Paris AttractionsThe Eurostar connection from London has made Paris more popular than ever as a convenient weekend destination. Paris is fairly compact and easy to navigate and many tourists opt to walk or bicycle around to soak up the flavour of the city and take in the numerous iconic landmarks and parks, or stop at one of the many pavement cafés. A cruise down the Seine is also a popular option as many of the city's greatest sights are on the river, including Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Place de la Concorde and the Eiffel Tower.
Other things to see in Paris include the Basilique du Sacre-Cœur, which offers great views over Paris. The Pompidou Centre houses the Musée National d'Art Modern, while the square to the west of the building attracts a varied assortment of street performers. Stroll around the cobblestone streets of the Marais district with its mansions and museums, or visit the courtyards and antique shops of Ile St-Louis, which also boasts the former homes of Marie Curie, Baudelaire, and Voltaire.
South of the river, the Musée d'Orsay, the Rodin Museum and the Hotel des Invalides (the burial place of many great French soldiers, including Napoleon Bonaparte) can be found. When they've finished sightseeing, visitors can idle away an afternoon in the Jardin du Luxembourg. Further along visitors can stroll through the Jardin des Plantes, Paris' first public garden, created by Louis XIII's doctor for the cultivation of medicinal plants, or visit the National History Museum. The St-Germain-des-Pres neighbourhood, the former residence of existentialists Sartre and Camus, has retained much of its bohemian atmosphere with bookshops, art galleries and coffeehouses.
For free or discounted admission to many attractions in Paris, and the chance to bypass the queues, visitors can buy the Paris Museum Pass at many tourist offices, museums, or metro stations.
Eiffel TowerGustave Eiffel, the architect of the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) could never have guessed that it would become Paris' signature sightseeing attraction and attract more than six million visitors a year. It was built as a temporary structure to commemorate the centenary of the... see full details
Notre-DameNotre-Dame looms large over the Place de Paris, on the Isle de la Cité, and as the most enduring symbol of Paris is an alluring tourist attraction. Built between 1163 and 1345 the cathedral is considered one of the world's Gothic masterpieces. The massive... see full details
LouvreOne of the world's great art museums, this vast edifice houses an extraordinary collection of paintings, sculptures and antiquities from all over the world. The permanent collections are divided into Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Asian antiquities, painting, drawings, sculptures and objects d'art. The Louvre was... see full details
Pompidou CentreBuilt in the 1970s and named after former French president Georges Pompidou, the futuristic Pompidou Centre is now considered part of the Parisian landscape. The outrageous design, complete with its glass elevators, was the inspiration for the Lloyds Building in London and attracts visitors... see full details
Musée d'OrsayThis great museum is fairly new by Paris standards. It is situated in a railway station by the Seine and houses a vast collection of works from the significant 1848 to 1914 period. There are important works from the Art-Nouveau movement but the... see full details
Musée RodinThe Rodin Museum is situated near the Musée d'Orsay and is housed in what was formerly the Hôtel Biron, the beautiful hotel where Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) once lived and worked. Inside are many of Rodin's great marble sculptures including The Kiss, while outside, in... see full details
Musée National PicassoThe Picasso Museum is situated in a 17th century mansion in the heart of Paris. The collection was started in 1973, after the French government accepted Picasso's own collection in lieu of death duties, and was added to after his widow's death in... see full details
VersaillesThe Château de Versailles stands 15 miles (24km) southwest of Paris and is one of France's most noted attractions. Most of the palace was built between 1664 and 1715 by Louis XIV (known as the Sun King), who turned his father's hunting lodge... see full details
FontainebleauIn the 16th century, Henry II and Catherine de Medici commissioned architects Philibert Delorme and Jean Bullant to build a new palace within the Fontainebleau forest, 40 miles (64km) south of Paris. Italian Mannerist artists Rosso Fiorentino and Primaticcio came to assist in the... see full details
Arc de TriompheThe world's largest triumphal arch, the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile is set at the centre of a star-shaped configuration of 12 radiating avenues in the heart of the Champs Elysées. It stands 165 feet (51m) tall and the names of major victories... see full details
Les InvalidesLes Invalides was built by Louis XIV in 1670 as a military hospital to take care of wounded soldiers and now comprises the largest single collection of monuments and museums in Paris, all relating to the military history of France. It is the... see full details
Jardin des PlantesThe Jardin des Plantes is France's main botanical garden. Covering 28 hectares (280,000sq m), the garden was originally planted by Louis XIII's doctor in 1626 as a medicinal herb garden. In 1640 it became Paris's first public garden. In 1739, after a long period... see full details