Last Updated April 26, 2021 4/26/2021

15 Things To Do In Paris, France

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Ultra-cosmopolitan, romantic, and a mecca of art, culture, fashion, and architecture, Paris’s seductive charms are legendary for good reason. With an abundance of internationally famous attractions, there is always something to do in the magical City of Light. From the iconic Eiffel Tower to the historic underground catacombs, discover the top things to do in Paris in order to fully soak in the beauty of this energetic city.

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Get a Glimpse of Mona Lisa at the Louvre
Musée du Louvre

Get a Glimpse of Mona Lisa at the Louvre

What Is It? Arguably one of the most impressive museums in the world, the Louvre is always one of the top things to do in Paris. 

Why Do It? Plan accordingly, as the sheer magnitude of this gem can take up to a half-day to explore. 

Good to Know: While the Mona Lisa is certainly one of the biggest highlights, make sure to soak in the works of other notable artists along the way.

Explore Lush Landscapes at Tuileries Garden
Tuileries Garden

Explore Lush Landscapes at Tuileries Garden

What Is It? Tuileries Garden was once the royal gardens of the Tuileries Palace.

Why Do It? Now a stretch of lush landscape, you can rest your feet on one of the many benches and soak in the tranquil ambiance.

Good to Know: It’s located near all the popular attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Elysees, and Arc de Triomphe.

Cross the Pont Alexandre III Bridge
Pont Alexandre III

Cross the Pont Alexandre III Bridge

What Is It? If there’s one bridge to cross in Paris, this is it.

Why Do It? Running from the left to right bank of the Seine, Pont Alexandre III is one of the prettiest bridges in the city.

Good to Know: It is also a gorgeous focal point where visitors can view the Eiffel Tower from afar.

Get Your Art on at Musee d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay

Get Your Art on at Musee d’Orsay

What Is It? Housed in a former railway station, the lesser-known Musee d’Orsay museum is a must-see.

Why Do It? Highlighting the post-Classic era of the second half of the 19th century, here visitors can explore artwork treasures.

Good to Know: You can explore artwork treasures from Van Gogh, Renoir, Money, Picasso, and more.

Catch a Ballet Performance or Opera Show at Palais Garnier
Palais Garnier

Catch a Ballet Performance or Opera Show at Palais Garnier

What Is It? A pure delight to visit and an architectural treasure, the Palais Garnier seats over 2,000 people and is just as impressive inside as it is on the outside.

Why Do It? Considered a stunning masterpiece, visitors are encouraged to explore Paris’s ballet and classical music scene here. 

Good to Know: The best way to explore the intricacies of this monument is to attend a performance, however, there are also tours available.

Dive into French History at Les Invalides
Les Invalides

Dive into French History at Les Invalides

What Is It? Les Invalides is perfect for visitors who are interested in Paris’s past.

Why Do It? These museums and monuments contain the military history of France, including a former hospital for wounded soldiers and the burial site of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Good to Know: The complex of buildings is located in the 7th arrondissements.

Tower Over the Champs Elysees at Arc de Triomphe
Arc de Triomphe

Tower Over the Champs Elysees at Arc de Triomphe

What Is It? Climb the 234 steps to the viewing platform of the Arc de Triomphe.

Why Do It? Standing at the center of the busy Place Charles de Gaulle and offering a birds-eye view over the city, the Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris’s most distinctive historical landmarks.

Good to Know: Afterward, you can go window shopping along the prestigious Champs Elysees.

Look Up in Saint-Chapelle
Saint-Chapelle

Look Up in Saint-Chapelle

What Is It? Saint-Chapelle is an architectural marvel created as a royal chapel to house the Holy Relics of the Passion of the Christ.

Why Do It? The most impressive feature of this jewel is its intricately designed interior with impressive stained-glass displays that mesmerize visitors with its glittering combination of light and color.

Good to Know: The chapel was built during the second half of the 13th century by Louise IX.

Climb the Famous Sacre Coeur Stairs
Sacre Coeur

Climb the Famous Sacre Coeur Stairs

What Is It? Climb the stairs of the Sacre Coeur.

Why Do It? Standing tall above the city, it provides visitors a superlative panoramic view from the top of its 271-foot dome.

Good to Know: Translating to “mount of martyrs,” it is said that Sacre Coeur was the place of the martyrdom of the first bishop of Paris in the 3rd century.

Discover Cheap Eats in the Latin Quarter
Montmartre

Discover Cheap Eats in the Latin Quarter

What Is It? After a day of exploring attractions, visitors can wander through the streets of the Latin Quarter.

Why Do It? The Latin Quarter offers an abundance of cheap and charming cafes, bars, and shops.

Good to Know: France’s oldest university, La Sorbonne, was founded in the area in 1257 and has evolved into a popular area with budget travelers.

Explore the Underground Catacombs
Catacombs of Paris

Explore the Underground Catacombs

What Is It? A different kind of attraction, the underground catacombs provide visitors with a unique Parisian experience. 

Why Do It? A series of long, winding tunnels, visitors can descend down a set of gloomy stairs and traverse a mile through underground subterranean passageways.

Good to Know: Not for the faint of heart, the tunnels are lined with skulls and bones excavated from various Paris cemeteries during the 18th century.

Wander the Streets of Montmartre
Montmartre in Paris

Wander the Streets of Montmartre

What Is It? Montmartre is one of Paris’s most charming places to take a stroll and wander around.

Why Do It? The area is lined with cobblestone paths, ivy-laden windows, and eclectic shops selling anything from delicious pastries to handmade jewelry.

Good to Know: Located in the 18th arrondissement, it offers an authentic ‘Old Paris’ vibe.

Take a Day Trip to Versailles Palace and Gardens
Versailles

Take a Day Trip to Versailles Palace and Gardens

What Is It? While Paris has plenty to offer within the city, visitors will be amiss if they don’t take a day trip to the opulent Versailles Palace and Gardens, the former residence of French monarchs. 

Why Do It? Visitors can soak in the stunning views of the manicured Versailles Garden, Chapel of Versailles, Grand Apartment, and Hall of Mirrors.

Good to Know: It is an example of 18th-century French architecture and art and a current UNESCO World Heritage site.

Go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower at Sunset, Paris

Go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower

What Is It? Coming as a surprise to no one, the Eiffel Tower is the world’s most-visited paid monument in the world. 

Why Do It? Climb to the top of this iconic landmark for a stunning view of the city and return at night to watch the mesmerizing light show. 

Good to Know: Rich in history and considered by many to be a symbol of love, the tower is always worth a visit.

Soak in the Best Views of Paris at the Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral

Soak in the Best Views of Paris at the Notre Dame Cathedral

What Is It? The Notre Dame of Paris is a towering Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral.

Why Do It? Visitors can see statues of Joan of Arc, Saint-Denis, and Charlemagne in addition to a series of wood carvings depicting the story of Jesus Christ. 

Good to Know: Climb up the bell towers, peek out past the famous gargoyles and you’ll find a breathtaking and unique view of the city.

Update: In April 2019 The Notre Dame Cathedral tragically caught fire. Efforts are underway to restore this iconic landmark to its former glory. Check in here for the most current information.

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