Julie France 46 Comments

Stroll along the Champs-Élysées, dine at an outdoor café, enjoy the views from the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, say hi to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and day trip to Versailles. These all top the list of the best things to do in Paris, but there are also neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

Below is a big list of things to do in Paris. Don’t expect to see all of them on your first visit, not unless you plan to spend at least a week here. Most likely, you don’t have that kind of time, so at the end of this guide, we list the top 10 experiences to have in Paris (or skip ahead now).

At the end of this guide, we also have links to more information about Paris, including how to plan your time here and how to include Paris on your trip to Europe.

I do my best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time. I recommend getting updated hours and pricing for your dates of travel. The link to the official website is provided for each site.

Best Things to Do in Paris

1. Eiffel Tower

There are just a few buildings in the world that evoke the same sense of awe, wonder, and romance as the Eiffel Tower. For many, a trip to Paris would be incomplete without a visit to this iconic landmark.

Eiffel Tower | Best Things to Do in Paris

Eiffel Tower

There are three levels to the Eiffel Tower: the first floor, the second floor, and top floor. Both the first and second floors are accessible by elevator and by taking the stairs. The only way to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower is to take the elevator.

It is cheaper and the lines are shorter to take the stairs, simply because very few people want to do a major stair climb. But it’s also a great way to skip the line or wait in a shorter line at the Eiffel Tower. If you choose to take the stairs, you can also purchase an elevator ticket to reach the top floor.

Plan your visit with our Guide to the Eiffel Tower, which explains your ticket options, how to avoid a long wait in line, and several unique dining experiences on the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower View Third Floor | Best Things to Do in Paris

View from the third floor of the Eiffel Tower

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Book your tickets in advance. This can literally save you hours of time. I have heard of people waiting up to 3 hours to enter the Eiffel Tower. I also recommend that you book your tickets as soon as you know your dates of travel. During peak season, tickets can sell out almost as soon as they become available (which is 60 days in advance). If tickets are sold out, we recommend this tour, which is one of the cheapest tours of the Eiffel Tower (we took this tour and had a great experience).

2. The Louvre

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum. This building was once the home to French Kings, including Louis XIV. During the French Revolution in the 18th century, the Louvre was converted to a museum.

The Louvre is massive and you could literally spend days here. However, you can see the highlights (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and the Winged Victory) in just an hour or two.

Louvre | Best Things to Do in Paris

The Louvre | Best Things to Do in Paris

How to Skip the Line at the Louvre:

There are several ways to avoid waiting in a long line to get into the Louvre.

  • Purchase the Museum Pass. This allows you to skip the ticket line but you must make a time slot reservation in advance.
  • Book your tickets online in advance. On the official Louvre website, you can purchase your tickets in advance. These cost €22 and the website advertises less than a 30 minute wait if you purchase your tickets in advance.
  • Take a Tour. There are numerous skip-the-line tours, such as this 3-hour tour where you visit the highlights in the museum.
  • Go first thing in the morning or on Friday evenings when the Louvre is open until 9:45 pm. 
Louvre Walking Tour

If you want to visit the Louvre the cheapest and most efficient way possible, follow our walking tour through the Louvre. Purchase your ticket online in advance or use the Museum Pass and then you can visit the highlights of the Louvre. In our Guide to the Louvre, we cover this walking tour, the essential works of art to see, how to purchase your tickets, and where to enter the Louvre.

3. Walk Along the Champs-Élysées

Touristy? Yes. But even so, it’s a must do. This is one of the most recognizable streets in the world, running from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Along the way, pop into Laduree for macarons, another must do while in Paris.

Champs Elysees

The Champs-Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe | Best Things to Do in Paris

4. Arc de Triomphe

Sitting at the top of the Champs-Élysées is the Arc de Triomphe. From the top of the Arc you get one of the best views of Paris. Look down the Champs-Élysées to the Louvre, out to La Defense, and over the rooftops to the Eiffel Tower. At night, you can watch Paris (and the Eiffel Tower) sparkle…quite the sight to see.

One of the best ways to visit the Arc de Triomphe is to book a skip-the-line ticket, which is available through GetYourGuide.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Download the Arc de Triomphe app before you go. This app gives you interesting facts about the Arc de Triomphe and helps identify buildings you see from the terrace.

Arc de Triomphe Paris

Arc de Triomphe


Arc de Triomphe Paris View | Best Things to Do in Paris

View from the Arc de Triomphe

5. Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité is the small island in the center of Paris that is home to Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame. It is the historic heart of Paris.

Paris Bucket List Notre Dame

Notre Dame

In front of Notre Dame is a plaque on the ground marking Point Zero (Point Zero des Routes de France), the historic center of Paris.

Point Zero Paris


Also on Île de la Cité is the Au Vieux Paris, one of the prettiest cafes in Paris.

Au Vieux Paris | Best Things to Do in Paris

6. Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf is the oldest bridge in Paris. It connects the Right Bank with Île de la Cité. From this bridge, enjoy the view of the Seine River, Pont des Arts (the next bridge on the river), and the Eiffel Tower off in the distance.

Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf | Best Things to Do in Paris

7. Notre Dame Cathedral

IMPORTANT NOTE:  On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire. The cathedral is planned to reopen at the end of 2024.

The Notre Dame Cathedral is one of the oldest and grandest cathedrals in the world. Step inside to see the nave and the stunning stained glass windows, but the highlight of a visit here is the gargoyle’s view over Paris from the top of the cathedral.

Paris View | Best Things to Do in Paris

View from Notre Dame

8. Sainte-Chapelle

Located on Île de la Cité, this Gothic chapel was the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century. It contains one of the most extensive 13th century stained glass collections in the world.

Sainte Chapelle Paris | Best Things to Do in Paris

Sainte-Chapelle | Best Things to Do in Paris

During the French Revolution, Sainte-Chapelle was a target for vandalism, since it was a symbol of royalty. Some of the stained glass was broken but about 2/3 of the original glass remains. In World War II, the stained glass was removed and put into storage.

From 2008 to 2015, Sainte-Chapelle underwent a major restoration.

For pricing, hours, and to reserve your ticket in advance, visit the official website.

9. The Conciergerie

The Conciergerie is a former courthouse and prison. It sits next to Sainte-Chapelle on Île de la Cité.

Conciergerie Paris


Marie-Antoinette is the Conciergerie’s most famous prisoner. During the French Revolution, almost 3,000 people were imprisoned here and then sent to different sites to be executed by guillotine.

For pricing and hours, visit the official website.

10. Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is a large round-about that is sandwiched between Tuileries Garden and the Champs-Élyséees. This famous square is full of French history. This was the spot during the French Revolution where King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and Robespierre were executed by guillotine.

Standing in the center of Place de la Concorde is the Luxor Obelisk, one of a pair of obelisks that are over 3,000 years old. This obelisk was gifted to France in the 1830s. The other obelisk stands in front of the Luxor Temple in Luxor, Egypt.

Next to Place de la Concorde is the luxurious Hotel Crillon (go inside to Les Ambassadeurs for a cocktail in at an opulent bar) and Hotel de la Marine.

Place de la Concorde | Best Things to Do in Paris

Place de la Concorde

11. Versailles

The Palace of Versailles is one of the most popular day trips from Paris. This opulent palace and its surrounding gardens are one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.

Louis XIV constructed this extravagant palace. It was originally built as a summer home for royalty but in 1682, Louis XIV moved the seat of the government here from the Louvre. For just over one hundred years, French kings lived and ruled from Versailles, until the French Revolution in 1789.

Hall of Mirrors Versailles Paris | Best Things to Do in Paris

Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles. To learn how to take this photo without the crowds, read our Guide to Versailles. 


Versailles Gardens

Versailles Gardens | Best Things to Do in Paris

Getting here: Take RER C from Paris to Versailles. This journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Since Versailles is outside of the city your travel card (if you have one) will not be valid for this trip. In the metro station you will have to purchase a separate round trip ticket to get to and from Versailles.

In our Guide to Versailles, we cover how to get to Versailles, the best things to see and do, plus lots of tips, such as how to avoid the crowds and the cheapest way to visit Versailles.

Hours: The palace is closed Mondays; open at 9 am; The gardens and the park are open every day and are free to visit.
Cost: €21 to tour the palace
Museum Pass: The Museum Pass covers your entry into the palace, the Trianon, and the estate of Marie-Antoinette. It does not cover the musical gardens. You will have to purchase this ticket separately (and you should do so in advance) for €10.50.
Tour of Versailles: This highly rated tour of Versailles includes skip-the-line access, a 90-minute tour with an expert guide, and access to the Gardens.

12. Enjoy the View from a Rooftop Bar

Sequoia Rooftop, Canopy by Hotel Hilton, Terrass on Montparnasse, and the rooftop of Hotel Raphael are rooftop bars with extraordinary views of Paris.

For dinner with a view, L’Oiseau Blanc is a 2-star Michelin star restaurant with fabulous views of the Eiffel Tower. Georges at Pompidou Centre and Les Ombres also both offer an upscale dining experience with panoramic views of Paris.

For a longer list, plus more information and photos, take a look at our guide to the Best Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in Paris.

Paris Rooftop Restaurant Bar | Best Things to Do in Paris

Rooftop dining at Hotel Raphael

13. Musee d’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay houses the largest collection of Impressionist art in the world. It is here that you can see Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, Gaugin and more. It’s literally a collection of the who’s who in the Impressionist art world.

This museum is more than just Impressionist art. The building is also a work of art. Musee d’Orsay was once Gare d’Orsay, an old train station, which was renovated and became this art museum.

Musee d'orsay

Musee D’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm, with hours until 9:45 pm on Thursday. The museum is closed on Monday. Tickets cost €16, free with the Museum Pass. Tickets can be purchased online in advance on the official website.

14. Visit Le Marais

Le Marais is one of Paris’ most interesting neighborhoods. Stroll along Rue de Rosiers and if you are looking for a great place to have a budget meal, go to L’As du Falafel, the most famous falafel restaurant in Le Marais.

Place des Vosges | Best Things to Do in Paris

Place des Vosges in the Marais district

15. Pompidou Centre

This is the largest modern art museum in Europe. It has an interesting design, with all of its plumbing and pipes located on the exterior of the museum, color-coded in vibrant colors. It’s definitely a unique sight to see.

Ride the series of elevators up to the upper level for views across the rooftops to the Sacre-Coeur, Notre Dame cathedral, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower. For just 5€ you can purchase a ticket to the top of the Pompidou simply to enjoy the view of Paris, a great option for those who want to enjoy the view without visiting the rest of the museum.

Pompidou Center

Pompidou Centre | Best Things to Do in Paris

PRO TRAVEL TIP: On top of the Pompidou Centre is Georges, a French restaurant with views over the city. We dined here and thought it was overpriced for what you get. For views of Paris and an overall better experience, we recommend Les Ombres (better food and an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower).

16. Take a Food Tour

One of the best things to do while in Paris is to eat. And a great way to sample some of the best foods in Paris is to take a food tour. Sample French bread, wine, cheese, and more as a local guide takes you to some of the best spots in the city. Secret Food Tours and Paris by Mouth are two of the more popular companies.

Small stands selling crêpes can be found all over Paris. These make delicious, cheap snacks, perfect to satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a pick-me-up while sightseeing. We recommend Breizh Café (locations throughout Paris), Crêperie le Petit Josselin, and Krügen.

Don’t miss our Paris Food Guide, which lists 10 foods to eat in Paris and where to get them.


17. Visit Montmartre

Montmartre is one of Paris’ most popular neighborhoods to visit. Wander the maze of hilly streets, have your portrait drawn at Place du Tertre, and have a drink at one of many cafes that spill out onto the streets here.

Popular places to photograph Montmartre include La Maison Rose, next to the Lamarck metro station, on Rue de l’Abreuvoir, and at Place du Tertre.

Montmartre | Best Things to Do in Paris

Paris Bucket List Montmartre | Best Things to Do in Paris

18. Watch the Sunset from the Steps of the Sacre-Coeur

The Sacre-Coeur Basilica sits atop the highest hill in Paris. Join the crowds on the steps and watch the sunset. You also have the option to climb the 300 steps to the top of the Dome for an even better view.

If you like the idea of taking a guided tour of Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur, this one hour tour gets excellent reviews. You can also indulge on cheese, wine, pastries, and chocolate on this guided food tour of Montmartre. 

Sacre Coeur | Best Things to Do in Paris

Sacre Coeur | Best Things to Do in Paris

19. The Wall of Love

The Wall of Love, also called Le Mur des Je T’aime, is a large, blue wall where the words “I Love You” are written in 250 languages. It’s free to visit and worth a quick visit if you are in the area. It sits right next to the Abbesses metro stop.

Wall of Love Paris

Wall of Love

20. Moulin Rouge

If you are looking for something to do in the evening, why not experience the most famous cabaret in the world? Colorful can-can dancers take the stage nightly at the Moulin Rouge. Shows are offered at 7 pm, 9 pm, and 11 pm. Sip on sparkling champagne and watch the show “Feerie” with this ticket to the Moulin Rouge.

21. Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin is a small waterway lined with boutique shops and cafes. This area is more popular with locals. So if you’re tired of the tourist crowds, escape here for a quiet afternoon and dinner at one of the cafes.

Canal St Martin | Best Things to Do in Paris

Canal St. Martin | Jerome Labouyrie/shutterstock.com

22. Indulge at Angelina

Angelina is one of the best places in Paris to indulge on decadent hot chocolate and French pastries.

It’s most famous (and busiest) location is on Rue de Rivoli near the Louvre. Angelina also a café inside the Louvre and at Versailles. These tend to be a little less busy and the Louvre location offers a special pastry you can only get at that location.

Angelina | Best Things to Do in Paris

23. Go Shopping at the Bouquinistes

Set up along the Seine River are stands selling used books, magazines, and artwork. This tradition of selling used books along the Seine started in the 16th century and this is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


24. Luxembourg Gardens

This tranquil spot is popular in the spring and summer, when the weather is nice and the flowers are blooming. This is a great spot to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Paris. The Luxembourg Gardens are free to visit and open 24 hours a day.

Luxembourg Gardens Paris | Best Things to Do in Paris

Luxembourg Gardens | Best Things to Do in Paris

25. Seine River Cruise

For a relaxing experience, take a cruise on the Seine River and enjoy the view as the landmarks of Paris drift by. Cruises are offered all day, but for the best experience go at twilight so you can watch as Paris lights up around you.

Overall, it’s a nice experience and a unique way to view many of Paris’ famous landmarks in a short period of time. We took this private boat tour, which was quite pricey, and we thought it was overrated for the price you pay. However, it makes a good option for those who don’t want to board a large boat with lots of people. This tour is a similar experience but it looks like it is on a nicer boat than the tour we took.

If you want to cruise the Seine River and not spend a small fortune, this tour includes a Seine River cruise and tickets to the Eiffel Tower, this evening cruise includes three wine tastings, and this one-hour cruise is one of the cheapest ways to cruise the Seine River.



26. Enjoy the View from Montparnasse Tower

Montparnasse Tower is the ugly, dark skyscraper that stands out like a sore thumb when you look out across Paris. But from the top of this eyesore you get one of the best panoramic views of Paris.

Montparnasse Tower | Best Things to Do in Paris

View from Montparnasse Tower | Best Things to Do in Paris

27. The Catacombs

Descend under the streets of Paris and tour the labyrinth of tunnels lined with human bones. In the 18th century, cemeteries around Paris were cleared and the bones were moved to these underground tunnels. Now, this is the final resting place of six million Parisians.

Paris Catacombs

Inside the Catacombs

How to Minimize Time Waiting in Line at the Catacombs:

To enter the Catacombs, you must purchase your ticket online in advance. According to the official website, tickets are no longer sold on site.

Tickets go on sale 7 days in advance. On the official website, you will purchase a ticket for a timed entry slot. To get the date and time you want, it’s best to do this as soon as tickets go on sale.

If you are unable to get a ticket on the official website, you can take this VIP access tour.

28. Musee de l’Orangerie

This is a small museum that features Impressionist artwork. The highlights of this museum are the eight Water Lilies murals painted by Claude Monet. You can also see art by Picasso, Sisley, Cezanne, Matisse, and more.


Musee de l’Orangerie is located in the Tuileries Garden, near Place de la Concorde and a short walk from Musee d’Orsay. Get prices and hours on the official website.

29. Dine at a Street Café

This really should be at the top of your list of things to do in Paris. Throughout the city, cafés spill out onto the city streets. Even when the temperatures are cool, many places run heaters to keep customers warm. Grab a table and have lunch or a glass of wine, the perfect way to take a break from sightseeing.

Le Consulat

30. Walk Across Pont Alexandre III

This is the most extravagant bridge in city. Decorated with nymphs, cherubs, and golden statues, Pont Alexandre III spans the Seine, joining the Grand Palais with Les Invalides. You may recognize this bridge from movies including James Bond: A View to Kill and Midnight in Paris.

Pont Alexander III | Best Things to Do in Paris

Pont Alexander III

31. La Grand Arche at La Defense

Journey out to La Defense (and leave the crowds behind) for a view from the top of La Grande Arche. This view may not have the same “wow factor” as those from the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral, but from here you can see most of Paris sprawling out in front of you.

La Defense Paris

32. Stroll through Saint-Germain-des-Prés

This is another very popular area to stroll. Filled with small lanes, boutique shops, and a bunch of very famous cafes, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a fun spot to spend an afternoon.

Saint Germain des Pres


33. Shakespeare and Company

Located on Paris’ Left Bank, Shakespeare and Company is a small but very famous bookstore.

Shakespeare and Company was started by American Sylvia Beach in 1919 at a different location. It was this bookstore that was frequently visited by authors like Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. This first shop closed in 1941 during the German occupation of France.

In 1951, George Whitman opened a second bookstore that was also visited by famous writers. In 1964, his bookshop was renamed Shakespeare and Company, and this is the bookstore on the Left Bank that people still visit today.

Shakespeare and Company

34. Rodin Museum

This small museum features sculptures by Rodin. It’s quick and fun to visit. If you are traveling with kids, this is a museum they may actually like…just ask them to pose like the statues. And since most of the museum is outdoors, this is a wonderful place to spend an hour or two when the weather is nice.

For hours and pricing, visit the official website.

Rodin Museum Paris

Rodin Museum

France Travel Guide

35. Watch the Sunset at the Trocadéro

The Trocadéro sits across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower. Sitting at the same site is the Palais de Chaillot, which is home to several museums.

The wide terrace at the Trocadéro is one of the best places to photograph the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower. It’s busy all day, even more so at sunset, but it is a great place to capture the Eiffel Tower and the colorful evening sky.

Trocadero Eiffel Tower Paris

View from the Trocadéro | Best Things to Do in Paris

36. Visit the Panthéon

Located in the Latin Quarter, this building was originally built as a church and then following the French Revolution, was used as a mausoleum for French citizens. Victor Hugo, Voltaire, Jean Rousseau, and Émile Zola are interred here.

On a visit to the Panthéon, you can tour the inside of the building. Check out the Foucault Pendulum, which sits in the center of the nave.

The best part of a visit to the Panthéon is climbing the steps to the top of the dome, which is called the “Balcony of Paris” because it offers 360° views of Paris. Look out over the Latin Quarter to Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and Luxembourg Gardens.

Get hours, pricing, and purchase your ticket online in advance to skip the ticket line, on the official website.

Pantheon Paris

View from the Panthéon


Inside the Pantheon Paris

Inside the Panthéon

37. Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier is the world famous opera house in Paris. Operas and ballets are performed here and this opera house is the setting for the book and musical “The Phantom of the Opera.” Inside, the Opera House is opulent, ornate, and stunningly beautiful. During your visit you can tour the opera house or watch a performance.

Opera house

Palais Garnier | Best Things to Do in Paris

38. Visit Pere Lachaise

Pere Lachaise Cemetery is one of the best known and most visited cemeteries in the world. A visit here may sound like a macabre way to spend an afternoon, but a stroll among the tombstones and mausoleums can be fascinating.

Pere Lechaise is free to visit but if you want to get more out of the experience, you can take a guided tour. This tour lasts 2 to 3 hours and you can see the final resting places of famous people such as Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison and Chopin.

Pere Lachaise Paris

Pere Lachaise

39. Rue Cler

On this short shopping street, go shopping in the patisseries (pastry shops), boulangeries (bread shops), fromageries (cheese shops), and shops selling wine, fruit, and chocolate. Once you are finished shopping, find a nice picnic spot on Champ de Mars and enjoy the view of the Eiffel Tower.

40. Go Shopping

One of the best things to do in Paris is to go shopping. Whether you want to shop at a multi-level shopping mall or stroll along picturesque streets lined with boutique shops, you have lots of options.

In Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Le Bon Marché is a high end shopping center topped with Grande Epicerie, a fine dining food hall.

The Galeries Lafayette is an upscale French department store. Even if you are not in the mood to go shopping, it still may be worth the quick visit. It is gorgeous inside, with a colorful stained-glass ceiling and ornately decorated balconies. You can even learn how to bake macarons from a French pastry chef. Head up to the roof and enjoy panoramic views of Paris.

Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette | Best Things to Do in Paris


Paris Je Taime Letters Sign

On the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette

In the same area, Le Printemps is another shopping mall. It’s very similar to Galeries Lafayette and lacks the amazing stained glass ceiling, but sitting on the top level is Perruche and Café Messika, two rooftop bars and restaurants with views of the city.

Le Printemps Paris View Eiffel Tower

The view from Cafe Messika on Le Printemps

Famous shopping streets include the Champs- Élysées, Rue Saint-Honoré, Rue de Passy, and strolling the streets of Le Marais.

With More Time

Paris Sewer Museum

Here’s an unusual tourist attraction and another chance to descend under the streets of Paris (if you also plan to visit the catacombs). During this visit, you will learn not only about the sewer system but also about how Paris has grown over the past several centuries. Most visits last about an hour, but if you can’t stand the smell, your visit may be much quicker.

Get hours and pricing on the official website.

Have Dinner and Drinks at the Buddha Bar

If you are looking for a very cool dinner/drink spot, go to the Buddha Bar. The lower level is a restaurant and along the second level are lounge areas with views over the restaurant. It feels like you have left Paris and entered Asia.

Buddha Bar Paris

Buddha Bar

Pont de l’Archeveche

This bridge joins Île de la Cité with the Left Bank. From here, you get an iconic view of Notre Dame. Walk along the bank of the Seine and enjoy the view of the cathedral and Île de la Cité.

Pont lArcheveche

Pont de l’Archeveche (photo taken before the Notre Dame fire).


If you are interested in languages, this is a great little museum to visit. With hands on and interactive exhibits, learn all about world languages.


Mundolingua | Best Things to Do in Paris

This is a much different experience than the larger, crowded museums like the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay. Mundolingua is a very small museum and during our visit on a very busy Easter weekend, we were the only visitors here. If you are looking for something a little bit different than the typical tourist destinations in Paris, this is one to add to your list.

It’s geared to all ages but I think older kids and young adults benefit from a visit here the most.

Best Things to Do in Paris: On a Map

How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

That’s quite the list, right? Now, if you only have a few days, what are the most important things to see?

Best Things to Do in Paris: Our Recommendations

Top 10 Experiences in Paris

Here are our ten favorite things to do in Paris.

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • The Louvre
  • The Arc de Triomphe
  • Dine at street café
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Montmartre
  • Sacre-Coeur
  • Le Marais
  • Walk along the Seine River

Best Free Things to Do in Paris

  • Walk along the Champs-Élysées
  • Watch the sunset from the Sacre-Coeur
  • Visit the Luxembourg Gardens
  • Stroll along the Seine River
  • Visit Le Marais
  • Pere Lachaise Cemetery
  • Stroll through Île de la Cité
  • Explore the hilly streets of Montmartre
  • Photograph the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro

10 Best Things to Do in Paris with Kids

  • Visit the Eiffel Tower
  • Go on a scavenger hunt in Musee d’Orsay
  • Get a gargoyle’s view of Paris from Notre Dame
  • Post like statues at the Rodin Museum
  • Have a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower
  • Say Hi to Mona Lisa at the Louvre
  • Visit Sacre Coeur and Montmartre
  • Enjoy the view from the Arc de Triomphe
  • Explore the Palace of Versailles
  • Visit Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Do you want to learn how to put all of these sites into an epic trip to Paris? We have several detailed Paris itineraries, including how to spend 2 days in Paris and the best way to spend 3 days in Paris. In our Paris Travel Guide, we cover everything you need to know to plan a trip to Paris, including where to stay, where to eat, and lots of money saving tips.

If you have any questions about the best things to do in Paris, or if you want to share your favorite experiences, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Paris

MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN PARIS: Don’t miss our guides to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Versailles, which cover important things to know as you plan your visit.

PARIS: Learn how to visit Pere LeChaise Cemetery, what to expect on a visit to Paris during Easter, learn where to get the best views of Paris, and read our Paris Food Guide and Paris Rooftop Bars and Restaurants for information on where to eat in Paris.

EUROPEAN ITINERARIES WITH PARIS: If you want to visit Paris plus one to two other European cities, you have several great options. A 10 day trip to London and Paris makes a great trip if it is your first visit to Europe (or if you just want to visit two great cities). With 10 days, you can also visit Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam or London, Amsterdam, and Paris.

MORE CITIES AROUND THE WORLD: Visit more cities around the world with our guides to RomeNew York City, London, Barcelona, Madrid, AthensSydney, and Auckland.

Planning a trip to France? Read all of our articles in our France Travel Guide.


Paris Bucket List Travel

Best Things to Do in Paris France


Header photo: givaga/shutterstock.com

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    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      I’m not really sure. We haven’t done much shopping in Paris. But on our most recent visit, Galeries Lafayette is a mall with a lot of good shopping options that aren’t super expensive. Cheers, Julie

    2. Avatar for Esyola

      Hello, we go rue des Francs-Bourgeois in the Marais. Plenty of cool shops there. Otherwise, you can go to Killiwatch, rue Tiquetonne . Awesome shop. Or make some epic shopping in a vintage shop. There’s plenty everywhere. Good shopping !

  2. Avatar for Lynette Putzier
    Lynette Putzier

    HI Julie, I am wanting to visit the Paris Opera Garnier and just walk around ourselves, not do a guided tour. Any idea how long it would take to walk through ourselves? Thanks

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      1. Avatar for Lynette Putzier
        Lynette Putzier

        Thanks, I saw online advice saying two hours so am relieved it is not needing to be that long 🙂 So much to see in Paris.

        1. Avatar for Julie Post
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    Carole Anderson

    Hi all. Do you have all of this info in paper form to mail to me? We are going to Paris for 2 days, then Venice, Rome and maybe Naples (8 days). You have such good information. It is hard to print.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Unfortunately, we don’t have PDF printable versions of these guides. I know it’s a lot of pages to save and print, since our website is not optimized for printing. You can save them as a PDF from your browser and then print the critical pages. Hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Gina H.
    Gina H.

    Hi! Very helpful articles – thank you! We are going on a 7- day western Mediterranean cruise and would like to visit a couple of European countries after the cruise. We have 5-6 days reserved. Your articles gave me good ideas. One trip that I could not find any information on your website is the trip to Normandy and the Normandy American Cemetery from Paris.
    Any suggestions on how we can do it sanely?

    Thanks much!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Gina. We have not yet been to Normandy so I can’t offer any solid advice on how to plan a visit here. But a quick Google search should be able to provide more info. Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Lynette Putzier
    Lynette Putzier

    HI there
    Is it worth going all the way to the top of the Eiffel tower or is the second floor view sufficient??

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      We have only been to the second floor so far (on two visits to the Eiffel Tower) and have never felt the need to go higher. Cheers, Julie

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