Paris, the city of love, the city of lights, the city of culture and art. There’s no denying that Paris is one of the most beautiful and iconic cities in the world, and it’s no surprise that it’s a must-visit destination for many. But with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming trying to plan your trip. That’s why we’ve put together this insider guide to give you a taste of the best things to do in Paris.
One of the best ways to experience Paris is to simply wander and explore. Take a stroll along the winding streets and take in the sights and sounds of the city. You’ll come across charming cafes, quaint boutiques, and stunning architecture. Take a break and enjoy a croissant and a café au lait at one of the city’s many patisseries and boulangeries.
For those looking to dive deeper into the city’s rich history and culture, there are plenty of museums and galleries to explore. Immerse yourself in the works of famous artists such as Monet and Van Gogh and discover the city’s rich art history.
No trip to Paris is complete without indulging in some of the city’s delicious cuisine. From classic French dishes such as escargots and ratatouille to more modern twists on traditional cuisine.. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many bistros or indulge in a fancy dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant.
These are just a few of the many things to do in Paris. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich history and culture or simply relax and take in the sights, there’s something for everyone in this beautiful city. So pack your bags and get ready to fall in love with Paris. On y va!
Things to do in Paris
Join us as we take a journey through the city of love and explore the landmarks that make Paris one of the most iconic and beautiful cities in the world. From the grandeur of the Eiffel Tower to the serenity of the Sainte-Chapelle, these landmarks are sure to leave a lasting impression.
The Eiffel Tower, one of the most iconic landmarks in the world, has stood tall in the heart of Paris for over 130 years. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Standing at an impressive 324 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world.
As you approach the tower, the first thing you’ll notice is its sheer size and grandeur. The tower’s intricate iron latticework provides a stunning contrast against the blue Parisian sky, making it a photographer’s dream. Take a lift or climb the 1,665 steps to the top for breathtaking views of the city. On a clear day, you can see as far as 40km away, taking in sights such as the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Arc de Triomphe.
The Eiffel Tower is not just a tourist attraction but a symbol of French culture and history. It has been featured in countless films, books and songs and has become a symbol of love and romance for many couples who visit the tower to take in its stunning views and to propose marriage. The tower is also a popular spot for New Year’s Eve celebrations, with thousands gathering to watch the spectacular fireworks display.
The Louvre Museum is one of the most famous and visited museums in the world. Boasting a collection of over 380,000 works of art and artefacts, the Louvre is home to some of the most iconic and priceless pieces of art in history. From the Mona Lisa to the Venus de Milo, the Louvre is a true treasure trove of art and culture. The museum’s collection spans over 9,000 years of history, covering everything from ancient Egyptian artefacts to contemporary art.
The Louvre’s grandiose architecture is as impressive as the art within. The museum is housed in a former royal palace, with a striking glass pyramid entrance that serves as a modern contrast to the classic French architecture. Take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the museum and its collection, or explore the galleries on your own.
Whether you’re an art lover or a history buff, the Louvre is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Paris. It’s a place where you can marvel at the world’s most famous works of art and delve into the rich history and culture of humanity.
Notre Dame Cathedral, located in the heart of Paris, is one of the most iconic and recognisable cathedrals in the world. This gothic masterpiece, built in the 12th century, is a testament to the skill and artistry of medieval builders. The cathedral, which means “Our Lady” in French, is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and it has been a place of pilgrimage and worship for centuries.
As you approach Notre Dame, the first thing you’ll notice is the intricate gothic architecture, with its pointed arches, flying buttresses, and ornate sculptures. The cathedral’s two main towers are adorned with magnificent gargoyles, which are said to ward off evil spirits. Visitors can climb to the top of the towers for a panoramic view of Paris and the Seine river.
Inside the cathedral, you’ll find a treasure trove of art and history. The main altar is adorned with intricate carvings, and there are several chapels dedicated to different saints. The cathedral also has an impressive collection of stained glass windows, which cast a colourful light on the interior of the cathedral.
Notre Dame Cathedral is not just a religious site but also a symbol of French culture and history. It’s been a setting for many famous literary works, such as Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame de Paris, and it’s also a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The cathedral has recently suffered from a fire in 2019, but the French government has been working hard to restore it back to its former glory. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Paris and a testament to the enduring beauty and significance of this magnificent cathedral.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris’ most iconic landmarks. Standing at the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe is a symbol of French military prowess and national pride. Built between 1806 and 1836 to honour the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte and his soldiers, the Arc de Triomphe stands at an impressive 50 meters high and 45 meters wide. Visitors can climb to the top of the Arc for a panoramic view of the city, including a bird’s eye view of the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower. The Arc is also home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument to the unidentified soldiers who died during World War I.
Sainte-Chapelle is a Gothic masterpiece located on the Île de la Cité in the heart of Paris. Built in the 13th century by King Louis IX as a palace chapel, this stunning structure is renowned for its intricate stained glass windows that illuminate the interior with a kaleidoscope of colours. The windows, which are considered some of the finest surviving examples of medieval stained glass, depict scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints. The upper chapel is a marvel of architectural engineering and an awe-inspiring sight, with its slender rib vaults and pointed arches creating an ethereal atmosphere. The lower chapel, which was used by the palace officials, is a contrast to the upper chapel with its simpler design. A visit to Sainte-Chapelle is a step back in time to the splendour of the Middle Ages and an experience not to be missed for art and history lovers.
Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is a fascinating and historical destination in the heart of Paris. Established in 1804, it is the city’s largest cemetery and the final resting place for many of France’s most famous and influential figures, including the likes of Oscar Wilde, Frédéric Chopin, and Jim Morrison. The cemetery covers over 110 acres and is a verdant oasis in the bustling city. Visitors can stroll the winding paths, admire the elaborate tombs and monuments, and pay their respects to the famous figures of the past. The cemetery is also home to a number of sculptures and works of art, adding to its visual appeal. The atmosphere is peaceful and contemplative, making it an ideal spot for a walk or a picnic, but also one of the most visited tourist spots in Paris. Père Lachaise is also known for its sheer size, and visitors can easily spend a few hours exploring its many nooks and crannies. It’s a unique blend of history, art and serenity that make Père Lachaise a must-see destination for anyone visiting Paris.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is a magnificent example of French Baroque architecture and a testament to the opulence of the French monarchy. Located just outside of Paris, this magnificent palace was the residence of the French Kings from Louis XIV to Louis XVI, and it served as the centre of political power during the height of the French monarchy. The palace is a true masterpiece, with its grand halls, ornate salons, and stunning gardens that are sure to leave visitors in awe. The palace’s Hall of Mirrors is particularly impressive, with its ornate chandeliers, gilded mouldings, and mirrored walls that reflect the sunlight streaming through the windows. Visitors can also explore the palace’s state apartments and chapels, as well as the famous gardens, which feature intricate parterres, sculptures, and fountains. The Palace of Versailles is a must-see destination for anyone interested in French history and art, and it is a testament to the grandeur of the French monarchy.
The Musée d’Orsay, located on the banks of the Seine in Paris, is a must-see destination for art lovers. The museum, housed in a former railway station, is home to one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. Visitors can stroll through the galleries and marvel at masterpieces by the likes of Monet, Degas, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cézanne, and many more. The museum’s grand hall, with its high vaulted ceilings and ornate clock, is a work of art in itself.
One of the highlights of the museum is the collection of Monet’s water lilies, which is considered one of the most important works of the artist. The museum also showcases works of lesser-known but equally talented artists. The collection also includes sculptures, decorative arts, and period furniture, making it a comprehensive representation of the art and culture of the late 19th century. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions featuring the works of contemporary artists and the art of other cultures.
Place des Vosges
Place des Vosges is one of the most picturesque and historic squares in Paris. Built in the early 17th century, it is considered the first example of urban planning in the city and served as a model for other squares that followed. The square is surrounded by beautifully restored 17th-century buildings, each adorned with red-brick facades and steeply pitched roofs and featuring elegant arches and tall, narrow windows. The centre of the square is a lush garden, which is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. The Place des Vosges is also home to several notable buildings, including the Maison de Victor Hugo, where the famous French writer lived from 1832 to 1848, and the Musée Carnavalet, which tells the story of Paris through its collections of paintings, sculptures, and artefacts. For those looking to experience a slice of Parisian history and architecture, the Place des Vosges is a must-see destination.
Catacombs of Paris
The Catacombs of Paris are a labyrinth of underground tunnels and chambers that hold the remains of over six million Parisians. The Catacombs were created in the late 18th century as a solution to the city’s overflowing cemeteries, which posed a health hazard. The remains were exhumed from graveyards and transferred to the tunnels, which were originally limestone mines. The Catacombs are a unique and eerie destination for those interested in history and the macabre. The underground maze is lined with rows of skulls and bones arranged in decorative patterns, creating a sombre and thought-provoking atmosphere. Visitors can wander through the tunnels, taking in the eerie silence and the history behind the remains. The Catacombs are not for the faint of heart and are considered to be one of the most chilling and unusual tourist destinations in Paris.
Palais de Tokyo
Palais de Tokyo, located in the heart of Paris, is a contemporary art museum that exudes unique energy and creativity. The museum’s architecture is a stunning blend of modern and industrial design, with its raw concrete walls and large open spaces providing the perfect backdrop for the contemporary art on display. Visitors to Palais de Tokyo can expect to see a diverse range of works, including sculptures, paintings, and installations, from both established and emerging artists. The museum also frequently hosts performance art, film screenings, and other events, making it a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and those looking for a truly unique cultural experience. With a constantly evolving collection and a dynamic program of events, Palais de Tokyo is a true gem of the Parisian art scene.
The city’s many parks offer a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the streets, with tranquil lakes, winding paths, and colourful flower beds.
The Luxembourg Gardens, located in the heart of Paris, are a serene oasis in the midst of the bustling city. Created in the 17th century by Marie de Medici, the gardens are a picturesque blend of French formal gardens and English landscape gardens. Visitors can stroll through the beautifully manicured lawns and flowerbeds, admire the colourful floral displays, and take in the sights and sounds of the gardens’ many fountains and sculptures. The gardens are also home to a variety of recreational activities, including pony rides, puppet shows, and boating on the Grand Bassin pond. The Luxembourg Palace, which borders the gardens, is also worth a visit for its impressive architecture and art collections. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful place to relax or a fun-filled day of activities, the Luxembourg Gardens offer something for everyone.
Jardin des Plantes is a botanical paradise that’s perfect for nature lovers. The garden, which is located in the 5th arrondissement, is home to a wide variety of plants, including exotic species from around the world. The garden is divided into different sections, including the Alpine Garden, the Rose Garden, and the Orangery. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or take a guided tour to learn more about the plants and the history of the garden. The garden also features a greenhouse, which is home to a collection of tropical plants, and a children’s garden, where kids can learn about plants and gardening. Whether you’re a botanist, a nature enthusiast, or just looking for a peaceful place to relax, the Jardin des Plantes is a must-see destination in Paris.
The Seine, the iconic river that runs through the heart of Paris, is a sight to behold. Known for its picturesque bridges, charming boat rides and stunning views, it is no wonder that the Seine is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. As you stroll along the riverbank, you’ll be mesmerised by the beauty of the Notre Dame Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, both of which are visible from the river. Take a boat ride and see the city from a different perspective as you glide past historical landmarks and modern architecture. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned Parisian, the Seine is a must-see destination that offers something for everyone. So, pack a picnic and spend an afternoon exploring the river, taking in the sights and sounds of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
For families travelling with kids, there are plenty of activities that are sure to delight and entertain. One of the best things to do with kids in Paris is to visit Disneyland Paris, located just a short train ride from the city centre. With its thrilling rides, beloved Disney characters, and magical atmosphere, it’s the perfect place for a day of family fun. For a more cultural experience, take a trip to the Musée des Arts et Métiers, a science and technology museum that is packed with interactive exhibits that will spark kids’ curiosity and imagination.
What to Eat – Restaurants in Paris
When it comes to food, Paris is a destination that truly delivers. Known for its rich culinary heritage, the city is home to some of the world’s most renowned restaurants, serving up a range of delicious and innovative dishes. Whether you’re in the mood for classic French fare or something a bit more experimental, Paris has something to offer for every palate.
When it comes to fine dining, the restaurants in Paris offer a truly exceptional experience. From the moment you step through the door, you’ll be greeted with a level of service and attention to detail that is second to none. The menus at these restaurants are a true celebration of French cuisine, featuring a range of dishes that are expertly prepared using the finest ingredients. From traditional favourites such as escargots and coq au vin to more contemporary creations, each dish is a true work of art.
Taste unique dishes like artichoke soup dressed with black truffle shavings, accompanied by brioche slathered with truffle butter at Restaurant Guy Savoy, purple vegetable tartare with horseradish at Arpège or indulge in the stunning French haute cuisine of Pavillon Ledoyen.
But it’s not just fine dining that Paris excels at; the bistros and brasseries of the city offer a more casual and relaxed atmosphere, but still with delicious food. These restaurants are the perfect spot for a casual lunch or dinner and often offer a brasserie-style menu with a variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian options. They often have a lively atmosphere, and it’s a great spot for people-watching.
Visit Joséphine Chez Dumonet for delicious beef chateaubriand, dig into a perfectly roasted squab at L’Ami Jean and taste the succulent skate à la grenobloise at Le Maquis.
For those with a sweet tooth, Paris is a paradise. The city is home to some of the most renowned patisseries, boulangeries, and chocolateries in the world, each offering its own unique take on the art of pastry-making. Take for example, Ladurée, famous for its delicate macarons or Pierre Hermé, known for its inventive and sophisticated pastries.
The boulangeries in Paris, such as Poilâne, offer a wide selection of bread, including the iconic baguette and various types of speciality bread, while chocolateries, such as Jean-Paul Hévin and La Maison du Chocolat, offer an array of chocolate treats, such as truffles, bars, and bonbons. These shops can be found throughout the city, and many have been in business for generations, making them a must-visit for anyone looking to indulge in some of the finest baked goods and confections in the world.
The restaurants in Paris are a true reflection of the city’s culinary heritage, offering an unparalleled dining experience for food lovers of all tastes. With a wealth of options to choose from, whether you’re looking for formal or casual dining, traditional or contemporary cuisine, Paris is a destination that is sure to delight your senses and leave you with lasting memories.
Nightlife – Bars in Paris
Paris is known for its vibrant nightlife, and there are plenty of bars to choose from to suit any taste. Whether you’re looking for a romantic rooftop spot, a cosy wine bar, a trendy cocktail lounge, or a lively jazz club, Paris has something for everyone. Here are five different categories of bars to check out in the city of lights.
Paris is famous for its stunning rooftop views, and there are plenty of bars that offer panoramic vistas of the city. One popular spot is the rooftop terrace at Le Perchoir in the 11th arrondissement. It’s open from April to October and offers a great view of the city’s skyline, as well as a lively atmosphere with DJs and live music. Another great option is the rooftop bar at the Hôtel Raphael, which offers views of the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.
France is well known for its wine, and there are plenty of wine bars throughout the city of Paris where you can sample different varieties. One popular spot is Le Verre Volé, which offers a wide selection of natural wines and small plates of French charcuterie and cheese. Another great option is Le Bar à Vins, which has a cosy, rustic atmosphere and a large selection of wines from around the world.
If you’re in the mood for a cocktail, Paris has plenty of bars that specialise in mixing up delicious drinks. One popular spot is Le Syndicat, which offers a wide selection of classic and contemporary cocktails, as well as a menu of French spirits. Another great option is Le Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Paris, which was once a favourite hangout of Ernest Hemingway himself.
Paris has a rich history of jazz, and there are plenty of bars and clubs throughout the city that offer live jazz music. One popular spot is the Caveau de la Huchette, which has been hosting jazz music since 1946. Another great option is 38Riv, which offers a mix of jazz, funk, and world music.
Cabarets in Paris are an iconic and integral part of the city’s nightlife scene. The Moulin Rouge is a legendary cabaret and a true icon of the city’s vibrant nightlife. Established in 1889, this historic venue has welcomed countless celebrities, artists, and dignitaries over the years. The Moulin Rouge is famous for its extravagant and glamorous shows, featuring an array of talented dancers and performers.
The venue’s signature “Féerie” show is an experience not to be missed, with its stunning costumes, elaborate sets, and breathtaking acrobatics. The audience is also treated to a delicious dinner, accompanied by champagne, while enjoying the show. The Moulin Rouge is also known for its lively atmosphere, as it is a place where people come to let loose, have fun and be entertained. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the glitz and glamour of Parisian cabaret.
Overall, Paris is a city that offers a wide variety of nightlife experiences, from romantic rooftop bars to lively jazz clubs. Whether you’re looking for a casual drink or a night of dancing, there’s a bar in Paris that will suit your mood.
Stay- Best boutique hotels in Paris
There is nary a neighbourhood in Paris that isn’t worth visiting so carefully assess your travel needs to find the perfect place to stay. There is a boutique hotel in Paris around every corner, each with a dynamic interpretation of the city’s many marvellous attributes. Iconic stays at places like the Pulitzer Paris will offer you unsurpassable luxury while highlighting the many fantastic artistic and cultural aspects of Paris.
To be close to the most famous museums in Paris, stay in the 1st Arrondissement or 7th Arrondissement or head to Montmartre to be at the heart of Paris’s romantic bohemian paradise. In the 11th Arrondissement, you can enjoy a vibrant local vibe with great undiscovered restaurants, while Marais is the place to be for a happening nightlife scene and big-name shopping. Families enjoy staying in Saint Germaine on the left bank with a healthy mix of local shops and tourist spots.
Browse through our curated collection to find a boutique hotel in the neighbourhood of your choice.
The Champs-Élysées, located in the heart of Paris, is one of the most recognisable streets in the world. Known for its luxurious shops, world-renowned cafés, and elegant theatres, it’s no wonder that the avenue is often referred to as the “most beautiful avenue in the world.” The Champs-Élysées is also home to the Arc de Triomphe, a grand monument that honours those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The avenue is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike and is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Paris. Whether you’re strolling down the street, admiring the architecture, or indulging in some of the city’s best shopping and dining, the Champs-Élysées is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Le Marais is a vibrant neighbourhood located in the heart of Paris, known for its charming cobblestone streets, historical architecture, and trendy boutiques. Once the residence of French nobility, the area is now home to a diverse community of artists, fashion designers, and young professionals. Stroll through the picturesque streets and admire the elegant 17th-century mansions, such as the Hôtel de Sully and the Hôtel Carnavalet, now a museum dedicated to the history of Paris. The neighbourhood is also home to several synagogues and Jewish businesses, which gives it a unique atmosphere. Le Marais is also popular for its trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants, as well as its fashion boutiques, antique shops and concept stores, making it a popular destination for shopping and nightlife. With its rich history and bohemian spirit, Le Marais is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the true spirit of Paris.
Montmartre is a bohemian neighbourhood located on a hill in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. Known for its artistic heritage, winding streets, and charming cafés, Montmartre has long been a haven for painters, writers, and musicians. The most famous landmark in Montmartre is the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, a white-domed church that sits at the highest point of the neighbourhood and offers breathtaking views of the city. The Place du Tertre, a charming square filled with artists’ easels and street performers, is a must-visit for art lovers. The area is also dotted with charming bistros, bars, and nightclubs that have been frequented by the likes of Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Ernest Hemingway. With its bohemian atmosphere and artistic vibe, Montmartre is an ideal destination for those looking to experience the authentic Parisian culture and history.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a neighbourhood steeped in history and culture. Once the epicentre of the existentialist movement in the 1950s, it still exudes a bohemian spirit that draws artists and intellectuals from around the world. The neighbourhood is home to some of Paris’s most iconic landmarks, including the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, both of which date back to the Middle Ages. The streets are lined with charming cafés, such as Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore, where famous writers and artists like Hemingway and Picasso once gathered to discuss their craft. Even today, the neighbourhood is a hub for the arts, with numerous galleries and boutiques showcasing the works of up-and-coming talent.
Place Vendôme is a luxurious and iconic square that exudes elegance and opulence. Known for its prestigious jewellery boutiques and high-end hotels, this square is a must-see destination for anyone visiting the City of Light. The grandiose Vendôme Column, a monument dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, tower over the square, providing a stunning backdrop for chic Parisians and tourists alike. The surrounding streets are lined with designer labels and fine dining options, making it a prime spot for those looking to indulge in some serious shopping and gourmet cuisine. Whether you’re taking a stroll through the square or sipping on champagne at one of its rooftop bars, Place Vendôme is sure to leave a lasting impression.
Another iconic aspect of Paris is the multitude of French fashion houses that line the high streets. But the city’s many markets and boutique stores add to its authentic charm. The Flower and Bird Market along the river is one of the most colourful displays in the city while Merci Concept Store is a hidden shopping paradise that oozes charm from every angle.
Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen is only open on weekends and has been described as the biggest flea market in the world while Marché d’Aligre is one of the oldest in the city. Les Puces de Montreuil is another flea market that is much less famous, so there is still an abundance of treasures to be found for true antique aficionados.
Transportation – Getting around Paris
Getting around Paris can be a bit daunting for first-time visitors, but with a little planning and knowledge of the transportation options available, it can be a breeze.
The most popular and convenient way to get around Paris is by using the metro system. The system is easy to navigate and is well-connected, making it easy to reach most tourist destinations. The metro also runs late into the night, which is convenient for those looking to explore the city after dark.
For those looking for a more scenic way to get around Paris, the city also offers a bike-sharing program called Velib. This program allows visitors to rent a bike and explore the city at their own pace. It is a cheap and environmentally friendly way to get around Paris and offers a great way to see the city from a different perspective.
For those who prefer a more leisurely way to get around Paris, the city also offers boat tours on the Seine River. These boat tours provide a unique way to see the city and are a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Weather in Paris
Paris, the capital of France, has a temperate oceanic climate, which means that it experiences mild winters and cool summers. Rainfall is fairly consistent throughout the year. November and April tend to be the wettest months, while July and August are usually the driest.
Paris also experiences occasional bouts of fog, particularly during the fall and winter months. This can make visibility poor and travel difficult, so it’s important to keep an eye on the forecast if you’re planning to be in the city during these times.
Overall, the weather in Paris is generally mild and pleasant, making it a great destination for visitors year-round. However, it can be chilly and damp during the winter, so be sure to pack warm clothing if you’re planning to visit during this time. And, of course, the city is always beautiful, but the clear skies and sunshine can make the city’s landmarks even more impressive.