Six Famous Things to Do in Paris, France
Famous Paris, France Attractions: The Eiffel Tower
A list of things to do in Paris would be incomplete without the hallmark of the city, the Eiffel Tower. Millions of visitors are drawn to the iron lattice edifice each year, making it the most-visited paid monument in the world. Soaring 1,063 feet into the sky, this is the tallest building in Paris. Criticized as an eyesore when it was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair, the tower now stands tall as a symbol of the city and country.
Visitor Information: There are three levels for visitors at the tower. Tickets must be purchased to ascend any part of the tower. The first and second levels are accessible by elevator or stairs -- but to reach either level you must climb 300 steps. Elevator is the only means to reach the third and highest level.
Famous Paris, France Attractions: Arc de Triomphe
Another recognizable monument, the Arc de Triomphe is an archway honoring those who gave their lives during the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument accompanied by an eternal flame that burns in memory of the dead who were never identified. It takes 280 steps to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, but the views of the city are worth the ascent to the top of this Paris attraction.
Visitor Information: Two important ceremonies are held at the Arc every year; the first is Armistice Day, or Remembrance Day, which falls on November 11th and the second Bastille Day on July 14th.
Famous Paris, France Attractions: The LouvreMuseum
Home to Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa -- as well as nearly 35,000 other objects -- The Louvre Musem is one of the most famous museums in the entire world. The museum is housed in the iconic Louvre Palace, a fortress built in the late 12th century for Philip II. Since 1793, the building has been open as a museum, and today it houses one of the richest collections imaginable.
Visitor Information: The Louvre is free to the public on Sundays, but the line is usually painfully long. If short on time or patience, it may be a better idea to fork over the fee and visit on a less busy day.
Famous Paris, France Attractions: Musee d'Orsay
Second only to the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay is another popular art museum that should be on any traveler's list of things to do in Paris. Located in a former railway station on the left bank of the Seine, the museum contains mainly French impressionist and post-impressionist art the dates from 1848 to 1915. Artists represented include famous names such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir and Van Gogh. Don't miss the museum's photography collection, home to Eadweard Muybridge's famous horse-in-motion snapshots.
Visitor Information: There is a fee of around $10 -- depending on the exchange rate -- to enter the museum. This Paris attraction also hosts a rotating calendar of impressive special exhibitions, each requiring another admission rate. Admission to both the general museum and special exhibitions are free for children ages 5 to 18.
Famous Paris, France Attractions: Notre Dame Cathedral
Inspiration for Victor Hugo's masterpiece "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," the Notre Dame Cathedral is a no-brainer when it comes to composing a list of things to do in Paris. One of the most famous cathedrals in the entire world, it was one of the first to be built in the Gothic style and its construction spanned the entire Gothic period.
Visitor Information: This iconic Paris tourist attraction is open every day of the year. Entrance and tours are free of charge to the public.
Famous Paris, France Attractions: Père-Lachaise Cemetery
The final resting place of some of Europe's most notorious figures, this cemetery pulls in thousands of visitors every year. Some famous names buried in the cemetery grounds are Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Chopin and Edith Piaf. A walk through the winding paths of the cemetery, especially on a sunny spring day, will have you passing beautifully sculpted tombs and monuments.
Visitor Information: English language tours are run Saturdays at 3 p.m. from June through September. The tours last for two hours.
Photo by Al lanni on flickr.