Arguably the most romantic city in the world, Paris is the capital of France, and comes with some of the most famous landmarks in the world. In fact Paris is one of those amazing cities that you can visit five or six times and still always find new things to visit, and the ‘City of Light’ really does have it all.
With over 2million inhabitants Paris is the largest city in France and covers over 100 kilometres squared of space. With another 10million people living on the outskirts of the city, Paris makes up one of the most dense population areas in the whole of Europe and anyone visiting Paris for the first time will quickly be able to understand why.
Unlike many cities, it’s impossible to associate Paris with just one landmark. While New York has the Empire State Building and Pisa has the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Paris has more landmarks than most of Europe’s capital cities put together and whether you are planning on climbing the Eiffel tower, visiting Notre Dame, cruising along the river Seine or climbing the steps outside the Sacre Couer you’ll associate so many of the most famous landmarks in the world with this fine city.
Best places to visit when hiring a car in Paris
Like most capital cities, Paris has a huge network of underground and over ground railway lines, but that doesn’t stop you from hiring a car, and to get to some of the beautiful places on the outskirts of the city, a car really is essential.
Château de Versailles
Located right on the outskirts of the city one of the most beautiful homes you will ever visit is the Château de Versailles. Formerly the home to Marie Antoinette and her husband, Louis XVI, the beautiful palace covers over 67,000 square meters, has 2,300 rooms and over 65 staircases. With over 6,000 paintings, 1,500 drawings and 15,000 engravings in the museum’s collection you can spend all day wondering around the amazing rooms.
The palace was used by Louis XIV as his political base in the 1600s, before the royal family was forced to move back to the heart of Paris in 1789 when the French Revolution began.
Arc de Triomphe
Located at the west end of the Champs-Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, and stands over 50meters high. It was built at the beginning of the 19th century at the Place Charles de Gaulle and is surrounded by one of the most unique roundabouts in the world.
With seven lanes of traffic cars must give way to traffic coming on to the roundabout, making for an interesting experience if you choose to hire a car. The Arc was built to honour those who died fighting for France in the Napoleonic wars and during the French Revolution.
You can get a lift to the top of the building where you can visit a small museum.
Notre Dame Cathedral
The huge Roman Catholic cathedral based in the East of the city is perhaps most famous for the Hunchback of Notre Dame book published in 1831 by its author Victor Hugo.
The building of the cathedral began in 1163, after the previous cathedral was knocked down three years earlier, with the final cathedral finished in 1345. The cathedral has since been redeveloped after being damaged by various wars, and is still being restored to this day.
The cathedral itself is 128 meters long by 69 metres wide, with the one spire reaching 90meters into the sky.
The Louvre is widely regarded as the finest art museum in the world and is home to the world famous Mona Lisa. The building is so large that you will need at least two days to complete the whole museum, although you can plan just to visit the best bits if you visit for the day.
During busy tourist seasons you can expect to queue for several hours to gain entry to the Louvre.
The Eiffel Tower
Arguably Paris’ most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower stands a massive 324meters high and was once the tallest building in the world. Built as the entrance to the world fair held in Paris in 1889 the tower has three stories, all of which can be visited every day by tourists.
The huge iron structure was originally built as an observation and radio broadcasting tower but is now the perfect place to look out over Paris and its surrounding suburbs. On a clear day you can see over 37miles from the top of the tower. In 2002 the tower welcomed its 200millionth guest.