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Things to do in Paris

Things to do in  Paris

Welcome to Paris

Even first-time visitors experience a sense of familiarity when they arrive in Paris, with its instantly recognizable monuments, tightly packed bistro terraces, and chic boutiques. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum are three attractions rarely left off any itinerary—and for good reason. For more, add on a Seine River cruise, Montmartre walking tour, Moulin Rouge dinner show, and day trip to the Palace of Versailles. But for all its iconic scenery and artistic treasures, there’s something to be said for discovering the City of Light like a Parisian, with leisurely visits to cafés, boulangeries, and the narrow alleyways of ‘arrondissements’ (neighborhoods).

Top 10 attractions in Paris

#1

Eiffel Tower

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Built by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World Fair, held to commemorate the centennial of the Revolution, the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) made headlines at the time as the world's tallest structure at 1,050 feet (320 meters). Initially opposed by Paris' artistic and literary elite, the tower was almost torn down in 1909, but its salvation came when it proved an ideal platform for the antennas needed for the new science of radiotelegraphy. Today, the highlight of a visit is the supreme view over Paris. When you're done peering upward through the girders from the ground, head up to the three levels open to the public, one of which features the famed 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant. Just southeast of the Eiffel Tower is a grassy expanse that served as the site of the world's first balloon flights. Today, the area is frequented by skateboarding teens and activists stating their views on the current state of France.More
#2

Louvre

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The Louvre may be the world's greatest art museum. Don't be daunted by its size and overwhelming richness; if you have even the merest interest in the fruits of human civilization from antiquity to the 19th century, then visit you must. The former fortress began its career as a public museum in 1793 with 2,500 paintings; now some 30,000 are on display. The most famous works from antiquity include the Seated Scribe, the Jewels of Rameses II, and the armless duo - the Winged Victory of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo. From the Renaissance, don't miss Michelangelo's Slaves, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa and works by Raphael, Botticelli, and Titian. French masterpieces of the 19th century include Ingres' La Grande Odalisque, Géricault's The Raft of the Medusa, and the work of David and Delacroix. The Grand Louvre project has rejuvenated the museum with many new and renovated galleries now open to the public. To avoid queues at the pyramid, buy your ticket in advance.More
#3

River Seine

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Paris lies 277 miles (445 km) from the river mouth and the slow-moving river is navigable up to 348 miles (560 km) inland from Le Havre, to Paris and beyond. This made it a lucrative trading route and Paris a prosperous city even back in the days of the Roman Empire. In Paris, many bridges cross the Seine, the oldest being the Pont Neuf dating from 1607 and the newest the Pont Charles de Gaulle completed in 1996. The river forks in central Paris creating two islands: the Ile de la Cité which is one of the most expensive districts to live, and the Ile Saint-Louis. Many of Paris's famous landmarks are beside the Seine: Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and the Musée d'Orsay.More
#4

Notre Dame Cathedral

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If Paris has a heart, then this is it. The cathedral of Notre Dame (Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris) is not only a masterpiece of French Gothic architecture, but has also been Catholic Paris' ceremonial focus for seven centuries. The cathedral's immense interior, a marvel of medieval engineering, holds over 6,000 people and has spectacular rose windows. Although Notre Dame is regarded as a sublime architectural achievement, there are all sorts of minor anomalies, the result of centuries of aesthetic intervention. These include a trio of main entrances that are each shaped differently, and are accompanied by statues that were once coloured to make them more effective as Bible lessons for the masses. The interior is dominated by a 7,800-pipe organ that was restored but has not worked properly since.More
#5

Orsay Museum (Musée d'Orsay)

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The museum displays France's national collection of paintings, sculptures, objets d'art produced between 1848 and 1914, including the fruits of the Impressionist, Post Impressionist, and Art Nouveau movements. The Museum fills the chronological gap between the Louvre and the Musée National d'Art Moderne at the Centre Pompidou. Austerely housed along the Seine in a former railway station built in 1900, it was re-inaugurated in its present form in 1986. Upstairs the grand salon still dazzles and there is an elegant tearoom and restaurant with a good view over the river.More
#6

Moulin Rouge

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Opened in 1889 by Joseph Oller and Charles Zidler, the Moulin Rouge was created in a time when creativity was blooming, and people were filled with the joys of life. With a huge dance floor, mirrors, beautiful showgirls and an atmosphere of total euphoria, the Cabaret was a huge Success. Then Toulouse-Lautrec was a frequent visitor, today over 1000 people visit a night.More
#7

Place de la Concorde

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The Place de la Concorde is between the Tuileries Gardens and the Champs Elysées on Paris's famous axis. It was laid out between 1755 and 1775. The 3,300-year-old pink granite obelisk with the gilded top in the square's centre was given to France in 1831 by Muhammad Ali, viceroy and pasha of Egypt. Towering 75 ft (23m) over the cobblestones, it once stood in the Temple of Ramses at Thebes (modern-day Luxor). The 8 female statues adorning the 4 corners of the square represent France's largest cities. In 1793, after the French Revolution, Louis XVI's head was lopped off by a guillotine set up near the statue representing the city of Brest. During the next two years, another guillotine was used to behead 1343 more people, including Marie-Antoinette and the Revolutionary leader Danton. The square was given its present name after the Reign of Terror ended in the hope that it would be a place of peace and harmony.More
#8

Grand Palais

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You'll probably notice the Grand Palais before you go there; its spectacular glass roof can be seen from several points in the city, and at certain times of the day the sunlight makes it seem like a steam-punk spaceship has landed near the Seine. But if you don't go inside you would be missing out on a spectacular space. Like many structures in the area, it was inaugurated in 1900 and since then, has hosted a wide variety of events, exhibitions and collections. From equestrian shows to Chanel fashion shows, from military hospital to a point of the WWII liberation of Paris, Parisians have always known to check out what's happening at the Grand Palais. There are also permanent exhibits, such as the science museum, National Society of Fine Arts and the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais.More
#9

Pont Alexandre III

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Arguably the most beautiful bridge in Paris, Pont Alexandre III was inaugurated in 1900 and crosses the Seine from Le Grand Palais to Invalides. If it looks familiar to you, that's because its elegant design and Art Nouveau elements have been featured in Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris, Adele's iconic video for her smash hit “Someone Like You” and even James Bond's film A View to a Kill. The theme of the bridge's coats of arms celebrates the alliance between France and Russia, with the Nymphs of the Seine and Neva Rivers. The four gilt statues symbolize Science, Art, Contemporary France and the “France of Charlemagne.”More
#10

Pont Neuf

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The white stone spans of Paris' oldest bridge, ironically called 'New Bridge', have linked the Île de la Cité with both banks of the Seine since 1607. That's when Henri IV inaugurated the bridge by riding across on a white stallion. The Pont Neuf and the nearby place Dauphine were used for public exhibitions in the 18th century. In the last century the bridge itself became an objet d'art on at least three occasions: in 1963, when School of Paris artist Nonda built, exhibited and lived in a huge Trojan horse of steel and wood on the bridge; in 1984 when the Japanese designer Kenzo covered it in flowers; and in 1985 when the Bulgarian-born 'environmental sculptor' Christo famously wrapped it in beige fabric.More

Trip ideas

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6 Must-See Paris Museums

Top activities in Paris

Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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3161
From
US$43.36
Paris Private Tour in Classic French Citroën

Paris Private Tour in Classic French Citroën

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108
From
US$196.42
per group

Recent reviews from experiences in Paris

star-5
Must to try in Paris!
Diana_M, Sep. 2020
French Wine and Champagne Tasting in Paris
Our host was extremely kind with clear explanations making of this opportunity a unique way to see Paris.
star-5
Lovely tour!
Eunice_N, Sep. 2020
Paris Discovery: Hop-on Hop-off Sightseeing Bus Tour
A really lovely tour, your able to hop on and off at the many attractions throughout Paris...
star-5
Gay Paris
Rory_W, Aug. 2020
Private Paris City Tour in an Electric Tuktuk
Fluent in English Full of facts and Funny remarks Highly recommend
star-5
Great!
Marie_A, Apr. 2020
City Sightseeing Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Very efficient and helpful to visit all Paris.
star-4
enjoyable but
Krysteena_L, Mar. 2020
Seine River Cruise & Moulin Rouge Show with Champagne Evening Experience
It was an awesome deal to see so much.
star-5
Skip the Line Eiffel
Aaron_A, Mar. 2020
Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Line Ticket with Summit Access & City of Lights Paris View
Our tour guide was very helpful and it’s a great way to see Paris!
star-5
Great guide
Melissa, Mar. 2020
Paris Your Perfect Day in the City Custom Private Tour
Would highly recommend if you are trying to see the most of the city and don’t have lots of time.
star-5
Perfect snapshot
Teagan, Mar. 2020
Paris Highlights Bike Tour with Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Notre-Dame
Get to see a snapshot of Paris.
star-5
Everything was amazing
M_Shep, Mar. 2020
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Dinner & Sightseeing Cruise
The service, food, boat and attractions were amazing.
star-5
Paris Segway by night
TOS, Mar. 2020
Paris Segway Tour with Eiffel Tower Ticket and Summit Access
A great way to see a lot in a short time by zooming around on a fun Segway.
star-4
Great way to spend half a day touring one of Paris's most sought after areas
Lewis_B, Feb. 2020
Montmartre Hill Sweet & Savory French Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour
Would definitely recommend this tour as a way to see an amazing part of Paris.
star-5
Friendly staff & driver:))
Che, Feb. 2020
Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
I really enjoyed my trip in Paris and using Big bus it’s very convenient to see all he landmarks!
star-4
Paris by Segway
Ken, Feb. 2020
Segway Eiffel Tour Paris
The tour was a great way to see Paris without a lot of walking.
star-5
Perfect way to see Paris
Kelli_M, Feb. 2020
Paris Private Tour in Classic French Citroën
Got to see the Eiffel Tower and other sites at sunset, also got amazing pictures!
star-5
Classic tour
David_M, Feb. 2020
Paris Private Tour in Classic French Citroën
Great afternoon in such an iconic car - this is a must if you want to see Paris with a top guide in a Car from the olden days - we loved it
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Paris in a day
Katherine_A, Feb. 2020
The prestigious tour to not miss anything of Paris
She spoke English well and was accommodating with our visit in Paris.
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Highlight of paris
Paula_S, Feb. 2020
Paris Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show with Champagne Only or Dinner
Absolutely amazing well worth going to see great acts and amazing costumes great atmosphere and lovely staff a must see in Paris
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Fun time
Paul, Feb. 2020
Big Bus Paris Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Good value for your money well worth getting for a city the size of Paris plenty of places to visit stop at the cafes at some stops and enjoy
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Ladies who lunch
Joanne_E, Feb. 2020
Bateaux Parisiens Seine River Gourmet Lunch & Sightseeing Cruise with Live Music
Such a perfect experience and great way to see Paris sights in luxury and at a relaxed pace of life!
star-5
The Highlight of my Trip to Paris
cpeacock1, Feb. 2020
Louvre Museum Skip the Line Access Guided Tour with Venus de Milo & Mona Lisa
Our guide Ruben was super, really knowledgeable, he took us on a perfect tour for 3 hours showing us and talking through the star attractions.

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