Local Attraction

1. Eiffel Tower

This is one of the world's most recognizable monuments (and the best-known monument in all of Europe), and it is breathtaking to behold. Be sure to take the lift for a view of the city. This attraction alone drew 6.2 million visitors in 2002, according to Paris Office of Tourism statistics.

2. Louvre Museum

Arguably the world's most famous art museum, the Louvre's most popular piece is Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa. It was established in 1793, and is one of the oldest museums in Europe. Its collections spans from the birth of great civilizations up to the 19th century. A whopping 5.7 million tourists visited the museum in 2002.

3. Centre Pompidou

The funky and hip Centre Pompidou features a wonderful collection of modern art within its creatively designed building. It also features a cinema, concerts and children's activities. The Centre attracts 5.5 million visitors annually.

4. Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées

The 164-foot Arc de Triomphe commissioned by Emperor Napoléon I does exactly what it was made to do: evoke sheer military power and triumph. It was built in an age when leaders erected monuments in their own honor, and scaled to their egos. The arch's beautiful sculptures and reliefs commemorate Napoléon's generals and soldiers. Visit the Arc de Triomphe to begin or culminate a walk down the equally grandiose Avenue des Champs-Elysées. You can't help but feel grand yourself.

5. Notre Dame Cathedral

No first trip to Paris is complete without a visit to this marvel of gothic architecture. One of the most singular and beautiful cathedrals of Europe, Notre Dame Cathedral's dramatic towers, spire, stained glass and statuary are guaranteed to take your breath away. Witness firsthand the spot that was once the heartbeat of medieval Paris, and that took over 100 years of hard labor to complete. Climbing the North tower to see Paris from the hunchback Quasimodo's vantage is essential, too. You'll soon understand why Notre Dame is one of Paris' top attractions.

6. Sacre Coeur and Montmartre

With its unmistakeable white dome, the Sacre Coeur sits at the highest point of Paris on the Montmartre knoll, or butte. This basilica, which was consecrated in 1909, is best-known for its garish gold mosaic interiors and for its dramatic terrace, from which you can expect sweeping views of Paris on a clear day. Take the funicular up with a metro ticket and stop off at Sacre Coeur before exploring the winding, village-like streets of Montmartre. And after expending all your energy climbing Montmartre's formidable hills and stairs, consider a traditional Parisian cabaret at the legendary Moulin Rouge.

7. Boat Tour of the Seine River

Seeing some of Paris' most beautiful sites glide past as you drift down the Seine river is an unforgettable and essential experience. Companies such as Bateaux Parisiens offer 1-hour tours of the Seine year-round for about 10 Euros. You can hop on near Notre Dame or the Eiffel Tower. Go at night to enjoy the shimmering play of light on the water, and dress warmly-- the wind from off the Seine can be chilly. You can also take tours of some of Paris' canals and waterways, which will allow you to see a semi-hidden side of the city of light.

8. The Sorbonne and the Latin Quarter

The Sorbonne University is the historic soul of the Latin Quarter, where higher learning has flourished for centuries. Founded in 1257 for a small group of theology students, the Sorbonne is one of Europe's oldest universities. It has hosted countless great thinkers, including philosophers René Descartes, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. Enjoy a drink on the café terrace in front of the college before exploring the winding little streets of the Latin Quarter behind it.

9. Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris, connects the Tuileries with the Champs-Elysées. At its center is a 3200 years old obelisk, transported in the 19th century from Egypt.

10. Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Resort Paris, originally known as Euro Disney, is a theme park run by Euro Disney SCA, 39% of which is owned by The Walt Disney Company, in Marne-la-Vallée near Paris. Construction began in 1988 and the theme park complex officially opened on April 12, 1992, but attendances were low and there were protests by those who thought a Disney park in France would harm French culture.