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Tourist attractions Northern France and the Paris Region

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  • 1 Old Lille Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Lion-d'Or F - 59800 Lille

    Renovated with love, the old town has rediscovered its 17 and 18C facades not long ago covered in disgraceful render. This has led to evidence of the «Lille style» with facades where bricks and sculpted stones are mixed. You'll discover many examples..

  • 2 Château de Chantilly Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    1 r. du Connétable F - 60500 Chantilly

    Standing in the middle of a lake, this fine building bequeathed to the Institut de France by the Duc d'Aumale, consists of the petit château, highlighting the history of the Condé family, with its apartments decorated with fine wood panelling and wor..

  • 3 Grand Square Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Grand'Place F - 62000 Arras

    Bordered by Flemish Baroque style buildings, its architectural balance is created by the urban structures of an alderman who enforced a rule that all buildings had to be made of brick or stone with no overhang or juts. The oldest building, the hôtel ..

  • 4 Butte Montmartre Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Parvis-du-Sacré-Coeur F - 75018 Paris

    The «Mount of the Martyrs» where, as tradition has it, Saint Denis prayed to heaven, is a surprising place which even today has managed to keep its look of a village, even if the flow of tourists tends to spoil it. The place where the Paris Commune s..

  • 5 The Marais Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. des Vosges F - 75004 Paris

    The Place des Vosges, rue des Francs-Bourgeois, and three mansions in particular, the Hôtel de Soubise, Hôtel Salé and Hôtel de Rohan, take visitors back to the 17C and 18C, the time of the absolute monarchy and the Enlightenment. However, the old st..

  • 6 Musée d'Orsay Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    62 r. de Lille F - 75007 Paris

    Since 1986, the huge main hall of the former Orsay railway station has been the home of art collections covering the period 1848 to 1914, enhancing those of the Louvre and the Musée National d'Art Contemporain. The Orsay houses the world's finest col..

  • 7 Sainte-Chapelle Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    8 bd du Palais F - 75001 Paris

    This jewel of Gothic art was built upon the order of Saint Louis to house the relics of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Located in the confines of the Palais de Justice, Sainte-Chapelle is divided into two parts: the lower chapel, intended for the palace..

  • 8 Hôtel des Invalides Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    129 r. de Grenelle F - 75007 Paris

    This stunning architectural complex was built in 1671, according to the plans of Libéral Bruant, to receive and care for the war wounded. Its buildings now house various military bodies and the Musée de l'Armée. In the centre of the majestic facade, ..

  • 9 Notre-Dame Cathedral Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    6 pl. Jean-Paul-II F - 75004 Paris

    This site has been a place of worship for 2 000 years: a Gallo-Roman temple, Christian basilica and Romanesque church all preceded the current building. Maurice de Sully began construction around 1163. Over the centuries it has suffered significant a..

  • 10 Place des Vosges Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. des Vosges F - 75004 Paris

    This vast square, probably conceived by Métezeau, was the wish of Henri IV. When completed in 1612, the Place Royale became the centre of elegant life, with carrousels and pleasure. The square got its present name in 1800 in honour of the département..

  • 11 The Eiffel Tower Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Champ-de-Mars F - 75007 Paris

    It is the symbol of Paris and probably the best-known Parisian monument in the world: endless queues form outside the lifts. And yet ... And yet, when it was first silhouetted against the skies of Paris in 1889, numerous artists made vigorous protest..

  • 12 Louvre courtyard (Cour Carrée) Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Carrousel F - 75001 Paris

    Pierre Lescot's façade, between the Pavillon de l'Horloge (Clock Pavilion) and the south wing, boasts some truly delightful decoration. The sculptor Jean Goujon concentrated his efforts (allegorical high-reliefs, statues in the niches, friezes of chi..

  • 13 Disneyland Paris Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    F - 77700 Chessy

    Five «lands» using the local terminology in this 55 ha fantasy kingdom; Main Street USA reconstructs the main street of an American 19 C town. Frontierland recalls the wild west with its old goldmine in Big Thunder Mountain and a haunted house, Phant..

  • 14 Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    D 215 F - 77950 Maincy

    This château is one of the most handsome masterpieces of the 17C. It was built for Nicolas Fouquet by major artists such as Louis Le Vau, Charles Le Brun and André Le Nôtre between 1656 and 1661. At a party on 17 August 1661, Louis XIV became jealous..

  • 15 Fontainebleau Forest Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D142 F - 77300 Fontainebleau

    The ancient forest of Bière has always been a magnificent hunting ground, particularly on horseback. Today, it is carefully maintained (it is divided into 747 plots tended so as to produce the finest specimens), and has signposted pathways throughout..

  • 16 Walt Disney Studios Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    F - 77700 Chessy

    Like its big brother in America, this theme park, which opened in 2002, takes you behind the scenes to explore the techniques of cinema, cartoons and television. Modelled on a real film studio, the park has four "production zones": Front Lo..

  • 17 The Palace of Versailles Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. d'Armes F - 78000 Versailles

    A symbol of Classical perfection, the largest palace in the world was the sumptuous reflection of an era of intensive creation, and emblem of absolute power. Just like in the times of Louis XIV, entry to the Palace, which was built by Le Vau and Jule..

  • 18 Grounds of the Palace of Versailles Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    F - 78000 Versailles

    Starting at the terrace of the Château de Versailles, you can explore the grounds on foot, by horse-drawn carriage or in a small boat on the Grand Canal. The rectilinear Axe du Soleil, with its water parterre, fountains, statues (such as the Diane Go..

  • 19 Garden façade Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. d'Armes F - 78000 Versailles

    The central pavilion of the Château of Versailles, jutting out from the wings, avoids monotony by the addition of intermittent rows of sculpted columns which break the rigid horizontal lines. The Italian-style flat roof is concealed by a balustrade b..

  • 20 Notre-Dame Cathedral Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. Notre-Dame F - 80000 Amiens

    Begun by Robert de Luzarches in 1220, the cathedral was built very quickly which explains the amazingly balanced architecture of this, the largest Gothic building in France, today classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. It has a superb façade, th..

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