Paris is one of those destinations on practically everyone’s must-see list. From its rich cultural history and vibrant modern scene to sumptuous cuisine and fine wine, it’s no wonder that Paris is a beloved vacation spot. Of course, we don’t always have two weeks to spend in Paris, and our trips have to be tailored to accommodate a briefer stay. If you’re looking to visit Paris and hope to see the best of the best, check out our list of the top things to do in Paris. We’ve selected a few of the must-do attractions for Parisian visitors, ranging from popular museums and cultural attractions to free public monuments, gardens, and more. Our top things in Paris list includes:
- The Louvre
- Paris Bus Tour
- The Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Seine River Cruise
- Luxembourg Gardens
- Latin Quarter
- Trocadéro Gardens
One of the best museums in the world, hands-down, is the Louvre. It’s not only among our favorite museums in Paris, but it also has a little bit of everything for all those interested in arts and culture. With multiple different departments to explore—ranging from Egyptian antiquities to Renaissance painting and beyond—there are practically endless galleries to roam through. For more information about the Louvre, check out our helpful guide.
Paris Bus Tour
It’s easy to urge you to check out the top sights in Paris, and less simple for you to figure out how to do so. Fortunately, a convenient hop-on hop-off Paris Bus tour is available via Big Bus. It helps you get familiar with the city’s most famous sites, range through different neighborhoods, and develop a sense of how everything fits together. And while Parisian mass transit is easy to use, with a bus tour you can appreciate the sights as you traverse the city!
The Eiffel Tower
Paris’ most famous landmark is the Eiffel Tower. It’s been a monument to the city and the country for generations and is among the most recognizable structures across the globe. Don’t miss out on your chance to ascend to the top of the tower, or check out the restaurants on the lower levels. Or, for a budget-friendly option, bring some bread and cheese and have a picnic beneath on the Champs de Mars for free.
Arc de Triomphe
Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, this is another of the city’s most famous landmarks. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is known for its signature design, with twelve avenues radiating out from the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle. The monument itself is designated to commemorate those who fought in the French Revolutionary War and Napoleonic Wars, with a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI beneath.
Seine River Cruise
Running through the heart of Paris, the Seine River is a prominent part of the cityscape that visitors won’t want to neglect. Happily, it’s easy to explore the riverbanks and bridges of Paris on a leisurely river cruise. Choose from narration in over 14 languages as you glide past top sites like the Pont Neuf bridge, Notre Dame Cathedral, Musée D’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, and more.
One of the most famous neighborhoods in Paris, the Champs-Élysées combines all the charm of historical Paris with the convenience of a modern shopping paradise. Visit stores ranging from the most selective and elusive of boutiques to mainstream brands at a variety of price points. Whether you’re hoping to come home with a perfect souvenir or just do some window shopping, this is one of the most-see areas in Paris.
Arguably among the most opulent royal residences in the entire world, the Palace of Versailles is unquestionably among our top things to do when visiting Paris. Between the magnificent Hall of Mirrors, the exquisite Royal Opera, and the extravagant royal apartments, there’s practically no surface in all of Versailles that isn’t covered in some precious substance. Warn your friends about your forthcoming Insta series!
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a gorgeous white church that’s one of the most popular landmarks to visit in all of Paris. It’s located at the top of a high summit and the climb to get up to the basilica itself is part of the experience. The unique Romano-Byzantine architecture style also separates the Sacré-Cœur from many of the other Catholic churches in the city, including Notre Dame.
An expansive garden/park space located in the 6th arrondissement, Luxembourg Gardens date back to the early seventeenth century when the widow of King Henry IV commissioned the space for her new residence, the Luxembourg Palace. While the French Senate meets in the Palace, the gardens are open to the public to stroll, picnic, snap photos of the flowers, and so on. It’s a lovely place to get a sense of nature in the midst of the city.
For those in search of a little bit of culture outside the museums, the Latin Quarter is home to the Sorbonne University as well as many bookstores and cafés. Don’t miss the famous bookshop Shakespeare and Company, for one. This neighborhood is also a good place for families to explore, featuring the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens and the National Museum of Natural History.
This massive public park is located just across the river from the Eiffel Tower, so it’s a perfect place from which to snap distance photos of this landmark. Within the park itself, you’ll find a grand fountain, plenty of enchanting sculptures, and even the remarkable Aquarium de Paris. There are also three museums nearby: the Palais de Chaillot, Musée de l’Homme, and Musée Georges Clemenceau.
Save on Admission to Paris Attractions
Explore the top things to do in Paris with the Go Paris pass. Pay just 95 Euro for the 48-hour Paris Museum Pass, which covers admission to more than 55 different museums, chateaux, and monuments in the broader Paris area. You’ll also get access to bus tours, cruises, and other fun ways to explore the French capital.
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