Paris monuments - Paris historic buildings - Paris Eiffel Tower - Paris Hotel des Invalides - Paris Opera Garnier

Author: Amélie Dupont

Download Guide Paris:
PDF to print and bind

Paris Buildings And Monuments, France

Eiffel Tower

The most famous Parisian monument in the world was built for the World Exposition of 1889 based on a design by Gustave Eiffel. It is 320 meters tall and the tower is composed of 15,000 metallic parts. It was the tallest building in the world until the construction of the Empire State Building in 1931. An elevator goes to the top where there is a breathless view of the city. Very fit visitors can also climb the 700 stairs to the intermediate platform (115 m).

Where: Champ de Mars. Metro: Champ de Mars Tour Eiffel (RER C)

Hours: all year 9.30 a.m.-11:45 p.m.; Juny-August 9:00 a.m.-00.45.

Hotel des Invalides

This enormous complex was built by Louis XIV at the end of the 17th century as a home for veterans who had been wounded and living in poverty. The building is vast and contains excellent examples of Baroque architecture. The Hotel des Invalides, Cour d'Honneur and church of St Louis des Invalides with its majestic golden dome and Napoleon's tomb are worth visiting. His ashes rest under the 1840 dome in a solemn mausoleum. Weapons fans should not miss the Musée de l'Armée, one of the largest museums in the world on the history of weapons and war from prehistoric times to the present day.

Where: Esplanade des Invalides. Metro: La Tour Mauburg (L8), Varenne (L13)

Grand Palais

Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre A very interesting complex of buildings built for the World's fair of 1900, they are a real paean to Art Nouveau. The Petit Palais is now home to the Beaux Arts museum of Paris; the Grand Palais, with its glass and metal structure is especially charming at night when lit with lights it shows all of its lightness and elegance. To the side of the buildings is the prettiest bridge in Paris, an Art Nouveau structure with single 107 meter span. The bridge was built in honor of Russian Czar Alexander III, following the 1896 French-Russian alliance.

Where: Avenue W. Churchill. Metro: Concorde


This originated around 1300 as part of the royal palace, but was used as a prison from 1391 to 1914. Famous figures were imprisoned in its cells, including Queen Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution. A tour of the building will let you discover the cells, torture rooms and the magnificent Gothic hall of the royal guards: it could house up to 2000 people.

Where: Quai de l'Horloge. Metro: Cité

Hours: March-October 9:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. November- February 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Opera Garnier

This was inaugurated in 1875 as Paris' opera theater. It was designed by Charles Garnier and is now the national ballet center. The marble staircase and interior ornately decorated in red velvet and golden stucco work are worth seeing; the ceiling was frescoed by Chagall. You should visit the museum annex which contains original opera scores and a complete series of mementos of artists who performed on the most famous stage in the world.

Where: Place de l'Opera. Metro: Opera

Louxembourg Palace (Palais de Louxembourg)

An ornate palace built in 1631 for Marie de Medicis modelled after the Pitti Palace in Florence. A royal residence until the end of the 1700's, the palace was then used for various purposes, including a prison. It is currently home to the French senate and is surrounded by Jardin du Luxembourg, a park popular with Parisians and tourists alike.

Where: Rue de Vaugirard. Metro: Odeon

Place des Vosges

An extremely charming square from the 17th century, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world due its perfect symmetry and the elegance of the buildings which flank it. Many famous figures have lived here including Moliere, Richelieu and Victor Hugo, whose home (no. 6) is now a museum dedicated to the writer. Hotel de Sully, a prestigious 1630 building is located near the square and worth seeing. The square and its surroundings are filled with charming cafes and antique shops.

Where: Marais Quarter. Metro: Bastille

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Cemetery This is the most famous and most visited cemetery in Paris, as well as being one of the biggest green areas of the capital with its 44 hectares and approximately 70,000 graves. It was designed at the beginning of the 1800's in English style as a large cemetery. You can see all types of funerary architecture here: Gothic, Classical or Empire tombs. However its fame is due to the illustrious figures buried here, some of the more famous include Balzac, Proust, Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Haussmann, Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, Edith Piaf and Jim Morrison.

Where: 16, Rue du Repos. Metro: L2/L3 Père Lachaise

Hours: November-March 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; April-October 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.


Add to your or

Download Guide Paris:
PDF to print and bind

Destinations in France

Choose your destination



Search hotels in

When? (optional)