Paris has a place on pretty much every traveller’s bucket list. It is known as the most romantic city in the world, and is home to some world famous sights that are constantly shown in travel magazines, films, and other works of art.
Anything about Paris is romantic, it’s a poem. Its buildings, its bridges, a river cruise, its alleys, croissants… Everything is perfect, harmonious. You can sit in a park watching what’s around you and get lost in a whirlwind of emotions. From its bustling river banks, the beauty and charm of its architecture, the delicious food, countless opportunities to explore art, culture, and history—the reasons I love Paris are as diverse as the city itself.
But why is Paris so famous? What is it about this city that attracts travellers from all over the globe? There has to be more than just the Eiffel Tower, right? Right. Paris is a diverse and sophisticated city that appeals to the wealthy but can also be enjoyed on a budget. In addition to the Eiffel Tower, Paris has countless other gorgeous landmarks and monuments that add to the beauty of the spacious boulevards and their charming cafés.
Paris is absolutely packed with things to do, so no traveller who stops here will find themselves bored. Though it’s a bustling metropolitan city, Paris is actually quite easy to navigate. You can thank the visionary Georges-Eugène Haussmann for this, as it was his responsibility to reorganize and renovate the city; a huge task that started in 1853 and ended in 1870. Because of his ordered grand scheme, there are twenty arrondissements and you can always tell which one you’re in because most street signs clearly indicate the number.
You can get around Paris quite easily with these options: metro, bus, RER trains, Vélibs (rentable bicycles), or on foot. A new metro station will greet you every 500 metres and some, such as Place de la Bastille, with its tiled murals, or the copper-encased Arts et Métiers, are surprisingly beautiful places. You might sometimes spend more time standing than sitting but it’s always full of interesting characters and it’ll get you where you need to go.
The ample photo opportunities are some of the most popular reasons to visit Paris for travelers, writers, artists and bloggers.
Here are some notable landmarks in Paris that draw tourists to the city:
The Eiffel Tower
As one of the most famous monuments in the entire world, the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of Paris. Made of wrought iron and standing 324 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower is a sight to see. At night time the tower lights up in shimmering gold, and there are nice gardens surrounding the tower that make for a once-in-a-lifetime picnic spot.
The Louvre Museum
The Louvre is the largest art museum in the world, but even those who aren’t interested in art will stop here to witness the incredible design of the massive building and take pictures with the pyramids. There is one large pyramid and three smaller ones, the largest one being the main entrance to the museum and all four are constructed of glass and metal. Tourists love to pose on the concrete blocks around the Louvre courtyard and pose with the iconic pyramids.
Arc De Triomphe
Located at the end of the famous shopping street, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, this massive arch commemorates the soldiers who fought in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. It has become a well-known national monument of France, and you can climb about 280 stairs to get to the top for an amazing view over the city.
Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, this Roman Catholic Church stands at the highest point in the city and is known for its towering white domes. It is located on top of Montmartre Hill, which is a charming area full of history and art. The Sacré-Cœur Basilica is a relatively new landmark in Paris; construction began in the late 1800s and the church was completed in 1914.
Parks and gardens
For such a massive city, Paris has plenty of green spaces designed to break up the stuffiness of the metropolis. These beautiful gardens make the city feel more open, and they make for lovely stops during a day of exploring.
You may stumble across some of the more centrally-located parks by accident, or you can pack a bag and head to one of the further parks for a day of enjoying nature. Either way, the green spaces of Paris are simply stunning and they make the city feel so much more enjoyable.
The abundance of spacious parks is definitely some of the best reasons for families to visit Paris because they can take their kids here to let off some steam. There is plenty of space for family picnics and sports games, so if you are traveling as a family then stopping by a park is a must.
Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III is one of the most intricately designed bridges in Paris. With a total length of 160 metres and a width of 40 metres, this bridge connects the Champs-Élysées with the Invalides buildings and the Eiffel Tower. The bridge was named after Tsar Alexander III (the Emperor of Russia from 1881 until 1894).
The Panthéon stands proudly in the heart of the Latin Quarter. Atop the hill of Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, it looks down upon the 5th district. More or less inspired by the Pantheon of Rome, the Parisian Pantheon was built as a memorial. Indeed, the crypts are home to the graves of the greatest French celebrities which marked the country throughout history. You will find such people as Rousseau, Voltaire, or Alexandre Dumas.
Another way to take in many of the highlights of the city — the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, the Musée d’Orsay, Notre Dame Cathedral, etc, is on a Seine river cruise. Many of Paris’s most famous and important buildings, bridges, and attractions can be seen from the river. The river viewpoint also allows you to gain some good insight into the city’s history, evolution, and architecture. In fact, the banks of the Seine in Paris were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991.
Paris’s identity runs right through the city, from the most famous of monuments to the smallest bistro. I love Paris because it can be experienced and appreciated on any scale – big or small, from the streets to the skies.