If you are visiting Paris for the first time, it can be as enchanting as daunting. It will be hard to know where to begin, since it is your first visit, you would want to cover every significant sight in the city. It is easy to get drawn into the charming little streets and endless museums. Most of the city is worth exploring but if you are a first time visitor, there are a few attractions you should really focus on.
1. The Louvre Museum: The Louvre Museum is a site of the world’s largest and diverse collection of pre 20th century paintings, decorative objects and sculptures. It is a global tourist attraction and has the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Do make sure to visit the less crowded wings of the museum. It is a testament to the history spanning from the medieval period to the present.
2. The Eiffel Tower: No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. It has become a representation of Paris. The iron tower has attracted more than 220 million visitors and it is hard to imagine Paris without it. The tower glitters at the night with its festive light. It may sound cliché, but it is essential to visit the Eiffel Tower every time you visit Paris.
3. Notre-Dame Cathedral: Since this is your first trip, you should visit the marvel of gothic architecture, the Notre Dame Cathedral. It dates back to the 12th century and is the most beautiful and singular cathedrals of Europe. It has dramatic towers, stained glass and statuary that will take your breath away. It took 100 years of hard work to complete. You must climb the North tower and see Paris from the hunchback Quasimodo’s vantage to understand why it is one of the top attractions.
4. Musee d’Orsay: From Louvre, you can walk over the bridge to Musee d’Orsay and witness the spectacular bridge between classical and modern art. It houses the most important collection of impressionist painting and post-impressionist painting. Walk through the three floors of modern wonders and major works by Van Gogh, Manet and others will mesmerize you.
5. Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees: The 164 foot Triomphe evokes power and triumph. It was built at a time when leaders erected monuments in their own honor to meet their ego. The arch has beautiful sculptures and will make you feel grand about yourself.
6. The Sorbonne and the Latin Quarter: The Sorbonne University is in the Latin Quarter where learning has flourished for many years. It is one of the oldest universities in Europe and is the best place to explore the winding little streets of the Quartier Latin behind it.
7. Boat tour of Seine River: This will be an unforgettable experience for you. Watch some of Paris’ most beautiful sites glide past while you drift down the Seine River. You can take a one hour tour of the Seine throughout the year for about 10 Euros. If you go at night, you can enjoy the shimmering play of light and enjoy the stunning view of the night.