The city of dreams, the capital of arts, the destination of romance! Paris is all of those and so much more. There are literally countless things to do in Paris. It’s sheer bewildering, there is so much to see around the city. Paris attracts all kinds of tourists – historic, romantic, art-lovers, offbeat, family – everybody has lots of things to do in this legendary European city.
- Tips for Paris Travel
- List of top 10 things to do in Paris
- Climb the legendary Eiffel Tower
- Admire the arts in Louvre Museum
- Be awed by the Arc de Triomphe
- Take a stroll through the Champs-Élysées
- Visit the Sacre-Coeur
- Tour the Palace of Versailles
- Observe the modern arts at The Center Pompidou
- Enjoy a performance or two at Moulin Rouge
- Have a chilling tour of the Catacombs of Paris
- Dare to wander the Bois de Boulogne
- Frequently Asked Questions about Paris Travel
- BookOnBoard’s Guide to Paris
- Explore Europe!
Tips for Paris Travel
Since this city has so much to offer, it requires some good planning to travel to Paris. Here are some useful tips:
- Time management – be reasonable with the time in your hand, as the places themselves can suck you in easily. You’ll find spending a whole day where you wanted to spend only three hours, in the blink of an eye. Also, you need to allow a lot of time for standing in the queues also! For example, in the season the queue to enter the Eiffel Tower can take 2-3 hours easily.
- Stay close – you should try to stay near the center of this busy city in order to avoid wasting time on the commute.
- Hop-on hop-off – Paris has great public transport and hop-on hop-off bus service. This can be very useful instead of spending money on private transport or taxis.
- Be aware – Underworld Parisiennes are notorious for scamming tourists. Consider yourself warned. There’s more about that near the end of this article.
- Get the pass – The Paris pass gives you entry to 60 attractions, skip the line, free public transport, river cruise, etc. It will give you a lot of flexibility and freedom. Check prices here.
List of top 10 things to do in Paris
- Eiffel Tower
- The Louvre
- Arc de Triomphe
- Moulin Rouge
- Paris Catacombs
- Bois de Boulogne
You wouldn’t believe the level of hesitation we had while composing this list. There are thousands of other places of equal eminence if not more. And all of them attract huge crowds. Well, to our taste, these are the best places to visit in Paris, but you are welcome to add your own. Let’s go and find out the details about these places now!
Climb the legendary Eiffel Tower
This landmark wonder of the world is so iconic that you can’t think of the word ‘Paris’ without visualizing the picture of the proud structure. Built-in 1889, the 10,000-ton structure was supposed to be temporary at first. But the Iron Lady has stood the test of time, enjoying her 130th birthday last year. Gustave Eiffel’s 324-meter masterpiece marvels at all tourists who see it.
The Eiffel Tower is open every day from 9 am to 11:45 pm. In the summer, it stays open till midnight. The line to enter the tower is 2-3 hours long often – though you can get on the much shorter line that lets you walk up the stairs. If you can. If you did, you’re bound to be terribly hungry by the time you reach Le Jules Verne – the restaurant perched on top of the second floor.
Admire the arts in Louvre Museum
The world’s largest museum of art became doubly popular when writer Dan Brown placed his famous controversial novel “The Da Vinci Code” here. Be prepared to not see everything in this museum because of the sheer vastness of its collection. Nearly ten million visitors came to bathe in the masters’ creations in Louvre only last year. The twin pyramids are equally awesome.
Over 35,000 pieces of world-famous art adorn the walls and exhibit stands in 300 rooms in this insanely popular and prestigious national landmark. Insider’s tip: don’t waste your time to see the tiny painting of Mona Lisa set far away from visitors. Even if you can get through the thick crowds, you won’t get to enjoy it much. Better stick to high-res photos or printouts of the most famous paintings and invest that time and efforts on other, less crowded pieces.
Be awed by the Arc de Triomphe
This is around the time you start to think that probably this whole city is made up of landmarks. The Arc de Triomphe takes third place in our things to do in Paris list. This triumphal arch was dedicated to Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz in 1809. The massive 164-feet tall arch is built following roman architecture but dwarfs any similar in the world. The decor and grandeur are purely Napoleonic in nature.
The historic significance of the Arch outshines many of its equivalents in the world. Paris has been through many good and bad times and every single time this Arch was witness to the celebrations and tragedies. There is a Tomb of an Unknown Soldier killed in WW1 under the arch. The eternal fire here is rekindled every evening, a ceremony that went right through the Nazi occupation of Paris.
Take a stroll through the Champs-Élysées
Indubitably the world’s best avenue, Champs-Élysées stretches from the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe. Many of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris are situated on or very near this beautiful road. Apart from places to see, you have all kinds of shops, boutiques, restaurants, cabarets, and nightclubs – you name it.
If you can afford it, Champs-Élysées is the best place in Paris to go on a shopping spree. You got every kind of shop here focused on arts and fashion and leisure. You have tiny boutiques selling little memories, to grand megastores for the posh and famous. The world’s oldest perfume shop, Guerlain, is here as well. Then you can go party at the famous L’Heritage or treat yourself with the famous cabaret of Lido’s Paris Merveilles.
Visit the Sacre-Coeur
Another most visited area is the hill of Sacre-Coeur and the Basilica on top of it. It is in Montmartre, which retains a village-like appearance even though it’s smack dab in the center of Paris. You should walk up the hill from Anvers, enjoying the green hill and the cheap stores on the roadside. If you’re short on time or energy, take the funicular railway on the west side directly to the Basilica.
Paris is home to many iconic churches and the basilica at Sacre-Coeur is the second best. Its architecture has something incredibly whimsical in it that gives it a fairytale-like vibe. This architectural wonder inside and out will amaze you. You can also enjoy the beautiful view of Paris from up here. Not only that, but you’ll also get your picture drawn in front of you by the talented street artists of Paris who throng here.
Tour the Palace of Versailles
If you want to know exactly how those romantic kings, queens, and noblemen in the history books lived, come to Versailles. The vast gardens with canals, fountains and geometric flower groves are worth a day themselves, and then there’s the chatáu. It was the main Royal residence of France from 1682 till the french revolutions. It is now a historical monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main places to see in the palace are the ceremonial Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Opera, Royal Apartments, the Grand Trianon and Petit Trianon, the State Apartments, the Royal Chapel, the Hameau created for Marie Antoinette, and much more. During the revolution, the palace was stripped of its furniture, but over time many have been returned voluntarily. There are 2300 rooms here, but only a few are open to the public. You can get access to some of the restricted rooms in some guided tours.
Observe the modern arts at The Center Pompidou
An avant-garde multicultural complex, the Center Pompidou is a vast modern architectural wonder and home to some of the most important arts and literature in Paris. It houses the giant Bibliothèque Publique information public library, the Musée National d’Art Moderne which is the largest collection of modern art in whole Europe, and IRCAM the site for music and research with sounds.
With over a hundred thousand pieces of modern arts, the Pompidou center will easily take up all your time in Paris. Other than the exhibits, the center holds many art exhibitions, dance performances, cinemas and artifact displays throughout the year. Even if you’re not that much into modern art, the center is worth a visit for sure because of its striking visual appeal and the vibe of the place. National Geographic describes the building as ‘Love at second sight’.
Enjoy a performance or two at Moulin Rouge
Visiting Paris but not visiting the world’s most famous cabaret? That’s not happening. The Moulin Rouge is arguably the world’s greatest cabaret from the Belle Époque. This is where the famous Can-Can dance was born, and so much more. You need to be a little dressed up to visit this place – meaning leisurewear is not allowed.
Every night the show starts from 9 pm and 11 pm, throughout the week. You can book a show with dinner, which is served at 7 pm. There are some matinee shows too, but they’re not as frequent or glamorous. Please note that any kind of photography inside the Moulin Rouge is absolutely prohibited and you will be evicted if caught.
Have a chilling tour of the Catacombs of Paris
More than six million skeletons are buried underneath Paris in a vast tunnel network. This underground ossuary was created to accommodate the dead of the overflowing Paris cemeteries in 1774. It became a novelty place for private events and concerts. Now it is one of Paris’s museums.
The cold walk underground is two kilometers long over the uneven and slippery ground with no toilets, so come prepared. Empty eyes observe your progress from every direction as you progress between the eerie, claustrophobic, bone-encrusted walls. Thoughts of various kinds from morbid to divine will occur to you as you see the skulls of millions of long-dead Parisiennes who were just as alive once as you are.
Dare to wander the Bois de Boulogne
Known also as the ‘lungs of Paris’, it is the largest open green space in the capital of France. Napoleon III commissioned the construction of this park when he was displeased with the shabby and congested state of the city. It is located on the west side of Paris and occupies 10 square kilometers of space. You can visit here for a breathing escape from all the bustle of the busy city. Worth noting is that the first hot air balloon trip started here.
There are plenty of smooth paths winding through lush greeneries in the Park for walking, bicycling and skating. The huge park also houses two lakes, which meet at the center with a waterfall! There are boating trips in the lakes and walking tours in the park. There is also a botanical garden here with over 10,000 rose bushes. Caution: it’s perfectly safe to visit the Bois de Boulogne but at night it is a red light district with hordes of every kind of prostitute and controlled by pimps.
Frequently Asked Questions about Paris Travel
1. Is it safe to visit Paris?
The City of Light is also called the City of Daylight Robbery. Paris is notorious for petty street crimes, much of which happen upon the unwary tourist. Please maintain the following precautions while visiting Paris.
- Keep your valuables including wallets in a bag that you can carry all the time. A small backpack worn at the front works great.
- Do not let anyone make you wear a ring or bracelet. They will force you to pay just for trying it.
- Do not let yourself be enticed into signing a petition or anything. You’ll get robbed meanwhile.
- Wear a scarf in La Pari fashion in order not to stand out.
- Don’t carry too much cash in your wallet – just enough to get you through the day. Put extra cash in a hidden and hard-to-reach location inside your clothes.
- Flea markets, crowded metros, and tourist-packed plazas are favorite hunting grounds of pickpockets. Keep an eye out.
- Ignore shiny stuff or cash lying in the street. It’s a trap.
2. What are some affordable hotels in Paris?
Paris is an expensive city. As in most European countries, the cheapest places to stay in Paris are in the hostels. But if you need a hotel, here are some budget-friendly options.
- ParisGaja – from $26
- Résidence Clignancourt – from $30
- Hôtel Opéra-Deauville – from $31
- Hôtel de L’Union – from $33
- Le Montclair Montmartre – from $38
The prices are for two adults spending one night in a standard room. Prices can vary.
3. What are the most popular places to eat in Paris?
- ..and many more…
4. Are there low-cost flights to Paris?
- French Bee – from $231
- Norwegian – from $$282
- Tap Air – from $322
- Corsair – from $563
- Air France – from $855
Please note that the above fares are for one person traveling one way in economy class on the first of July. The prices are subjected to change.
5. Which are the best Paris holiday packages?
- Easy Paris – standard/Honeymoon – 6 days
- Budget Tour Best of France – 8 days
- Rejuvenating Paris Family Vacation Package – 3 days
- Charming Paris Honeymoon Package – 4 days
- Alluring Paris Tour Package – 4 days
BookOnBoard’s Guide to Paris
Today, we have tried to describe the best places in Paris. This list is by no means complete; we could have inserted a thousand more Paris tourist attractions if not for the space constraint. We have included much important information about Paris in this article. For example, Best Places to visit in Paris, Cheapest places to stay in Paris, Most popular places to eat in Paris, Fun things to do in Paris, Affordable hotels in Paris, Low-cost flights to Paris, Paris Holiday Packages, etc.
We hope you like our guide! Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions. You can use the comment form below or you can email us. Also, do check out our travel guides to other European places! Till then, au revoir!