12 Best Things to do in Paris
Paris, often referred to as the “City of Love” and the “City of Lights,” is a place that needs no introduction. With its rich history, stunning architecture, world-class cuisine, and romantic ambiance, Paris is a dream destination for travellers from around the globe. I spent two days there.
Here are the 12 best things to do in Paris,
1. Visit the Eiffel Tower
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the iconic Eiffel Tower. This towering iron structure, designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair, offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation decks. You can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of Paris that are especially magical at sunset. We took the elevator to the top and the stairs down
2. Explore the Louvre Museum
The Louvre is one of the world’s most renowned art museums, home to thousands of works, including the famous Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo. It’s a vast treasure trove of art and history, so plan your visit wisely and consider taking a guided tour to make the most of your time. Seeing the Mona Lisa was incredible and her eyes really did follow me around the room.
3. Cruise the Seine River
A Seine River cruise is a fantastic way to see Paris from a different perspective. Whether it’s a daytime cruise or a romantic evening cruise, you’ll pass by iconic landmarks like Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and the Musée d’Orsay while enjoying commentary about the city’s history and architecture.
4. Visit Notre-Dame Cathedral
Notre-Dame Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and a symbol of Paris. While the interior is currently closed for renovation after the devastating fire in 2019, you can still admire its stunning facade and enjoy a walk along the Seine River to take in the views. I visited before 2019 so I got to go inside, and having read “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, I was quite interested in this landmark. The interior was rather gloomy, a befitting setting for Quasimodo’s story.
5. Shop on the Champs-Élysées
The Champs-Élysées is one of the world’s most famous avenues, known for its upscale shops and theatres. From luxury boutiques to flagship stores, it’s a shopping paradise. Even if you don’t plan to shop, a walk down this grand boulevard is a quintessential Parisian experience.
6. Relax in the Luxembourg Gardens
The Luxembourg Gardens offer a serene escape from the bustling city. Stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens, admire the fountains, and watch children sail miniature boats in the pond. It’s a great place to unwind and enjoy a peaceful afternoon.
7. Visit Napoleon’s Tomb
Located at the Hôtel des Invalides, Napoleon’s Tomb is a remarkable testament to the life and legacy of the French Emperor. The site includes his grand tomb, as well as a museum dedicated to his life and military achievements.
8. Explore the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe stands proudly at the western end of the Champs-Élysées and honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. We climbed the 280 steps to the top for panoramic views of Paris and its famous boulevards.
9. Discover the Musée d’Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay is a treasure trove of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, including works by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Degas. Housed in a former railway station, this museum offers a unique setting for art enthusiasts to immerse themselves in a world of creativity.
10. Wander Through Montmartre
Montmartre, a picturesque hilltop neighborhood, is famous for its artistic history and the stunning Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Take a leisurely stroll through its charming streets, enjoy street performances, and soak in the bohemian atmosphere. Don’t forget to visit the Place du Tertre, where local artists display their works.
11. Experience the Latin Quarter
The Latin Quarter is a historic neighborhood known for its vibrant atmosphere, narrow streets, and charming cafes. It’s also home to the Sorbonne University and the Panthéon. Explore its intellectual and artistic heritage while enjoying a meal at one of the many traditional bistros.
12. Discover the Palace of Versailles
A short train ride from central Paris takes you to the opulent Palace of Versailles. Explore the breathtaking Hall of Mirrors, stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens, and step back in time to the era of Louis XIV.
See my posts on Budapest, Vienna and Madrid.