The Eiffel Tower
The landmark that instantly says France, The Eiffel Tower, isn’t as cheesy as you might expect. Not only is the view from the top pretty darn good, it’s a fantastic people-watching spot. The chances of spotting a man go down on bended knee to pop the question are higher here than any other place on earth. The queues to the top can get long but you can book ahead at The Eiffel Tower’s official site.
Open: 9am-12.45am (last lift midnight, 11pm for the top) seven days a week mid-June to early September, 9.30am-11.45pm (last lift 11pm, 10.30pm for the top) early September to mid-June, Note – the stairs are only open until 6.30pm early September to mid-June.
Tickets: Adult €15.50
Walk along The Seine
A hive of activity everyday of the year, take the time to meander along the River Seine. In summer “beaches” are set up on the river’s banks where pedestrians can hire deck chairs to soak up the sun. Or better still, if you’re in Paris between February and November, cruise the Seine on one of the cities’ excellent hop-on hop-off river boats called the Batobus. A day pass will cost you €16 you’ll be able to see eight of the cities’ great sites from the Seine, including the Eiffel Tower, the Musee D’Orsay and Notre Dame.
If you’re into art The Louvre is heaven. If you’re not, you’ll probably race around looking for the Mona Lisa, before trying to take a sneaky picture of it on your mobile without getting caught by security. Lines can get long so book ahead at The Louvre’s official site.
Open: 9am-6pm Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-9.45pm Wednesdays and Fridays
Tickets: €15, Note from October to March permanent collections are FREE to all visitors on the first Sunday of each month.
After walking out of The Louvre you might need to unwind with a good dose of retail therapy. Although be warned, your credit card may also need therapy afterwards because The Champs-Élysées is lined with top retailers like Louis Vuitton, where you often have to line up to get in.
Arc de Triomphe
Situated at the western end of The Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe is the world’s most famous roundabout. Before cars though, it was initially built as a monument to fallen soldiers from the Napoleonic Wars. You can climb to the top of the monument where you not only get a great view of the city, but also a bird’s eye-view of the carnage which often unfolds on this anything-goes intersection.
Open: 10am-11pm April to September, 10am-10.30pm October to March
Closed: January 1st, May 1st, May 8th (am), July 14th (am), November 11th (am) and December 25th
Tickets: Adult €8