Are you looking for the Top Things To Do In Paris!
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Paris is an amazing city full of beauty and history! There are so many things to see in Paris. You will love every minute of your trip!
If you only have a weekend in Paris or are planning on staying for longer. This post will help you nail down a great itinerary.
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Description of the Eiffel Tower by Planning Away
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic French landmarks in all the world. It is probably the most popular attraction in all of Paris.
It is open daily at 9:30 am and closes at 11:45 pm. If you want to go to the very top you need to do so before 10:30 pm or 11:00 pm depending on the time of the year.
When you buy your ticket on the Eiffel Tower website, you will find a few options. You can choose to use the stairs or take an elevator. Also, you have the choice of going to the 2nd floor or all the way to the top. The pricing ranges from 10.20 euros to 25.50 euros.
There is a lot of security to enter. There will be two lines. One for those who have already purchased tickets; and one for those who have not.
We did not purchase tickets and attempted to stand in line, but we decided not to because there was an hour and a half wait to purchase tickets. The next day it appeared to be closer to 4 hours (on a Saturday).
Buy your tickets ahead of time! If your time is valuable get a guided tour so that you can avoid the lines.
Also, finding the right hotel is essential! We stayed in the Mercure Hotel located .3 miles from the Eiffel Tower. It was very nice, affordable, and so close to the Eiffel Tower.
Hop on Hop off Bus and Boat Tour – Open Tour Paris
Description of the Hop On Hop Off Bus and Boat Tour by Planning Away
The tour runs from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm (until 10:00 pm in summer). There are three different routes that take you to different parts of the city.
The blue line will hit your most famous attractions such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre.
The green line will hit major areas such as the Jardin du Luxembourg and Catacombs.
The red line runs to Moulin Rouge and Montemartre.
We were also able to go on a Seine River Cruise. This was included in our bus ticket price. This is a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
I love the hop-on-hop-off option and highly recommend it. It is nice because you can make your own adventure and decide which attractions you would like to see and skip the stops you do not want to see.
Make sure to buy your tickets ahead of time at Isango.com because not all of the stops have authorized sellers.
It is much easier to show your online purchase to the bus driver than to have to get to a designated spot where tickets are sold.
Scooter Across Paris
Description of Scooters through Paris by Freedom56Travels
One of the great things to do in Paris is to ride one of those ubiquitous micro-mobility scooters!
No doubt you’ll see hundreds of these little scooters all over Paris. There are quite a few companies renting scooters but the major players are Lime, Bird, Bolt, and Dott. You can tell what company the scooter belongs to by the distinctive branding or colour of the scooter.
We were intrigued by the notion of riding these scooters on our recent trip to Paris. The first thing we did was download the apps for the brands of scooters we saw most. All we had to do was set up an account using a credit card.
The apps all contained maps showing the locations of the scooters nearest to us. We just scanned the QR codes on the handlebars and were good to go!
Riding these scooters is fun! Not only that but it is quite an easy and quick way to get around Paris. We never had any trouble finding a scooter when we wanted one. Riding a scooter was quicker than walking and less trouble than getting on the Metro.
You should definitely try riding a micro-mobility scooter on your next visit to Paris!
Champs-Élysées and Arc de Triomphe
Description of Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe by To Some Place New
Champs-Élysées is THE beautiful tree-lined boulevard in Paris France. It is lined with high-end stores and restaurants and you will always find street entertainment on your stroll. Champs-Élysées is considered as one of the stunning streets in the world, having constructed in the 17th century, it forms an integral part of French heritage.
At the western end of Champs-Élysées, is the beautiful carousel arch – Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.
The arch was built to commemorate the victory of Napoleon’s Great Army om 1806. With such history, this attraction is a MUST add to your Paris Itinerary.
To access the Arc de Triomphe, use the underground tunnel to reach the other end of the street. Be mindful of oncoming traffic and your purses from pickpockets.
Pro tip: A great way to spend an evening in Paris is to take a ride to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and seeing the sun go down on the most romantic city on earth.
Pompidou and its Rooftop Restaurant
Description of Pompidou From To and Fro Fam
Paris is full of exceptional museums, and the Centre Pompidou—the city’s modern art museum—definitely fits that bill.
As you wander the Pompidou, you’ll see pieces from some of the world’s most famous artists (think Picasso and Rothko) as well as contemporary artists you’ve likely never heard of.
The Pompidou makes a special effort to include installation pieces and video, so expect to see not only paintings hanging on the wall but also other types of art you might not be accustomed to.
Even if you don’t explore Pompidou’s art museum, you should still definitely visit the center’s rooftop restaurant, the Brasserie Georges.
It’s on the top floor of the Pompidou and offers stunning views of the entire city. You can see much of the Paris skyline, including the Eiffel Tower, from your rooftop table.
The Brasserie Georges is expensive, but they don’t look down on you for ordering just a cocktail or glass (or bottle!) of wine, as I did. For the most stunning views, visit at sunset.
The Centre Pompidou should definitely be on your list of things to do in Paris. But you should also consider the things to do in Paris you shouldn’t do—after all, you don’t want a poor decision to ruin a day in Paris!
Description of Luxembourg Gardens by KMF is Writing
Discover the historical and beautiful Luxembourg garden in Paris
I remember vaguely hearing our tour guide mention the Luxembourg Garden while on a hop-on, hop-off bus during our first visit to Paris. Luxembourg caught my ear because we were visiting my husband’s family in Luxembourg and had taken the train for a quick overnight trip in Paris.
I didn’t give it much thought until several years later when I was in Paris on my third visit. I had arrived a day early for a training program to help get acclimated to the time change. While I really wanted to crawl into my hotel bed and take a long nap, common sense prevailed.
Summer in Luxembourg Garden
It was a beautiful June day (and a long day since it was almost the summer solstice) so I thought a walk-in
a park would do me good.
After a quick Google search for a trail, Luxembourg Garden popped up. So I checked it out.
Don’t wait as long as I did. Make sure to add Luxembourg Garden to your Paris itinerary on your
next visit – you will not be disappointed.
History of Luxembourg Garden
Dating back to 1611, the Luxembourg Garden borders the Palais du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Palace) and features walking paths among beautiful trees, gardens, flowers, fountains, reflecting pools, statues, and more.
Paris is one of my favorite leisure destinations (where you combine business and leisure in one trip). So when you’re in the City of Light – for business, leisure, or both – add the Luxembourg Garden to your one-day itinerary in Paris.
Description by Wanderlust On A Budget
When planning a trip to Paris, the catacombs are a must! It’s no secret that the Paris underground is a labyrinth of tunnels full of human remains. Why?
Many years ago, the city had a problem finding space for the deceased after the plague, followed by streets collapsing into the tunnels below. The solution?
Relocate the bones of millions of Parisians and make the tunnels into the world’s biggest ossuary.
Today, visitors from around the world go to see the bones, pay their respects, and learn about the history of the catacombs.
Since it is such a popular attraction, it is important to plan ahead. There are many options for catacombs tours – you can ‘wing it and get a standby ticket, but it’s better to book a tour ahead of time. You can choose to do it directly with the Paris Museés website, or with external tour operators.
There are a few things you should know if you’re planning to visit the catacombs. Since you’ll be far underground, the climate is cool and often damp. Dress appropriately!
It’s also important to note that there are over 100 stairs down and back up, with no accessibility for those with mobility limitations. Strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs are not allowed inside.
Luggage and flash photography are also forbidden. Just be sure to be prepared and be respectful of your visit.
If you choose to visit the catacombs, it will be a memorable experience. Definitely, something to cross off your bucket list!
Paris by Tuk Tuk
Description of the Tuk Tuk Tour by Marcie in Mommyland
One of the coolest ways to see Paris is by tuk-tuk! This unique Paris tour allows you to zip around the city while still getting close to some of the top Paris attractions. There are plenty of tours to choose from and you can always customize one.
They have a fleet of 14 tuk-tuks that tour around Paris. Each tuk-tuk can seat 6 passengers for a private tour of Paris. If you are heading to Paris with kids or elderly people, this is an easy way to explore Paris without walking. Our tour guide took us to places with amazing views of Paris that I probably wouldn’t have discovered on my own.
The tuk-tuk is electric and is able to go places normal tour buses can’t fit. Plus, our kids had fun waving to all the people as we rode around in the red tuk-tuk! All their chauffeurs are true Parisians, born and raised. They know the ins and outs of Paris and will give you the best insider tips to make the most of your trip to Paris.
Description of Belleville from Salut From Paris
Belleville is one of the last truly hidden gems in Paris. Located far off the touristic centre, it stays under the radar of many and could preserve the authentic charm of this unique Parisian neighborhood.
Belleville appears rough around the edges – a busy down to earth melting pot, a quarter full of different lifestyles, cultures, and a hot spot for Parisian street art.
The most famous place to see urban art is Rue Denoyez, but keep your eyes open: Belleville is blotched with street art of all sizes.
The core of Belleville is the Parc de Belleville. It’s a steep march uphill but it’s worth the effort: you’ll be granted with one of the most beautiful views over Paris. Take moment to relax in one of the bars on top of the hill – it’s a great spot, especially in summer when the whole square transforms into a beer garden!
While the west of Belleville is multicultural with a big Asian influence, the east is a village-like neighbourhood full of little alleys and squares, with tiny shops and cafés. You will almost forget that you’re still in Paris!
Description of the Louvre by My Adventures Across the World.
The Louvre is undoubtedly one of the unmissable places to visit in Paris. This massive museum – the biggest and most visited in the world – requires careful planning, for it can get incredibly crowded and you absolutely need to get tickets in advance (and possibly even a guided tour) if you want to go.
The Louvre used to be the former royal palace of Paris before Louis XIV decided to move the court to Versailles.
Nowadays, it hosts an incredible collection of archeology pieces and art from around the world, which include Egyptian mummies, paintings by Italian renaissance most famous painters, and the world-famous Mona Lisa.
The outside of the museum is just as interesting, with the glass pyramid that was completed in 1989.
Description of Montparnasse Tower by Real Travels with V
Dazzling lights and 360-degree views of Paris, the city of love! Montparnasse Tower is the best place to go for amazing views of the entire city.
Where else can you see the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and Seine River all from one location? And admit it, when you take a picture of the lights of Paris, you want
the Eiffel Tower in that picture. You can’t get that from the viewing deck on the Eiffel Tower.
A super-fast elevator will have you to the 56th floor indoor observatory in a matter of seconds. Here you can wander around out of the elements and take
in the views. You will also find exhibits and films on this floor giving you additional information.
I admit I was here for the views, so I didn’t spend much time looking through these. From the 56th floor, head on up to the 59th-floor outdoor observatory. There is something about taking in these views from the outdoors!
To take full advantage, go right before dusk. This way you can see the city in daylight and hang around until it gets dark when the city lights up. Or, get the Day & Night ticket offer allowing you 2 visits in 48 hours.
Don’t miss out on the best view of Paris! See how many landmarks you can spot from the viewing decks of Montparnasse Tower!
If you are looking for other great adventures near Paris check out my post-DayDay Trip to Versailles.
Cheese and Wine Workshop
Description of the Cheese and Wine Workshop by Travel Collecting
When you think of France, chances are that you think of wine and cheese. So, what better thing to do in Paris than to take a cheese and wine tasting workshop.
This is a great introduction to many different types of French cheeses and wines. In the workshop I took, there were twelve different cheeses, paired with six wines.
Our knowledgeable host gave an explanation about each of the cheeses, including the types of cheese, what gives them their unique taste and texture, and any interesting information about the region they came from and the process of making them.
We tried each of the cheeses by themselves, then the wines separately, noting the flavors. Then we tasted the cheese and wine at the same time, noting how the taste changed when they were consumed together.
It was fascinating how much combining wines and cheeses changes the taste of both of them – sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
We had a “menu’ card that we used to rate each of them and note our favorites. Many of the cheeses were extremely seasonal – at their best for just a few weeks a year.
The workshop was not only a fun experience, but it also gave me some knowledge I could use to go into the tiny cheese shops in Paris and buy some cheeses of my own for a picnic – another of my favorite things to do in Paris.
You can read more about the cheese and wine pairing workshop in Paris.
Description of the Garnier Opera House by My Favorite Escape
I’ve been to Paris and walked past the Palais Garnier more times than I can count. Right at the exit of St Lazare station, the stunning building with its dozens of statues – including some golden ones – is impossible to miss.
I would always stop and wonder how good it would be to watch a ballet show in this iconic opera house from the 19th century. It took a rainy day and a local friend to make me realize it was open to visitors all day long and not only for the shows. It ended up being the best visit I did in Paris.
From the stairs to the ceiling, the interior of the Palais Garnier is as stunning as the facade. Everything inside is a piece of art. The style has been described as an example of “Baroque Sumptuousness”.
There are a few rooms to explore, with different purposes and styles. The Grand Staircase, the Grand Foyer, and the Auditorium are not to be missed. Of course, if you can watch a show there, it’s the best way to experience the Opera Garnier. It’s what it was built for. But the guided and self-guided audio guide tours are worth your time too. And if the escape game is running when you visit, it’s a rare experience in a historical monument!
Description of the Tuileries Garden by Adrift Asthetic
While wandering through Paris, before you arrive at the Louvre, you may find yourself in a gorgeous garden along the River Seine that feels like a magical fairytale.
No doubt you’ve stumbled upon Tuileries Garden, a public park initially opened in 1667. The garden is known for its long paths lined with lush trees on either side, perfect for an Instagram-worthy photo any time of year.
The garden is also an ideal place to stop and take in the incomparable views and vibe of Paris. As a visitor, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with all there is to see in the city.
In fact, many people walk for hours to experience as much as possible in a day. The centrally located Tuileries Garden bids you to stop and take a moment. With its hundreds of iconic green metal chairs scattered across the grounds, you’ll see people reading, drawing, or having picnics in the shade of the trees or near one of the fountains.
Perfect for people-watching, make sure you take the time to spend time in this stunning oasis in the center of Paris.
Description of Musée d’Orsay by Earths Attractions
One of my favorite places in Paris is Musée d’Orsay. It was in fact the first thing I saw on my first trip to Paris and I’d definitely visit it again when in Paris.
Why do I think Musee d’Orsay is one of the best things to do in Paris? That’s easy. If you like impressionism painters, then this is the place to go.
I spent a whole day here admiring masterpieces by Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, as well as paintings by Degas or sculptures by Rodin. When visiting Musee d’Orsay you can also admire paintings by Cézanne, Seurat, Sisley, Gauguin or Lautrec.
This museum, housed in the former Gare d’Orsay, is a not-to-miss attraction in Paris for all museum and art buffs!
The only downside is that you can’t take pictures inside the museum. I wish I could do that and have those photos as a reminder of a great visit. You can buy some souvenirs, of course, with some of the famous paintings, but it’s not the same thing.
buy your ticket online so that you don’t spend hours waiting in line. I didn’t know you could do that, so I waited in line.
It was a rather fun experience – some young people were playing some songs on the stairs and I got to talk to a couple from New York and some other people from different countries, but if you can avoid the line, then go for it!
Musée de l’Orangerie
Description of Musée de l’Orangerie by Plan Ready Go
For the ultimate experience in Impressionist art in Paris, visit Musée de l’Orangerie to see Claude Monet’s Water Lilies (or Nymphéas).
Monet’s eight compositions are arranged across several panels in two elliptical rooms on the ground floor of the museum that allow in natural light.
Seating in the center of each room allows the viewer to take in Monet’s masterpieces almost completely surrounded by his beautiful color. It’s one of my favorite ways to relax in Paris.
Monet painted his magnificent panels specifically for this space, but unfortunately never got to see them installed in 1927, just months after his death.
Plan to arrive at the museum at or just prior to the opening time to give yourself the best chance to see
these stunning paintings with a few other people as possible.
The rest of the collection is also worth seeing; however, that portion of the museum is closed for renovation through March 2020.
Description of Montmartre by Traveling Tanya
Venturing outside Paris’ city center to Montmartre shouldn’t be missed! The charming neighborhood of Montmartre sits high above the city in the 18th arrondissement and can easily be reached by Metro.
Here you will find the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, known as Sacre Coeur, where you can take in a magnificent view of the city.
You may choose to ascend the stairs to reach the base of the basilica or for just one Metro ticket you can opt for the 90-second ride on the funicular.
The highlight of Montmartre for me is Painter’s Square, or Place du Tertre. Much like the great artists of long ago, local painters set up their stands and work on their craft to the delight of onlookers. Wandering through Painter’s Square as I watch artists at work and contemplating which piece of art should travel home with me never gets old.
You will likely be approached by numerous artists wanting to capture your likeness against the Paris skyline.
So have your euros and your patience ready while the artist of your choosing creates a one-of-a-kind keepsake of your Parisian adventure.
Cafes in Montmartre
The numerous cafes in Montmartre also provide the ideal spot to rest, grab some nourishment, and get your fill of people-watching.
Wander just a bit beyond Painter’s Square, and you will find the I Love You Wall. One of Paris’ photo-worthy pieces of art, this one does not require an entrance fee. The I Love You Wall showcases the words “I Love You” in 250 different languages and is the perfect spot for a selfie.
Description of La Défense by The World is My Playground.
La Défense district is a must-visit during your time in Paris. The modern neighbourhood is filled with high-rise and office-tower buildings and looks considerably different than any other neighbourhood in Paris.
The area towers over the architecture of Paris and can easily be seen from any of the viewpoints in Paris (including the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, Louvre Pyramid, Arc de Triomphe, and other major attractions) due to the way it dominates the skyline.
Sprinkled between the skyscrapers, there are a number of shops, cafes, and attractions.
From the metro station, you can enter directly into the shopping mall, which is one of the biggest ones in Europe.
An annual Christmas Market is opened in the open area every winter and is worth checking out – be sure to try the vin chaud and other local delicacies!
In the center of the district stands La Grande Arche, a modern landmark “tower” that looks more like a hollow square filled with business offices and has recently been reopened to the public.
From the top of La Grande Arche, you’ll get a completely unobstructed view that just happens to be one of the best in Paris.
Strategically located on the “Triumphal Way”, La Grande Arche is on the same main road as the Arc de Triomphe, the infamous Champs Elysees, Place de la Concorde, and the Louvre Museum.
Description of Disneyland Paris by Planning Away
Just a train ride away from the big city is Disneyland Paris. If you are a Disney fan like me, maybe you have a bucket list to visit all the Disney Parks around the world.
We enjoyed Disneyland Paris for a few reasons. Crowd size was lower compared to Disneyland California and Disney World. We walked on to most rides. It was very easy to get Fast Passes for the more popular rides with lines
There are unique rides that are not available in the USA. This was one of our favorite things!
If you are traveling with children or just love Disney then this is a stop you need to make when you visit Paris!
Buying Disneyland Paris Tickets ahead of time can be a stress off of you especially if you do not speak French.
One thing that I found super valuable was investing in a Paris Pass. Having access to 60+ top Paris attractions was amazing. We loved running from museum to museum! Also, heading to Paris during the Christmas Markets is amazing!
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