First time I visited Paris, I stayed there only for 2 days. I was so excited, that I didn’t even know what to see first. I just wanted to absorb everything that was around me - the images, the sounds, and the vibrations of life - and keep it like that as long as possible. Finally, I was really lucky because I had a friend who lived there and guided me to the most representative attractions in the capital of France.
It’s sure that there is a great amount of things to see in Paris – that’s why it’s one of the most visited cities in the world (French people would say the most visited…)
If you want to visit Paris for only few days, then it’s better to make a list with the things you want absolutely to see - like that you’ll save a lot of time and profit at most of your visit.
Maybe you’ll wonder why “Top 7”… Usually you can find the Top 5, Top 10 and so on. For me is Top 7 because I wanted to include only the things I saw personally and which remained in my memory and soul.
So, here’s my Top 7:
1. The Eiffel Tower
For most people, when they think about Paris, they picture the Eiffel Tower. One reason could be that in most of the postcards, brochures or articles about Paris, you can see also a picture of this monument. It’s funny that while it was under construction, most of the habitants of the city were against the tower, and now they are very proud, since is the most famous paid-monument in the world.
If you want to enjoy the panorama of the entire city, then you will have two options: either you take the elevator or chose the stairs – this, if you are ready for some physical exercise. You’ll have to buy a ticket for both options and you should also be ready to line up for some time.
2. Louvre Museum
For those who love art and history, this is the best place to go. I went to the Louvre Museum at least 4 times and I didn’t manage to see it completely. Depending on your preferences, you can choose from several expositions: paintings, sculpture, antiquities (Egyptian, Roman, Greek, Near Eastern, Etruscan), prints and drawings, IslÄmic art and decorative arts. Remember that there you can find one of the most famous paintings in the world – “The Mona Lisa” of Leonardo da Vinci - so since you are in the area, be sure not to miss it! It will be very easy to find: just follow the directions and then search for a big crowd of people. :P
Since the kings of France resided at The Louvre for several centuries, you can find there also an area dedicated to the royalty – the former rooms of the king and queen.
3. The Palace of Versailles
The Palace is not exactly in Paris, but it is very near the city (20 km) and it will be easy to get there. For me, it was more interesting to visit the gardens - maybe because I love nature – but the palace also has a lot of interesting things to offer. This was another residence of the French monarchs and it’s a reflection of their opulence and absolute power. Since the palace holds a lot of elements that are dating from the reign of Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI, here you can get a more exact idea - than in Louvre - about how it was to live like a king.
To visit the entire domain will take some time and energy, so it’s better to reserve an entire day for this place, and to wear some comfortable shoes.
4. The Sacre Coeur Basilica and Montmartre neighborhood
The best time to visit Sacre Cœur is a sunny day – like that you can take full advantage of the beauty of the monument and of the panorama - the basilica is in the highest point of the city, so from there you will have one of the loveliest views of Paris. And the best thing is that it’s free! It’s true that you’ll have to climb a little and mount some stairs, but in my opinion it’s worth it.
The good news is that there are alternatives: if you are not in the mood to climb so many stairs, you can take the funicular situated at the foot of the hill and you’ll need only metro tickets for this.
Besides Sacre Coeur, there are other things to see in the Montmartre neighborhood: the "Moulin Rouge" Cabaret (one of the most well-known cabarets in the world), the Museum of Eroticism and "Moulin de la Galette" (an 18th century windmill).
Some consider the neighborhood itself an attraction because of its bohemian charm, so it’s up to you to take a walk there and discover what you like most.
5. Disneyland Paris
For those who need a break from museums and churches, one of the best options is to make a visit to Disneyland Paris. And, when you are taking also the kids with you, this destination becomes a mush-do. Disneyland is a magical world, both for children and adults. As a matter of fact, I remember a lot of mature folks who were almost more enthusiastic than kids.
There are actually two parks you can visit there: Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park. If you want to reserve only one day for Disneyland, then it will be wiser to choose one of the two parks. It’s possible to see them both in a day but only partially – for some attractions there are huge queues – and you’ll feel completely exhausted in the end. When visiting with children it’s best to choose park Disneyland - there are more things for them to enjoy.
6. Champs Élysée and The Arch of Triumph
Some people affirm that this is the most famous avenue in the world. I don’t know if it’s really like that, but it’s sure that it’s one of the largest, longest and most beautiful streets in Paris.
For those who are passionate about architecture, and even for those who aren’t, there are monuments and beautiful buildings they can admire: "Grand Palais", "Theatre Marigny" or "Arc de Triomphe" (a monument built to the honour of Napoleon’s Bonaparte's victories). Besides this, there are a lot of luxury shops, cinemas, restaurants and small café where you can spend an enjoyable time.
On Champs Elyse, the best thing to do is to relax, admire and really feel the pulse of Paris. For a more interesting experience, I recommend you to do this promenade in the evening – the lights will confer a magical allure to the avenue.
7. Notre Dame de Paris
Another attraction for those passionate by art and architecture. This cathedral is one of the most prominent examples of gothic architecture in France and even in Europe.
First time I just read about Notre Dame in some novels and I was fancying about how it's life there. Then, I was able to see it for real and I believe I kept somewhere inside that feeling of enthusiasm, because I have it every time I go there.
I don’t know a lot about architecture, but I love this cathedral because for me it’s unique - it has a special charm and I could recognize it in any picture where I see even a small part of it.
This is my list of “must-see” in Paris. There are a lot more things worth seeing there so it’s up to decide what are the priorities. I hope this inspired you and will help you make a more conscious choice.
All the best! :)