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13 Top Things To Do In Paris, France
- Jonathan Chum
Paris, France is one of the most visited cities in the world. It's the city of love and romance, but it's also home to some incredible sites to see. The Eiffel Tower is an iconic landmark that attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year, but there are so many more things to do in Paris than just visiting this famous tower. Here are my top 10 things you can do when visiting Paris:
Disneyland Paris is the most visited theme park in Europe, and it's also the only Disneyland Park in Europe. The park opened in 1992, and since then it has grown to include 8 themed lands: Main Street USA; Adventureland; Discoveryland; Frontierland; Fantasyland (which includes Sleeping Beauty Castle); Mickey's Toontown Fair (a separate area for kids) and Walt Disney Studios Park. There are two hotels on-site as well, which can make staying at Disneyland more convenient if you're already planning on spending a lot of time there.
The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world, with over 35,000 pieces that span 5 centuries. It's home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, which is one of the most famous paintings in history and has inspired countless artists since it was created. The museum also houses other works by many other famous painters like Michelangelo and Raphael as well as sculptures by Rodin and Bernini.
The museum is free to visit but you will need to buy tickets online before arriving at least 90 minutes before your time slot (which are released on their website). There are several tours available including a Kids Tour for children ages 8-12 accompanied by an adult or family tour (children under 5 aren't allowed). You can learn more about each tour here: https://www.louvre.fr/en/visit/tour-bookings
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is a royal palace in Versailles, France. The Palace of Versailles was the principal residence of the Kings of France from Louis XIV to Napoleon III.
The palace is surrounded by large formal gardens, the Grand Canal and its branch the Petit-Canal on one side, and lounges by three water parterres on another side, which are connected to two landscaped areas that were once part of larger gardens: Marie Antoinette's Parterre d'Eau (with fountains) and Le Nôtre's Parterre du Midi (with statues).
Pont Alexandre lll Bridge
Pont Alexandre lll Bridge
The Pont Alexandre lll is a cable-stayed bridge that spans the Seine in Paris, linking the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter,7.4 kilometers from the center of Paris.
It's a must-see for any visitor to Paris because it offers stunning views of both banks, especially at night when lit up.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters tall, and its four legs are each 18 meters in diameter.
It was built for the Paris World's Fair in 1889.
The tower was designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, who also designed many bridges around France.
Its construction took 2 years and 5 months at a total cost of 7 million francs (more than $1 million).
10,100 tons of wrought iron were used to build the tower; 850 tons of limestone were used for foundations; 1680 tons came from rivets alone!
Le Jardin des Tuileries
Le Jardin des Tuileries is a public park in the center of Paris, France. Located along the banks of the Seine River, it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Paris and has been open since 1667. The garden spans some 1,500 meters long and 150 meters wide with its main entrance on Rue de Rivoli (the same street you'll find Louvre Museum). It's also home to many attractions and events such as:
Orangerie Museum (opened in 1852)
Palais Royal Gardens (home to musée du Louvre),
Musée de l'Orangerie art gallery (opened in 1927).
Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, Montmartre
The Basilica du Sacré-Coeur is the most visited monument in Paris and a must-see if you're visiting. The basilica was built in 1876, one of several monuments to be constructed on Montmartre after the Franco-Prussian War. Its dome, which is the second largest in the world after Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, can be seen from almost anywhere within Paris---and it shouldn't take long before you see it yourself!
If you visit during peak season (March through October), expect long lines as early as 9 am during summer months. However, if you plan by purchasing tickets online before your trip or arrive early enough so that there aren't many other people around yet (8 am), then getting into this iconic landmark will be much easier!
Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is a Gothic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. It is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and among the largest and most well-known churches in the world.
The cathedral, dedicated to Notre Dame (Our Lady), stands at Paris's western end and looks out over both banks of the Seine river. The site was first occupied by a small chapel dedicated to Saint Maurice sometime before 643 AD but this chapel fell into disuse after it was plundered by Vikings in 845 AD. A larger church was built on this site starting around 1163 AD.
Pont des Arts
While visiting Paris, you must stop by the Pont des Arts. This pedestrian bridge over the Seine River is covered with locks attached to the railings by lovers. The locks are removed by city officials when they become too heavy, but they're replaced with new ones just as quickly, so it's always possible to find some interesting ones on which you can leave your mark. You can even buy one of these locks in souvenir shops and attach them yourself!
Champs-Elysées is a major thoroughfare in Paris, France. It is one of the most famous streets in the world and it's home to many luxury shops, hotels and landmarks.
The avenue runs from east to west through the heart of Paris. The Champs-Elysées starts at Place de la Concorde and finishes at the Arc de Triomphe -- this makes it over a mile long! The name comes from two fields belonging to King Louis XIV: "Champs" meaning field or meadow; "Elysée" being an old spelling of Elysium (the place where people go after they die).
It's not just tourists who flock here either - locals love strolling along its cobbled streets too!
The Centre Pompidou is the world's largest museum of modern and contemporary art. It is located in the Beaubourg area of the 4th arrondissement of Paris, near Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and the Marais.
Founded by former French President Georges Pompidou in 1977 as "Musée National d'Art Moderne" (the National Museum of Modern Art), it houses a vast collection comprising more than 130,000 works from diverse periods: from early 20th-century avant-garde movements such as Cubism and Dada to Pop Art; from conceptual art to minimalism; from post-war American art to contemporary art.
The Musée d'Orsay is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum is housed in the former Gare d'Orsay, a Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. It houses one of the largest collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works in the world, including Monet's famous Water Lilies series and an entire wing dedicated to Degas sculptures.
The museum has been renovated several times over its lifetime but still retains some of its original features, such as its grand staircase with granite pillars and marble walls, as well as its glass dome that lets in plenty of natural light during the day (and makes for great views of Paris at night).
Not only does it boast an impressive art collection but also hosts temporary exhibitions from contemporary artists as well as film screenings (some are free!) throughout the year; check out their website for more information on events happening during your visit!
If you're in Paris and have a passion for the art of Pablo Picasso, there's no better place to visit than Musée Picasso. This museum is located in the Hôtel Salé in the Marais district in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France. The museum was opened on 23 October 1963 and houses many of Picasso's masterpieces from 1901 to 1971. The collection has more than 2,000 works including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and drawings from their collections by Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Marie-Thérèse Walter (1909-1977), Jacqueline Roque (1914-1986), Dora Maar (1907--1997) or Françoise Gilot (born 1921).
Oh, and I almost forgot! If you're looking for something to do in Paris that's a little more relaxing than the museums and attractions listed above, then don't miss out on their many parks. You can find plenty of green space throughout the city, so come prepared with your picnic basket packed full of fresh French bread and cheese from one of their local markets (or if you're feeling extra adventurous - maybe even try some frogs' legs)!