PARIS: monuments & historic buildings

Paris is well-endowed with great monuments, iconic structures, like the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, and superb buildings like Notre Dame. Taking them all in is never going to be'll just have to come back.

arc de triomphe

The stunningly impressive Arc de Triomphe was built on the orders of Napoleon I, in 1806, to honour the victorious achievements of the Grande Armée.

More: Arc de Triomphe

Place Charles de Gaulle
Tel: 01 55 37 73 77

April - September: 1000-2300
October - March 1000 - 2230

the panthÉon

Built to satisfy monarchic ego, the Panthéon is dedicated to Ste-Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris. Since 1885, when Victor Hugo was buried here, the monument has been the final resting place of the country's most illustrious people.

Place du Panthéon
Tel: 01 44 32 18 00

April-September: 1000-1830
October-March 1000-1800

basilique cathÉdrale de saint-denis

Formerly a royal abbey, this magnificent edifice is the earliest example of French Gothic architecture, and was an important pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.

This has been the last resting place of many French kings, with over 70 royal tombs within, including Dagobert, Louis XVI, as well as Catherine de' Medici.

1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur
Tel: 01 48 09 83 54

April-September: Monday-Saturday 1000-1815; Sunday noon-1815
October-March: Monday-Saturday 1000-1715; Sunday noon-1715

tours de notre-dame
the towers of notre-dame

The towers, which offer a spectacular view of the city, involves the ascent of 422 steps through a height gain of 226 feet. This is for the fit and healthy only.

Construction of the cathedral began in the 12th century, and continued for the next 200 years. It was badly damaged during the Revolution, but restoration work began in 1844.

Rue de la Cloitre Notre-Dame
Tel: 01 53 10 07 00

April-September: 1000-1830
October-March: 1000-1730


The exceptional collection of stained-glass windows rivals Chartres cathedral, and make this one of the finest royal chapels to be built in France.

Like Saint-Denis, this is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, built to house the relics of the Passion of Christ.

4, Boulevard du Palais
Tel: 01 53 40 60 80

April-September: 0900-1900
October-March: 0900-1700

Visitors must queue to go through security
Linked admission with the Concieregerie.


Also known as the Tour Maine-Montparnasse, this is the only skyscraper in Paris, standing 689 feet tall, and weighing some 150,000 tons.

The 56th floor is reserved for tourist visitors; here you will gain one of the finest views possible of the city and its landmarks.

33 avenue du Maine
Tel: 01 45 38 53 16

April-September 0930-2330
(Sunday-Thursday) 0930-2230 (Friday-Saturday) 0930-2300

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