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Things to do in Paris

Things to do in  Paris

Welcome to Paris

Even first-time visitors experience a sense of familiarity when they arrive in Paris, with its instantly recognizable monuments, tightly packed bistro terraces, and chic boutiques. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum are three attractions rarely left off any itinerary—and for good reason. For more, add on a Seine River cruise, Montmartre walking tour, Moulin Rouge dinner show, and day trip to the Palace of Versailles. But for all its iconic scenery and artistic treasures, there’s something to be said for discovering the City of Light like a Parisian, with leisurely visits to cafés, boulangeries, and the narrow alleyways of ‘arrondissements’ (neighborhoods).

Top 15 attractions in Paris

#1
Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

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The Eiffel Tower isn't just a symbol of Paris but a symbol for all of France. Erected by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution in 1889, the 1,050-foot (320-meter) tower once held the title of the world's tallest structure. Despite having been dwarfed by Dubai's Burj Khalifa and The Shard in London, the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most recognizable landmarks on the planet. View the architectural icon from afar, or stop in at the three observation levels for stellar city views.More
#2
Louvre

Louvre

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Primarily associated with the steady gaze of Leonardo Da Vinci's famous Mona Lisa, Paris' Louvre museum is home to a 35,000-strong collection of paintings and sculptures considered one of the greatest in the world. The contemporary glass Louvre Pyramid heralds the museum's entrance, which millions of tourists flock to every year to feast their eyes on masterpieces that span from antiquity to the 20th century.More
#3
River Seine

River Seine

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The lifeblood of Paris, the River Seine acts as a dividing line between Paris’ historically sophisticated and bohemian halves; it provides transportation via riverboat and plenty of opportunity for romantic strolls; and its riverbanks are a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with the city’s top landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Musée d’Orsay, Jardin des Tuileries, and the Louvre.More
#4
Notre Dame Cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral

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Second only to the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris) is one of Paris' most iconic attractions, a marvel of medieval architecture that was immortalized in Victor Hugo's classic novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Today, the Gothic grandeur and stained-glass windows of the UNESCO World Heritage site continue to reign supreme from Ile de la Cite, an island in the middle of the Seine River.(UPDATE: Notre Dame Cathedral is currently off-limits due to fire damage.)More
#5
Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay)

Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay)

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Rivaling the Louvre as Paris' favorite art museum, the Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay) is known for its impressionist, post-impressionist, and art nouveau works from 1848 to 1914. Equally impressive as what’s inside the museum is its exterior: a former Beaux-Arts railway station with an enviable location on the banks of the Seine River. Both architecture and art buffs will want this museum on their Parisian itineraries.More
#6
Moulin Rouge

Moulin Rouge

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Expect bright lights, extravagant costumes, and raucous music at the world-famous Moulin Rouge. Opened in the Belle Epoque of 1889 to celebrate Paris' thriving creative scene and the end of the civil war, the windmill-cum-cabaret hall has never stopped basking in fun and frivolity. As a staple of Parisian nightlife, an unforgettable evening at the Moulin Rouge is a must on any traveler's France itinerary.More
#7
Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin)

Latin Quarter (Quartier Latin)

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Paris’ Latin Quarter is a popular, historical area of the Left Bank. Home to the main Sorbonne campus, this dynamic, student-filled neighborhood was once frequented by Ernest Hemingway, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and other revolutionaries. Today it’s distinguished for its buzzing cafés, lively restaurants, and must-see landmarks.More
#8
Grand Palais

Grand Palais

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The Grand Palais is one of Paris’ most beautiful and recognizable structures. Debuted in 1900 in time for the World’s Fair, the architectural marvel is famed for its colossal nave, Beaux-Arts architecture, and immense glass roof. Today, the Grand Palais houses several gallery areas and also hosts tournaments, Chanel fashion shows, and other major events.More
#9
Montmartre

Montmartre

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Crowned by the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, historic Montmartre in Paris’ 18th arrondissement is famed for its cobblestone streets, artsy past and present, and central hill. Visitors flock here to imagine what life was like during the Belle Epoque—when artists such as Dalí, Renoir, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Picasso lived and worked in Montmartre—as well as get their portrait sketched in Place du Tertre.More
#10
Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III

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One of many bridges that cross the Seine, Pont Alexandre III was officially unveiled in 1900. Widely considered the city’s most beautiful and opulent bridge, it connects the Champs-Élysées and Grand Palais on the Right Bank with Invalides on the Left, making it a popular thoroughfare for tour groups and amblers.More
#11
Avenue des Champs-Élysées

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

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The Arc de Triomphe looks down upon the grand tree-lined boulevard that is Avenue des Champs-Élysées: one of Paris’ most memorable sights and one of the world’s most famous avenues. It’s not just the striking architecture that captivates visitors—the shopping street is lined with designer boutiques, luxury hotels, and fine restaurants.More
#12
Place de la Concorde

Place de la Concorde

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Situated on the right bank of the Seine River and flanked by the idyllic Tuileries Garden and the grand boulevard of Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde is the largest square in Paris. The infamous guillotines of the French Revolution were located here, but today the square is best known for striking monuments, elegant hotels, and elaborate fountains.More
#13
Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

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An instantly recognizable symbol of Paris, the colossal Arc de Triomphe stands at the epicenter of Place Charles de Gaulle, where 12 of the city’s busiest avenues converge. The Napoleon-commissioned monument, adorned with high-relief sculptures depicting sword-wielding soldiers and inscribed with the names of generals and battles, celebrates French military victories and remembers all those who have fought on behalf of France. The top of the arch, accessible via 284 steps, affords superb views over all of Paris.More
#14
Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf

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Though it translates to “New Bridge” in French, the Pont Neuf is in fact the oldest bridge in Paris, built in 1607 to connect the banks of the river Seine to Ile de la Cite. Known in the 18th and 19th centuries for its unsavory street vendors and pickpockets, Pont Neuf is now a tranquil pedestrian bridge and meeting place for visitors and locals alike.More
#15
Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles

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Formerly a humble hunting lodge, the Palace of Versailles (Chateau de Versailles) is the extravagant creation of Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. Embellished to epitomize royal decadence, Versailles features 700 rooms replete with frescoed ceilings and carvings, plus the Versailles Gardens (Jardins de Versailles), which brim with geometrically designed walkways and fountains. No visit to France is complete without experiencing the grandeur.More

Trip ideas

The Do's and Don'ts of the Paris Catacombs

The Do's and Don'ts of the Paris Catacombs

6 Must-See Paris Museums

6 Must-See Paris Museums

Top activities in Paris

Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
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Skip the Line Ticket Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access with Host
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Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour with Venus de Milo & Mona Lisa
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Disneyland® Paris 1-Day Ticket

Disneyland® Paris 1-Day Ticket

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Eiffel Tower Skip the Line and Small Group Tour with Summit Access by elevator
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Louvre Museum Skip-the-line Private Guided Tour
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Normandy D-Day Small-Group Day Trip with Omaha Beach, Cemetery & Cider Tasting
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Loire Valley Chambord & Chenonceau Castles Day Trip with Wine Tasting from Paris
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Montmartre Hill Sweet & Savory French Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour
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Things to do in Paris this...

Recent reviews from experiences in Paris

star-5
Biking
Daniela_V, May 2022
Paris by Night City of Lights Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour
Great time and great way to catch a glimpse of some of the main attractions in Paris Really enjoyed the cruise as well it’s a bonus
star-5
Segway tour was a fun way...
Kate_M, May 2022
Paris City Sightseeing Half Day Guided Segway Tour with a Local Guide
Segway tour was a fun way to see Paris.
star-5
Traveling abroad? Have Viator get you to your destination!
Francesca_S, May 2022
Paris Private Airport Arrival Transfer
Having my driver waiting with my name on a screen, speaking English and French and providing a history lesson on the way to Paris was so perfect.
star-5
Amazing Experience
Victoria_B, May 2022
Private Boat Trip on the Seine in Paris
We were only in Paris for 2 days and made sure to prioritize this activity, it is the absolute best way to see the city.
star-5
Limited time great tour of Paris!
Margaret_A, May 2022
Paris Layover Tour
The opportunity to see Paris with such limited time was truly a treat!
star-5
Fantastic sightseeing tour experience!
Sharon_R, May 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise
It was a great way to see the highlights of Paris!
star-5
Excellent service
Monique_M, May 2022
Paris Airports Private Roundtrip Transfer
Drivers were accommodating provided insight on things to do and historical facts about Paris.
star-5
Perfect for not much time to visit city
james_s, May 2022
Big Bus Paris Night Tour
This night bus tour enabled us to see most of the Paris sites.
star-5
Great experience
Jocelyn_A, May 2022
Mont Saint Michel Full Day Experience from Paris by Private Coach
30 so we just waited for half hour and able to see the Eiffel’s twinkling light
star-5
Fun Wrap Up to 4 Days in Paris
Gail_R, May 2022
How to Become a Parisian in 1 Hour? The Hit Comedy Show 100% in English in Paris
We were glad to see a performance in a small old- world theater with Parisian ambiance.
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Eiffel Tower with ease
damon_f, May 2022
Private Eiffel Tower Elevator Tour with Summit
Such an amazing and effortless way to see a very popular attraction in Paris!
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Amazing to work with!
Matt_C, May 2022
Paris Photoshoot Tour with Professional Photographer
Highly recommend working with her if you want to see Paris and capture the moments!
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Best of Paris
Jackie_P, May 2022
Tuktuk in Paris © Private City Tour with Pick Up
We had a list of fountains and monuments we wanted to see and he accommodated every thing we asked for.
star-5
Loved it
JAMES_P, May 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
The views of Paris at night from the Seine is one of my favorite things to do.
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Interesting History
Melissa_S, May 2022
Skip-the-Line Paris Catacombs Special Access Tour
We had 2 families of 4, with kids ages 16+.
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The Louvre
Joanne_D, May 2022
Louvre Museum Skip-the-Line Guided Tour with Venus de Milo & Mona Lisa
3 hours with an educated woman who spoke excellent English.
star-4
Enjoyable evening on the Seine
SarahKeig, May 2022
Paris Seine River Gourmet Dinner Cruise with Champagne Exclusive Viator
The food was great and it is a lovely way to see the sights of Paris in a relaxing way whilst enjoying good company.
star-5
A must experience when in Paris!
ANDRIANA_M, May 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
You get to see Paris from a different angel!
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Great tour
Debra_O, May 2022
Paris Highlights Bike Tour with Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre-Dame
I would highly recommend this tour to see Paris!
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Paris By Night
Timothy_J, May 2022
Tootbus Paris by Night Tour
Excellent way to see Paris at night.

A local’s pocket guide to Paris

Jade Broggio

Jade worked in Paris’ La Défense neighborhood many moons ago and had an amazing time living in Ménilmontant, between the 11th and the 20th arrondissements (districts).

The first thing you should do in Paris is...

immerse yourself in the typical Parisian atmosphere. Order a coffee on the terrace of a bistro in Les Halles and contemplate the bustle of the city.

A perfect Saturday in Paris...

starts with brunch at Shouk, a Mediterranean restaurant in the 10th arrondissement. Then, follow Amélie’s footsteps down the Canal Saint-Martin, before meeting friends at Prune for a glass of wine (or two).

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Montmartre. Escape the crowds in the Place du Tertre and get lost a little further down the cobbled streets for a more local experience.

To discover the "real" Paris...

visit the 19th arrondissement. I like to stroll along the Buttes Chaumont and the Canal de l'Ourcq, before stopping by La Paname, an incredible brewery that overlooks the canal.

For the best view of the city...

go to the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Montmartre or leave Paris for nearby Saint-Germain-en-Laye for a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower and La Défense from the Saint-Germain Castle.

One thing people get wrong...

Parisians are not always on strike, but make sure to check the local news before planning your day.

People Also Ask

What should you not miss in Paris?

Paris is home to many unmissable attractions, from iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe to world-class museums including the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay. No visit is complete without strolling through atmospheric neighborhoods like the Marais and the Latin Quarter, or indulging in French baguettes, cheeses, and wine.

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What should I do on my first trip to Paris?

See Paris' top attractions on your first visit to the City of Light: Go on a Seine River cruise to admire many highlights, including the Eiffel Tower, and plan a visit to the Louvre. Ascend to Montmartre for impeccable city views, and visit the iconic Moulin Rouge for an unforgettable cabaret show.

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What are the local specialties in Paris?

Paris is known for its decadent culinary specialities, from croissants and freshly baked baguettes, to colorful macarons, hearty croque-monsieur sandwiches, and other timeless bistro fare. The best of French gastronomy is available in the City of Light, including hundreds of cheeses, exceptional wines (including Champagne), and cured meats.

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What entertainment is there in Paris?

Paris offers an enormous range of entertainment options, from rarified opera and ballet performances to racy cabaret revues at iconic venues such as the Moulin Rouge. Its theaters host a range of plays, comedy nights, and concerts throughout the year, while the Stade de France hosts soccer and rugby games.

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What do locals do for fun in Paris?

Paris locals often bypass touristy neighborhoods like the Latin Quarter in favor of the Canal Saint-Martin district, where they picnic along the water and share bottles of wine in trendy bars. Other locals-frequented destinations include the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the hip Belleville district, and the boutiques of the Marais.

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Is Paris expensive?

Yes, Paris is expensive. It ranks among the world's most expensive cities, and luxury—from high-end department stores to Michelin-starred meals—is present at every turn. But there are cost-effective ways to explore the city: Enjoy panoramic views from Sacré-Coeur Basilica, window-shop on the Champs-Élysées, and see the cultural attractions of the Parc de la Villette.

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Frequently Asked Questions