The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre may top the list of places to go visit in Paris for first-time visitors to Paris, but the city has many more sights and delicacies to offer. This list compiles 45 of the city's must-do activities and attractions. We didn't see all there was to see on our first trip to Paris, and we wouldn't expect you to either. Paris is the type of location you'll want to revisit if you're anything like us. Three visits to Paris, and each time is better than the last.
Just below the fold, you'll find our picks for the best activities in Paris. If your time in the city is limited, you may avoid wasting it by visiting less-important sites and focusing instead on the city's most notable landmarks.
What are the places to visit in Paris?
Among the many iconic landmarks in Paris, the Eiffel Tower stands out. The thrill of seeing the Eiffel Tower for the first time is understandable. If you're visiting Paris for the first time, you really must make the trip to the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is comprised of three levels: the first, second, and third. To get to the first and second floors, you may use either the elevator or the stairs. There is no other way to go to the very top of the Eiffel Tower but by using an elevator.
Stairs are cheaper and have shorter lines than elevators since so few people really want to use them. It's also a great way to save time visiting the Eiffel Tower by skipping the line. If you don't feel like climbing the stairs, you may always elect to take the elevator up.
The Louvre is the world's largest art museum and comes in 2nd place where you’re seeing places to go visit in Paris guide. A number of French monarchs, including Louis XIV, formerly called this home. It was during the 18th of century French Revolution that the Louvre was converted into a museum.
The Louvre is so massive that you could spend days there. In spite of this, it is possible to view the Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo, and other sights in only a few hours.
Using these strategies, you can skip the line and get straight inside the Louvre.
IRON ARC OF THE DE TRIOMPHE
At the highest point of the Champs-Elysees stands the iconic Arc de Triomphe. From its peak, the Arc de Triomphe provides one of the city's most breathtaking panoramas. You can view the Eiffel Tower from a rooftop, the Louvre from the Champs-Elysees, and the exterior of La Defense. Paris (and the Eiffel Tower) lit up at night is a sight to see.
St. Chapelle and Notre Dame sit on a little island in the middle of Paris called Île de la Cité. This is when Paris's history really began to take shape.
(Point Zero des Routes de France), the original Paris is marked with a plaque on the ground in front of Notre Dame.
Au Vieux Paris, one of Paris's most charming cafes, can be found on the Ile de la Cité as well.
Pont Neuf, Paris's "new" bridge, has been around longer than any other bridge in the city. It connects the Right Bank with the Île de la Cité. From here, you can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance, the Pont des Arts (the next bridge on the Seine), and the river below.
NOTRE DAME BASILICA
Notre Dame is both an enormous and very ancient cathedral. The view of Paris from the gargoyle atop the cathedral is the highlight of every trip to this site. Walk inside to observe the magnificent stained glass windows that line the nave.
Not far from Notre Dame lies the gorgeous cathedral of Sainte Chapelle, which has one of the world's finest collections of stained glass. Sainte Chapelle is worth the wait in line.
The Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle are so close to one another that a visit to one might be combined with the other. Inmates like Marie Antoinette were kept here before being sent to the Place de la Concorde for their execution.
There are always quite long lineups to get inside Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie. A skip-the-line ticket may be purchased in advance to avoid the wait.
The Champs-Elysees and the Tuileries Garden are separated by the massive Place de la Concorde roundabout. This famous square is steeped in French history. During the French Revolution, the king, the queen, and Robespierre were all executed by guillotine here.
Concorde Square's Giant Wheel
From the middle of November until the beginning of May, you may ride a giant Ferris wheel in the Place de la Concorde. If the line isn't too long and you're interested in seeing Paris from above, you may want to get aboard.
The Palace of Versailles is a royal residence in the Paris suburbs. When King Louis XIV took over as absolute monarch in 1682, he moved the court from the Louvre to the Palace of Versailles. There was a little over a century in which this was the capital of France. That stopped in 1789 when the French Revolution began. Paris has been the capital of France since the monarchy was once again established there. While at Versailles, you'll get to check out the palace and grounds. Information on Versailles might be found here.
Osaka Art Museum
The Musee d'Orsay has the most extensive collection of Impressionist works in the world. Artists such as Monet, Manet, Degas, Cezanne, Renoir, Van Gogh, and Gauguin may all have paintings on display. When it comes to Impressionist painters, it's veritable who's who.
This museum has more than only works by Impressionist artists. Simply, the building is beautiful. Repurposed from a train station, the Musee d'Orsay is now known as Gare d'Orsay.
Hours are Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Thursday to 9:45 p.m. The museum is not open on Mondays. The Museum Pass is free, and tickets are €16. A ticket to both the Orangerie and the Museum of Fine Arts costs €20. You may also buy tickets in advance on sites like GetYourGuide or online.
C'est an LE MARAIS qu'il faut se rendre.
Le Marais is a fascinating neighborhood in Paris. The best affordable restaurant in Le Marais is L'As du Falafel, which can be found on Rue de Rosiers.
The Centre Pompidou
The Centre Pompidou has Europe's largest collection of modern and contemporary art. All of the museum's plumbing and pipes are located on the building's outside and are color-coded, making for a fascinating arrangement. There's no denying that this is a one-of-a-kind view. It would take days to see everything in this massive museum. From the top of the museum, you'll get another breathtaking panorama of the City of Light.
Montmartre is one of the city's most popular neighborhoods. You may get lost in the maze of steep streets leading up to Place du Tertre, get your picture taken, and then relax with a drink at one of the many cafes that spill out onto the sidewalks.
THE WALL OF LOVE
Le Mur des Je T'aime (The Wall of Love) is a monument in Paris where the words "I Love You" are written in 250 different languages. There is no reason not to stop over for a quick look if you find yourself in the area. It is just next to the Abbesses subway stop.
If you're looking for something to do that night, why not go to the most famous cabaret in the world? Moulin Rouge is where you may witness colorful can-can dancers every night of the week. Showtimes are at 7:00, 9:00, and 11:00 p.m. Champagne with the show "Feerie" at the Moulin Rouge—what could be better?
The CANAL DE SAINT-MARTIN
The area around the Canal Saint-Martin, a little river, is filled with charming shops and cafes. This is regarded as superior among locals. If you're bored of the throngs of tourists, escape here for a quiet day and dinner at one of the cafes.
RADIANCE IN ANGELINA
Angelina, on Rue de Rivoli near the Louvre, is one of the best spots in Paris to have rich hot chocolate and delicious French pastries. Enjoy!
This bridge links the Left Bank to the Ile de la Cite at Arrow's Point. The iconic Notre Dame cathedral may be seen in the distance. Take in the sights of the cathedral and Ile de la Cite as you wander down the Seine.
The Luxembourg Gardens
Spring and summer, when the weather is mild and the flowers are in bloom, are peak seasons for tourism to this tranquil spot. Excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle of Paris.
Travel the Seine by boat
Relax on a boat as you cruise along the Seine and take in Paris's landmarks. After dark, when Paris is all lit up, is the best time to take a cruise. Day or night, you may go on a cruise.
If you're into languages, you'll love this little museum. Languages of the world are explored via hands-on and interactive displays.
This is quite different from visiting the Louvre or the Musee d'Orsay, which are larger and more crowded. Since Mundolingua is so small, we were the only ones there on a very busy Easter weekend. If you want to see anything other than the typical tourist traps in Paris, this is a good option.
All ages are welcome, but I think teenagers and young adults will get the most out of it.
Take a tour of the skeleton-filled tunnels under the streets of Paris. After being cleansed, the bones from surrounding Paris cemeteries were moved to these underground passageways in the 18th century. Over six million Parisians rest here in eternal peace.
Consider alternatives to waiting in line at tombs to save time.
PARIS SEWER MUSEUM
This bizarre tourist trap provides another excuse to investigate the bowels of Paris. During this trip, you will learn more about Paris's sewage system and the city's historical evolution. The typical length of a visit is one hour, but if the odor is too much, you may want to go sooner.
MUSEE DE L’ORANGERIE
The art at this little museum is mostly Impressionist. The museum's eight Water Lilies murals by Claude Monet are its most famous exhibits. Artists such as Picasso, Sisley, Cezanne, and Matisse are included.
The museum is open on weekdays from 9 am to 6 pm (excluding Tuesdays) except when closed for holidays. There is a €13 ticket price, however, the Museum Pass is free. The price of a combined ticket to the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay is €20.
DINE AT A STREET CAFÉ
This should be at the top of your to-do list while in Paris. Restaurants spill out into the streets of the city. Heaters are used in many establishments to ensure that customers are warm even when the temperature outside drops. After a long day of sightseeing, grabbing a table to eat and drink is the perfect way to relax.
WALK ACROSS PONT ALEXANDRE III
This bridge is the city's most ostentatious structure. Bridge across the Seine, linking the Grand Palais and Les Invalides. Nixies, cherubs, and gilded statues adorn its interior. The bridge in question may seem familiar to you if you've watched Midnight in Paris or James Bond: A View to Kill.
LA GRAND ARCHE AT LA DEFENSE
Enjoy the view from atop La Grande Arche in La Defense (and leave the throng behind). Although the view may not have the same "wow factor" as that from the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral, the bulk of Paris is laid out before you from this vantage point.
SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY
Located on the Left Bank of Paris, Shakespeare & Company is a little but well-known bookstore.
Shakespeare and Company were established in 1919 by American Sylvia Beach but at a different location. This bookstore was visited by writers such as Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and Ezra Pound. The first shop had to close its doors in 1941 when Germany invaded France.
George Whitman's second bookstore, which he opened in 1951, was a popular hangout for well-known writers. In 1964, he rebranded his Left Bank bookshop as Shakespeare & Company, and it retains its popularity to this day.
This little museum has a number of sculptures by Rodin. The visits are pleasant and short. If you are traveling with children, this museum may be a hit. All you have to do is tell them to adopt a statuesque stance.
VISIT THE PANTHEON
The Pantheon's dome has been renowned as the "Balcony of Paris" for the breathtaking views it provides of the city. The Latin Quarter is a great spot to see the sights of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, the Luxembourg Gardens, and Notre Dame.
The Palais Garnier is the name of Paris's famed opera theatre. Operas and ballets are performed at this opera house, which serves as the backdrop for the book and musical "The Phantom of the Opera." The inside of the Opera House is stunning in its opulence and detail. The opera house is open for tours and performances.
Shop at the bakeries, cheese shops, and specialty businesses selling wine, fruit, and chocolate along this quaint pedestrian street. After you've finished your shopping, find a nice picnic spot on Champs de Mars and see the Eiffel Tower.