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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 10 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
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
#10
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

Trip ideas

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

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6 Must-See Paris Museums

Top activities in Paris

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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2022
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Normandy D-Day Beaches & American Cemetery Trip from Paris
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Louvre Museum Skip the Line Access Guided Tour
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Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise
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Louvre Museum Paris Private Guided Tour (Reserved Entry Included!)
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Loire Valley Chambord & Chenonceau Castles Day Trip with Wine Tasting from Paris
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Giverny Monet s House and Gardens Skip-the-Line Ticket with small Group
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Things to do in Paris this...

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Recent reviews from experiences in Paris

star-4
Night cruise
Jim_L, Jun 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
I really loved how we got back in time to see the eiffel tower glisten.
star-5
Great first time visit tour
Rita_C, Jun 2022
See 30 Plus Top Paris Sights with a Fun Guide
Great tour to get a general ideal of the main points to see in Paris specially for first time visitors.
star-4
Saves renting a car
Marilyn_F, Jun 2022
Paris Half-Day City Tour with a Private Driver
We had a few places we wanted to see and it was nice to be dropped off and picked up without hassle.
star-5
Great Intro To Paris
JimV, Jun 2022
Big Bus Paris Night Tour
Great, easy way to see all of Paris at night.
star-5
Marianne was great!
Brian_M, Jun 2022
See 30 Plus Top Paris Sights with a Fun Guide
You get to see the best of Paris in one tour.
star-5
Super fun way to see...
mona_h, Jun 2022
Segway tour Paris
Super fun way to see Paris.
star-5
Bucket List
Lori_P, Jun 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
I took my mother who is 82 years old since it was her dream to see Paris and dine on a boat down the Seine.
star-5
Tons of fun!
Cristina_R, Jun 2022
Vintage Private Tour: Sidecar Motorcycle Ural Paris (1hr30)
Michael was excellent and zipping around the streets of Paris on the motorcycle was, I believe, a wholly unique way to see the city!
star-5
Happy Honeymooners
Robert_G, Jun 2022
Seine River Cruise & French Crepe Tasting At The Foot of the Eiffel Tower
A great way to see Paris.
star-5
Fun. Safe. Definitely...
Chad_D, Jun 2022
Paris Local Districts and Stories Off the Beaten Track Guided Bike Tour
Definitely recommend if you want to see a bit more of Paris than the typical sites and learn a little history
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Paris weekend
Thomas_B, Jun 2022
Seine River Paris by Night Sightseeing Sparkling Cruise with Champagne
The cruise was excellent and great to see this wonderful city from river.
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The best tour in Paris!
Teresa_S, Jun 2022
Half Day Vintage Tour On A Sidecar Motorcycle (2 Hours)
We have been to Paris a few times, however, this time was our absolute favorite having the opportunity to see Paris in more detail.
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One of our favorite...
Talmadge_F, Jun 2022
Paris Bakery Behind the Scenes Tour
One of our favorite things to do in Paris!
star-5
We got premier seating so...
Catherine_L, Jun 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise
A great way to see Paris!
star-5
Worth the money
Carolyn_F, Jun 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Sightseeing Cruise
We enjoyed being able to see Paris from another perspective, as well as sit for an hour!
star-5
Wonderful cruise
Luzmireya_M, Jun 2022
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise
This was a great lunch cruise to see Paris.
star-5
A great way to see Paris!
Jill_G, Jun 2022
Paris Local Districts and Stories Off the Beaten Track Guided Bike Tour
We were able to see parts of Paris and learn things we wouldn’t have otherwise.
star-5
Unique and fantastic tour!
Michele_S, Jun 2022
Vintage Private Tour: Sidecar Motorcycle Ural Paris (1hr30)
Amazing way to see Paris!
star-5
Top experiance.
Bassem_S, Jun 2022
Paris Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour Like a Parisian with a Local Guide
U get to see all key monuments while riding in nice atmosphere.
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A must do tour!!
Stacia_G, Jun 2022
Private Visit of Paris By Night : Romantic Tour on a Sidecar URAL
Unique and fantastic way to see the city!
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All about Paris

Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)

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