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Things to do in

Paris

A city so synonymous with beauty, even the least romantic are defenseless against its charms.

Our most recommended things to do in Paris

Versailles: Skip-the-Line Tour of Palace with Gardens Access

1. Versailles: Skip-the-Line Tour of Palace with Gardens Access

Discover the opulence, beauty, and history of Versailles Palace on an interactive guided tour. Access the palace through a separate entrance to begin your tour and then you head off to the famous gardens with a guide or on your own. During the 90-minute tour of the main palace, see the State Apartments, the King's Bedroom, and the emblematic Hall of Mirrors. Learn about the main figures of the French monarchy, from King Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette. Hear about the fascinating historical events that took place in many of the palace’s rooms, before stepping out to explore the vast gardens complex with your guide or on your own. Marvel at the gardens' grandeur, its bronze statues, and ornamental basins accompanied by rows of large trees. If visiting with a guide, gain fascinating insights about the garden on a 45-minute tour.

From Paris: Versailles Skip-the-Line Tour & Gardens Access

2. From Paris: Versailles Skip-the-Line Tour & Gardens Access

Travel from Paris on this half-day trip to Versailles. Save time with skip-the-line tickets, a convenient return transfer, and an engaging tour of Versailles Palace and its historic rooms and chambers. Start by meeting at a central point in Paris and transfer by bus to Versailles. Upon arrival, access the palace through a separate entrance. Then, discover the opulence, beauty, and history of the palace on an interactive guided tour. During the 90-minute tour, see the State Apartments, the King's Bedroom, and the emblematic Hall of Mirrors. Learn about the main figures of the French monarchy, from King Louis XIV to Marie Antoinette. Hear about the many fascinating historical events that took place in the palace's rooms. After your tour of the palace, take some free time to stroll around the beautiful French Gardens. After some time exploring the gardens by yourself, hop back on the bus for your journey back to central Paris.

Versailles: Palace of Versailles Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

3. Versailles: Palace of Versailles Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

Discover the splendor, beauty, and history of Versailles Palace on a guided tour with skip-the-line tickets. Step inside via a priority entrance and follow an expert guide through the lavish halls of this iconic French architectural masterpiece. Arrive at the meeting point to meet your guide who will give you a friendly introduction about the royal complex and lead you inside to begin exploring one of the largest palaces in the world. See the ornate King's and Queen's State Apartments and the glittering Hall of Mirrors, one of the most emblematic rooms in the Versailles Château and where many events of great historic significance took place, including the Treaty of Versailles. Learn about the main figures of the French monarchy, from King Louis XVI to his wife, Marie Antoinette. Listen as your guide brings these legendary characters to life with entertaining storytelling. Enjoy plenty of opportunities to ask questions during this interactive tour. Afterward, feel free to explore the palace or stroll through the gardens on your own. Please note that, on certain days between April and October, there may be a fee to access the gardens.

Versailles: Palace of Versailles and Marie Antoinette Tour

4. Versailles: Palace of Versailles and Marie Antoinette Tour

Walk in the footsteps of the “Sun King”, Louis XIV, on a guided tour of his opulent residence, the Palace of Versailles. You will also visit the château of Petit Trianon, located on the grounds of the Palace, which was once the private retreat of Marie Antoinette. Skip the long lines with your priority access ticket and discover the opulence, beauty, and history of the Palace of Versailles on a guided tour. During the 90-minute tour of the main palace, see King and Queen's State Apartments, the King's Bedroom, and the emblematic Hall of Mirrors. Learn about the main figures of the French monarchy throughout the centuries. Hear about the fascinating historical events that took place in many of the palace’s rooms. Then, step out into the lush gardens surrounding the palace. Enjoy a guided tour through the beautiful grounds and feel like a member of past royalty as you marvel at the gardens' grandeur, bronze statues, and ornamental basins accompanied by rows of large trees. Afterward, meet up with your guide and visit Marie Antoinette’s private estate of the Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen's Hamlet. Explore the building which was designed for her to escape from her royal duties. Learn about her private life away from the pomp and ceremony of the Palace.

Paris: 1-hour River Seine Cruise

5. Paris: 1-hour River Seine Cruise

Embark on a roundtrip cruise on the River Seine that begins at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Glide under the bridges of Paris and marvel at a succession of beautiful monuments along the waterway as you listen to commentary about Paris and the sights you pass by. During your cruise, you pass by the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Hotel de Ville, The Louvre, and more. Choose to take your cruise at night for another perspective of the "City of Light" altogether as the city becomes illuminated when evening approaches.  Individual audio guides are available in 14 languages and provide commentary about Paris and its history, monuments, and architecture. Please note the audio guide is available through your smartphone by connecting to the Wi-Fi onboard.

Paris: 1-Hour Illuminations River Cruise

6. Paris: 1-Hour Illuminations River Cruise

Take a night cruise on the River Seine and enjoy spectacular views of Paris illuminated against the night sky. Enjoy informative audio commentary on your smartphone as you cruise on this boat trip past the city's most famous buildings. Embark on this round trip boat excursion to see Paris by night. Listen to the on board audio-guide commentary on your smartphone (available in 14 languages) to learn more about the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, and other attractions. Glide gently through the Paris of today and yesterday as you enjoy panoramic views from the classic trimaran boat, with terrace and exterior passageways. Marvel at the illuminated sights such as the Eiffel Tower, Les Invalides, and Musée d’Orsay. See the spooky gargoyles of Notre Dame, and pass the imposing façade of the Louvre Museum, Grand Palais, and many more sites.

Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket

7. Disneyland Paris 1-Day Ticket

Disneyland® Park: In a fantasy world not so far away, Disney heroes and heroines live in fairytales that are, happily, never-ending. Enjoy endless fun in different magical lands. Experience your favorite Disney stories just as you remember them from the classic Disney films. Here's where fairytales really do come true. Thrills at Disneyland® Park come in all shapes and sizes. Big Thunder Mountain and Star Wars® Hyperspace Mountain offer a rush for the grown-ups, while little ones can sail around the world at 'It's a Small World.' Of course, family fun can be found in every corner of the Park, from the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' to the 'Mad Hatter's Tea Cups.' Meet Disney characters. Don't miss the main attraction: a meet 'n' greet with beloved Disney characters. Have your pen and camera at the ready and meet the characters you love. Every day is a party at Disneyland® Park. On top of all the wonderful attractions and characters, there are lots of spectacular family parades and shows to enjoy all year round. This year, enjoy the 30th Anniversary festive aura, including music and decoration, as it transforms the park into a vibrant wonderland. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, and Daisy are delighted to show their dazzling new outfits and dance on a joyful daytime show specially created for the 30th Anniversary. As night falls, prepare to be amazed as a brand-new, magical moment uses ground-breaking technology to illuminate Sleeping Beauty Castle, followed by the spectacular Disney Illuminations. Walt Disney Studios® Park: Discover the magical world of cinema and television at Walt Disney Studios® Park. Explore 4 cinemagical studio lots featuring thrilling attractions and spectacular shows. Take center stage at the Studios, just footsteps away from Disneyland® Park. You never know which star you might meet. Go behind the scenes and try Worlds of Pixar area. Get whisked off to colorful worlds full of attractions, entertainment, food and fun with Characters in settings straight from Ratatouille, Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and beyond. Last but not least, Get ready for an epic new land opening at Disneyland Paris. And as a new recruit, you’ll team up with the Avengers and take on the mightiest MARVEL missions.

Paris: Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket

8. Paris: Louvre Museum Timed-Entrance Ticket

Explore the Louvre at your own pace with a timed-entrance ticket, ensuring you get in within 30 minutes. See unmissable and iconic artwork such as the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo. Discover Renaissance masterpieces and ancient Egyptian relics, along with paintings from the 13th to 20th centuries. The museum first opened on August 10, 1793, exhibiting just 537 paintings. Despite closing in 1796 due to structural problems, it reopened in 1801 as the Musée Napoléon with a larger collection.  The collection has since gained 20,000 works. Now, there are 8 departments: Egyptian Antiquities; Near Eastern Antiquities; Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities; Islamic Art; Sculpture; Decorative Arts; Paintings; and Prints and Drawings.

Paris: Versailles Palace and Gardens Full Access Ticket

9. Paris: Versailles Palace and Gardens Full Access Ticket

Visit the Palace and Gardens of Versailles with a pre-booked 1-day or 2-day full access pass. Explore the ornate State Apartments and breathtaking Hall of Mirrors inside the official residence of the French monarchy from 1682 to 1789. Learn more about Louis XIV and other French royals. Get a sense of life in the French court as you take a walk through the glittering Hall of Mirrors. Stroll through the legendary gardens at your own pace, and admire fountains, sculptures, and beautifully manicured lawns. Enjoy access to the Grand and Petit Trianon in their own grounds. See where the “Sun King” would entertain in private, and where he would go to escape the rigors of court life. Then, go to Marie Antoinette’s Estate, and discover where she would seek refuge in private.

Paris: Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show Ticket with Champagne

10. Paris: Moulin Rouge Cabaret Show Ticket with Champagne

Take your seat at one of the world’s most famous cabarets at a performance of the Moulin Rouge show “Féerie,” created by Doris Haug and Ruggero Angeletti, and choreographed by Bill Goodson. Watch a troupe of 100 artists, including 60 Doris Girls, and a parade in 1,000 costumes of feathers, rhinestones, and sequins designed by Corrado Collabucci. See Gaetano Castelli's set designs and listen to music by Pierre Porte, produced by 80 musicians and 60 choral singers. During the show, enjoy half a bottle of Champagne as you relish an extravagant oral and aural delight. Feast your eyes on a lavish collection of colors and performances as you behold the splendor of this legendary cabaret.

Frequently asked questions about Paris

What top attractions are a must-see in Paris?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Paris?

The best day trips and excursions from Paris are:

Palace of Versailles

What are the best indoor activities in Paris for rainy days?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Paris

Paul & Mark are full time travel bloggers who discover hidden gems and local specialities on their blog Anywhere We Roam. They've travelled to Paris many times and discover a new side to the city every time.

What should I do on my first trip to Paris?

One of the best experiences in Paris is strolling down the Champs-Élysées inspecting the designer outlets, unique grand architecture and eye-wateringly expensive cafes. Climb the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the Champs-Élysées to catch one of the best views of Paris. The other unmissable experience is sitting on the steps of the Sacré-Cœur overlooking Paris as the sun goes down. Afterwards, enjoy the nightlife in the Montmartre neighbourhood which is full of hidden bars and cool restaurants.

What are some hidden gems to see in Paris?

Set on a hillside tucked into neighbourhood streets, the Vignes du Clos Montmartre is a tiny vineyard that produces 27 varieties of wine. It’s a wonderful hidden gem in Paris which you can visit during the annual grape harvest party on a guided tour. While Paris is known for world-renowned art, 59 Rivoli is a gallery with a difference. Originally occupied by squatters, it was only legalised in 2006 from where it grew to become one of the coolest art spaces in the city.

How much time should I spend in Paris?

To get a good feel for Paris and see most of the major attractions, you'll need to allow at least 3 days. This will be enough time to visit the major museums and galleries, wander some of the most interesting neighbourhoods and experience the local food and bar scene. Adding an extra day will allow you to include a day trip, such as an excursion to the lavish Palace of Versailles.

What food is Paris known for?

Duck confit was originally devised as a method to preserve this expensive meat for longer. Today, however, it's a well-known Paris staple and a great local dish to try. The dish consists of duck thigh cooked in its own fat until it's crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. It's usually accompanied with potatoes which are also cooked in duck fat. It's also hard to visit Paris without trying a croissant, the buttery, crescent-shaped, baked delight. With so many top-quality artisanal bakeries in the city, the best approach is to try several until you find the best one.

What is the best way to get around Paris?

Paris is a very walkable city with many attractions close together and the connecting streets interesting in themselves. The Paris metro is easy to use and convenient for getting to neighbourhoods slightly further away. Purchase a “Carnet” of 10 tickets when you first arrive from the vending machines in the train stations which will save you time and money.

What are the best months to visit Paris?

Paris is great to visit any time of year, but it gets very busy during the high season: July to August. The shoulder periods from April to June and September to November are the best time to visit when the crowds are fewer, and the weather is still good. The Paris Beer Festival is a 5-day event usually in September, designed to showcase the craft brewing talent across the city. The Pitchfork Music Festival held over 3 days in November, focuses on bands from punk, rock and jazz.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Paris?

One of the best neighbourhoods to visit in Paris is Le Marais. It has an excellent local art scene, trendy shopping and a concentration of hip restaurants lining the cobbled streets. The ornate Hôtel de Ville building and the modern Pompidou Centre mark the cultural spectrum of Le Marais. It’s also the centre of the gay scene in Paris where you’ll find LGBT-Friendly bars, cafes and bookstores.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

One of the best areas for upscale restaurants in Paris is Saint-Germain-des-Pres. This left bank neighbourhood has eateries oozing with old school charm, often with live jazz. As the student area, the Latin Quarter is a great place to go for cheap eats, while Montmartre's centre is packed with traditional historic bistros complete with brass fittings and its backstreets conceals all sorts of hidden gems.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

The chic boutiques, ornate arcades and covered passageways around the Louvre and Tulleries district are the perfect place to shop for high-end fashion and designer homewares. One of the best is Galerie Vivienne with rare bookstores, fashion, and luxury brands. Another great area is Le Marais with independent fashion, vintage finds and the occasional bargains.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Paris?

Le Marais is a great choice to base yourself while spending time in Paris. It's close to most of the major attractions with good transport links to other parts of the city. From trendy brunch spots to innovative cocktail haunts, the bar and restaurant scene in Le Marais is one of the most diverse. Another great option is the Latin Quarter which has a laidback local atmosphere occupying a good central location.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Paris?

Paris is a very family friendly city with many of the best sites spread around a relatively small, very walkable area. Kids will love Parc des Buttes Chaumont with mysterious grottos, waterfalls and bridges spread over the beautiful 25-hectare park. Centre Pompidou is a modern-art museum with a space for kids aged 2 to 10, and the spooky Catacombs could be a great option for older kids.

What is the best thing to do in Paris for solo travelers?

With some of the best art in the world, you could easily spend plenty of time on your own admiring collections in the exquisite galleries of Paris. An organised bike tour of the city is a great way to see more while meeting other travellers at the same time. Another great activity for solo travellers is the Great Mosque of Paris where you can grab a mint tea in the beautiful courtyard before booking yourself on an hammam experience.

What is the best thing to do in Paris for couples?

There's no shortage of activities for couples in Paris which is regarded as one of the most romantic cities in the world. The Canal Saint-Martin stretches for 2 picturesque kilometres and it's the ideal place for a late afternoon stroll under the shade of the tree-lined paths. For a classic date night, the Grand Action cinema shows old films in their original format in a delightfully vintage setting.

What are the best annual events in Paris?

On the 3rd Sunday of May every year, museums throughout Paris are open free of charge from 7pm to 1am for the Nuit des Musées. It's a great opportunity to see some interesting art and save a lot of money at the same time. Paris Quartier d’Eté is a colourful annual event held between mid-July and mid-August ever year where the squares of Paris come alive with theatre dance and concerts. Most events are free of charge.

What are the best things to do around Paris?

For outdoor activities in a big city, you're spoilt for choice in Paris. Jardin des Tuileries is the oldest and largest public space in Paris with manicured lawns, water features and beautiful gardens. The views towards the Arc de Triomphe are some of the best in Paris. With a prestigious botanical school at its heart, Jardin des Plantes has a staggering array of plants that can be admired while getting lost in their hedge maze.

What are the best beaches around Paris?

Surprisingly, Paris has an excellent beach culture. Every year from mid-July to mid-August the Seine riverbanks are transformed into inner-city beaches complete with deckchairs, palm trees and grassy banks. The Right bank beaches are well suited to a relaxing afternoon with pop up bars where you can pick up a glass of wine. The Left Bank beaches are better for games, activities, live music and dancing.

What's a local recommendation for neighborhood Montmartre?

The quick stroll down from Montmartre to Pigalle uncovers a cool under-visited area of Paris which is great if you like getting slightly off-the-beaten track in a major city. Although the Moulin Rouge attracts tourists in the area, there are plenty of hidden bars and speakeasys which make it a great neighbourhood for a very local night out. Dirty Dick has a weird and wonderful cocktail list served by super friendly staff.

What are some tips for visiting the top attractions in neighborhood Montmartre?

Because most of the tourist attractions in Paris are incredibly popular, it's a great idea to book them in advance and avoid the queues. It's also important to keep in mind that most museums in Paris close Monday and/or Tuesday. They also have very different opening times, so plan your Paris itinerary carefully in advance and book skip-the-line ticket so you see all the big highlights while avoiding the long queues.

Which neighborhood has the best nightlife?

Paris has a diverse nightlife scene with something for all different tastes and budgets. The Latin Quarter & St-Germain is all about old, established cafes and restaurants. Montmartre & Pigalle is good for trendy nightclubs and burlesque shows. Bastille is good for live music and Le Marais is the LGBT area.

Other Sightseeing Options in Paris

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What people are saying about Paris

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 192,509 reviews

I went on Monday and it was closed. So I came back Tuesday. So first of all check to make sure it’s open! I loved that people were relatively quiet so that long could take as long as one wanted to absorb the work… It’s beautifully presented. The same is true of the work in the gardens.

I went in the afternoon and there wasn’t a line to go inside the Arc De Triomphe. It’s a real climb to the top. Make sure you have the stamina for it, you’ll be winded because it’s all stairs and it keeps going and going!

It is definitely worth it at night with the lights but worth more during the day when you can see everything clearly and it truly gives a great tour for you to learn so much from.

Great experience! Our visit was easy, even though we visited on a busy day at the nearby courts. Tickets were easy to purchase and use once onsite.

really nice to skip the line, rest of experience was the same