Paris — the City of Light — has been a beacon of culture for centuries. As a world capital of art, fashion, food, literature, and ideas, it stands as a symbol of all the fine things human civilization can offer. Paris offers sweeping boulevards, chatty crêpe stands, chic boutiques, and world-class art galleries. Sip decaf with deconstructionists at a sidewalk café, then step into an Impressionist painting in a tree-lined park. Climb Notre-Dame and rub shoulders with the gargoyles. Cruise the Seine, zip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, and saunter down Avenue des Champs-Elysées. Master the Louvre and Orsay museums. Save some after-dark energy for one of the world's most romantic cities.
At a Glance
▲▲▲ Notre-Dame Cathedral Paris' most beloved church, with towers and gargoyles.
▲▲▲ Sainte-Chapelle Gothic cathedral with peerless stained glass.
▲▲▲ Louvre Europe's oldest and greatest museum, starring Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.
▲▲▲ Orsay Museum Nineteenth-century art, including Europe's greatest Impressionist collection.
▲▲▲ Eiffel Tower Paris' soaring exclamation point.
▲▲▲ Champs-Elysées Paris' grand boulevard.
▲▲▲ Versailles The ultimate royal palace (Château), with a Hall of Mirrors, vast gardens, a grand canal, plus a queen's playground (Trianon Palaces and Domaine de Marie-Antoinette).
▲▲ Orangerie Museum Monet's water lilies, plus works by Utrillo, Cézanne, Renoir, Matisse, and Picasso, in a lovely setting.
▲▲ Army Museum and Napoleon's Tomb The emperor's imposing tomb, flanked by museums of France's wars.
▲▲ Rodin Museum Works by the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo, with many statues in a peaceful garden.
▲▲ Marmottan Museum Untouristy art museum focusing on Monet.
▲▲ Cluny Museum Medieval art with unicorn tapestries.
▲▲ Arc de Triomphe Triumphal arch with viewpoint, marking start of Champs-Elysées.
▲▲ Jacquemart-André Museum Art-strewn mansion.
▲▲ Picasso Museum World's largest collection of Picasso's works.
▲▲ Pompidou Center Modern art in colorful building with city views.
▲▲ Sacré-Cœur and Montmartre White basilica atop Montmartre with spectacular views.
▲ Panthéon Neoclassical monument celebrating the struggles of the French.
▲ Opéra Garnier Grand belle époque theater with a modern ceiling by Chagall.
▲ La Défense and La Grande Arche The city's own "little Manhattan" business district and its colossal modern arch.
▲ Carnavalet Museum Paris' history wrapped up in a 16th-century mansion.
▲ Jewish Art and History Museum Displays history of Judaism in Europe.
▲ Père Lachaise Cemetery Final home of Paris' illustrious dead.
▲ Giverny Home to Claude Monet's colorful gardens and house, which displays Monet's collection of Japanese prints.