Notre Dame by night

Paris Sightseeing : the top attractions

Paris, city of light. Paris, city of philosophers. Paris, world capital. Indeed, France’s role in globalization is largely due to the influence of its capital, Paris, which has long been one of the most influential capital cities in the world.

Paris is the world’s third most popular tourist destination. The French capital is full of wonders and places to visit that should not to be missed. The Fast Pass team offers you its Parisian “must-sees”, those Paris tours that you absolutely must do when you come to Paris.

Some tips before starting your sightseeing visits:

  • Try visiting monuments/museums in the morning or during lunch to help avoid long queues
  • Don’t exhaust yourself by trying to see everything the museums have to offer! Better to choose beforehand the exhibitions you’re most interested in. No one said the choice would be easy!

The must-see monuments

The Eiffel Tower : THE NUMBER ONE! No sightseeing visit to Paris would be complete without going to see the famous 300 meter-high ‘Iron Lady’. The Fast Pass Team advises you to buy skip-the-line tickets to avoid hours of endless queuing.

It is one of Paris’ most impressive visits.

The Arc de Triomphe: take the Avenue Marceau from the Eiffel Tower all the way up to the Arc de Triomphe and reward yourself with a coffee on the Champs Elysees. Pierre Hermé’s Le concept store with Occitane is very pleasant for a gourmet break.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture. This is one Paris visit that you absolutely must do. Go there by boat, it makes the experience even more unforgettable. For more information about the Cathedral, you can watch this explanatory video.

Garnier Opera House: we really advise you to try and get in a show, a ballet would be ideal! Between acts you can admire the wonderful ceiling painted by Chagall.

The Sacré-Cœur Basilica at Montmartre is another essential visit: for the sporty among you, climb the steps rather than take the funicular. You can then stroll about Montmartre, one of the most romantic areas of the capital.

Why not visit the main square in front of the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall): often used for children’s activities such as the ice rink in winter? This is another place not to be missed during your visit to Paris.

The Great Mosque of Paris is also a favourite amongst visitors to Paris.

The Fast Pass Team wish you a wonderful visit to Paris! If the weather’s nice, we really advise renting a Vélib’ to get around. (Paris’ rental bike network) You can download the Vélib app to find the nearest station at any time or try visiting their website.

What are the ‘must-see’ museums in Paris?

Here’s the Fast Pass Team’s list of favourite museums organised into different categories:

Music

The Philharmonie de Paris’ collection is unique in this world. The museum of music brings together over 5,000 instruments and works of art. In addition to the permanent exhibitions there are temporary exhibitions that will allow you to forge links with other forms of expression in order to comprehend the complexity of music.

For more information about the exhibitions and ticket reservations, you can visit the Philharmonie’s website here, and dont forget to use your Paris museum pass !

Natural History Museum

The National Museum of Natural History is located right in the heart of Paris. It stands apart from other natural history museums for its originality.

It is composed of several multifunctional sites comprising the great gallery of evolution, the gallery of mineralogy and geology, the surrounding gardens (the Jardin des Plantes) and it even has its own zoo, the Ménagerie. The Fast Past Team’s advice: after visiting the museum, why not relax in the gardens afterwards? A real treat! To get you in the mood, why not have a look at this short video :

Paris en zoo-rama from MNHN on Vimeo.

Musée de la Mode – Palais Galliera (Fashion Museum)

The Palais Galliera in the 16th arrondissement, houses one of the richest fashion collections in the world with more than 100,000 pieces of clothing and accessories. The museum beats to the rhythm of its temporary exhibitions, organised two or three times a year, that shouldn’t be missed. For the latest information, check out their website.

Art Museums

  • The Louvre is the most iconic of Parisian museums. You can’t leave the city without having seen the Mona Lisa!
  • The Musée d’Orsay is also a ‘must-see’. Housed in the old Orsay Train Station that was built for the Universal Exhibition of 1900, a visit to this temple of Impressionism is nearly obligatory!
  • The Musée du Quai Branly
  • The City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts housed at the Petit Palais. The Fast Past Team’s advice: make sure to find out what events are on here during your visit. They can be amazing!

The Fast Pass Team’s advice: our little favourite, the chocolate museum!

We thought we knew everything about chocolate… until we visited this superb museum. To get a taste, check out this video.

Guided Tours of Paris

You’re coming to Paris but don’t know where to begin? The Fast Pass Team has various different suggestions for deciding on how to best see the French capital.

Bus Tours

Guided bus tours are one of the best-known ways of seeing the city, discover Paris in a luxury air-conditioned bus, by minibus or from the top of an open-roofed double-decker bus.

Visits can last anywhere from 2 hours to all day and allow you to discover the city with the help of multilingual tour guides and themed tours. Stop at the monuments that are most of interest to you like the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe. The buses also provide audio guides with information about the monuments along the route.

Want to see what it’s like? After watching this video you will probably want to do it for real.

Bike Tours

When the weather’s nice, another option is to discover Paris by bike. You can sign up for a guided tour run by professionals or go it alone, rent out a Vélib’ and get lost discovering all the nooks, crannies and secrets of the French capital.

Rent out a Vélib’ by visiting any of the thousands of stations in the city. Find out the one nearest to you by visiting the website directly.

Paris by Boat

Boat tours are one of the most pleasant ways to see the city. The River Seine flows right through Paris and provides a whole new way of discovering the city. Paris seen from the river… one of the Fast Pass Team’s favourites!

Segway Tours

For the more adventurous among you, Segway tours are another possibility. The tours last a few hours, and you visit specific locations in a given area.

Museum Tours

For the more artistically inclined, exploring Paris through its rich cultural heritage is the way to go. You’ll love having museums as the focus of your visits. The Louvre is a must, then there’s the Musée d’Orsay for its large collection of impressionist paintings and if sculpture is your thing, the Musée Rodin!

Photo Notre Dame