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
Forget the Eiffel Tower, the city's modern eyesore - the Montparnasse Tower - offers the most unobstructed view of every Paris landmark of interest. Go straight up to the top viewing deck or stop in to the newly renovated Ciel de Paris restaurant...
6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
On top of the famous cathedral our one rainy day gave just right amount of gravitas to the day. I love the feel of the photo as so many people recognize this place but no one has yet told me they got a better shot of it.
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
This exquisite jewel box of a chapel is located on Ile de la Cite in the middle of the Seine. Seek it out. If you come to Notre Dame, you are steps away. It is tiny and well hidden, but worth the effort to find. There are actually two chapels: one...
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
2 Galerie de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France
There's the picture-perfect Luxembourg Gardens, the vast Tuileries, the intimate Place des Vosges and the Buttes Chaumont, a local hangout. But for a majestic stroll through history, head to the Palais Royal gardens, a quick walk from the Louvre...
Sorbonne, Paris, France
The best point from which to view Notre Dame might actually be across the river. On the Island of Saint-Louis, there's an embankment off Quai d'Orleans where I love to hang out with the locals, maybe enjoy a bottle of wine, and watch the sun set...
Place des Vosges, Paris, France
There are many beautiful spots to picnic in Paris. One of my favorites is the little park in the center of the Place des Vosges. Who wouldn't want to sit on the gorgeous grass and look up into the apartments that one belong to people such as...
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...
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
In the Musée D'Orsay there is a delicious (but a bit pricey) restaurant on one of the top floors in line with the grandiose clock visible outside the building. Great atmosphere, service, and decor with the natural light piercing through 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...
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