The sights in Paris come from the imperial heritage of France, including Notre-Dame, the Palace of Versailles, the theaters and many others... Easy to get lost in all the activities available in Paris. What are the best things to do in Paris? What is la crème de la crème? as a French would say... We'll help you figure it out.
To help you make the best choices, on this page, we selected the Top 10 Must-Do Activities that you should not miss during a trip to Paris. Of course, you don't have to do them all, but we recommend you check at least 5 of these suggestions off of your bucket list, if you really want to see the best of Paris.
Here we go with our 10 things to absolutely do in Paris!
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1. Louvre Museum
To start off on this journey in Paris, we recommend to consider going to the best museum in Paris first! The Louvre Museum houses one of the richest collections in the world, exhibiting unique masterpieces. Originally, the Louvre was built in the 12th century as a fortress attached to the walls of Paris. In the following years it became the residence of the royal family, and art institutions became a part of the palace under the patronage of the kings and queens. In the 1980s, the glass pyramid was added to mark the entrance, due to the large volume of visitors.
- Learn all the details about tickets and tours in our article dedicated to the Louvre Museum.
- Check out the Top-Rated Tickets and Tours for the Louvre Museum, compared for you here, and get your tickets in advance!
2. Eiffel Tower
To continue you exploration, why not gain altitude? The best place for that is obviously the Eiffel Tower, the icon of Paris. Since 1899, almost 300 million people have visited the Eiffel Tower, making it the most visited paid monument in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most recognizable symbol associated with Paris and France and can be seen in almost any movie, documentary, or even travel feature about the city. For forty-one years, this 1063-foot-high metal tower held the title of tallest structure in the world. It represents a symbol of progress that belongs to the late 19th century, a time defined by decades of industrial revolution.
- Learn all the details about tickets and tours in our article dedicated to Eiffel Tower. You can also get your tickets in advance directly in our official Paris Ticket Shop.
3. Disneyland Paris
This Famous Theme Park Attractions would definitely stand at the top of the list of activities for the kids in Paris, and possibly grown ups. Formerly known as Euro Disney, Disneyland Paris is the world's most famous attraction park, and most visited theme park in Europe. Located slightly outside of the city, the large Disney complex includes two theme parks, Disney Nature Resorts, multiple resort hotels, places for shopping, dining, and entertainment, as well as a golf course and recreational venues.
- Learn more about details and tickets for Disneyland Paris and find yourself in a fairytale for the day or the weekend! Below are the available tickets on our shop.
4. Versailles Palace
The Palace of Versailles is located only a short ride outside of Paris city center. It has been the home to many kings and members of royalty, beginning with Louis XIV in 1682. Under his reign, it was also home to the French government and entire royal court. It was a palace known for absolute grand luxury, and at one point, even the furniture was made of silver. However, during the war in 1689, these pieces were melted to help cover the military costs.
In the following years, the home was remolded and added to as new members of royalty took residence here. An opera house was even added as a gift for the wedding of Dauphin and Marie Antoinette in 1770. Not only is it a palace, but also an important historical site, as is the location at which the signing of The Treaty of Paris (1783) took place, the Proclamation of the German Empire, and the Treaty of Versailles was agreed to, which ended World War I. The Palace of Versailles is definitely one of the most important museums of the history of France.
- Learn all the details about tickets and tours in our article dedicated to Versailles Palace. Official Entrance tickets to the Palace are available below.
5. Orsay Museum
Located in the heart of Paris, along the Seine, facing Tuileries Garden, Orsay museum was originally built as a train station between 1898 and 1900. The French ministry of culture decided to transform it into a museum in 1986. It contains an unmatched selection of paintings and sculptures displaying the birth of modern art from between the years 1848-1914. The paintings in Orsay focus of ordinary people, city life, and countryside landscape, and with the change in subjects came alternative methods and technical approaches to art.
The most famous cathedral in Paris and one of the most well known in the world is Notre-Dame or Notre-Dame de Paris. The medieval cathedral is located in the 4thArrondissement and is a historical example of French Gothic architecture. It was one of the first cathedrals in which the techniques of flying buttresses and rib vaults were implemented.
Notre-Dame has beautiful windows which reach to the ceiling and is decorated with many sculptures. It is notably different from the previous style of building in France, which was Romanesque. In 2019, it suffered damage to the roof and spire from a terrible fire. It is currently under reconstruction for indefinite time.
- Learn all the details about tickets and tours in our article dedicated to Notre-Dame Cathedral and its latest situation.
7. Cabaret Show
When you think about Paris, you must also thing of the great Parisian monuments, museums and also theaters and obviously French cancan shows! In fact, Paris is a great place to enjoy fun evenings and shows designed to make you feel in a totally different time. By watching a Parisian show, you will discover the French way of amusement and foolishness.
We have prepared a list of 12 theaters and cabarets where Paris will surprise you with shows and theatrical performances you will won't see elsewhere. But the 3 main cabarets you should consider booking a table in are Crazy Horse (sensual dance show), Lido (artistic show full of sparkles), and Moulin Rouge (typical French can can). Here is more information about each and tickets to book in advance.
- Click here to see the Top-Rated Tickets for Paris Cabaret Shows, compared for you.
8. Seine River Cruise
A Seine River Cruise is a great way to discover Paris from a new angle. Whether it's a classic panoramic boat tour or a dinner cruise, a cruise on the Seine takes you comfortably along to numerous landmarks. For many Paris travelers, especially first-time travelers and families with children, it is an absolute highlight. The evening tour is particularly beautiful and romantic, when the City of Lights is illuminated in the most beautiful colors.
9. Sacré-Coeur & Montmartre
Located at the top of Montmartre is Sacré-Cœur Basilica, also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, or simply, Sacré-Cœur. Its name was given as it was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This love is greatly represented in the choir of the Basilica by a huge mosaic.
Learn all the details about tickets, audioguide and tours in our article dedicated to Sacré-Coeur Basilica. If you want to know details about Montmartre, get the downloadable audioguide of Montmartre and learn its history.
10. Arc of Triumph
The 165-foot-tall triumphal arc stands in the middle of the Square of Star, which is at the junction point of twelve streets. After his conquests around Europe, Napoleon Bonaparte ordered this to be constructed in 1809, modeled after an ancient arc in Rome by the Emperor Titus.
The monument’s decorative reliefs on the pillars and facades display key moments during the French Revolution and Napoleon’s reign. Inside the arc, the names of hundreds of military commanders of the era were carved, and those which are underlined died in battle. The 284-stair climb to the top is worth taking in order to see the panoramic view of Paris.
- Learn all the details about tickets and tours in our article dedicated to the Arc of Triumph in Paris.
- See the top-rated Arc de Triomphe tickets compared for you here, and book your favorite option in advance.
- Get your
ticket to the top of the Arc de Triomphe online.
- Learn all the shopping details about Champs-Élysées Avenue.
What else to do in Paris? Here are plenty of ideas!
Paris Welcome Card
City Passes are available for entrance to the sights in Paris. They often allow you to avoid the line or to get a reduced entrance fee.
Paris Museum Pass: To get free access and Skip the Line privileges, don't hesitate to get the Museum Pass that gives access to more than 50 museums in the French capital. More info about the Paris Museum Pass.