33 Best Things to do in Paris, France: Top Places to visit

památky v paříži / co navštívit v paříži

Looking for the top places to visit in Paris? Check out our the best things to do in Paris and other useful tips. We will show you the known and unknown places in Paris if you would like to see more of Paris.

You’ll also find other practical information in the article: the entrance fees, opening times and how to get to the monuments, so you can plan your Paris itinerary quickly and easily.

Interesting Facts about Paris

City of Light. The City of Love. Paris has many nicknames that show that history, culture and elegance literally radiate from every corner of the city.

Paris was founded in the 3rd century BC by the Gauls and named Lutetia. In 52 BC the city was occupied by the Romans and from 308 AD the city was called Paris.

Paris can do it. A cruise on the Seine, dinner at the Eiffel Tower, the view from the sugar-coated Sacré-Coeur Basilica or the picturesque squares with the fountain in the middle and the bakery on the corner.

Paris is a city that captivates even the most unromantic with its charm. I know firsthand. I have one at home :).

things to do in Paris

Every neighborhood has a different atmosphere.

In the Latin Quarter, you can wander through the labyrinth of medieval streets and pop into one of the restaurants serving typical French cuisine.

On the wide Champs-Élysées, you’ll be treated to the windows of the most fashionable houses and perhaps bring a memory of Paris back home.

Soak up the vibrancy and art in the Montmartre district, full of steep cobbled streets, street artists, vintage shops and charming restaurants.

The Île de la Cité, the oldest part of Paris, will enchant you with the world-famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sainte Chapelle chapel with the most beautiful stained glass windows.

Best things to do in Paris: Top places to visit

What are the best things to do in Paris? From monuments and museums to lush parks and gardens, check out our 33 tips for the most beautiful places in Paris. Using the list and the map, you can easily create an itinerary of what to see in Paris in one, two, three or more days.

Cruise on the Seine

Cruise on the Seine is the perfect introduction to Paris. Many of the most famous sights are located right on the shore.

sights in Paris / cruise on the Seine

You can start from Notre Dame Cathedral and from there you can see the Louvre, Place de la Concorde or the Orsay Museum and the Eiffel Tower on your right.

Or end the day with a cruise. The view from the river over the beautifully lit Paris is worth it. Book a cruise on the Seine here.

Eiffel Tower

One of the most famous monuments in the world. Eiffel Tower can’t be missing from any list of things to do in Paris.

Sights in Paris / Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower was erected in 1889 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of its construction. anniversary of the French Revolution. At 324 metres, it was the tallest building in the world for 4 decades until the Chrysler Building in New York was built.

Today, the Eiffel Tower retains its primacy among the towers. In clear weather you can enjoy a great view of the whole city and the surrounding area.

Sights in Paris / Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is made up of 18,000 solid iron parts connected by 2.5 million rivets. During its existence, it has changed several colour coats from red-brown to yellow and chestnut brown to the special Eiffel Tower Brown. Every 7 years, the Eiffel Tower receives a new coat of paint, which is applied with over 60 tonnes of paint.

Overall, we had the opportunity to see all three forms of the Eiffel Tower – unlit, lit and flashing at night. Unless you count the mini versions of the Eiffel Tower from local merchants :). Each of her forms had something to offer.

How to visit the Eiffel Tower

Admission to the Eiffel Tower

Admission fees vary depending on which floor you go up to and whether you walk or take the elevator:

  • Elevator to the 2nd floor: 18,10 € full; 9 € for youth 12-24 years; 4,50 € for children 4-11 years and disabled persons
  • Elevator to the 3rd floor: 28,30 € full; 14,10 € for youth 12-24 years; 7,10 € for children 4-11 years and disabled persons
  • Stairs to the 2nd floor: 11,30 € full; 5,60 € for youth 12-24 years; 2,80 € for children 4-11 years and disabled persons
  • Take the stairs to the 2nd floor and from there take the lift to the 3rd floor: 21,50 € full; 10,70 € for youth 12-24 years; 5,40 € for children 4-11 years and disabled persons
Opening hours

The Eiffel Tower is open daily from 9:30-23:45 (last entry at 22:45). You will choose the specific time when booking your ticket.

Every year in January, maintenance work is carried out on the Eiffel Tower, when you cannot visit the top level of the summit. Only the first and second floors are accessible.

I recommend booking well in advance (you can book up to 2 months in advance). Tickets can be sold out weeks in advance for the evening. For tickets to the Eiffel Tower, click here.

TIP: Make more time for the Eiffel Tower. Buying tickets online saves you time in the ticket queue, but you’ll still face a security check and then a wait at the lift if you don’t walk.

Skip the line by booking tickets for popular attractions in Paris in advance:

Trocadero Square

Place Trocadéro at the Palais du Trocadéro is the iconic cobbled square where you’ll get the best view of the Eiffel Tower. For a sunrise, there’s no mistaking it. From Place Trocadéro, you can walk down the stairs to the Jardins du Trocadéro.

View from the Trocadéro in Paris early in the morning
View from the Trocadéro Square early in the morning

The whole area is one of the best for photographing the Eiffel Tower. We were here early in the morning and already had a chance to see the marriage proposal and the women in gorgeous gowns having their pictures taken.

To reach the Eiffel Tower, just cross the bridge and you will find yourself directly underneath it. Just watch out for heavy traffic on the bridge and in the surrounding area.

Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum is the world’s largest and most visited art museum. Here you will be treated to such works as Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Great Sphinx of Tanis or the Nike sculptures Samothrace, Sleeping Hermaphrodite or Venus de Milo.

Louvre in Paris / Sights in Paris

The Louvre was built in 12th century as a fortress. It underwent extensive reconstruction in the 16th-17th centuries, when it became a stunning palace. It has been operating as a museum since 1793.

Its extensive collection is divided into 3 wings – the Richelieu Wing with the apartments of Napoleon III, the Sully Wing focusing on the history of the Louvre and art from Egyptian, Roman and Greek antiquity, and the most popular Denon Wing with the magnificent Grand Gallery, where the most famous paintings are displayed, including the Mona Lisa.

The museum is famous for its glass pyramid designed by Chinese architect IM Pei. It is beautifully lit in the evening. Next to the main pyramid there are two smaller pyramids that perfectly illustrate the site.

things to do in Paris / Louvre Museum

Entrance to the Louvre Museum

Full admission to the Louvre Museum is €15. Children and young people up to the age of 18 are admitted free of charge, as are students up to the age of 26 and people with disabilities. Admission is free for everyone, regardless of age, on the first Sunday of the month.

How to skip the line for the Louvre:
We bought our tickets in advance, because even in February there were long queues at many places in Paris. We went through the pyramid, where there is a reserved entrance for those who have a reservation in advance. Then next door is the entrance for those who don’t have a reservation and have to wait in line

Opening hours of the Louvre Museum

The museum is open every day except Tuesday – Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and weekend 9:00-18:00, Friday 9:00-21:45. Off-season opening hours are shorter – daily 9:00-18:00.

Last entry is no more than one hour before closing time, rooms close half an hour before. The main entrance is through the pyramid in the middle of the museum courtyard.

Read our guide and practical tips on how to visit the Louvre Museum.

At the Louvre you can also see the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, which Napoleon had built to commemorate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz, and the beautiful Tuileries Gardens.

Statue of Liberty

Yes, I’m right. It’s not just New York that has its Statue of Liberty. The Parisian one may not be as well known, but it is much more significant for Parisians. Moreover, it has a great connection with the Statue of Liberty in New York. It was a working version of the sculpture and served as a replica for the creation of a more famous sculpture in the USA.

Statue of Liberty in Paris / Monuments in Paris

The Statue of Liberty in Paris was a gift in 1889 from the American community for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty. anniversary of the Great French Revolution. The statue emphasized the bond between France and the United States and affirmed both nations’ commitment to the republican ideal on which they were founded.

The 11.5 metre high Statue of Liberty is accessible for free on the man-made island of Île aux Cygnes, south of the Eiffel Tower, reached via the Pont de Grenelle bridge. The other option is the Pont de Bir-Hakeim bridge, from which you can cross a narrow island less than a kilometre long, which consists of a walking path with benches and lined with trees. An ideal place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Palais Royal

Palais Royal or Royal Palace is located opposite the Louvre. It is the perfect place for a short stop and a walk in the gardens. While you’re here, notice the many details. For example, on the chairs and benches there are quotes from famous personalities.

Palais Royal Paris

The courtyard is famous for its black and white columns, which everyone likes to take pictures with. In the arcade of the palace there are various shops from perfumeries to pancake shops.

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the most famous boulevard in Paris and one of the most famous in the world. It’s hard to believe it was just a barren wetland back in the 17th century. This was then modified by André Le Nôtre and centuries later the Parisian town planner Baron Haussman designed the elegant buildings lining the Champs-Élysées.

monuments in Paris | Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées is divided into an upper and a lower part. The lower part of Place de la Concorde includes the Jardins des Champs-Élysées and the Petit Palais art museum. Despite the deceptive name, the museum is certainly not small and inside you will find beautiful spaces and art. Admission is free.

Petit Palais Paris

From the museum, go to the Alexander III Bridge. It’s Versailles between the bridges – richly decorated with golden statues.

The upper part of the Avenue des Champs-Élysées starts at the Arc de Triomphe and represents the Champs-Élysées as we all know it. Lots of tourists, luxury boutiques, restaurants and hotels. But there are also several affordable shops and places to eat.

On the Champs-Élysées you may meet people who will try to extort money from you under some pretext. It happened to us twice. Someone starts complimenting you out of the blue? Pay attention and don’t want your wallets deep in your pockets.

Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris and surrounds some of the most important places in Paris, such as the Tuileries Gardens or the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

Place de la Concorde / Monuments in Paris

In the middle of the square stands a 3200-year-old Egyptian obelisk, the oldest building in Paris. It was brought here from the temple in Luxor in the 19th century.

Place de la Concorde is also famous in connection with the French Revolution, when King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and others were beheaded here under the guillotine.

Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe)

Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe is one of the most famous landmarks in Paris. The famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées starts here and the Tour de France cycling race ends here every year.

Arc de Triomphe in Paris / Monuments in Paris

The 51 m high monument is dedicated to the soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. The names of the battles and the names of the soldiers are engraved on the shields of the arch. At the foot of the memorial is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, symbolizing the recognition of all the unknown soldiers who died in the First World War. World War II. Every evening at 18:30 the so-called Eternal Flame is lit here.

View from the Arc de Triomphe on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées

The Arc de Triomphe stands in the middle of a busy intersection and is reached via an underground passageway. At the top of the monument is an observation deck from which you can get a panoramic view of all 12 avenues, the Eiffel Tower and the La Defense district on the other side. The classes radiate out from the Arc de Triomphe and Place Charles de Gaulle.

Admission and opening hours for the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular landmarks in Paris. Even in the evening off-season there is a crowd of tourists who want to take pictures of the iconic monument.

Admission to the Arc de Trimphe is €13. Free admission for children under 18, EU citizens under 26 and disabled persons. In addition, everyone, regardless of age, is admitted free on the first Sunday of the month. Skip the line by booking tickets in advance.

It is open daily 10:00-22:30 and in season from April to the end of September until 23:00. The last entry is 45 minutes before the end of opening hours.

Orsay Museum

Musée d’Orsay is one of the best museums in Paris. The museum is housed in the former Gare d’Orsay station building, which was considered a masterpiece of industrial architecture. The building is beautiful inside and out.

If you love impressionist art, the Orsay is the museum for you. On several floors you will find collections from world-class artists 19. and 20th century – Degas, Renoir, Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Cézanne, Bonnard or Lautrec.

Not an art lover but still want to visit some of the museums in Paris? Try the Orsay Museum. You can climb to the top and enjoy the view of Paris.

Orsay Museum view
view of the Louvre from the Orsay Museum

Admission and opening hours of the Orsay Museum

Tickets to the Orsay Museum cost €16. Children, students up to 26 years of age and disabled persons with 1 accompanying person are admitted free of charge. The first Sunday of the month is free for everyone. Get your tickets by clicking here.

The museum is open daily except Mondays from 9:30-18:00 and on Thursdays until 21:45.

How to skip the line for the Orsay Museum:
Paris museums are generally very popular and there are long queues. Along with the Louvre, the Orsay is the most popular. Skip the line by booking tickets in advance. Just show your mobile phone your ticket on the spot, or print it out.

La Madeleine Church

La Madeleine is a neo-classical church dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene near Place de la Concorde. We stumbled upon him by chance while wandering the streets of Paris in a place where we would not have expected him. And it is almost devoid of tourists, which is unbelievable given its imposing nature.

la madeleine cauldron paris / monuments in paris

La Madeleine measures 108 x 43 x 30 m and is entirely planted with Corinthian columns. If it were on high ground, you would be instantly transported to ancient Greece.

On the façade you can see a relief depicting the Last Judgement and on the main door scenes from the Old Testament.

la madeleine cauldron paris / monuments in paris

The interior is also magnificent, with 3 domes that let in light and a fresco by Jules-Claude Ziegler depicting famous personalities (Joan of Arc, Raphael, Dante, Napoleon and Pius VII).

La Madeleine Church is open free of charge daily from 9:30-19:00. It lies halfway between the Place de la Concorde and the Palais Garnier Opera House.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral stands on the ruins of a pagan temple in the oldest part of Paris, the Île de la Cité, where the Gaulish town of Lutetia was once founded.

Notre Dame Cathedral / things to do in Paris
Notre Dame Cathedral is currently under scaffolding and intensive work is being done to repair it (2024)

The cathedral has been closed since 2019 after a major fire, but you should still come and take a look. A visit to Paris would not be complete without it.

The cathedral is the pinnacle of Gothic architecture. The imposing medieval building, whose roof was covered with 1,300 oak trees aged 300-400 years, will immediately catch your eye with its stained glass windows and numerous statues and gargoyles.

Notre Dame Cathedral / things to do in Paris

In the south tower is the oldest and most famous bell in Notre Dame Emmanuel, weighing almost 13,000 kilos. After the French Revolution, the cathedral fell into disrepair and thanks to Victor Hugo’s novel The Temple of Our Lady of Paris, it became an icon of France and underwent extensive reconstruction.

Chapel of Sainte Chapelle

We move just 5 minutes from Notre Dame Cathedral to Sainte Chapelle. It is famous for its beautiful stained glass windows. There are 15 of them on an area of 600 square metres. They depict more than 1,000 stories from the New and Old Testaments. The colours and light symbolize the divine and the heavenly Jerusalem.

Paris things to do and sights to see / Sainte Chapelle

Admission and opening hours Sainte Chapelle

Admission is 11,50 €. Free admission for children under 18, EU youth under 25 and people with disabilities.

It is open daily from 1 April to 30 September from 9:00-19:00 and the rest of the year from 9:00-17:00.

Tip: If you want to enjoy the best view of the stained glass windows, plan to visit the chapel on sunny days right at 9am when they open. There are queues for Sainte Chapelle and it is better to book tickets in advance. Click here to book your tickets in advance.

Fortress Conciergerie

Next to the chapel is the Conciergerie Fortress from the 10th century, which is a remnant of the royal palace. At 14th century, some of the fortress buildings were converted into prisons.

Fortress Conciergerie Paris / Monuments in Paris

During the reign of Jacobin terror 1793-1795, the palace became a revolutionary tribunal and a prison for Marie Antoinette and Madame du Barry.

Today, the Conciergerie is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a beautiful clock on the corner of the fort. Directly opposite the Pont au Change bridge. A hidden gem of the Île de la Cité that many people pass by unnoticed.

Fortress Conciergerie Paris / Monuments in Paris

Admission and opening hours of the Conciergerie Fortress

Full admission to the fortress costs 11,50 €. EU residents up to 26 years old, children up to 18 years old and people with disabilities are admitted free of charge. Book your tickets by clicking here – You have a choice of tickets to the fortress or discounted tickets to the Conciergerie and Sainte Chapelle, located a short walk away.

Open daily 9:30-18:00 (last entry at 17:30).

Pantheon

Although its name is confusing, the neoclassical Pantheon in Paris has nothing to do with the Pantheon in Rome. Its competitors are rather St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican or St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The Pantheon is a monumental building in the Latin Quarter, which dominates the vast square. It was originally built as a church, but later it also became a burial place for famous personalities.

Pantheon PARIS / things to do in Paris

If you look above the columns on the façade, you will see the inscription Aux grands hommes la patrie reconnaisante. Translated, it means that the memorial was originally dedicated to the great men their country recognizes. The Pantheon thus became the final resting place for Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Alexander Dumas and others. In addition to the great men, several prominent women are also buried here, including Marie Curie.

For a small fee, you can climb into the dome to enjoy a beautiful view of Paris.

Entrance and opening hours of the Pantheon

Admission to the Pantheon is 11,50 €. Children up to 18 years and EU youth up to 25 years are free of charge.

The Pantheon’s opening hours vary by season: 1 October – 31 March 10:00-18:00, 1 April – 30 September 10:30-18:30. Last entry always 45 minutes before the end of opening hours.

Luxembourg Gardens

Where can you just sit on a chair and relax with the Parisians? The Luxembourg Gardens are ideal for this. Locals chat, read or play chess. The atmosphere here is amazing, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a sunny day like we did.

Luxembourg Gardens / Monuments in Paris

On a total area of 25 hectares, you will find an octagonal swimming pool with a fountain where you can launch small sailing boats, greenhouses with exotic orchids, an orangery, an English-style garden, but also a café, a playground and, of course, the Luxembourg Palace, which is the seat of the French Senate.

If you’re travelling to Paris with children, the Luxembourg Gardens are a great stop for kids to have fun on the oldest vintage carousel in Paris, play with ponies or watch a puppet show.

Tour Montparnasse

Where can you experience one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower and Paris? Tour Montparnasse is just a 15-minute walk from the Luxembourg Gardens and the views are spectacular.

The view from the Eiffel Tower is a classic, but from the Tour Montparnasse skyscraper you’ll have a fantastic view of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.

Tour Montparnasse view / Paris sights
view of the Eiffel Tower, behind it the La Defense district, and to the right the Invalides and the Arc de Triomphe

The Tour Montparnasse is a 210-metre-high skyscraper in the district of the same name. You can take one of the fastest lifts in Europe to the open viewpoint.

Upstairs you can sit in the red armchairs and enjoy a panoramic view of the whole city. There is a map with marked places, what you can see from the viewpoint. The entire viewpoint is secured with glass. There are holes in the glass for taking pictures.

Entrance and opening hours of the Montparnasse skyscraper

Admission to the Montparnasse observation deck is €21, with a reduced admission of €16 for young people over 12 and students and a reduced admission of €9.50 for children aged 4-11 and €10.50 for disabled people. Book your tickets by clicking here.

From April to the end of September it is open 9:30-23:30 and the rest of the year 9:30-22:30 and Friday to Saturday and on public holidays until 23:00.

Skip the line by booking tickets to popular attractions in Paris in advance:

Opera Palais Garnier

Opera House Palais Garnier is built in Baroque style and is a symbol of Napoleon’s imperial regime. The façade is embellished with classical columns and eight statues symbolizing allegorical figures (Poetry, Music, Idyll, Recitation, Song, Drama and Dance).

Palais Garnier Opera Paris

The Loggia includes busts of composers such as Rossini, Mozart and Beethoven. The interior is breathtaking. Velvet seats, gilded balconies, huge crystal chandeliers and a Chagall painting on the ceiling.

Palais Garnier Opera Paris

The Opera hosts the oldest national ballet company in the world, Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris.

Admission and Opening Hours Opéra Garnier

You have 2 ways to see the opera house from the inside:

Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Would you like to take a break off the beaten track from the crowds of tourists? Parc des Buttes Chaumont is ideal, as it lies all the way in the 19th arrondissement in the northeast of Paris.

The park was built by Napoleon III. and it’s a popular place for Parisians to spend their leisure time. The 25 acres include an artificial lake, a suspension bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel, caves with waterfalls and a viewpoint on a rock with a great view of Montmartre and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.

If you are travelling with children, they can have fun on the playground, pet the ponies or watch a puppet show.

It is almost unbelievable that in the Middle Ages this was one of the most famous places where the gallows was used and then the bodies were displayed for months or years (also from other execution sites in Paris).

Le Centre Pompidou

In the historic part of Paris, the ultra-modern Le Centre Pompidou cultural centre will take your breath away. Its high-tech architecture has been described as inside-out, as it includes architectural details of staircases and elevators.

Le Centre Pompidou Paris sights / things to do in Paris

To maximize interior space, the architects turned the structure inside out, revealing a skeleton of brightly colored tubes that are color-coded: blue for air conditioning, green for fluids, yellow for electrical cables, and red for elevators, stairs, and fire extinguishers.

Le Centre Pompidou includes the National Museum of Modern Art, which contains more than 100,000 works of contemporary art since 1905. Each room is divided by time period or art movement, so you’ll find rooms focused on surrealism (Salvador Dali, Max Ernst), constructivism (Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian), pop art (Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg) and more.

During your visit, you can go up to the roof and enjoy a fantastic view of Paris.

Admission and opening hours Le Centre Pompidou

Full admission is 15 €. The first Sunday of the month is free for everyone. Get your tickets by clicking here and skip the line at the door.

It is open every day except Tuesday from 11:00-21:00.

Montmartre

Montmartre is a beautiful hilltop neighbourhood with winding, narrow streets, street artists and great food. If you’ve seen Amélie of Montmartre, you might recognize some of the places. Montmartre definitely needs to be on your list of things to do in Paris. Even though it is full of tourists, it has its own unmistakable atmosphere.

Montmartre Paris / Sights in Paris
Rue de l’Abreuvoir

While you’re here, be sure to check out the beginning of Rue de l’Abreuvoir by the pink house La Maison Rose. This is where artists used to come to the cafe.

From here, continue along Rue des Saules until you reach another photogenic spot – Le Consulat restaurant, with the dome of the Sacré Coeur Basilica peeking out behind it.

Rue Maurice Utrillo and the restaurant Le Consulat

Sacré-Coeur Basilica

You can see the Sacré-Coeur Basilica from many places in Paris. It stands on the highest point in Paris in the Montmartre district (translated as “Mountain of Martyrs”) and is the second highest point in the city after the Eiffel Tower.

basilica of the sacred coeur

Its Romanesque-Byzantine appearance with its marble facade is a departure from the Parisian standard of medieval Gothic churches.

In the construction of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, they took inspiration from the Basilica of San Marco in Venice and Hagia Sophia in Instanbul. Locals call it “Whipped Cream Cake”. Inside the church there is a beautiful golden mosaic of Christ.

Sacré Coeur Basilica Paris monuments
If you wait until the evening, the whole basilica will light up.
View from the Sacré Coeur Basilica, Paris
View from the Sacré Coeur Basilica, Paris

Admission and opening hours of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica

You can enter for free. The view from the dome is charged at € 7.

The basilica is open from 6:00-22:30, the dome between 10:30-20:30.

Moulin Rouge Cabaret

Moulin Rouge is located in the Pigalle district below Montmartre. There used to be windmills here and one of them became the home of the Moulin Rouge cabaret.

The famous cabaret opened in 1889. At that time, courtesans worked there and invented the seductive dance of the cancan. It was initially considered shameless, but gradually gained popularity all over the world.

The Moulin Rouge is still operating today and is extremely popular. Tickets for the show tend to sell out days or weeks in advance, so it’s definitely you need to book a show well in advance .

Place des Vosges

The Place des Vosges is the oldest public square in Paris, located in the historic district of Le Marais. It is famous for its medieval and Renaissance palaces and is worth a visit in itself.

Place Vosges was the model for Place Vendôme and Place de la Concorde. The Renaissance Place des Vosges was the prototype of the residential squares of the time: a perfectly symmetrical shape with uniform red-brick houses, stone details and sloping blue slate roofs.

Other places of interest in the area include the Picasso Museum, with a collection of over 5,000 works, the Mémorial de la Shoah Holocaust Memorial, and the Musée d’art et d’histoire du judaïsme, a Jewish museum that covers over 2,000 years of Jewish history, including works of art by Jewish artists Chagall and Modigliani.

There are also some great restaurants, such as L’As du Fallafel , serving Middle Eastern cuisine.

Les Invalides

Les Invalides is a complex of buildings just behind the Eiffel Tower that were dedicated to disabled war veterans. Many of them were by then condemned to beggary.

Until Louis XIV. left for them at the end of the 17th century to build a hospital and a nursing home where war veterans were cared for. Les Invalides still fulfils its function today.

invalid's room paris

As part of the Les Invalides tour, you can visit the war museums to learn more about French war history. The most famous is the Musée de l’Armée. In the local church you can see the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Les Invalides is the place where the rioters acquired the cannons and muskets that they would use later that day to attack the Bastille, thus sparking the Great French Revolution.

Les Invalides Paris

The entrance fee to Les Invalides, and the Musée de l’Armée, is €15. Free admission for children under 18 and people with disabilities.

The Musée de l’Armée is open from April to October from 10:00-18:00 and from November to March from 10:00-17:00.

Read: Itinerary for 3 days in Paris

Grande Arche Monument

Do you want to experience a different Paris than the one we all know? Visit the ultra-modern La Défense district behind the Arc de Triomphe.

La Grande Arche Paris sightseeing | things to do in Paris

You can take the metro to La Grande Arche monument made of steel and stone. It’s an architecturally interesting building with a view of Paris. At the same time, contemporary photographs are exhibited.

Open every day 10:00-19:00. Admission is 15 €.

Catacombs of Paris (Les Catacombes de Paris)

The catacombs of Paris form a contrast to romantic Paris. It is definitely not one of the typical monuments in Paris. You can think of them as a complex of tunnels under the streets of Paris, containing more than 6 million skeletons of Parisians from the 18th century.

Paris Catacombs / Monuments in Paris

The site was originally an ossuary, but after Parisians noticed the popularity of the catacombs in Rome they turned the ossuary into the catacombs. The tour of the catacombs is about 2 km long.

The Paris Catacombs are not suitable for people with reduced mobility, as there are a lot of stairs.

Admission and opening hours of the Paris Catacombs

Full admission to the catacombs is 29 €, reduced admission is 23 € for students and reduced admission is 10 € for children 5-17 years old. Reservations are required – Tickets are only available one week in advance and tend to sell out early.

It is open daily except Mondays from 9:45 to 20:30.

Louis Vuitton Foundation (Fondation Louis Vuitton)

The Fondation Louis Vuitton in the Bois de Bologne Park is a relatively new building from 2014. From the outside, the building resembles a huge ship with billowing sails. This makes it one of the most popular places to visit in Paris.

It uses 3,600 glass panels and contains even more steel than the Eiffel Tower. The structure has 3 outdoor terraces where you can see the surrounding park and the modern La Defense development.

Fondation Louis Vuitto Paris

Inside the Fondation Louis Vuitton are 11 galleries with a permanent collection of 20th and 21st century art, complemented by temporary exhibitions and various cultural events and musical performances.

Admission and opening hours Fondation Louis Vuitton

Full admission is €16 and reduced admission is €10 under 26 and €5 under 18. Get your tickets by clicking here.

It is open Sunday to Thursday 11:00-20:00, Friday 11:00-21:00 and Saturday 10:00-20:00.

When you’ve had your fill of art, dine at the Michelin-starred Le Frank restaurant.

Parc de la Villette

Parc de la Villete was created in 2015, when it became the largest landscaped green space in Paris. It covers 55 hectares in the northeast of Paris and one day is not enough to explore it thoroughly.

The park has plenty of greenery, the Canal de l’Orcq with its lakes and fountains, themed gardens, playgrounds and modern architecture. It is also home to the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Museum of Science and Technology), one of the largest museums of its kind in Europe, and hosts many cultural and musical events.

The park is open daily from 6:00-01:00. Metro line 7 (Porte de la Villette station) runs to the north of the park and metro line 5 (Porte de Pantin station) runs to the south.

Chateau of Versailles

Versailles Castle was originally a royal hunting lodge, which Louis XIV. transformed into a magnificent mansion, which housed the royal court until the French Revolution.

Versailles Castle sights in Paris

The Chateau de Versailles is known for its extravagance, opulence, opulence, magnificent gardens and the Hall of Mirrors with 357 mirrors. At that time mirrors were very expensive and thanks to this Louis XIV. to show how powerful and rich France is.

Read our guide to visiting the Chateau de Versailles.

Hall of Mirrors Palace of Versailles / things to do in Paris

Admission, entrance and opening hours of the Chateau de Versailles

If you plan to explore the palace, gardens and park, you should allow at least 3 hours, but half a day or even a day to visit Versailles.

Versailles offers several types of admission so you can choose exactly what you want to visit. Admission to Versailles is as follows:

Note: Ticket prices are valid for online purchases and are €1.50 more expensive at the door.

From July 4 to October 31, the Musical Gardens play Tuesday through Friday. On weekends there is a musical fountain show. If you want to see the entire Palace of Versailles, including the magnificent palace and the beautiful gardens, the ticket will cost you €28.50.

For 21,50 € it is possible to get off-season ticket when the musical gardens or the fountain show are not playing.

Ticket for 19,50 € gives you off-season access to the park, gardens and palace. If the Musical Gardens or Fountain Show is playing, you can use your ticket to enter the palace only.

Free admission to Versailles

You get free admission to the Palace and the Trianon estate if:

  • you’re under 18;
  • you are under 26 and an EU student;
  • you are a person with a disability. The free admission fee also applies to 1 accompanying person.
  • first Sunday of the month from November to March

On days when the musical fountains play and the fountain show takes place (only in the season until the end of October), only children under 5 years of age are admitted free of charge.

Opening hours

The Palace of Versailles and Trianon Abbey are open every day except Monday. The gardens and park are open daily without exception. The specific opening hours of the Chateau de Versailles are as follows:

  • Palace of Versailles April-October 9:00-18:30 (last entry 18:00), November-March 9:00-17:30 (last entry 17:00)
  • Trianon Manor 12:00-18:30 (last entry 18:00)
  • Gardens of Versailles 8:00-20:30 (last entry 19:00)
  • Park 7:00-20:30 (last entry 19:45)
  • Musical Gardens play from 10:00-19:00 every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday until 30 October
  • The Musical Fountains performance runs from 10:00-19:00 on weekends through October 30.
  • The nightly fountain show plays 8:30-23:05 every Saturday through September 24.

How to get to Versailles

Versailles can be reached directly by RER C train – for example, you can get on near the Eiffel Tower at Pont de l’Alma – all stops on the Paris – Versailles route. The train runs every 30 minutes and you are in Versailles in 40 minutes. From the bus stop it is 10 minutes to the palace.

How to skip the line for the Chateau de Versailles:
The Chateau de Versailles guarantees entry only to those who book in advance. Despite this, huge queues form at the site and wind their way around the entire square. Skip the line by booking tickets in advance. Just show your mobile phone your ticket at the venue, or print it out if you prefe

Disneyland Paris

It would be a great shame to visit Paris and miss the iconic Disneyland Paris. Especially as it lies just 37 minutes by train from the centre of Paris.

things to do in Paris / Disneyland Park
Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park

Disneyland Paris consists of two parks. Disneyland Park was the first to be created, with Sleeping Beauty’s pink castle, Mickey Mouse, Minnie and lots of attractions for smaller children and adults.

They later added Walt Disney Studios Park, which also has some great attractions and takes you behind the scenes of Disney movies, among other things.

Read in a separate guide for more information about Disneyland.

things to do in Paris / Disneyland Park
Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster at Disneyland Park

Admission and opening hours of Disneyland Paris

Admission to Disneyland Paris varies depending on which ticket you choose and when you go to Disneyland.

The most popular type of tickets are day tickets for a specific day, where prices range from €56-99 and €52-91 for children aged 3-11. For a detailed overview of admission fees, see our article on Disneyland.

Reservations for Disneyland Paris are required. I recommend booking at least a day in advance – if you book tickets on the day of your visit, they are significantly more expensive.

Disneyland Park is open Monday to Friday 9:30-21:00 and weekends 9:30-22:00. Walt Disney Studios Park is open 9:30-19:00 and 9:30-21:00 on weekends.

How to get to Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is accessible by RER A train from Gare de Lyon (€7.60 for a one-way ride) or any other stop in the city where the RER A passes through. The train stops at the Marne-la-Vallée-Chessy station right outside Disneyland.

Skip the line by booking tickets for popular attractions in Paris in advance:

Best things to do in Paris – map

A clear and interactive map that makes it easy to plan your journey. You can download the map to your mobile phone and link monuments, museums, parks and other attractions.

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Paris. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Paris guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

How to save money in Paris

Get Paris Pass tourist card which gives you free entry to more than 60 places in Paris for a pre-selected number of days. Or choose the second Paris Explorer Pass, where you choose the number of attractions you plan to visit at a discounted price (Disneyland, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, five-course gourmet lunch and more).

The third option is Paris Museum Pass which includes access to most of the main Parisian monuments for a pre-selected number of days.

On the first Sunday of the month, admission to national monuments is free. These include the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre Museum and the Orsay Museum. But be prepared for long lines.

Where to stay in Paris?

Luxury hotels

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel has some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. There is also an on-site restaurant serving Californian specialities with a French influence. Rooms are clean, modern and decorated in natural tones. There is also luggage storage and a 24-hour reception.

Jardins Eiffel is located in the centre of Paris, just 200 metres from the Invalides. The Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum, the Louvre, the Seine and more are within walking distance. Ideal location for walks. The rooms are cosy and include air conditioning and a balcony. Some have views of the Eiffel Tower. 24/7 reception and luggage storage included.

Hotel ThePullman Paris Tour Eiffel has spectacular views of the Eiffel Tower

Mid-range

Hotel de Paris Montmartre is located in the lively Montmartre district, full of cobbled streets, restaurants and views. Rooms are elegant and clean, including private bathrooms. The metro station is just 2 minutes away. The Moulin Rouge Cabaret and Sacré Coeur Basilica are within walking distance. The reception is open 24 hours a day.

Ibis Styles Paris Massena Olympiades is a modern and fresh hotel southeast of the centre. Everything you need is within walking distance – metro, bus and tram stops, shops and restaurants. The reception is open 24/7 and you can store your luggage if needed.

Hotel de Paris Montmartre in the beautiful and lively Montmartre district

Cheap hotels

HotelF1 Paris Porte de Châtillon is a very cheap hotel in 14th district, which is ideal for those arriving at Orly Airport. Metro and tram stops are just a few minutes away. Breakfast is served in the morning, and you can shop across the street at the Monoprix supermarket if needed. The reception is open 24 hours a day.

ibis Budget Paris Nord 18ème can be found in 18. district on the outskirts of Paris, making it convenient for travellers from Charles de Gaulle Airport. Metro and tram stations are just minutes away, as are shops and restaurants. The rooms are small but sufficient and with private bathrooms. The reception is open 24/7.

Tips on how to enjoy Paris

Keep an eye on things. Especially at the main tourist attractions.

Beware of scams. Twice during our visit we had someone try to extort money from us. And not once were they the kind of people you’d think at first glance. In Paris, it is not customary for locals to stop you and want to talk to you, like in America or other countries. So once that happens, be cautious.

Visit the most famous sights in the morning – the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe or the aforementioned Versailles. Although many places now require advance booking, you will still be subject to security checks.

Don’t miss Paris at night – the illuminated pyramid at the Louvre, the glittering Eiffel Tower or the glowing Sacré-Coeur Basilica. It’s a beautiful spectacle.

Have a real French Crêpes. They have them on almost every corner and they are delicious.

Sit in the park and just relax. Like a local. There are plenty of chairs in the Luxembourg Gardens, the Palais Royal and the Tuileries Gardens for Parisians to sit, talk or read a book.

Drinking water can be taken from the drinking fountains or Fontaine Wallace. They are mostly green, cast iron and beautiful in their own right.

Taste a baguette or croissant in a French bakery called Boulangerie. You’ll come across them on every corner in Paris. Or try the macaroons at the Ladurée patisserie on the Champs-Élysées.

Public toilets can be found throughout central Paris. They are small metal boxes. There are also several pay toilets.

PARIS DRINKING WATER FOUNTAINS
Fountains with drinking water

The best booking resources for visiting Paris

Via Booking.com we search for all accommodation. It is the largest accommodation portal in the world and you will find everything from modern hotels, cosy guesthouses to seaside villas.

Get Your Guide is a huge booking system for buying tickets, guided tours and all sorts of activities. In one place you can read other travellers’ experiences and book tickets to the Vatican Museums, a cruise on the Danube or a desert safari in Dubai.

These were our picks for the most beautiful places to visit in Paris. Do you have a question? We’ll be happy to answer it in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

More information about Paris

PARIS ITINERARY: To help you plan, we’ve created an itinerary for 3 days in Paris. For a complete overview of admission fees to monuments, see the article Overview of admission fees and opening times to sights in Paris.

THINGS TO DO IN PARIS: If you are an art lover, we have prepared a detailed guide to the Louvre (things to do, prices, admission, etc.). In the next article you will learn everything you need to know before visiting Versailes.

Are you planning to visit Disneyland? Read our detailed guide to Disneyland.

PARIS GUIDE: In a separate article you can find out everything about transport in Paris (airport, public transport, metro, bicycle). Read about accommodation, prices, food and safety in our guide to Paris.

HOW TO SAVE IN PARIS: Read our tips on how to visit Paris cheaply. The Paris Pass is a popular way to save money in Paris – find out more about the Paris Pass.

PROVENCE: How about discovering more beautiful places in France? Provence is one of them. The Provence travel guide tells you everything you need to know before your trip.

FAQ: Best Things to do in Paris: Top Places to visit

What are the top places to visit in Paris?

Some of the most beautiful and famous sights in Paris include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the Arc de Triomphe, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, Notre Dame Cathedral and the Holy Chapel. Paris has many wonderful places to see. In this article you will find a detailed list of the most beautiful places to visit in Paris, which you can use to build your itinerary.

Do I need to book in advance for sightseeing in Paris?

For some sights, attractions and museums in Paris, it is better to book in advance to avoid queues on site. These places include the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. Reservations are required for Disneyland Paris or the Catacombs.

What are the best museums in Paris?

Paris has great museums that are among the best in the world. There is something for everyone. Marvel at more than 30,000 objects in the Louvre Museum, the most visited museum in the world. Or visit the Musée d’Orsay, where Impressionist art is on display. Do you prefer modern art? Then you’ll love Le Centre Pompidou. And not only the art collections, but also the buildings themselves are definitely worth seeing.

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