Markets

Marché Bastille Arguably the best open-air market in the city.

Marché d’Aligre Wonderfully chaotic market with all the staples of French cuisine.

Marché St-Quentin Covered market dating back to 1866.

Rue Montorgueil Street stalls front the food shops of this pedestrianised strip.

Marché des Enfants Rouges Glorious maze of food stalls with ready-to-eat dishes from around the globe.

Marché aux Fleurs Reine Elizabeth II Fragrant flower market.

Marché Raspail Especially popular for its fabulous Sunday organic market.

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen Europe’s largest flea market, with over 2500 stalls.

Marché de Belleville Open-air market in business since 1860, in one of Paris’ most multicultural, up-and-coming ’hoods.

Marché Saint-Germain Renovated covered market that's also home to some upmarket eateries.

Churches

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris Paris’ mighty cathedral is without equal; you can also scale its towers.

Église St-Eustache Architecturally magnificent and musically outstanding, this church has sent souls soaring for centuries.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur The city’s landmark basilica lords over Montmartre.

Église de la Madeleine Neoclassical landmark with wondrous concerts.

Église St-Pierre Where the Jesuit order was founded in 1534.

Sainte-Chapelle Classical concerts provide the perfect opportunity to truly appreciate its beauty.

Basilique de St-Denis France’s first major Gothic structure and still one of its finest.

Église St-Germain des Prés Built in the 11th century, this is Paris’ oldest church.

Église St-Sulpice Frescoes by Delacroix and a starring role in The Da Vinci Code.

Cathédrale Notre Dame – Chartres Renowned for its brilliant-blue stained glass.

Romance

Jardin du Palais Royal Elegant urban garden with arcaded galleries and gravel walkways embraced by the neoclassical Palais Royal.

Le Grand Véfour Savour the romance of 18th-century Paris in one of the world’s most beautiful restaurants.

Square du Vert-Galant Tiny, triangular park at the tip of the Île de la Cité.

Île aux Cygnes The city's little-known third island has wonderful Eiffel Tower views.

Eiffel Tower There’s a reason the top platform sees up to three marriage proposals an hour.

Canal St-Martin Stroll the shaded towpaths or sit on the banks and watch the boats float by.

Place St-Sulpice The place (square) in front of Église St-Sulpice is an enchanting spot to linger.

Musée Rodin Swoon over Rodin’s marble monument to love, The Kiss, and stroll the museum’s rose- and sculpture-filled garden.

Le Coupe-Chou Dine on timeless French cuisine in an enchanting candlelit room backed by classical music.

Le Pradey The themed Moulin Rouge room (with heart-shaped door frame) at this design hotel is pure romance.

Literature

Maison de Victor Hugo Visit the elegant home of novelist Victor Hugo overlooking one of Paris’ most sublime city squares.

Maison de Balzac Honoré de Balzac’s residence and writing studio (1840–47) is a charmer.

Shakespeare & Company Attend a reading or browse the shelves of this magical bookshop and writers’ hub.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France France’s national library frequently mounts literary exhibitions.

L'Hôtel Oscar Wilde died in this historic hotel.

Bar Hemingway According to legend, Ernest Hemingway helped liberate this bar at the Ritz during WWII.

Café de Flore Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir were among the writers who frequented this literary cafe.

Ernest Hemingway’s apartment Snap a photo outside the Latin Quarter apartment where Hemingway lived with his wife Hadley.

La Closerie des Lilas Hemingway wrote much of The Sun Also Rises at this hedge-framed brasserie.

La Belle Hortense Book readings, signings and more take place in this literary wine bar.

Panoramas

Eiffel Tower Each of this landmark tower’s three viewing platforms offers a different perspective of the city.

Galeries Lafayette Some of the best free views of the city are from the top of this grand department store.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris Get a gargoyle's-eye view by climbing Notre Dame's bell towers.

Parc de Belleville The hill in this little-known Belleville park offers some of the best views of the city.

Arc de Triomphe Swooping views along the Champs-Élysées.

Centre Pompidou Although only six storeys high, the rooftop views across low-rise Paris are stunning.

Le Ballon Air de Paris Airborne views unfurl from this helium-filled balloon as it ascends 150m.

Palais de Chaillot The front-row Eiffel Tower views here are best at night, when the tower sparkles on the hour.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur Superb views from Sacré-Cœur’s steps; even better views from inside its central dome.

Art Nouveau

Eiffel Tower The graceful latticed metalwork of Paris’ ‘iron lady’ is art nouveau architecture at its best.

Abbesses metro entrance Hector Guimard’s finest remaining glass-canopied metro entrance, illuminated by twin lamps.

Musée d’Orsay The 1900-built former railway station housing this monumental museum justifies a visit alone.

Le Train Bleu Resplendent restaurant inside the Gare de Lyon train station.

Galeries Lafayette Glorious department store topped by a stunning stained-glass dome.

Le Carreau du Temple This old covered market in Le Marais is now a cutting-edge cultural and community centre.

Brasserie Bofinger Dine amid art nouveau brass, glass and mirrors in Paris’ oldest brasserie.

Musée Maxim's Art nouveau artworks, objets d'art and furniture above belle époque bistro Maxim's.

Grand Palais A 1900-built beauty with an 8.5-ton glass roof.

Modern & Contemporary Architecture

Centre Pompidou Designed in the 1970s, Paris’ premier cultural centre is still cutting-edge today.

La Défense The only place in the city to see a forest of skyscrapers.

Musée du Quai Branly Striking Seine-side museum designed by Jean Nouvel.

Institut du Monde Arabe The building that established Nouvel’s reputation blends modern and traditional Arab elements with Western influences.

Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain Stunning contemporary-art space courtesy of Nouvel.

Philharmonie de Paris Futuristic Nouvel-designed symphonic concert hall in the equally futuristic Parc de la Villette.

Fondation Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry–designed fine-arts centre, topped by a giant glass ‘cloud’.

Louvre glass pyramid Egypt’s original pyramid builders couldn’t have imagined this.

Bibliothèque Nationale de France The national library’s four towers are shaped like half-open books.

Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine Inside the 1937-built Palais du Chaillot, the exhibits cover Paris’ architectural past, present and future.

Parks & Gardens

Jardin du Luxembourg Paris’ most popular inner-city oasis is filled with activities for kids.

Jardin des Tuileries View Monet's waterlilies at the Musée de l'Orangerie and admire André Le Nôtre's symmetrical layout.

Promenade Plantée The world’s first elevated park, atop a disused 19th-century railway viaduct.

Maison et Jardins de Claude Monet Come spring, the flower-filled gardens surrounding Monet’s former home take on a palette of hues.

Parc de la Villette Canal-side 35-hectare pavilion-filled ‘park of the future’ with state-of-the-art facilities for kids and adults.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont Hilly, forested haven in northern Paris.

Château de Versailles Gardens & Park Designed by André Le Nôtre, the Château de Versailles' gardens are fit for a king.

Jardin des Plantes The city’s beautiful botanic gardens shelter rare plants and 18th-century glass-and-metal greenhouses.

Bois de Vincennes Paris’ eastern woods were once royal hunting grounds.

Bois de Boulogne Explore Paris’ western woods by rowing boat or bicycle.

French Revolution–Era History

Place de la Bastille Site of the former prison stormed on 14 July 1789, mobilising the Revolution.

Château de Versailles The October 1789 march on Versailles forced the royal family to leave the palatial château.

Conciergerie Louis XVI’s queen, Marie Antoinette, was one of the aristocratic prisoners tried and imprisoned here.

Place de la Concorde Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette were among the thousands guillotined where the obelisk now stands.

Chapelle Expiatoire Original burial grounds of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Basilique de St-Denis Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette's final resting place.

Parc du Champ de Mars This former military training ground was the site of Revolutionary festivals.

Concorde metro station Ceramic tiles spell out the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Caveau de la Huchette Long a jazz club, this cellar was used as a courtroom and torture chamber during the Revolution.

Medieval History

Le Marais The Marais' medieval streets largely escaped Baron Haussmann's reformation.

Notre Dame Constructed between 1163 and the early 14th century.

Louvre Immense fort turned palace turned museum, constructed 1190–1202.

Sainte-Chapelle Consecrated in 1248 and famed for its dazzling stained glass.

Sorbonne University founded in 1253 by Robert de Sorbon, confessor to Louis IX.

Musée National du Moyen Âge Partly housed in the 15th-century Hôtel de Cluny, Paris’ finest civil medieval building.

Basilique de St-Denis Work on this basilica containing the royal necropolis started around 1136.

Cathédrale Notre Dame – Chartres France’s best-preserved medieval cathedral, built in the 13th century.

Château de Vincennes The only medieval castle in Paris was originally a 12th-century hunting lodge.

Free Stuff

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris One of Paris' biggest hitters is also a free attraction.

Cimetière du Père Lachaise Pay your respects to the likes of Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, Jim Morrison and Marcel Proust.

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris Maintains an outstanding permanent collection of 20th-century artworks, furniture and objects.

Musée de la Vie Romantique Wander into the artistic life of 19th-century Paris.

Jardin du Luxembourg Paris’ loveliest public park.

Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen This sprawling complex of interconnected markets provides many free hours of entertainment.

Canal St-Martin Come here for a romantic stroll, cycle, picnic lunch or dusk-time drink.

Place des Vosges A strikingly elegant ensemble of 36 symmetrical houses.

Promenade Plantée The world's first elevated park, atop a 19th-century railway viaduct.

Marché d’Aligre A vibrant street market bursting with scrumptious temptations.