- Centre Pompidou
- Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- Notre Dame
- Père Lachaise Cemetery
The Eiffel Tower might be number one on the must-see list of most visitors to Paris, but the city has a wealth of interesting, entertaining and enriching monuments and attractions that encapsulate different sides of its character. From the Gothic architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral to the contemporary chic of the Centre Pompidou, the sprawling diversity of Parisian culture contains something to suit all tastes and temperaments. We’ve selected a few of our personal favourites around the capital to give you some ideas about what to do once you’ve scaled the heights of the Eiffel Tower and seen the city from above, with recommendations for each type of traveller.
If you’re travelling with children…
For families with children Paris is a surprisingly accommodating city, with a large proportion of the main tourist attractions allowing free or significantly reduced entry for children and providing a great incentive to take them along with you! Monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame provide an educational glimpse into the country’s past, and the stunning views from the top of both are bound to enthral kids as much as their parents. However if you want a family day out that your children will never forget, then Disneyland Paris is the ultimate playground with beautifully realised sets, an opportunity to meet their favourite characters from the films and enough thrill rides to satisfy big kids and parents along the way.
If you want to shop…
Paris on a whole is a fashionista’s paradise, with boutiques and trendy areas such as Saint Germain full of unique and covetable clothes that carry a sense of Parisian élan. For designer threads and high street bargains however, the savvy shopper need look no further than the Champs-Élysées, whose pavements are crammed with purse-lightening names including Hugo Boss, Guerlain and Louis Vuitton. You can also indulge your cultural side whilst shopping, with views on monuments including the Arc de Triomphe and the obelisk at the Place de la Concorde.
If you want to explore traditional Paris…
Budding historians should make a beeline for Notre Dame Cathedral, widely thought to be the best existing example of Gothic architecture in the world and with a plethora of beautiful and archaeologically significant relics within its walls. The Champs-Élysées provides an attractive walk through grand buildings including the Grand Palais, Théâtre Marigny and Arc de Triomphe, and the Père Lachaise cemetery contains not only a jaw-dropping range of elaborate tombs but is the resting place of some of the city’s most revered figures.
If you’re an art lover…
Central Paris is crammed with art galleries covering every movement and type of art, from the traditional marbled corridors of the Louvre to the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist emphasis within the Musée d’Orsay. However we reckon that for innovation and individuality the Centre Pompidou is one of the best, showcasing an incredible selection of artworks from groundbreaking contemporary artists and figureheads including Picasso, Duchamps, Kandinsky and Warhol.
If you’re looking for something a bit different…
The traditional image of Paris is of quaint streets, charming patisseries and elegant monuments such as the Eiffel Tower itself, but for a different perspective on a famous city it is worth quite literally delving into the underground. The Catacombs of Paris are a vast network of tunnels spanning hundreds of kilometres beneath the city pavements, containing the bones of over 6 million former citizens that you can explore in a fascinating solo tour. The famous Père Lachaise cemetery is a similarly unique yet arresting place to take a stroll, as the beautiful ‘city of the dead’ contains not only an array of architecturally diverse crypts but some familiar names including Balzac, Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison.