50 top sights and attractions in a weekend!

Our suggestions for top museums, monuments, squares, districts... to visit during a weekend break in Paris

Le Louvre, Paris © Thinkstock

Everyone will agree that Paris, the world’s greatest tourist city, deserves more than a weekend to really explore it. But for many visitors, time is alas limited and city breaks often last just a few days. So, how can you see as many top sights as possible without feeling as though you are rushing from one place to the next or that you are missing the most important things?

The first good news

Paris is not so big! The city itself is much less spread out than many other capitals, so you won’t need to travel around so much and waste time on transport.

The second good news

...is that the most outstanding attractions are concentrated in quite compact areas at the heart of Paris. The Louvre, Sainte-Chapelle, the Conciergerie, the Saint-Jacques Tower and Notre-Dame, for example, are all close to one another. As are the Eiffel Tower, the gardens of Trocadéro, the Champ-de-Mars, Invalides and the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. By planning your trips well by district and by area, you will be able to visit around ten of Paris’s renowned top attractions in half a day

In nice weather

Renting a vélib’ enables you to get from one place to another whilst soaking up the atmosphere of the French capital. Sightseeing bus tours are also a good way of seeing as many places as possible in record time.

Another bit of advice

Don’t try and see everything! Of course the whole of the Louvre, Beaubourg and Orsay is thrilling to visit but by finding out in advance what you would like to see most, you will gain a lot of time. And you will also save some energy to go and see or do something else.

As far as queuing goes, there is no miracle solution, but some attractions are nevertheless easier to get into very early in the morning, at lunchtime, or during late evening-opening hours. Find out about these to save some precious time. Also, think about booking your tickets online right now to save time once you arrive in Paris. What’s more, some of these are fast-track tickets that enable you to skip the queues!

50 sights and attractions in a weekend

...is therefore possible, especially as Paris has so many wonderful things to discover wherever you go. Remarkable monuments as well as squares and fountains are all not-to-be missed features of Paris.

And if, after the 49th amazing Parisian attraction, you have a few hours to spare and feel like wandering down the nearest street, then take the time to stroll at your leisure and enjoy the quintessential charm of Paris and its different ‘quartiers’ – another of Paris’s top attractions. So much to enjoy!


Carte 50 lieux incontournables © DR - OTCP

Click on the map of Paris to discover our top 50 places to visit

In this link, we offer you several suggestions for museums, monuments, squares and other districts to visit during your short city break in Paris. 50 pictos spread over 4 zones (coloured light blue, yellow, red and dark blue) are designed to help you allocate your visits into 4 half-days in order to see all of Paris’s top sights and attractions.

More info about Monuments in Paris

 More info about Museums in Paris

Musée du Louvre

Pyramide du Louvre, Paris, 75001

Formerly a royal palace, the Louvre embraces eight centuries of French history. Intended as a universal museum since its creation......

Centre Pompidou

Place Georges Pompidou, Paris, 75004

The Centre Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, is a 20th-century architectural marvel, immediately recognizable......

Musée d'Orsay

Esplanade Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, Paris, 75007

Internationally renowned for its rich collection of Impressionist art, the Musée d'Orsay also displays all Western artistic......


Place du Panthéon, Paris, 75005

The temple of the French nation. With the Pantheon, architect Jacques-Germain Soufflot met Louis XV’s wish to glorify the......


8 boulevard du Palais, Paris, 75001

Let yourself be dazzled by the 1,113 stained glass windows in this gem of Rayonnant Gothic architecture. The Sainte-Chapelle is......


2 boulevard du Palais, Paris, 75001

Explore the exceptional Gothic rooms of this medieval Royal palace, later a Revolutionary court and the prison of......

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris et son trésor

Place of worship
6 parvis Notre-Dame - Place Jean-Paul II, Paris, 75004

The Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, is the most visited monument in France. It was built......

La tour Eiffel

5 avenue Anatole France - Champ de Mars, Paris, 75007

A symbol of Paris and more generally of France, the Eiffel Tower, built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, is one of......

Arc de Triomphe

Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris, 75008

A unique view of the Champs-Élysées, the world’s most beautiful avenue. The Arc de triomphe was begun in 1806, on the orders of......

Grand Palais

3 avenue du Général Eisenhower, Paris, 75008

The Grand Palais is one of the most iconic Parisian monuments. Built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle, it is recognizable by......

Grand Palais Éphémère

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
Place Joffre, Paris, 75007

Pendant la fermeture du Grand Palais, le public est invité à découvrir une partie de la programmation culturelle et sportive......

Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac

37 quai Jacques Chirac, Paris, 75007

Located on the banks of the Seine, near the Eiffel Tower, the Musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac exhibits 3,500 works of art......

Jardin des Tuileries

Park, garden, promenade
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75001

The Tuileries Gardens take their name from the tile factories which previously stood on the site where Queen Catherine de Medici......

Palais de la découverte

Avenue Franklin D. Roosevelt, Paris, 75008

The Palais de la découverte, part of Universcience, presents fundamental and contemporary science in a dynamic way in the form of......

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Street, area of interest
De l'Arc de Triomphe à la place de la Concorde, Paris, 75008

Frequently described as ‘the world’s most beautiful avenue’, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a Paris must-see. Tourists and......

Pont Alexandre III

Street, area of interest
Cours la Reine - Quai d'Orsay, Paris, 75008

Inaugurated on the occasion of the 1900 Universal Exhibition and classed as a historic monument, the Pont Alexandre III is one of......

Place de la Madeleine

Place (square)
Place de la Madeleine, Paris, 75008

Designed around the church which gave it its name, Place de la Madeleine is one of the top places in Paris for shopping.......

Place de la Concorde

Place (square)
Place de la Concorde, Paris, 75008

Place de la Concorde is situated at the end of the Champs-Elysées. Today it is famous for the Luxor Obelisk (a 3,300 year old......

Pont Neuf

Street, area of interest
Quai de la Mégisserie - Quai des Grands Augustins, Paris, 75001

The Pont Neuf is considered to be the oldest stone bridge in Paris. Henri IV ordered it to be constructed in 1578. Twelve arches,......

Jardin du Luxembourg

Park, garden, promenade
Rue de Médicis - Rue de Vaugirard, Paris, 75006

Situated on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by the Boboli......

Cimetière du Père Lachaise

Park, garden, promenade
Face au 21 boulevard de Ménilmontant, Paris, 75020

The Père Lachaise cemetery takes its name from King Louis XIV's confessor, Father François d'Aix de La Chaise. It is the most......

Clos Montmartre - Vigne de Montmartre

Street, area of interest
Rue des Saules, Paris, 75018

La Vigne de Montmartre is the oldest vineyard in the capital. It consists of the the most classic varieties of the wine-producing......

Boulevard Haussmann

Street, area of interest
Boulevard Haussmann, Paris, 75008

Boulevard Haussmann is one of the most elegant in Paris. It stretches more than 2 kilometers from the Avenue de Friedland (near......

Jardins du Trocadéro

Park, garden, promenade
Place du Trocadéro, Paris, 75016

If there is one garden you really must visit when you go to the Eiffel Tower, it’s the Trocadéro gardens. Created for the......

Esplanade des Invalides

Place (square)
Esplanade des Invalides, Paris, 75007

Reliant le Pont Alexandre III à l’Hôtel des Invalides, cette grande esplanade ouverte, bordée d’un mail de tilleuls, offre de......

Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre

Place of worship
Parvis du Sacré-Coeur - 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre, Paris, 75018

The Sacré-Coeur, consecrated in 1919, is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris. At the top of the Butte Montmarte, it has one......

Hotel de Ville de Paris

Mairie de Paris - Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, Paris, 75004

The Hôtel de Ville de Paris has been the seat of the Paris City Council since 1357. The current building, with a neo-renaissance......

Quartier du Marais

Street, area of interest
Le Marais, Paris, 75004

The Marais district gets its name from its location: once a marshland (‘marais’), it has been inhabited ever since it was drained......

Église Saint-Eustache

Place of worship
146 rue Rambuteau, Paris, 75001

The Eglise Saint-Eustache in the heart of Les Halles is one of the most visited churches in Paris. It is known for its unusually......

Tour Saint-Jacques

Square de la tour Saint-Jacques, Paris, 75004

The Tour Saint-Jacques stands alone in the middle of a little garden of the same name. A tower in the flamboyant Gothic style,......

Grande Mosquée de Paris

2 bis place du Puits-de-l'Ermite, Paris, 75005

Constructed between 1922 and 1926, the Mosquée de Paris is located in the Latin Quarter, a stone’s throw from Paris’s natural......

Quartier Mouffetard

Street, area of interest
Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 75005

Busy rue Mouffetard, one of the French capital's oldest streets, gently guides you down a slope of Montagne Sainte Geneviève, one......

Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Street, area of interest
Place Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris, 75006

A visit to the area should begin with the church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés. Its tower and nave constitute some of the oldest......

Pont des Arts - Passerelle des Arts

Street, area of interest
Quai de Conti - Quai François Mitterrand, Paris, 75006

Also known as Passerelle des Arts, the Pont des Arts is situated between the Institut de France and the Louvre. Built between......

Place des Abbesses

Place (square)
Place des Abbesses, Paris, 75018

30 metres beneath ground, in the deepest metro station in Paris, lifts are available, but the valiant walker climbs the staircase......

Parc du Champ-de-Mars

Park, garden, promenade
Quai Branly - Avenue de la Motte Picquet, Paris, 75007

Opened in 1780, the Parc du Champ-de-Mars extends from the École Militaire to the Eiffel Tower. A hotspot for national events, it......

Place de la Bastille

Place (square)
Place de la Bastille, Paris, 75004

In the centre of the square, the famous "Génie de la Liberté" (Spirit of Freedom) commemorates the revolution of 1830, but is......

Quartier Montorgueil

Street, area of interest
Rue Montorgueil, Paris, 75002

With its small pedestrian cobblestone streets, the Montorgueil district has lots of charm. The main artery, Rue Montorgueil, is......

Quartier Latin

Street, area of interest
Quartier Latin, Paris, 75005

No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement, on the Left Bank. The area’s many......

Place de la République

Place (square)
Place de la République, Paris, 75003 - 75010 - 75011

The Place de la République's renovation was unveiled in 2013. Its traffic areas have been significantly reduced to allow more......

Canal Saint-Martin

Street, area of interest
Quai de Jemmapes, Paris, 75010

Extending over 4.5 km, of which 2 are underground, the canal has linked the Port de l’Arsenal to the La Villette canal basin......

Quartier Pigalle

Street, area of interest
Place Pigalle, Paris, 75009 - 75018

The district, faithful to its festive reputation, continues to enliven Parisian nights. From the Place d'Anvers to the Place de......

Place du Tertre

Place (square)
Place du Tertre, Paris, 75018

Here, folklore is in full swing, between the restaurant terraces and asels belonging to the artists who share 140 spaces, giving......

Fontaine des Innocents

Street, area of interest
Place Joachim du Bellay, Paris, 75001

The history of the Fontaine des Innocents, built by the architect Pierre Lescot under Henri IV. Located in the heart of Paris, it......

Fontaine Igor Stravinsky

Place Igor Stravinsky, Paris, 75004

Located next to the Pompidou Centre, the Igor Stravinsky fountain designed by the artists Jean Tinguely and Niki de Saint Phalle......

Port de l'Arsenal

Street, area of interest
Boulevard Bourdon - Boulevard de la Bastille, Paris, 75004 - 75012

The port has everything from landing stages and little boats to a harbour master’s office, gulls, and seafood restaurants. If it......

Square du Vert-Galant

Park, garden, promenade
Place du Pont-Neuf, Paris, 75001

Erected in tribute to Henri IV and his numerous mistresses, the Square du Vert Galant obtained the ‘Espace vert écologique'......

Quartier Oberkampf

Street, area of interest
Oberkamp et Parmentier, Paris, 75011

Situated in the east of Paris, the Oberkampf district is known for its young, cosmopolitan, and party atmosphere. The area is......