Paris is often described as a patchwork quilt by various villages. While France’s capital is particularly impressive, each district has its own uniqueness that gives visitors a wide range of exciting experiences. Many people choose a romantic city break in Paris, but the city attracts almost all forms of tourism.
According to DigoPaul, Paris was established 300 years before our era, and has since become Europe’s 9th largest city with its 2.2 million inhabitants. This is only true if we count the center alone. If the entire municipality is included, the capital counts over 10.5 million people. Areas close to the city center, and especially where tourists travel, are currently so closely monitored that Paris is statistically considered one of Europe’s safest cities.
10 popular sights in Paris you should take with you
The Eiffel Tower
You will not escape unless you have already been to the top of La tour Eiffel. The Eiffel Tower is probably what best characterizes the buildings in Paris, and one of the city’s clear tourist destinations. These days, large sums are being allocated to upgrade the 130-year-old tower, among other things to make the flow of tourists easier to handle. There are in fact around 7 million people who climb to the top every single year. The Eiffel Tower was once the world’s tallest structure, with its 324 meters, but that record has long since been broken. In any case, you get the best view in Paris from the top floor of the tower, and luckily there is an elevator up.
Alexandre III Bridge
You can actually walk all the way to the many bridges that span the Seine, but if you have to choose one, Pont Alexandre III may be the first choice. It connects the Champs-Élysées area with Les Invalides and has the Eiffel Tower right nearby. The sculptures on Pont Alexandre III make the bridge the most dazzling in Paris, especially the nymphs on either side of the river. The name is taken from Tsar Alexander the Third. His own son laid the first stone when the bridge was built between 1896 and 1900. As with the Eiffel Tower, Pont Alexandre III was part of the World’s Fair in Paris, the same year (1900).
Among all the museums in Paris, the Louvre is the obvious first choice for most people. Here you will find Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the French’s impressive collection of loot from Egypt, Venus de Milo, works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Rembrant and much, much more. The Louvre is not only the largest museum in Paris, but also in the whole world. You can easily find it in the 1st arrondissement, close to the Seine. The queues can be long, as the museum is visited by almost 10 million every single year.
Place des Vosges
This is the oldest square (like “Høybro plass”, not like in a “place”) in Paris, and definitely among the most beautiful. Place des Vosges is located in the Marais district, between the 3rd and 4th arrondissement. The nobility lived here in those hard days, and today the area is known for its fun and exciting architecture. The square itself has 4 beautiful fountains at each end, and is surrounded by 36 symmetrical houses. In these you will find a number of art galleries, antique dealers and fashionable cafes.
Notre Dame de Paris
We know the lady in Paris from a number of films, books and plays. The cathedral was built in the Middle Ages and is considered an architectural masterpiece within the French-Gothic tradition. Inside the walls are stored what is supposed to be the crown of thorns that Christ is said to have worn during the crucifixion, in addition to pieces of the cross itself and one of the nails. Whether that is true is uncertain, but Notre Dame deserves a visit if you are on a city break in Paris. The cathedral is open every day, all year round, and you do not have to pay entrance fees, unless you want a guided tour.
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre
The Sacre-Coeur is located on a small hill in Montmartre and offers you a nice view over Paris. The church is easily recognizable with its shiny white facade and the domes on top. The basilica is especially impressive after dark, as it lights up and shines over Paris. Admission is free, but you will find many exciting offers on guided tours, also in the evenings. If you take the trip to the Sacre-Coeur, it may be appropriate at the same time as a rest in the beautiful park around the church. Alternatively, have lunch or dinner in the Montmartre district, known for its fine restaurants. The Moulin Rouge (world famous cabaret) is also in the area.
Luxembourg Park is located near the Latin Quarter of Paris and was laid out as early as 1612, inspired by the correspondingly beautiful Boboli Park in Florence. The park is divided into two parts, with an English and a French garden, in addition to an apple orchard (where beekeeping takes place), rose garden and orchid garden, in addition to much else to sniff at. The Jardin du Luxembourg is a great place for the whole family, with many activities for children. Occasionally concerts are held there, or exhibitions of various kinds. If you get hungry, there are several stalls and kiosks that sell simple food and drinks.
Arc de Triomphe og Champs-Élysées
The Arc de Triomphe is located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées shopping paradise, and both can easily be experienced in the same sling. The Arc de Triomphe was built to celebrate Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, and the decoration is related to France’s military history. That piece includes the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in a chamber under the arch, in memory of the 1.3 million French soldiers who died in World War I. The Arc de Triomphe is located in the middle of a very busy roundabout, but you get through the underpass on the north side of the Champs-Élysées.
Bois de Boulogne
This park was originally a hunting reserve for French kings and nobles. Today, the Bois de Boulogne is best known as an excellent place to relax during the day. The area includes many playgrounds for children, a small lake where you can rent a rowing boat or radio-controlled racing boats (Lac Inférieur), bicycle rental, horse racing tracks, restaurants, cafes and a theater. The park is a popular place to have a picnic, while you attend various street performers performing for a penny. If you come at the right time, this is a great place to follow the Paris marathon, as the last part of the race goes through right here. Bois de Boulogne is best during the day. In the evening, parts of the park are transformed into a trading place for dubious affairs…