Paris has one of the most iconic skylines in the world with a plethora of monuments and landmarks breaking up its horizon. Its silhouette is instantly recognisable for its imposing buildings and variety of structures – both old and new.
You can’t leave Paris without visiting its urban markers. We promise unbeatable views of the city, a chance to learn about France’s victories and defeats in battles past and some some spectacular photo opportunities.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe plays an important role in the rich history of France and is a must-see for a bit of cultural appreciation. The largest and most important memorial to all fallen soldiers, it was built in the early 1800s, commissioned by Napoleon, and hosts an annual ceremony on the 11th November to mark the anniversary of the armistice. Now, there’s a viewing platform which is a great place to go as the sun sets (and really romantic if you’re looking for that special place). Explore the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that commemorates the fallen soldiers of WWII and don’t forget to admire the fine designs and architecture of the sculpted pillars.
Experience the heights of Paris like you’ve never imagined at the top of Montparnasse Tower. Atop the city’s only skyscraper, visitors can climb out onto the viewing platform and 53rd floor glass terrace for uninterrupted views across Paris. On a clear day you can even see up to 40kms. With information panels and an exhibition detailing the building’s history, visitors can enjoy an interactive experience as well as an unparalleled panorama. If you’re feeling generous, why not dine at the highest restaurant in Europe, Le Ciel de Paris, to top off the visit.
The Panthéon is one of Paris’ most famous neoclassical buildings and is situated in the Latin Quarter of the city. Originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, it’s now a famous burial place and crypt, housing the tombs of Voltaire, Roussau, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Marat and Marie Curie – among others. The façade of the building was actually inspired by the original pantheon in Rome, so you can admire the similarities in structure. Within, it’s a vast space of Gothic and classical carvings and designs – so take your time, there’s much to be explored.
The Iron Lady is arguably one of Paris’ most popular attractions and iconic monuments. A permanent feature of photos of Paris’ horizon, this turn of the century landmark is worth immortalising in a holiday snap – just to prove you were there. Did you know over 250 million visitors have climbed the tower since its opening in 1889? Have a picnic underneath the iconic building and take in your breathtaking situation. Can you imagine a Paris without the Eiffel Tower? No, we can’t either.
*note: the Eiffel Tower is not included in the Paris Pass
Although not technically a monument, or even landmark for that matter, the Louvre is one of Paris’ most iconic buildings and definitely worth a mention. A contrast of old and new, it encompasses Paris culture so well with its contemporary glass pyramid, against the backdrop of the original 12th and 16th century Louvre palace, which still stands to this day. Visitors to the museum can see old ruins of the first structure below ground in one of the exhibition rooms. Admire the sheer scale of one of the world’s most famous art galleries and make sure you take a peek inside too – after all, you wouldn’t want to leave without seeing the Mona Lisa, after all.