25 Best Things to Do in Paris: City of Lights and Love

Hannah J

Things to Do in Paris

Paris, the capital city of France, is renowned worldwide for its stunning beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. From iconic landmarks and world-class museums to picturesque parks and squares, Paris offers a multitude of memorable experiences. If you’re planning a trip to the City of Lights, here are some of the top things to do in Paris.

1. Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
Photo: Twitter/Exair

Your journey to Paris would undoubtedly be incomplete without a stop at the iconic Eiffel Tower. This iconic iron structure, designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world.

Visitors can ascend the tower, either by lift or stairs, to enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Paris. Whether you choose to visit during the day or at night when it’s illuminated, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see Parisian experience.

Entry Fee: FRF 2.70; Location: Check Map
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France.

2. Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges
Photo: Google Maps/Tatjana Martynova

Located in the Marais district, the Place des Vosges is Paris’ oldest planned square and a true gem. This tranquil spot is known for its symmetrical architecture, elegant red-brick houses, and beautifully manicured gardens.

The square is also home to the Maison de Victor Hugo, where the famed French writer once lived. The Place des Vosges offers a peaceful retreat in the heart of the city, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a break from the bustling city streets.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France.

3. Louvre Museum

Louvre Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Daniela Greco

Art and history enthusiasts should not miss the chance to explore the Louvre Museum, the world’s largest art museum and a historic monument in Paris. The museum is home to a vast collection of artworks and historical artifacts, including the famous Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

Housed in the former royal palace, the Louvre itself is a masterpiece of French Renaissance architecture. Remember to plan your visit well, as the museum’s extensive collection could take days to fully explore.

Entry Fee: FRF 15; Location: Check Map
Address: 75001 Paris, France.

4. Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe
Photo: Google Maps/Fernando Méndez

Standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe is another monumental landmark in the city of Paris. Commissioned by Napoleon after his victory at Austerlitz in 1805, this colossal monument pays tribute to the French armies of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Visitors can explore the intricate reliefs on the arch, visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and climb to the top for a stunning view of Paris’s twelve radiating avenues.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France.

5. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Photo: Google Maps/Santiago Fonseca

The Notre-Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture and one of the most famous cathedrals in the world. Despite being damaged in a fire in 2019, much of its structure, including the iconic twin towers, remains intact.

While the cathedral’s interior is currently closed for renovations, its exterior architecture, with intricate carvings and stunning rose windows, is still a sight to behold. A visit to Notre-Dame also provides an opportunity to explore the charming Île de la Cité, one of the two remaining natural islands in the Seine within the city of Paris.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France.

6. Musée d’Orsay

Musée d'Orsay
Photo: Google Maps/Luis Vidilla

Housed in a former railway station, the Musée d’Orsay is home to an extensive collection of art from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. The museum is particularly known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterpieces, featuring works by artists such as Monet, Renoir, Degas, and Van Gogh.

With its stunning architecture and an exceptional collection of art, the Musée d’Orsay offers a remarkable cultural experience and is a must-have on your list of things to do in Paris.

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Entry Fee: FRF 17; Location: Check Map
Address: 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France.

7. Palais Garnier

Palais Garnier
Photo: Twitter/Time Trip

The Palais Garnier, also known as the Opéra Garnier, is a grand opera house in Paris that’s sure to captivate lovers of music, ballet, and architecture. This ornate building, adorned with marble, gold, and velvet, is a symbol of 19th-century Parisian opulence.

Visitors can admire the building’s stunning architecture, explore its lavishly decorated interior, and maybe even catch a ballet or opera performance. The Palais Garnier is more than just a venue for performing arts; it’s a work of art in its own right.

Entry Fee: FRF 15; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. de l’Opéra, 75009 Paris, France.

8. Tuileries Garden

Tuileries Garden
Photo: Google Maps/Robert Kittinger

The Tuileries Garden, situated between the Louvre Museum and the Place de la Concorde, is an open-air haven in the heart of Paris. Originally created as a garden for the Tuileries Palace in the 16th century, today, it’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or even a boat ride in its central pond.

With meticulously trimmed trees, colourful flower beds, and several sculptures, including works by renowned artists like Auguste Rodin and Henry Moore, the Tuileries Garden blends nature and art harmoniously.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. de la Concorde, 75001 Paris, France.

9. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle
Photo: Google Maps/Christian Parth

Sainte-Chapelle, tucked within the complex of the Palais de la Cité on the Île de la Cité, is a gem of Gothic architecture. Known for its stunning stained glass windows depicting biblical scenes, the chapel emits a radiant display of light and colour when the sun shines through.

Despite its small size compared to other Parisian landmarks, Sainte-Chapelle leaves a lasting impression with its spiritual beauty and intricate craftsmanship.

Entry Fee: FRF 11,50; Location: Check Map
Address: 10 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris, France.

10. Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens
Photo: Google Maps/Carlos Alberto do Amaral

Located on the border between Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Latin Quarter, the Luxembourg Gardens are a favourite retreat for both locals and tourists.

Commissioned by Queen Marie de Medici in 1612, this beautifully manicured park features a large central basin, tree-lined promenades, colourful flowerbeds, and more than a hundred statues. The gardens also host puppet shows, pony rides, and chess games, making them a delightful place for families.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 75006 Paris, France.

11. The Centre Pompidou

The Centre Pompidou
Photo: Google Maps/Fred Booker

The Centre Pompidou is a marvel of 20th-century architecture, instantly recognizable with its futuristic design and colourful exterior piping. Inside this building, you’ll find the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which houses one of the world’s most significant collections of modern and contemporary art.

The Centre Pompidou is not just for art lovers, as it also features a vast public library, a music and acoustic research centre, and a rooftop terrace offering one of the best views over Paris.

Entry Fee: FRF 15; Location: Check Map
Address: Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France.

12. Musée de l’Orangerie

Musée de l'Orangerie
Photo: Google Maps/Robert Milli

The Musée de l’Orangerie, located in the west corner of the Tuileries Gardens, is a delightful museum particularly famous for housing eight of Claude Monet’s Water Lilies murals. These large-scale paintings, presented in two oval rooms designed by Monet himself, immerse viewers in the artist’s impressionistic water landscapes.

The museum also hosts the Walter-Guillaume Collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, featuring works by artists like Renoir, Cézanne, Picasso, and others. If you’re an art lover, this compact and carefully curated museum is a must-visit in Paris.

Entry Fee: FRF 12,50; Location: Check Map
Address: Jardin des Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France.

13. Pont Alexandre III

Pont Alexandre III
Photo: Twitter/Ali3n

The Pont Alexandre III, spanning the River Seine, is arguably one of the most extravagant and beautiful bridges in Paris. Built in the late 19th century, this arch bridge is renowned for its ornate Art Nouveau lamps, cherubs, nymphs, and winged horses at either end.

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Connecting the Champs-Élysées quarter and the Invalides and Eiffel Tower quarter, a walk across the bridge offers stunning views of the city, especially at sunset.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pont Alexandre III, 75008 Paris, France.

14. Rodin Museum

Rodin Museum
Photo: Google Maps/Juno Yoon

The Rodin Museum, housed in the beautiful 18th-century mansion Hôtel Biron, is dedicated to showcasing the works of the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Here, you can discover some of Rodin’s most famous works, including ‘The Thinker’, ‘The Burghers of Calais’, and ‘The Gates of Hell’.

The museum also features a lovely garden that houses some of Rodin’s monumental sculptures, providing an opportunity to appreciate art amidst nature.

Entry Fee: FRF 13; Location: Check Map
Address: 77 Rue de Varenne, 75007 Paris, France.

15. Palace of Versailles

Palace of Versailles
Photo: Google Maps/Chyphalis

While technically not located in Paris itself, the Palace of Versailles is a short trip away and is a must-visit. This opulent palace, a symbol of the absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime, is remarkable for its size, architectural detail, and the sheer luxury of its decoration.

Its famous Hall of Mirrors, grand apartments, and sprawling gardens laden with fountains and statues showcase the lavish lifestyle of the French monarchy before the French Revolution. Make sure to plan a whole day for your visit, as the palace and its gardens are extensive.

Entry Fee: FRF 18; Location: Check Map
Address: Place d’Armes, 78000 Versailles, France.

16. Panthéon

Panthéon
Photo: Google Maps/Mariusz Sobeczko

The Panthéon, located in the Latin Quarter, is a majestic neoclassical building that serves as a mausoleum for France’s most distinguished citizens. Originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, it was repurposed during the French Revolution.

Today, it’s the final resting place for notable figures like Voltaire, Rousseau, Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, and others. A climb to the Panthéon’s dome also offers one of the most stunning panoramic views of Paris.

Entry Fee: FRF 11,50; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. du Panthéon, 75005 Paris, France.

17. Pont Neuf

Pont Neuf
Photo: Google Maps/Ondřej Dojcsan

Despite its name, which translates to ‘New Bridge’, Pont Neuf is the oldest standing bridge across the river Seine in Paris. Completed in the early 17th century, this stone bridge is known for its unique design, featuring semi-circular bastions that give it a distinct character.

Crossing the Pont Neuf provides a wonderful view of the river and the surrounding cityscape, including the nearby Île de la Cité.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 75001 Paris, France.

18. Palais de Tokyo

Palais de Tokyo
Photo: Google Maps/Michel Gallais

The Palais de Tokyo, located near the Trocadéro in the 16th arrondissement, is a hub of contemporary and modern art. Known for its innovative, avant-garde exhibitions, the museum is a favourite among those who appreciate unconventional art. It’s also home to Europe’s largest non-collecting contemporary art museum, making it a key part of Paris’s art scene.

Entry Fee: FRF 12.00; Location: Check Map
Address: 13 Av. du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris, France.

19. Place du Tertre

Place du Tertre
Photo: Google Maps/Han

A visit to the Place du Tertre is like stepping back into early 20th-century Paris. This small, bustling square, located in the heart of the Montmartre district, is famous for its artists, who set up their easels and paint or sketch portraits of visitors. Once home to artists like Picasso and Utrillo, the square continues to maintain its bohemian charm and artistic tradition.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. du Tertre, 75018 Paris, France.

20. Champ de Mars

Champ de Mars
Photo: Google Maps/Kathy Chan

Located in the 7th arrondissement, between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire, the Champ de Mars is a vast public greenspace perfect for picnics, leisurely strolls, or simply relaxing and admiring the view of the iconic Eiffel Tower.

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This lush, manicured park is named after the Roman God of War (Mars), due to its historical use as a marching ground for French military. Today, it’s a peaceful and picturesque spot that offers one of the best photo opportunities in Paris.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 75007 Paris, France.

21. Domaine National du Palais-Royal

Domaine National du Palais-Royal
Photo: Google Maps/Agnès

The Palais-Royal, located opposite the Louvre, is a former royal palace that now houses the Conseil d’État, the Constitutional Council, and the Ministry of Culture. While you can’t access the buildings, the palace’s beautiful gardens, the Cour d’Honneur, and the distinctive striped columns in Daniel Buren’s art installation are all open to the public.

The surrounding arcades, home to shops, restaurants, and the world’s oldest surviving theatre – the Comédie Française, add to the charm of this historic site.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: 8 Rue de Montpensier, 75001 Paris, France.

22. Catacombs of Paris

Catacombs of Paris
Photo: Google Maps/Carlos Alberto do Amaral

For a somewhat eerie but deeply fascinating experience, head to the Catacombs of Paris. This underground ossuary holds the remains of about six million people, relocated there from overflowing Parisian cemeteries during the 18th and 19th centuries. As you walk through the dark corridors lined with bones and skulls, you’ll get a unique perspective on the city’s past.

Entry Fee: FRF 29; Location: Check Map
Address: 1 Av. du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, 75014 Paris, France.

23. Wall of Love

Wall of Love
Photo: Google Maps/Mohammad Nasri

The Wall of Love (Le Mur des Je t’aime) in Montmartre is a tribute to love and unity. Created by calligraphist Fédéric Baron and mural artist Claire Kito, this artwork features the phrase “I love you” in more than 250 languages. It’s a popular spot for lovers and a testament to Paris’s status as the ‘City of Love’.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Square Jehan Rictus, Pl. des Abbesses, 75018 Paris, France.

24. Place de la Bastille

Place de la Bastille
Photo: Google Maps/Frederic Cardot

The Place de la Bastille is a significant historical site in Paris, marking the spot where the Bastille prison stood until the French Revolution. Now it’s a bustling square, home to the modern Bastille Opera and the July Column.

Although the Bastille itself is gone, traces of its location can be seen on the pavement. This place serves as a reminder of the fight for freedom and the birth of modern France.

Entry Fee: Free; Location: Check Map
Address: Pl. de la Bastille, 75004 Paris, France.

25. Conciergerie

Conciergerie
Photo: Google Maps/Julio Fernandez Casanova

Located on the Île de la Cité, the Conciergerie is a former royal palace and prison that is now a museum. During the French Revolution, it served as a detention center for prisoners, including Marie Antoinette, before they were taken to their execution.

Visitors can explore the Salle des Gens d’Armes, the prisoners’ quarters, and the Chapelle des Girondins, where Marie Antoinette was held. The Conciergerie offers a chilling but significant glimpse into France’s turbulent history.

Entry Fee: FRF 11,50; Location: Check Map
Address: 2 Bd du Palais, 75001 Paris, France.

Conclusion

From the awe-inspiring Eiffel Tower, the serene Place des Vosges, the iconic views from the Champ de Mars to tracing the steps of Marie Antoinette at the Conciergerie, these are just some of the countless things to do in Paris. Whether you’re drawn by the city’s history, culture, art, or simply its charm, Paris offers a myriad of experiences that are sure to leave a lasting impression. As you wander through the city’s enchanting streets and discover its attractions, you’ll understand why Paris has long been a beloved destination for travelers from around the world.

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Hannah J

Hannah specializes in travel and lifestyle content. She has an innate ability to capture the essence of a place, from bustling city streets to serene mountain landscapes.