France is one of the few countries where you can combine extensive hiking (with over 11,000 walkable footpaths) with world-famous man-made wonders, including classical museums, gourmet food and of course, the Eiffel Tower. Whether you will be stopping in Paris for a few hours or spending a week, you will undoubtedly experience the magic that has captivated visitors over the centuries.
The thrill of the bird's-eye view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is a must-see. This 986-foot structure took two years and 300 workers to build, creating a breath-taking urban vista. Once you pay the fee and take the tour to the top, you can spend all afternoon or evening at the rooftop cafe, basking in sun and breeze while indulging in a croissant and coffee. The sunset or starry night views are stunning.
5 avenue Anatole France
Champs de Mars
75007 Paris, France
011 (+33) 0 1 44 11 23 23
Cathedral of Notre Dame
Take a tour of the architectural feats of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Known for representing French Gothic architecture through stained glass windows, such as the Rose Window, flying buttresses and towers that graze the sky, this building demonstrates remarkable features for construction beginning in 1163. Be sure to listen to the organs and bells or attend a service to be fully captivated by one of France's best-known treasures.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
6 Parvis Notre-Dame
Place Jean-Paul II
75004 Paris, France
011 (+33) 0 1 42 34 56 10
Aptly named The Holy Chapel, this Gothic building is home to many of the precious relics purchased by Louis IX, including Christ's crown of thorns and the Image of Edessa. Observe in awe the Rose Window, stained glass depictions of holy baptisms and the magnificent ceilings.
4, boulevard du Palais, Paris, France
011 (+33) 0 1534060-93/97
Artists have flocked to this city for centuries for its lifestyle, beauty and influences on the artistic world.
The Louvre is legendary for world-famous paintings such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa and the Last Supper and an expansive collection of art pieces from all over the world, especially Egypt, Greece and Italy. Take a self-guided headphone tour or group tour or spend hours on your own lingering over your favorite pieces. Be sure to walk around the magnificent glass pyramids in the courtyards.
Musée du Louvre
75058 Paris Cedex 01, Paris, France
011 (+33) 0 1 40 20 57 60
At the Musee d'Orsay, you can be amazed by the famous Impressionists' work of Monet, Manet, Renoir and Degas and post-Impressionist work of Matisse, Van Gogh and Cezanne.
62, rue de Lille
75343 Paris Cedex 07, France
011 (+33) 0 1 40 49 48 14