It’s tricky to determine the sights and attractions that should be included in the itinerary when planning a Paris journey. With so many fun things to do in Paris, it is difficult to narrow the field while still experiencing everything this wonderful city offers. This is especially true if you plan to spend only a weekend or couple of days in the City of Lights.
We have selected the best things to do in Paris to make it easier for you to get the most out of your trip. Whether you plan a 7-day vacation or a weekend getaway, check our list of the top 10 things to do in Paris.
1. Visit Louvre and Other Museums in Paris
Most travelers are eager to visit Paris art museums during their trip. Musée du Louvre is no doubt the most famous museum in Paris. It possesses over 30,000 paintings, antiquities, classical sculptures, and other artworks. Mona Lisa (La Joconde), the masterpieces of Leonardo da Vinci, is the top attraction.
Other must-see works include Botticelli’s frescoes, Venus de Milo marble sculpture (an ancient Greek statue), and the Nike of Samothrace (also called the Winged Victory of Samothrace).
It’s not possible to see all the artworks in one visit, so you should focus on one or two galleries during your visit. Actually, it is best to take a private guided Louvre tour to head straight to the Mona Lisa and other prominent artworks by jumping the queue. In addition to Louvre, you should also explore other galleries and museums like:
- Musée d’Orsay
- Rodin Museum
- Musee de l'Orangerie
- The Centre Pompidou
- Musee de l’Armee des Invalides
2. Marvel at the Fondation Louis Vuitton
Located in the Bois de Boulogne, this impressive building rises up out of the large public park with huge glass panels. The Fondation Louis Vuitton was designed by Frank Gehry. It doubles as a cultural center and modern art museum with a sleek exterior that features ultra-modern architectural style. The building is meant to resemble a large ship with a sheer number of glass sails that create an astonishing effect.
The Fondation Louis Vuitton comprises eleven galleries that house a variety of contemporary art collections. It hosts music performances and cultural events besides temporary exhibitions throughout the year. Check the calendar of events before heading to this place.
3. Enjoy Watching Twinkling of the Eiffel Tower At Night (Our Favorite Choice)
This is not only our favorite choice. Many tourists also consider it one of the top things to do in Paris. What’s more, just about everyone visits this world-renowned attraction during his/her trip to Paris. We recommend that you visit it at night to enjoy a magical sight when the girders of this magnificent structure are traced in sparkling light cascades. There are over 20,000 lights installed.
It twinkles for 5 min every hour in the evening. The ‘electric dance’ starts at dusk after sundown and it lasts until 1 a.m. Many people prefer to stand close to the tower and watch a twinkling show from close range. You’re advised to combine direct access to Eiffel Tower with the Seine River illuminations cruise to see this iconic monument from a completely different perspective.
4. Admire Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is considered the masterpiece of French Gothic Architecture. After being partially destroyed by the fire in 2019, Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral is temporarily closed due to restorations. Nevertheless, you can still marvel at its exterior.
You will be instantly struck by the facade and its ornamental design that showcases numerous gargoyles and sculptures. Admire the decorative doorway of this enormous building as well as the Gallery of Kings that comprises 21 gorgeous figures. It’s best to explore this iconic cathedral by wandering over it on foot. It is located in the heart of Paris.
5. Join a Guided Food Tour and Indulge in Delicious Food
No trip to Paris is complete without indulging in local cuisine. Food plays an important role in the French culture. Parisians are passionate about cooking. They claim that the bread tastes better in this city, and it isn't a myth. While some tourists don’t believe them, everyone agrees that the local food is unquestionably admirable.
If you want to enjoy the food to the fullest and try different tastings, you need to join a private food tour with a gastronomy expert. Try everything from traditional French cheeses and cured meat to delicacies and wines.
6. Walk Through Montmartre and Take Photos Along the Way
People often regard Montmartre as a village because of its small-town vibe and winding streets, but it's actually a Paris neighborhood. Montmartre is nestled in the northern area of the city on a picturesque hilltop.
Are you ready to hit the road? Spend a morning wandering through this incredible district. Visit the Sacre Coeur Basilica (a religious monument), sip coffee at bistros, enjoy scenic views of Paris from the top of the hill, and take a lot of photos.
7. Pass Through the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe, which means Triumphal Arch of the Star, is a must-visit monument that you shouldn’t miss while in Paris. This 50-meter tall structure honors the generals, soldiers, and other people who fought in Napoleonic Wars as well as the French Revolutionary. It was built in the early nineteenth century.
The Arc de Triomphe combines large figures and bas-reliefs with 12 radiating avenues. There’s the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the foot of this remarkable monument. Buy the ticket to get access to a viewing platform and enjoy spectacular views from the top of this structure. You can also see the Arc de Triomphe while cruising along the Seine River.
8. Take a Seine River Cruise
The Arc de Triomphe is not the only attraction you can see on a private Seine river cruise. You will also be able to see other highlights of Paris, including the Louvre Museum, Eiffel Tower, Opera House, Champs Elysees Avenue, and Les Invalides.
Sit back and relax while exploring the city and sipping a drink during a cruise along the river. This private tour is geared toward people who want to enjoy their vacation to the max. Don’t let the price scare you away. It’s worth the money!
9. Discover the Catacombs of Paris
Catacombs of Paris are overlooked by many visitors because they don’t know that there is an underground world consisting of tunnels full of bones in Paris. Others avoid this mysterious place because it's a bit spooky. While Paris catacombs are not suitable for romantic getaways, tourists who want to learn more about this part of the city’s history should explore it during their trip.
If you are one of those people, you need to consider booking a guided Catacombs Tour. Explore underground ossuaries and tunnels while learning about the history behind this place for an eerie experience.
10. Go On a Full-Day Trip to Versailles
Paris offers a wide range of fun activities, so it’s really hard to get bored. However, if you want to get out of the city for a day and make your vacation complete, then you should take a Versailles day trip from Paris. This is a great opportunity to find out more about the history of this area while exploring the enchanting gardens that occupy a 2,000-acre space.
In addition to visiting the gorgeous Gardens of Versailles, you will also admire the magnificent royal palace and wander through the Hall of Mirrors. There are more than 300 mirrors. Allow enough time to explore all the areas and attractions during your full-day trip to Versailles.
Paris is a popular tourist destination with incredible culture, interesting history, and world-class restaurants. Aside from being France’s capital, it is also the European cultural capital. That said, you need to plan your trip with great attention to detail and try to cover the top attractions in Paris. Consider the sites, landmarks, tours, and activities listed above to have a memorable experience.