Paris has an annual 30 million visitors, which makes it the most visited city in the world. However, first visits to the city of love can be quite fantastic because it’s difficult to know where to begin and things to do in Paris. I’ve systematize a list to help you navigate your way around the city and tick off the most stereotypical Parisian experiences!
Awesome Paris Attractions.
1. CLIMB THE EIFFEL TOWER
The Eiffel tower is at the top of everyone’s “things to do in Paris” lists, but for obvious reasons. Time it so that once you get to the top you’ll be able to witness the sunset, dusk and then see the lights turn on. Paris has really spectacular pink sunsets in the Summer. By the time you get down it’ll be night, and you’ll be able to get photos of it all lit up as well. Enjoy a glass of champagne at the top of the tower, lunch at the new 58 Tour Eiffel on the first floor, or an elegant dinner at Le Jules Verne.
2. EXPLORE THE LOUVRE MUSEUM
The Louvre or the Louvre Museum is one of the world’s largest museums and a historic monument in Paris. You could spend days wandering around so be sure to schedule at least half a day. The Mona Lisa is arguably the highlight of the museum, but there are many more impressive works of art to be found.
3. SCALE THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE
If you’re looking for the best views of Paris with the Eiffel tower in sight, head to the The Arc de Triomphe. It’s 9,50 € entry to climb to the top but it’s well worth it. The entrance is underground so be sure to look for the signs.
4. VISIT SACRÉ-CŒUR
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is commonly known as Sacré-Cœur. It’s open every day from 6 am to 10.30 pm, so don’t miss the chance to experience its spiraling steps leading you to the basilica’s dome. If it’s a sunny day, the hillside front park is a lovely place for a picnic.
5. VISIT NOTRE DAME
Notre Dame Cathedral “Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris” is a beautiful cathedral on the the Île de la Cité in Paris. Begun in 1163 and mostly completed by 1250, Notre Dame is an important example of French Gothic architecture, sculpture and stained glass. It is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages.
6. TAKE A DAY TRIP TO PALACE OF VERSAILLES
Palace of Versailles, also known as the the Château de Versailles, is technically just out of Paris, but it is somewhere I would urge everyone to visit on their trip. Together with its gardens, the Versailles is one of the most famous monuments of world heritage. You could easily spend a day in Versailles, as well as exploring the city surrounding the palace. Although if you’re short on time, it’s also manageable to only spend half a day.
7. RELAX IN JARDIN DU LUXEMBOURG
The Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Garden, located in the 6th arrondissement, was created in 1612. It is currently the largest public park in Paris. If you’re planning on picnicking, forget bringing a blanket – the elegantly manicured lawns are off limits apart from a small wedge on the southern boundary. Instead, corral one of the iconic 1923-designed sage-green metal chairs and find your own favourite part of the park.
8. SHOP ON CHAMPS-ÉLYSÉES
The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is a boulevard in the 8th arrondissement. It is arguably the world’s most famous and beautiful boulevard where you’ll find many flagship stores including Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Sephora.
9. HAVE AFTERNOON TEA AT LADURÉE
It wouldn’t be right to visit Paris and not visit the Laduree flagship store on Champs-Elysées. Sit yourself down and enjoy some afternoon tea and lots of sweets!
10. VISIT SAINTE-CHAPELLE
Sainte-Chapelle first opened in 1248 and was founded by the ultra-devout King Louis IX of France, who constructed it as a chapel for the royal palace and to house precious relics
11. CLIMB THE STAIRCASE AT PALAIS GARNIER
The Palais Garnier is a 1,979-seat opera house, which was built from 1861 to 1875 for the Paris Opera. Highlights include the Grand Staircase and horseshoe-shaped, gilded auditorium with red velvet seats, a massive chandelier and Chagall’s gorgeous ceiling mural.
12. WALK ACROSS PONT ALEXANDRE III (AND TAKE A SELFIE OR PHOTO UNDER IT!)
The Pont Alexandre III is a deck arch bridge that spans the Seine in Paris. It connects the Champs-Élysées quarter with those of the Invalides and Eiffel Tower. The bridge is widely regarded as the most ornate, extravagant bridge in the city.
13. ICE-SKATE AT HOTEL DE VILLE DURING WINTER
One of the many beautiful buildings in Paris, Hotel de Ville, which is a town hall, transforms into a Winter Wonderland. From December to early March, an ice-skating rink sets up outside this beautiful building, creating a real picture-book experience. It’s fun to both participate and observe – the atmosphere is captivating.
14. STROLL AROUND SAINT-GERMAIN-DES-PRÉS
This quartier is named for the oldest church in Paris, St-Germain-des-Prés, and it’s become a prized address for Parisians and expats alike. If you had to choose the most classically Parisian neighborhood, this would be it. St-Germain-des-Prés has it all: genteel blocks lined with upscale art galleries, storied cafés, designer boutiques, atmospheric restaurants, and a fine selection of museums.
15. ENJOY AN AFTERNOON IN LE MARAIS
Dripping in old world elegance yet thoroughly modern in sensibility, Le Marais is one of Paris’ most intriguing neighbourhoods. It spreads across parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. Cobblestone streets wind through Le Marais’ dizzying network of hidden courtyards, provocative galleries, and ivy-covered boulangeries.
16. DINNER AND DRINKS AT BUDDHA BAR
This restaurant is located on the ultra-chic Faubourg St Honoré. Sushi isn’t something that’s correlated with Paris but trust me on this one and order the sushi. It’ll be some of the best you’ll ever have. After dinner, head upstairs and indulge in one too many cocktails.
17. VISIT THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS
If you’re lucky enough to witness the magic of Paris during Christmas, you MUST head to the Christmas market on the Trocadero. Stroll along with your mulled wine, gingerbread and multiple pastries.
18. WATCH THE MOULIN ROUGE
This has been a hit and miss with a lot of people and despite being quite touristy, I think it’s worth it if you book the dinner and show. Prepare yourself for topless dancers, sparkles and lots of red velvet decor. For a less touristy show, settle into a booth at Le Crazy Horse.
19. VIEW PARIS FROM THE MONTPARNASSE TOWER
Arguably the best view of Paris in my opinion. Get the bird’s eye view of Paris that actually includes the Eiffel Tower. It looks absolutely magical when the city lights up at night.
20. DAY TRIP TO DISNEYLAND PARIS
Disneyland may not seem all that special to some people, but for us Australians, it’s a far-away childhood dream. I’m not going to say no to the happiest place on earth.
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