If you’ve been asking yourself questions like what is Paris famous for or what are some Paris famous things? Then you’re in the right place! Read on to find out!
While the Eiffel Tower stands out the most and is the true icon of Paris and France at large, the city of love has so many things that make it the Paris we all know and love.
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From pretty streets, iconic landmarks, and impressive architecture to its grand museums, Paris is known for a lot of things!
So, whether you’re planning to visit the city for the first time, just want to learn some Paris facts, or discover why everyone has it on their travel bucket list, this post will show you all the cool things Paris is famous for.
Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Don’t forget to take Travel Insurance. Request a free quote from my favorite insurance, World Nomads. (More on this at the end of the article.)
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
17 Things Paris is Famous for
In no particular order, here is what Paris is famous for to help you increase your knowledge about the city of love!
1. Paris is famous for the Eiffel Tower
First on the list of what Paris is famous for is obviously the Eiffel Tower! The Eiffel Tower is not only the icon of the city but also one of the most visited landmarks in Paris.
It’s safe to say that everyone thinks of Paris when they see the Eiffel Tower! But long before it became the sensation it is today, it was hated by many people who thought that the tall iron structure looked ugly compared to all the other historical buildings.
Constructed in 1889 to be the main attraction during the Paris fair that year, Gustave Eiffel, the architect of the Tower promised to remove it after 20 years due to many complaints.
But before the end of the 20 years, the Eiffel Tower grew popular bringing in millions of tourists from across the world, and that’s when everything changed!
It changed from being a temporary structure to a permanent one, and today, it is recognized as the international icon of Paris and is also the most-visited paid monument in Europe.
With such history, beauty, and views it provides when climbed, the Eiffel Tower is one of the things Paris is known for.
Psst… Before visiting the Eiffel Tower, be sure to buy this ticket in advance to avoid the long queues. Alternatively, you can book this guided tour of the Eiffel Tower to learn all the details about this icon.
2. Paris is Known For its Many Museums
Paris is the capital of art and it’s evidently seen from its many museums. In fact, it’s one of the cities with the most number of museums in the world. To give you the real picture, there are over 130 museums just in Paris.
From world-famous ones like the Louvre Museum, which is the largest art museum in the world, Orsay museum which houses the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, Centre Pompidou for contemporary art, and Musée de l’Orangerie, to smaller ones like Musée de la Vie Romantique, Musée Rodin, and Petit Palais, there are so many museums in Paris that make the city an art haven.
If you plan on visiting a number of museums in Paris, then I recommend purchasing this Paris museum pass in advance to have free entry to over 60 museums. You’ll also be able to skip the lines at those attractions. You can check out my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
If the Paris museum pass is not for you, you’ll need to purchase individual skip-the-line entry tickets in advance to avoid the long queues that are always at these places.
Some of the museum tickets you should buy include;
- Louvre museum skip the line ticket
- Orsay museum reserved entry ticket
- Centre Pompidou entry ticket
- Orangerie museum skip the line ticket
- Rodin museum skip the line ticket
- And so many others. You can also click here to search for the museum you want to visit and purchase its skip-the-line entry ticket.
3. Paris is Known as the Fashion Capital
One of the other things Paris is known for is fashion! Due to its long history as an haute couture paradise and being the home to some of the biggest names in the fashion world, it was nicknamed the Fashion capital.
On top of this, the Paris Fashion Week has become a household fashion event that turns Paris into a runway showcasing the world’s best fashion designs.
4. Paris is Famous For Being the city of love
There is no city in the world that is considered romantic as Paris! Every day, hundreds of lovers plan romantic getaways to Paris to experience the beauty of this lovely city.
To give you an idea, according to one Parisian photographer, there are almost 10 proposals that happen at the Trocadero, and that’s just the ones at this spot and the only ones that are recorded meaning that they’re many more happening all around Paris that go uncounted.
With so many romantic things to do in Paris coupled with its charming vibe, artistic vibe, and an all-around sense of romance in the air, the French capital is a true testament to love and one destination many couples are always longing to visit.
Psst… Here are more reasons why Paris is called the city of love!
5. Love Locks
The idea of love locks may not have originated in Paris but the city embraced it with both hands and it’s now an act associated with Paris.
Though you’ll find a number of padlocks on almost all bridges in Paris, one that stands out is Pont des Arts or the Love lock bridge as commonly known, which is a lovely pedestrian bridge that crosses the Seine River.
For an extended period of time, many lovers would go to this bridge, lock the padlock with their names or initials on it and throw the key into the Seine River as a way of everlasting commitment to each other.
While this was going well, the time came when the locks became too heavy for the bridge to handle that the bridge got slightly damaged.
From there on, the city removed some padlocks and discouraged people from adding any more locks.
Though no more padlocks are being added, the idea of love locking is still very much associated with Paris.
Unlike the previous point, Cabarets actually originated in Paris at Chat Noir, an entertainment establishment in the neighborhood of Montmartre.
The shows featured musicians, poets, and comics but this form of entertainment became famous when Moulin Rouge (which is still the most famous Cabaret venue) started conducting cabaret shows and even introduced the first ever can-can dance in 1899.
Cabarets became the go-to place for entertainment at the time and they spread across different parts of the world.
Today, there are a number of cabarets in Paris with the most famous being Moulin Rouge followed by Crazy Horse Paris then Lido de Paris, and Paradis Latin.
If you plan to visit Paris and want to enjoy a Cabaret, I recommend going to Moulin Rouge for an exciting evening of fun, glamour, and dinner. But, you’ll need to book your ticket early beacause seats book out very fast.
If that’s you, you can either book this ticket to watch the show plus dinner or this ticket for just the show and a glass of champagne.
7. Paris is Famous for Mona Lisa
As one of the most famous and most valuable paintings in the world, Mona Lisa which can be found in the Louvre museum is one of the things associated with Paris.
The Painting was painted by Leonardo da Vinci and it dates back to 1503! Today, over 9 million people make their way to the Louvre with the goal of seeing this popular painting that has charmed the hearts of many.
To learn more about this painting, you can read all the fun facts about the Mona Lisa and learn why it became so famous and loved.
8. Disneyland Paris
Disney is no doubt the most magical place in the world and Paris is blessed to host the only Disney park in Europe.
Located just 40 mins from Paris, Disneyland Paris is not only everyone’s dream but also one of the things Paris is famous for.
You can’t think of Paris and not think of Disneyland Paris — after all, it’s the most visited theme park in Europe and is always on top of everyone’s bucket list for Paris.
Whether it is to ride some of the fun and thrilling rides, take in the beauty of the Sleeping Beauty castle, be enchanted by the various parades, see performances by different cast members or even meet your favorite characters like Mickey, a trip to Disneyland Paris is one that will stay with you forever.
If you plan to visit Disneyland Paris, make sure that you purchase your entry tickets in advance to avoid wasting time queuing just to purchase the ticket.
If you’ve already decided on the day you want to visit, you can purchase this one-day entry ticket but if you prefer being flexible and going any day that you become available, then you can purchase this Disneyland Paris flexible entry ticket that is valid for 1 year from the day you buy it.
If you’re wondering what is famous in Paris, the simple answer is Pastries! Paris is known as the capital of pastries that every corner you make, you’ll almost see a bakery with different types of parties in their display glass.
There are various types of Pastries that it can be hard to try everything, but if you have a sweet tooth, you can start with these Parisian pastries and eat your way through others like chocolate mousses, Milles Feuilles, eclairs, Religieuse Au Chocolat, and more.
Since Paris is a haven for pastries, you’ll find many students who have made their way to Paris to learn how to bake French pastries.
While in Paris, you can taste pastries on your own at a slow pace or even sign up for this pastry tasting tour where you’ll not only taste various pastries but also learn some fun facts about them from a knowledgable tour guide.
10. Versailles Palace
If you’re a self-proclaimed history buff or you just want to walk in the footsteps of royals, the Versailles Palace is one place you shouldn’t miss.
Versailles is the most famous castle near Paris that holds years long history as the official home to former French royals.
With 23,000 rooms to explore, the stunning hall of mirrors, splendid chandeliers, beautiful gardens, fountains, and sculptures, the palace of Versailles is a true testament to the beauty that lives in and around Paris.
You can easily visit Versailles on a day trip from Paris, but before you do, be sure to purchase this Versailles skip-the-line entry ticket to access both the palace and the gardens. Alternatively, you can book this Versailles guided tour to also learn the history of the palace from a knowledgeable guide.
11. Paris is Known for Its Shopping Scene
With high-end fashion brands like Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Chanel, Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, and more headquartered in Paris, there is no city that is perfect for shopping like Paris.
You can find several shopping streets in Paris like Champs-Élysées, Avenue Montaigne, and more, all filled with fashion shops calling to be explored.
On top of that, there are also various department stores with the famous ones being Galeries Lafayette, Printemps Haussmann, and BHV Marais, all housing some of the biggest brands in the fashion industry.
However, shopping in Paris doesn’t come cheap, especially if you want to lay hands on the French luxury brands.
You’ll have to dig deep in your pocket but if you don’t have the budget for it, you can still enjoy the shopping scene by going window shopping. Alternatively, you can stick to mid-range brands which are quite affordable but are still of high quality.
12. French Cuisine
This doesn’t come as a surprise as French cuisine is known worldwide as one of the best cuisines in the world. In fact, it’s always listed among the top 10 lists of the world’s best cuisines.
The French cuisine boasts some of the most delicious and unique foods that can be enjoyed while in Paris, including but not limited to the famous Jambon-Beurre, Croque Monsieur & Croque Madame, Steak-Frites, and more.
On top of these, you can also find traditional French foods like the beloved escargots, frog legs, Coq Au Vin, Onion soup, and more.
The French cuisine is so famous and unique that it was recently added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
To fully get a deeper understanding of French food in Paris, you can sign up for this Paris walking food tour.
13. Art And Painters
Paris is one of the most artistic cities in the world. The city has been home to some of the most influential painters in the world including Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and so many others.
Some of them were French-born, while others were inspired by the beauty of Paris and decided to make it their home.
Besides painters, Paris also has the biggest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings in Europe housed in the Orsay Museum, it is home to the most famous painting in the world, Mona Lisa, and it also has the biggest collection of contemporary art in Europe which can be found at Centre Pompidou.
Some of the famous paintings in Paris you can expect to see include; Mona Lisa, The Raft Of The Medusa, Liberty Leading The People, Impression, Sunrise, Water Lilies, Bal Du Moulin De La Galette, and many more.
With all that, it is evident that Paris is the mecca for art lovers and it is always referenced in everything art-related.
14. Seine River
One of the famous things in Paris is no doubt the Seine River. For anyone who knows about Paris, it’s hard not to know the Seine as it’s not only one of the most famous rivers in France but a major landmark in Paris that many people long to visit.
One of the cool things to do on the seine is to go on a river cruise and take in the beauty of the Parisian landmarks especially at night when they’re all lit up.
You can also take a leisurely stroll along the banks of the seine or even go biking to fully enjoy it.
If you choose the cruise, then this is the Seine dinner cruise I recommend to take in the views with dinner or this 1-hour Seine cruise if you prefer enjoying the views with no dinner or are traveling on a budget.
15. City of Lights
Paris may be known for being the city of love, but it’s also known as the city of lights. The city is not only true to its name due to the thousands of lights illuminated at night, but also because of its history.
During Louis XIV’s rule, he introduced street lanterns and lights as a way of reducing crime that had become rampant, especially at night, at that time.
Today, this has become one of the commonly used Parisian nicknames and at the mention of the city of lights, everyone will think of Paris.
16. Haussmann architecture
One of the unique things about Paris is its Haussmann architecture.
This style of architecture was introduced by Georges-Eugène Haussmann (commonly known as Baron Haussmann) at the directive of Emperor Napoleon III in the 18th century who wanted to change the outlay of the city from a medieval look that was very crowded and unhealthy to a much bigger modern and planned city.
Haussmann required that all buildings were the same height with stone facades that had a similar cream color and grey zinc roof that still reign even today in modern-day Paris.
In fact, you can find over 40,000 Haussmann buildings in Paris which account for over 60% of the overall buildings in the city.
Though this type of construction faced a lot of criticism at the time, today, its one of the things that make Paris charming and unique. Actually many locals and tourists alike are always excited about living in a Haussmann building.
17. Paris is Famous for its Monuments
Last but not least on this list of what is Paris famous for is its monuments! With a long history dating back to the Roman era, Paris has accumulated a number of monuments that make it stand out from the rest.
From the imposing Eiffel Tower which gives stunning views of the city when climbed, the Arc de Triomphe which pays tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in various French wars, the Sacre Coeur which is one of the most famous churches in Paris, to Place de la Concorde which played a huge role in shaping the history of the city, Paris has a number of monuments that draw in millions of visitors every year.
What is Paris Famous For — Final Thoughts
There is an endless list of things associated with Paris that make it the city we all know and love!
Though this list is non-exhaustive, I hope that you’ve learned a few things if you were asking yourself questions like, what is Paris famous for or what is Paris known for.
From its world-class museums, monuments, shopping scene, and art, Paris is a truly beautiful place that can only be fully appreciated when explored.
Do you know other famous things in Paris that you think deserve to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below.
NEVER TRAVEL TO PARIS WITHOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE
One of the biggest mistakes you’ll ever make when planning a trip to Paris is to forego Travel Insurance!
You might think that it’s expensive, but when you think of how much it will save you when you lose your valuables or even get sick, then you’ll know that it’s NOT that expensive!
There are many Travel Insurance companies out there, but I love World Nomads! They cover almost every single thing you might face/do while in Paris or even France in general, it is easy to request a quote, and if you ever need to claim, the claiming process is not a rat race!
I’ve used World Nomads on all my trips, and I am confident and happy to recommend it to you!
No worries if you’re not yet ready to book your trip, you can request a free quote from World Nomads here and see if it suits your personal needs!
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- Fun things to do in Paris on a Rainy day
- Famous Paintings in Paris
- Where to Find the Best Macarons in Paris
- Famous Paintings at the Louvre Museum
- Best Covered Passages of Paris
- Most beautiful neighborhoods of Paris
- Fun free things to do in Paris
- Famous Churches to Visit in Paris
- Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower
- How to spend One day In Paris
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