Places to Visit in Paris on Day 1
The Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris is known for its splendid location, towers, flying buttresses, and spire. For centuries, the 70 metres high Notre Dame Cathedral remained as one of the tallest and most precious edifices of Paris. Visitors coming here admire the beauty of the cathedral as a masterpiece carved out from French Gothic architecture.
Till date, it is rightly acknowledged to be one of the most significant Middle Age monuments of Paris.What makes the Notre Dame Cathedral as a unique monument is its unique revolutionary medieval design. The brilliance of the innovative Gothic flying buttresses technology is evident in every nook and corner of this cathedral.
Founded in the year 1163, the construction of this magnificent structure lasted for around 200 odd years with tonnes of architects’, stonecutters’, and carpenters’ contribution. The magnificently stained stunning windows here filter every ounce of the ethereal light that strikes the cathedral. In the evening, the illumination created by the votive candles amplifies the spiritual sense of the ambience here.
The cathedral has twin towers which are opened for visitors. To enter the tower, you need to make your way through the left side of the front doorways and then climb the 387 steps present there. The moment you make it to the top, you will be treated with a splendid view like never before.
The Louvre Museum, officially known as the Great Louvre, is the national museum of France and is situated on the right side of the 12th-century fortress of Philip Augustus. It is the most-visited museums of the world that preserve a collection from ancient civilization to the mid 19th century.
The magnificent, baroque-styled palace and museum sit on the bank of the Seine river in Paris. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in France and the entire Europe. The Louvre’s collection includes Egyptian antiques, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, crown jewels, paintings by old masters and artifacts from French nobles among other such things.
Its collection spans from the sixth century BC to the 19th century AD. More than 35,000 works are on display at any given time at the museum.
Situated at the core of Place Charles de Gaulle and on the westernmost point of the famous Champs-Élysées avenue, this historically relevant monument was made in honour of all those brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for France during the Napoleonic Wars and French Revolution.
This architecturally rich yet phenomenal arc houses the names of all French generals and French victories along with the inspiring patriotic quotes and messages on its inner and outer sides, whereas underneath it lies The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War.
Arc de Triomphe, Paris was the tallest arch in the world until the construction of Monumento a la Revolución in 1938 in Mexico. Additionally, influenced by it, La Grande Arche measuring 110 meters high near Paris and Arch of Triumph, Pyongyang were erected based on the model and perspective of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris which qualifies in the list of world’s tallest arches.
The panoramic view of the Paris cityscape spread against the azure skyline is a pleasing sight to behold from the tower’s summit. As night descends, another spectacular sight of the Eiffel Tower illuminated with myriad bulbs will leave you in sheer awe. Thus, one can well understand that the tower is undeniably a tour de force of structural elegance and will turn out to be a worthwhile memory to cling onto for a lifetime.
Our eyes love a pleasant view and you can get that in Paris. A dividing yet unifying landmark of the city of lights- the Seine River is the pride of Paris. It is also known as ‘Sequana’ for its snake-like path across the city. River Seine has been an onlooker of the evolution of Paris. Since the time of Parisians in 250 B.C., Seine has been the harbinger of prosperity through its navigable waters.
Even today, its commercial importance is valued by the people of Paris. The banks of Seine locate most of the city’s landmarks. Sailing through the slow-paced water, you get glimpses of every important and magnificent structure, gardens, cityscape and cheerful people.
Its riverside has been the dwelling place of popular names like Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Napoleon Bonaparte. The river has been a source of inspiration for several artists. The beauty and cultural importance of Seine made its banks a part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Places to Visit in Paris on Day 2
There have been a number of renovations and restoration to convert this age old architectural marvel from a train station to a prospering museum. The very first construction started with installing metal frame structure and it was later completely concealed with an envelope of limestone to preserve the architectural harmony. The interiors of the museum reflects the superb artworks and intricate design elements picturising various historical occurings.
The interior decor of the museum can be referred to as a palace of fine art because of the myriad collection it exhibits. Musee d’Orsay at the present times hosts a number of exhibitions, film screenings, concerts and performances. It also houses some of the important relics and artefacts of the times gone by. Some of the most loved artefacts of the museum are the Musee d’Orsay clock, artworks by some of the famed artists such as Renoir, Cézanne, Gaugin, Dali, Monet and Van Gogh, sculptures, architectural structures and various other decorative arts.
Some more significant relics of the old days are the famous self-portrait, Starry Night over the Rhone, Whistler’s mother, and the Artist's studio. At the time when it was renovated as a museum, two new floors were crafted out of the older construction. The ground floor at the present times features paintings, sculptures and decorative arts of the 19th century while the top floor features the artworks from 1874 – 1886.
Palais Garnier or is one of the most renowned and impressive landmarks located within the city of Paris. It symbolizes the opulence of the Second Empire. Commissioned by Napoleon III in the year 1861, the present-day structure of the Palais Garnier is nothing short than a luxurious architectural delight.
The moment you step inside, you will see a big chandelier hanging from the Opera Garnier ceiling staggered in 7 tonnes of pure bronze.
The entire Opera Garnier is a brilliant masterpiece of classicism, and eccentricity. The main façade here was tailored as a theatre set. It was entirely dedicatedOpera Garnier to the lyric piece of art with stone columns and arcades. Every single element of this grand edifice is adorned with elaborate statues, carvings, and sculptures.
The auditorium is a definite sight to behold with a plush bloody red and golden seating area. The stage in the auditorium is massive enough to accommodate a total count of 450+ artists at one go.
The chapel suffered tragic destruction in the late eighteenth century, during which the baldachin and the steeple were removed. Some of the relics were dispersed and also various reliquaries like the Grande Châsse, were melted down. The chapel as it appears today is due to the restoration done in the nineteenth and twenty-first century.
Montparnasse Tower has got everything that makes it an ideal place to start and end your day with. It offers a spectacular 360-degree view of the entire city of Paris. Especially, the 56th and 59th observation floors of the Montparnasse Tower offer a stunning view in almost all directions.
The tower has got its name after the Greek mountain – Mount Parnassus and is currently known as the gigantic skyscraper of Paris. Within a flash of 38 seconds, you will be elevated from the bottom, right up to the indoor observatory in the tower through Europe’s fastest elevator. On the 56th floor, you have various films, viewpoints, and interactive activities, all awaiting your presence.
The observatory on the 59th floor of this gigantic tower is much more enjoyable. And why not? Standing 210 meters from the streets, this 59th-floor observatory offers more pristine and breath-taking views of the city. Apart from this, the newly opened panoramic rooftop terrace features a phenomenal window to give you a lustrous Parisian panorama.
Do not forget to pack your DSLR while visiting here. The views of the Sacré Coeur, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel Tower from here are simply amazing. And you are surely going to thank the Montparnasse for blessing you with ample memories to carry forward for the years to come.
Spread over the 5th and 6th arrondissements of Paris, the Latin Quarter is a culturally and geographically rich area in France's romantic capital. It graces the river Seine on its left bank and roughly encircles the University of Paris or Sorbonne.
The Latin Quarter is known all over the world to be an educational centre. Besides the historic University of Paris, institutions including École Normale Supérieure, the École des Mines de Paris, Panthéon-Assas University are present in the area.
Even the Schola Cantorum, the Jussieu university campus, and the École Polytechnique educational institutions have been established in the area very recently. Due to the presence of such significant centres of education, this area has a vibrant student life, bistros, pubs, restaurants, malls and cafes.
If you are looking to spend your vacation amidst the lively streets of Paris, the Latin Quarter is one area you shouldn't miss exploring.
Palace of Versailles
It is one of the most famous structures in the world, visited by millions of people every year to learn more about French history and walk through the elaborate hallways of the Palace of Versailles that once used to serve as the residence of the royal family.
Location: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France
Timing: Tuesday to Sunday (9:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.)
The streets are lined with quaint cafes, historical museums, ancient basilicas and other significant structures. At the centre of the village is the Sacré-Coeur Basilica from where you can catch an incredible panoramic view of the city. It remains, to this day, a massive inspiration to artists all over the world who come to visit.
Location: 35 Rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre, 18th arrondissement, 75018 Paris
Performances are still held here today, and you can buy a ticket to a play or an opera show for yourself as well. You can also walk around and explore the hallways and rooms inside the Palais that are open to the public.
Location: Pl. de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
Timing: Monday to Sunday (7:30 p.m. - 2:00 a.m.)
Place De La Concorde
Today, it is one of the poshest neighbourhoods in the city, located in the famous Champs-Elysées and surrounded by hotels, cafes, restaurants, ateliers and fountains such as the Fontaine des Mers and Fontaine des Fleuves. The square was redesigned by a famous French architect by the name of Jacques-Ignacio Hittorf after the execution of Marie Antoinette here.
Location: Champs-Elysées, 75008, Paris, France
You can also check out several home-grown local French brands that are very exclusive and quaint. The street, which runs for a length of 1.9 km, is one of the most famous in the world, with more than 300,000 people visiting every single day.
There are also several French bakeries as well as fine-dining restaurants along the Hampshire Élysées which makes this the perfect haunt for your time in Paris.
Location: Avenue des Champs Élysées
Timing: Most stores are open from Monday to Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
Le Manoir De Paris
Now, the structure stands as a walkthrough haunted house where you can visit with your friends to get spooked. You can learn about the many fascinating urban legends of Paris while dressed up actors hidden throughout the building try to scare you, while others guide you through the history of the city.
Location: 18 Rue de Paradis, 75010 Paris, France
Timing: Friday (7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.) and Saturday (3:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.)
Places Des Vosges
It is now a semi-museum, with interesting artefacts from history displayed in the rooms. There is an octagonal fountain in front of the property, along with acres upon acres of manicured lawns. You can also visit the many cafes surrounding the building.
Location: Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
Timing: Tuesday to Sunday (9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
Bois De Vincennes
You can explore this park on foot, rent a boat and go boating on the lake inside the park and even take a ride on horseback to get a feel of the olden days. There are many small pavilions, gazebos, benches and other places that have existed for hundreds of years that you can now explore in this idyllic garden.
Location: Rte de la Pyramide, 75012 Paris, France
Timing: Monday to Sunday (9:30 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.)
In modern times, the complex still serves this purpose in some of its quarters, but the rest of the structure has been converted into a museum, along with being the site for the tomb of Napoleon I.
There is a massive French courtyard on the complex from where you can get a panoramic view of the building. The construction of this sprawling structure was commissioned by King Louis XIV who wanted to honour the sacrifices of his soldiers.
Location: 129 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris, France
Timing: Monday to Sunday (10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
Some of the most famous artists, philosophers, scientists and great thinkers from Parisian history are buried here including people like Marie Curie, Alexander Dumas and Victor Hugo. You can also watch a pendulum hanging from one of the domes of the Pantheon, which was suspended by the famous French physicist Jean Foucault who wanted to determine the earth’s rotation.
Location: Pl. du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France
Timings: Monday to Sunday (10:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.)