A person's first trip to Paris may seem overwhelming at first: the city is packed with enough history, beauty, and culture to last anyone a lifetime. Amidst a booming tourist economy advertising countless museums, monuments, and other points of interest, finding a place to start can be daunting. To help make it easier, the list below contains some of the most awe-inspiring, must-see attractions that Paris has to offer.
Home to one of the largest and most beautiful collections of artwork in the world, the Louvre is not to be missed. From Da Vinci to Rembrandt, a trip to the Louvre means seeing some of the most iconic and culturally significant pieces of art in all of history.
The Cathedral of Notre Dame:
Hailed as one of the world's most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral's craftsmanship and sheer size are breathtaking. Tours of the cathedral allow visitors to see the city from the same vantage point as Victor Hugo's famous character Quasimodo.
The Eiffel Tower:
Arguably the most famous landmark in city, the Eiffel Tower is what springs to mind when most people hear "Paris." Built for the 1889 World Exposition, the tower now serves as a symbol of the city's rich history and elegant style. Be sure to visit at night, when the tower is displayed in lights.
The Arc de Triomphe:
Commissioned by Napoleon I, the Arc de Triomphe is a lasting testament to nation's military might. A lift to the top provides a gorgeous view of the Champs Elysees and the Eiffel Tower, while the monument itself is a must-see for anyone with an interest in history.
With its breathtaking white domes and its seat at the top of the Montmartre butte, the Sacre-Coeur basilica earns its place as one of the city's most photographed sites. With its striking silhouette and stained glass windows, there are few sites in Paris more impressive than Sacre-Coeur at sunset.
Considered by many to be the most beautiful church in all of Paris, the Sainte-Chapelle chapel was originally built to house holy relics-including the crown of thorns. Its amazing set of 15 stained-glass windows and high vaulted ceiling offer a sublime interior view and an impressive sense of space despite the chapel's size.
A Tour on the Seine: A boat tour on the Seine River is one of the best ways to take in all that Paris has to offer. With the chance to dine on the water while drifting past many of the most iconic and breathtaking sites in the city, it is hard to imagine a more romantic way to spend an evening. The best times to take a tour are from May to early September, when the weather is the most pleasant and the skies are clear.
In a city with as much history and beauty to offer as Paris, it is impossible to see everything worth seeing in a single trip. However, the list above represents some of the absolute greatest examples of Parisian culture, and anyone visiting Paris would be remiss to pass them by.