Paris is a city that needs no introduction. I have been there a couple of times and have decided to do a quick post sharing my five absolute favourite places to visit in the ‘City of Love and Light’. I consider these places to be must-see sights for all people visiting Paris for the first time. It was really hard to narrow the list down, but here it is.
1. Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles)
I know, I know – Versailles is technically not a part of Paris. But, as it is only a short metro trip away from Paris, it is definitely a must-see destination for all visitors! The palace tops my list because I have never seen a more exquisite property. Seriously. It is the sort of place that needs to be seen to be believed. Just be aware that there are sometimes very long queues in the summer. My most recent trip there involved waiting in queues longer than those at the Eiffel Tower! Regardless, it is worth the wait.
2. Palais Garnier
This building runs a close second place on my list. It is home to the Paris Opera – and one of the most beautiful rooms I have ever seen in my life. Yes, its ‘grand foyer’ is very aptly named and I was in complete awe when I saw it for the first time. The rest of the building is also stunning. I think that a lot of tourists unknowingly skip visiting the Palais Garnier, but do not make the same mistake!
3. La Tour Eiffel (Eiffel Tower)
Well, d’uh! It is impossible to write a travel post about Paris without including the Eiffel Tower. And let me just say that it is so surreal to see in person. I had been to Las Vegas a couple of times before I ever went to Paris, so I naively expected the real Eiffel Tower to just be a similar size to the one in Vegas… Ha! I am truly embarrassed at my own stupidity (to be fair, I was only 16 at the time). The Eiffel Tower is huge and any trip to it must include an awesome elevator ride to the top. The view is incredible! Be sure to visit it both during the day and at night when it sparkles.
4. Musée du Louvre (The Louvre)
It does not matter if you have a limited appreciation for art – everyone has to visit the Louvre! It is so rich in history and houses an incredible range of both art and antiquities that it is little wonder it is one of the most visited museums in the world. And it is hard to imagine visiting Paris without paying a visit to the Mona Lisa!
5. Les Invalides (Military Museum / Tomb of Napoléon)
I do not have a particular interest in military history, but I was truly captivated by Les Invalides. It is a complex of buildings that includes a huge museum, two churches and a garden. The French sure know how to create extraordinary museums and this one is no exception. However, the element I found most fascinating is that it is also the burial site for some of France’s military heroes – most notably, Napoléon Bonaparte. His enormous sarcophagus is surrounded by a rotunda and lies under an equally impressive dome. The sheer scale of it all is a sight to behold.
My Other Noteworthy Places (in alphabetical order)