The city of light, romance, revolution, tons of culture, and above all, the glittering Eiffel Tower, is France’s capital, Paris. A heady cocktail of couture fashion and European magic, Paris finds itself a place on travel bucket lists of globetrotters across the world. It is best explored on foot, with impressive Hausmann buildings and green boulevards lining the cobblestoned streets and plenty of stunning sights to soak in at every nook and corner. Stop by and enjoy a flute of French bubbly, paired with one of the exquisite cheeses or sit back and enjoy a cuppa joe at one of the street cafes, overlooking the hustle-bustle, you’ll find Paris unequivocally and unapologetically bewitching. Here are some of the best places to visit in Paris, France. So, unleash the bon vivant in you and let the city’s allure engulf you.
The Eiffel Tower needs no introduction and is undoubtedly one of the busiest monuments across the world. Here, we’re bringing you an option of not having to wait in long queues with a skip-the-line priority ticket. This hour-long tour is guided by a docent, providing insightful information about the iconic tower and its neighbouring landmarks. You can climb up to the first and second levels of the Eiffel Tower and admire beautiful panoramic views of the city.
Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket with Guide
Duration: 1 hour
Dedicated to the works of French artist Auguste Rodin, Musee Rodin is home to more than 15,000 of his sculptures, drawings, photographs, and artworks. This tour takes you through the 18th-century building that houses these brilliant works of art and some of Rodin’s most famous works, such as Sakountala and The Mature Age, displayed therein; and all this while being provided great information about the same. You can also stroll through the expansive rose-strewn gardens sprawled around the building and admire the many sculptures placed there as well – The Thinker, Adam and Eve, The Burghers of Calais, and Balzac are only to name a few.
Musee Rodin Paris Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 to 2 hours
Say Louvre and think the uniquely shaped pyramidal structure that is as much an architectural delight as the contents housed within it. Hitch this tour and give yourself a priority entry to explore the world’s largest art museum and a landmark that the Louvre is. Starting from the Ancient Egypt section of the museum, the tour moves on to let you admire the art of the Italian Rennaissance. This is followed by a stop at the world-famous work of artist Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa as well as other lesser-known works. The audio guide will take you through the detailed history pertaining to each of the artworks, making it a whole value-for-money and rich experience. Follow its carefully planned route to discover the best of the museum’s collection.
Louvre Museum Skip-the-Ticket-Line Guided Tour
Duration: 2 hour
4. Place de la Concorde
Bang in the middle of Avenue des Champs-Elysees and Jardin des Tuileries is Place de la Concorde, among the most famed public squares in Paris, which has served several purposes over the centuries and is loaded with an extensive heritage. Right in the square’s centre stands The Obelisk of Luxor, decorated with Egyptian hieroglyphics. It is flanked by two fountains – styled in an Italian, Neo-Classical design – on either sides, which add to the square’s aesthetic with their sumptuous embellishment and impressive centrepieces. Place de la Concorde, for all its beauty, has been featured in several movies as well. It makes for a great place to explore, so head along.
Place de la Concorde
Address: 75008 Paris, France
Website: Place de la Concorde
5. Jardin des Tuileries
Separating the Louvre from the Place de la Concorde is the extravagant Jardin des Tuileries – or simply, The Tuileries Gardens – bursting with hues of colours, regardless of the season. The park’s manicured landscaping and neatly trimmed greenery make it a top spot for spending time outdoors. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once part of Queen Marie de’ Medici’s royal residential complex. The park is fringed by trees and has many stunning sculptures, including those by French artist Claude Monet, adorning its expansive sprawl. There are also small ponds that make for a perfect spot for kids to play around while the adults relax. The gardens are also a popular venue for open-air cultural festivals, events, and carnivals hosted in the city.
Jardin des Tuileries
Address: 113 Rue de Rivoli, 77500 Paris, France
Website: Jardin des Tuileries
Opening hours: 7am - 9pm (daily)
Saint-Germain-des-Pres is a cultural, historical, and thriving neighbourhood on the Left Bank of the Seine. Among the most famous things to do here is to explore its booming food scene. In this walking tour, tourers along with the food expert raid multiple little shops and quaint eateries for the culinary delights they offer. Right from gorging on some delectable desserts and exploring the depths of France’s noted bakery scene to a unique olive oil tasting, learning about the crackle of fresh breads to identifying different types of cheeses, everything’s included. Bonus: sampling and food tasting is also included, so head along into a world of gastronomical delight!
Saint Germain Des Pres: Guided Food Tour with Tastings, Wine
Duration: 3 hours
Housing an excellent collection of mainly Impressionist and post-Impressionist art from the 19th and 20th centuries, including the works of famed artists, such as Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, among others, is Musee d'Orsay. This reserved-access tour allows priority entry into the museum wherein you can spend an entire day marvelling at the masterpieces. The museum, designed sumptuously, houses more than 3,000 paintings, sculptures, photographs, and other works of art and is as much an architecture enthusiast’s delight as is an art lover’s. It draws millions to admire its permanent as well as temporary exhibitions, so you must also keep it on your must-visit lists.
Musée d'Orsay Reserved Access 1-Day Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 day
Le Marais is one of Paris’s historic districts, rife with fine architecture, fun bars, an eccentric crowd, and a plethora of fashion stores. Hitch yourself this three-hour-long tour, accompanied by a local guide, and learn some interesting history behind what makes this neighbourhood such a feast to the eyes as well as the senses. Le Marais is essentially a melting pot of Chinese, Jewish, and LGBTQ communities and its narrow streets house many a hidden gems, such as the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme, the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, and the Musée National Picasso-Paris, among others.
Le Marais: Explore Old Paris with a Local Host
Duration: 3 hour
Dedicated to famed Spanish artist, Pablo Picasso, is Musee Picasso, located in at Hotel Salé in Paris’s Marais district. It houses a splendid collection of the artist’s works, more than 5,000 paintings, prints, sculptures, engravings as well as his personal archives among others. This priority-entry tour will take you through this excellent museum and leave you to admire some of Picasso’s masterpieces. There’s also a library, which has a fantastic collection of about 11,000 books illustrated by Picasso himself, which you can also go through.
Skip the Line: Picasso Museum Ticket
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Having served as the main royal residence of the country in the 17th - 18th centuries is the opulent Palace of Versailles, a beacon of French art and architecture. The palace’s principal room, the Hall of Mirrors, is its most eye-catching feature, comprising a total of whopping 357 mirrors, sumptuously reflecting the sprawling gardens in the hall’s embellished arched windows. The place complex is also home to the Chapel of Versailles, the Grand Apartment, the Grand Trianon, Marie Antoinette’s apartment, and the Opera auditorium. This guided audio tour will take you through all these parts of the complex and provide some valuable information about their relevance in history.
Palace of Versailles, Gardens Skip-the-Line from Central Paris
Duration: 6 hours
11. Musee de l'Orangerie
In its spacious rooms lies a handsome collection of art and paintings by famed artists Claude Monet, Paul Guillaume, Jean Walter, Auguste Renoir, and Pablo Picasso among several others. But, why the name Musee de l'Orangerie? The building housing these brilliant works of art now once served as an orangery to store citrus fruits that grew in the Jardin des Tuileries. Although, its purposes of use changed multiple times, the name remained the same. This rather simple-looking structure is a rather pleasing display of some of the most distinguished works of art, so do visit.
Disclaimer: Musée de l'Orangerie will remain closed (except Nymphéas Room and temporary exhibitions) for renovations from September 4, 2019 to March 31, 2020.
Musee de l'Orangerie
Address: Jardin Tuileries, 75001 Paris, France
Website: Musee de l'Orangerie
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9am - 6pm (closed on Tue)
Price: 9 USD (6.5 EUR – reduced fee during ongoing renovations)
Visited by millions daily and lined by famous monuments and several interesting places is Avenue des Champs-Elysees, a street that needs no introduction. About 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) in length, Avenue des Champs-Elysees is touted to the ‘world’s most beautiful avenue’, but it was only in the 17th century that the street’s grooming began. Today, it is a shopper’s paradise, a culture vulture’s haven, popular venue for public events, and an excellent sightseeing thoroughfare. So, slip into your comfiest pair of shoes and hitch this walking tour to learn the avenue’s important history, marvel at the many Parisian landmarks along its route, and soak in the finesse with which it has been designed.
Paris Champs-Élysées 2-Hour Private Walking Tour
Making for another one of Paris’s must-visit locations is Jardin du Luxembourg, or the Luxembourg Gardens. Designed in a typically French garden style, with geometric shapes and lines, it features about 100 statues, a pond, neatly trimmed bushes, ample of greenery, and flower-lined walkways, making for an entirely picturesque sight and tranquil location amidst Paris’s hustle-bustle. It is set in the grounds of the Luxembourg Palace and makes for a picture-worthy location, so keep them cameras ready. Plus, the many joy rides and carousels make it a top spot for kids as well. This two-hour tour will take you through each of the garden’s main spots and then leave you to enjoy your time, soaking in the Parisian airs.
Paris Luxembourg Gardens Small-Group Walking Tour with Guide
Duration: 2 hours
Located at the western end of Avenue des Champs-Elysees is the monumental Arc de Triomphe, serving as a powerful symbol of France’s unity. Book yourself up in this tour and dodge through the massive crowd that assembles each day to marvel at the arch. You can walk around and admire the arc’s unique way of paying homage to the many soldiers who fought for France, particularly during the Napoleonic wars or climb up to its terrace and enjoy some stunning panoramic views of Paris. Arc de Triomphe serves as a venue for many national celebrations, so check if you can double-up your trip to experience the euphoria around the monument!
Arc de Triomphe Skip-the-Line Entry Including Terrace Access
Duration: 45 minutes
Walking distance from Avenue des Champs-Elysees is Musée Jacquemart-André, former residence of art collectors Nélie Jacquemart and Édouard André, now a museum with a superb collection of Egyptian artefacts, portraits by Dutch masters, and Roman and Greek antiquities. Spread across 16 halls, the museum’s showcases throw light on the life and lavishness of Parisian high society. The tour will offer a multi-lingual audio guide to take you through every aspect of the museum as well as access to a phone app that provides further information.
Skip the Line: Ticket Jacquemart André Museum
Duration: 1 to 3 hours
Another one of Paris’s famed monuments is the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opera, and among the most exquisitely designed buildings. It is adorned with sculpted figures, friezes, mosaics, and columns, designed by many different artists and architects. Much like the building’s exterior, the interior has also been done up with utmost care and perfection. Enter through its grand entrance and you’ll be welcomed into Baroque opulence, with every little decoration put in place with care. Go in for this tour and you’ll get to explore the building and learn the finer details behind its construction, the architect, and the several shows that are hosted there.
Paris Opera Garnier Walking Tour with Admission
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
17. Galeries Lafayette
Experience the best of Paris’s shopping scene at Galeries Lafayette, an upmarket store, which opened its doors in 1893 and has since been a mecca for shopaholics as well as a fashion institute. The vast and richly designed complex houses some of the most cutting-edge fashion apparel, jewellery, cosmetics, home decor, gourmet shops, and an array of other things. It is spread across three buildings – Lafayette Coupole, Lafayette Homme, and Lafayette Maison – all of which you can raid for a great retail therapy session. Galeries Lafayette is quite close to Palais Garnier, so you can easily accommodate the two trips in a single outing.
Address: 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris, France
Website: Galeries Lafayette
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 8:30pm; Sun: 10am - 8:30pm
Paris is rich in all things artistic and scholarly and the fountainhead of the same is the Latin Quarter neighbourhood, pretty much a book lover’s dream destination with the many metal stalls set up along the Seine and open-air booksellers stocked with aplenty. Among the most famous of these is the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore, which once found customers in famed writers like James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ernest Hemingway. This tour will take you through the several spots in Latin Quarters that served as these writers’ favourite haunts along with a trip to the Shakespeare & Co. bookstore. Spend your time, rummaging through the neighbourhood’s deep-rooted historical and cultural legacy and you won’t regret it one bit.
Latin Quarter and Notre-Dame Cathedral Private Walking Tour
Duration: 120 to 150 minutes
Amongst the many givings of the Latin Quarter is the Pantheon, a Parisian counterpart of the one in the Italian capital. It was built in the 18th century and has been used as a space for different purposes across centuries, but now functions as a mausoleum for eminent French citizens, including Alexandre Dumas, Pierre and Marie Currie, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others. Much like its Italian inspiration, Paris’ Pantheon is built in a Neo-Classical style, topped with a dome. Hitch yourself this self-guided tour and explore the many parts of the building at your own pace. If you need to seek any in-depth information, you can always get in touch with the multi-lingual visitor guides present in the premises.
Paris: Panthéon Admission Ticket and Self-Guided Tour
Duration: 1 day
In central Paris, in River Seine, lies Île de la Cité, one of the two remaining natural islands in the city. Home to the famous Notre-Dame cathedral, the Conciergerie, and Sainte-Chapelle, a visit to Île de la Cité almost seems like you’re heading back into the Middle Ages. Immerse yourself in the island’s many offerings on this tour and learn about history, culture, architecture, and lots of other interesting details. Visitors are allowed priority entry tickets into Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie and are accompanied by expert guides, who provide excellent information. It is just about one of the most enriching affairs!
Ile de la Cité: 3-Hour Medieval Private Walking Tour
Duration: 3 hour
Here’s one for architecture buffs. Sainte-Chapelle is among the finest examples of Gothic architecture you’d see across the world. As much as it is an aesthetic marvel, its religious value is just as high. Protected with its stained-glass lookalike roof are important Christian relics – the Crown of Thorns and a fragment of the True Cross – brought in by King Louis IX in the 12th century. This tour will take you through the many struggles that the construction of Sainte-Chapelle saw, while admiring the magical play of light and the other facets. Keep your cameras ready, there’ll be many a click-worthy sights.
Paris Sainte Chapelle Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket
Duration: 1 hour
22. Notre-Dame Cathedral
Among the most famed of Europe’s historical monuments is the Notre-Dame Cathedral. It has seen more history than any other building, perhaps in all of Paris, and has been not just an important place of worship, but also had a prominent role to play economically and emotionally. Built in a traditionally 13th-century French-Gothic style of architecture, each of the cathedral’s aspects have been tastefully designed and have attracted people from across the world to soak in its grandeur. A major fire in 2019 led to a devastation of many parts of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and it has since remained shut for repairs and renovation. Tourists and locals still flock outside its building to admire its stunning architecture and to pay their homage to one of the most loved monuments of the city.
Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France
Website: Notre-Dame Cathedral
Right in the heart of the French capital is Montmartre, a charming little village with many museums, vineyards, and windmills adorning its landscape. The highlight of this quaint Parisian village is the world of gastronomical delights it hides and the best way to explore it is via a walking tour. This three- to four-hour-long walks you through Montmartre’s cobbled walkways into workshops, cafes, and gourmet stores, selling some of the most exquisite artisanal French foodstuff. It includes 10 such stops, which include sampling of the products, ranging from cured meats, gourmet cheeses, delicate chocolates, and fine wines. You can even buy these items for back home. A real banquet, this tour, so leave your diets back home before heading.
Montmartre Food and Wine Tour
Duration: 180 to 210 minutes
Perched atop the Montmartre hill is its shining beacon, Sacre-Coeur, or Basilica of the Sacred Heart, which makes for a stunning place of worship and for its artistic allure as well as the beautiful views of the cityscape it offers. Trailing behind the Notre-Dame Cathedral as the most-visited church in France, Sacre-Coeur draws millions of tourists and locals to its appeal each year. It’s exterior as well as the interior has been designed in a Romano-Byzantine style and the attention to every little detail is impressive. Unfortunately, the basilica doesn’t allow any guided tours to ensure silence inside, but you can always pick up a guidebook for in-depth information. Do note that a climb of 300 steps leads you to its entrance, so go prepared. There are no lifts.
Address: 35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France
Opening hours: 6am - 10:30pm (daily)
In contrast to the city’s historic architecture stands The Centre Pompidou, a marvellous example of 20th-century modern design. With its exposed escalators and tubes, the building almost gives the appearance of being turned ‘inside-out’! It is home to the National Museum of Modern Art, boasting a brilliant collection of 20th- and 21st-century art in its two sections that host a permanent as well as some temporary exhibitions. You can book yourself this priority-access entry ticket and forget about the hassle of waiting in long queues.
Centre Pompidou Priority-Access Ticket in Paris
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
If you have a thing for the gory and ghoulish, a trip to the Catacombs of Paris might be worthy. Winding below the glittering and culturally rich streets of Paris lie corridors that tell a chilling history about the city’s macabre past. Catacombs of Paris are a labyrinth of underground passageways where lie the bones and remains of millions of Parisians that were stuffed there because the city’s cemeteries were running out space! This tour, accompanied by a professional guide, will take you through the burial chambers with stacks of skeletons, making for an entirely unique experience.
Paris Walking Tour with Skip-the-Line Catacombs Admission
Duration: 2 hours
Pomp, colour, and kitsch, the cabaret shows at Moulin Rouge are all but one of these. A trip to Paris can simply not be complete without having had a taste of this quintessentially Parisian experience. Book yourself the show tickets here and enjoy Moulin Rouge’s extravagant performances. You can also choose to upgrade your experience by opting in for a champagne and dinner upgrade as well. The dance’s fine choreography, pulsating music, flashy outfits, and unparalleled energy will definitely be a feast for the eyes, so be ready to be mesmerized. Do note that although the shows aren’t a typically suit-and-ball-gown-type affair, but you need to be smartly dressed.
Moulin Rouge Show Ticket Paris
Duration: 2 hours
Buy yourself this fast-pass ticket and enjoy some live theatre that brings Paris’s spooky legends, such as Quasimodo and the Phantom of the Opera, to light and life. The shows are offered in English as well as French, so you can hitch whichever you like. They are typically half an hour to an hour-long and make for a great entertainment for kids and adults alike.
Skip the Line: Le Manoir de Paris - Fastpass Ticket
Duration: 35 to 60 minutes
Head to Paris’s Disneyland and make it a day of light-hearted fun for your kids as well as yourself. Packed with plenty of fairytale-like experiences, Disneyland is the dream fantasy destination. This one-day, two-park pass will allow you entry to Disneyland as well as the Walt Disney Studios, so you can have the best of kid-friendly adventures as well as fun!
Disneyland® Paris 1-Day Ticket
Duration: 1 day
Cutting through the heart of Paris is River Seine, gently streaming between the left and right banks to engulf the little island where Notre-Dame sits. Along the route of the river ply cruises, making for one of the best ways to soak in the charming vibe of the city and marvel at the many historic buildings that make up its skyline. This evening cruise offers some of the most best-unobstructed views of the Musée d'Orsay, Île de la Cité, the Louvre among others from the cruise’s upper deck. Else, step down into the restaurant and gorge on some top-class French fare. You can either go in for the basic package, a no drinks option, or upgrade to include drinks as well.
Seine River Cruise with 3-Course Dinner in Paris
Duration: 2 hours
The dream getaway destination
No matter how long your stay in Paris maybe, the city’s charm will not cease. Whether it is the chic boutiques of Le Marais or the bustling market streets, Montmartre’s romantic environs or exploring the Latin Quarter, a casual stroll along the Boulevard St-Germaine or a performance at the Palais Garnier, Paris has an endless number of options to entertain its many tourists. Our list of the best places to visit in Paris, France, covers them all, so bookmark it right away!
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