Paris, France, For First-timers

Art & Architecture

Eiffel Towereiffel-tower

Gustave Eiffel constructed this 320 m-tall spire as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World Fair. Luckily the Art Nouveau tower’s popularity assured its survival. Visitors can walk up to the second floor via 704 stairs. At the very top, there’s a champagne bar.

Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris

This masterpiece of French Gothic architecture has been the focus of Catholic Paris for seven centuries and accommodates 6,000 worshippers. Highlights include its rose windows, its bell towers, which can be climbed, and its treasury. From the North Tower, 400-odd steps spiral up to strange gargoyles and a grand view.

Centre Pompidou

The modern art collection here is Europe’s largest, but the museum is known for its radical architecture too. Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers designed the building inside out, with plumbing, pipes, air vents and electrical cables forming part of the façade. There’s a roof terrace, and, outside, Place Igor Stravinsky is fun.

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