Are you confused about zeroing on the best things to do in Paris? Every one of us dreams about going to the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, but Paris has so much more to offer that you need to keep your options open if you wish to explore this city in all its glory! This bucket list contains 10 of the best experiences you can have while you are on a trip to Paris:
1. A trip up the Eiffel Tower
Without a doubt, Eiffel Tower is, by far, the most iconic landmarks in Paris and a trip to Paris is incomplete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower! Hence, visiting the Eiffel Tower tops every traveler’s list when they plan a trip to Paris in France. The view of Paris is truly enchanting from top of the Eiffel tower.
Pro Tip: Make sure you book your tickets to the Eiffel Tower in advance as the queue at the ticket counters can be long. Tickets to the Eiffel tower can be bought 1-2 months in advance. However, if you are traveling with a travel company, then you need not bog yourself over entry tickets, accommodation and transportation as they shall take care of all your arrangements.
If tickets are sold out for your travel dates, then you also have an option of going for skip-the-line access that will essentially allow you to go straight up to the Eiffel tower cutting the long line of tourists, thus saving a lot of time and energy.
2. Visit to the Louvre Museum
Visit to the world’s largest art museum – Louvre is another one of the best things to do in Paris. Although it is a museum now, the building was once the home to the French monarchy including Louis XIV. The Palace was turned into a museum back in the 18th century during the French revolution. The museum is massive and you can spend days here exploring the art history of France. Alternatively, you could just check out the highlights of the museum (Venus de Milo, Mona Lisa, or the winged Victory are some of the key attractions at the Louvre!) in a few hours and explore the rest of Paris.
Pro Tip: You could opt to skip the line at the Louvre as well by purchasing the museum pass and opting for the many skip-the-line tours. You could also purchase your entry passes online and avoid the long waiting lines.
3. Walk along the Champs-Élysées
Who would miss a walk along the world’s most recognizable streets which is flocked with several tourist places, right from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe? While you are there, pop into Laduree, a beautiful café or pastry house famous for their LEGENDARY macarons or other French cafes & eateries located within the vicinity, for an authentic feel of the culinary scene in Paris.
4. Arc de Triomphe
Sitting atop the Champs-Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe (the view of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe is just fabulous). Enjoy the wonderful views of Paris as you look down the Champs-Elysees to the Louvre over the Parisian rooftops to the Eiffel Tower and other important places in the city. A night view of the city from the Arc is a sight to behold!
Pro Tip: Check out the mobile application ‘Arc de Triomphe’ before you visit this place. The app acquaints you with interesting facts about the Arc de Triomphe and helps you identify important buildings that you can see from the arc’s terrace.
5. Take a Seine river cruise
A Seine river cruise is an experience to die for! It is listed as one of the top experiences you can enjoy while you are in Paris. You can hop aboard a boat and enjoy the Parisian vistas as you wine and dine.
6. Visit the Notre Dame Cathedral
One of the most popular things to do in Paris is visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, a famous cathedral known to be one of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the world.
Note! The cathedral was almost destroyed due to the tragic fire in April 2019 and hence it will be closed for tourists and worshippers till further notice. The reconstruction work of the cathedral is still ongoing hence most tours will just take you past the cathedral rather than taking you inside the Notre Dame Cathedral.
7. Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie
A short walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral is the Sainte Chapelle, another beautiful cathedral. Sainte Chapelle has one of the world’s best displays of stained glass. Lines to enter the Sainte Chapelle are usually extremely long, but the wait is worth it!
Club your visit to Sainte Chappelle with a visit to the Conciergerie as they are located close to one another. The Conciergerie is the place where Marie Antoinette and several others were jailed before they were taken to Place de la Concorde for their execution during the French Revolution.
8. Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde is the large round-about sandwiched between Tuileries Garden and the Champs-Elysees and is famous for its role in history. This was where King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Robespierre were executed back in the times of the revolution.
Tip: If you are traveling from mid-November to early May and there is a large Ferris wheel right in the middle of Place de la Concorde, then you must try the ride on the Ferris wheel and enjoy yet another amazing sight of Paris.
9. Tour of the Palace of Versailles
A trip to the Palace of Versailles is one of the significant things to do in Paris. This royal chateau is located in the suburbs of Paris and is an amazing reminder of the French monarchy back in the old days. King Louis XIV moved the Royal Court here from the Louvre in 1682 and it was once the seat of the French government before it came to an end with the French Revolution. During your tour to the Palace of Versailles, you can roam around the palace and its gardens.
Note: The palace remains closed on Mondays but the gardens and park around the palace are open every day and free to visit.
10. Musee d’Orsay
Musee d’Orsay is home to the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world yet it is more than just Impressionist art. The building that holds the museum is a piece of work too! Once an old train station, it was renovated into this spectacular art museum.
Note: You can tour this museum for free if you have the Museum Pass. To skip long waiting times, it is advised to book the tickets in advance.
Now, I know I mentioned 10 in the beginning but I just could not resist mentioning the French cuisine.
French food scene
French cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the whole wide world! The ‘la cuisine française’ is celebrated that UNESCO has named the French gastronomic meal as the most intangible heritage in the world. To miss that out is complete blasphemy!
Hence, a food tour is another one of the best things to do in Paris. While you are here, sample the bread, wine, cheese, dessert and much more, as your local guide take you to some of the best eateries and restaurants in the city.
Some other special mentions of the best things to do in Paris include going to Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur, the Wall of Love, Moulin Rouge, Luxembourg Gardens, etc.
From its wonderful historic monuments to its exceptional cuisine, Paris is a destination unlike any other in the whole wide world. Gallivant in and out of museums, cafes, gardens and fabulous architecture. Paris is synonymous with romance, and it is just impossible to explore the whole of Paris in one go. So, go ahead and plan the first of the many visits to Paris!