Paris Places

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The Islands

Top Reasons to Go

Notre-Dame. This towering Gothic cathedral has welcomed visitors to Paris for centuries. Gaze at its famed rose windows, climb the towers to mingle with the gargoyles, or wander around back to contemplate the awe-inspiring architecture from Square Jean-XXIII. At the end of the plaza in front of the cathedral, down the stairs, is the interesting Crypte Archéologique, a museum that allows a look at the city's Roman ruins.

Sainte-Chapelle. Visit on a sunny day to best appreciate the exquisite stained glass in this 13th-century chapel built for King Louis IX.

Strolling the islands. Start with the oldest bridge in Paris, the Pont Neuf, incongruously called the "new bridge," and give a nod to the statue of Henry IV, who once proudly said, "I make love, I make war, and I build." From here, cross to Place Dauphine and make your way to the gorgeous Ile St-Louis, one of the city's most exclusive enclaves.

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