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Approximate Duration: 45 min

Top Rated Attractions in Paris

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Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Perched elegantly on Île de la Cité, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is as arresting as it is imposing. One look at the spellbinding architectural details, both inside and out, and you'll understand why it took nearly a century to complete, beginning 1160. Two monumental towers rise from its western facade, marking the most intricately adorned portion of the cathedral. As a bonus, visitors can climb the 380 odd steps leading to the top of the towers for arguable the best views of the Parisian cityscape. Highlight of the cathedral's interiors are most certainly, the beautifully vivid rose windows in stained glass. History enthusiasts can also check out the archaeological crypt that exhibits interesting relics found in Paris. Considered to be a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is deservedly one of the most visited of Paris' enchanting sights.

Arc de Triomphe

Famous for housing the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Arc de Triomphe is a site of memories, current events, and celebrations. Construction of the Arc de Triomphe began in 1806 and was completed thirty years later. Standing in a direct line between the Louvre and the Grande Arche de la Défense, the monument links the past with the present and offers amazing views of the city from atop the arch. Many of France's famous leaders, dictators, writers, and artists have passed under its arch on the way to their final resting place, including Napoleon and Victor Hugo. A closer look at the arc reveals six evocative reliefs carved into its historic facade, portraying key highlights and events that transpired during the French Revolution and Napoleon's reign.

Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Paris' most famous cemetery gets its name from Louis XIV's religious adviser, Père-Lachaise, who previously owned the historic property the cemetery is built on. In 1804, the city decided to turn the land it had acquired into a cemetery, the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. 70,000 graves are interred here with memorial sculptures and ornate tombstones decorating the 44-acre (17-hectare) garden. Famous people buried here include authors Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde and Honoré de Balzac, singers Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison (whose grave is one of the most visited), and renowned composer Chopin. Among the many 19th-century sculptures and monuments is the Mur des Fédérés, which was placed in memory of the 147 rebels shot here on May 28, 1871 during the Paris Commune.

Rodin Museum

Hôtel Biron, which now houses Musée Rodin is where Auguste Rodin spent the last years of his life, from 1908 to 1917. Since then, his superb sculptures and private art collection have been housed here. There are a number of sculptures in the garden, including his best-known piece, the Thinker. Trees provide welcome shade and the benches placed beneath make these peaceful surroundings the perfect spot for meditation and relaxation. Visitors can also buy a museum passport to visit both the Musée Rodin and Musée d'Orsay on the same day for a reduced ticket price.

Carnavalet Museum

All visitors to Paris should come to the Carnavalet Museum, which reveals the secrets of the City of Light from prehistoric times to today. Set up in two contiguous townhouses (the Hôtel Carnavalet was built in 1545 and the Hôtel Le Peletier in the 17th Century), you need a whole afternoon to see everything. Retrace the history of Paris through a plethora of sculptures, paintings and pieces of furniture. The rooms are decorated to evoke different periods, follow the evolution of furniture from the reign of Henri IV to the beginnings of the 20th Century.

Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny)

The Cluny National Museum of the Middle Ages is located near the famous Sorbonne University and is one of the best examples of 15th-century architecture. The museum showcases armor, chests, ivories, mirrors and hangings which were gathered by Alexandre du Sommerard to portray the Medieval ages and the Renaissance. There is a whole room depicting the most amazing pieces of art from the 16th Century, such as Dutch tapestries full of flowers and birds, a woman spinning while a cat plays with the end of the thread and a pretty woman in her bath, overflowing into a duck pond. But the best exhibit is that of 'The Lady with the Unicorn' tapestry, which features six inscrutable scenes of a beautiful woman flanked by a lion and a unicorn.

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