Paris is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world, offering a wealth of attractions for tourists of all types. From historical landmarks to modern-day hotspots, there’s something for everyone in the City of Light.
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Paris, we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite activities that will make your trip unforgettable.
From taking a leisurely stroll along the banks of the Seine to ascending the Eiffel Tower, here are 10 of the best things to do in Paris – each one sure to leave you with a lasting memory of your time in this stunning city.
1. Visit Notre Dame
Take a moment to admire one of France’s most iconic landmarks, Notre Dame Cathedral, located on Île de la Cité in central Paris. Here you can marvel at its breathtaking Gothic architecture and intricate sculptures before climbing up the 387 steps for an amazing view from the top of the bell tower.
Located on the Île de la Cité, this architectural marvel is a testament to Gothic architecture and one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Paris. Dating back to 1163, this magnificent cathedral has been visited by millions of people over hundreds of years and continues to captivate visitors today with its awe-inspiring beauty.
During a visit, be sure to explore the interior spaces including its stunning stained glass windows, beautifully carved choir stalls, and intricate Gothic sculptures.
Climb up to the top of Notre Dame’s two towers for breathtaking views of Paris or take part in evening services held at the cathedral each day.
2. Explore The Louvre
Discover over 35,000 works of art spanning five thousand years at The Louvre, the world’s largest art museum. Here you can find masterpieces from famous painters and sculptors such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Botticelli, plus Egyptian artifacts and much more.
The Louvre is an absolute must-see when visiting Paris. Not only does it contain some of the world’s most iconic art and antiquities such as the Mona Lisa, but it also serves as a symbol of French culture and history.
The museum itself is immense, so plan ahead to make sure you get to see all your top picks! Be sure to check out the collections’ changing exhibits, temporary special exhibitions, and free guided tours in English.
Even if you don’t have time to explore all that’s inside, simply admiring its majestic architecture from the outside is worth your while.
3. Enjoy a Picnic in the Park
Spend a day soaking up the sun in one of Paris’ many parks and gardens. Bring along some food and drinks for a romantic picnic with your partner or friends while admiring the stunning views of Parisian landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame Cathedral.
For locals, it’s an excuse to come together and share a meal outdoors with friends and family. For tourists, it’s an opportunity for a taste of la vie Parisienne.
Whether you’re looking for quaint city parks or sprawling green spaces such as Tuileries Garden and Bois de Vincennes, there are plenty of picnic spots around the city where you can enjoy some fresh air and amazing views.
Make sure to bring your own blanket and food – ideally French cheese, wine, baguettes, pâté – or get it from the nearby boulangerie (bakery) before settling down.
4. Take an evening cruise on the Seine River
As night falls over Paris, take to the waters on an enchanting river cruise along The Seine. Relax as you watch the twinkling lights of the cityscape and take in some of Paris’ most famous attractions such as the Louvre, Place de la Concorde, and Notre Dame Cathedral.
A Seine River cruise is an essential part of any trip to Paris. You’ll be able to see some of the most iconic landmarks, such as Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower while floating on the beautiful waters of this historic river. You can opt for a dinner cruise, a sightseeing tour, or even a romantic sunset one – whatever suits your needs.
The experience will provide you with stunning views that you won’t forget in a hurry. Make sure to bring along your camera so you can capture all the beautiful moments.
Enjoy some delicious snacks and drinks as you take in the sights of Paris from the water. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for famous monuments like Pont Alexandre III and the Louvre, among many others.
You can purchase tickets for a Seine River cruise at any of the major tourist spots in Paris. Alternatively, you could book one online to ensure that your experience is smooth sailing all the way.
5. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Feel a sense of accomplishment after ascending 1065 feet up this iconic Parisian landmark. On the first two levels, you can treat yourself to a meal at one of two cafés or enjoy shopping for souvenirs before taking an elevator all the way up to level three for a breathtaking 360-degree view.
No visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the world-famous Eiffel Tower. It’s one of the 10 best things to do in Paris, and it will give you an incredible view of the city from up high.
The Paris skyline is best seen from the top of this iconic tower, as it stands at 1063 feet tall! You can take an elevator or even climb all 1064 steps for a more adventurous way up. Tours are available that take you inside the inner workings of the tower, so if you’re looking for something special then this is definitely worth checking out.
There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes onsite that offer stunning views over the city below. So make sure you add the Eiffel Tower to your 10 best things to do in Paris list.
6. Do some retail therapy on Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Shopping enthusiasts will love exploring this world-famous avenue in Paris, home to over 10 exclusive shops, 10 cinema complexes, and 8 theatres. Whether it’s luxury goods, stylish apparel, or delicious food you’re after.
7. Wander through the Latin Quarter
Explore one of Paris’ oldest neighborhoods and get a glimpse into its rich culture. Walk along narrow cobbled streets while admiring the stunning architecture of Saint Germain des Prés or take a break in one of the area’s many cafés and restaurants to sample some traditional French fare.
The Latin Quarter of Paris is a must-visit for any tourist. With its colorful streets, vibrant culture, and stunning architecture, it is no surprise that the Latin Quarter stands out on this 10-best list. Here you can visit some of the oldest churches in Paris such as Notre Dame Cathedral.
You can also explore the Boulevard Saint-Germain which has been around since Roman times and still remains one of the most popular districts in Paris today.
If you’re looking to shop, Lafayette Galleries are here to satisfy all your needs with its extensive selection of luxury items from designer brands. If you’re more interested in learning about French history than shopping, head over to The Pantheon which is an impressive late 18th-century building that houses the tombs of some of the most famous French citizens, including Voltaire and Victor Hugo.
8. Sample Macarons at Ladurée
Enjoy France’s iconic sweet treat – macarons! Stop by this famous bakery on Rue Royale for an unforgettable experience of color and flavor, with over 15 varieties of these delicate pastries to choose from.
9. Marvel at the Arc de Triomphe
Admire this impressive monument atop the Champs-Élysées, built in honor of the brave soldiers who served France during the Napoleonic period. Climb up to the top for a breathtaking view of Paris, or simply walk around and admire its majestic Classical architecture.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic monuments in Paris and is a must-see for any visitor. Constructed between 1806 and 1836, this impressive structure stands at 50 meters tall, with its four arches representing France’s four major battles.
Take in the stunning views from the top, marvel at the intricately carved sculptures that adorn its walls, and—if you’re brave enough—challenge yourself to climb the 284 steps up to the observation deck.
While you’re there, take a moment to pay your respects to those who died defending their country by standing in front of the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers beneath the arch. This awe-inspiring monument will stay etched in your memory long after your visit.
10. Take an evening stroll along Montmartre
As day turns to night, take a leisurely stroll through Montmartre and enjoy its vibrant atmosphere as street performers entertain you with music and dance. Wrap up your day by taking in some stunning views across Paris from Sacré Coeur Basilica before heading off for dinner or drinks at one of the many nearby eateries.
Thoughts and Conclusion
No matter what your preference, there is something for everyone to enjoy during a trip to Paris. Make sure you check out some of these 10 best things to do while in the city and make lasting memories that will stay with you forever.