Discover 25 Most Important Landmarks of Paris

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For many visitors, Paris is known as the City of Light or the City of Love. Additionally, another nickname for Paris could well be the City of Art. Indeed, the French capital is home to a great number of landmarks. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to Notre-Dame cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe. To help you discover what Paris has in store, here is our list of the 25 most important landmarks of Paris.

 
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What the landmarks of Paris owed to the 19th century

Haussmann’s great works of the mid-19th century greatly modified the city’s landscape. They allowed a large number of landmarks to be highlighted.

How to highlight the landmarks of Paris

To highlight the Parisian landmarks was one of Napoleon III’s favourite themes, as Haussmann recalled:

“To give [Parisians] a satisfaction to their artistic instincts, by beautiful perspectives; by the freeing of old monuments and the isolation of new ones.”

The creation of new axes in the Parisian urban network aimed to connect dispersed or isolated neighbourhoods. In doing so, these new avenues or boulevards pierced the city from one particular point to another:

  • a monument (Notre Dame),
  • a facility (a train station or barracks such as Gare de l’Est),
  • an urban gateway (Porte d’Orléans, Porte de Clichy),
  • a square (Place de la République) or an important crossroads, or
  • a bridge (Pont au change).

At that time, the rules of urban planning obeyed those inherited from the classical age. The aim was to create straight roads and to clear existing monuments or to build new ones.

The need for a focal point

The long straight lines of the streets magnify the perspectives. However, with no monument, they end up diluting without any focal point.

Thus, the Avenue de l’Opéra was created to highlight the most important building built under the Second Empire in Paris.

Avenue de l'Opéra from the Loggia, Palais Garnier © French Moments

Avenue de l’Opéra from the Loggia, Palais Garnier © French Moments

Other street openings created long perspectives ending in stations: Boulevard de Strasbourg (Gare de l’Est) and Rue de Rennes (Gare Montparnasse and today, Montparnasse Tower). As for the Avenue des Gobelins, it looks at the Pantheon from the Place d’Italie.

Rue de Rennes © French Moments

Rue de Rennes © French Moments

What is a landmark?

According to Collins dictionary, a landmark is a building or feature which is easily noticed and can be used to judge your position or the position of other buildings or features.

Considering this definition, a landmark can be a distinctive sign as :

  • a monument (the Arc de Triomphe),
  • a church (Notre-Dame de Paris),
  • a public building (City-Hall of Paris)
  • a square (Place de la République),
  • a bridge (Pont Neuf),
  • an urban park (Jardin du Luxembourg),
  • or even a métro station (Saint-Michel) or a railway station (Gare Saint-Lazare).

And so, you can imagine that there are dozens, if not hundreds of landmarks in Paris!

In this article, I will give you the names of the most famous landmarks of the French capital, as well as a list by arrondissement.


What are the 25 most famous landmarks of Paris?

Here’s a list of the 25 most famous landmarks of Paris, starting with a very obvious one! 😉

Let me know in the comments if I’ve missed one, as determining what qualifies as a landmark can get rather personal!

The Eiffel Tower

7th arrondissement

Eiffel Tower © French Moments

Eiffel Tower © French Moments

If you ask anyone in the world the name of the most famous landmark in Paris, chances are they will answer: the Eiffel Tower!

Indeed, the Iron Lady symbolises for many Paris and France.

At 325 meters high, it is still the highest monument in Paris and, obviously, it can be seen from many places in the city. It is, therefore, an ideal landmark and serves as a beacon for many Parisians and tourists.

At night, the top of the tower houses a beam of light like a lighthouse, illuminating the Parisian sky.

But the main drawback of this landmark par excellence is its location. In fact, the Eiffel Tower is not located in the very heart of Paris, as it is slightly off-centre to the south-west.

The landmark located in the heart of Paris is both a monument and a church: Notre-Dame de Paris.

Notre-Dame de Paris

4th arrondissement

Notre-Dame Cathedral © French Moments

Notre-Dame Cathedral before the April 2019 Great Fire © French Moments

In the past, Notre-Dame de Paris and its 100-metre high spire were one of the most famous landmarks of Paris… and the easiest to observe especially from the banks of the Seine.

However, since the terrible fire of April 15, 2019, Notre-Dame lost its spire but fortunately kept its two front towers.

The good news is that in the next few years, the Paris cathedral will regain its spire and its roof following major restoration work.

The Paris cathedral of Notre-Dame is a jewel of Gothic architecture and arguably one of the finest churches in Europe. Built from the Middle Ages, the cathedral is the centre stage of “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame”, a 19th-century novel written by French writer Victor Hugo.

When the restoration work is completed, it will once again be possible to climb the 380 steps of the south tower to admire the mysterious gargoyles and chimeras of the cathedral, not to mention the sublime view of all of Paris.

⚠️ Due to the fire on April 15, 2019, it is impossible to visit the interior and towers of Notre Dame during the restoration work.

Arc de Triomphe

8th, 16th and 17th arrondissements

Famous monuments of Paris: Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

Most famous monuments of Paris #2: the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

The Arc de Triomphe is a monumental triumphal arch that sits at the top of the prestigious Avenue des Champs-Élysées

It was raised at the centre of Place de l’Étoile (or Place du Général Charles de Gaulle) from where 12 avenues radiate. In fact, the Arc de Triomphe was built in honour of the French Imperial army of Napoleon

You can admire it from afar at the Place de la Concorde or from the Esplanade de la Défense. Yes, you can’t miss it along the Historical Axis!

The Louvre

1st arrondissement

Famous monuments of Paris: Louvre © French Moments

Most famous monuments of Paris #3: the Louvre © French Moments

It is said that the Louvre is the world’s largest museum. Whether it is true or not, it does rank as one of the most majestic palaces of Europe.

Originally this was the former residence of the Kings of France. Today the Louvre museum displays over 38,000 pieces of art. Don’t miss visiting the remains of the medieval foundations on the lower ground floor.

Some of the most famous are Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo, and Delacroix’ painting Liberty leading the people…

Finally, the Louvre and its glass pyramid open onto the garden of the Tuileries at the starting point of the Historical Axis.

Pompidou Centre

4th arrondissement

Pompidou Centre Paris

Centre Pompidou, Paris © French Moments

The Pompidou Centre in the district of Beaubourg is one of France’s most visited museums.

Not far from the busy shopping precinct of Les Halles, the Pompidou centre was designed in the style of high-tech architecture. With its colour-coded pipes and ducts, the design of the modern art museum has been the source of much controversy since its construction. 

However, inaugurated in 1977, some see it as an eyesore, others praise its architectural audacity. Honestly, I don’t really know what to think of it, that’s why I much prefer to climb on the top floor to enjoy the panoramic views over the roofs of Paris where it also has a famous restaurant. 

⚠️ The museum will undergo a major revamp in the years to come and will be closed during the renovation works.

Panthéon

5th arrondissement

Famous monuments of Paris: Panthéon, Paris © French Moments

Panthéon, Paris © French Moments

Situated in the Latin Quarter, the Panthéon stands at the top of the Sainte-Geneviève hill. A massive collonaded dome tops the neo-classical white monument. 

Originally a church, the Panthéon has since become a necropolis for France’s greatest citizens and a popular national monument. 

Hôtel des Invalides

7th arrondissement

Dôme des Invalides © French Moments

The gilded Dôme des Invalides © French Moments

The grand complex of Les Invalides on the Left Bank is easily recognisable by its magnificent golden dome reaching 107 metres high. It was originally built by Louis XIV to house the homeless and wounded veterans of the King’s army. 

Today the Hôtel des Invalides is famous for housing the tomb of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

Finally, the Hôtel des Invalides also hosts three museums: the Army museum, the Order of the Liberation museum, and the Relief map museum.

Sacré-Cœur of Montmartre

18th arrondissement

Famous monuments of Paris: Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre © French Moments

Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre © French Moments

Visible from many parts of Paris, the basilica of Sacré-Cœur stands like a whipped-cream church atop the hill of Montmartre. With its Romanesque-Byzantine style, the church shares more resemblance with the Taj Mahal in India than the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame!

The Sacré-Cœur was built between 1875 and 1914 by architect Paul Abadie and houses France’s biggest bell, La Savoyarde with a weight of 18 tonnes. 

Finally, I recommend visiting the church and the neighbouring streets of Montmartre early in the morning to avoid the masses of tourists. Make sure you head to Place du Tertre as well where you can have your portrait painted and soak up the atmosphere.

Montparnasse Tower

15th arrondissement

Montparnasse Cemetery

Montparnasse Tower seen from the eponymous Cemetery © French Moments

The Tour Montparnasse (Montparnasse Tower) is a high-rise building overlooking the district of Montparnasse in the 15th arrondissement and borders the 6th and 14th arrondissements. Its panoramic terrace offers one of the most beautiful views over Paris.

The tower was inaugurated in 1973 and was France’s tallest skyscraper until 2011 when the Tour First in La Défense was completed.

Today, the Tour Montparnasse has become a true Parisian landmark with over 5,000 people working in the offices located in the tower.

The presence of the tower in central Paris has been very controversial since its construction and has been criticised for being at odds with Paris’ skyline. Following its inauguration, the municipality ruled it impossible for buildings over seven floors high to be built in the centre of Paris (“intra-muros”).

At the foot of the tower, there is a vast shopping mall and a busy metro station connected to the Gare Montparnasse where trains head off to the French Atlantic Coast and Spain.

Paris City-Hall

4th arrondissement

Hôtel de Ville © French Moments - Paris 7

Paris City-Hall © French Moments

The City Hall of Paris (Hôtel de Ville de Paris) is one of the most popular monuments in the French capital. Situated near the banks of River Seine in the 4th arrondissement, the historic building has been the seat of the city’s council since 1977.

The first building on the site was designed in the Renaissance style from 1553 to 1628.

During the troublesome events of the Paris Commune in 1871, a fire destroyed the building except for parts of the façades.

The City Hall was entirely rebuilt between 1874 and 1882 by architects Ballu and Desperthes in florid neo-Renaissance style. Modelled on the previous building, it also resembles the chateaux of the Loire with its steep roofs and elaborate stonework, statues and turrets.

Opéra Garnier

9th arrondissement

Palais Garnier viewed from Avenue de l'Opera copyright French Moments

The Opéra Garnier at the end of the Avenue de l’Opéra © French Moments

Charles Garnier built the opulent Paris Opera house from 1861 to 1875 during the reign of Napoleon III. It is part of the great reconstruction of Paris by Baron Haussmann during the Second Empire. 

The building is located at the end of the prestigious Avenue de l’Opéra which comes from the Louvre.

The auditorium seats nearly 2,000 people and features a grand chandelier and a fine ceiling painting by Marc Chagall. Therefore, you have to visit the interior of the opera house, including the astonishing great staircase. 

At certain times of the day, you can pay to look around or have a guided tour. It’s just mind-blowing! You can sometimes get last-minute tickets for operas and ballets but it is best to book in advance which you can do online.

Les Halles

1st arrondissement

Forum des Halles - the canopy © French Moments

The Canopy of Les Halles © French Moments

Les Halles de Paris was the name given to the Halles Centrales, a wholesale market for fresh food products, located in the heart of Paris, and which gave its name to the surrounding district.

On the site of this vast market, which was held until the early 1970s, there is now:

  • a green space (the Nelson-Mandela garden),
  • an underground shopping centre (Westfield Forum des Halles)
  • spaces devoted to leisure (swimming pool, cinema) and
  • spaces dedicated to cultural activities (conservatory, library, cultural centre).

The Châtelet – Les Halles RER station, located under the complex, is the largest underground station in the world and allows access from all over the Paris region.

The nearby Saint-Eustache church can also be considered a landmark of Paris.

Saint-Eustache from Tour Saint-Jacques © French Moments

Saint-Eustache church © French Moments

Place des Vosges

3rd and 4th arrondissements

Squares of Paris Quiz © French Moments

Place des Vosges © French Moments

The picturesque Place des Vosges is located in the Marais district in Paris, at the junction of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. This excellent example of Louis XIII-style architecture is the oldest planned square in Paris and its charm comes from the regularity of the façades.

At the centre of the square, encircling the statue of Louis XIII, is a grove of mature lime and chestnut trees, from which converge gravel paths, separated by four sets of flowerbeds with beautiful trickling fountains.

Place de la Concorde

8th arrondissement

Landmarks of Paris - Place de la Concorde © French Moments

Place de la Concorde © French Moments

The majestic Place de la Concorde played an important part in French history. On many occasions, the square has been the place chosen for happy or sad national gatherings.

One of the many prestigious stages of the Historical Axis, the square features a vast and elegant neo-classical ensemble from the 18th century. It connects the Tuileries Garden to the Champs-Elysées and the Madeleine to Palais Bourbon.

The square takes the form of an octagon measuring 359 by 212 metres. It is bordered by the River Seine to the South and classical-style buildings to the North. The Egyptian obelisk stands at the centre of the square, flanked by two massive fountains.

Some 3,500 years old, the obelisk is the oldest monument standing in Paris. It is 23 metres tall and weighs 220 tons.

Place de la Bastille

4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements

Landmarks of Paris - Place de la Bastille © French Moments

Place de la Bastille and its two landmarks of Paris: the July Column and the Opera © French Moments

Shared with the 4th, 11th and 12th arrondissements, the Place de la Bastille is one of Paris’ most famous squares owing its name to the historic fortress that once stood there.

The vast square (215m by 150m) was the scene of many revolutions which had significant consequences to the history of France: 1789, 1830 and 1848.

The square has changed appearance since with the demolition of the Bastille prison (1789-1790) with the construction of the July Column (1840), the great urban renovation of Baron Haussmann (mid 19th century), the demolition of the railway station (1984) and the inauguration of the modern Opéra-Bastille (1989).

The Place de la Bastille is still today the French capital’s most important rallying point for demonstrations, marches and public celebrations.

Place de la République

3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements

Landmarks of Paris - Place de la République © French Moments

Place de la République, Paris © French Moments

The Place de la République is a vast square located at the border of the 3rd, 10th and 11th arrondissements of Paris. The square is served by seven main streets. Five lines of the Paris metro cross there, making the République station an important interchange.

The monument in the centre of the square consists of a colossal statue of Marianne in bronze, 9.50 meters high, on a stone base 15 meters high, where allegories of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are seated.

Place de la Nation

11th and 12th arrondissements

Landmarks of Paris - Place de la Nation © French Moments

Place de la Nation, Paris © French Moments

The Place de la Nation, formerly known as the “Place du Trône” and later the “Place du Trône-Renversé”, is an important Parisian square located on the border of the 11th and 12th arrondissements.

This square was so named on the occasion of the national holiday of July 14, 1880, which brings the motto Liberty, Equality, Fraternity on the pediments of all French public institutions.

The Place de la Nation hosts in its centre the garden of Marianne and the sculptural group The Triumph of the Republic of the sculptor Jules Dalou.

Place d’Italie

13th arrondissement

Landmarks of Paris - Place d'Italie © French Moments

Place d’Italie, Paris © French Moments

The Place d’Italie owes its name to its proximity to the Avenue d’Italie: it is the starting point of the road that connects Paris to Italy, today the N7.

In fact, the square is located at the fork in the road between the ancient Roman road linking Lutetia to Lugdunum (Lyon) and the road to Fontainebleau (Avenue d’Italie) built under François I.

The Place d’Italie is the obligatory crossing point for automobile traffic and most of the metro and bus lines. It is a place of transit between the suburbs and the centre of Paris or between the Montparnasse district and the right bank. One of the largest shopping malls in Paris borders the square.

Porte Maillot

16th and 17th arrondissements

Tour Montparnasse - From Porte Maillot to the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

From Porte Maillot to the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

The Porte Maillot, located in the middle of the historical axis of Paris, is one of the accesses of Paris by the west and constitutes an interchange between the ring road, the Étoile and La Défense.

This vast square, with its six to eight traffic lanes, includes the Alexandre-Soljenitsyne garden. It is bordered to the south by the Square Alexandre-et-René-Parodi, and to the north by the Palais des Congrès, in the 17th arrondissement.

The tower that dominates the Palais des Congrès is that of the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile hotel (1974), 137 m high.

Palais and Jardin du Luxembourg

6th arrondissement

Landmarks of Paris - The Luxembourg Palace © French Moments

The Luxembourg Palace, Paris © French Moments

The Luxembourg Palace, surrounded by its beautiful gardens, was built in 1617. It owes its name to the Duke of Piney-Luxembourg, landlord of a domain which was later acquired by Maria de Medici, widow of the King of France, Henri IV. The Italian-born Queen wished to create a residence to remind her of the Pitti Palace as well as establishing gardens evoking those of Boboli in Florence. 

Furthermore, architect Salomon de la Brosse has entrusted the construction of the palace. It now houses the French Senate, the upper house of Parliament. The palace opens onto a beautiful park, actually one of my favourites in Paris. I love coming here in Spring and Autumn. If you have kids it also has a brilliant play area.

Pont-Neuf

1st and 6th arrondissements

Facts about Paris: Pont-Neuf © French Moments

Facts about Paris: Pont-Neuf © French Moments

Despite its name, the Pont-Neuf (literally New Bridge) is Paris’ oldest standing bridge. Spanning the Seine between the Right and Left Banks, it crosses the western tip of the Île de la Cité.

Pont-Neuf is a stone bridge built in different stages between 1578 and 1607. The construction of a new bridge was decided in 1577 by king Henri III who laid the first stone on the 31st May 1578.

At completion, the Pont-Neuf was the only bridge to span the whole width of River Seine. It was the only bridge and the first causeway to feature pavements, thus protecting pedestrians from horses and mud.

The bridge has two separate spans: the span leaving the Right Bank has seven arches and that from the Left Bank has five arches.

Pont Alexandre III

7th and 8th arrondissements

Landmarks of Paris - Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

The deck and lamp posts of Pont Alexandre III © French Moments

Spanning the River Seine, Pont Alexandre III dates back to 1900 and is reminiscent of the Belle Epoque era.

Nowadays the city’s most ornate bridge connects the Grand and Petit Palais to the Hôtel des Invalides.

Russian emperor Nicholas II himself laid the first stone on the 7th October 1896 in the presence of French President Félix Faure. The new bridge symbolises the Franco-Russian friendship and the alliance signed between the two nations (Tsar Alexandre III and French President Sadi Carnot) in 1891.

Technically, the bridge was an engineering success. It includes a 6m high single-span steel arch across the Seine.

Bibliothèque François Mitterrand

13th arrondissement

The National Library of France (François Mitterrand) in the 13th arrt © French Moments

The National Library of France (François Mitterrand) in the 13th arrondissement © French Moments

The National Library of France is the national library of the French Republic. It is as well as the heir to the royal collections built up since the Middle Ages. The institution has one of the richest collections in the world.

Its activities are spread over seven sites. The main one is the library on the François-Mitterrand or Tolbiac site on the left bank of the Seine.

In Tolbiac, the François-Mitterrand library occupies a site of 7.5 hectares for an esplanade of 60,000 m2. The building is characterized by four large angular towers of 79 m and twenty-two floors each symbolically representing four open books. Each tower has a name: tower of the Times, of the Laws, of Numbers, and of Letters.

In the centre of the building is a garden of 9,000 m2 (50 × 180 m) which evokes a medieval cloister.

La Défense

Outside of Paris

Landmarks of Paris - CBD of La Défense from Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

The business district from the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

Geographically speaking, the district of La Défense is located outside the limits of the City of Paris. But for many, it is indeed part of the French capital, because of its economic and tourist influence.

Indeed, La Défense is Europe’s largest purpose-built business district. The district is a showcase of France’s great leap into the 21st century. For many visitors to France who come to Paris with a preset image in their mind, the Business District is rather unexpected. In fact, its true value lies in its position at the far end of the Historical Axis.

The gigantic and stunning Grande Arche is 110 metres tall by 112 metres deep. Interestingly, it could hold Notre-Dame cathedral within its arch. The magisterial modern triumphal arch is undeniably a successful project blending perfectly with the surroundings thanks to its contemporary outline of white marble. Alongside the Eiffel Tower, it is probably one of the most imposing landmarks of Paris.

The River Seine

1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 15th and 16th arrondissements

The River Seine - Landmarks of Paris © French Moments

The River Seine is lined by many landmarks of Paris © French Moments

The Seine has always played a historic part in the making of Paris.

The waters of the River Seine have always been the heart and soul of Paris. This was already the case when the Parisii tribe first established a fishing village along its banks more than 2,000 years ago.

The river is maybe the greatest of all the landmarks of Paris. It will guide you towards the many districts of central Paris: the Ile de la Cité, the Eiffel Tower or the Bercy neighbourhood…


Want to explore more of Paris?

Check out my two photographic eBooks:

123 UNEXPECTED CURIOSITIES IN PARIS

Ebook Cover 123 Unexpected Curiosities in Paris © French Moments

ROMANTIC PARIS

Romantic Paris © French Moments


The landmarks of Paris by arrondissements

As I mentioned above, the French capital contains dozens, if not hundreds, of landmarks. To avoid making a long list of all the landmarks of Paris, I have selected the most important ones by arrondissement.

However, it is useful to mention that this list of sites only gives a small overview of Parisian landmarks. Indeed, depending on the place of residence of a Parisian (or a visitor), some sites will not constitute a landmark for him or her.

For example, if you live in the 8th arrondissement, the Arc de Triomphe or the Parc Monceau will be the landmarks you are used to. On the other hand, the Place d’Italie in the 13th arrondissement will have no effect on you, especially if you never set foot there! The landmarks of Paris are therefore appreciated on a personal basis and in a neighbourhood context.

Landmarks of the 1st arrondissement

  • The Louvre – the former palace of the kings of France. The iconic glass pyramid serves as the main entrance to the famous museum.
  • Palais-Royal – a former royal palace opposite the Louvre.
  • Place Vendôme – a classical square with the Vendôme column at its centre.
  • Les Halles – the site of the former central marketplace of Paris. It now houses the Westfield Forum des Halles, a modern shopping mall. The nearby Saint-Eustache church is a landmark often linked to Les Halles.
  • Place du Châtelet – a busy public square and métro station that connects to the Ile de la Cité via the Pont au Change.
The Louvre © French Moments

Two landmarks of Paris: the Louvre and Palais-Royal © French Moments

Find out more about the 1st arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 2nd arrondissement

  • Palais Brongniart – the former stock exchange of Paris.
  • Place des Victoires – a circular square at the confluence of six streets.
Palais Brongniart, Second Arrondissement of Paris © French Moments

Palais Brongniart, the former Paris Stock Exchange © French Moments

Find out more about the 2nd arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 3rd arrondissement

  • Saint-Nicolas-des-Champs – a Flamboyant Gothic-style church that dates from the 12th, 15th and 17th centuries.
  • Conservatoire national des arts et métiers – The former buildings of the Saint-Martin-des-Champs Priory now house the industrial design museum of Arts et Métiers.
  • Square du Temple – the public garden is bordered by the town hall of the 3rd arrondissement not far from the Carreau du Temple.
  • Place de la République – one of Paris’ biggest and busiest squares at the border with the 10th and 11th arrondissement.
Carreau du Temple © French Moments

Carreau du Temple © French Moments

Find out more about the 3rd arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 4th arrondissement

  • Notre Dame Cathedral – the most famous church of Paris also marks the point from which distances by road to other cities in France are measured.
  • Pompidou Centre – a complex building in the Beaubourg area which houses a vast public library, the largest museum for modern art in Europe, and a centre for music and acoustic research.
  • Tour Saint-Jacques – the bell tower of the former church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie stands as a Gothic beacon in the centre of Paris.
  • Paris City Hall – the Renaissance-style building has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357.
  • Place des Vosges – one of Paris’ first created public squares (completion: 1605).
  • Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis – King Louis XIII ordered the construction of this stunning classical church (1627 to 1641) on rue Saint-Antoine. 
Fourth Arrondissement of Paris from above © French Moments

The fourth arrondissement of Paris from above © French Moments

Find out more about the 4th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 5th arrondissement

  • Panthéon – the monument is the tallest of the 5th arrondissement and is visible from far away as it was built at the summit of the Sainte-Geneviève Hill.
  • Place Monge – a public square not far from the iconic Rue Mouffetard.
  • Place Jussieu – the square borders the university of Paris VI and VII where the Jussieu tower stands.
  • Jardin des Plantes and the Grande Gallerie de l’Evolution
  • Val de Grâce – a former military hospital with a remarkable neo-classical church.
Tour Montparnasse - Val de Grâce © French Moments

Val de Grâce © French Moments

Find out more about the 5th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 6th arrondissement

  • Square and Church of Saint-Germain-des-Prés – one of Paris’ oldest churches.
  • Square and Church of Saint-Sulpice – one of Paris’ largest churches.
  • Palais du Luxembourg – the Seat of the Senate and its beautiful public garden: Jardin du Luxembourg.
  • Institut de France – the building from the 17th century houses a French learned society. It gathers five académies, including the prestigious Académie Française.
  • Place Saint-Michel – a busy public square in the Latin Quarter, shared by the fifth and sixth arrondissements.
  • Pont Neuf – Paris’ oldest standing bridge which connects the Left to the Right Banks via the western tip of the Ile de la Cité.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés © French Moments

The neighbourhood of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (6th arrt. of Paris) © French Moments

Find out more about the 6th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 7th arrondissement

  • The Eiffel Tower – Paris’ tallest monument.
  • Musée d’Orsay – a former railway station converted into a vast museum.
  • Bon Marché – Paris’ oldest department store.
  • Sainte-Clotilde Basilica – a neo-Gothic church easily recognisable with its twin spires.
  • Hôtel des Invalides – it was Louis XIV (the Sun King) who commissioned this complex of buildings as a retirement home for war veterans. Today, it contains museums relating to the military history of France, as well as the resting place of Napoleon in the Dome church.
  • Palais Bourbon – an 18th-century building that is the seat of the French National Assembly.
  • Ecole Militaire – at the southeast end of the Champ de Mars, the Ecole Militaire founded by Louis XV in 1750 houses various military training facilities.
Ecole Militaire and Champ de Mars © French Moments

Two of the landmarks of Paris: the Ecole Militaire and Champ de Mars © French Moments

Find out more about the 7th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 8th arrondissement

  • Arc de Triomphe – the famous triumphal arch of Paris sits atop a hill and is the centre stage from which 12 avenues radiate. One of the most famous landmarks of Paris!
  • Avenue des Champs-Elysées – the celebrated wide street links the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, along the Historical Axis of Paris.
  • Place de la Concorde – this is the largest square in the French capital. Its centre features the Obélisque, a giant and authentic Egyptian obelisk exalting the reign of the pharaoh Ramesses II.
  • Grand and Petit Palais – these are two large historic sites, exhibition halls and museums at the Champs-Élysées.
  • Pont Alexandre III – arguably Paris’ most beautiful bridge which connects the district of the Champs-Elysées to the Invalides.
  • Sainte-Marie-Madeleine – the classical style of the Madeleine church echoes that of the Palais Bourbon across the Seine.
  • Gare Saint-Lazare – one of Paris’ busiest railway stations.
  • Saint-Augustin – The church dates back to Haussmann’s urban works of Paris and provides a prominent vista at the end of the Boulevard Malesherbes. Its dome rises to a height of 61 m.
  • Parc Monceau – The English-style park covers an area of 8.2 hectares (20.3 acres).
Paris Ferris Wheel Place de la Concorde

Christmas on the Champs-Élysées © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 9th arrondissement

  • Opéra Garnier – the Paris Opera House designed by Charles Garnier provides a prominent vista at the end of the Avenue de l’Opéra.
  • Grands-Magasins – two emblematic department stores border the north side of the Boulevard Haussmann: Printemps and Galerie Lafayette.
  • Sainte-Trinité – a neo-Renaissance church from the Second Empire period, inaugurated in 1867.
Landmarks of Paris - The Art Nouveau dome of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann © French Moments

The Art Nouveau dome of Galeries Lafayette Haussmann © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 10th arrondissement

  • Porte Saint Denis and Porte Saint-Martin – two triumphal arches from the period of Louis XIV.
  • Canal Saint-Martin – a picturesque waterway with iron footbridges.
  • Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est – these major Parisian railway stations are located in close proximity to each other.
Landmarks of Paris - Gare de l'Est © French Moments

Place du 11 Novembre 1918 and Gare de l’Est © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 11th arrondissement

  • Cirque d’Hiver – opened in 1852 the building is a prominent venue for circuses, musical concerts, and other events such as fashion shows.
  • Place Léon Blum – the public square is crossed by the Boulevard Voltaire. This is where the town hall of the 11th arrondissement stands.
  • Saint-Joseph-des-nations – a church from the 19th century.
  • Saint-Ambroise – a church inaugurated in 1868 which features two twin bell towers.
11th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments

General view of the 11th arrondissement and the landmarks of Paris © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 12th arrondissement

  • Gare de Lyon – the railway station is famous for its clock tower.
  • Place de la Bastille – this is where the infamous fortress of the Bastille once stood. Today the Opéra Bastille borders its east side.
  • Accor Arena (or palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy) – an indoor sports arena and concert hall (1984).
  • Place de la Nation – one of Paris’ largest public squares on the borderline with the 11th arrondissement.
  • Place Félix Eboué – the public square forms a crossroads with Avenue Daumesnil and Boulevard de Reuilly. In its centre is a monumental fountain, the Fontaine des Lions.
  • Le Grand Rocher – in the Bois de Vincennes, the ‘grand rocher’ (great rock) is an artificial mountain situated in the Paris zoo.
Landmarks of Paris - the Grand Rocher of the Zoo © French Moments

The great rock (le grand rocher) © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 13th arrondissement

  • Gare d’Austerlitz – the railway station that connects the French capital to the central regions of France (Orléans, Clermont-Ferrand and Toulouse).
  • Place d’Italie – a circular public square on the road that links Paris and Italy. The district to the south of the square consists of high-rise blocks: Italie 13.
  • Bibliothèque Nationale de France – the national library of France and its open book-shapes towers.
  • Tours Duo – the skyscrapers (completion end of 2021, 180 m and 122 m tall) are among the most recent landmarks of Paris.
The high-rise blocks of the 13th arrondissement (quartier d'Italie) © French Moments

The high-rise blocks of the quartier d’Italie © French Moments

Find out more about the 13th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 14th arrondissement

  • Place Denfert-Rochereau – a public square that features the statue of the Lion of Belfort by Bartholdi.
  • Paris Observatory – founded in 1667, one of the largest astronomical centres in the world.
  • Saint-Pierre de Montrouge – the church (mid-19th century) occupies a triangular site bounded by the Avenue du Maine and the avenue du général-Leclerc.
  • Parc de Montsouris – the public garden is in close proximity to the Cité Internationale Universitaire.
Lion of Belfort in Place Denfert-Rochereau in Paris © French Moments

Lion of Belfort in Place Denfert-Rochereau © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 15th arrondissement

  • Montparnasse Tower – the skyscraper is the second tallest of the landmarks of Paris (210 m) and overlooks the district of Montparnasse.
  • Square Saint-Lambert – a public garden not far from the shopping street of rue Lecourbe.
  • Front de Seine – a high-rise complex that includes about 20 towers reaching nearly 100 m of height.
  • Parc André Citroën – a public park opened in 1992 on the former site of the Citroën automobile manufacturing plant. It features the tourist attraction of Ballon Generali which climbs at 150 m (490 ft) above Paris.
  • Parc Georges Brassens – a public park opened in 1984 on the former site of a fish market, a horse market and a slaughterhouse.
  • Palais des Sports (Porte de Versailles) – an indoor arena (1959) situated on the busy square of the Place de la Porte de Versailles.
Tour Montparnasse Terrace © Benedicte Jezequel67 - licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

The top terrace of Tour Montparnasse © Benedicte Jezequel67 – licence [CC BY-SA 4.0] from Wikimedia Commons

Find out more about the 15th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…

Landmarks of the 16th arrondissement

  • Palais de Chaillot and Place du Trocadéro – the two separate wings of the building that form a wide arc face the Eiffel Tower.
  • Place d’Iéna – at the intersection of avenues d’Iéna and President Wilson.
  • Maison de la Radio – the headquarters of Radio France (1963) take the shape of huge ring 500 meters in circumference with a central utility tower.
  • Place de l’église d’Auteuil – the church of Auteuil was built in the Romanesque-Byzantine style (2nd half of the 19th century).
  • Parc des Princes –  an all-seater football stadium from 1972.
Landmarks of Paris - Eiffel Tower © French Moments

Palais de Chaillot © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 17th arrondissement

  • Porte Maillot and Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile – a major road interchange dominated by the high-rise building of the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile. This rooftop of the hotel rises to 137 m).
  • Place des Ternes – a public square in the heart of the Ternes district.
  • Place du Maréchal Juin – the square is located at the intersection of Avenue de Villiers, Avenue Niel, Avenue Gourgaud, Rue de Courcelles and Boulevard Pereire.
  • Tribunal Judiciaire de Paris – the Judicial Court of Paris is the largest court in France by the caseload. Opened in 2020, the skyscraper (160 m tall) is among the most recent landmarks of Paris.
  • Place du Général Catroux – this rectangular square is crossed by the Boulevard Malesherbes and the Avenue de Villiers. The square is home to several statues including the Monument to Alexandre Dumas fils by the sculptor René de Saint-Marceaux (1906). 
Tour Montparnasse - From Porte Maillot to the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

From Porte Maillot to the Arc de Triomphe © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 18th arrondissement

  • Sacré-Cœur Basilica – the Romanesque-Byzantine church (end of 19th century) is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Paris, dominating the rooftops of the Hill of Montmartre.
  • Place des Abbesses – a busy public square in the heart of the shopping precinct of Montmartre (rue des Abbesses, rue Lepic…). Its métro entrance is one of the last Art Nouveau edifice of the kind.
  • Moulin Rouge – arguably Paris’ most famous cabaret. You can recognise it by its red mill.
Landmarks of Paris - Montmartre © French Moments

The hill of Montmartre © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 19th arrondissement

  • Rotonde de la Villette – one of the octroi gates of the Fermiers généraux wall built just before the Revolution.
  • Parc des Buttes Chaumont – one of the largest green spaces in Paris inaugurated in1867.
  • Place des Fêtes – a pedestrian square lined with high-rise residential buildings. 
  • Parc de la Villette – established on the site of the slaughterhouses of La Villette, it was inaugurated in 1987. The park covers 55 hectares, making it the largest green space in Paris.
  • Les Orgues de Flandres – a group of residential buildings in the Villette district visible from many vantage points in Paris.
Parc de la Villette © French Moments

The Geode at the Parc de la Villette, one of the landmarks of Paris from the 20th century © French Moments

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Landmarks of the 20th arrondissement

  • Notre-Dame de la Croix de Ménilmontant – it is one of the largest churches in Paris (the fourth largest).
  • Cimetière du Père Lachaise – the world’s most famous cemetery! This is the resting place of many French and foreign personnalities.
  • Place Gambetta – the public square planted with trees forms a crossroads with Avenue Gambetta, Rue des Pyrénées, Rue Belgrand and Avenue du Père-Lachaise.
Père Lachaise cemetery, Paris © French Moments

One of the “green” landmarks of Paris: the Père Lachaise cemetery © French Moments

Find out more about the 20th arrondissement of Paris on the blog…


Where to stay when visiting Paris?

On your way to explore the landmarks of Paris? There’s a huge choice of accommodations in Paris! From basic hotels to luxury palaces and comfy holiday rental apartments. Check it out by clicking on this affiliate link or navigate through the following map to give you an idea:



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Famous Landmarks of Paris: Vocabulary

Famous monuments of Paris: Notre-Dame cathedral © French Moments

Notre-Dame, one of the most famous landmarks of Paris © French Moments

(f) for féminin, (m) for masculin, (adj) for adjective and (v) for verbs


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About Author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of the Discovery Course on the Secrets of the Eiffel Tower and the Christmas book "Voyage au Pays de Noël".

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