From shopping and sightseeing to drinking and dining, we’ve picked some of the best things to do in Paris. The City of Lights is renowned as one of the most romantic spots on the planet, but Paris has history, culture and gastronomic delights around every corner, too.
Places to go
The best way to take in all the art and culture the city has to offer is with a Paris Museum pass. This pre-paid card means you’ll get free entry into over 70 monuments and museums across the city, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the Musee D’Orsay and the Paris Catacombs. The pass is valid for between 2-6 days giving you plenty of time to take in the best Paris attractions. Bear in mind most galleries and museums are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays, but if you visit on the first Sunday of the month, entry is generally free.
The Eiffel Tower is Paris’ most iconic landmark and should be top of your list of things to do. A break to Paris almost always include a trip to the Eiffel Tower, but getting up early is recommended to avoid the queues. Built between 1887-1889, the tower was once considered an eyesore, however today it’s thought of as the most visited tourist attraction in the world, and riding the elevator to the top floor rewards you with the most spectacular views in the city. Whilst you’re in the 7th arrondissement, it’s well worth visiting the Musee Rodin, a museum dedicated to the sculptor’s life and work. On sunny afternoons, the house and garden make a great day out.
A trip to Paris aren’t complete without a trip to Notre Dame Cathedral. One of the best things to do in Paris, a climb to the top of this Gothic masterpiece gives you fantastic views of the city’s landmarks. Entry is free, but if you arrive before 10am, you’re likely to avoid the worst of the queues. It’s well worth paying the small additional entry fee to visit the bell towers and braving the 387 steps to the top for a glimpse of the stone gargoyles and the city’s rooftops.
Places to visit
With so many attractions to choose from, the most difficult decision is what to do first. The city is a great place to explore on foot, and you’ll discover some of the best things to do in Paris while you’re doing this, so don’t be afraid to just put away the map and simply see where you end up.
When you’re ready for a pitstop, one of the many French patisseries or boulangeries are hard to beat. Here you can pick up hearty French baguette sandwiches stuffed with the filling of your choice, croque monsieur (toasted cheese and ham sandwiches with béchamel sauce) or a classic French éclair or Madeleines. Expect some of the most mouth-watering window displays as you pass any patisserie or boulangerie in the city.
For a unique evening of entertainment, go and watch a film outdoors at the largest park in Paris, Parc de la Villette. If you’re visiting during the summer months, go along to the open-air film festival, Cinéma en Plein Air.
Stand face to face with the most iconic Gothic building in all of Paris with a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral on Île de la Cité. Start by exploring the outside of the building with its scary looking gargoyles and intricate carvings.