15 Things Paris Is Famous For - Updated 2023

| 7 min read

Firmly sitting at the top of every traveler’s bucket list, Paris never fails to attract millions of tourists hoping to experience and personally have a glimpse of its stunning architecture, world-class museums, fashionable boutiques, and inviting sidewalk cafes and restaurants. Whether you have the means to enjoy an exquisite dinner in a Michelin-starred resto, or a budget backpacker who loves cheap thrills and will go somewhere for a free yet satisfying selfie with the Eiffel Tower, you are bound to feel the bohemian romanticism of this iconic city. Update your itinerary to include these things Paris is famous for, all of which you shouldn’t miss as soon as you set foot in the City of Lights. As you explore these Parisian gems, get comfortable at one of the best romantic hotels and Vrbo rentals in the city.

1. Le Marais

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Pline used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Besides the Eiffel Tower, if you really want to get to know this gem of a French city, you have to witness the beauty of Le Marais firsthand. Le Marais, or the Marais, is a historic and aristocratic district in Paris. It is a melting pot for the city’s most significant architectures and is currently home to the hippest commercial centers and street-side eateries. Some of its most significant spots include Musee Picasso, Hotel de Sens, Hotel de Guenegaud, and Hotel d’Albret. Nowadays, the Marais serves as Paris’ biggest centers for art galleries.

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2. Jardin des Tuileries

Louvre Museum from the Roue de Paris, 11 July 2016
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user dronepicr used under CC BY 2.0

Adjacent to the iconic Louvre Museum is the equally enchanting Jardin des Tuileries, or the Tuileries Garden in English. It served as the garden of the Tuileries Palace which was burned in 1871. The garden was established by Italian noblewoman Catherine de’ Medici. After the French Revolution, Jardin des Tuileries became a public park, which, to this day, it remains as such. Some of the best areas of the garden are Jardin du Carrousel, Terrasse, Moat of Charles V, and Grand Carre of the Tuileries.

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3. Parisian Baguette

Source: Photo by Flickr user Yukiko Matsuoka used under CC BY 2.0

When we think of the French coming out of artisan grocery shops with brown bags on their hands, we mostly picture those long, loaf breads poking out the top. Those are what we call baguettes, which are a type of French bread made from lean dough. In 1839, Paris was introduced to Viennese steam oven baking, as well as Vienna bread and croissant. While much of the baguette’s origin is simply speculation, this introduction is credited as the source of baguettes. The bread is commonly made with wheat flour, water, common salt, and yeast.

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4. Galeries Lafayette

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dimitri Destugues used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Galeries Lafayette is a shopper’s haven in Paris. It is a chain of upmarket department stores, with the flagship store located on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Galeries Lafayette was founded by Theophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn in 1893, starting as a small shop in Paris, which they’ve grown over the years. In 1907, renovations by architect Georges Chedanne were completed. Almost three decades later, in 1932, the building was then again renovated with an Art Deco style by Pierre Patou.

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5. Jardin de Luxembourg

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kirua used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

One of the best places to visit in Paris if you’re a fan of long walks in the great outdoors is Jardin du Luxembourg or the Luxembourg Gardens in English. Located in the 6th arrondissement of Paris, the garden was created by Marie de’ Medici in 1612. It is to accompany the Luxembourg Palace. Nowadays, Jardin du Luxembourg is occupied and owned by the French Senate. It is home to the stunning Medici Fountain which was built in 1620. The garden has an excellent display of statues, with the most notable ones being Liberty Enlightening the World, the Jean-Antoine Watteau monument, and the Ludwig van Beethoven statue.

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6. Seine River (from USD 31.0)

Go with the flow as you feast your eyes to the stunning views of Paris’ both banks while crossing this iconic passageway with any one of the many cruises offering day or night tour to see both own strong points from the river view. Indulge in the tranquility of the atmosphere while admiring the famous landmarks along the way including the sights of the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame, the Bridges, and the Grand Palace. Relax and rest for an hour after a lot of walking while listening to the very informative guide about the buildings as you glide by this famous thing in Paris.

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Paris Sightseeing Cruise with Champagne by Bateaux Mouches

Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

257 reviews

7. Moulin Rouge show (from USD 149.0)

One of the most famous things about Paris is the Moulin Rouge show. Enjoy a night of total entertainment while having a good time over a glass of champagne and a French dinner in this world-class cabaret offering professionally conducted and surprisingly good shows in an atmospheric theater. Take delight of the remarkable performances complemented with comfortable seats, good views of the stage, great music, compelling choreography, and dazzling costumes of the dancers who are giving everything to guarantee a performance night of a lifetime. Definitely, a must-see thing when visiting Paris and ideal for all adults, girls’ night outs, and couples, but definitely not for children due to nudity.

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Paris Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne Only or Dinner

Duration: 2 hours

4545 reviews

8. Notre-Dame Cathedral

Paris Notre-Dame cathedral south facade 20170527 (01)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user xiquinhosilva used under CC BY 2.0

Be impressed by this French Gothic architecture built in the 12th century. It is considered as the symbolic heart of the city consecrated to the Virgin Mary. Relax in the square and enjoy the fantastic façade of this wonderful cathedral while having a cup of hot coffee and a French croissant before entering the place to marvel at the equally glamorous yet far more emotional sight of its interior. Whatever religion you may be, you will never go wrong climbing up the bell towers on a tight spiral staircase, after feasting your eyes on the fabulous views.

*Currently close to tourist and worshippers due to the tragic fire that has destroyed portions of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre-Dame Cathedral

Address: 6 Parvis Notre-Dame - Pl. Jean-Paul II, 75004 Paris, France

Website: Notre-Dame Cathedral

Opening hours: 8am - 7pm (daily)

Price: Free

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9. Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week Haute Couture
Source: Photo by Flickr user Chloé Dislaire used under CC BY 2.0

Treat the fashionista in you and witness the parade of models down the runway wearing signature and limited-edition fashion items during this biannual event. Not for all ordinary fans though, don’t fret if you don’t receive an invitation to see the show for you can still feel the real sense of excitement in the air while strolling around some of the famous tourist spots around the city where models and fashionistas in eye-catching ensembles parade to catch the attention of photographers. If you want to catch a pre-show spectacle, check the online schedule of some major brands and go early to the venue to see models and celebrities being photographed outside prior to the main event.

Paris Fashion Week

Address: Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris

Website: Paris Fashion Week

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10. Champs-Elysées Avenue

Urban Environments - late evening activity on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées - taken from the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France
Source: Photo by Flickr user Richard Allaway used under CC BY 2.0

Shop till you drop while admiring the most beautiful avenue in the world complemented with boutique clothing lines, chic restaurants, and trendy shops that sell products ranging from luxury items to gourmet foods. Enjoy watching people on their shopping spree or if you have the means and can’t find satisfaction by just browsing the flagship stores of all the luxury brands, give in and indulge in every designer imaginable including Gucci and Louis Vuitton. Surely a fun way of experiencing the fancy side of Paris while having a leisurely walk under the shades of the lined trees that ends in the famous Arc de Triomphe.

Champs-Elysées Avenue

Address: Avenue des Champs Elysees, 75008 Paris, France

Opening hours: Sat - Sun: 12am - 12pm (closed on weekdays)

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11. Louvre Museum (from USD 101.52)

paris is famous for what things | louvre museum

The Louvre is what Paris is most famous for. Wander inside this important repository of art and home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and an unparalleled collection of items covering the full spectrum of art through the ages. Take time to be amazed and inspired by its pyramid entrance up to the massive art displays which will take a whole day or even more to completely see it all in a deeper perspective. Truly a touristy spot, skip the lines and purchase your ticket in advance or make a late-night visit during Wednesday and Friday to avoid too much crowd unlike what you can expect it during the day.

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Louvre Museum: Skip-the-Line Small Group Guided Tour

Duration: 2.0 hour

3066 reviews

12. Eiffel Tower (from USD 31.0)

Visit both by day and night to completely enjoy the majestic sight of this ultimate civic icon towering right in the heart of Paris and can be seen anywhere in the city. Get up close and personal with this beauty and even upgrade your visit with a dining experience of a lifetime while enjoying a 360-degree view of the city below. While the views at the top are wonderful, it’s also worth spending time at the bottom gazing up at this magnificent structure built over 100 years ago or find a view with shorter lines to picture an incredible panorama that includes the Eiffel Tower.

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Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Admission Ticket with Guide

Duration: 1 hour

1919 reviews

13. Arc de Triomphe (from USD 14.0)

Stroll down Champs-Élysées Avenue and admire this mighty monument built in memory of the soldiers who fought for the wars of France. It offers a good vantage point to the enchanting beauty of Paris. Brush up on your tourist knowledge and learn important facts in the Tomb of Unknown Soldiers that lies beneath the arc. Gather your courage and climb up the spiral staircase to reach the terrace. Up there you can set-up your camera and snap pictures of the city from high above. It offers a clear panoramic view of the city showing off the iconic Eiffel Tower, the stunning Champs-Élysées Avenue, as the traffic light up the streets below.

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Arc de Triomphe Skip-the-Line Entry Including Terrace Access

Duration: 45 minutes

910 reviews

14. Disneyland Paris (from USD 65.44)

disneyland paris

Experience adrenaline-pumping rides as you discover the five magical-themed lands where enchantment lives in Disneyland Paris that will definitely make you laugh, scream, and fly. Delight your kids and the whole family with thrills that come in all shapes and sizes by meeting the beloved Disney characters and gaze in awe at the breathtaking night-time show of enormous lights and colors. If you’re going solo but still want to believe that fairy tales really do come true, take advantage of the fairy godmother sent single rider line to avoid the long queue on some of the famous rides and attractions.

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Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket

10349 reviews

15. Palace of Versailles (from USD 14.0)

Spend a day wandering around this enormous and sprawling palace with a beautifully maintained garden complete with fountains and bushes perfect for strolling around with kids before or after visiting Versailles. Tour the inside of the palace with an audio guide to truly appreciate the quarters surrounded with detailed ornaments and artistic murals including some portrait galleries, the king and queen rooms, and the Hall of Mirrors which is the highlight of the palace. Overwhelming with crowds, choose to purchase a timed entry ticket to fully enjoy each attraction and their grandeur.

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Palace of Versailles Admission Ticket with Audio Guide

Duration: 6 hours

214 reviews

Discover the beauty of the French capital

La Tour Eiffel vue de la Tour Saint-Jacques, Paris
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Yann Caradec used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Whether you are looking for fashion or art, or want to enjoy both, a holiday escape in this thrilling city that never sleeps has a thousand things to do and see. It does not matter how long your vacation is, your stay will always feel too short. Make the most of your stay and have a wonderful time exploring the French capital as you discover and experience these famous things in Paris. First-timers will surely love to visit again.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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