Top 6 things to See in Paris.

Paris is beautiful in the spring! Of course it is beautiful in the spring. After all,  it is Paris…and it is pretty even in the dark!!

Paris, Top Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Top things to see in Paris

1) Things to See in Paris: La Tour Eiffel

You can’t go to Paris and not see the Eiffel Tower and it is open every day so it will be easy to squeeze in! You can see if from underneath or go up to one of the floors!

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Nothing says Vive La France than one of the most famous places in all the world. Built in 1889 for a Paris version of the World’s Fair it took only 2 years and 2 months to build and over 250 MILLION people have seen it since then.

Visit the NEW 1st floor. It is clear and so you walk out on it – like walking on air 57 m above the ground. In the winter, it is transformed into an ice skating rink and once a few times a year it is just like a roller skating rink.

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BUY tickets online to AVOID the ticket line which can be very long! Prices can be found here. 

BEWARE pickpockets. They ARE present. They ARE sneaky. They CAN get into your bag, too. Turn bags around to the front and keep your eyes open.

2) Things to See in Paris: The Louvre

Pyramid at the Louvre, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

The Louvre is an amazing, wonderful, fantastic art museum – you could spend a month there and still not see it all! So, choose carefully the things you want to see and just do the top choices – otherwise you’ll wear everyone out.  My travel guide to the Louvre for kids will guide you!

Adventures in the Louvre, Things to see in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Miss Mona Lisa, herself, lives here! The Mona Lisa, called La Jaconde in French, is the most famous painting of all time. It is also the most made fun of! Teach the kids about a parody. Once they see the real one, they’ll enjoy finding references to this famous work in every day life!

Mona Lisa, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Winged Victory of Samothrace (also called Nike of Samothrace)  is one of my favorite art pieces. She just feels powerful. Once mounted to a ship, she was created to honor a sea battle and the goddess, Nike. (If your kids think Nike is just a tennis shoe with a swoosh, this is your opportunity to enlighten them!)

Winged Victory of Samothrace, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

3) Things to See in Paris: Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

Even if modern art is not your ‘thing’ I encourage you to visit this museum with your kids. Modern art is a wonder to behold and leads to some really fun and creative conversations. Go with an open mind and don’t be afraid of the giggles. Art really is in the eye of the beholder. When I visited the first time, I was stunned when we stepped off the elevator to see a smashed car on display. So surprised and stunned was I at this piece of ‘art’ that in many, maybe even most, parts of where I come from this would be considered a very large piece of trash not art, that I walked right up and posed for a photo. That turned out to be the ONLY photo I have from there because it was just after it was taken that I learned photos were not allowed.

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Find all the information you need on prices and hours of operation here. Consider The Paris Pass which gives you entry into lots of the major sights and lets you skip the line!!

4) Things to See in Paris: Notre Dame de Paris (Our lady of Paris)

This medieval Catholic cathedral on the Ile de la Cite is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and one of the most recognized church buildings in the world.  Open every day from 8 am -6:45 (open till 7:15 on Saturdays and Sundays) entrance to the cathedral is free of charge.

Notre Dame, Things to see in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

No matter your reason for visiting, enjoy the beautiful interiors…

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and point out the gargoyles to the kids. Some are for decorations  and some are built at the end of rain gutters to funnel the water off of the roof.

Gargoyle on Notre Dame, Things to See in Paris, Www.theeducationaltourist.com

Have them watch the movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame’ before you visit and they’ll have an even better idea of what they will see.

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The main bell is named Emmanuel and weighs more than three Indian elephants. What would you name the bell?

Notre Dame's Emmanuel bell

Bone up on your saints….Be sure to see St. Dennis carrying his head.

Notre Dame and The Educational Tourist, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

A closer look at St. Dennis

St. Dennis at Notre Dame, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

5) Things to See in Paris: Point Zero

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Just outside the door of Notre Dame on the ground…harder to find than you might expect is this spot on the ground called Point Zero. Traditionally, all places in France were measured from this spot.

6) Things to See in Paris: Saint Chapelle

St. Chapelle, a gorgeous Gothic church. is thought to be the most beautiful in Paris and it is my personal favorite spot in the city. After reading about it in my high school French class,(thank you Madame Pesez!) it was on my list of ‘must sees’ in my lifetime. It was built with the intention of holding precious relics like Christ’s crown of thorns and the beauty would certainly be worthy to hold such a wonderful treasure.

Do not be shocked, as I was, when you enter the very, very plain lower level. I thought perhaps I was in the wrong place! Just take the narrow, plain stairway up one level to be amazed!!

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The stained glass…

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the incredible trompe l’oeil paintings (which means things that appear to be raised on the walls are really flat – just paint!)

St. Chapelle, Things to See in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

An ancient Greek word about trompe l’oeil painting….

Once upon a time there was a contest between to decide who was the best painter in the land. Zeuxis, contestant #1, produced a still life painting so convincing that birds flew down to peck at the painted grapes. Contestant #2, Parrhasius, asked Zeuxis to judge one of his paintings that was behind a pair of tattered curtains in his study. When Zeuxis tried to pull back the curtains to see the paintings, he could not, as the curtains were the painting—making Parrhasius the winner. Touche!

Get all the information on tickets and hours here. If you buy the Paris Pass (and you should!) you can use it here.

Before you to go Paris with the Kids – Prepare them! Check out the Adventure Guides for Kids written by teacher and mom, The Educational Tourist.

Click and buy now! 

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Click to download!

Adventures in the Louvre, Things to see in Paris, www.theeducationaltourist.com

If you are headed to the glorious city of Paris you’ll need to read these related posts. Plan the trip of your dreams!

Paris with TWEENS – See the really cool stuff

Paris with KIDS – Enjoy the sites with the littles

Art – Enjoy the culture in Paris with KIDS

Save money and time with the Museum Pass! Read more about it – worth the money? 

France offess so much! Thinking about the Loire Valley? Enjoy Top 7 Sites in the Loire Valley.

Bon voyage!

Natalie, The Educational Tourist

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55 Responses

  1. Kristi says:

    When I save enough for Paris then I am definitely hiring you to plan my trip!

  2. Sarah says:

    My favorite place in Paris is definitely the Sainte Chappelle…nothing like it anywhere! Whenever I know someone is going there, I am quick to tell them of this place.

  3. tamarasw says:

    I’ve seen everything on your list but the Louvre. And to be honest, I’m not that much into museums. But I do love exploring the streets and neighborhoods. Going back to Paris in the spring, and I can’t wait to discover more!

  4. I agree, you can spend a month there and still not see everything at all. I was there for 8 days and I thought it was enough, it was not.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I had been several times prior to writing my books for kids and while researching it I found even more things!! It is just an amazing place.

  5. I remember visiting the Pomideau centre when I was a kid and I loved it! I haven’t been to Paris for years but would love to go back.

  6. Tracie Howe says:

    I didn’t know about the ice skating rink or Saint Chapelle. More and more reasons to go back now! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Paris is always enchanting!
    We have been there four time already, and can´t get enough of it!
    The only down side is that every year there are more and more tourist there. This summer the city was packed.
    Thanks for sharing the tips!
    All the best,
    Nat

    • NatalieTanner says:

      How wonderful to have so many chances to explore Paris. I’m sure you find more and more wonderful things to see and experience and that is is worth fighting through throngs of tourists! (through throngs of tourist….try saying THAT 5 times fast!!) Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Tara Cannon says:

    I am looking forward to visiting Paris with the kids next summer so your list is most appreciated. The last time we were there my kids were quite young so I didn’t dare venture inside the Notre Dame (although I also missed the centre point outside). Thank you.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      What fun you’ll have! How old are the kiddos? Be sure to check out my eBooks for the kids. The one on The Louvre is free right now. Doesn’t get any better than that!! Pop over to FREE heading and you’ll find that eBook to download. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Great list! I have to say though, next time check out Musee d’Orsay. Outside of the Louvre, this is probably one of my fav gal’s of all time!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Good point! Musee d’Orsay is another great spot in Paris. To list them all…that would be a very long list indeed, wouldn’t it. Paris is sure fantastic. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. martacgrilo says:

    I agree 100% with your list!

  11. elizabeth says:

    Good list. The thing I like about Paris is all of the sites are close together. You can wander around the city and see most things easily. It is a great place for walking. I hadn’t been the the Louvre for 20+ years and I couldn’t believe how crowded it was. In my memories it wasn’t so not sure if that is an accurate memory but wow is it busy! But truly one of the world’s great museums.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      That is a great point and you are so right! Walking is a great way to get around and unlike many cities all the ‘good stuff’ is close enough together to explore on foot. That makes it super easy for those of us who only remember the phrases “Shut the door.” and “We are going to the beach.” from high school French class. LOL! Thanks for your comment!

  12. Love Paris.
    Recently wrote about our favorite spots and must sees too. Hard to whittle them down right? We’ll have to find the centre point of France next time though. Missed that cheeky one 🙂

    • NatalieTanner says:

      It is a fun photo of you and your shoes!! 🙂 Considering the really sturdy shoes we always wear…not necessarily the cutest shot! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  13. Chris says:

    Everyone seems to love Paris! Some day, I shall get there 😉

  14. In case I wasn’t sure why I wanted to go to Paris, these 6 things make me want to go even more!!!

  15. Sanket D. says:

    The pictures in this post are so funny. HA! I’ve loved the look of Paris for years. Unfortunatley, I’m too poor to make it right now. I’m going to share this with one of my girlfriends who just moved to Paris. Chances are she’s already seen some of these, but who knows? She might just find something new 😉

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thanks for sharing. There is SO much to see in Paris, it was hard to narrow it down. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit your friend in Paris one day!

  16. Joeography says:

    Great list! One of my favorite memories was ice skating at the Eiffel Tower. Didn’t even know about the rink until we got there. It’s a pretty cool thing to do!

  17. Did you know that it is illegal to take photos of the Eiffel Tower at night (according to to news reports from two right wing newspapers!)

    I did love the Pompideau but not much else in Paris. Just couldn’t warm to it.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I had NO idea. Why, I wonder?? Thanks for the interesting tidbit! If Paris isn’t your thing….what is your favorite spot?

  18. I couldn’t add anything more! I hope you enjoyed your trip! Xx

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Paris is always wonderful, right? There is still so much to see. I hope I get back again one day! The kids are dying to go so I imagine we will take them. Thanks for your comment!

  19. Didn’t get to all of these when I visited (only got to see the city for three days) but I really want to go back and see the rest you’ve listed here! Great story about the trompe l’oeil painting!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      Thanks! This looks like a perfect reason to go back, right? 😉 I love stories like this one about trompe l’oeil painting. I think it makes art more fun for everyone, but especially the kids.

  20. I’m going to Paris in January and I’ve just added Saint Chappelle to my list. I have been before but never heard of this place. That stained glass is just fabulous. Well done to your french teacher for making such an impression!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I know! I’ve tried to locate her over the years with no success. All teachers hope to make such a difference. I’d love to tell her.

  21. Suz says:

    Oh Paris! I adore this city! You’ve managed to include my favorite building in all of Europe – Sainte Chapelle. Simply breathtaking! And when we visited in September we went to the Tour Eiffel every single day. We didn’t make it to Centre Pompidou but we were told by a friend how amazing it is. Next time!

  22. Ivy says:

    We were in Paris in April and it was SO COLD and gloomy all the time!! I’ll have to go back in May or June again to really appreciate the beauty. We found the Louvre to be too much (but then again we aren’t big on museums to start with) and a bit of a letdown after coming from Rome a few days prior. But I’ll definitely take my kids there (when that happens lol) so THEY can learn all about it haha!

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I’ve been in May and it was chilly but clear. It is cool to visit at different times of year to get a different flavor each time. The Louvre can be overwhelming as it is HUGE!! Best to plan on visiting more than once – another reason to go back to Paris! 😉

  23. Tyler Ward says:

    I didnt get to see Point Zero! Shame, and also had no idea why that was its name, you learn something everyday!

  24. This is an awesome guide! Has so much in it and loving the pictures 🙂

  25. Certainly six must see sights. I loved hearing about ground zero. The French were so dedicated to science and reason during the Enlightenment. My father was an engineer. He would explain to me the cartesian center of town and how each mile would be 800 unit change in house number. Such is the life of engineers.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      I love this! We travel with a geologist and hear all about the rocks and formations. It is interesting to travel with an expert!

  26. Sasha says:

    Great list. i would also add Champs De Elysees, such an interesting and iconic street. These photos are making me want to go back to Paris right now!

  27. I love all the extra tips for the kids like watching movies before they go. They will be able to spot things from the film! Great post about Paris, it’s one of my favourite places.

    • NatalieTanner says:

      It is especially helpful for children to have an idea of what they will see. They love pointing out things they recognize!

  1. June 2, 2016

    […] All the usual suspects are fantastic, too! Read more here: Top 6 Things to See in Paris. […]

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