Five highly popular visitor attractions in Paris are Notre Dame Cathedral, Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Palais Garnier - Opera National de Paris and the Arc de Triomphe. All five also have a long-established historical presence in the city.
Notre Dame Cathedral dates back to the Middle Ages. It took almost 200 years to complete the church, which was finished in 1345. For a fee, visitors can climb to the top of the building for a panoramic view of Paris. Visitors can also tour the church for free. One highlight is the crypt, which houses historical remains and artifacts.
The Louvre Museum houses some of the most famous paintings of all time, including the Mona Lisa. The museum possesses over 35,000 pieces of art. The Palais Garnier is itself an impressive work of art, and is famous as the site for the original story of the Phantom of the Opera. Regular opera and ballet performances still take place here.
The Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are iconic Parisian structures. Napoleon ordered the building of the Arc de Triomphe to commemorate his exploits, though the structure was not completed until 1836, well after the emperor's death. The Eiffel Tower was built for the 1889 World Fair, and though originally hated by the French, it has become one of the city's main attractions. For a fee (and a sometimes long wait) visitors can travel to the top for impressive views of the city.