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Expats moving to Paris will certainly be familiar with some of the city’s iconic landmarks, but there are much more than meets the eye in this romantic city, which has so many hidden treasures and an impressive array of activities to pursue.
Expats can cruise along the Seine, spend an hour over coffee and cake at a sidewalk café or watch the street performers in any of the many city squares. There are also some lesser-known museums and galleries to visit, as well as beautiful gardens to enjoy.
Recommended attractions in Paris
The first stop for any expat in Paris has to be the world-famous Eiffel Tower. Stunning panoramic views of the city can be enjoyed from its top observation deck.
Dating back to 1163 AD, the Gothic cathedral of Notre-Dame is a quintessential Paris landmark and is a wonderful attraction for expats to spend the day exploring. Renovations after the devastating fire in 2019 are well underway and the iconic cathedral will, if all goes to plan, be restored to its former glory by 2026.
Musée du Louvre
One of the world’s most famous art museums, the Louvre is a fascinating place for expats to discover the beautiful paintings, sculptures and antiquities that have made their way here from all over the globe.
Arc de Triomphe
The impressive Arc de Triomphe is a must-see for expats in Paris. The landmark is set within a star-shaped arrangement of picturesque avenues.
This museum features a collection of Auguste Rodin’s marble sculptures, some of the most famous being The Kiss and The Thinker. Paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir and Manet are also on display at the museum.
Jardin des Plantes
The expansive Jardin des Plantes is a beautiful botanical garden for expats to relax in. The more adventurous can also explore its labyrinth maze.
Built by Louis XIV in 1670, Les Invalides dome is the burial site for many of France's war heroes, including the famous Napoleon Bonaparte.
The ultramodern Pompidou Centre is home to the Musée National d'Art Moderne, as well as cinemas and theatres that host a variety of arts performances.
This is the place for expats to see a vast collection of art from the 19th and early 20th centuries, including art-nouveau, impressionist and post-impressionist pieces.
► For more information about the ins and outs of living in Paris, try Lifestyle in Paris.
"What do I enjoy most about Paris? A hard question to answer in a single breath. Of course there are the art exhibits just a metro ride away, world-class monuments and architecture, and restaurants with vendettas against my waist line. But what I enjoy the most is picking up a simple spread of bread, cheese and wine from any local shop and then sitting by the Seine with friends." Read more about Canadian expat Dorian's experiences in Paris.
Are you an expat living in Paris?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Paris. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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