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Tourist attractions Northern France and the Paris Region

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  • 1 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..

  • 2 St-Germain-des-Prés Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 75006 Paris

    During the Second World War, young jazz-lovers came to live in Saint-Germain-des-Prés to celebrate their music. Following the city's liberation, the district became popular for its nightlife and jazz clubs, with artists and intellectuals such as Sidn..

  • 3 Gardens of the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    D215 F - 77950 Maincy

    Le Nôtre (1613-1700) can be said to have attained perfection in the art of French-style gardens, of which Vaux-le-Vicomte is an admirable example. Flower beds and box trees are laid out in arabesques called Turkish carpets, fountains play in the symm..

  • 4 Grands Appartements Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    F - 77300 Fontainebleau

    The tour of the Château de Fontainebleau's Grand Apartments takes in the superb Galerie François I. Built between 1528 and 1530, the gallery is decorated with frescoes and stuccoes by Rosso. The king's emblem, the salamander, is omnipresent. The tour..

  • 5 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..

  • 6 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..

  • 7 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..

  • 8 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..

  • 9 Palais des Beaux-Arts Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Museums and art

    pl. de la République F - 59000 Lille

    Built between 1887 and 1892, this summer palace was extended in the 1990s by the architects Jean-Marc Ibos et Myrto Vitart to include a narrow 70m x 6.50m building, the glass façade of which reflects the image of the back of the main building. The ga..

  • 10 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..

  • 11 The Église du Dôme des Invalides Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    129 r. de Grenelle F - 75007 Paris

    Designed in the French Classical style by Jules Hardouin-Mansart, this church was built between 1677 et 1706. Two cupolas fit one inside the other, illuminated by "hidden light". The beauty of the domes contrasts with the robust aspect of t..

  • 12 Champs-Élysées Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    av. des Champs-Élysées F - 75008 Paris

    This grandiose and impressively wide avenue is the city's most famous thoroughfare, home to a string of luxury boutiques. Highly fashionable during the Second Empire period, it has preserved its fine avenues of chestnut trees, theatres and a few rest..

  • 13 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..

  • 14 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..

  • 15 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..

  • 16 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..

  • 17 Palace Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    pl. du Gén.-de-Gaulle F - 77300 Fontainebleau

    This château is at once evocative of the Renaissance, with its famous horseshoe staircase, and of the imagery of Épinal, with the poignant scene of Napoleon bidding farewell to the faithful soldiers of the Old Guard in Adieux de Napoléon. In 1528, Fr..

  • 18 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..

  • 19 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..

  • 20 Basilique Saint-Denis Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    1 r. de la Légion-d'Honneur F - 93200 St-Denis

    The Basilica is a gem of French Gothic architecture and a source of inspiration for the cathedrals of Chartres, Senlis and Meaux. The necropolis of the Kings of France houses a collection - the only one of its kind in Europe - of recumbent figures an..

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