by Lydia Schrandt for USA TODAY 10Best

Experience beautiful Paris on this virtual tour

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Take a virtual walk through the City of Light with us as we check out some of the city’s headliners and hidden gems.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for the sight as you step inside Sainte-Chapelle on a sunny day, when light pours through the wall-to-wall stained glass (some of the oldest in Paris).

It’s said that if you spend eight hours a day looking at each piece on display in the Louvre for one minute, it would take you 75 days to see them all.

The steps leading up to the Sacré-Coeur Basilica often host a variety of street performers, and once inside, visitors can climb 300 steps to the top of the dome for a spectacular panorama view.

A favorite neighborhood among artists, Montmartre offers the best views of the city from the top of the hill and cobbled alleys lined with souvenir shops and historic cafes.

No trip to Paris would be complete without a stop (or two, or three) at a patisserie. These bakeries cook up a host of sweet indulgences, perhaps none quite as iconic and colorful as the macaron.

Historic cafés dot the streets of Paris, establishments that have hosted the likes of Pablo Picasso, Simone de Beauvoir, Henri Matisse and Vladimir Nabokov.

Rue Crémieux, one of the most Instagrammed streets in Paris, attracts photographers to the 12th arrondissement with its pastel-hued, shutter-framed houses.

If it weren’t for the Eiffel Tower, the 1836 Arc de Triomphe monument would likely be the symbol of Paris. A viewing platform at the top of the arch overlooks the dozen avenues leading to it.

Even the cemeteries in Paris are famous; at least that’s the case with the Père Lachaise cemetery. This necropolis is the final resting places of Frédéric Chopin, Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde.

Butte Chaumont, one of the city’s largest public parks, is where locals enjoy sunny days. The 61-acre green space boasts a puppet theater, waterfalls, walking paths and a swan-filled lake.

Those who’ve only seen photos of Paris might not realize the city has a modern downtown skyline. La Défense, the city’s business district, is home to the tallest towers in France.

At the Musée d’Orsay, housed inside a restored Belle Époque train station, don’t miss the fifth floor clock face that doubles as a window and popular photography spot.

To see the darker side of the City of Light, head into the underground tunnel system lined with skulls and bones. This series of disused quarry tunnels was converted into catacombs in 1810.

One of the most charming architectural features of Paris is its series of glass-roofed covered passages, and galleries, where Parisians and visitors alike go to shop and dine.

The Jardin du Luxembourg comprises 57 acres of French and English gardens dotted with sculptures, lawns, playgrounds and fountains. It’s one of the city’s most beloved free attractions.

As temperatures warm up each summer, the banks of the Seine and La Villette Canal transform into a leisurely seaside resort, complete with beach sand, lawn chairs, umbrellas and palm trees.

Paris is well known as a shopper’s paradise, and Galeries Lafayette has been a retail destination for more than 120 years. The neo-byzantine dome was added in 1912.

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