Paris can offer its visitors so many things to see and do, no matter if it is your first or fifth time in the city. Here is a list of my top things to do in Paris, the best of what I discovered on my first trip to the French capital.
P.S. Don’t forget to explore the surroundings of Paris, too. Versailles, for instance, is one of the best day trips from Paris.
Although you can easily spend 10+ days in Paris, you can see all the highlights mentioned in this post in less time. 4 days in Paris are enough for first-time visitors to explore the main attractions.
Table of Contents
#1 Arc de Triomphe
One of the most famous monuments in Paris. It’s located at the western end of the Champs – Elysees at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle. The Arc is built in honor of those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars, with the names of all French victories and generals inscribed on its inner and outer surfaces.
Climb up to the top and enjoy the panoramic views of the city. Entry to the top cost 8 euros, but you can also visit it for free if you are a European citizen under the age of 26. As a proof EU ID or a passport is required.
#2 Take a walk on Champs – Elysees
Maybe the most famous avenue in the world. It’s running between the Place de la Concorde and the Place Charles de Gaulle, where the Arc de Triomphe is located. The Avenue is 1.9 km long and 70 meters wide. It is known for its cafes, luxury shops, theaters. If you are traveling to Paris on a budget don’t shop or eat there.
#3 Jardin des Tuileries
Separating the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde, the Tuileries Gardens provide the perfect settings for relaxing.
There are so many museums to visit in Paris, but the Louvre, of course, is the one you should definitely not miss. The Louvre is huge. There are some interesting facts about the Louvre Museum and one of them is that it has been found that if you want to see everything in the museum you will need 14 days.
Here is the famous Mona Lisa painting which is nothing that impressive (in my opinion) and at its location in the museum there are plenty of people pushing you to take a photo. And it’s smaller than I thought it would be.
The regular ticket for the Louvre costs 15 euros, but you can also visit it for free.
Another must-visit museum in Paris is Orsay. Presented in a former train station, the collections of the musée d’Orsay are among the most famous in the world. There, you can admire works of great artists such as Manet, Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, Garnier, Courbet, Carpeaux, Nadar, or Guimard.
Orsay Museum tickets cost 16 EUR.
Tip: Visit the Louvre on Wednesday or Friday when the museum work till 9:45 pm. It’s closed on Tuesdays.
#5 Notre Dame
The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture and is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. It’s so beautiful from the outside and inside you get some weird feeling when you get there. Make sure you go to the top of the cathedral to enjoy unique Paris views.
You can get to the top from the outside. When you’re staying in front of the church facing it, go to your left and you will see the entry.
#6 La Sorbonne
One of the first universities in the world, dating back to the 13th century.
First, it was built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve, but now it functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. It is located in the Latin Quarter.
Tip: Explore the streets around and behind the Pantheon. In the picture, you can see a church that is located behind the Pantheon.
#8 Sacre-Coeur and Montmartre
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris aka Sacré-Cœur is a church dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It sits at the top of the highest point in the city.
Sacré-Cœur is the second most visited monument in the city and one of the most Instagrammable places in Paris.
Tip: Enjoy the views and explore the surrounding area.
#9 Pere Lachaise Cemetry
Here you can find the graves of notable writers, composers, and entertainers, such as Oscar Wilde, Chopin, Balzac, Edith Piaf, and much more. It’s the largest cemetery in Paris and the most-visited cemetery in the world.
#10 Jardin du Luxembourg
One of the most charming summer areas, inviting you to stay for a while and relax.
This place is definitely not for everyone. I personally found it really interesting and I liked it. The ticket costs 12 euros. Be prepared to wait in a long line, the queue here it’s even longer than the one for the Louvre.
#12 Take a walk on both sides of Seine river
#13 Make a picnic in front of the Eiffel Tower
#14 Watch the Eiffel Tower light show
Every evening from sunset to 1:00 am, 5 minutes of magic. 🙂
And for everyone who enjoys attraction parks and wants to get some more fun away from the city’s top landmarks, Disneyland Paris is a must.
Thanks for reading,
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