Best Things in Paris [Eiffel Tower & Notre-Dame Cathedral]

You might have heard countless things about Paris. You might have been there more than once. But Paris is a city brimming with many places to visit – from world-class museums to less-known hidden gems – you will never exhaust the adventures it offers.

 To help you discover the crème de la crème of Paris attractions, TourScanner has curated the 43 best places to visit in Paris and put them on this Ultimate Paris Bucket List.

 Are you ready?

  • Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)


Notre Dame is open Monday through Friday from 7:45 a.m. to 6:45 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 6:45 p.m. There is no entrance fee, even if you want to climb to the top of the cathedral. The towers are open daily April through September from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. October through March. You'll find Notre Dame Cathedral in the heart of the city; subsequently, the Cité stop on the metro's line 4 is the nearest.

Photo by Rohan Reddy 

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. It remains closed until further notice.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. 

Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 10th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. And once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

 The portal of judgment entrance, in particular, is just one example of this awe-inspiring architectural style. The back end of the cathedral is just as spectacularly detailed, featuring an ornate flying buttress just begging to be photographed.

 Inside, travelers will find sky-high gilded ceilings and stained-glass windows throughout. If you want to do more than just meander around, visitors have the option of climbing the cathedral's 387 steps for top-notch views of the city.

Travelers found the architecture of the Notre-Dame to be amazing both inside and out. Those who ventured to the top of the cathedral thoroughly enjoyed the views, but were annoyed at how little time they were afforded by cathedral officials.

 Because going to the top of the Notre-Dame is such a popular activity, and there's so little space at the top, the cathedral restricts the number of people at the top as well as how long they can be there. Also, be prepared to wait.

 The attraction sees upward of 13 million visitors per year, so unless you come really early in the morning or late at night, there will likely be throngs of people at the front plaza and long lines to the top of the cathedral. 

  • Eiffel Tower



The most visited tourist attraction in Paris, the Eiffel Tower also ranks high on the list of places to visit in France. It's hard to believe that the structure was dismissed as a monstrosity when it was first unveiled. The iconic tower was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exhibition of 1889, which marked the centenary of the French Revolution.

The tower consists of 18,000 sturdy iron sections (weighing over 10,000 tons) held together by 2.5 million rivets. This innovative structure is now considered a masterful architectural feat and is the most emblematic sight in Paris. From the Jardins du Trocadéro and the lawns of the Champs de Mars, there is just the right distance from the Eiffel Tower for a picture-perfect photo-op. Reaching 324 meters in height, the tower was the world's tallest building until the Empire State Building was erected.

Photo by Chris Karidis

Visitors can take an elevator or walk up the 360 steps to arrive at the first level (at 57 meters) and 344 more steps to the second level (at 115 meters). The outlooks from both the first and second level are spectacular. To reach the top level, at the dizzying elevation of 276 meters, requires an exhilarating elevator ride from the second level. Visiting the top level is one of the most thrilling things to do in Paris, but it's not for the faint of heart.

For those who'd like to indulge in a gourmet meal, the Jules Verne Restaurant is on the second floor. This restaurant features expansive windows, which allow diners to enjoy the amazing panoramas.
It's best to purchase tickets in advance especially if visiting during high season. To ensure the best experience possible, tourists can sign up for the Eiffel Tower Priority Access Tour. This one-hour tour allows tourists to avoid standing in several long lines and offers the added benefit of educational commentary. A knowledgable guide will share interesting information and provide historical context.

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