As far as tourist attractions in Paris go, the Louvre is right up there with the Eiffel Tower. The most visited art museum in the whole world, it is found on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement.
The Louvre began its life as a fortress built in the late 12th century, making it in itself just as interesting as the art it holds — you can still see the remains of the fortress in the basement. From the outside it is a magnificent building, as opulent and grand as you could wish for, marked by an enormous glass pyramid that you enter to descend into the museum.
Photo licensed under the Creative Commons, created by Denis McLaughlin
Inside the museum is split into eight departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; Prints and Drawings. It houses some of the most famous works of art in the world, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. However there is much to delight in the Louvre and you could spend hours in there.
Leaving the art gallery, there is in the same building a small shopping centre. Going back above ground you can cross the road to the Jardin des Tuileries, a beautiful garden in the French formal style where you can sit and watch the world passing you by for free, enjoying the fountains and sculptures there. Cross the river to find a stretch of some of the most expensive and beautiful shops in all of Paris.