While every book on Paris will list its top 10 sites to see, there are also those hidden, special sites that are not always mentioned. Sometimes only the locals know about them. So, once you get through the usual top sites, be sure to check out the section, Experiences.
1. Musee de Louvre
If you’ve never been, yes, you must go and see: the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus de Milo, and some of the most famous works of art in the world. In addition to these treasures is the Louvre building itself. Breathtaking.
2. Musee D’Orsay
This was a former railway station and now it is one of the most beautiful museums in the world. The collection of art covers the period from 1848-1914 and includes work by Van Gogh, Renoir, Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Monet
3. Eiffel Tower
This landmark was constructed for the Universal Exhibition of 1889. There are always line ups to go to the top and at times it can be very crowded, but it is worth doing once. There is an audio-visual show worth watching to learn more about the construction and history of the tower through the ages.
4. Notre Dame Cathedral
The first stone was laid in 1163 and in 2013 Notre Dame Cathedral is celebrating its 850th anniversary. A tour to the top of the Cathedral provides you with a close up of the gargoyles and a bird’s eye view of Paris and the Seine.
5. Sacre Coeur
Located in Montmartre, this basilica provides a panoramic view of Paris and is a great starting point for exploring the Montmartre area.
6. Arc de Triomphe
This arch is the focal point for parades, races (Paris Marathon, Tour de France), and the end (or beginning) of the Champs Elysee. At the base is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the top provides an excellent vantage point of all the famous avenues converging at the centre, the Charles de Gaulle Etoile.
7. Centre Georges Pompidou
Modern outside. Modern inside. The Museum of Modern Art is housed here and the Stravinsky Fountain outside is an amusing sight.
Near the Sorbonne, this public building was originally a church. The architecture is beautiful and it is amazing to see Foucault’s pendulum sway back and forth. Beneath are buried some very famous Frenchmen: Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Marie Curie.
This medieval church often has line-ups as the interior, with its stained glass windows is gorgeous.
10. Hotel des Invalides
Built for soldiers injured in the late 17th century, Les Invalides has a number of buildings including the Dome Church where Napoleon Bonaparte is buried.