Must-Sees in the City of Light
Collected by Lindsey Tramuta, AFAR Contributor
From right bank to left bank, the landmarks of Paris are some of the world's most ubiquitous. They appear in fairytales, iconic films and even find their way into the lines of some of our most favorites songs, old and new. Here are some of the most storied spots and a few other musts that will round out your visit.
3 Boulevard Edgar Quinet, 75014 Paris, France
Step off the beaten path that leads to Jim Morrison’s grave at Père Lachaise and head instead to the lesser-known, yet extraordinary Montparnasse Cemetery. Locals bring metro tickets to leave on Serge Gainsbourg’s grave in...
6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
For a first-time visitor to Notre Dame, investing in the audio guide is essential to immerse in and understand this overwhelmingly significant Paris icon. There's a lot to see and absorb—history, architecture, artifacts,...
69 Rue de Lyon, 75012 Paris, France
Paris boasts an unusual elevated park, La Promenade Plantée, built atop an abandoned elevated railway viaduct in the 12th arrondissement. It starts a block east of the Place de la Bastille and stretches for 2.9 elevated miles. Landscape architect...
10 Place de l'Opéra, 75009 Paris, France
In 1963 artist Marc Chagall was commissioned by the French Minister of Culture to repaint the Paris Opera House ceiling. The artist choice was controversial because, although a French nationalized citizen, Chagall was a Russian Jew, and a modern...
8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France
Sainte Chapelle is a true Gothic masterpiece located on Île de la Cité. Sainte Chapelle was founded by King Louis IX as a chapel for the royal palace. Sainte Chapelle houses a small chapel downstairs that is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The...
5 Rue de la Banque, 75002 Paris, France
Shopping passages were built in the 19th century to give Parisians protection from muddy streets and horse-drawn vehicles. Galerie Vivienne is a beautiful restored 19th-century passage with entrances at the Rue des Petits-Champs, Rue de la...
1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France
8 Rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
This beautiful courtyard, modern art installations, hundreds of Corinthian columned walkways and perfectly placed fountains and gardens, make the Palais Royal a photographer's playground. Personally, I can never get enough of the reflection...
Sorbonne, Paris, France
Place des Vosges, Paris, France
This beautiful square is one the city's oldest; set in Le Marais, it's surrounded by grand houses and an arched walkway lined with galleries and quaint cafés. At Number 6, you'll find the former home of Victor Hugo, author of "The Hunchback of...
Père-Lachaise, 75020 Paris, France
We don't know if Chopin, Molière, Colette, Jim Morrison, Édith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and other famous denizens of Père Lachaise were disturbed by the keening sounds of Bruce Ackley's soprano saxophone on this cold January afternoon. But a security...
144bis Rue Cardinet, 75017 Paris, France
Where Paris's parks have the tendency to be vast and manicured, this unique space is an oasis of green with the vegetative versatility and fullness of English garden. It's the perfect place to come and get your bit of quiet, away from the streets,...
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France
The Palais de Tokyo is a grand, templelike building with a view of the Eiffel Tower. But the interior, where offbeat contemporary art is often showcased, is a wreck; parts of it are almost ruinous. I love the contrast between the formality of the...
82 Boulevard de Clichy, 75018 Paris, France
In 1899, the cabaret, Moulin Rouge (red mill) opened in Paris. Moulin Rouge is near Montmartre. The cabaret is located in the Pigalle district and you can see the famous red windmill on the cabaret roof. This was the birthplace of the can-can...
Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Paris, France
There are so many beautiful bridges along the Seine river, but this one is made of steel. It was constructed between 1903-1905 and has two levels, one for pedestrians and one for motors. Originally named the Viaduc de Passy but was renamed Bir...
1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France
Small enough to get around without being overwhelmed, the Musée d'Orsay is a favorite stop in Paris not just for its size but for its collection of impressionist, postimpressionist, and art nouveau art. Perfectly set in the center of the...
12 Rue Daru, 75008 Paris, France
This is a Russian Orthodox church located in the 8th arrondissement, one of the 'posh' arrondissement in Paris. The church was built on 1861 and became the first Russian Orthodox church in France The church is influenced by the Byzantine style and...