up to 30,000 gold Francs during its casting.
Palais Garnier is open from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. But, you must come at least 45 minutes before closing time. Self-guided tours cost 14 EUR for adults. Learn all the visiting information from the official website of Palais Garnier.
Reason 8. Sainte-Chapelle
If you ask me, the cultural heritage sites of Paris are the most beautiful reason to visit Paris. Not only do they have so-impressive aesthetics. But they hold both historical and religious significance.
And they feed wanderlust the best.
Some of them manifest the religious dedication of the French people. The best example of these is Sainte-Chapelle in Palais de la Cité. In my perspective, the awe it can give visitors matches what the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican City can.
Suppose you’re on a quest for the most beautiful Gothic structure in Europe. Then, Sainte-Chapelle might end your search.
It’s one of the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture.
The beauty visitors can see inside Sainte-Chapelle is beyond what words can describe.
Did you know? This gem of Gothic architecture dates back to the mid-13th century. Now, it bears witness to the power of the French Monarchy back in the day. Of course, its appearance explains, but there’s more.
It is because Sainte-Chapelle kept some of Christianity’s most treasured relics. One of them is the Crown of Thorns of Jesus. These relics, bought at an enormous value of wealth, prove how influential the French kingdom was.
The Holy Lance and a part of the True Cross are two other treasures that Sainte-Chapelle used to keep.
Though today Sainte-Chapelle contains no more treasure, its notability remains. In my perspective, it’s because of the medieval stained glass windows of the upper chapel. They give awe like no other in today’s modern world.
Sainte-Chapelle has two floors, though, the upper and lower chapels.
Sainte-Chapelle’s stained glass windows are 15 meters high and serve as the chapel’s upper wall chapel. Especially on a bright sunny day, you can see a burst of color if you are inside the chapel.
Let’s say if, at that moment, you stand in the middle of the chapel. You would definitely feel you’re marveling inside a gigantic kaleidoscope.
The thing is, these windows are a work of art—a colossal masterpiece. You can find hundreds of glass panes depicting 1000+ biblical scenes from these windows. It is so splendid that it will seem regretful if you miss it on a trip to Paris.
If the upper chapel of Sainte-Chapelle is impressive for its stained glass windows… then the lower is then stunning for its vaulted ceiling. Fun fact, the number of columns in the lower chapel is one-hundred forty.
Sainte-Chapelle is a chapel, a gallery, and a monument. It is full of discoveries and artworks telling so many stories. If you plan to visit, download the Smartphone App of Sainte-Chapelle. It helps discover the names and little gems hidden in this beautiful place.
You must check the visitor’s information page of Sainte-Chapelle’s website if you want to visit. I recommend booking ahead of time, especially during peak season. The entry fee is 11.5 EUR for adults, and here’s the summary of the chapel’s opening hours:
- From April 1 to September 30, 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
- From October 1 and the rest of the year, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
- Come 45 minutes before closing time.
Did you know that it’s in Reims’ Notre Dame Basilica where the kings of France were crowned? Like Sainte-Chapelle, it has beautiful architecture. Perhaps, it’s more beautiful than Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral. Read: Is Reims Worth Visiting? 10 Fantastic Reasons To Visit Reims
Reason 9. Luxembourg Gardens
What makes Paris even more worth visiting are its beautiful green spaces in many parts of the city. “Yeah, other cities also have parks” – But, wait! They’re not ordinary parks.
They are lovely gardens, and it’s not only trees, playgrounds, and ponds you will see in them.
Some of the Gardens in Paris date back to the age of enlightenment. Thus, visitors can see pieces of French cultural heritage as they walk around and relax. Others have iconic landmarks built beside them, giving these parks countless picturesque spots.
For example, the Eiffel tower has parks all around it. You can find a lovely garden in front of the Louvre also!
But if you ask me what’s the most “special” park in Paris, it has to be the Luxembourg Garden.
Luxembourg Garden dates back to the early 17th century. It was the time when Marie of Medicis, the widowed queen of King Henry IV, decided to buy l’hôtel de Luxembourg.
Her inspiration for buying the private mansion was the Pitti Palace and the Boboli garden.
They are the beautiful places she saw when she visited Florence. She wanted to have her own palace and garden like these. Thus, the Luxembourg palace and garden were born.
Today, Luxembourg palace is the seat of the French Senate. Its garden is the place where people spend their time for leisure. By visiting the garden, you get a piece of the picture of Parisian’s daily lives.
It’s one to see, and there’s a lot more!
Luxembourg Garden is like an open-air museum of sculptures. The development of the garden took decades to finish. This is why visitors can find several garden styles here, as well.
Luxembourg palace front estate is definitely the most beautiful part of the garden.
It has an octagonal pond surrounded by lawns with growing flowering plants. You’ll love the view from the benches facing the palace, near the pond.
Did you know? The famous novel of Victor Hugo, Les Misérables, features Luxembourg gardens. It is the meeting place of Marius Pontmercy and Cosette.
And with the medieval-looking statues around, it would be easy to imagine these characters in the garden.
Talking about the sculptures! Again, did you know that it is here in Luxembourg gardens you’ll find the original model of the Statue of Liberty? Fun fact: its full name is “Liberty Enlightening the World.”
More than one hundred statues can be found in the Luxembourg Gardens. In the central green space of the garden, we see the statues of the French queens and the country’s famous women.
They are a testament to the long history of France.
Go to the southwest part of the Luxembourg garden to find more fascinating discoveries. There lies a puppet theater tucked in the apple and pear orchard. If you have kids, they’ll love the presentations performed in it!
At less than 7 EUR, your family can get a solid hour of entertainment from marionettes.
The Luxembourg garden also has beautiful fountains! If there’s a fountain you should not miss seeing, it’s the Fountain of Medici. It is a long basin with the beautiful sculptures of Polyphemus, Acis, and Galatea at the end.
Reason 10. Center Pompidou
As time progressed, so did Paris. But, their love for art did not wane in time. In fact, Paris led an art revolution again! Paris once again proved itself as the leading city for culture and arts.
Center Pompidou, an art complex from the 70s, attests to this revolution.
We can find this in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. Due to its post-modern high-tech architecture, it’s a place you will not find hard to recognize. Without a doubt!
Unlike most landmarks and attractions in Paris, Center Pompidou looks so new to most parts of the Paris cityscape. It is very unorthodox for its “inside-out” appearance.
And indeed, it is the first building to have an “inside-out” structural system.
It is very revolutionary with its mechanical systems exposed outside of itself. Anyone can see the different elements of the structure like pipes, metal frames, etc. I’m not a fan of this modern design, but it is the twist every future visitor would have during their trip to Paris.
The art complex’s building architecture is only a small factor that makes Center Pompidou a reason to visit Paris.
What makes it so compelling to see, especially for creative people and art appreciators, is the purpose it is serving. It was made to be the melting pot of all sorts of art and literature.
This is why you can find more than one entity in the Center Pompidou.
This complex houses the vast Public Information Library and IRCAM, or the center for music and acoustic research. Most importantly, it has the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Europe’s largest museum of contemporary art.
Art and creativity from Center Pompidou overflow to Place Georges Pompidou, the square in front of the museum.
Street performers linger in the area to entertain visitors. Often, there are bands, sketch artists, skateboarders, and even mimes and jugglers!
Every artwork and masterpiece inside Center Pompidou is impossible to mention in this post. But, to summarize, it has collections ranging from drawings to visual arts, photography to industrial design. Of course, there are architectural works, film, and new media.
Unlike medieval and renaissance art, most contemporary arts do not give that much awe at first sight.
Instead, in my experience, they tend to stimulate our minds to think about what message the artist is telling. They give a different experience that’s hard to explain, like contemporary artworks.
One example of this is “Fontaine,” by Marcel Duchamp. You can find it in room 19, 5th floor. Basically, it’s only a urinal with the artist’s signature on it. The artwork is a controversial one. But, again, being a contemporary art, it should make you think so many times.
Of course, not everything looks like they’re not art at all.
Some are full of details like “Le Magasin de Ben,” which has random stuff with written words in various fonts.
Others are Instagrammable, like the “Layout of the antechamber to the private apartments at the Elysée for president Georges Pompidou” by Yaacov Agam, who used his principles of “polymorphic imagery.”
Center Pompidou is open every day except Tuesday. It starts accepting visitors from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm, and the regular tickets cost 14 EUR. See all visitors’ information from the website of Center Pompidou.
Guides In Visiting Paris
Paris is always a good idea, they say. I hope that I have convinced you to come to Paris with its 10 beautiful attractions. If you now plan to go, I recommend some guides/tours to help make your trip a success (see below). I hope you find the essence of travel or the “travel gems” that the city has.
More Beautiful Destinations in France (Aside from Paris)
If there’s a place in France I will recommend over and over again, it’s the South of France. For me, it’s the most beautiful region in France. It is packed with beautiful natural scenery, quaint villages, and historical places.
Although the South of France is hundreds of kilometers away from Paris, going here isn’t difficult at all. Some cities and towns like (Lyon, Avignon, etc.) are just one train ride away (3 hours travel time).
When you reach the South of France, you’re no longer far from the region’s most beautiful villages, which you can see below:
|Gordes||A scenic hilltop village with a view of the picturesque Luberon Regional Nature Park.|
|Eze||A romantic hilltop village with an overlooking view of the coast of the French Riviera|
|Rocamadour||A breathtaking pilgrimage site and historical village in Lot Department. I really recommend Rocamadour.|
|Moustiers-Sainte-Marie||A village sitting by the foothills and nearest to the spectacular Verdon Gorge (Grand Canyon of France).|
|Aigues Mortes||A walled village with imposing gates located in the wildlife-rich Camargue Regional Nature Park.|
|Carcassonne||The village/town with 2 preserved medieval walls and 2 UNESCO sites. It’s also one of the most popular destinations in France|
|Chamonix||The village/town with the most panoramic views of the Alps in the South of France.|
|Domme||A quaint village in Dordogne Valley known for its honey-colored houses.|
|Saint-Paul de Vence||A village in the French Riviera, home to countless artworks tucked in its preserved medieval narrow lanes.|
|Saint-Cirq Lapopie||A charming village with half-timbered houses overlooking Lot River.|
You may click the names of the villages to learn more. Alternatively, you can also read my article about the Most Beautiful Villages in the South of France for a brief summary of each village.
I also want to share with you the town called Annecy—my favorite city in France. It’s a scenic place that also has a charming historic center, where you can discover some history. I think that you’ll love hanging out at its lake (Lake Annecy). Learn more from my post “10 Reasons Why Visit Annecy.”
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