Experience Paris for the first time through the many museums, cafes and gardens. Paris is a large and sprawling city, so be prepared to walk; A lot.
With so much to see and do in this large sprawling city, below is a list of the top 15 things to see and do in Paris.
The top of most people’s list of what to see and do in Paris, has to be the Eiffel Tower. This famous Parisian monument is perfect to enjoy during the day and at night. Whether you want to go to the very top or just sit back and enjoy the light show, the Eiffel Tower is my number one thing to see. I highly recommend, having a picnic in the Parc du Champ de Mars.
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile
One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the The Arc de Triomphe, is situated at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle with 12 avenues radiating from it’s base. Commissioned by Emperor Napoleon, The Arc de Triomphe commemorates all those who fought and died during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées
For some of the world’s best shopping, from Prada to YSL, head over to Avenue des Champs Élysées. Lined with luxury shopping, cafes, and restaurants, this Avenue rays out from the Arc de Triomphe
Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre Dame is the famous medieval Catholic Cathedral, known for it’s gothic architecture. Located on an island, on the Seine River, within the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. Admire Notre-Dame de Paris outside for free, or for a deeper look, pay to go up the towers of the Cathedral.
The Louvre is the world’s largest and most famous museum. The Louvre is a great place to people watch and take pictures with the famous glass pyramid monument. If you have the time, go inside and see Mona Lisa. Plan to spend a minimum of 5 to 6 hours here. Plan to wait in long security lines of up to 45 minutes. For more on what to expect in Paris, read my Paris Travel Tips.
Sacré-Cœur, Paris or Basilica of the Sacred Heart is a Roman Catholic Basilica situated on the highest point of Montmartre, Paris’s 18th arrondissement. The Basilica is seen as both a political and a cultural monument. Not only do you get some of the best views of Paris from here, but buy some wine or beet and people watch on the steps of the church. A donation is required to go inside the Basilica.
Have your portrait sketched by one of the many artists in the open square around the corner from the Basilica of the Sacred Heart.
Musée de l’Armée
Musée de l’Armée is the French Military Museum, and also home to the resting place of Napoleon the Great. This is a large museum and grand burial place, plan to spend about 4 to 5 hours at Musée de l’Armée.
Catacombs of Paris
Visit the Paris’ underworld. Centuries old, the catacombs of Paris have been preserved under one of Europe’s largest cities.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Have a lunch or coffee in theJardin du Luxembourg, go for a run or sail tiny boats in the large outdoor fountain. The Luxembourg Gardens is a free park, complete with basketball, tennis and bocci courts.
Take a river boat ride up and down the Seine River. Enjoy a wine or champagne tasting as you enjoy the Parisian skyline at sunset. Shop for books and art along the many stands along the Seine River.
Le Chateau de Versailles
Easy to get to, Le Chateau de Versailles or the Palace of Versailles is about a 40 min train ride from Paris, costing around $7 round trip. Once you arrive to the infamous Palace of the Sun King, King Louis XVI, be prepared to wait. If you go to the Palace of Versailles during the weekend you may be waiting in lines up to 1.5 hours long, and then herded like cattle through the Palace. Get the audio guide for $5, as it is hard to get to the displays to read about the rooms. Enjoy the 2000 acres of gardens, and over 200 fountains scattered throughout. Enjoy a synchronized fountain shows at Le Jardin de Versailles from April through October, Tuesdays & Saturdays, 2PM & 4PM. There is a lot of dirt, so if it rains be prepared for mud. Plan to spend about 6 hours at the Palace of Versailles and the Le Jardin de Versailles.
Home to the world famous sculpture ‘The Thinker’, the Rodin Museum contains a beautiful garden lined with amazing sculptures.
Go Luxury Vintage Shopping
Go luxury vintage shopping at some of the best consignment shops in the world.
Eat Some Sweets
Paris is known for it’s bakeries, pain au chocolate or chocolate bread and sweets. Go to Ladurée for chocolate and macarons, and go to street cart for the best crepes.