Top 15 Things to do in Paris, France
What to do in Paris?
11 (5) Les Catacombes
Come face to skull with the former inhabitants of Paris. The Catacombes is an underground cemetery that holds 200-year-old skeletons. You can see dead people. A lot of them. The Catacombs contain the remains of an estimated six million Parisians.
The dead were killing the living
The rise of Christianity brought with it the practice of burying the faithful in consecrated ground. This resulted in many more Parisians being buried within the city. Eventually the grave yards could not cope with the number of bodies. Paris's water supply and the health of its citizens were under threat. The dead were killing the living.
Catacombs to the rescue
Something had to be done and the Catacombs was the solution. Behind a procession of chanting priests, began a parade of black-covered bone-laden horse-drawn wagons full of human remains. The process took years.
The bones have been laid out in a macabre decoration. There are walls of human skulls and other bones. The shear quantum of human remains is hard to fathom.
12 (9) St Sulpice
The Da Vinci Code's St Sulpice
With vast renovated to be towers the Saint-Sulpice is just huge. St Sulpice popularity has been increased by the fictional tale in the best selling book the Da Vinci Code.
The main internal attractions of St-Sulpice are the Delacroix frescoes in the Chapelle des Anges (Chapel of the Angels), Servandoni's rococo Chapelle de la Madone (Chapel of the Madonna) and the Pigalle statue of the Virgin.
13 (30) Sacre-Coeur Catholic Basilic or Sacred Heart
Sacre-Coeur Basilic or 'Sacred Heart' provides magnificent views of Paris
Perched on top of butte Montmartre, the biggest hill in Paris, Sacre-Coeur Basilic or 'Sacred Heart' provides magnificent views of Paris. But there is more to the Basilic than great views. The Basilic is very much part of Paris's fascinating and turbulent past. Joseph-Hippolyte Guibert, the Archbishop of Paris had a vision "It is here, it is here where the martyrs are, it is here that the Sacred Heart must reign so that it can beckon all to come". The martyrs very much included his predecessor who was killed by Communards. The Church is a functional building so Shhhhhh! No entrance fee but please make a donation.
14 (22) Châteaux de Versailles
Be overwhelmed by the overwhelming beauty of the Chateau Versailles
The Châteaux de Versailles, also known as the Palace of Versailles, is one of the largest and most opulent castles in the world. Its beautiful architecture, stunning gardens and long history makes it one of the most visited attractions in France.
Court of Versailles
The Court of Versailles was long the unofficial centre of power in France. Also know as the “cradle of liberty” (Berceau-de-la-Liberté) it was here that the people of Paris made their stand against King Louis XV1, forcing the Royal Family to leave behind their life of decadence and move back to the true capital city of Paris.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is surrounded by a number of spectacular groves and gardens which are scattered, in amazing numbers, with beautiful sculptures and fountains. You can visit the palace free of charge with a Paris Pass
15 (33) Luxembourg Palace and its Gardens
Luxembourg Palace and its sumptuous gardens
The Luxembourg Palace is a beautiful seventeenth century palace originally built for King Louis. The Palace was turned into a prison during the Revolution and is now home to the Senate. Rubens paintings adorn the walls and the library contains masterpieces by Eugene Delacroix. You'll find it close to the Louvre near the Quartier Latin.
A visit to Paris isn't complete without a visit to the Luxembourg Gardens unless you suffer from hay fever, hate flowers, children and don't have a romantic cell in your body.
At the Luxembourg Gardens you can take a leisurely stroll an through orchard of apple and pear trees, relax, read, think, be people watched, smell the roses or tulips or whatever or do nothing. The Luxembourg Gardens are formal gardens consisting of gravel and lawn populated by statues of saints and French royalty. The Gardens are well known for their stella chill out quality.
The Family Friendly Luxemburg Gardens
For the little ones with no intention of chilling out there is much to amuse. The Gardens feature a large octagonal pond in which children famously play, and play famously with, their model boats. The large fenced-in playground is a must with its vintage carousel and there is a puppet theatre (théâtre des marionnettes) and even the possibility of a pony ride in summer.