Overview & Brief History

A city for romantics, art enthusiasts, and lovers of street life, Paris holds fascination and beauty for visitors coming from all over the world. Located in the north of France on the river Seine, Paris has a reputation of being a top European destination that is greatly influential in the realms of culture, art, fashion, food, and design.


A Brief History

Originally settled by the Parisii, a Celtic people, the city’s strategic location on the Seine River made it an important trading and political center. In the 1st century BC, the Romans established the city as Lutetia, and over time, it evolved into a key city within the Roman Empire.


The medieval period saw Paris grow in prominence, becoming the capital of the Kingdom of France. Notre-Dame Cathedral, a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, was constructed during this era. In the 14th century, Paris faced the devastation of the Black Death and the turbulence of the Hundred Years’ War. The Renaissance brought cultural and intellectual flourishing, with the reigns of François I and Henri IV marking periods of growth and development.


The 17th century was marked by the construction of iconic landmarks such as the Palace of Versailles and the completion of the Louvre as a royal palace. The French Revolution in the late 18th century brought profound social and political changes, including the establishment of the First French Republic. The 19th century witnessed the transformation of Paris under the vision of Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann, resulting in the wide boulevards and grand buildings that characterize the city today.


Paris played a significant role in both World Wars, and post-World War II, it emerged as a cultural and artistic capital. The Eiffel Tower, constructed for the 1889 World’s Fair, became a symbol of the city’s modernity. Today, Paris stands as a global center for art, fashion, gastronomy, and diplomacy, enchanting visitors with its iconic landmarks, world-class museums, and the timeless allure of the City of Light.

Things to See & Do

Sacre Coeur

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic church located on the highest point of the city in Montmartre. Perched high on top a hill, the absolute best thing to do is and climb the 300 steps to the top of the church dome for picture perfect views of Paris.

Les Invalides

Perhaps the most underrated attraction in Paris, Les Invalides is a grand area with a series of army museums, a church, and the tombs of many famed officers, including Napoleon. The museums and monuments all relate to the military history of France.

Rodin Museum

A local jewel and private mansion dating from the 18th century, Rodin Museum houses the permanent collections of the famous sculptor Rodin. Stroll through the extensive grounds and discover some of the master’s major works: The Thinker, The Burghers of Calais, and The Gates of Hell.

Tuileries Garden

An expansive 17th-century formal garden dotted with statues created by Catherine de’ Medici as part of the Tuileries Palace in 1564. The palace was eventually opened to the public in 1667 and became a public park after the French Revolution.


These famous underground tunnels are an important part of Les Misérables, as the writer, Victor Hugo, had extensive knowledge of the landmark. It was used during the Second World War by fighters resisting German occupation of the city. Today visitors can take a forty-five minute tour of the catacombs.

Local Dining

So much to offer…

Paris brings in the best cuisine from every region of France which you can experience at all different levels of elegance and simplicity. If you want a 5 star meal, no problem, if you’re looking for a quaint little creperie, right around the corner.


Make sure to try…

You cannot possibly “Do Paris” without indulging in a crepe. Right under the Eiffel Tower are food trucks and other local vendors. If you like chocolate, be sure to get a Nutella and banana filled one. After you enjoy your crepe, head to the lawn of the tower for a sunset to remember.


Make sure you know what a boulangerie is

Boulangerie is what the French call a bakery. It is important to know the difference between a boulangerie and a patisserie. While a patisserie is a bakery specializing in pastries, and headed by a pastry chef, a boulangerie is a bakery that focuses mainly on baking breads.


A Guidester favorite…

Bouillon Chartier – A great place to discover the authentic French cuisines with all your usual clichés. This is a classy, historic place that is over 100 years old, and offers a whole lot of French culture in a single dose.

Insider Tips

Staying inside the city center close to one of the major attractions will make your trip easier, especially if it’s your first visit. You can stay anywhere inside the center you find accommodation suited to your needs; arrondissements 1, 7, and 8 are popular choices.


There is no need to worry about transportation while in Paris as it’s easy to travel around the city by foot, bike, and public transit.

Virtual Tour

Paris in 4K

Walk in Paris

800 Years of Louvre

Montmartre to Sacré-Coeur

Oldest footage of Paris

History of the Palace of Versailles

Rebuilding Notre Dame

5 best street foods in Paris

Walk along the river Seine

Jack’s Favorite Moment

Sacre Coeur and Escargot in Paris

Paris is known for many things, namely the city’s food and world class architecture. 

Our first stop today is climbing up to visit one of the city’s most architecturally stunning landmarks. The Basilique Sacré-Coeur, Basilica of the Sacred Heart, is a Roman Catholic church located on the highest point of the city in Montmartre.

Perched high on top a hill in the 18th arrondissement, Montmartre is a famous Parisian district which is actually its own separate village. Over the years has the area has lost none of its quaint village atmosphere that appealed to the artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Read More


Jack Bauman

Founder of Guidester


Interactive Maps

Explore around the Eiffel Tower

Checkout the view from Sacre Coeur

Wander the streets of Montmartre

Stroll through Tuileries Garden


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