Eiffel TowerIf there's one monument that you definitely have to see when you're in Paris, it's obviously the Eiffel Tower. One of the most famous towers in the world, it's gone on to become the symbol of the French capital. One can't mention Paris without thinking of the Eiffel Tower and vice versa. Located in the 7th arrondissement, it's a fascinating architectural marvel that serves as the centerpiece of Paris. With so many people wanting to take a selfie with it, it's almost hard to believe that Parisians once thought of the tower as ugly!
Arc de TriompheWhile the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris, it's safe to say that the Arc de Triomphe in the 8th arrondissement is the symbol of France. It's definitely as famous as the former, not to mention just as historic too. It was built back in 1806 to commemorate those who fought and have fallen in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. And to this day, the Arc de Triomphe still serves as the centerpiece of various national ceremonies during public holidays and the like.
Louvre MuseumAs what is arguably the most famous museum in the world, there's no way you'd travel to Paris without visiting the Louvre Museum. Especially if it's your first time here! This art gallery in Paris is among the most celebrated of its kind, thanks in large part to its most iconic and historic displays. It's here where you can see the “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Davinci in person. Perhaps even take a selfie with the famously armless 'Venus de Milo' as well. And don't forget the stunning glass pyramid out front too!
Notre DameFrom the most famous museum to one of the most famous churches in the world, Notre Dame Cathedral is a definite must-see! Located on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement, it's one of the oldest churches in the city. Having been around since the 13th century, the fact that it's still around is pretty crazy. And sure, it may have suffered a massive fire back in 2019 and the church is still closed (as of this writing), but you can still bask in its Gothic glory when you go to Île de la Cité today.
Sacré-CœurTruth be told, the 18th arrondissement's Sacré-Cœur can pretty much rival Notre Dame as the most popular and most beautiful church in Paris. It's definitely just as prominent among locals. Perched atop Montmartre Hill, its grand domes and Romano-Byzantine-style architecture grab attention, even from a mile away. And the hill itself is where lots of Parisians hang out too. So if you're in Paris, don't forget to check Sacré-Cœur out! You can even take a selfie with it too.
PanthéonThe Latin Quarter's Panthéon in the 5th arrondissement is definitely monumental. What makes it stand out is that it's a decidedly Romanesque neoclassical structure, almost as if it would look more at home in the Italian capital than in the French capital. But the Panthéon is distinctly French, especially since it is famously the final resting place of various French and Parisian figures. Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, and most recently, Josephine Baker. With this amount of legends, you'd definitely have to see this place in person!
Opéra GarnierWhen people hear the words “Opera House”, they mostly think of two places. One is the iconic Syndey Opera House in Australia, known for its fascinating modern architecture. And the other is the equally famous Opéra Garnier in Paris, also the stuff of legends. A grand and beautiful hall in its own right, it was once the toast of Parisian high society during La Belle Époque. But it eventually gained even more popularity thanks to Gaston Leroux's novel, “The Phantom of The Opera” (1910).
Montparnasse TowerIt's easy for other towers in Paris to barely get any notice. The Eiffel Tower is just so famous and iconic that other similar monuments practically don't matter anymore. But Montparnasse Tower in the 14th arrondissement would definitely pique your interest. For one thing, it's a tall, sleek, and modern skyscraper, far from the classical structures that Paris is known for. But what it may lack in interesting design (though its minimalist look is undoubtedly interesting), it makes up for in the views you'll see in its observation deck!
Grand PalaisLet's go back to the 8th arrondissement for this next one! The Grand Palais is an architectural masterpiece. Encased by a glass roof, it's among the biggest transparent monuments in Paris and in the world. The historic site has also been used as a convention center, events hall, and museum complex. Famously, the Palais hosted world expositions and exhibitions that commemorated historic artists. And in recent years, it has served as the venue for fashion shows, air & motor shows, and sports competitions too.
Luxor ObeliskThe Luxor Obelisk is the centerpiece of Place de la Concorde. It stands at 23 meters (75 feet) high and serves as a symbol of international diplomacy. The Parisian Luxor Obelisk is actually one of a pair of ancient Egyptian obelisks, with the other one still in Egypt. The former was a gift from Muhammad Ali Pasha, the ruler of Ottoman Egypt, back in 1830. And over time, the tower has stood to symbolize the good relations between the two countries.
Get to know the 10 quintessential must-see monuments in Paris so that you already know where to go when you get here. These are some of the most famous and highly celebrated landmarks, not just in France, but in the entire world.