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Don’t Miss the Most Beautiful Paris Landmarks While in Paris!
Known as the city of lights and the city of love, a trip to Paris is at the top of the bucket list for many travelers. This city has amazing food, culture, and shopping, but it’s also known for its historical and iconic sites.
There are numerous famous landmarks in Paris, but if you’re limited in time, or don’t know which ones are worth seeing, we’re here to help. Here’s our list of the most amazing Paris landmarks that you should see at least once in your life!
Top Landmarks in Paris
When you’re ready to start planning your trip, make sure that you consult this Paris landmarks list to work out the best things to see for your travel style. In this list, you’ll learn more about famous monuments in Paris, and contemporary and historical landmarks in Paris. Don’t forget to add your favorite ones to your Paris checklist!
1. Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous landmark in Paris and was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Paris World Fair marking the centenary of the French Revolution.
The Eiffel Tower is an architectural marvel, weighing over 10,000 tons, and was the tallest building in the world for a time. It also has a spectacular view from the top, so make sure you climb up there to enjoy it. While you’re there, you can also see the exhibition on the tower’s history. And if you can manage it, book a hotel with views of the Eiffel Tower for a unique stay in Paris – Click here to buy your tickets to the Eiffel Tower
2. The Louvre Pyramid
The Louvre Museum is one of the most sumptuous buildings in the world and was built within the grounds of the Louvre Palace, home to the French Kings. The Palace courtyard also contains the Louvre Pyramid, which was commissioned by the French President François Mitterrand and designed by Chinese-born architect I.M. Pei.
The Louvre Pyramid is the entrance to the Louvre Museum and was created to add more space to the famous museum. The Pyramid’s structure is made of metal and 603 lozenges and 70 triangles of laminated glass.
Since its inauguration in 1989, the Louvre Pyramid has become one of the essential Paris landmarks in front of which visitors like to take their pictures. Under the Pyramid, you will find the Louvre’s reception hall, the ticket office, the museum’s shops, a few restaurants, and the Carrousel du Louvre shopping center.
If you’re too impatient to line up at the Pyramid, check out these tips on how to visit the Louvre without the lines – Click here to buy your tickets to the Louvre Museum
3. Sacré-Cœur Basilica
The Sacré-Coeur Basilica is one of the main landmarks in Paris. It is located on the top of Montmartre, in the 18th Arrondissement. The Basilica is dedicated to Christ’s Sacred Heart and it welcomes more than 10 million visitors per year, making it the second most visited religious building in France, only after Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Sacré-Coeur was built between 1873 and 1924 in Romano-Byzantine style, with a design inspired by models such as Saint Sophia in Constantinople and San Marco in Venice. The architecture is in the shape of a Greek cross with four domes, and it measures 85 meters long and 35 meters in width.
The Basilica is free to visit, but there’s an entrance fee for the dome. The entrance to the dome is on the left side of the Sacré-Coeur, outside. It’s an authentic experience that comes after climbing 300 steps!
4. Pont Neuf
Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the Seine River. It’s also one of the most photographed landmarks in Paris because you can get some great shots against the backdrop of the water.
Construction on Pont Neuf began in 1578 under King Henry III and it was the first bridge to be built with pavements. The Pont Neuf crosses the Seine River by leaning on the Square du Vert Galant. The shortest span (78 m) has five arches and connects the Left Bank to Ile de la Cité. The longest span (154m) has seven arches, and it connects Ile de la Cité to the Right Bank.
Despite its age, this Paris landmark is actually quite beautiful. Since 1889, the Pont Neuf is listed Historical Monument, and since 1991, the bridge is also listed as UNESCO World Heritage together with the Seine River banks.
5. Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon and is dedicated to the French soldiers who fought in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. This landmark in Paris was designed by architect Jean Francois Chalgrin in 1806.
This is one of the most famous monuments in Paris and the 50-meter-high arch is covered with bas reliefs of the French armies. The Arch’s inner surface is covered with the names of soldiers and battles.
Make sure you take in the view from the viewing platform at the top of the arch and pay your respects at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at its foot – Click here to buy your tickets to the Arc de Triomphe
6. Tour Montparnasse
The Tour Montparnasse, also commonly known as the Top of the City, is a 210-meter office skyscraper located in the neighborhood of Montparnasse, in Paris 14. Constructed from 1969 to 1973, it was France’s tallest skyscraper until 2011, when it was surpassed by the 231-meter Tour First in La Défense.
In 38 seconds, the tower’s elevator transports you to the 56th floor at an altitude of 196 m. From there, the most beautiful view of Paris awaits you in a new playful, modern, and very comfortable space where you can admire other Paris landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and the Sacré Coeur. Take advantage of your visit to take a gourmet break at the 360° Café, the highest panoramic bar in Paris – Click here to buy your tickets to the Tour Montparnasse
7. Hotel des Invalides
The Hotel des Invalides was commissioned by King Louis XIV to provide accommodation for the disabled soldiers in his army. It was built between 1671 to 1676 and it is one of the easiest Paris landmarks to spot thanks to its stunning golden dome. The building is now the Army Museum, holding more than 500,000 exhibits, making it the most important exhibition of military history in France.
The Hotel des Invalides is also the final resting place of Napoleon I. His impressive tomb is located under the Hotel des Invalides’ dome – Click here to buy your tickets to the Hotel des Invalides
8. Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame is located on the Île-de-la-Cité and it was the heart of Medieval Paris. This historical landmark in Paris was founded in 1163 by King Louis IX and construction on the building took more than 150 years. It’s a monument to the traditions and creativity of Gothic architecture, with elaborate sculptures, stained glass windows, facades, and overall décor.
Unfortunately, the 2019 fire has done some damage to this symbol of Paris, with certain sections collapsing under the assault. Reconstruction is underway at the moment, but the interior of the building is closed to the public, with the reopening expected in 2024.
9. Moulin Rouge
Wille visiting Montmartre, it’s impossible to miss the iconic red shape of the Moulin Rouge, the famous Parisian cabaret! The Moulin Rouge opened in Paris in 1889, making it one of the most recent Paris landmarks on this list. However, it’s one that has stood the test of time and is still called one of the best cabarets in Paris.
Moulin Rouge is known as the birthplace of the famous French can-can dance. The interior décor of the building is still as romantic and old-world as you might expect, and the performers and shows are spectacular. All of this makes a night at the cabaret a must for anyone exploring Paris at night – Click here to buy your tickets to the Moulin Rouge cabaret show
10. Panthéon of Paris
Visiting the Panthéon of Paris is one of the best things to do in the Latin Quarter. This is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris and stands on top of the hill of Montagne Sainte-Geneviève.
The Panthéon in Paris was commissioned in 1764 by King Louis XV who wanted to build a church dedicated to Sainte-Geneviève, the saint patron of Paris.
Under the French Revolution, the National Assembly decided to make it a secular temple. Named Panthéon, in reference to the Greek gods, it honored the memory of the new heroes of France.
The crypts inside hold some of the greatest French celebrities that the world has ever known. This includes famous names like Voltaire, Alexandre Dumas, and Rousseau, along with a short text that sums up their lives – Click here to buy your tickets to the Panthéon of Paris
11. The Egyptian Obelisk
Located in the center of Place de la Concorde, the Egyptian Obelisk was brought directly from the Luxor Temple in Egypt. Built in the 13th century BC, the obelisk is the oldest monument in Paris!
The Egyptian Obelisk was a present from the Sultan and Viceroy of Egypt Mehemet Ali to King Charles X of France. It was a gesture of friendship and gratitude for the deciphering of hieroglyphs by Champollion. One of the tallest monuments in Paris, this massive stone measures 22 meters high and weighs 220 tons, and it was built under the reign of the Pharaon Ramses II.
The journey to transport the Egyptian Obelisk was a real adventure that you can read here. Today, the Luxor Obelisk also works as a sundial, the gnomon of this dial is the Obelisk itself, while the solstice curves, the equinox lines, and the hour lines are marked on the square.
12. Pont Alexandre iii
Pont Alexandre iii is one of the most beautiful bridges over the Seine River. It is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander III, who had concluded the Franco-Russian Alliance in 1892.
This elegant Paris landmark was inaugurated on the occasion of the 1900 World Fair to connect the Hotel des Invalides on the Left Bank to the Grand Palais and Petit Palais on the Right Bank.
The bridge has a mix of styles Beaux-Arts and Art Nouveau. Its four extremities are flanked by monumental pylons 17 meters high, decorated at their top with gilt bronze pegasi. They represent the Fame of Arts, Sciences, Commerce, and Industry. From the bridge, enjoy awesome views of these buildings and also one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower, with the Seine River in the foreground.