Everyone loves to take a holiday once in a while and what better place to go than Paris, France. This is one of the most renowned cities throughout the world that has a rich culture and heritage and welcomes people from around the world.
Paris which started off as the Paris Basin in 52 BC, which was conquered by the Romans started off as one of Rome’s Western front that quickly became prosperous thanks to the location and trade throughout the empire. Originally, the city’s name was Parisius in Latin, which later became Paris in French.
Many people love to go and see the sights in Paris like the Pantheon as it has a 360 degree panoramic view of all of Paris, the Centre Pompidou with its modern art treasures, and its famous for its street performers. Of course, these are only a couple of places to visit while you are in Paris.
Today, we will look at 20 things that you should do when you go to Paris. Let’s get started!
Top 20 Things to Do in Paris
1. Go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous monuments around the world, and it was originally erected as a short-term exhibit for the World Fair. However, it was left up, and it became a monument of the French people. The Eiffel Tower itself gives breath-taking views of Paris and is visible throughout most of the city. Just recently there was a glass floor installed in 2014, to give guests views a new experience. There is also a champagne bar on the third floor along with the famous Jules Verne restaurant, which is to have astounding gourmet food. During the night time the Eiffel tower girders light up every hour until the dawn breaks.
2. Explore Musee du Quai Branly
Near the Eiffel Tower, there is Musee du Quai Branly, which is an earth-like cubist structure that is enveloped with a botanical wall. The museum itself has a variety of collections of primitive art from Africa, Asia, and the America’s all within their own sections. The museum is open on from Tuesday to Sunday with hours that range from 11AM to 7-9PM depending upon the day. If you happen to get hungry, then you have the option of visiting the Quai Branly’s rooftop restaurant, Les Ombres. They serve fusion cuisine with amazing views of the Eiffel Tower.
3. Cruise on the Seine with Bateaux-Mouches
When you’re on the River Seine you can be sure that you are along some of the most beautiful monuments that Paris has to offer. This is one of the most popular tourist spots because of the breath-taking views and the sights of the Bateaux-Mouches riverboats. Besides the general cruise to see the sights, guests also have the option of taking a lunch, brunch, and dinner cruises while taking in the sights with beautiful accordion music.
4. Go to the Louvre
Within the Louvre you could easily spend a day here. The Louvre is absolutely massive and has galleries and wings you could get lost in. They have art work that has the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and The Virgin of the Rocks. There are countless other exhibits in the museum, and an audio guide is given to guests to help guide them through the museum. The Museum itself is an artwork within itself as it’s a modern architectural masterpiece, and you will never forget that you got to visit this famous museum. If you are starting to feel tired and need to take a break you can always visit Café Mollien at the top of the grand Mollien staircase.
5. Visit the Orsay Train Station
The Orsay train station was converted into the Musée D’Orsay in 1986 to exhibit one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionist and Post-impressionist art. Some of the renowned artists showcased here include Monet, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Renoir. There is also a wide variety of other artists that is part of the collection that includes sculptures, photographs, graphic arts, and architecture. If you need to a pick-me up go grab a coffee at the café behind the museum’s transparent clock.
When viewing the magnificent architecture that looks like it should be in a fairytale we can tell that there is an abundance of history that has taken place behind its walls. During the time of the French revolution, Conciergerie was used as a prison for those who were put to death using the guillotine, including Queen Marie-Antoinette. You can still see remnants of this revolutionary history in its prison cells, but the main attraction for the Conciergerie is its stunning medieval architecture. After checking out this medieval wonder you should head up the road to the 13th-century Sainte-Chapelle, which has some of the most beautiful stained-glass windows in the world.
7. Ascend the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the best-known monuments in France and for a good reason. The Arch was inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus and was commissioned to be built in 1806 after the victory of Austerlitz by Emperor Napoleon at the peak of his empire. Although it was designed with the Roman specifications, it tended to be a bit higher with a height of 60 meters. Today it is available to the public, and you can climb 284 steps to the top of the Arc. At the peak, you can see splendorous views between the arc of La Defense and the Louvre.
8. Visit the Chateau de Versailles
Time has laid hold of Versailles, and it has had makeover after makeover making it the most extravagant chateau in the world. Architect Louis Le Vau first embellished the original building to be made into a hunting lodge built during Louis XIII’s reign. After the course of time, it was made the residences of Vaux-Le-Vicomte, under Louis XIV. Furthermore, the residence ended up with André Le Nôtre, as he turned the boggy marshland into a beautiful terrain of terraces, parterres, lush groves and a spectacular series of fountains. Today tourists can go for a guided tour of Versailles and come for the festivals, and entertainment activities scheduled year round.
9. Come and See the Musee Rodin
This museum has endless opportunities as you can spend a day in the gardens of the Musée Rodin. Without a doubt, this is one of Paris’s well known locations as it has Rodin’s greatest statues, including The Thinker and The Gates of Hell. The museum was dedicated in 1919 to the French sculpture Auguste Rodin that includes 6,600 sculptures, 8,000 drawings, 8,000 old photographs, and 7,000 other art objects. If you happen to be visiting the gardens in the summer and get hungry you can always satisfy your pallet with delicious ice cream served in the garden. They are also open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10AM to 5:45PM.
10. Enjoy the Gourmet Sightseeing Tour
This sightseeing tour in one of the best in Paris as you first hop aboard the bustronome a double-decker bus with cuisine created by top chef contestants on the French version of Masterchef. They visit the city’s best historic monuments. The bus never goes over 10 km/h, so you know you will be able to get all the sights in while not having to worry about getting motion sickness. Even when things get a shaken up you won’t have to worry too much as your plates and glasses have magnetic placements, so they can stay in the right place. All while you are enjoying the food and the sightseeing, a guide will explain these historical monuments and the history behind them. If you have questions, the guides will be happy to answer them as well on your tour.
The Grand and Petit Palais are from the 1900 World Fair and were set up as one building wonders as they were a world-class temporary arts exhibition and a science museum. Later on small antiques and charms were added to 1918. Today, you can see all of these classic wonders, and if you are hungry, then you can have lunch at Mini-Palais (the Grand Palais’ restaurant managed by Le Bristol’s acclaimed chef Eric Fréchon); then see which chef d’oeuvres the Grand Palais has a show beneath its iconic glass roof.
12. Get Your Chocolate On at Alain Ducasse
This is a wonderful workshop filled with the smells of chocolates near Bastille Street. Alain Ducasse is the renowned chef here, and he produces some of the best chocolates from around the world using the best ingredients from around the world. Everything about this shop returns to the roots of chocolate recipes, employing ancient techniques and age-old machinery rather than modern techniques. There is a variety to satisfy any sweet tooth from pralines, ganaches, and truffles and more all with exceptional flavors.
13. Take a Tour at Les Catacombes
If you want to have a bit of history of Paris that is a bit on the scary side, then you should check out the tour at Les Catacombes, with kilometers of tunnels lined with the femurs and skulls of the deceased. Created 18 metres underground in the 18th-century to stop disease from spreading from the overpopulated city cemeteries, they now make for a chilling tour. As a word of caution, don’t be tempted to take any skulls or bone souvenirs as the security will check bags upon you leaving.
14. Catch a Game at the Stade de France
The football and rugby games at the stadium are for absolutely everyone. This French stadium has behind-the-scenes tours of this sports stadium. The museum contains memorabilia from the past teams and the electric guitars from the famous musicians who played here. The tour begins by sitting in the stands and ends with a run out through the tunnel to the sound of applause. On the way, you can visit the changing and shower rooms and learn about the on-site hospital and prison cells. Tickets are best bought online beforehand, and tours are not available on when there is a game or concert scheduled.
15. Spend an Afternoon at the Musee National Gustave Moreau
The Musée Gustave Moreau makes you feel like you’re going back to the early 19th century as the rooms are filled with what looks like nick-knacks. The museum has around 1,300 paintings in over three stories. One of the highlights is the light-filled workshop where Moreau used to work on his masterpieces. You are encouraged to climb the swirling iron staircase to look at the two-meter tall Jupiter and Semele, which is a masterpiece of blues, greens, and gold’s in which Moreau redefines his interpretation of the classic myth.
16. Take in the Institut du Monde Arabe
This grand design was constructed from 1980 to 1987 by Jean Nouvel, which was a blend of Arab influences mixed with high-tech architecture. The building features shuttered windows, inspired by Moorish palaces that allowed specific sunlight during the contrast of the daytime. A museum covering the history of Islamic Arab world is on the upper floors that go through the Islamic dynasties to present day.
17. Take an Afternoon to visit the Jardin d’Acclimatation
Created in 1860, this amusement park and garden has Normandy-style farm animals and an aviary, as well as boat rides. It also has a funfair with mini roller coasters, flying chairs, the Enchanted House for children aged two to four and two playgrounds. You also have an option to try out radio-controlled boats, or try out a game of mini-golf. A miniature train runs from Porte Maillot through the Bois de Boulogne to the park entrance. Many of the entertainment here is free while a couple of rides and games do cost a small fee.
18. Try a Secret Supper with Strangers
If you happen to be wanting to meet new people and are up for a unique and creative way to go outside of your normal method to meet strangers, then a secret supper might be for you. Supper clubs are the new rage as guests meet up at private locations, have surprise menus that sometimes consist of home-cooked meals. The benefit from this type of dining experience is that you meet with fun and interesting strangers who all wanted to venture out to meet new people all who love good food and want to make new friends.
19. Enjoy Wine Tasting at Le Baron Rouge
France is known for having some of the best wines in the world, and if you have gone to France to sample some of these wines, then you will enjoy the wine tasting at Le Baron Rouge. When you have finished your day at a museum and need to relax then this is the perfect spot. There are barrels that are full of wine in which you have the choice of five choices (rose, merlot, white, and two different reds) as well as a variety of other wines. A lot of people enjoy the wines here as they are very affordable with a wide variety to choose from. Typically, a liter of wine can range from 2.8 to 7.2 euro.
20. Take up a Musical at Theatre du Chatelet
If you want to see a classical musical than the Theater du Chatelet is the right place for you. They have revolutionized Paris’s musicals scene. You can now see great classical musicals like West Side Story and The Sound of Music. If you come at the right time you can see the productions in English often with a live orchestra. They are open 11AM to 7PM except on Sunday and holidays and charge €3 per seat. You can even book tickets online.
Paris definitely has a variety of things to do, and it doesn’t matter if your single, married with kids, or even retired as Paris has something to do for everyone. There is an abundance of things for everyone, and today we only covered a short list of the possibilities of hundreds of other things to do. If you are planning to come to Paris, what would interests would you like to explore and are there any particular seasons you would like to know about?