Basilica Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, one of the best things to do in Paris France

67 Best Things to Do in Paris in 2023 (By a Local)

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I’m a Paris, France local who’s spent the last ten years exploring all the best things to do in Paris.

To help you make the most of your trip, I’ve compiled this list of Paris attractions ranging from the classic to the unusual. 

In this guide, you’ll find traditional things to do in Paris, like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. I also share activities and attractions around Paris that only locals know about, like a museum of antique carnival rides and other hidden gems.

Are you ready to see Paris? Let’s dive in!

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67 Best Things to Do in Paris

The Eiffel Tower

See sprawling views of Paris from the most iconic symbol of the French capital.

View of the picturesque Eiffel Tower in the middle of greenery at sunset
The Eiffel Tower is visible from many parts of the city, including the Champ de Mars

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)8 92 70 12 39 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 10:45 pm daily | Entrance: €18.10 adults, €9 ages 12-24, €4.50 ages 4-11, free 4 and under | 👉 Book Guided Eiffel Tower Climbing Experience Tour

The Eiffel Tower symbolizes the French capital. Most visitors to Pairs don’t consider their trips complete without a glimpse of the famous tower!

You can visit the second floor if you want an easier climb. But the top floor of the Eiffel Tower is accessible by elevator if you want an even better view. A skip-the-line tour is worth it for this popular attraction.

🗼 Need a Place to Stay? Bookmark my ultimate guide to where to stay in Paris.

Notre Dame

Visit France’s famous cathedral located in the heart of Paris.

View of the intricate exterior of Notre Dame and the fall foliage around
Notre Dame is on the Île Saint Louis, in the center of the city

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 34 56 10 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 6:45 pm on weekdays, 8 am – 7:45 pm on weekends | Entrance: Free | 👉 Book Notre Dame’s Island with Sainte Chapelle and Marie Antoinette’s Prison Tour

The Notre Dame Cathedral on the IÎe Saint Louis is at the center of Paris. This Gothic masterpiece is a famous cathedral for its stained glass. These artworks cover more than a thousand square feet.

Notre Dame makes a great combined visit with the chapel, Sainte Chapelle, and its stained glass windows. Sainte Chapelle is across the bridge, on the Île de la Cité.

The Arc de Triomphe

Climb to the top of this historic memorial for unusual views of Paris.

Closeup view of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris
The Arc de Triomphe is at the end of the famous Champs-Élysées boulevard

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 55 37 73 77 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 10:15 pm daily | Entrance: €13, adults, free for under 26 EU residents 

The Arc de Triomphe stands at the end of the Champs-Élysées and serves as a symbol of France, along with the Eiffel Tower. 

The Arc de Triomphe is an important part of French history. Napoleon I commissioned the Arc de Triomphe in 1806. It commemorates soldiers who died in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. It also hosts the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. 

You can also climb the Arc de Triomphe monument. Be prepared, though. There are almost 300 steps to the top!

The Palais Garnier

Experience French luxury and see live performances at the gilded Palais Garnier Opera House.

View of the fancy and intricate interior of the Palais Garnier
The fancy architecture and detailing make the Palais Garnier a visitor favorite (photo: Isogood_patrick / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 71 25 24 23 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily | Entrance: €15, adults, free under 12 

The Palais Garnier is the most famous opera house in Paris. It is the setting for the musical The Phantom of the Opera and has an ornate and gilded interior. Tickets to operas and ballets can be surprisingly reasonable if you book in advance. Inside the theater, check out the dream-like ceiling painted by Marc Chagall.

If the opera and ballet are not in season during your visit, you can also take guided tours of the building. 

👉 Local Tip: There is another opera house at Bastille, but it is modern and less famous. This is the “Opéra Bastille” rather than the “Opéra Garnier.”

The Rodin Museum

Relax among artistic masterpieces in the Rodin Museum’s gardens.

Exterior view of the Rodin Museum and the people wandering around the waterfront greenspace
The Rodin Museum houses priceless art in a peaceful setting (photo: Isogood_patrick / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 18 61 10 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6:30 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €13, adults, free under 18 

Visiting the Rodin Museum is one of my top things to do in Paris. There are many art museums in Paris, but this small museum focuses on just one artist: sculptor Auguste Rodin. His works are featured in his former mansion and its beautifully manicured gardens. 

The gardens at the Rodin Museum are a perfect location to sit and relax on a sunny day. There is a kiosk to buy drinks and snacks. I recommend taking a book and lounging around to get a sense of what rich Parisians’ lives felt like 100 years ago!

🛎️ Need a Hotel? La Belle Juliette is a reasonably priced boutique hotel between the Rodin Museum and the Luxembourg Gardens.

The Musée Carnavalet

Discover the history of Paris in this recently renovated Marais museum.

View of the outdoor seating area of Musée Carnavalet
The Musée Carnavalet’s gardens are the perfect place to relax after a tour

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 59 58 58 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free 

I always recommend that visitors begin their trips at the Musée Carnavalet. This Marais museum focuses on the history of Paris. You can follow the development of the city from ancient to modern times. My favorite exhibition displays old Parisian street signs. The Musée Carnavalet is also a great place to plan your activities! 

👉 Local Tip: After your visit, have lunch in the newly installed garden restaurant.

The Place des Vosges

Picnic in the sun in Paris’s oldest planned square.

Exterior view of the magnificent Place des Vosges surrounded by greenery
The Place des Vosges offers a touch of nature in central Paris

📍 Google Maps | Hours: opens at 8 am on weekdays, 9 am on weekends, closing time varies by month but is around sunset | Entrance: Free 

This seventeenth-century garden is the oldest planned square in Paris. A visit here is perfect for a sunny day in the historic Marais district. 

Picnic in the grass by the fountains and wander through the leafy alleys. The surrounding restaurants are overpriced, but local bakeries offer good sandwiches and salads. I suggest the Moulin de Rosa at 32 rue de Turenne, just around the corner. 

Then, wander the galleries and museums on the ground floors of the red-brick mansions. Try a dessert from the award-winning baker at Cour des Vosges!

👉 Local Tip: In recent years, the Place des Vosges has been open late in the summer. It’s a great spot for an outdoor dinner picnic.

Les Invalides

Visit Napoleon I while learning about his battles at Les Invalides.

View of the golden dome of Les Invalides from across the river
The golden dome of Les Invalides is visible from across the river

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 42 38 77 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily | Entrance: 15, adults, free under 18 

The complex of Les Invalides used to be a military hospital. Today, it is the final resting place of Napoleon Bonaparte, former emperor of France. Les Invalides is also home to multiple military museums. These include the Army Museum, the Musée des Plans-Reliefs (military models), and the Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération (liberation museum).

A guided tour is useful if you’re totally unfamiliar with French history or are a serious history enthusiast. The grounds are big and it’s easy to get lost.

Nicolas Flamel’s House

Find out about the real Nicholas Flamel, a famed Harry Potter character and a real-life person, at the oldest house in Paris.

Exterior view of the old structure of Nicolas Flamel's House
Nicolas Flamel’s house is the oldest private home in Paris

📍 Google Maps 

Fans of Harry Potter will already know the name Nicholas Flamel. But in real life, Nicholas Flamel was a French scribe, alchemist, and the owner of what many consider the oldest house in Paris. Built in 1407, the Flamel house is still a private residence. 

Because private residents live here, it is not possible to tour the inside. But you can see parts of it by dining at the ground-floor restaurant, Auberge Nicolas Flamel.

Shakespeare & Company

Follow in the footsteps of literary giants at the historic Shakespeare & Company bookstore.

View of the storefront of Shakespeare & Company
Many famous authors have visited the Shakespeare & Company bookshop

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 43 25 40 93 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Monday – Saturday, 12 pm – 7 pm Sunday | Entrance: Free 

Paris has a rich literary history. This is why visiting the English-language bookstore, Shakespeare & Company in the Latin Quarter is one of the top things to do in Paris. 

Shakespeare & Company takes its name from the Lost Generation store owned by Paris bookseller, Sylvia Beach. Many famous writers have visited the current location, including James Baldwin and Allan Ginsberg.

Today, the bookshop gives young travelers from around the world a place to stay. It also hosts events, including book signings. 

Paris Museums & Culture

The Louvre Museum

See some of the world’s greatest and most famous artworks at the Musée du Louvre.

View of the crowd near the iconic Louvre Museum in Paris
The Louvre Museum is in the 1st district, in the center of Paris

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 53 17 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm Saturday – Monday & Wednesday – Thursday, 9 am – 9:45 pm Friday, Closed Tuesdays | Entrance: €17, adults online, €15 adults in person, free under 18 | 👉 Book Louvre Museum With Reserved Entry Tour

The Louvre Museum is home to the best of European and French culture. This is where you’ll find the iconic paintings, the Mona Lisa, and the Venus de Milo. 

The Louvre’s building is a former royal palace where French kings once lived until King Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles. In other words, it’s huge. Plan to spend at least a few hours here. It is a good idea to map out your trip in advance if you are not taking a guided tour.  

Skip-the-line tours and tickets are worth it at the Louvre. These tickets will help you avoid the crowds while taking you to the enormous collection’s highlights. 

The Musée d’Orsay

See Impressionist masterpieces in this railway station-turned-museum.

View of the interior and sculptures in The Musée d'Orsay
The Musée d’Orsay’s clocks show the museum’s origins as a train station (photo: enricoRubicondo / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 49 48 14 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 6 pm Tuesday – Wednesday & Friday – Sunday, 9:30 am – 9:45 pm Thursday, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €16, adults online, €14, adults in person, free under 18 | 👉 Book a skip-the-line Impressionists tour of the Musée d’Orsay

The Musée d’Orsay is an Impressionist art museum in a former train station. You can see its former railway station routes in the huge clocks on its facade. Today, Musée d’Orsay is a worldwide center for 19th-century Impressionist art. This is a great site to see before a day trip to the Claude Monet or Vincent Van Gogh houses outside Paris.

Fans of 19th-century art should consider skip-the-line access, particularly in summer. This popular destination can get crowded. 

The Centre Pompidou

Witness groundbreaking contemporary art while getting stunning views of central Paris.

View of the people outside the Centre Pompidou Museum
The Centre Pompidou Museum shows top contemporary art (photo: pisaphotography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 78 12 33 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 9 pm Friday – Monday & Wednesday, 11 am – 11 pm Thursday, Closed Tuesdays | Entrance: €15, adults, free under 18 

The Centre Pompidou is a must-see for fans of contemporary art. It has a big permanent collection as well as groundbreaking temporary exhibitions. The building also houses a library and a center for music research. 

The staircases on the outside of The Centre Pompidou are locally known as the “caterpillars.” You can access them for free to get great views of Paris.

Musée de L’Orangerie

Surround yourself with artist Monet’s water lilies in this iconic art museum.

View of the tourists at the facade of Musée de L'Orangerie
This small museum is one of two museums in the Tuileries

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 50 43 00 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Tuesdays | Entrance: €12.50, adults, free under 18 

Musée de L’Orangerie is a small museum famous for housing many 19th-century artworks. Most importantly, it has eight large Claude Monet Water Lily murals. A visit to Musée de L’Orangerie is a must before considering a day trip to Monet’s home at Giverny. 

Musée de L’Orangerie is just off the Place de la Concorde. So, it is the perfect way to end a stroll through the Tuileries Gardens. 

Adventurous art lovers can combine their trip to Musée de L’Orangerie with a visit to the Jeu de Paume. This contemporary art museum is at the other end of the Tuileries. It is also a former athletic court for the “jeu de paume,” an ancestor of tennis.

The Picasso Museum

Follow artist Picasso’s career as you see his paintings as well as his personal art collection.

View of the signage outside the Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum is in the center of the historic Marais district

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 85 56 00 36 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 6 pm Tuesday – Friday, 9:30 am – 6 pm Saturday – Sunday, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €14, adults, free under 18 

The Picasso Museum shows the works of master painter Pablo Picasso. It is in the Hôtel Salé in the Marais, an important historical monument. The Picasso Museum is chronological. It includes many Picasso works as well as works that he collected. The museum also puts on temporary exhibitions, which you can find on the second floor. 

👉 Local Tip: A “hôtel” in French can mean a private mansion. If you see “Hôtel de X,” like the attraction, “Hôtel de Sully,” (mentioned later in this article) it is (or was) a private home.

The Grand Palais

The architecture of the Grand Palais Museum is overwhelming and impressive to see up close.

View of the Grand Palais from across the street
The Grand Palais combines important architectural styles

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 13 48 00 | Website | Entrance: Varies by exhibition; generally around €16, adults, €12 under 25, free under 6 

The glass-domed Grand Palais Museum was built for the Universal Exposition (World’s Fair) in 1900. It is currently closed to the public until 2024 when it will reopen for the Olympic Games. The important Beaux-Arts style exterior combines classical and Art Nouveau features. Therefore, it is still an important stop for architecture and history lovers when visiting Paris.

The Palais de Tokyo

See unique and ever-changing works of contemporary art on your way to or from the Eiffel Tower.

View of the tourists chilling at the fountain in The Palais de Tokyo on a sunny day
The Palais de Tokyo shows contemporary art in an Art Deco building (photo: olrat / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 81 69 77 51 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 10 pm Wednesdays & Fridays – Mondays, 10 am – 12 am Thursdays, Closed Tuesdays | Entrance: €12, adults, free under 18 

The Palais de Tokyo is a contemporary art center that hosts many important exhibitions. However, it does not have a permanent collection. Instead, its temporary installations come and go, letting the museum highlight the most up-to-date contemporary work.

The Palais de Tokyo also puts on performances and architectural exhibitions. Its location, facing the Trocadero, makes it a great stop on your way to or from the Eiffel Tower.

Hidden Gems in Paris

The Cluny Museum

Step inside a religious abbot’s home in the center of Paris to see medieval art.

Exterior view of the magnificent architecture of The Cluny Museum
The Cluny Museum is impressive for its architecture and its art

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 53 73 78 00 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am – 6:15 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €12, adults, free under 18 

The Cluny Museum houses a unique collection of medieval art. It is not on most visitors’ lists of things to do in Paris, but it should be. You don’t have to be a medieval specialist to enjoy the famous “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestry series or the late 15th-century building. 

Fans of older architecture will enjoy taking their time exploring the grounds at the Cluny Museum. This former abbot’s home still has a medieval chapel and remnants of thermal baths, including a frigidarium. 

Officine Universelle Buly 1803

Treat yourself to luxury beauty products at this elegant, but old-school Parisian beauty shop.

View of the dark green exterior and entrance of Officine Universelle Buly 1803
The Marais branch of Buly 1803 offers beauty services

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 72 28 92 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 7pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free 

The Officine Universelle Buly 1803 is a beauty emporium and my all-time favorite Parisian shop. You can buy beauty products based on ancient recipes, from body oils to hair brushes. The brand dates back to 1803. It has 25 stores worldwide, but my favorite is on the rue de Saintonge in the Marais. Here, you can get beauty treatments.  

Staff are trained in calligraphy. They write your name beautifully on your packages. You can also order monogrammed items if you have time to come back for them. Personalized Buly 1803 products make great presents and souvenirs.

Coulée Verte René-Dumont

Surround yourself in nature in the heart of Paris on the Coulée Verte.

View of the green water canal surrounded by greenery in Coulée Verte René-Dumont
The Coulée Verte René-Dumont is a green alleyway in the east of Paris

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 7 am – 9:30 pm Monday – Friday, 8 am – 9:30 Saturday & Sunday | Entrance: Free 

Visitors to Paris rarely see its eastern side. However, the Coulée Verte René-Dumont is an elevated leafy walkway that takes you from Bastille to the eastern edge of Paris. At just under three miles, Coulée Verte René-Dumont makes a great running, biking, or walking route. It is also a calm place to sit with a coffee when you need a break.

Those who want a longer journey can continue at the eastern end of Coulée Verte René-Dumont. The actual path ends at the Bois de Vincennes (Vincennes Park). Here, you can continue a run or walk on extensive trails.

Museum of Hunting and Nature

Learn about nature and the tradition of hunting at this unique museum in the Marais neighborhood.

Exterior view of the Museum of Hunting and Nature
The Museum of Hunting and Nature is housed in an old private mansion (photo: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 53 01 92 40 | Website | Hours: 11 am – 6 pm Tuesday & Thursday – Sunday, 11 am – 9:30 pm Wednesday, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €12.50, adults, free under 18 

Nature lovers and hunters alike will find the Museum of Hunting and Nature fascinating. It focuses on the relationships among humans, the environment, and hunting. The Museum of Hunting and Nature has three major areas: weapons, trophies/taxidermy, and art about nature and hunting. The collection is housed in a historic mansion that’s worth a trip itself. 

👉 Local Tip: Avoid the museum if you are not a fan of taxidermy. It features hundreds of specimens sprinkled throughout the permanent collections. I’ve jumped more than once during a visit here! 

Ligne de la Petite Ceinture

Experience a little-known side of Paris with this abandoned railway line.

View of the greenery outside the tunnel of Ligne de la Petite Ceinture
The Ligne de la Petite Ceinture offers a quiet walk away from Paris’s noise (photo: ldgfr photos / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Website | Entrance: Free 

Sometimes, the best things to do in Paris don’t involve monuments at all. The Ligne de la Petite Ceinture is an unusual green space that’s part of an abandoned railway line at the edges of Paris. Parts of it are now open to the public. 

You can access the Ligne de la Petite Ceinture in the 20th arrondissement between Ménilmontant and Couronnes streets. Go to the Parc George Brassens and follow the signs for La Petite Ceinture. 

👉 Local Tip: Be careful to stay within the marked limits of the Ceinture. Going into other sections is considered trespassing, and you can get fined. 

The Sully Gardens

Take a deep breath and relax in this haven of peace in the middle of the bustling Marais neighborhood.

View of the exterior and greenery at the Hôtel de Sully
The gardens at the Hôtel de Sully are perfectly manicured

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 61 20 00 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 7 pm daily | Entrance: Free 

Fans of the French TV show Call My Agent may recognize the Sully Gardens from the Isabelle Huppert episode. Others will simply enjoy the unexpected peace in this hidden corner of Marais, one of the busiest neighborhoods in Paris.

This private mansion has well-preserved architectural details from the 17th century. Visitors can see the back and the front of the building. You can also access its courtyard with unusual sphinx statues. The manicured gardens in the back are also open to the public. 

The building itself is not open to the public except for a small hallway. Instead, it hosts the National Monuments Center. However, the hallway opens to a bookstore that history buffs will love.

🚗 How to Get There: You can enter the Hôtel de Sully from the Place des Vosges, but it’s easier to find the entrance at 62 rue Saint-Antoine.

Parks & Natural Attractions in Paris

The Canal Saint-Martin

Picnic like a Parisian along the banks and bridges of this locally-loved canal.

View of the people chilling at the Canal Saint-Martin on a sunny day
The Canal Saint-Martin is a popular meeting spot on good weather days (photo: Page Light Studios / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: Free 

It doesn’t get any better than the Canal Saint Martin on a sunny day if you’re looking for local things to do in Paris. This canal runs through the 10th arrondissement and is slightly off the beaten track for tourists. 

The bridges and banks at Canal Saint Martin make it a good picnic spot on sunny days. Meanwhile, the surrounding area has bohemian boutiques and cafés worth checking out.

The Banks of the Seine

Wander along in Audrey Hepburn’s footsteps as you see the banks of the Seine.

View of the bridge over the river in Seine
The banks of the Seine make for a picturesque walk through Paris year-round
View of the fall foliage at the banks of the Seine

📍 Google Maps | Entrance: Free | 👉 Take Paris Seine River Gourmet Dinner Cruise with Champagne Tour

The banks of the Seine River make a beautiful spot for relaxing and picnicking, but they’re more than that. The banks of the Seine are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The bike lanes on the Right Bank are a sporty way to see many of the city’s monuments. Consider the “Bateaux Mouches,” or fly boats, that provide guided tours from one end of the river to the other if you want a more relaxed tour.

Buttes-Chaumont Park

Discover the local side of Paris and surprises in this hidden gem park in the 19th arrondissement. 

View of the Sybille's Tower above the lush rocky mountain in Buttes Chaumont Park
Sybille’s Tower is one unique feature of Buttes-Chaumont Park

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 48 03 83 11 | Hours: 7 am – 10 pm Wednesday – Sunday, 7 am – 9 pm Monday – Tuesday | Entrance: Free

The Buttes Chaumont is my favorite Parisian park. But you don’t often find it on lists of things to do in Paris because they’re in the 19th district, far from the center. The Buttes Chaumont has rolling hills with unusual monuments like Sybille’s Tower. The beer garden at Rosa Bonheur makes this one of my favorite places to go in Paris.

The Tuileries Gardens

See French gardens at their best by walking through the Tuileries.

View of the carousel surrounded by tall trees at the Tuileries Gardens
The Tuileries Gardens have attractions for both kids and adults

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 7 am – 9 pm daily | Entrance: Free 

The Tuileries Gardens are hard to miss. In the city center, the Tuileries run between the Place de la Concorde and the Louvre Museum. In summer, it’s a great place to take children, as the Tuileries Gardens offer rides and a mini-carnival atmosphere. Adults may find the sculptures, manicured walkways, and museums (Jeu de Paume and l’Orangerie) more appealing!

The Luxembourg Gardens

Seek out the hidden treasures in the Luxembourg Gardens, such as the Medici Fountain.

A sculpture at the Medici Fountain in The Luxembourg Gardens
The Medici Fountain is tucked in a corner of the Luxembourg Gardens

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 34 20 00 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily in winter, 7:30 am – 8 pm daily in summer | Entrance: Free 

The Luxembourg Gardens are an important part of French history in the center of the Left Bank of Paris. It was built for Marie de’ Medici, wife of King Henry IV. Today, it is home to the French Senate. However, visitors are welcome in the gardens, which take up 62 acres.

Don’t miss the Medici Fountain, which is the home of many ducks. Meanwhile, you can see an orchard, flower beds, and players focused on the French game of pétanque, which is a bit like a bocce ball.


Do some people-watching and surround yourself with history in the “Royal Palace” gardens.

A black bench with a quote in the middle in Palais-Royal
This bench reads: “I’m skinned by the crystals that dance in my body”
A black bench with a quote outside the Palais-Royal
This bench reads: “It’s me who makes the sound of the waves”

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 47 03 92 16 | Website | Hours: 8:30 am – 8:30 pm daily in winter, 8:30 am – 10:30 pm in summer | Entrance: Free 

Palais-Royal is a former French palace that once belonged to the royal family but it is now a public park. The Palais-Royal is in the city center and has small floral gardens and galleries filled with art and shops. I recommend getting a coffee and pastry from Café Kitsuné, then sitting by the fountain to people-watch. 

The Jardin des Plantes

Explore nature year-round in Paris’s family-friendly botanical gardens.

View of the archways surrounded by rose bushes at the Jardin des Plantes
The Jardin des Plantes features a rose garden

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 79 56 01 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 5:30 pm daily in winter, 7:30 am – 8 pm daily in summer, 8 am – 6:30 pm in October | Entrance: Free 

The Jardin des Plantes are botanical gardens and a good place to take kids on a warm day. The garden is open year-round and has eleven garden areas in total. Jardin des Plantes has a maze, a zoo, and other year-round attractions as well. If the weather turns rainy, it’s not a problem. Indoor attractions include the Children’s Gallery, the Cabinet of Virtual Reality, and the Greenhouse.

Churches & Houses of Worship in Paris

The Grand Mosque of Paris

Treat yourself to Turkish baths and tea at Paris’s Grand Mosque.

View of the fountain at the fancy outdoor area of the Grand Mosque of Paris
The Grand Mosque of Paris has attractions for worshipers and visitors (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 45 35 97 33 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Fridays | Entrance: €3, adults, €2 under 18 

The Grand Mosque of Paris is the oldest and largest mosque in France. A guided tour is the best way to see the many parts of the Grand Mosque. It includes Turkish baths for women, a tea room and restaurant, and places for prayer and religious education. A library and gift shop are great resources for those who wish to learn more. 

The Sacré Coeur Basilica

Witness the best views in Paris at the Sacré Coeur Basilica in Montmartre.

View of a carousel and the Sacré Coeur Cathedral in the background
A carousel and other attractions sit behind Sacré Coeur in Montmartre

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 53 41 89 00 | Website | Hours: 6:30 am – 10:30 pm daily | Entrance: Free 

The Sacré Coeur Basilica is at the very top of Montmartre and provides some of the best views of Paris. I often tell visitors that it’s one of the better things to do in Paris if you’re looking to take great photos. It’s even better than the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe in my opinion! 

Sacre Coeur is worth the trip even if you have already visited other churches like Notre Dame Cathedral and Sainte Chapelle. 

👉 Local Tip: If you are athletic, walk up the hill from the Abbesses metro station. You’ll see the charming cobblestoned Montmartre neighborhood on your way.


Prepare to be stunned by the enormous amounts of stained glass in the church, Sainte-Chapelle.

View of the mesmerizing intricate interior of the stained glass windows of Saint Chapelle
Sainte-Chapelle is famous for its large amounts of stained glass

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 53 40 60 80 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 5 pm daily October – March, 9 am to 7 pm daily April – September | Entrance: €11.50, adults, free under 18 

The Gothic-style Sainte-Chapelle chapel is lesser-known than the Notre Dame Cathedral. However, its stained glass windows make it just as stunning. The 15th-century Rose Window on the western side is particularly impressive. On the Île de la Cité, Sainte-Chapelle is less than a ten-minute walk from Notre Dame. Combining the two into a single visit makes a lot of sense.


Treat yourself to classical music at this 6th-century church.

Exterior view of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés
The Saint-Germain-des-Prés church is smaller than a cathedral but it has many concerts

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 55 42 81 10 | Hours: 24 hours, Tuesday – Saturday, 9:30 am – 8 pm Sunday & Monday | Entrance: Free 

The Saint-Germain-des-Prés church gives its name to the surrounding neighborhood. Saint-Germain-des-Prés began in the 6th century and may seem less impressive than some of its neighbors, such as Notre Dame.

However, Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a center for cultural events. The church particularly highlights classical music. Recent concerts have featured selections from the composers, Vivaldi and Mozart. 

👉 Local Tip: Some events at Saint-Germain-des-Prés cost money, but the church offers free organ concerts, too. These are generally on the last Sunday afternoon of the month.

Food & Drink in Paris

Les Deux Magots

Take a break from exploring Paris with a coffee at Les Deux Magots café.

View of the crowd dining outside the Les Deux Magots café
Les Deux Magots café has a large terrace, perfect for watching the world go by (photo: Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 45 48 55 25 | Website | Hours: 7:30 am – 1 am daily

Les Deux Magots is a restaurant and cafe just down the street from the Café de Flore in the 6th arrondissement. It has an equally rich history. Yet, Les Deux Magots is often left off of lists of the best things to do in Paris. I love Café de Flore, but I recommend Les Deux Magots for its service. It’s a lot easier to get a table. 

Note that when you sit down, you may be in the chair of one of its famous patrons. These range from writers James Baldwin and Ernest Hemingway to chef Julia Child.


Treat yourself to a sumptuous meal at the Michelin-starred L’Ambroisie restaurant. 

View of the black door at the entrance of L'Ambroisie
L’Ambroisie has a discreet, almost hidden entrance

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 78 51 45 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 1:45 pm, 8 pm – 9:45 pm daily, Closed Sundays & Mondays 

Paris has several Michelin-starred restaurants. You can’t do better than the iconic L’Ambroisie restaurant on the Place des Vosges. L’Ambroisie offers twists on French classics that will please even the pickiest eater. Be prepared to make a dent in your wallet, though! As much as I’d love to eat here every day, L’Ambroiserie is best saved for special occasions.

Le Restaurant du Palais-Royal

Try exceptional food at reasonable prices at the Restaurant du Palais-Royal.

A plate of a dessert from the Le Restaurant du Palais-Royal
The desserts at the Restaurant du Palais-Royal are part of a fixed lunch menu

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 00 27 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 2 pm and 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Wednesday – Friday, 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm Monday & Tuesday, Closed weekends 

Getting a Michelin star can make a restaurant’s prices skyrocket. Le Restaurant du Palais-Royal has two Michelin stars—and yet, its lunch menu is still relatively reasonable. You can get multiple courses for around €145. Although Le Restaurant du Palais-Royal costs more than the average bistro in Paris, it’s at the low end for a restaurant of this quality. 

👉 Local Tip: The menu is set, so look over offerings on the website before you go.

Cour des Vosges Tearoom

Taste one of the best chocolate croissants in Paris in this hidden gem tearoom.

View of the picturesque outdoor seating area of Cour des Vosges Tearoom
The Cour des Vosges tea room offers great views facing a square

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 50 30 30 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 5 pm daily

Cour des Vosges is an unassuming tea room at the Place des Vosges, which is easy to miss. But it serves some of Paris’s best pastries! Cour des Vosges Tearoom is led by pastry chef Yann Brys, who has won national competitions.

Cour des Vosges Tearoom offers light breakfasts and lunches. It also has exceptionally well-crafted pastries, coffees, and teas throughout the day. Any food tour of Paris should begin with breakfast here. I recommend a pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) first thing in the morning when it’s right out of the oven.

🛎️ Need a Hotel? The Cour des Vosges tearoom is attached to the five-star hotel of the same name.

Marché d’Aligre

Buy ingredients for a truly French meal at this buzzing local market.

View of the people buying at the stalls with fresh produce in Marché d'Aligre
The Marché d’Aligre gets busy on weekends as locals buy produce (photo: Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 45 11 71 11 | Hours: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm Tuesday – Friday, 7:30 am – 2:30 pm weekends, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free | 👉 Book Paris Local Market & Bastille District Food Tasting Tour

France has many markets, but Marché d’Aligre in the 12th arrondissement is one of my favorites. Marché d’Aligre is known for its fresh produce. Vendors will often hand out samples for you to try. There is also a flea market in the same square. The combination of the two markets has kept me there for hours and I highly recommend checking it out!

👉 Local Tip: The covered market at the center (known as the Marché Beauvau) has cheese, meats, and other grocery items. 

Bar Hemingway

Drink like famous ex-pats at this swanky Ritz Paris Hotel bar.

Closeup view of the logo of Paris Ritz on the awning
The Paris Ritz’s most famous bar is named after the famous writer Ernest Hemingway (photo: HJBC / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 43 16 33 74 | Website | Hours: 5:30 pm – 12:30 am daily

Bar Hemingway is a bar inside the Ritz Paris Hotel that is worth splurging on. Bar Hemingway has hosted many famous Americans throughout its history, from writer Ernest Hemingway to actor Gary Cooper. 

Unlike many Paris bars, the drinks here are perfect. You won’t get the watered-down cocktails that lesser bars serve! Just brace yourself: the bills can be eye-watering!

Café de la Paix

Immerse yourself in luxury at this delicious and elegantly decorated French restaurant.

Night view of the facade of Café de la Paix
Café de la Paix has a luxurious interior that contrasts with its simple exterior (photo: Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 07 36 36 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 11 pm daily 

The Café de la Paix is the perfect place for a pre-opera meal. The inside of this historic French restaurant matches the lavish luxury of the Palais Garnier across the street. 

Meanwhile, Café de la Paix boasts many famous patrons. For more than 150 years, it has been host to writers Oscar Wilde and Émile Zola, actress Marlene Dietrich, and King Edward VIII of England. It’s even been featured in the Disney movie The Aristocats!

Le Train Bleu

Eat in artistic surroundings at the unique Le Train Bleu restaurant in the Gare de Lyon.

View of the fancy interior of Le Train Bleu
Le Train Bleu has uneven food but the decor makes the restaurant worthwhile (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 43 43 09 06 | Website | Hours: 7:30 am – 10:30 pm daily

Le Train Bleu is one of the best restaurants in Paris, and it’s in a train station! Le Train Bleu is at the Gare de Lyon railroad station. Restaurateurs created it for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. It has now been around for more than 100 years. 

41 painters decorated the walls of Le Train Bleu. The food can be uneven, but it’s worth a visit just to see the architecture and decor.

Café de Flore

Drink a coffee and spot celebrities in this celebrated Paris café.

View of the people dining outside the Café de Flore
The Café de Flore is a fixture of the 6th arrondissement for its people-watching (photo: Irina Kzan / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 45 48 55 26 | Website | Hours: 7:30 am – 1:30 pm daily

Café de Flore is a famous café in the 6th arrondissement. It has been the favorite of celebrities for more than a century. Today, Café de Flore is the perfect place to get a café au lait and watch people going by. 

I recommend bringing New Yorker writer Adam Gopnik’s book, Paris to the Moon, with you. You can read his essay, “A Tale of Two Cafés,” and learn about the history and fame of Café de Flore. 

The Little Red Door

Cozy up with a cocktail at this hidden and intimate bar.

Entrance view of the Little Red Door in Paris
The entry mat and the actual little red door are the only signs you’ve found the Little Red Door

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 5 pm – 2 pm Friday – Tuesday, 6 pm – 2 am Wednesday – Thursday 

Some Paris bars can be intimidating, particularly when they’re famous. That’s not the case for the Little Red Door. This Marais bar has a friendly and intimate atmosphere. It also features inventive cocktails that will make you happy to splurge. It can get crowded later in the evening, so go early for one-on-one conversations.


Bite into the perfect macaron at one of Paris’s famous Ladurée patisseries.

View of the storefront of Laudrée
The Marais branch of Ladurée is small but efficient

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 78 91 72 | Website | Hours: 9 am – 8 pm Monday – Saturday, 9 am – 7 pm Sundays 

Ladurée is a famous Paris pâtisserie, best known for their macarons. As much as I’d love to play the snob and tell you not to go to Ladurée, the fact is that their macarons are the best. These meringue cookies are delicately filled. Flavors range from traditional (vanilla) to experimental flavors (cherry yogurt). 

There are different branches of Ladurée around Paris. I have found that the store on the rue de Bretagne in the 3rd arrondissement is typically less crowded.


Pick up some tasty sweet treats as unique souvenirs for friends at a Meert candy store. 

View of the displayed products from the glass window of Meert in Paris
Meert offers old-fashioned candies as well as chocolates and waffles

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 49 96 56 90 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 1:30 pm and 2 – 7 pm Tuesday – Friday, 10:30 am – 7 pm Saturday, 10:30 am – 1 pm and 2 – 6 pm Sunday, Closed Mondays 

Meert is a famous French confectionery best known for its waffles and sweets. Many of France’s delicious sweet treats are available in airports and American cities, but you must visit Meert in France! The confectionery is a good place to take kids on a rainy day. It also provides reasonably priced gifts to bring back home. 

Café Charlot

Sample French classics any time of day at the Café Charlot.

View of the not so busy outdoor seating area of Café Charlot from across the street
Café Charlot serves French bistro classics throughout the day

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 54 03 30 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 2 am daily

The Café Charlot is the perfect French bistro for a relaxed lunch or dinner. Its specialty? French classics. The Café Charlot is in the Arts and Métier quarter. What’s great is that Café Charlot offers continuous service. In other words, it serves food throughout the day, which many French restaurants don’t do. 

Wild & the Moon

Sample Paris’s take on vegan food with nutritious and delicious offerings.

A woman working at the cozy terrace of Wild & the Moon
Wild & the Moon is a good choice for vegans and vegetarians

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 86 95 40 44 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 9 pm daily 

Wild & the Moon is a vegan French restaurant and one of the best vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Paris. Wild & the Moon has several branches throughout Paris, some of which deliver. Their juices are especially good. They also offer healthy salads, sandwiches, “superbowls,” and desserts. 

Le Procope

Surround yourself with luxury and charm at the oldest restaurant in Paris.

Exterior and entrance view of the Le Procope
Le Procope offers both a communal dining room and private rooms (photo: Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 46 79 00 | Website | Hours: 12 pm – 12 am daily 

Le Procope is a Left Bank café and is supposedly the oldest restaurant in Paris. Le Procope predates the French Revolution and is a must-stop on any food tour of Paris. You can sit in the luxurious main room to watch fellow diners. Le Procope also offers several private rooms that you can reserve separately for a more intimate dining experience. 

Shopping Attractions in Paris

La Samaritaine

This beautiful department store is a Paris icon, now open again after years of renovations.

View inside the luxurious La Samaritaine department store in Paris
La Samaritaine’s recent renovations have polished the store to impressive heights (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 88 88 60 00 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm daily 

La Samaritaine is an iconic and classic Paris department store just off the Pont Neuf bridge. I first came to La Samaritaine as a child. It then closed for more than a decade, only opening again in 2021. La Samaritaine looks very different after its makeover! 

Today, visiting La Samaritaine will make you feel like you’re entering into a world of luxury goods and accessories. Go up to the first floor for women’s clothes and down to the basement for beauty products. When you’re tired of shopping, take a break at the bar, lounge, or restaurant. 


Experiment with new styles at this Parisian boutique frequented by trendsetters.

View of the black storefront of Merci in Paris
Merci is a much bigger boutique than its front shows

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 77 00 33 | Website | Hours: 10:30 am – 7:30 pm Monday – Thursday, 10:30 am – 8 pm Friday – Saturday, 11 am – 7:30 pm Sunday

The quiet storefront of the boutique Merci hides three floors of shopping behind it! This is one of the best boutique shops in Paris. The buyers at Merci focus on beauty and function. You’ll find everything here from home goods to the latest fashions. The cafe has a great selection of used books for sale (mostly in French) when you’re ready to relax. 

Les Bouquinistes

Browse the unique offerings of local booksellers along the banks of the Seine River.

View of the displayed artworks on a stall in Les Bouquinistes
The “bouquinistes” sell used books from the banks of the Seine (photo: monysasu / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Hours: Approximately 11:30 am – sunset daily

The booksellers along the Seine are a French institution. Don’t hesitate to stop and browse as you wander along the banks of the Seine. Even if you don’t read in French, some booksellers offer volumes in English. Other vendors sell posters and postcards as souvenirs. 

You can still snag a bargain here, even though Les Bouquinistes are very well known. The bouquinistes make a great visit after touring the Seine by boat.


Discover everything from necessities to cheap fashion at France’s version of Target.

View of the storefront of Monoprix from across the street in Paris
Monoprix is a great go-to store for necessities and fashion

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: Vary by branch 

Monoprix is the French version of Target: affordable and fun. It’s a great food shop, but it also offers some surprisingly chic fashion and home goods. I especially love Monoprix for baby gifts. Meanwhile, you can find personal items, from toothbrushes to razors, that you may have forgotten at home.

Marché aux Puces

Dig through miles (literally) of antiques at this Paris flea market to find hidden treasures.

View of the people looking at the stores with displayed wooden products in Marché aux Puces
The Marché aux Puces offers a huge range of products (photo: Stefano Ember / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm Saturday & Sunday, 11 am – 5 pm Monday, Closed Tuesday – Friday

The Marché aux Puces is Paris’s most famous market. It’s a collection of 12 markets just north of Paris. I recommend having a plan in mind of what you want before you go. Some items, such as vintage postcards and antique glassware, are in very different places. 

Depending on where you are staying in Paris, plan to devote at least four hours to a trip to the “Puces.” With transport and walking around the market itself, the time will go fast.

Free Things to Do in Paris

Victor Hugo’s House

Walk through the famous writer’s well-preserved 19th-century home.

View of the classic wooden door of Victor Hugo's house
Victor Hugo’s house is in the southeast corner of the Place des Vosges

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 42 72 10 16 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free 

You don’t have to be a fan of Les Misérables or The Hunchback of Notre Dame to enjoy visiting this author’s home. Victor Hugo’s House is a well-preserved example of a rich 19th-century home on the Place des Vosges. Admission to the permanent collection is free because the house is part of the City of Paris Museums network.

Musée Bourdelle

Step back in time at this early 20th-century sculptor’s studio.

View of the sculpture of horses at the courtyard of Musée Bourdelle
The Musée Bourdelle shows the work of sculptor Antoine Bourdelle (photo: Lila Louisa / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 49 54 73 73 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 6 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: Free 

Musée Bourdelle is a hidden gem that takes you back in time to see a sculptor’s studio from the turn of the 20th century. Collections focus on artist Antoine Bourdelle’s work. However, they also include works from his personal collection, including those by Eugène Delacroix and Auguste Rodin. 

The permanent collections at Musée Bourdelle are free to the public. Musée Bourdelle is in the 15th district of Paris.

The Wall of Love

Confess your love surrounded by endless variations of “I Love You” at this charming Montmartre wall.

Handwritten "I love you" in all languages on the blue tiles in The Wall of Love
The Wall of Love is composed of individual blue tiles

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 8 am – 8:30 pm weekdays, 9 am – 8:30 pm weekends | Entrance: Free 

The Wall of Love has the words “I Love You” written on tiles in 250 languages. The wall is in the Jehan Rictus Square in the Montmartre neighborhood. It is close to the Abbesses Métro station. The Wall of Love makes a romantic start to a visit to this charming area.

From here, I recommend taking the Funicular to the top of the hill and the Sacré Coeur Basilica

Point Zero

Stand on the small ground marker that marks the exact center point of Paris.

View of the Point Zero signage on the road of Paris
Point Zero shows the center point of the roads in France

📍 Google Maps 

Point Zero is a geographic spot that marks the center of Paris. Point Zero is located at the base of Notre Dame Cathedral and can be easy to miss. Scan the pavement and find the small circle embedded in the concrete. Stand in the center of it and you’ll find yourself at the true center of Paris! Also know that when the French calculate distances from Paris, they calculate from Point Zero.

The Statue of Liberty

Witness the matching gift Americans gave back to the French near the Eiffel Tower.

View of Paris's Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower in the background
Paris’s Statue of Liberty is ¼ the size of the New York statue (photo: Franck Legros / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps 

No, I didn’t get my New York and Paris guides mixed up! There’s a Statue of Liberty in Paris, too! It’s west of the Eiffel Tower on an artificial island in the Seine. Americans living in Paris gave the one-quarter scale model to the city in 1889 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution. 

There is also a full-size replica of the New York statue’s torch in Paris. You can find it at the Post de l’Alma tunnel, where Princess Diana died. 

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Walk through Parisian history by visiting the graves at Père Lachaise Cemetery.

View of the tourists walking along the Père Lachaise Cemetery
Père Lachaise Cemetery is filled with small pathways and mausoleums (photo: mehdi33300 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 55 25 82 10 | Hours: 8 am – 6 pm weekdays, 8:30 am – 6 pm Saturday, 9 am – 6 pm Sunday | Entrance: Free

A cemetery may not sound like a great Paris destination. However, Père Lachaise is both peaceful and beautiful. It is also the final resting place of many famous French residents. These include writers Colette and Oscar Wilde, composer Frédéric Chopin, and singers Édith Piaf and Jim Morrison, among many others. 

👉 Local Tip: Wear good walking shoes. The cobblestoned alleys are charming, but I have seen more than one person take a hard fall here.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Oscar Wilde fans will want to stay in L’Hotel, the Left-Bank hotel where the writer died. 

Unique Things to Do In Paris

David Mallett Salon

Get the ultimate French haircut as a souvenir of your time in Paris.

View of the illuminated exterior of Ritz Paris at night
David Mallett does work out of the Ritz, but his Notre-Dame-des-Victoires location is cheaper (photo: Petr Kovalenkov / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 40 20 00 23 | Website | Hours: 8 am – 6 pm Monday, 8 am – 8 pm Tuesday, 8 am – 7 pm Wednesday, 8 am – 8 pm Thursday, 8 am – 7 pm Friday, 9 am – 7 pm Saturday, Closed Sundays 

I can’t think of anything better than a haircut at David Mallett for an extremely personalized Paris souvenir. This legendary hair stylist has two salons in Paris, including one at the Ritz. I recommend going to the Notre-Dame-des-Victoires location, as prices are much lower. 

You can book an appointment with Mr. Mallett himself—he’s cut many famous heads of hair, from Charlotte Gainsbourg to Natalie Portman. Alternatively, hair stylists Yann and Yuta are both exceptional. The staff, including the receptionists, generally speak excellent English.

👉 Local Tip: When you get your hair colored in France, you are often expected to pay separately for the blow-dry (“brushing”). Factor this in when booking appointments.


Treat yourself to an afternoon at Gloss’Up and leave feeling polished and beautiful.

Exterior view of the Gloss'Up from across the street in Paris
The Marais branch of Gloss’Up has a simple, flowery exterior

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)9 64 03 23 19 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 8 pm Monday – Saturday, 10 am – 7 pm Sunday

Gloss’Up is a beauty salon with five locations in Paris. Paying a visit to Gloss’Up is the perfect way to treat yourself if you’re in the mood for a beauty pick-me-up, especially since Paris is the fashion capital of the world. You can choose from a variety of services. You can get your nails done, get a facial, and more. 

Gloss’Up shops have cute pastel interiors and friendly staff, so you’re sure to get the care you need. They also take group bookings and host beauty parties. 

👉 Local Tip: 15-20% tips aren’t necessary for services in France. However, a large coin or small bill for good service is a nice gesture.

The Musée des Arts Forains

Tour former amusement park attractions, from the expected to the strange.

View of the carnival-themed signage of The Musée des Arts Forains
The entrance of the Musée des Arts Forains gives you a taste of the carnival atmosphere to come (photo: EQRoy / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 43 40 16 22 | Website | Hours: Vary by availability of guided tours. Generally open on Wednesdays, weekends, and during French vacations | Entrance (including 90-minute tour): €18, adults, €12 under 11, free under 4 

Musée des Arts Forains shouldn’t be missed if you’re a fan of fairgrounds. This unusual museum has hundreds of unique objects. These range from old rides and carousels to automatons performing Italian opera. 

Musée des Arts Forains is one of the best things to do in Paris with children. However, the strange and fun amusement park attractions appeal to adults, as well! 

👉 Local Tip: You can only see this museum by tour, so schedule in advance online.

The Montmartre Funicular

Hop right to the top of Montmartre’s hills in this famous funicular.

View of the outdoor lift leading to The Montmartre Funicular at the top of the hill
The funicular makes getting up Montmartre’s steep hills much easier (photo: olrat / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 6 am – 12:45 am daily | Entrance: €2.10, adults, free under 4 

Montmartre is a hilltop Parisian village that artists and Bohemians have called home for centuries. However, many people first learn about Montmartre from the 2001 film Amélie! Montmartre is just as charming as it is in the movie. But, it is incredibly hilly. 

Taking the Montmartre Funicular is a great option if you want to reach the Sacré Coeur Basilica but the walk isn’t possible. The Montmartre Funicular has been in operation since 1900, but don’t worry! It was rebuilt in 1991. 

👉 Local Tip: A funicular ride costs the same as a metro ticket. 

The Catacombs of Paris

Explore the dark side of Parisian history by wandering through bone-filled catacombs.

View of the bones on the walls inside the Catacombs of Paris
Paris’s Catacombs are not for the faint of heart, as they have many bone constructions

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 59 58 31 | Website | Hours: 9:45 am – 8:30 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €29, adults, €10 under 18 | 👉 Book Paris Catacombs Special Access Tour

The Catacombs of Paris consistently top lists of the “best things to do in Paris” and for a good reason. Visiting offers a fascinating underground glimpse into Paris’s history. The Catacombs of Paris is also one of the best things to do in Paris with teenagers who have a taste for the macabre. 

The catacombs were created in the late 18th century. They contain the remains of several important French Revolution leaders, including Maximilian Robespierre. Now, part of this Left Bank ossuary is open to the public. A guided tour is the best way to learn about the history of this unusual place.

Le Louxor Cinema

See your favorite movie in French (or English!) at this renovated Art Deco cinema.

View of the unique structure of Le Louxor Cinema
Le Louxor’s Art Deco roots are visible in its entryway (photo: Lucille Cottin / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 44 63 96 96 | Website | Hours: Vary by film programming | Film Tickets: €10.50 adults, €5.50 under 26 

Le Louxor Cinema is a unique Art Deco theater located in the 18th arrondissement. Paris has many famous movie theaters, from the Cinémathèque to the revival art house cinemas near the Sorbonne. But Le Louxor Cinema is my favorite. It is the only Parisian theater with Egyptian inspiration. 

It is now open to the public after renovations, and the theater still has its unusual decorations. The Louxor shows some films in English.

👉 Local Tip: Look for “VO” on the listing for a subtitled (rather than dubbed) version of English movies. 

The Paris Sewer Museum

Discover a new side of Paris by heading underground at the Paris Sewer Museum.

View of the entrance to the Paris Sewer Museum
The Paris Sewer Museum’s entryway is modern and clean (photo: Henri0711 / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: +33 (0)1 53 68 27 84 | Website | Hours: 10 am – 5 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: €9, adults, free under 18 

The Paris Sewer Museum is a strange museum that probably won’t top anyone’s list of things to do in Paris. However, Paris tours of the city’s sewers show a little-known history. A guided tour will tell you everything from the number of fish species in the Seine (32) to the public health changes that the sewers introduced. Wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting wet!

FAQs About What to Do in Paris

What are the best things to do in Paris? 

The best things to do in Paris include walking the banks of the Seine, visiting the Louvre, and seeing the Luxembourg Gardens

What are the best things to do in Paris with kids?

The best things to do in Paris with kids include going to the botanical gardens, visiting Meert, and seeing the Musée des Arts Forains

What are the best things to do in Paris at night?

The best things to do in Paris at night include visiting a bar, having a garden picnic in the summer in a group, and going to see live music. Bar Hemingway and the Little Red Door are two fantastic and popular bars.

What are the best things to do in Paris for free?

The best things to do in Paris for free include visiting permanent exhibitions at any of the Museums of the City of Paris, going to public parks like the Tuileries, and tracking down unusual monuments like Dali’s sundial. 

What are non-touristy things to do in Paris? 

Non-touristy things to do in Paris include picnicking on the Canal Saint-Martin, visiting the Buttes-Chaumont park, and seeing the smaller museums. Generally, attractions in arrondissements (areas) 10-20 are less busy than those in the first ten.

How many days is enough to visit Paris? 

Three days are enough to visit Paris if you only want to see the highlights. Five to ten days are better for more of the best things to do in Paris.


You could spend days exploring the best things to do in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to the catacombs. But if you want a break from the City of Light, consider taking one of my top day trips from Paris!

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