Since its completion in 1889, the Eiffel Tower has stood in Paris as an emblem of France’s industrial prowess. Approximately 7m people visit this landmark annually, with the same intention of snapping a photo, so time your visit to this iron-lattice tower early in the morning to sidestep the crowds.
The 22m-tall (71ft) Louvre Pyramid, which acts as the entrance to the Louvre Museum, is a central landmark, built in the 1980s. Its modern glass-and-metal structure designed by IM Pei sits in contrast to the museum’s historic 18th-century architecture – and it’s a true spectacle.
The Pont Alexandre III is arguably Paris’s most famous bridge. This historic monument, constructed in 1896, connects the Champs-Élysées quarter to the Left Bank, where you’ll find the Eiffel Tower. From the bridge, you can snap panoramic views of the city and the River Seine.
Atop Butte Montmartre, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, otherwise known as Sacré-Cœur Basilica, is a world-famous Roman Catholic church, consecrated in 1919. Plan to climb a narrow winding staircase in the church to enjoy views of the surrounding area.
Head to the rooftop of the Centre Pompidou to be met with rows of quintessentially Parisian rooftops, with the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and La Défense business district in the distance. The price of this cityscape view is included in the entrance ticket.
The Notre-Dame, which dates back to 1163, is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. A shot directly from the bottom of the cathedral isn’t going to be your strongest angle; head to the nearby La Nouvelle Seine, where you can dine, to best frame the building. Keep in mind that much of the cathedral is still under restoration since the 2019 fire.
The Pont de Bir-Hakeim is one of Paris’s lesser-known bridges, which you can visit while en route to the Eiffel Tower. It’s a two-level bridge that connects the 15th and 16th arrondissements of the city as it crosses the Seine. Ask a passerby to snap a picture of you with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
The Galeries Lafayette, considered by many to be Paris’s best department store, bears more resemblance to that of an opera house than a shopping centre. From inside, point your lens up to its art deco dome for the money shot.
The Arc de Triomphe looms over the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle, and at 50m (164ft) high and 45m (148ft) wide, it’s among the largest triumphal arches in the world. Built between 1806 and 1836 at the request of Napoleon, it’s an iconic landmark and photogenic from all angles.