Notre Dame beats Eiffel Tower as Paris top spot
Notre Dame Cathedral was the most visited landmark in Paris last year, with 13.6 million visitors, but thirteen different sites in the French capital attracted over a million tourists each according to figures released today.
The Gothic cathedral which stands on a little islet in the River Seine beat even the iconic Eiffel Tower according to the Paris Tourist Office.
The Sacre Coeur basilica, perched on a hill in Montmartre in the north of the city, was the second most visited site, attracting 10.5 million.
Nearly nine million people visited the Louvre museum, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to last year, while the 7.1 million people headed to the Eiffel Tower, also a 5.6 percent increase.
The Pompidou Centre, one of Italian architect Renzo Piano’s signature designs, was visited by 3.6 million people, 500,000 more than the elegant Musée d’Orsay, the converted railway station which houses a huge collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings
"Visiting museums and monuments constitutes the main motivation for visiting Paris (65 percent)," said the office in a statement. "With 72.6 million visitors, the numbers going to the 64 Parisian cultural sites surveyed increased by more than 2.5 percent".
The report stated that Americans and Britons comprised the largest number of visitors to
museums but noted that the numbers of Brazilians, Russians and Chinese has risen substantially.