Most international visitors associate Paris, like other popular destinations, with its top sights: the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysées, the Louvre, the Sacré Cœur Basilica. But the reason Paris is the world’s leading tourist destination also has to do with the staggering number of monuments it boasts: 2,185, which means near-infinite options for sightseeing and walks through the city and its history.
This extraordinary and varied range of monuments makes up the charm of Paris and the very core of its identity. Both banks of the Seine and all the city’s districts bear witness to Paris’s incredible heritage, and visitors constantly travel through time in the course of their sightseeing. Past, present and future intermingle more effortlessly in Paris than anywhere else in the world.
It is only a short distance from Ile de la Cité and its venerable attractions, the Conciergerie and Notre Dame Cathedral, to the modern architecture of the Pompidou Centre and the Institut du Monde Arabe. Similarly, the Tour Saint-Jacques is a stone’s throw from the Hôtel de Ville. There is a monument to stop and gaze at on every street, square, courtyard and park, making a stroll through any part of the city a journey of discovery.