Paris has some of the most famous landmarks and buildings in the world and steeped in romantic myths by history, literature and film. Paris is the city for those who enjoy life, gourmands and romantics. Bossops list 10 top attractions you should not miss. Paris is the ideal city for all year round visits, no matter what your interests are.
The Eiffel Tower
You will not grasp the size of the Eiffel Tower is until you approach the four legged base of the structure. Built in 1889 to impress at the World Expo held in Paris the tower attracts more than six million visitors a year. You can choose the elevator or climb the 1665 steps to the top and along the way the tower has three viewing platforms. On the tower’s first level, the restaurant Le 58 Tour Eiffel offers traditional French cuisine, and it comes with a fantastic view. Since 2003 the tower is equipped with 20,000 lights which make the tower crackle in the night.
Palais de Louvre was originally the royal residence and the seat of the army, government and the treasury. Since the late 18th century the Louvre has become the world’s most prestigious art museum and home to Mona Lisa, Delacroix’s revolutionized paintings and Venus from Milo. Here is everything from Egyptian sphinxes and Hammurabi law to Rubens and Rembrandt. The building is an aesthetic experience in itself, especially at night when the facade of the illuminated glass and steel pyramid pops off a strange optical phenomena. As museum the Louvre in Paris is quite simply a giant. The collections are so vast, diverse, and breathtaking that visitors may have the impression of navigating a maze. Be prepared for long queues outside.
Sacré-Cour was erected 1876 on one of the city’s highest hills. The church is beautiful and impressive in white shining marble. From the stairs leading up to the church you have a view spanning four miles. From Sacre-Cour you can easily walk to Montmartre and climb Paris to the sky. The walk is through winding alleys, stairs, and hidden nooks. Mont Martre is officially called the 18th arrondissement, Paris’s most famous artist quarters on the city’s highest point. Here you find place du Tertre, a square with all painters, hawkers and tourists. Sit down and have a coffee at one of the many restaurants surrounding the square and just watch all the people as the Parisians do. If you walk a little bit further you find a more genuine atmosphere on the rue des Abbesses, rue de Martyrs and rue Lepic. Place Emile-Goudeau has had tenants such as Braque, Picasso and Juan Gris. images by photoeverywhere.co.uk
Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of Champs Elysees in the middle of twelve radiating avenues. The Arc is 50 meters high and 45 meters wide. It is the 1809 victory monument erected on the orders of Napoleon, just before his empire fell to pieces. But the triumphal arch still stands as well as its symbolic value. At the end of World War I, the unknown soldier’s grave was created here. Climb up to the triumphal platform and you get the best overview of the twelve Haussmann’s boulevards and a the new Paris characterized by orderliness.
Champs-Elysees is Paris’s impressive main street, adjoining Arc de Triomphe and Place Charles de Gaulle. This is the scene for national celebrations such as the end of the war and World Cup triumphs in football. Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chanel and Louis Vuitton are represented along the street Look out for fancy hotels, elegant restaurants and the night clubs Lido and Queen.
Jardin des Tuileries
Once the backyard of Royals the Jardin des Tuileries is the well-kept Italian-style garden between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde. The Jardin des Tuilerie is a much-loved walking path for Parisians, filled with dramatic statuary and perfectly symmetrical shrubbery, reflecting the Renaissance preoccupation with bringing rational design in nature. Enjoy stunning views of the Seine from the Terrasse du Bord de L’Eau at the south end of the gardens. The Musee de l’Orangerie is housed in the former Orangery of the Tuileries Gardens, built in 1852. The building now houses the French impressionist painter Claude Monet’s most luminous achievements.
Notre Dame is resting on well-worn ground where once Celtic and Roman temples stood. Today’s Cathedral was created between 1163 and 1334. The imagery is powerful Gothic and the building belong to the highlights of its era. Try to make a visit in the evening when Notre Dame is floodlit with the spears and ornaments puncturing the night sky. Maybe you will hear Quasimodo, Victor Hugo’s “Hunchback of the Notre Dame” ring the massive church Bells. Notre Dame is a lively and picturesque area of the city with many tourists and street performers.
Despite its name, Les invalides is a powerful structure that houses Napoleons enormous tomb, made of red quartzite, resting on a green granite base. It is also an army museum and a war hospital Louis XIV created in the 1670s.
Centre Pompidou is an avant-garde cultural center with the looks of the future. Its Innovative high-tech architecture wraps a vast public library and the Musée Natonal de l’Art Moderne. The Museum has a huge collection representing: 5000 artists with 50,000 artworks from Cubism, Dadaism and Surrealism representing Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky, Klee and others. It also houses an exciting reconstruction of André Breton’s studio. The Place Georges Pompidou in front of the building is noted for the presence of street performers, such as mimes and jugglers. In the spring, miniature carnivals are installed temporarily into the place in front with a wide variety of attractions: bands, caricature and sketch artists, tables set up for evening dining, and even skateboarding competitions
A Stylishly transformation into a museum of the Gare d’Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900. The museum contains Impressionist art in a setting of high arches. Focus is on 1848-1914 with Works by Manet, Boudin, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cezanne and Toulouse-Lautrec.