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The Ten Things You Simply Must See in Paris
Everyone falls in love with a different part of Paris. Whether you visit for the romantic gardens, the bohemian streets of Monmartre, the couture fashion, or the art history: there will always be another gem around the corner that you hadn't even dreamt of yet.
The crown jewel of the Paris skyline is even more spectacular up close. Booking Eiffel Tower tickets in advance will let you bypass the tourist crowds and go straight to the top.
Does it get any more romantic than a boat cruise down the Seine, taking in the sights and drinking champagne? Pro tip: You can get incredible Eiffel Tower photos from the river.
Dedicate a Parisian night to the Moulin Rouge. Go put on your best outfit, and make your way to the Pigalle District to pay homage to the birthplace of the can-can.
Musee du Louvre
It would take nine months to glance at every work of inside the Louvre museum. Prioritizing is key! A tour guide can help point out interesting pieces and keep you stress-free.
Palace of Versailles
There is no greater luxury than seeing this ornate splendor up close. Bike through the gardens of the Palace of Versailles, tour the king's apartments, and takes as many photos as they'll let you!
If you're looking for a little family fun, the European Magical Kingdom is located just outside the city. You can book transportation with your Disneyland Paris ticket, which is incredibly helpful.
The underground ossuaries of Paris house the remains of six million people. With its "World's Largest Grave" nickname, the Paris Catacombs are certainly a curiosity worth exploring.
Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame de Paris, French for "Our Lady of Paris," was one of the first buildings to use the flying buttress, making it a must-see for architecture tourism.
The Champs-Élysées, the 'world's most beautiful avenue', leads from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde and into the Tuileries garden. During Christmas, you'll see all those trees spectacularly alight.
Arc de Triomphe
Standing tall in the Place Charles de Gaulle, this monument honors those who fought in the French Revolution and Naploeonic War. Go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for incredible views.
Planning your Paris visit
What should you know before you arrive in Paris?
In a city this crowded with people and this steeped in tradition, you should plan out what you want to see in advance. Know which museums are a must-visit for your group. Make dinner reservations. Decide which neighborhoods you want to explore. Figure out how to beat the crowds at the Musee d'Orsay.
How big is Paris?
If you haven't been to Paris before, you may be surprised by how sprawling the city is compared to other, more walkable tourist destinations like Rome or Barcelona. (You can certainly walk -- but the Metro will definitely help you zip around quicker!) Try to organize your sightseeing by neighborhood, so that you're not racing across the city several times a day.
How many days should you spend in Paris?
Depends, of course! It really will help to prioritize what you want to see before you go and map out how long it will take you to see everything on your list. You could easily fill five days with tours and major attractions -- but remember to dedicate time to strolling down the Seine, shopping your way through the Marais, and drinking a Kir Royale at a sidewalk cafe.
Good to Know
Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
Best time to visitAs is European tradition, the French go on holiday for most of August -- meaning that it actually might be the best time to go! The city will be a little less crowded, and you'll be able to experience Paris at a slower pace.
Things to Do in Paris
Top Attractions in Paris
- 1 Eiffel Tower
- 2 Seine River
- 3 Musee du Louvre
- 4 Palace of Versailles
- 5 Moulin Rouge
- 6 Disneyland Paris
- 7 Paris Catacombs
- 8 Champs Elysees
- 9 Place de la Bastille
- 10 Notre Dame Cathedral
- 11 Hotel de Ville
- 12 Boulevard St. Germain
- 13 Arc de Triomphe
- 14 Montparnasse Tower
- 15 La Madeleine
- 16 Musee d'Orsay
- 17 Ile de la Cite
- 18 Les Invalides
- 19 Place de la Concorde
- 20 Pont Neuf
Other Sightseeing Options in Paris
Want to discover all there is to do in Paris? Click here for a full list.