Lovingly referred to as the ‘City of Love’ or the ‘City of Light’, Paris has become a leading centre in the worlds of fashion, art and entertainment. With a history going back thousands of years, the city holds plenty of treasures no tourist should miss out on. Here is our list of 12:
1. The Musee d’Orsay
This grand museum showcases the world’s foremost collected works of impressionist paintings. Several rooms are dedicated to art work by masters like Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir Dega and Cezanne during the mid 1800s and first half of the 1900s where they can be viewed and appreciated.
2. The Luxembourg Gardens
Paris’ second largest public park, The Luxembourg Gardens as it is known in English, delights the senses of sight and smell. Exquisite lawns, landscaped gardens, fruit orchards displaying characteristic features of statues and fountains. Apart from its aesthetic value, housed within the gardens is a playground which promises loads of fun for children; tennis courts and jogging paths.
3. Cruise down the Seine River
An unforgettable experience with an amazing view of Paris from the river Seine can be had on one of the many river cruises on offer. There is the choice of hop-on and hop-off tours which provide a different take on the city. Choose a night tour to make the experience all the more special.
4. The Sacre Coeur
The Sacre Coeur basilica is favourably placed at the highest point of Paris to provide unbeatable panoramic views of the City of Light for which it is famous. Other incentives to visit this basilica, sanctified in 1909, are to see its stained glass windows and gold mosaics.
5. Place de la Concorde
One of the symbols of reconciliation in post-revolutionary France is Place de la Concorde, boasting an area of 86,400 metres; it is the largest square in Paris.
6. The Sorbonne and the Latin Quarter
A visit to one of Europe’s oldest and flourishing universities, Sorbonne University is a real treat for tourists. Founded in 1257 the university has schooled renowned names like Rene Descartes, Jean-Paul Sarte and Simone de Beauvoir.
7. Centre Georges Pompidou
The locals lovingly refer to this art museum and cultural centre as Paris’ ‘cultural pulse’. The museum was opened in 1977 in honour of president Georges Pompidou. The museum’s unique skeletal design draws many visitors who are either mesmerized or appalled by the design.
8. The Louvre Museum
No tourist can visit Paris without paying homage to the world’s most famous art works housed within the Louvre Museum. Its signature glass pyramid is one of the city’s more famous landmarks. An art collection in excess of 1 million is proudly showcased here including Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ and works by Michelangelo.
9. The Eiffel Tower
Constructed in 1889 and at a staggering 1 000 feet high in the Champs de Mars park, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most popular attractions for tourists the world over. Incredible views and photographic opportunities of the city is afforded by it enormous height advantage.
10. Notre Dame Cathedral
Featuring two elevated towers, a spire and soaring 400 feet high, the Notre Dame church is a perfect example of French Gothic architecture of the 13th century. Visitors await an awe-inspiring glimpse of rose windows, Gothic carvings and sculptures.
11. The Arc de Triomphe
Built in 1806 in tribute to Napoleon Bonaparte’s triumphant battles, the Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris’ most popular attractions. Intricate reliefs which tell of the victorious battles as well as the names of the brave soldiers who gave their lives for their country are engraved on the arch.
The city of Paris holds its major celebrations on this world-famous avenue from New Year’s Eve to military parades on the 14th of July. Situated along the avenue are cinemas, cafes and shops for the indulgent. Fabulous landscaped gardens and fountains can be found near Place de la Concorde.