Top 20 Best Things To Do In Paris City

The enchanting array of attractions in the City of Love can be a delightful challenge, given the city’s expansive layout and diverse neighborhoods, each weaving its distinctive tale. Paris offers a plethora of options, whether you prefer strolls through its world-class art galleries, guided tours of its iconic landmarks, or the opportunity to emulate an Emily in Paris style with a chic outfit for a breakfast that’s Instagram-ready. 

Alternatively, for the ambitious traveler, attempting to encompass the entirety of Paris in a three-day sojourn is a commendable endeavor. Regardless of your chosen approach to exploring this vibrant city, certain experiences are indispensable. To simplify your planning, we’ve curated a list of the 20 must-try activities in Paris. 

List of 20 Best Things To Do In Paris City

Here is the comprehensive list of the 20 best things to do in Paris city to ensure that you won’t miss out on the best that Paris has to offer.

  1. Eiffel Tower Visit
  2. Louvre Museum
  3. Montmartre Walk
  4. Seine River Cruise
  5. Notre-Dame Cathedral
  6. Champs-Élysées Shopping
  7. Sacré-Cœur Basilica
  8. Sainte-Chapelle
  9. Musée d’Orsay
  10. Luxembourg Gardens
  11. Versailles Palace
  12. Picnic by the Seine
  13. Saint-Germain-des-Prés
  14. Catacombs of Paris
  15. Musée Rodin
  16. Père Lachaise Cemetery
  17. Moulin Rouge Show
  18. Le Marais
  19. Île de la Cité
  20. Opera Garnier

1. Eiffel Tower Visit

A visit to the Eiffel Tower offers an immersive experience that goes beyond simply admiring its magnificent architecture. Climb its storeys to enjoy the cityscape from various heights and unmatched panoramic views of Paris. Savor the Parisian atmosphere and have a laid-back picnic under the shade of the tower at Champ de Mars. Taking a leisurely boat ride on the Seine River provides a captivating view of the Eiffel Tower, with its magnificence amplified against the surrounding water. 

When you eat at one of the tower’s restaurants, you can enjoy Paris from a unique perspective while enjoying a delicious meal. Especially around dusk or at night when it lights up the city, capture the tower’s attraction with a camera. For beautiful views and a calm atmosphere, stroll through Trocadéro Gardens. Embracing Parisian charm and making lifelong memories are all part of visiting the Eiffel Tower, in addition to taking in the view of this iconic monument. 

2. Louvre Museum

Exploring the Louvre Museum in Paris is a captivating journey into the heart of art and history. Begin by marveling at timeless masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, absorbing the depth of artistic brilliance spanning centuries. Wander through diverse collections, from ancient artifacts to Renaissance paintings, each corridor housing cultural treasures worth discovering.

Exploring the Louvre Museum in Paris is a captivating journey into the heart of art and history. Begin by marveling at timeless masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, absorbing the depth of artistic brilliance spanning centuries. Wander through diverse collections, from ancient artifacts to Renaissance paintings, each corridor housing cultural treasures worth discovering.

Aside from the art, appreciate the museum’s architectural beauty, blending historical magnificence with modern elements, epitomized by the iconic glass pyramid entrance. Engage in thematic trails or guided tours to delve deeper into specific periods or artists, unraveling the stories behind the artwork.

Take a moment to wander through opulent spaces like the Napoleon III Apartments, offering a glimpse into royal luxury and historical grandeur. Adjacent to the Louvre, the Tuileries Garden provides a serene escape—a perfect spot to unwind amidst lush landscapes and picturesque fountains after immersing in art.

Don’t miss cultural events and temporary exhibitions within the museum, providing contemporary perspectives on art and history. Visiting the Louvre transcends merely viewing art; it’s an immersive odyssey through human creativity and cultural heritage, inviting visitors to explore, appreciate, and be inspired.

3. Montmartre Walk

Wandering through Montmartre unveils a charming blend of art, history, and bohemian vibes. Begin by strolling through the cobbled streets, soaking in the artistic ambiance that once inspired renowned painters like Picasso and Van Gogh. Explore the Place du Tertre, bustling with street artists and painters displaying their talents—a vibrant scene capturing the essence of Montmartre’s creative spirit.

Ascend the hill to the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica, offering panoramic views of Paris that are both breathtaking and serene. The basilica’s stunning architecture and the peaceful atmosphere inside make it a must-visit spot.

Discover hidden gems like the vineyard of Clos Montmartre, a surprising slice of countryside within the city, and the historic Lapin Agile cabaret, steeped in artistic history and storytelling.

Unwind in quaint cafes or indulge in delectable pastries at local bakeries, savoring the essence of Parisian café culture. Montmartre’s ambiance, with its artistic allure and historical richness, invites visitors to explore its winding streets, discover artistic treasures, and bask in the enchanting atmosphere that defines this iconic neighborhood.

4. Seine River Cruise

Embarking on a Seine River cruise in Paris offers a captivating perspective of the city’s iconic landmarks. Glide along the gentle currents while beholding a picturesque panorama of Parisian beauty. Admire architectural marvels like the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Louvre Museum, which take on a whole new allure when viewed from the water.

As the cruise meanders through the heart of Paris, absorb the historical significance and cultural richness of the city. The commentary provided on some cruises enhances the experience, offering insights into the landmarks and their stories.

For an added touch of romance, evening cruises illuminate the monuments, transforming the cityscape into a breathtaking spectacle of lights and colors. The ambiance of the Seine, especially at sunset or under the twinkling night sky, creates an unforgettable atmosphere for couples and travelers alike.

Indulge in delightful refreshments or gourmet meals aboard some cruises, elevating the experience with fine dining against the backdrop of Parisian landmarks.

A Seine River cruise isn’t just a boat ride; it’s an immersive journey that paints the history, culture, and romance of Paris onto the waters, providing a unique and enchanting perspective of the City of Lights.

5. Notre-Dame Cathedral

A trip to Paris’s Notre-Dame Cathedral involves one in centuries of artistic creation, spiritual meaning, and history. Start by admiring the cathedral’s remarkable Gothic design, which is enhanced with exquisite stone carvings and stunning rose windows that vividly depict biblical tales. 

Climb the towers for a bird’s-eye perspective over Paris, where the famous gargoyles watch over the cityscape, providing a singular viewpoint on its magnificence. Explore the interior of the cathedral, where imposing vaulted ceilings, elaborate sculptures, and breathtaking stained glass windows evoke a sense of awe and reverence.

Discover the historic past of the location by exploring the crypt beneath the cathedral, which is home to artifacts and relics from archaeology. Learn about Notre-Dame’s background and significance by exploring educational exhibits and displays.

See a religious service or just take in the calm atmosphere while admiring this architectural wonder’s dance of light and shadows. Give careful attention to the fine details on the facade; every sculpture and component narrates a tale of artistry and faith.

A visit to Notre-Dame is a meaningful and enriching experience in the center of Paris and offers more than just the chance to admire a historical structure. It’s also a chance to connect with centuries of culture, art, and spirituality.

6. Champs-Élysées Shopping

Exploring the Champs-Élysées for a luxurious and diverse retail experience in the heart of Paris. Begin by perusing high-end boutiques and flagship stores lining this iconic avenue, where renowned fashion houses showcase their latest collections. Discover fashion-forward trends and designer labels while indulging in a premium shopping spree. 

Pause at iconic landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe, situated at one end of the avenue, offering a majestic backdrop to your shopping excursion. Explore the diverse range of stores catering to various tastes and budgets, from luxury brands to international retailers, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

Enjoy the ambiance of the Champs-Élysées, not just for shopping but also for the vibrant atmosphere. Relax in sidewalk cafes, savoring gourmet treats or enjoying a leisurely meal amidst the hustle and bustle of this renowned avenue.

During festive seasons like Christmas, witness the enchanting illumination of the avenue with dazzling lights and decorations, creating a magical and festive shopping experience.

Whether you’re seeking high-end fashion, unique souvenirs, or a taste of Parisian elegance, the Champs-Élysées beckons with its exclusive shops, vibrant atmosphere, and an ideal blend of luxury and style.

7. Sacré-Cœur Basilica

Located above Montmartre, the Sacré-Coeur Basilica serves as both a religious site and a panoramic entryway into the allure of Paris. Start by walking up the hill and take a stroll through quaint streets that are crowded with musicians and artisans. Visitors are enthralled with the basilica’s Romano-Byzantine grandeur and its white domes even before they step inside. 

Step inside the basilica and be amazed by its calm interior, which is decorated with elaborate mosaics, sweeping arches, and windows made of stained glass that cast a mysterious light over the room. Enjoy the holy ambiance that fills the sanctuary as you attend a religious service or take time for introspection.

Climb the dome for breathtaking vistas of Paris that encircle the city and provide an unmatched view of famous sites set against the backdrop of the enormous city. From this vantage point, the view of Notre Dame, the Seine River meandering down, and the Eiffel Tower is just mesmerizing. 

Unwind in the nearby square while taking in the breathtaking views, observing artists at work, and indulging in delicious fare from the local cafés. The Sacré-Coeur Basilica is more than simply a place of worship; it’s a beautiful and cultural landmark that welcomes people to experience spirituality, artistic expression, and breath-taking vistas of the City of Light.

8. Sainte-Chapelle

Sainte-Chapelle, a gem of Gothic architecture in Paris, offers a captivating experience. Upon visiting, admire the stunning stained glass windows that adorn the upper chapel, renowned for their vibrant colors and intricate designs. These windows depict biblical stories, creating a mesmerizing play of light inside the chapel, particularly during sunny days.

Take time to explore the upper and lower chapels, each possessing its unique charm. The lower chapel, though smaller, boasts its own set of elegant vaulted ceilings and decorative elements that complement the grandeur of the upper chapel. Notice the exquisite details in the stone carvings and sculptures adorning the interiors, showcasing the craftsmanship of its time.

Immerse yourself in the historical ambiance, imagining the chapel’s significance during medieval times. Consider opting for a guided tour to uncover the fascinating stories and historical context behind this architectural marvel. Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the intricate details and the ethereal beauty of Sainte-Chapelle with your camera, as every corner holds artistic treasures worth preserving in memory.

9. Musée d’Orsay

Visiting the Musée d’Orsay in Paris promises an enriching exploration of art and history. Begin by marveling at its impressive collection of 19th and early 20th-century art, featuring masterpieces by renowned artists like Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Degas. Take your time to appreciate the iconic works, from Monet’s ethereal water lilies to Van Gogh’s vibrant and emotive paintings.

Exploring the museum’s vast galleries unveils diverse artistic movements, from Impressionism to Post-Impressionism, Symbolism, and more. Don’t miss the museum’s architectural beauty, housed within a former railway station, featuring grand interiors adorned with intricate details.

Consider joining a guided tour or audio guide to gain deeper insights into the artworks and the artists’ lives, allowing a more comprehensive understanding of their creative processes and historical contexts. As you wander through the museum, take moments to absorb the ambiance, letting the art evoke emotions and inspire contemplation.

Climb to the top floor for a breathtaking view of Paris through the museum’s clock window, offering a unique perspective of the city’s skyline. Lastly, capture your favorite artworks or corners of the museum to cherish these artistic treasures long after your visit.

10. Luxembourg Gardens

Luxembourg Gardens, a verdant oasis in Paris, invites visitors to embrace tranquility amidst vibrant greenery and elegant landscaping. Start by strolling along tree-lined pathways that lead to picturesque settings filled with meticulously maintained flowerbeds, fountains, and sculptures. Find a seat near the Medici Fountain, a serene spot embraced by lush foliage, perfect for unwinding or observing the serene water features.

Engage in the quintessential Parisian activity of renting a wooden sailboat to sail in the park’s central pond. Watch as these miniature vessels gracefully glide across the water, a delightful pastime for both children and adults alike.

The gardens offer numerous activities to enjoy. Admire the diverse flora in the orchard and botanical garden, or visit the apiary to learn about bees and their importance in nature. For a cultural experience, explore the Luxembourg Palace, home to the French Senate, and marvel at its regal architecture.

Indulge in leisurely moments by finding a bench or a grassy patch to sit, read, or people-watch. Bring along a picnic and savor a delightful meal amidst this scenic backdrop, complete with the charming melodies of nearby musicians. Luxembourg Gardens seamlessly blend natural beauty with cultural richness, creating an idyllic escape within the heart of Paris.

11. Versailles Palace

A visit to the opulent Versailles Palace promises a remarkable journey into France’s grandeur and history. Begin by exploring the resplendent Palace interiors adorned with ornate decorations, intricate artworks, and lavish furnishings. Witness the grandeur of the Hall of Mirrors, a magnificent hall lined with seventeen mirrored arches reflecting the palace gardens through its gleaming mirrors.

Take a leisurely stroll through the meticulously landscaped gardens sprawling across vast hectares. Discover the meticulously manicured lawns, intricate flowerbeds, and awe-inspiring fountains. Consider renting a bicycle or a golf cart to explore the extensive grounds, uncovering hidden groves, statues, and charming pathways.

Explore the Trianon Palaces and Marie-Antoinette’s estate, offering a glimpse into the private lives of the royals. Wander through the Petite Trianon and the Queen’s Hamlet, where Marie-Antoinette sought refuge from the formalities of court life.

Engage in the captivating musical fountain shows or the grand Musical Gardens events, where the fountains come alive in synchrony with classical music, adding a magical touch to the visit.

Allow ample time to absorb the Palace’s historical significance, architectural brilliance, and the stories of its illustrious residents. Versailles Palace stands as a testament to France’s rich heritage and remains a mesmerizing attraction for visitors worldwide.

12. Picnic by the Seine

A picnic by the Seine River in Paris offers an enchanting and laid-back experience, offering a serene escape amidst the city’s bustling ambiance. Start by choosing the perfect spot along the riverbanks, adorned with charming views of iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame Cathedral, and quaint bridges that add a picturesque backdrop to your outing.

Pack a basket filled with delectable French delights, such as fresh baguettes, artisanal cheeses, flavorful charcuterie, and delicious pastries from local bakeries or markets. Complement your meal with a bottle of wine or some refreshing beverages for a true Parisian picnic indulgence.

Spread out a blanket or find a cozy bench overlooking the river and indulge in leisurely dining while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. Watch as boats cruise by, artists sketch the scenery, or locals engage in lively conversations nearby, adding to the ambiance.

Engage in leisurely activities like people-watching, reading a book, or simply basking in the beauty of the Seine’s gentle flow. As the sun sets, witness the city come alive with enchanting lights, creating a romantic and magical atmosphere perfect for a memorable evening by the Seine. A Seine-side picnic offers a delightful blend of Parisian charm, scenic beauty, and culinary indulgence, creating unforgettable moments along the riverbanks.

13. Saint-Germain-des-Prés

Saint-Germain-des-Prés, nestled in the heart of Paris, offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and vibrant energy. Begin your exploration by wandering through its cobblestone streets lined with quaint cafes, trendy boutiques, and historic landmarks. Delve into the neighborhood’s artistic legacy by visiting iconic spots like Café de Flore or Les Deux Magots, once frequented by renowned intellectuals and artists like Hemingway and Picasso.

Explore the area’s artistic essence by visiting the renowned art galleries and antique shops, showcasing an array of contemporary and classic artworks. Admire the stunning architecture of the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Church, an ancient Benedictine abbey dating back to the 6th century, with its imposing tower dominating the skyline.

Indulge in a culinary adventure by sampling delectable pastries from renowned patisseries or savoring gourmet cuisine at one of the neighborhood’s Michelin-starred restaurants. Discover hidden squares adorned with charming fountains and lush greenery, inviting you to relax and soak in the neighborhood’s authentic Parisian vibe.

Engage in the local scene by attending live jazz performances or browsing through bookshops offering literary treasures. Saint-Germain-des-Prés encapsulates the essence of Parisian sophistication, offering a delightful blend of history, culture, and contemporary charm waiting to be explored.

14. Catacombs of Paris

The Catacombs of Paris are a unique and fascinating tunnel that contains thousands of years of history. Explore these mysterious frightening tunnels that descend beneath the city’s streets. They are packed with neatly stacked human bones that are arranged in horrific yet oddly artistic designs. The remains of millions of Parisians who were moved here from overcrowded graves in the 18th and 19th centuries are kept in this underground ossuary, which gives the place an ethereal feel. 

As you venture through the dimly lit passages, discover historical inscriptions and ossuary decorations, and learn about the Catacombs’ role in Parisian history. Engage with the audio guide or guided tours to gain insight into the catacombs’ significance and the stories behind this haunting site.

Due to the limited capacity and popularity of this attraction, consider arriving early or booking tickets in advance to avoid long queues. A visit to the Catacombs offers a chilling yet captivating journey into Paris’s hidden underworld, providing a memorable and thought-provoking experience for those intrigued by history’s darker facets.

15. Musée Rodin

When visiting Musée Rodin in Paris, immerse yourself in the world of the iconic sculptor, Auguste Rodin. Begin by exploring the beautifully manicured gardens adorned with some of his most famous works, including “The Thinker” and “The Gates of Hell.” Stroll through this serene space, allowing the sculptures to evoke emotions and contemplation as intended by the artist.

Inside the museum, marvel at Rodin’s diverse collection, showcasing his mastery of sculpting human forms. Admire sculptures like “The Kiss” and “The Burghers of Calais,” each piece revealing Rodin’s skill in capturing raw emotion and movement in stone and bronze.

Take your time to study the smaller works, sketches, and studies displayed throughout the galleries, offering insight into Rodin’s creative process and evolution as an artist.

Consider joining a guided tour or utilizing audio guides available in multiple languages to gain deeper insights into Rodin’s life, artistic vision, and the significance of his creations.

Before leaving, savor a moment of reflection in the museum’s charming café, surrounded by the tranquil ambiance that complements the artistic experience. Reflect on the beauty and profound impact of Rodin’s sculptures, which continue to captivate and inspire visitors from around the globe.

16. Père Lachaise Cemetery

A visit to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris offers a unique and serene experience steeped in history, art, and contemplation. Wander through its mystifying pathways, surrounded by a vast array of ornate tombs, mausoleums, and intricate gravestones, each with its own story to tell.

Discover the final resting places of notable figures like Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, and Frédéric Chopin among the thousands of graves. Pay homage to these influential personalities while admiring the diverse architectural styles and artistic details of their memorials.

Exploring this peaceful haven offers more than just a glimpse into the lives of the departed; it’s an opportunity to appreciate the cemetery’s natural beauty. Stroll along tree-lined avenues and through shaded alleys adorned with statues, flowers, and ivy-covered monuments, creating an atmosphere of tranquility amidst the bustling city.

As you wander, take in the quiet ambiance, allowing moments for reflection and contemplation. Capture the solemn yet serene ambiance with a camera, but always maintaining respect for the site’s significance as a resting place.

17. Moulin Rouge Show

A visit to the Moulin Rouge promises an unforgettable evening of glamour, music, and cabaret in the heart of Paris. As the iconic red windmill sets the stage, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of this legendary venue.

The highlight of the evening is the world-renowned cabaret show, a dazzling spectacle featuring extravagant costumes, high-energy dance routines and mesmerizing performances. Be captivated by the talented dancers, singers, and acrobats who bring to life the spirit of the Belle Époque, delivering a feast for the senses with their artistry and precision. 

Savor a sumptuous dinner before the show, indulging in French gastronomy paired with fine champagne, setting the mood for the glamorous entertainment that follows.

The Moulin Rouge experience is not just a show; it’s a celebration of Parisian culture and the artistic heritage that has made this venue an enduring symbol of romance and entertainment. After the curtain falls on the spectacular performance, step out into the Parisian night, carrying with you the memories of a truly magical evening at the world-famous Moulin Rouge.

18. Le Marais

Le Marais, a historic neighborhood in Paris, invites tourists to visit its labyrinthine streets steeped in rich cultural heritage and contemporary charm. Begin by exploring the district’s architectural marvels, ranging from medieval buildings to elegant mansions, each narrating a story of Parisian history. 

Delve into the vibrant art scene that thrives in Le Marais, with its myriad of galleries, boutiques, and ateliers showcasing both established and emerging artists’ works. Discover unique fashion boutiques, vintage shops, and concept stores that add a trendy and eclectic vibe to the area.

Savor the culinary delights offered in Le Marais, from quaint cafés to gourmet bistros and bustling food markets. Indulge in traditional French pastries, artisanal chocolates, or a leisurely meal at a charming sidewalk café, soaking in the neighborhood’s lively ambiance.

Visit cultural landmarks like the Place des Vosges, a stunning square surrounded by elegant arcades and lush gardens, perfect for a relaxing moment amidst the city buzz.

Immerse yourself in the neighborhood’s LGBTQ+ scene, with its inclusive bars, clubs, and community spaces, adding to the district’s diverse and welcoming atmosphere.

As night falls, experience the vibrant nightlife of Le Marais, with its array of bars, jazz clubs, and trendy nightlife spots that cater to every taste.

20. Île de la Cité

Île de la Cité, the historic heart of Paris, invites visitors to explore its iconic landmarks. Begin your journey at the majestic Notre-Dame Cathedral, an architectural marvel adorned with stunning stained glass windows and intricate sculptures. Admire the grandeur of this Gothic masterpiece and learn about its captivating history. 

Wander along the charming streets, taking in the picturesque views of the Seine River and the Pont Neuf, the oldest standing bridge in Paris. Discover hidden gems like the Square du Vert-Galant, a tranquil park offering a peaceful escape with its lush greenery and panoramic river views.

Uncover the fascinating stories of the Conciergerie, a former royal palace turned prison during the French Revolution, where Marie Antoinette was held before her execution. Explore its historic halls and dungeons, delving into France’s tumultuous past.

Indulge in the culinary delights offered by the quaint cafés and brasseries that dot the island, providing a perfect setting to savor French pastries or enjoy a leisurely meal with a view of the Seine.

Île de la Cité encapsulates the essence of Parisian history, art, and culture, inviting visitors to step back in time while enjoying its timeless beauty and significant landmarks.


Paris offers a tapestry of experiences, from the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral to the romantic Seine River cruises. Whether strolling through Montmartre’s artistic streets or immersing in the chic vibe of Le Marais, the City of Love captivates with its timeless charm and cultural treasures. Paris promises a memorable journey, where every landmark and neighborhood contributes to the city’s unique allure.


Is it feasible to explore Paris within a three-day timeframe?

Although Paris may seem vast, it’s surprisingly compact, almost comparable in size to Houston, Texas. With careful planning, you can certainly cover the major attractions in just three days. We have an ideal itinerary to kickstart your journey.

What are the key attractions in Paris that one should not overlook?

Unmissable sights in Paris include iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, the charming streets of Montmartre, and the enchanting Seine River. These are must-see experiences that contribute to the essence of the city.

What other renowned aspects does Paris have?

Paris is famous for its culinary excellence, boasting a plethora of bistros, patisseries, and gourmet delights. The city is a global fashion hub, housing renowned designers and chic boutiques. Paris is also celebrated for its rich artistic heritage, with world-class museums like the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay. Beyond these, the charming Seine River, historic neighborhoods like Montmartre, and the vibrant cultural scene contribute to the city’s multifaceted fame.

Oleksandra Mamchii

Working as a academic lead at Best Diplomats.

Leave a Reply