Seine River picture
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Price & Hours

Free

Details

Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
3.8scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 2.0Facilities
  • 3.0Atmosphere

You won’t have much trouble finding the Seine, as it flows directly through the heart of Paris. The river is perhaps one of the most famous waterways in the world and an attraction in itself. It's also useful for more practical reasons: It flows from east to west, dividing the city into the Left Bank and the Right Bank. Knowing where you are in relation to the Seine can help you find your way around during your trip.

For tourists, the waterway mostly serves as a photo backdrop, but it is a lifeline for locals. It's a reliable water supply, a major transportation route and vital for many kinds of commerce. It has also served as a source of sustenance for many fishermen dating back to the 3rd century. In 1991, the Seine River was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its cultural significance in both the past and the present.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Seine. Recent visitors recommended starting your Paris trip with a boat tour to orient yourself to the city. Tours are offered year-round thanks to heated indoor vessels. Along the banks of the river, you will find Parisians selling local goods, like books and handmade art. Take the time to cross a few bridges over the Seine River (there are 37 total), and you'll be sure to find a photo-worthy moment.  

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Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)1 of 24
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#1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. It remains closed until further notice.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 10th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. And once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

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