Top 10 Local Attractions in Paris
Visiting Paris is one of those experiences no man or woman should miss. Paris tourism is more than just a pleasure, it is regarded by many as a rite of passage into sophistication and worldliness. Once you've visited the top attractions in Paris, you'll be discussing them for years with your friends back home. Since Paris is such a cultural hot spot, culinary haven and historically significant city, the list of things to do in Paris would undoubtedly reach into the thousands. That's why a list of the top 10 local attractions in Paris, France would be nice -- to help you make sure you've at least covered the basics.
The Top 10 Local Attractions in Paris
1. Les Carrieres de Paris. Located underneath the 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th arrondissements (note that the tour only goes through the 14th), the Les Carrieres de Paris (Catacombs of Paris) are an 18th century burial place. While this may sound like a morbid place to visit, you will be fascinated and amazed by the collection of bones of an estimated six million residents in this Paris, France attraction.
2. The Eiffel Tower. Built for the World's Fair in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized structures on the planet. You can go up inside it or simply admire the marvelously coiffured grounds upon which it stands.
3. Basilique du Sacre Coeur. Literally translated to "Basilica of the Sacred Heart," this amazing church is believed by some to contain the heart of Christ. Also called the "wedding cake church," Sacre Coeur sits atop Montmartre and offers an air of mystery and esoteric tradition, as well as tremendous views. Be sure and leave time for some Montmartre shopping post-visit.
4. Cathedrale Notre Dame de Paris. This famed Gothic cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. One of the earliest Gothic cathedrals, Notre Dame was one of the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress. If you're planning a family vacation to Paris, France, this is a must-see, to teach your children not only about the wonders of Gothic architecture, but the history of Paris. You can also climb the tower. If you happen to be visiting on a Christian holiday, you'll find Parisians and other believers gathered in the square outside to worship.
5. Jardin du Luxembourg. The largest park in Paris, Luxembourg is quite popular with children and their parents because of the large playground, free puppet shows and the merry-go-round. It is also ideal for a romantic stroll with anyone you might one day want to have children with.
6. Le Marais. Home to the famous street Rue des Francs-Bourgeois, le Marais is one of the most popular districts in Paris. Loads of great shopping, beautiful storefronts and fantastic Kosher delis (the area is a center for the Jewish community of Paris) make for enjoyable afternoons.
7. Arc de Triomphe. Located at the western end of the Champs Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe was built at Napoleon's request in 1806 in order to pay tribute to his victories. It was completed in 1836 and is now the home of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You can climb the 280 steps inside this Paris attraction, as well as visit the small museum and gift shop there.
8. Le Musee du Louvre. First a fortress and then a royal residence for Francois I, the Louvre is now the largest museum in the world, and one of the top local attractions in Paris. The Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo and, of course, the Mona Lisa, are just three of the Louvre's many priceless works of art on display.
9. Centre Pompidou. Built as a modern art museum in 1977, the Centre Pompidou was widely unpopular when it was first opened, due to its futuristic feel and colors. The people got over it and it is now respected for having one of the finest collections of modern art in the world.
10. Musee d'Orsay. Mostly known for its extensive collection of Impressionist art, Musee d'Orsay was actually once a train station. This museum, across the river from The Louvre, is a must-see Paris attraction, as no one captures the essence of Parisian art like the Impressionists.
So that's that. Armed with a list of the top 10 local attractions in Paris, you have a good place (or places) to start! Enjoy your visit to Paris, France and tell us what you liked best on your Paris France vacation.
Photo by Al lanni via Flickr.