Paris is a beautiful holiday destination, whether you’re going for a few days get away or a family holiday, Paris is always a great idea! When you hear Paris, what comes to mind is a city of ”love ” and rightly so. Sometimes I prefer to travel somewhere that is just a few minutes or hours away. Even though I love travelling, sometimes any trip that is more than 6 hours away is a pain sometimes. It’s almost that time of the year again, when we all need to plan a long summer holiday, and I wanted to share some of my favourite places to visit with you guys if you choose to spend your holiday in Paris. This list is based on my personal preference. If you have visited Paris before and think I missed out anything from this top 5 list, please leave a comment and let me know.
THE EIFFEL TOWER
The Eiffel Tower is an imposing iron monument on Paris’ Champ de Mars by the river Seine.
The Eiffel Tower was built between 1887 and 1889 based on the design of engineer Gustave Eiffel, after whom the tower was named. Today the Eiffel Tower is 324 metres tall due to the later addition of antennas, making it the tallest building in Paris and the fifth tallest in the world.
The Eiffel Tower is a tourist hotspot and visitors can climb or use the lifts to reach the first or second floors, the latter of which is 115 metres high. The most expansive views can be found on the Eiffel Tower’s third level at 276 metres, which has its own separate lift from the second floor. If you love taking photos and capturing your holiday moments, The Eiffel Tower is a great place to take picture perfect photos. Best of all, you can have a tour of this fantastic monumental building. Remember to wear comfortable shoes as its quite a walk during your tour.
PALACE OF VERSAILLES
One of my favorite places to visit. The Palace of Versailles was originally the hunting lodge of France’s King Louis XIII, but was transformed into a magnificent residence by his son and successor, Louis XIV.
The ostentatious monarch built the Grand Apartment of the King and Queen which included the magnificent Hall of Mirrors before moving both his court and the government of France to Versailles in 1682. And so, it remained until the French Revolution in 1789. There are numerous places to visit at the Palace of Versailles and a range of tour options. Audio headsets are available as are guided tours. When visiting the Palace of Versailles, you can also see Marie Antoinette’s estate and The Grande Trianon.
MUSEE DU LOUVRE
Musee du Louvre, also known as, the Grand Louvre or just The Louvre, is one of the world’s foremost art museums, exhibiting over 35,000 works from around the globe and throughout history. The Louvre’s eight departments cover an extensive array of historical periods and artistic genres, each represented through the museum’s permanent and temporary exhibits. Amongst these exhibits, The Louvre holds Near Eastern and Egyptian antiquities, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities, Islamic art, sculptures and paintings as well as decorative arts, prints and drawings. Some of the most famous pieces held by The Louvre include the Jewels of Rameses II and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Set over 60,000 square meters, Musee du Louvre can be fairly daunting, but guided tours and audio tours are available in English and French lasting ninety minutes. Tours can be historically themed.
THE CATACOMBS OF PARIS
The Catacombs of Paris (Les Catacombes de Paris) came into use as a burial place for Parisian bones in the eighteenth century following the overpopulation of Parisian cemeteries and the closure of the Cemetery of Innocents (Les Innocents).
A fascinating, unusual and somewhat haunting tourist attraction, The Catacombs of Paris are well worth a visit for those who are not claustrophobic or easily spooked. A tour of the Catacombs takes approximately an hour and involves climbing 83 steps.
Sainte Chapelle also known as the “Holy Chapel” is a gothic church built by Saint Louis in Ile de la Cité in the centre of Paris. The construction of Sainte Chapelle began in 1246 under the orders of King Louis IX, and was carried out with the specific purpose of housing the relics of the Passion of Christ, including the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the true cross. In fact, even by the time Sainte Chapelle was consecrated on 26 April 1248, at a cost of 40,000 livres, this expense paled in comparison to the 135,000 livres which these relics cost when bought from the Byzantine emperor Baldwin II.
The relics are now housed in the Treasury at the Notre Dame Cathedral, but there are still many attractions in Sainte Chapelle. With its two-impressive upper and lower chapels and imposing gothic architecture, Sainte Chapelle a top tourist attraction.
Audio tours are available guiding visitors through and explaining the significance of its colourful stained glass windows and statues. In particular, the windows at Sainte Chapelle depict over a thousand images relating to the Old Testament and the Passion of Christ
These are my 5 best buildings to visit. I haven’t planned my summer holiday yet ( I am a last minute holiday planner). I don’t know where we’ll visit this year. Usually we allow the kids choose where they would love to visit and we pick a destination based on popular demand. Let me know what you think, if I left out anything then leave a comment and let me know.