The city is very walkable and even the furthest sights can be reached easily by clean and efficient Metro or bus.
Both left and right banks of the River Seine are crammed with attractions.
Tourists relaxing in Tuileries Gardens after a tough few hours in the Louvre.
The right bank of the Seine River:
The Arc de Triomphe, the world famous arch commissioned by Napoleon, runs down the lengthy tree/shop-lined Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde, where a well-traveled 3, 300-year-old Egyptian obelisk oversees the city’s chaotic traffic.
On the other side of the Concorde, through the peaceful, statue and tree scattered Tuileries Gardens, you arrive at the incredible Louvre, a vast building with glass pyramid entrance, where ‘Mona Lisa’ still smiles at her adoring, smartphone-toting fans. If you enter via the Porte des Lions at the south-east corner of the museum the queues are much shorter and it’s the quickest way to reach the Mona Lisa.
Other notable buildings are Opéra Garnier (an imposing theatre), Centre Georges Pompidou (a modern art museum with wacky pond and exterior), Sacré Coeur (Basilica of the Sacred Heart) with a shapely white dome set on one of Paris’ few hills, Montmartre.
Two adjacent islands right at the core of the city:
– Ile de la Cité embraces the magnificent Notre Dame Gothic cathedral which is now being rebuilt after a catastrophic fire.
One of the city’s almost hidden treasures, inside the Palais de Justice (law courts) is Sainte-Chapelle, a little Gothic masterpiece of religious art offering incredible, massive, full-surround 13thC stained glass windows. Really awesome.
Finally the Conciergerie is a former prison where 3, 000 guillotine victims including Marie-Antoinette were kept warm.
– Ile St-Louis, connected to both banks and the Ile de la Cité, offers no serious sights but is a tranquil retreat from tourist overload.