There are so many things to see and do in Paris it’s a nightmare trying to fit it all in, except for the fact we love trying! But although we embrace the challenge, sometimes too much is too much. We’ve explored Paris by day, by night, following Top 10 tips, but really, there’s nothing easier to see all the sights of Paris than by bus.
The Big Bus Tour in Paris is great; it accommodates every one of every age and has an extensive hop-on, hop-off route*. Stopping at 9 main landmarks in Paris including the Louvre, Notre Dame and Orsay Museum; you can either sit on for the entire duration of 2 hours 15mins, or you can get off to stretch your legs and explore the sights of your favourite building.
The famous Parisian promenades provide plenty of entertainment from the comfort of your bus seat (great for those who love a bit of people watching) – all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the views. So here’s a rundown of our favourite bits – and by no means is this an extensive list of everything there is to see…
The Louvre needs no introduction – although for those of you who don’t know, it’s one of the world’s most famous art galleries. With over 35,000 works of art on display, it’s a huge testament to art through the ages and you can see everything from sculpture (Venus de Milo) through to Ancient Egyptian artefacts; portraits (Mona Lisa) and medieval jewellery. Its building is iconic in itself, with a glass pyramid juxtaposing the ornate 12th century palace, fronting onto the Tuileries Gardens – a picture perfect opportunity, and great for a picnic, too.
From gargoyles to stained glass windows, Notre Dame is one of Paris’ most loved landmarks. Built on the Île de la Cité, it’s exemplary of French Gothic architecture with a history that dates back to the mid-12th century, so there’s plenty to be explored! Admire the huge bells which give the cathedral its sonorous reputation and climb the two towers for spectacular views over the Seine. Did you know the name Notre Dame comes from ‘Our Lady’, referring to the Catholic Virgin Mary? Why not go underground and discover the Crypts of Notre Dame, while you’re there, as well.
The Orsay Museum is another of Paris’ must-see art galleries. Set on the south bank of the Seine, it was once a bustling train station which is why it has that long, grand train terminal appearance – you can still see the big station clock hanging from the early 1900s. Admire a plethora of pieces from Cézanne to Monet, Renoir and van Gogh, to name a few, and experience the fineries of art through to architecture at the Orsay.
Paris Opera House
Paris Opera House, otherwise known as the Palais Garnier or Opera Garnier, is a grand 19th century building famed for its opulence and excess; adorned with huge bronze chandeliers, gold mosaics and multi-coloured marble. Well worth a visit, especially if you’re a fan of the classic opera and ballets. Why not join in on a tour of the Opera House and learn about the history of the building Charles Garnier, the Beaux Arts and its use to this day.
The Grand Palais is one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris and is among the finest example of the Beaux Arts architectural style. Although you might want to appreciate the art within its walls, don’t forget that most of what we love about the Grand Palais is on the outside. An impressive building, of pillars, statues and glass barrel-vaulted roofs, that even Chanel, the big-dog fashion house, uses the Grand Palais for its shows. We recommend you go see what all the fuss is about…