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Paris is the world’s leading tourist destination for a reason! Its charm is due in no small part to its many monuments, some of which have become national emblems. Alongside the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, there are many other lesser-known buildings worth discovering.

What are the must-see monuments in Paris? Here are the top 10 must-see sights in the French capital.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is, of course, THE landmark of Paris. This iron lady, built for the 1889 Universal Exhibition, attracts visitors from all over the world.

 Tip: if your health permits, take the stairs rather than the elevator. It’s less expensive and lets you enjoy the monument’s architecture even more.

Monuments à voir absolument à Paris
The Eiffel Tower by night

The Sacré-Coeur

Perched atop the Montmartre hill, the Sacré-Coeur is an emblematic monument of Paris, with its white stonework and neo-Byzantine architecture. It is one of the most visited monuments in Paris.

TOP 10 must-see visits in Paris

 Tip: you can climb up to the Sacré-Coeur dome for a breathtaking view of Paris.

What to do in Paris?

 ALSO READ: The little-known history of Sacré-Coeur

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The Arc de Triomphe

Located at the end of the Champs Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe is another emblematic French monument. Built at Napoleon I’s request in 1806 and inaugurated in 1836 by the King of the French, Louis Philippe, the Arc de Triomphe has often been at the heart of French history.

On your visit, you’ll pass the tomb of the unknown soldier, buried under the terreplein in 1921, in tribute to the dead of the First World War. Inside, you’ll learn more about its history, before enjoying one of the finest views of Paris from its roof terrace. Open until 10:30 p.m. (11 p.m. in summer), it’s a great place to visit both day and night.

  LIRE AUSSI: Paris museums and monuments open at night

Visit monuments at night in Paris

The Sainte-Chapelle

Built by Saint Louis to house the relics of Christ’s Passion, the Sainte-Chapelle is a true jewel, distinguished in particular by its marvellous stained-glass windows. This “glass vessel” is a must-see at least once in your life, preferably on a sunny day to enjoy the thousand colors of the stained glass windows reflected throughout the chapel.

beautiful churches in Paris

  ALSO READ: The history of the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris

The link above is an affiliate link, which means that I earn a commission if you buy an article after clicking on one of these links. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but it helps me develop Culturez-vous. Thank you very much!

The Conciergerie

Right next door to the Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie has had many lives! Formerly the palace of kings, now a prison and later a court house, the Conciergerie has taken on many different roles over the centuries, including that of Marie-Antoinette’s last home. Today, the Conciergerie houses exhibitions and a permanent exhibition dedicated to the French Revolution.

   LEARN MORE : The Conciergerie in Paris, the story of a palace turned prison

Must-see visits in Paris

Hotel de la Marine

In the heart of Paris, the Hôtel de la Marine has a rich history! Formerly the Crown’s furniture depository, now the headquarters of the Ministry of the Navy, it is now open to the public. Here, you can see the state apartments and a superb view of the Place de la Concorde and many Parisian monuments.

   READ ALSO : Hôtel de la Marine, a new living space in Paris

Top 10 must-see monuments in Paris 1
Hôtel de la Marine

The Pantheon

More than just a monument, the Panthéon is also a mausoleum. In its crypt lie the personalities to whom France pays tribute: soldiers, politicians, scientists, resistance fighters, writers… who have left their mark on the country’s history.

 Tip: in summer, you can climb the colonnade and enjoy a magnificent 360-degree view of Paris.

The Palais Garnier

In Paris, if you go to the Opéra, it’s as much to see the show as the building. The Palais Garnier is a true marvel! If you don’t want to see a ballet or an opera, you can take a simple daytime tour.

Top 10 must-see monuments in Paris 2
The grand staircase of the Opéra Garnier

Les Invalides

The Hôtel des Invalides was built in the 17th century at the request of Louis XIV to house the invalid soldiers of his armies. Today, it houses an impressive army museum, as well as an impressive military necropolis featuring the tomb of Napoleon I.

Musée de l'Armée, Invalides
Musée de l’Armée (Invalides)

The expiatory chapel

This little-known monument is well worth a visit! And its history is particularly original. Under the Restoration, King Louis XVIII wished to pay tribute to his brother Louis XVI. He had the body of the latter and that of Marie-Antoinette, buried after their trial in a mass grave in the Madeleine cemetery, searched for.

Once found, the horns were transferred to the crypt of the Basilique Saint Denis, while an expiatory chapel was erected at Louis XVI’s expense on the site of the former Madeleine cemetery. Inside this chapel, two sculptures are dedicated to the royal couple.

Must-see monuments in Paris

And don’t forget to visit the churches! 

There are almost 140 churches in Paris, some of them quite magnificent! Whether you’re a believer or not, don’t hesitate to push open the doors of these buildings to admire their architecture. Here’s a selection of 15 must-see churches:

A map of Paris’s must-see monuments

Find all the monuments listed in this article on this map:

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