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View of famous Louvre Museum with Louvre Pyramid at evening at sunset in Paris France
Netfalls | Adobe Stock

The 10 Best Things to Do in Paris, France

A trip to the infamous city of love will leave you in awe of its beauty and atmosphere. Paris is steeped in history and immersed in a rich culture that attracts millions of visitors each year, for very good reason. Without a doubt, during your visit, you’ll find yourself being enchanted by the Eiffel Tower, stunned by the Seine, and astonished by the architecture. There is no better place to enjoy a romantic getaway, a cultural solo trip, or an unforgettable family holiday.

Whether you’re looking to taste some authentic, buttery croissants, see some magnificent sculptures and paintings, relax in the well-maintained gardens, or tour the sights, this city simply has it all. From famous galleries and museums like the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay to the beautiful buildings of Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe ー, Paris stands out as an undeniably one-of-a-kind place. 

Lock Eyes with the Mona Lisa at The Louvre

Paris, France - July 3, 2019 - IM Pei designed pyramid at the Louvre
Torval Mork | Adobe Stock

The famous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is currently housed in the Louvre Museum. This popular work of art draws large crowds, so if you want an unobstructed look at this portrait, a great option could be to book tickets for a last-entry tour that allows you to skip the line. 

If you’re hoping to make the most of your visit to the Louvre, there are countless other priceless works of art and artifacts that are worth seeing. The museum boasts an impressive collection consisting of the famous Venus de Milo sculpture, Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, and Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa paintings, among many others. 

Hotel recommendation:

 Hôtel Moliere: Spas, massages, facials, and saunas are all on offer at this high-end, 4-star hotel option. The boutique hotel has an elegant design, as well as spacious rooms. 

Be Dazzled by the Eiffel Tower

Evening illumination of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. September 15, 2020.
Radoslaw Maciejewski | Adobe Stock

Gustave Eiffel’s world-famous Eiffel Tower has essentially become synonymous with the city of Paris and is one of the most visited monuments in the world. However, seeing its photo on a postcard pales compared to witnessing its unique design in real life. You can climb the metal masterpiece from 9 AM until midnight, either going up to the second floor or straight to the top, using elevators or stairs. The prices vary depending on how far you wish to go up, how you want to go up, and your age. 

You can also visit one of the restaurants and bars on the different levels of the tower. Aside from the buffets found on the first two floors and the esplanade, there are establishments that offer incredible food, delicious drinks, and spectacular views, including Madame Brasserie by Thierry Marx, The Jules Vernes by Frédéric Anton (one MICHELIN star), and The Champagne Bar

Under the moonlight, the tower is illuminated by twinkling lights creating a magical, luminous display for onlookers. The 20,000 bulbs sparkle for five minutes every hour from dusk to 11:45 PM, giving you plenty of time and opportunities to enjoy the light show.

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel Eiffel Kennedy: Staying near the Eiffel Tower often means that hotel prices will be much higher. However, this charming 3-star hotel will give you a comfortable, central stay without breaking the bank.  

Admire Notre Dame

Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, France
Mistervlad | Adobe Stock

The famous cathedral has been at the center of multiple historical events, including the coronation of Napoleon as Emperor, and holds a special place in the heart of many Parisians. Tragically, whilst restoration work was being done in April 2019, the roof caught fire, causing significant damage to this beloved building. Nevertheless, most of the structure has stayed intact, and plans are to reopen it fully to the public in December 2024. 

It is still worth a visit, even if you plan to visit Paris before the official reopening date. Whilst the towers and treasuries are currently inaccessible to visitors, you can access the cathedral’s parvis and archaeological crypt. 

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel Europe Saint Severin Paris: This 3-star hotel has rustic decor, a homely feel, and a lower price point than many hotels in the same area. It could also hardly be any closer to Notre Dame, making it a great location for those wanting to stay nearby.

Stroll the Luxembourg Gardens

Paris - Luxembourg Palace
Tupungato | Adobe Stock

Walking through the Luxembourg Gardens provides a little bit of relief from the hustle and bustle of the city, giving you a chance to relax. Its charm draws both locals and tourists thanks to its calming atmosphere, exquisite flower beds, and manicured lawns. It is the perfect place to stretch your legs, enjoy family time or take someone on a romantic date. 

The gardens themselves are overlooked by the regal Luxembourg Palace and were inspired by the Boboli Gardens in Florence, which can be seen from the well-maintained areas and outdoor sculptures dotted around. There are also greenhouses, areas to play pétanque (a French sport similar to boules), and beehives. 

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel Le Six: This 4-star hotel has a more modern vibe to it and some stellar reviews from other visitors. You can enjoy getting pampered in the spa, relaxing in the steam room, and getting a drink at the swanky bar. 

Take a Seine River Boat Tour

Boat tour on Seine
Elenathewise | Adobe Stock

While walking along the river is a wonderful way to soak up the sights and enjoy a relaxing stroll, booking a riverboat tour makes a trip to Paris even more enchanting. There are countless companies offering their services, but most will take you past the main landmarks of the city and give you scenic views, which you can enjoy in style. Some also offer meals and champagne, adding extra glamorous detail to your day. 

Booking a trip during the day allows you to see everything in broad daylight, but the city truly comes alive at night.  For the most dreamy experience, you can book a dinner cruise where you can treat your tastebuds to some delicious dishes while being serenaded by violinists and pianists.

Hotel recommendation:

Juliana Hotel Paris: Another 5-star option with unique decor that has been meticulously designed. It offers a spa, a fitness center, and individually decorated rooms, so no two are the same!

Enjoy the Artwork at the Musée d’Orsay

Sculptures from the six continents of the World outside the Musée d'Orsay in Paris
hcast | Adobe Stock

The Louvre may be the more famous museum to visit, but the Musée d’Orsay should be just as high up on your bucket list! The building itself was converted from a Beaux-Arts style railway station, creating an interior that looks so original. However, the museum is more than just that, given that it houses a huge amount of masterpieces from mainly French artists and is renowned for having a rich collection of Impressionist art. It houses twenty-four of Van Gogh’s paintings (including the stunning Starry Night), eighty-six paintings by Monet, and fifty-six pieces by Cézanne. 

The museum is open every day, apart from Mondays, and offers a variety of guided tours, workshops, and changing exhibitions. If you’re lucky enough, you may even be able to attend a concert during the evening or at lunchtime in this house of culture. Make sure to check the website and book well in advance in order to avoid disappointment. 

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel Montalembert: This 5-star option is located only an 8-minute walk away from the Musée d’Orsay. It offers spa services, babysitting for an extra charg, and ornately-decorated surroundings.

Explore Montmartre

Basilique Sacré Coeur Montmartre Paris France
Beboy | Adobe Stock

This bohemian area of Paris has historically captivated artists and creatives, creating an atmosphere that still inspires many to this day. The place is simply gorgeous, with its winding streets and cobbled surfaces, it feels distinctly like a quaint village. Here you can visit the Sacré-Cœur Basilica on top of the Montmartre hill, either by walking up 197 steps or, if your legs are tired from all of the exploring, you can take the funicular. 

This isn’t the only thing that the village has to offer, though.  There is the Place du Tertre, where you can look at the wonderful paintings and drawings of local artists. Also, the Moulin Rouge is located here, along with the “I Love You” Wall (Le Mur des Je t’aime). This piece of art has “I love you” written all over jet-black rock in over 250 languages.

Hotel recommendation:  

Mercure Paris Montmartre Sacré Coeur: A reasonably-priced, 4-star hotel that is close to the Moulin Rouge, the metro, and the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. There is also a garden, fitness space, and terrace. 

Experience the Atmosphere of The Latin Quarter

Paris Pantheon
Nikitin Mikhail | Adobe Stock

This area is one of the most ancient in the city, meaning that it is full of history and culture. The Pantheon can be found in The Latin Quarter, where honored men and women important to France are interred or commemorated, including the writers Victor Hugo and Emile Zola. 

Paris’ Natural History Museum is also located in this quarter, along with the attaching Jardin des Plantes, which is a botanical garden that is free to visit. The only thing you may have to pay for is entry to the zoo, where you can meet fascinating exotic animals. 

Aside from the endless exciting places to see, the atmosphere is second to none. There is a thriving jazz scene in this district, so you can’t miss out on going to one of the many jazz or cabaret clubs found here. 

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel d’Aubusson: Originally, this hotel was a 17th-century mansion and is the epitome of luxury. This 4-star hotel’s central location places you around many places of interest and welcomes you back with superb interior design and fantastic service after a long day of sightseeing.

Do Retail Therapy at the Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette department store
laurencesoulez | Adobe Stock

This shopping mall is one of the most recognizable in the city thanks to its distinctively lavish interior design in the style of Art Nouveau. From an enormous glass dome to gilded features to illuminating lights, it is truly a breathtaking sight! If you’re a luxury fanatic, there are plenty of places to indulge and treat yourself to a designer souvenir. You can buy items from Dior, Chloé, Hermès, Chanel, Céline, and many more French and international fashion brands.

Once you’re feeling exhausted from carrying around all those shopping bags, there are lots of places to sit, enjoy a coffee or order a delicious meal. 

Hotel recommendation:  

Hôtel Excelsior Opéra: A 3-star hotel with a lot of character. All of the rooms are designed in a simple, contemporary style, with the comfort of their guests in mind. They also all have flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi. 

Visit the Arc De Triomphe

Paris Arc de Triomphe View - Majestic Structure
ahriam12 | Adobe Stock

This commemorative monument dedicated to the victories of Napoleon’s army is globally recognized for its distinctive arch and elaborate sculptures and engravings. Those wishing to climb to the top will get a staggering view of one of the most beautiful streets in Paris: the Champs-Élysées, as well as the Eiffel Tower and The Louvre. The top is also accessible by elevator, making it an activity everyone can enjoy. Remember to book tickets in advance so that you can skip the queue and keep your itinerary for the rest of the day on track!

Hotel recommendation:

Hotel EKTA: A lovely 4-star hotel with 70s-inspired decor, only a stone’s throw away from the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll love the funky fabrics and electric artwork that the hotel has chosen.

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