It’s difficult not to love Paris; fine dining, iconic monuments and an abundance of culture – this ultimate city break destination is a must-see for everyone. Believe it or not, it is possible to see almost everything Paris has to offer in just a few days; with some careful planning and flexibility. To help you along the way we have put together everything you need to know about visiting the French landmarks, you’re welcome!
Pont des Arts, The ‘Love Lock’ Bridge
The iconic bridge has starred in numerous films and once held thousands of memories. It became tradition for tourists visiting the French capital to fasten a padlock to the Pont des Arts before throwing the key into the River Seine. Back in 2015 the railings began to buckle under the sheer weight so the decision was made to begin removing the locks.
The bridge now features clear panels to prevent people from placing padlocks to it. Instead, tourists are encouraged to take selfies on the bridge. The lampposts along the bridge have a number of padlocks attached to them in the tourists’ attempt to continue tradition.
Despite no longer being able to put locks on the bridge, men and women still stand nearby selling locks and pens. Though the odd few may be genuine, the rest are likely to be scammers and as soon as you take out your purse, they grab it and run. If faced with this situation just firmly decline and walk away.
How to get here:
The Pont des Arts is a pedestrian only bridge over the River Seine which links the Palais du Louvre to the Institut de France. It is easily reachable via the Metro; from the left bank get off at Solferino Metro stop or from the right bank get off at the Pont Neuf stop and follow the signs to the bridge. There are several boat restaurants along the River Seine offering a delicious range of local cuisine.
The Eiffel Tower
Built in the late 1800’s, the Eiffel Tower has since become the most visited paid monument in the world. It has been a significant landmark throughout France’s history and has been regularly renovated to cater for its many visitors.
Panoramic views of the city can be seen from three platforms, the first one can be accessed via stairs or an elevator and the two higher platforms are elevator only. The tower is home to two restaurants; 58 Tour Eiffel on the first platform and Le Jules Verne on the second. There is also a champagne bar on the top platform.
The Eiffel Tower is open 365 days a year but visitor times will vary. Tickets can be purchased at the foot of the tower or online and cost between €2.50 and €6.40 for children ages 4-11 and disabled visitors, between €5.10 and €12.70 for ages 12-24 and between €10.20 and €25.50 for adults. Children under 4 go free.
How to get here:
The Eiffel Tower is located on the Champ de Mars and can be seen from all around. If you are travelling by the Metro the Tracodero (line 9), Bir-Hakeim (line 8) and Ecole militaire (line 6) all go to the tower. You can also reach the tower by boat along the River Seine, car, bus or the RER.
Arc de Triomphe
This spectacular monument is located at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle at the western end of the famous Champs-Elysées. Construction of the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806 and finished in 1836.
Although the Arc de Triomphe seems impossible to reach due to the busy roads surrounding it there is an underground walkway. It can be found on either the Avenue de la Grande Armee or the Wagram exit of the metro.
Once there, you can buy tickets to climb to the top of the monument and witness the impress architecture and panoramic views of Paris. It is advised to visit the Arc de Triomphe early as only a certain number of visitors are allowed in. Opening hours vary but during peak season it’s open daily between 10:00 and 23:00. Tickets cost €12.00 and can be purchased at the ticket office by the Arc de Triomphe.
How to get here:
Metro line 1, 2 and 6 all stop at Charles de Gaulle Etoile or visitors can reach the monument via line A on the RER or lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73 and 92 on the bus.
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées
After visiting the Arc de Triomphe head along the world most beautiful avenue, the Champs-Elysées, for a spot of shopping and dining. The avenue is an array of luxury boutiques, flagship stores, fine restaurants and nightclubs and can be enjoyed both by day and night.
As well as Cartier and Fouquet’s, Champs-Elysées is home to a number of museums and theatres. Spend the afternoon wandering around the fine art museum at the Petit Palais and for a science adventure head to the Grand Palais. Finish off the evening at Lido Cabaret for a show that rivals the Moulin Rouge.
Although admission tickets are available at most attractions, we recommend visitors book online to avoid disappointment. You be able to skip the queue and there may also be a discount for booking online. If you do opt for pre-paid tickets make sure they are covered under your travel insurance – that way if you have to cancel your trip or are too ill to make the excursion you will not be left out of pocket. Beware, not all travel insurance policies will cover pre-paid tickets so look for a policy that includes cover for ‘pre-paid expenses which you cannot get back from anyone else’.
Musée du Louvre
The world-famous museum covers and impressive 15 acres and finding everything is extremely difficult so be sure to pick up a map before you go and circle all your ‘must see’ sites.
The Mona Lisa is currently located in the Richelieu wing in room 801 but is due to be moved in mid-October 2019. Be prepared to queue for a peek as the 30inx21in famous painting is constantly surrounded by mesmerised tourists.
The Louvre is closed on Tuesday. On Wednesday and Friday, the museum is open between 9:00 and 21:45 and the rest of the week opening times are 9:00 to 18:00. On the first Saturday of each month the museum is open free of charge between 9:00 and 21:45.
Tickets are available either online or at the Louvre but entrance cannot be guaranteed to anyone who hasn’t pre-booked tickets. Online tickets cost €17.00 and include quick entry to the museum and on-the-day tickets are €15.00.
How to get here:
You can get to the Louvre via the Metro using lines 1 and 7 and line 14. Buses number 21, 24, 27, 39, 48, 68, 69, 72, 81 and 95 also stop at the Louvre.
Notre-Dame de Paris
Silence fell on the world in April 2019 when the Cathedral of Notre Dame caught fire destroying its iconic spire. Notre Dame remains closed and it is not yet known when it will be able to reopen.