10 Amazing Things You Must Not Miss In Paris
Paris is without a doubt one of the most lusted after travel destinations (and most-visited, too).
I read somewhere that photos with the Eiffel Tower are incredibly iconic and that it is one of the most recognized monuments in the world. Paris is romanticized in movies; you’ll see the Eiffel Tower on anything from notebooks to clothing to college dorm room posters.
“We’ll always have Paris” - Audrey Hepburn
Is Paris really worth the hype?
In my opinion (and of many others’), yes. Paris is iconic, has beautiful architecture, the food is of an art, the fashion is classic - really, it sounds like Italy. But nothing is or ever will be Paris.
Are Parisians really that rude?
It depends, and calling “all Parisians rude” is a general overstatement. I honestly only came across a couple that made snarky remarks to me when I was solo traveling in Paris a few summers back, but honestly, a majority of Parisians were very nice and sweet.
It helps if you ask “Parlez vous anglais?” (“Do you speak English?”) before asking a Parisian a question.
Ready to jet off to Paris? Here are 10 amazing things to do in Paris that you must not miss!
1. Take in the view from above
Paris is incredibly beautiful with its tree-lined streets and white and neutral-colored architecture. Its winding streets and buzzing people and traffic are worth a look from above.
There are many locations in the city where you can get a fantastic view from up high.
Here are some of the most popular viewpoints in Paris and their entry fees (choose one or do them all!):
Eiffel Tower (7 euros - stairs; 11 euros - elevator)
Arc de Triomphe (9.50 euros)
Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (view from the hill)
Notre Dame Cathedral (8.50 euros for the tower; 6 euros for the crypt)
2. Eat and drink your way through the city
Pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant) was my sweet of choice in Paris.
You really can’t go wrong with Parisian food…well, that is, unless you don’t favor some of the items like snails (to be honest I didn’t try those).
The bread, the coffee, the wine, and everything in between will without a doubt tantalize your tastebuds.
3. People watch from a cafe outside
Slow down and sip a coffee while you sit outside a cafe. Enjoy the atmosphere and watch people go about their day.
4. The Louvre
This list would not be complete without a visit to The Louvre, the most famous and largest art museum in the world.
Those who are art and museum fanatics may find themselves craving hours upon hours - if not days - at The Louvre.
Others may be content with a shorter visit, just a few hours to see the parts they are most interested in.
My favorite part of The Louvre by far was Napoleon III’s former apartment. Its opulent decor almost looked like it came from a movie set, except, ya know, it’s real.
Something a little more spooky that is popular for visitors to Paris are the Catacombs, which hold the remains of six million people.
You can read more about The Catacombs and why they exist here.
6. Spend a Day in Versailles
The gardens and Palace of Versailles are only about a 45-minute drive outside of Paris.
Get there early to beat the crowds, especially if you prefer taking photos (a prime photo spot is the famous Hall of Mirrors, which tends to draw heavy crowds).
If you can mind the crowds, immerse yourself in the wonder that is the Palace of Versailles.
7. Enjoy the Gardens
Like New York City has its parks, Paris has its gardens.
Take a break from the sight-seeing (or croissant-eating, I won’t judge) and rest up in the gardens. They’re beautiful, relaxing, and an art form on their own.
Jardin des Tuileries is where I spent much of my afternoon breaks in Paris. Also check out Jardin du Luxembourg, Champ-de-Mars, or any garden you stumble upon during your day.
8. Stroll Along the Seine
Whether you’re strolling along the sidewalk along Seine River or taking a cruise to see the city from the water, you are bound to take in some beautiful views.
Note that the “love locks bridge” no longer contains the love locks as they were removed in 2014 due to part of the bridge collapsing due to weight.
You can still walk along the bridges, which also make for nice photo ops with the sparkling water in the background.
9. See the Eiffel Tower Light Up at Night
If there is one thing on this list you must not miss, it is seeing the Eiffel Tower light up at night.
Every evening after the sun has fully set, the Eiffel Tower turns on its lights. For the first five minutes of every hour while lit up, the lights sparkle. It really is a sight to see.
What most people do is bring a blanket, some wine, a baguette, and make a little picnic in the grass in front of the tower before sunset.
Note that when you do this, you’ll see the tower up close and realize how HUGE and magnificent it really is!
From there, enjoy seeing the sun set behind the Eiffel Tower and join in the round of cheers and applause when the lights come on.
10. Get Lost in Other Arrondissements
The neighborhoods/districts - “arrondissements” in French - are all numbered.
You can find cute neighborhoods such as the Latin Quarter or Montramarte, which are known for fun times and great food.
You don’t have to stick to the popular tourist sites - look up a cool cafe on Yelp in a different arrondissement from your hotel and enjoy the atmosphere that makes France’s capital city so world-renowned. :)