12 Famous Buildings In Paris, France - Updated 2021

famous buildings in paris
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The capital of France, Paris, is an art, culture, and fashion powerhouse that has captured the imagination of millions of people. Without a doubt, it’s also home to a plethora of famous and iconic structures, one of which is the Eiffel Tower. While every traveler should visit the notoriously famous tower in Paris, especially if it’s their first time visiting the city, there are many others that shouldn’t go ignored. Travelers can view ancient artifacts at the Louvre Museum, tour the luxurious rooms of the Palace of Versailles, and admire the architecture of Saint-Chapelle. If you’re wondering about accommodation options, you’ll find many affordable Airbnbs and hotels with a view. Check out our list of famous buildings in Paris, France, and plan your touring activities accordingly.

1. Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou, Paris
Source: Photo by Flickr user Oh Paris used under CC BY 2.0

Just a 10-minute walk from the popular shopping district of Les Halles lies one of the most recognizable buildings in Paris: Centre Pompidou. The construction of this notable structure was completed in 1977, and the complex was built with the intention of housing art and literature. It’s home to Musée National d'Art Moderne and its vast collection of modern and contemporary art, as well as Bibliothèque publique d'information or BPI, the city’s main public library. Combining postmodern and high-tech architecture, it’s hard not to be arrested by the sight of this complex. Besides the building itself, its location on Place Georges-Pompidou makes it a worthy tourist destination, since you’ll likely find street performers, sketch artists, and various attractions parked in front.

Centre Pompidou

Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France

Website: Centre Pompidou

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 11am - 9pm (closed on Tue)

Price: 11 - 15 EUR (13 - 18 USD)

2. Panthéon

The Pantheon, Paris
Source: Photo by Flickr user Elliott Brown used under CC BY 2.0

The Panthéon is a famous monument located in the 5th arrondissement. It’s older than Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, built between 1764 and 1790 at the bidding of Louis XV, who intended for it to be a church. By the time it was finally completed, the French Revolution had begun, and the year after it was decided that it would be used as a mausoleum. Notable French figures and citizens are interred here, including Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, and, among others, the Panthéon’s architect, Jacques-Germain Soufflot. There are also paintings and sculptures inside, as well as a copy of Foucault’s original pendulum.

Panthéon

Address: Place du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France

Website: Panthéon

Opening hours: 10am - 6:30pm (daily)

3. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de triomphe Paris
Source: Photo by user Sese_Ingolstadt used under CC BY-SA 2.5

One of the most famous structures in Paris is none other than the Arc de Triomphe, which translates to Triumphal Arch of the Star in English. And it’s a fitting name since the building is at the center of the juncture where 12 avenues meet, forming a star from an overhead perspective. Its architectural design draws inspiration from the Arch of Titus found in Rome but also conveys a patriotic message that resonates with the French people. Furthermore, it’s in a good spot to take breathtaking photos of the hustle and bustle of Parisian life.

Arc de Triomphe

Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France

Website: Arc de Triomphe

4. Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum (27128035747)
Source: Photo by user Pedro Szekely used under CC BY-SA 2.0

If you love viewing art and historical artifacts, then there’s no better place than the Louvre, which is the largest museum of its kind. This is another one of the most iconic structures in Paris. The museum is housed inside the historic Louvre Palace and it features the iconic glass pyramidal structure by its entrance. Once you enter the museum, you’ll be able to view hundreds of thousands of artifacts from ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, the Middle East, and Medieval and Renaissance Europe.

Louvre Museum

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris, France

Website: Louvre Museum

5. Palace of Versailles

Versailles Palace
Source: Photo by user Eric Pouhier used under CC BY-SA 2.5

This exquisite palace will amaze travelers with its manicured gardens, canals, fountains, Hall of Mirrors, Royal Opera, and lavish salons named after the pantheon of ancient Greek and Roman deities. It was formerly the residence and hunting lodge of Louis XIV, the monarch of the House of Bourbon during the late 17th century. Today, it’s owned by the French state and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and museum.

Palace of Versailles

Address: Place d'Armes, 78000 Versailles, France

Website: Palace of Versailles

6. Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

The Basilica of the Sacré Cœur, 31 May 2018
Source: Photo by user besopha used under CC BY 2.0

The Basilica of the Sacré Cœur is one of the most important and visited landmarks in Paris. It’s a Roman Catholic church that’s built on top of Montmartre, which is the highest hill in the entire city. Construction of the church began in 1875 and is a representation of a loving Christ while also playing an important role in the area’s cultural and political landscape over the past century. Travelers enjoy visiting the basilica to relax by its luscious grounds, follow a liturgy, and enjoy the sounds of its bells and pipe organ.

Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France

Website: Basilica of the Sacré Cœur

7. Grande Arche

Grande Arche
Source: Pixabay

At Puteaux, which is a western Parisian suburb, one will come across a cool building in Paris. This giant cube structure that’s 110 meters (361 feet) high and known as the Grande Arche or Arche de la Défense. The building is a representation of a hypercube that’s projected into our three-dimensional reality, and it’s dedicated to humanitarian values. There’s a metro station, a busy motorway, and a business district in the immediate vicinity that lights up beautifully at night giving tourists plenty of photo opportunities.

Grande Arche

Address: 1 Parvis de la Défense, 92800 Puteaux, France

Website: Grande Arche

8. Arènes de Lutèce

Arènes de Lutèce (Paris)
Source: Photo by user Gzen92 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Arènes de Lutèce is an ancient Roman amphitheatre built during the 1st century AD. It features a circular arena, and most of its circumference consists of a terraced seating area. The ancient Romans, whether they were rich or poor, would congregate here to watch gladiators engage in gut-wrenching combat. Nowadays, it’s a far more tranquil environment that attracts locals and tourists who can relax for a while and take photos at this important landmark.

Arènes de Lutèce

Address: 49 Rue Monge, 75005 Paris, France

Website: Arènes de Lutèce

9. Luxembourg Palace

Palais Luxembourg Sunset Edit
Source: Photo by user Benh LIEU SONG used under CC BY-SA 3.0

There’s no denying that the French Baroque architectural style is both beautiful and iconic. So head off to Luxembourg Palace, which was originally the residence of Queen Marie de’ Medici, where you can take in the magnificent facade of the building and its plush garden area. During the early 19th century, the palace was transformed into a legislative building with a senate chamber, that’s why one of its key attractions are the seven statues of notable French politicians. Make sure to get to the palace early to spend time some quality time by its garden basin and then take a tour through its many lavish rooms.

Luxembourg Palace

Address: 15 Rue de Vaugirard, 75291 Paris, France

Website: Luxembourg Palace

10. Musée d'Orsay

Musee D'Orsay (34409261023)
Source: Photo by user Nan Palmero used under CC BY 2.0

During your trip to Paris, you’ll likely want to spend some time by the picturesque Seine River. One of the most iconic buildings next to the left bank of the river is the Musée d'Orsay. It’s worth your while to pop in and admire the amazing impressionist and post-impressionist artworks from various world-famous painters. You’ll also notice the gorgeous clock and ceiling, which were the original fixtures of the train terminal before it was transformed into an art museum.

Musée d'Orsay

Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d'Honneur, 75007 Paris, France

Website: Musée d'Orsay

11. Notre Dame de Paris

Notre Dame de Paris
Source: Photo by user GuidoR used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of Paris’s many stunning architectural masterpieces is none other than the Notre Dame de Paris, which was partially popularized by the famous novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This medieval cathedral boasts a French Gothic style, an imposing rib vault, awe-inspiring flying buttresses, and eye-catching stained glass rose windows. Furthermore, there’s a massive organ with 8,000 pipes below one of the rose windows that impresses many visitors.

Notre Dame de Paris

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Website: Notre Dame de Paris

12. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte chapelle - Upper level
Source: Photo by user Sam67fr used under CC BY-SA 2.5

King Louis IX, also known as Saint Louis, owned several items related to Christ such as the Image of Edessa and the Crown of Thorns. He decided to build Sainte-Chapelle, a famously beautiful structure in Paris, in the courtyard of Palais de la Citéto to store these Passion relics. This Catholic church features a French Gothic architectural style, intricately detailed stained glass windows, and impressive stonework and sculptures throughout the building. Travelers interested in architectural gems will have a blast exploring this important historical landmark.

Sainte-Chapelle

Address: 8 Boulevard du Palais, 75001 Paris, France

Website: Sainte-Chapelle

Never a dull moment

Paris is quite special, and that’s apparent when one comes across one of its famous buildings that have captured the imaginations of artists, writers, filmmakers, and travelers. Gorgeous museums, Gothic cathedrals, and lavish palaces define the aesthetics of this fascinating city. Moreover, there are so many of these magnificent buildings that you’ll never get bored exploring them during your trip.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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