20 Top Attractions and Things to Do in Paris, France

Eiffel Tower in Paris during sunset

While overrated to some and the destination of a lifetime of others, no one can argue that Paris is a “must-visit” city. It’s the City of Love and the City of Lights, and, as I like to call it, the City of Tourists! Paris honestly feels made for visitors, as there is simply so much to do and see. It’s impossible to turn over every stone on a vacation, so you might be scratching your head on what to do in Paris with a few days. Well, you’re in the right place. I’ve listed all the top things to do in Paris below, along with what makes them special and some personal tips. Bon voyage!

Eiffel Tower during pink sunset
Sacré-Coeur Basilica with tourists during sunset in Paris Montmartre
Paris Love Lock bridge near Notre Dame Cathedral

Eiffel Tower

Though it’s practically synonymous with the city of Paris today, the Eiffel Tower initially sparked much debate and controversy way back during its construction for the World’s Fair that year. Parisians feared it would be an ugly bunch of metal looming above the city. But once construction was completed, the masterpiece was such a hit that it stuck around.

Eiffel Tower during sunset

Today, no trip to Paris is complete without viewing the Eiffel Tower. You can do that simply by standing in front of it, which I recommend during both the daytime and nighttime, if you can. In the evening the Eiffel Tower lights up for five minutes at the top of every hour. You can also ride the glass elevator up to the tippy top, where there’s a champagne bar and restaurants. Purchase tickets for this up to two months in advance at the official site. Prices range from €10.40 to €25.90. And if you’re visiting between mid December and mid February, you can even ice skate on the Eiffel Tower. There really are so many different ways to experience Monsieur Eiffel!

Musée du Louvre & Louvre Pyramid

Today, the Louvre Museum is the largest and most-visited art museum in the world. But originally, it started out as the royal residence until King Louis XIV changed it to Versailles. Walking around inside The Louvre, this totally makes sense, as the building itself just as much art as its actual collections. Even if you’re not into art, you’ll probably find yourself here during your Paris trip to view Leonardo da Vinci’s infamous Mona Lisa painting, if for nothing else. This room gets insanely crowded, so hold onto your belongings for pickpockets. The Louvre is closed every Tuesday, and you can purchase tickets ahead on the official site for €17. From the outside, don’t forget to take cheesy pictures “holding” the top of the pyramid!

Louvre Museum statues inside pyramid

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Aside from being the star location of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is the most famous gothic cathedral from Europe’s Middle Ages. Sadly, it suffered a fire in 2019, after which it is still undergoing reconstruction and not open to the public. Check the official site for updates, and at least enjoy viewing the facade for now.

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris with tourists in front

Ile de la Cité

The Ile de la Cité is an island in the Seine River, which you’ll inevitably be on when visiting Notre Dame. It’s located smack dab in the middle of Paris, and it’s where Paris’ oldest settlement began. Besides the Cathedral of Notre Dame, other sights on the island include the Pont Neuf and the Pont de l’Archevêché.

Notre Dame Cathedral from back

Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile

Napoleon commissioned the iconic Arc de Triomphe to celebrate the French armies’ achievements. It’s located at the end of the Champs-Élysées, in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle. Pictures seriously don’t do the size of this thing justice; it’s huge! Visitors can climb to the top and enjoy views over Paris for €13. Purchase the ticket in advance on the official site.

Arc de Triomphe with sunlight coming through center

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is exactly what it sounds like; an avenue. But this is no ordinary avenue. It’s over 1 mile (2 kilometres) long, 230 feet (70 meters) wide, and often called “the world’s most beautiful avenue.” On this iconic street, tourists and Parisians alike enjoy the luxury boutiques, flagship stores, impressive restaurants, and nightclubs. No first-time visit to Paris is complete without scrolling this street. And as it’s located connecting the Arc de Triomphe and Place de la Concorde, it’s definitely not out of the way.

Champs-Élysées street in Paris with Arc de Triomphe in distance

Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde is one of Paris’ main squares. It’s located between the Jardin des Tuileries (which is at the edge of the Louvre) and the Champs-Élysées. Today, it’s one of the main squares in Paris. But it was formally an execution site during the French Revolution and where King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette were guillotined. The square is marked by the huge Luxor Obelisk. It was taken from the 3300 year-old Luxor Temple in Egypt, where the matching obelisk still remains.

Luxor Obelish in Paris Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde water fountain

Jardin des Tuileries

The Tuileries Gardens sit right between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde, so you’ll more than likely pass through without even trying. The garden was originally for the Tuileries Palace, but became the public park that it is today after the French Revolution.


The Panthéon was originally built as the Church of Sainte-Geneviève (the patron saint of Paris) over the site of a previous church. However, during the French Revolution, it was secularized and transformed into a “temple for Great Men.” where several notable French history-makers are buried inside the crypt. Admission into the Panthéon, which also offers panoramic Paris views from its top, is free the first Sunday of each month from November through March. Otherwise, entry is €11.50 from the official site.

Pantheon building in Paris France

Chateau de Versailles

It’s the most famous and largest palace complex in Europe, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, so it goes without saying that visiting the Palace of Versailles is an absolute must for a first-time visit to Paris. It’s located in the city of Versailles (shocker), just outside of Paris and easily reachable by train. The most famous room in the palace is the Hall of Mirrors, which symbolized insane wealth at a time when mirrors were a rarity. And the gardens are seriously on a level of their own! Entry into the gardens is free, except on Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens days. Tickets for everything else are €20, or €27 Fountains Shows and Musical Gardens days. I recommend purchasing these in advance online at the official site.

Versailles Palace front courtyard in France

Sacré-Coeur Basilica & Quartier Montmartre

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a popular evening hangout spot. It boasts amazing sunset views over all of Paris from its hilltop location. Entry to the church is free. It’s located in the Montmartre district of Paris, which is known for its charming look, art, and nightlife. This is probably the furthest out from the city center you’ll get within Paris, excluding of course a day trip to Versailles.

Sacré-Coeur Basilica during sunset in Paris Quartier Montmartre

Jardin du Luxembourg

Queen Marie de Medici initiated the Luxembourg Gardens, inspired by Boboli Gardens in her birthplace of Florence, Italy. The beautiful gardens are open to the public, where you can find tourists and locals alike.

Luxembourg Gardens in Paris with tourists

Pont Alexandre III

The Pont Alexandre III is Paris’s most ornate and beautiful bridge. It offers sweeping views of the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, and the Eiffel Tower. If you don’t get the chance to walk across it, Seine river cruises will float you underneath it.

Pont Alexandre III brigde in Paris France

Seine River Cruise

A river cruise along the famous Seine River is a time-efficient way to see several Paris top sights from a unique vantage point, all while relaxing on a boat. There are many options for this, some in the daytime, others at night and with dinner included! If you’re not feeling up for a cruise, consider packing a picnic and simply sitting alongside the Seine instead.

Notre Dame Cathedral from Seine River Cruise in Paris

Palais Garnier Opéra National de Paris

The Palais Garnier was the world’s largest opera house at the time it was built. However today, it’s mostly used for ballet and other dance. If you’re not viewing a performance, you can admire from outside for free (which is what I did), or book tickets on the official site for €14.

Palais Garnier and Eiffel Tower view from Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann rooftop

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

The Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann is the flagship location of the Galeries Lafayette department store chain. Even if you’re not interested to shop, I recommend stopping the free rooftop terrace. It’s open from 9:30am to 8:00pm.

Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann shopping in Paris

Moulin Rouge

Aside from the title and setting place of a movie starring Nicole Kidman, Moulin Rouge is a world-famous cabaret in Paris’s red light district. If you’re not interested in viewing one of the two performances each night at 9:00pm and 11:00pm, you can simply view the building from the outside (which is what I did). But if you are, book tickets in advance for the iconic Féerie show at the official website. Prices range from €77 to over €400, depending on the package.

Moulin Rouge in Paris at night

Les Catacombs de Paris

In the late 1700s, Paris authorities closed the city’s cemeteries, evacuated all the remains of the buried, and dumped the bones into what has since become known as the Catacombs. Some decades later, the Catacombs were open to the public and became a hit with French and foreign visitors alike. Purchase “last minute” tickets for the next day for €14 from the official site here, or in advance for €24 here.

Musée d’Orsay

While the Louvre is definitely the main museum in Paris, the Musée d’Orsay is also very popular. It houses mainly French art and impressionist art. Some famous works include Vincent van Gogh’s self portrait and work by Monet. Purchase tickets in advance at the official site for €14. The museum is closed every Monday, and entry is free the first Sunday of the month.

Musée de l’Orangerie

The Musée de l’Orangerie is an art gallery located in the Tuileries Gardens, known for its collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings. It’s especially famous for its series of large Water Lilies paintings by Monet. Entry is free the first Sunday of every month. Otherwise, it will set you back €6.50 and can be booked in advance on the official site.

What Do You Think of Paris?

Have you been to Paris before? Did you see all the things to do in Paris that I’ve listed above? Do you have any suggestions for my next visit? I’m always on the lookout for some hidden gems! Let me know in the comments below.

Save This Article on Pinterest to Return to Later

Paris travel soon? Wondering what to do in Paris France? This article share the top 20 things to do in Paris. Very easy to fit all attractions in 3 days in Paris. Perfect activities for summer, fall, winter, or spring, and many are free things to do! Enjoy exploring this bucket list destination.


  • Destiny
    January 29, 2021 at 6:15 AM

    Can’t wait to be able to travel internationally again! Paris is definitely on my list. And so cool that you can ice skate on the Eiffel Tower! I had no idea! Hoping to check off everything on this list when I visit!

    • That Travelista
      March 15, 2021 at 7:30 PM

      I’m sure you’ll have an awesome trip!

  • Al
    January 29, 2021 at 5:25 AM

    I’ve been to Paris before but this makes me want to revisit! pinning it for later hopefully when I can go back!

    • That Travelista
      March 15, 2021 at 7:29 PM

      I’ve only been once and want to revisit too!

  • Umiko
    January 28, 2021 at 11:30 AM

    I’ve been to Paris once and I’m glad I’ve got to see some of the attractions listed here. I know I must go back to finish visiting all the top attractions in the city.

    • That Travelista
      March 15, 2021 at 7:29 PM

      There are honestly SO many attractions in Paris, it’s a little overwhelming!

  • Sarah Camp | In Search of Sarah
    January 28, 2021 at 10:51 AM

    Paris is always a good idea! We hoped to visit this year but sadly it looks like this’ll be pushed back. I haven’t been since I was a kid and cannot wait to revisit as an adult. LOVE Paris and all it’s beauty! Great tips!

    • That Travelista
      March 15, 2021 at 7:28 PM

      Aw hopefully it’s all the more sweet when you finally can return 🙁

  • Shelley
    January 28, 2021 at 6:08 AM

    Paris has been my bucket list trip for sooo long. When it’s safe again, I am headed straight there & I hope to check out all places you mentioned.

    • That Travelista
      March 15, 2021 at 7:28 PM

      I hope to head (back) there too once it’s safe!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.